Changmha, Daingnet
𑄌𑄋𑄴𑄟𑄳𑄦 𑄞𑄌𑄴
Shukla Chakma II.svg
'Changmha Bhach' in Chakma script
Native toBangladesh and India
RegionChittagong Hill Tracts
CADC, Mizoram
Arunachal Pradesh
EthnicityChakma, Daingnet
Native speakers
150,000 in Bangladesh (2007)[1]
228,000 in India (2011)[1]
Chakma script, Latin script, Bengali script[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3ccp

Chakma language (/ˈɑːkmə/; autonym: 𑄌𑄋𑄴𑄟𑄳𑄦 𑄞𑄌𑄴, Changmha Bhach) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Chakma and Daingnet people. The language has common features with other languages in the region like the Chittagonian, Tanchangya, Arakanese and others. It is spoken by around 380,000 people. 150,000 of these are in southeast Bangladesh,[1] primarily the Chittagong Hill Tracts, and another 230,000 in India, including 97,000 in Mizoram,[2] Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh. It is written using the Chakma script, but literacy in this script is low.


It is officially recognized by the Government of Tripura in India and also by the Government of Bangladesh. In India, it is also spoken primarily in the Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) which consists of the Tuichawng constituency of Lawngtlai district in Mizoram and many places in Tripura.

Although there were no Chakma language radio or television stations as of 2011, the language has a presence in social media and on YouTube. The Hill Education Chakma Script website provides tutorials, videos, e-books, and Chakma language forums.[3]

In 2012, the Government of Tripura announced the implementation of Chakma language in Chakma Script (or Ajhā Pāṭh) in primary schools of Tripura. Imparting of education up to the elementary stage in the mother tongue is a national policy. To begin with, Chakma language subjects in its own scripts has been introduced in 87 primary schools in Chakma concentrated areas in Tripura."[4][5]

"In preparation for the January 2014 education season, the national curriculum and textbook board has already started printing books in six languages ... Chakma, Kokborok (Tripura community), Marma, Santal, Sadri (Orao community) and Achik."[6]

Mor Thengari (My Bicycle) was Bangladesh's first Chakma-language movie. However, it was banned in Bangladesh due to its controversial plot.[7]



Front Central Back
Close i u
Close-mid e o
Open-mid ɛ ɔ
Open æ a


Labial Dental Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ
breathy ɡʱ
Affricate voiceless
Fricative voiceless s (ʃ) h
voiced z
Nasal m n ŋ
Trill/Tap r ɽ
Approximant w l j

Medieval Chakma

The Chakma and Daingnet people now speak what may be considered divergent dialects of Magadhi Prakrit. However, this is due to language shift from a Tibeto-Burman language; that medieval language may have been related to Sak[10] or Chairel[11] (and therefore of the Brahmaputran branch).

Writing system

Main article: Chakma script

The Chakma script is an abugida that belongs to the Brahmic family of scripts. Chakma evolved from the Burmese script, which was ultimately derived from Pallava.[12][13][14]

Educational institutions

The Chakma language is being taught in many Government and private schools in India (Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh) and Bangladesh. The Chakma language was officially introduced in primary schools by the Govt. of Tripura under The Directorate of Kokborok & Other Minority Languages in 2004 through Bengali Script and since 2013 through Chakma script (also known as Ajhā Pāṭh). Presently, the Chakma language is being taught in 87 schools.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d Chakma at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) closed access
  2. ^ "DISTRICT CENSUS HANDBOOK LAWNGTLAI" (PDF). Census of India 2011. Office of the Registrar General.
  3. ^ "Languages: Online Activism To Save Chakma Language". Rising Voices. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  4. ^ Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network (31 August 2012). "Chakma script to be introduced in Tripura". E-Pao! Headlines. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  5. ^ Chakma Language, The Directorate of Kokborok & Other Minority Languages, Govt. of Tripura, India.
  6. ^ Chowdhury, K. R. (21 May 2013). "Native tongue offers ethnic children a good start". Archived from the original on 25 June 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Bangladesh's Censor Board Blocks the Country's First Chakma-Language Film". Global Voices. 11 December 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  8. ^ Tanchangya, Shanta Rakshit (December 2013). A comparative study of vowels in Chakma and English (PDF) (BA). BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  9. ^ Bhattacharyya, Sumana (2004). A Linguistic study of Chakma. University of Calcutta.
  10. ^ Beckwith, Christopher I. (2002). Medieval Oxomiya Languages. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-12424-0.
  11. ^ Voegelin, Charles Frederick & Florence Marie Robinett Voegelin. 1977. Classification and Index of the World's Languages. New York: Elsevier. ISBN 0-444-00155-7
  12. ^ Talukdar, S. P. (2010). Genesis of Indigenous Chakma Buddhists and Their Pulverization Worldwide. ISBN 9788178357584.
  13. ^ Mru: Hill People on the Border of Bangladesh. 11 November 2013. ISBN 9783034856942.
  14. ^ "Proposal for encoding the Chakma script in the UCS" (PDF). Unicode.
  15. ^ Chakma Language, The Directorate of Kokborok & Other Minority Languages, Govt. of Tripura, India.

Media related to Chakma language at Wikimedia Commons