Monday, June 11, 2007

What is Rohingyalish?


Fig 1. Rohingyalish Character Set

1. Rohingyalish character set: shown in Fig 1, is made up of 26 English alpahbets along with two Latin alphabets Ç and Ñ, the two distinct Asian sounds, the tongue rolling and the nasal. Rohingyalish does not use C except to replace "Sh" sound, that is instead of Shamish, Rohingyalish writes as Camic which means spoon.

2. Rohingyalish has two vowel sets:
(1) Six straight vowel set......: a, e, i, o, u, ou
(2) Four Circular vowel set..: ai, ei, oi, ui

Six straight vowels: Unlike English, each Rohingyalish vowel has only one unique sound and never change in word to word. For example, English vowel 'a' has different sounds in words as, all, ask. But Rohingyalish chose only one sound which is as in the word ask. The sounds of all straight vowels can be represented in a single phrase that is "Ask four of ten inputs" except that the sounds should be taken as soft. For hard sounds á, é, í, ó, ú, óu are used instead.

  • Fata (leaves), Sáta (dust)
  • Kela (banana), Kéti (farm)
  • Fith (back), Fíth (feet)
  • Boro (big), Bóro (fill)
  • Bura (bad), Búra (stained)

Four Circular vowels: Similary, each circular vowel gives unique sound and it is fixed to a particular sound. Each curcular vowel is formed by adding 'i' to four of the straight vowels.

  • Bai sounds as By
  • Méik sounds as Make
  • Loi sounds as Loei (not like Loy, Boy)
  • Tui sounds as Twi

3. Stressed and Long Vowels
Most of the time, the meaning of a word changes when a vowel is stressed or not stressed. Normal vowels are used when no stress is required and accented vowels when stress is required. For example,

  • Ful (bridge), Fúl (flower)
  • Sal (roof), Sál (tree bark)
  • Fan (a kind of leaves), Fán ( trap)

Similarly, the meaning of a word changes when the vowel sound is extended or not exteneded. A single vowel is used when extendng is not needed and double vowels are used when extending is needed. For example,

  • Do (give), Doo (knife)
  • No (nine), Noo (small boat)
  • Zo (go), Zoo (lucky moments)
  • Dhor (fear), Dhoor (non-stop raining)
  • Mana (make accept, make agree), Maana (free)