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Arunachal man scripts history by creating new alphabet for ancient tribal language

Wancho, a Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh, and parts of Assam, Nagaland and Myanmar lacked a script. In 2013, a book titled 'Wancho script' was also published carrying basic application of letters into words and sentences. It is now being used as a textbook in around 20 government-run schools to teach the language.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
Itanagar Updated on: September 08, 2019 13:29 IST
Arunachal man scripts history by creating new alphabet for ancient tribal language
Image Source : ANI

Arunachal man scripts history by creating new alphabet for ancient tribal language

To preserve Wancho language spoken in several parts of northeastern states, linguist student Banwang Losu has developed an independent Wancho script. 

Wancho, a Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh, and parts of Assam, Nagaland and Myanmar lacked a script. 

The Wancho script has 44 letters: 15 vowels and 29 consonants.

India Tv - The Wancho script has 44 letters: 15 vowels and 29 consonants.

The Wancho script has 44 letters: 15 vowels and 29 consonants.

"It took me almost 12 years to script the Wancho language. It is not only confined to Arunachal Pradesh but is also spoken in Nagaland, Assam and other countries like Myanmar and Bhutan," News agency ANI quoted Losu as saying.

Losu has got the language enlisted in the US-based Unicode Consortium for online use. The language now also has a place in the Unicode, which means it can be used on the internet across the world.

"We are responsible to preserve our culture and languages ourselves or it will disappear from this world. There is no superior or inferior language; every language is equally important," he said.

Losu, who is pursuing his Masters in linguistics at Deccan College Post Graduation and Research Institute in Pune, faced several problems developing the script.

In 2013, a book titled 'Wancho script' was also published carrying basic application of letters into words and sentences. It is now being used as a textbook in around 20 government-run schools to teach the language. 

Losu now wants to document all the script as it is among the endangered languages of the world.

"Other tribes are also welcome to use the script of our script. I can also help them document the script of their own language if they want," he added.

The United Nations had declared 2019 as the year of Indigenous Languages to draw attention to languages around the world that are in danger of disappearing.

Out of 197 Indian languages on the verge of extinction, 89 languages are reported to be from Northeast India, with 34 belonging to Arunachal Pradesh alone.

(With ANI inputs)

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