Mizo is a member of the Kukish branch of the Tibeto-Burman language family spoken by about 700,000 people mainly in Mizoram state in India, and also in Chin State in Burma, and in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. Mizo used to be known as Lushai, Lusei or Lushei, named after the most common dialect of the language, which serves as a lingua franca among the Kuki people.
Christian missionaries developed a way to write Mizo based on the Hunterian translation system, which was developed in India during the 18th century and derived from a system devised by William Jones.
Much literature is produced in Mizo, particularly by Mizoram and Manipur universities, and there is an annual prize for original works in Mizo presented by the Mizo Academy of Letters. There are also numerous newspapers in Mizo.
Mizo's eight tones are indicated as follows:
Hear the Mizo alphabet:
Mi zawng zawng hi zalèna piang kan ni a, zahawmna leh dikna chanvoah intluk tlâng vek kan ni. Chhia leh ṭha hriatna fîm neia siam kan nih avangin kan mihring puite chungah inunauna thinlung kan pu tlat tur a ni.
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)
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