Khasi (Ka Ktien Khasi / ক ক্ত্যেন খসি)

Khasi is a member of the Khasic group of Austroasiatic languages. It is spoken by about 1 million people, mainly in Meghalaya state in the north-east of India, particularly in the districts of Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills and West Khasi Hills.

Khasi at a glance

  • Native name: Ka Ktien Khasi, ক ক্ত্যেন খসি [ka kt̪eːn kʰasi]
  • Language family: Austroasiatic, Khasi-Palaungic, Khasic, Khasi-Pnar-Lyngngam
  • Number of speakers: c. 1 million
  • Spoken in: India and Bangladesh
  • First written: 1813
  • Writing system: Bengali-Assamese alphabet, Latin alphabet
  • Status: Associated official language of Meghalaya (Since 2005)

There are also speakers of Khasi in the Cachar, Kamrup, Lakhimpur, Nagaon and North Cachar Hills districts of Assam, in the Indian states of Manipur, Tripura and West Bengal, and in the Sylhet division in northeasten Bangladesh.

Khasi has been a officially recognised as a statutory provincial language in Meghalaya State since 1950, and was recognised as an associate offical language of Meghalaya in 2005. It is used in government, courts, the media and literature, and is taught in schools in Meghalaya and Bangladesh.

There are a number of dialects of Khasi, including Sohra, Khynriam and War, which are more or less mutually intelligible, and Bhoi and Nonglung, which are different enough to be considered distinct languages.

Written Khasi

Khasi was first written with the Bengali alphabet by William Carey, a British missionary, in the early 19th century. Many Khasi books were written in the Assamese script, and Khasi was first written with the Latin alphabet by Thomas Jones, a Welsh missionary, in 1841. The Latin alphabet is used in Meghalaya, and other parts of India, and the Bengali-Assamese alphabet is used in Bangladesh.

Another way to write Khasi, known as the New Khasi Alphabet, was devised by Jüda F. Kapu from Umbir in Meghalaya

Latin alphabet for Khasi

Khasi alphabet and pronunciation

Bengali-Assamese alphabet for Khasi

Bengali-Assamese alphabet for Khasi

Download alphabet charts for Khasi (Excel)

Corrections by Eric Mawrie

Sample text (Bengali-Assamese alphabet)

যা কি বৃনৰ‌্যের বাৰহ লা খা লাচলোছ বাড কী যৰূঙ্কট হা কি বুৰম বাড ক হক. হাকি লা বৃস্যপ দা ক বৰ-পৃৰ্খট বাড ক চিংযাতিপলেম বাড হা ক মৃন্স্যেম চিংস্ঙেউ শীপাৰা, কী দেই বাণ যত্ৰেই বৃনৰাপ লাং.

Sample text (Latin alphabet)

Ïa ki bynriew baroh la kha laitluid bad ki ïaryngkat ha ka burom bad ki hok. Ha ki la bsiap da ka bor pyrkhat bad ka jingïatiplem bad ha ka mynsiem jingsngew shipara, ki dei ban ïatrei bynrap lang.

IPA transcription

jaː ki bɨnreʊ baːrɔʔ laː kʰaː lacloc bat ki jaːrɨŋkat haː kaː burɔm bat ki hɔk. haː ki laː bsjap daː kaː bɔːr pɨrkʰat bat kaː dʒɪŋjaːtɪplɛm bat haː kaː mɨnseːm dʒɨŋsŋɛʊ ʃiparaː ki dɛɪ ban jaːtrɛɪ bɨnrap laŋ


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample videos in Khasi

Information about Khasi | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about the Khasi language

Phrases in Khasi

Khasi-Palaungic languages

Khasi, Palaung, Wa

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Languages written with the Eastern Nagari (Bengali) alphabet

Atong, Bengali, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Bodo, Bhumij, Chittagonian, Garo, Hajong, Karbi, Kharia, Khasi, Koch, Kokborok, Kurmali, Malto, Manipuri, Mundari, Noakhailla, Rangpuri, Sadri, Santali, Sylheti, Toto, Tanchangya

Page last modified: 14.01.24


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