) is a language
spoken by the Rohingya people
(Myanmar). It is smiliar to the Chittagonian language
spoken in the neighboring southeastern Chittagong Division
Various writing systems are used, including Arabic
, Hanifi-Script and Burmese
, and the newer Rohingyalish, based on the Roman alphabet.
Written in Arabic script, the first Rohingya language texts are more than 300 years old. While Arakan
was under British rule (1826–1948), the Rohingya people used mainly English and Urdu for written communication. Since independence in 1948, Burmese has been used in all official communications. Since the early 1960s, Rohingya scholars have started to realize the need for a writing system suited to their own language.
In 1975 a writing system was developed using Arabic letters; other scholars adopted Urdu script to remedy some deficiencies of the Arabic. Neither proved satisfactory, however, and most Rohingyas found it difficult to read the language in either version.
Molana Hanif and his colleagues developed a new set of right-to-left oriented
characters based mainly on Arabic script, with a few borrowings from Roman and Burmese. This approach was an improvement and was appreciated by Rohingya Islamic scholars, used to studying in Arabic and Urdu. However, the new script was criticized because the characters were very similar to each other, requiring longer... Read More