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Native toIndia, Burma
RegionMizoram, Manipur, Assam, Chin State
Native speakers
100000+ (2011 census)[1][2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3pck
ELPPaite Chin

Paite is a Sino-Tibetan Language spoken by a subgroup of the Chin Kuki people. There are different Paite dialects. The language exhibits mutual intelligibility with the other languages of the region including Hmar, Vaiphei, Simte, Kom, Gangte and other languages.[3] The name Paite could translate to 'the people who went', 'a group of people marching',[4] or it can even be construed to mean 'nomads'.

Paite alphabet (Paite laimal)

The alphabet was propounded by Shri T. Vialphung in 1903 which was extracted from the Roman alphabet and has 18 consonants and 6 vowels. Out of 18 consonant phonemes in Paite, 11 of them are glottal stops, 4 fricatives, 2 nasal and 1 lateral.

This version of the Paite alphabet is called 'Paite Laimal' and has been in use since 1903.

Letter a aw b ch d e f g ng h i j k
Letter l m n o p r s t u v z
Consonants b [b] ch [t͡ʃ] d [d] f [f] g [g] ng [ŋ] h [h, -ʰ] j [d͡ʒ] k [k] l [l] m [m] n [n] p [p] r [r] s [s] t [t] v [v] z [z]
a [a] Vowels aw [ɔ] e [e] i [i] o [o] u [u]


High-front-oriented ei ai ui oi
High-back-oriented au iu eu ou
Low-central-oriented ia ua

'iai'(yai) and 'uau'(wao) are the Triphthongs of Paite language.

Five prominent tones in Paite are: sak mil paite

The number of tones differ with variations in region and dialect.


Paite (Zomi) English Lushei (Mizo) Meitei (Manipuri) Thadou (Kuki)
Bial Zero Bial Phun/Shino
Khat One Pakhat Ama Khat
Nih Two Pahnih Ani Ni
Thum Three Pathum Ahum Thum
Li Four Pali Mari Li
Nga Five Panga Manga Nga
Guk Six Paruk Taruk Gup
Sagih Seven Pasarih Taret Sagi
Giat Eight Pariat Nipal Get
Kua Nine Pakua Mapal Ko
Sawm Ten Sawm Tara Som
Sawmlehkhat Eleven Sawmpakhat TaraMathoi
Sawmlehkua Nineteen Sawmpakua TaraMapal
Sawmnih Twenty Sawmhnih Kun
Sawmthum Thirty Sawmthum Kunthraa
Sawmnga Fifty Sawmnga Yaangkhei
Sawmkua Ninety Sawmkua MariPhuTara
Za Hundred Za ChaAma Za
Zanga Five hundred ChaManga
Saang(khat) One thousand Sang Lishing ama Sang
Siing(khat) Ten thousand Sing
Nuai(khat) Hundred thousand/One lakh Nuai
Maktaduai Million
Vaibelsia Ten million
Vaibelsetak Hundred million Vaibelchhetak
Tuklehdingawn Billion Tluk leh dingawn
Tuklehdingawn sawm Ten billion
Tuklehdingawn za Hundred billion

Sample text

The following is a sample text in Paite of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Paite pau English
Mi tengteng zalen a piang ihi ua, zah-omna leh dikna tanvou ah kibangvek ihi. Sia leh pha theihna pilna nei a siam I hih ziak un I mihinpihte tungah unauna lungsim feltak I put ngai ahi. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience. Therefore, they should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.[5]

There are two major dialects of Paite spoken in Manipur: Lamjang and Dapjal; and 4 minor dialects which are Songtal, Bukpi, Lousau & Kangkap. [6]


Paite grammar is fairly complex because of a number of word modification and a fairly complex noun structure.

Word order

Paite's declarative word structure is Object–subject–verb.






Vasa ka mù

bird I see

I see a bird







Sing a puá

wood he carries

He carries wood

If the word order and grammar isn't followed, sentences and phrases lose their meaning. For example, if 'Laibu a gelh', which translates to 'He writes a book', was written as 'Gelh a laibu' with the verb preceding and the subject and object succeeding respectively, the phrase would then translate to 'Writes he a book'.

Geographical distribution

Paite is spoken mainly in the following locations (Ethnologue).

Education and Academic

Paite language can now be taken up as one of the MIL subjects offered in the Three-Year Degree course in Manipur University. The Academic Council of the university in its meeting held on April 22, 2004 gave its approval for the inclusion of Paite as one of the MIL subjects after considering recommendation by the Board of Studies of the School of Humanities, and also in recognition of the richness of the language and its literature including creative writing.[7]


  1. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Religion Data of Census 2011: XXXI Mizoram Manipur and Nagaland".
  3. ^ Singh, Chungkham Yashawanta (1995). "The linguistic situation in Manipur" (PDF). Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area. 18 (1): 129–134. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Who are Paites?". Paite Nampuan | Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Universal Declaration of Human Rights". 6 October 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  6. ^ Singh, Naorem Saratchandra Singh (2006). A Grammar of Paite. Mittal Publications. p. xviii. ISBN 978-8183240680. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Churachandpur College". Retrieved 5 February 2020.

Further reading