Mara language

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Mara (Tlosaih)
Native toMizoram, India; Burma
EthnicityMara people
Native speakers
(ca. 400,000 cited 1994–2011)[1]
  • Tlosaih Siaha(lingua franca)
  • Tlosaih Saikao
  • Tlosaih Tokalo
  • Tlosaih Kiasie
Language codes
ISO 639-3mrh

Mara is a Kuki-Chin language spoken by Mara people, mostly the Tlosaih tribe living in 30 villages of Chhimtuipui district, southern Mizoram, India and the adjacent villages in Burma.

The Mara (Tlosaih) languages belong to the Kuki-Chin branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. The speakers of the languages are also known as Mara (Tlosais).

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


  • Population: 56,574 in Saiha district, Mizoram, India (2011), 37,000 in Burma (2007).
  • Region: Saiha District, Mizoram (India), Indo-Burma Border
  • Alternate names: Lakher, Mara, Maram, Mira, Zao, Shendu, Khawngsai, Khyeng.
  • Languages: Tlôsaih, Sizo (Chapi/Saby/Ngiaphia), Hlaipao (Vahapi, Lelai and Heima), Lyvaw (Nohro & Notlia), Lochei ochebi, Zophei (Ahnai/Vytu, Bawipa and Asah/Leita), Senthang (Khuapi/Saith a), Lautu (Awhsa/Kahno) & Saté
  • Tribes: Zophei, Lautu, Senthang, Tlosai, Hlaipao and Haw Thai


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 (lowercase 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)

Today the Mara language has its own alphabet; words inside brackets show author N.E. Parry's transliterations from 1937.

Interrogative words in Mara[edit]

  • 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, kei - I
  • 2nd person: nâma, na - you
  • 3rd person: ano, a or ama' - he, she, it


  • 1st person: eima - we
  • 2nd person: nâmo, nâma - you
  • 3rd person: âmo - they

Possessive Pronouns[edit]


  • 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 - anyone
  • Ahy tlyma - someone, a certain one
  • A tlâhpi - some . . . others
  • A hropa - another, others
  • Ama zydua ta - all


  1. Mara at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)

External links[edit]

Template:Languages of Burma