Mara language

Mara (Lakher/Shendu/Zochhia)
Pronunciation [m̥ara]
Native to Mizoram, India; Burma
Ethnicity Mara people
Native speakers
ca. 400,000 (1994–2011)[1]
  • Tlosaih (lingua franca)
  • Hawthai (Tisih, Lyvaw and Lochei)
  • Zyhno
  • Sizo(Chapi)
  • Zophei(Vytu and Bawipa)
  • Heima
  • Lialai
  • Lautu
  • Senthang(Surkhua,Khuapi,Shoshen and Sakta)
  • Zotung (Shal Thawng and In Mai)
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mrh
Glottolog mara1382[2]

Mara is a Kuki-Chin language spoken by Mara people living in 60 villages of Chhimtuipui district, southern Mizoram, India and the adjacent people living in Burma.

The Mara language belongs to the Kuki-Chin branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. The speakers of the language are also known as Mara.

Mara is a recognised language in the School curriculum of Mara Autonomous District Council (MADC). Mara is a compulsory subject for all schools up to Class VII (Middle School) under Board of School Education, MADC.


  • Population: 47,000 in India (2007), 37,000 in Burma (2007).
  • Region: Siaha District, Mizoram (India), Indo-Burma Border
  • Alternate names: Lakher, Mara, Maram, Mira, Zao, Shendu, Khawngsai,Khyieng.
  • Languages: Tlôsaih, Sizo(Chapi/Saby/Ngiaphia), Zyhno, Hawthai(Lyvaw and Lochei), Zophei(Vytu), Zotung(Sal Thawng/Azyu), Heima, Lialai, Senthang(Khuapi/Saitha), Lautu(Awsa/Kahno).


Mara Alphabet (capital letters): A, AW, Y, B, CH, D, E, F, H, I, K, L, M, N, NG, O, Ô, P, R, S, T, U, V, Z Mara Alphabet (small letters):a, aw, y, b, ch, d, e, f, h, i, k, l, m, n, ng, o, ô, p, r, s, t, u, v, z Mara diphthongs:ao, yu, ai, ei, ia, ie, ua



The plural form of a noun is formed by affixing one of the following terms to the end of the noun:

  • zy (zeu)
  • zydua (zeu-dua)
  • nawh
  • sahlao (sha-hlawh)

Words inside bracket were how a foreign author N.E. Parry (1937) wrote according to his understanding of the sound. But now the Maras have their own alphabet and the correct usages are put up there.

Interrogative words in Mara

What : Khâpa, Khâpa e, Khâpa maw Where : Khataih lâ, Khataih liata How : kheihta, kheihawhta, Khatluta, Kheihta maw How much? : Khazie? How long? : Khachâ e, Khachâ maw? When : Khatita, khatita e, Khâpa nota, nota, tita, nahta, pata, Conj. thlaita, khati nota Why : Khazia, Khazia-e, Khazia maw, Khâpa vâta Why not : Khazia a châ vei chheih aw Whose : Kheihawhpa, Kheihawhpa he, Kheihawhpa-e, Kheihawhpa maw, ahy he maw Which : Kheihawhpa, Kheihawhpa he, Kheihawhpa-e, Kheihawhpa maw, ahy he maw Friend : Viasa Male Friend : Viasa Paw Female Friend: Viasa Nô Walk/Go : Sie (Phei ta Sie) Run : Arâ, â râ Sleep : Amô, Azia, Apazawh, â mô, â zia, â pazawh See : Mo, hmô Sit : Â tyuh, atyuh Stand : Â duah, aduah Jump : Â pathluah, apathluah Hit : Â chô, achô Eat : Nie Drink : Doh



  • 1st person-keima or kei I
  • 2nd person-nâma or na You
  • 3rd person-ano or a or ama' He,She,It


  • 1st person-eima We
  • 2nd person-nâmo, nâma You
  • 3rd person-âmo They

Possessive Pronouns

  • Singular
  • Keima, ei - my.
  • keima eih, kei eih - mine.
  • Nâma, na - Thy(You)
  • Nâma eih, na eih - Thine(Yours)
  • Ama, a - Him, Her, It.
  • Ama eih, a eih - His, Hers, Its.


  • Keimo - Our.
  • Keimo eih - Ours.
  • Nâmo - Your.`
  • Ahyrai - Any one.
  • Ahy tlyma - Some one, a certain one.
  • A tlâhpi - Some . . . others.
  • A hropa - Another, others.
  • Ama zydua ta - All.


  1. Mara at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Mara (Lakher/Shendu)". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
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