'Mru' in the Mru script
Native toBangladesh, Myanmar
Native speakers
(50,000 cited 1999–2007)[1]
Mru script, Latin script
Language codes
ISO 639-3mro
Map showing the expanse of the Mru people in Bangladesh
Mru women harvesting rice

Mru, also known as Mrung (Murung), is a Sino-Tibetan language of Bangladesh and Myanmar. It is spoken by a community of Mrus (Mros) inhabiting the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh with a population of 22,000 according to the 1991 census, and in Rakhine State, Myanmar. The Mrus are the second-largest tribal group in Bandarban District of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. A small group of Mros also live in Rangamati Hill District.


Mru forms the Mruic language branch with Hkongso and Anu, which are spoken in Paletwa Township, Chin State, Myanmar. The position of Mruic with Sino-Tibetan is unclear.


Percentage Map of Mru people by Upazila in bandarban district

The Mros live in forest areas of Lama Upazila, Ruma Upazila, Alikadam Upazila, and Thanchi Upazila near Chimbuk Mountain of Bandarban District, Bangladesh (Rashel 2009). In Myanmar, they also live in Buthidaung Township and Ponnagyun Township in Sittwe District (Akiab), Rakhine State.


Ethnologue (22nd edition) lists 3 main dialects as Anok, Dowpreng (Dopreng), and Sungma (Tshungma), as well as the 2 minor dialects of Domrong and Rumma.

There are five Mru dialects according to Ebersole (1996).

There are five major Mro clans (Rashel 2009).

Rashel (2009) also lists another classification scheme which lists ten Mro clans.


Unlike the Kuki-Chin languages, Mru has SVO (subject-verb-object) word order (Ebersole 1996).



Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
voiceless p t k ʔ
aspirated tɕʰ
voiced b d
Fricative s (ʃ) h
Rhotic r
Approximant w l j

/s/ can also be heard as [ʃ].[3]


Front Central Back
Close i ɯ u
Mid ɛ ɤ ɔ
Open a



Rashel (2009:159) lists the following Mro numerals.

  1. lok
  2. pre
  3. sum
  4. tle
  5. tnga
  6. trok
  7. rinit
  8. riyat
  9. tako
  10. homod


Main article: Mru script

Mro, Krama[1]
Script type
Time period
1980s — present
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Mroo (264), ​Mro, Mru
Unicode alias

The Mru script is an indigenous, messianic script: In the 1980s Menlay Murang (also known as Manley Mro) created the religion of Khrama (or Crama) and with it a new script for the Mru language.[5][6]

The script is written from left to right and has its own set of digits. It does not use tone marks.

The Mru language is written in both the Latin and Mru scripts.


Main article: Mro (Unicode block)

The Mru alphabet was added to the Unicode Standard in June, 2014 with the release of version 7.0.

The Unicode block for the Mru script, called Mro, is U+16A40–U+16A6F:

Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+16A4x 𖩀 𖩁 𖩂 𖩃 𖩄 𖩅 𖩆 𖩇 𖩈 𖩉 𖩊 𖩋 𖩌 𖩍 𖩎 𖩏
U+16A5x 𖩐 𖩑 𖩒 𖩓 𖩔 𖩕 𖩖 𖩗 𖩘 𖩙 𖩚 𖩛 𖩜 𖩝 𖩞
U+16A6x 𖩠 𖩡 𖩢 𖩣 𖩤 𖩥 𖩦 𖩧 𖩨 𖩩 𖩮 𖩯
1.^ As of Unicode version 15.1
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

See also


  1. ^ a b Mru at Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Mruic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Williams, Nicholas J. (2008). Directionals in Mru. Dartmouth College.
  4. ^ Namkung, Ju (1996). Mru. Phonological Inventories of Tibeto-Burman Languages. (STEDT Monograph Series, 3.): Berkeley: Center for Southeast Asia Studies. p. 268.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location (link)
  5. ^ Hosken, Martin; Everson, Michael (24 March 2009). "N3589R: Proposal for encoding the Mro script in the SMP of the UCS" (PDF). Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  6. ^ Zaman, Mustafa (24 February 2006). "Mother Tongue at Stake". Star Weekend Magazine. 5 (83). The Daily Star.

Further reading