Sümi is a member of the Angami-Sümi branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. It is spoken by about 350,000 people in the northeast of India, mainly in central and southern Nagaland, and also in Assam. In Nagaland it is spoken particularly in Zunheboto district around the town of Zunheboto. There are also Sümi speakers in neighbouring districts, and in Dimapur, the commercial capital of Nagaland, and Kohima, the political capital of Nagaland. In Assam it is spoken in the Tinsukia district near Margherita, a town on the border with Nagaland.

Sümi is also known as Sema, Simi or Sumi Naga. Dialects include Dayang (Western Sümi), Lazami, Jimomi and Zumomi.

Sümi is written with the Latin alphabet, and was first written by missionaries in the early 20th century. There is some written material in the language, including a dictionary, grammar and a translation of the Bible.

Sümi alphabet and pronunciation

Sümi alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Sümi (Excel)


Sümi has three tones: a high tone, a mid tone and a low tone. There is no standard way to indicate these in writing. The high tone may be indicated with an acute accent (á) or by doubling consonants, while the low high can be indicated with a grave accent (à) or with an h. The mid tone is not usually marked. For example: apuh (low tone) = father, apu (mid tone) = dipper, appu (high tone) = son.

Sample videos


Information about the Sümi language

Angami-Pochuri languages

Mao, Pochuri, Sümi

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 20.05.22. Last modified: 20.05.22


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