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History and Origin of Manipuri Language

The official language of the state of Manipur is known as Manipuri. This language is also known by the name of Meitei. The offices and government institutions of Manipur recognize Manipuri as their official language. This language has also influenced nearby states of Assam and Tripura and is also spoken there. It is also spoken in some parts of Bangladesh and Myanmar. Almost all ethnic groups of Manipur speak this language and that has helped greatly in the regional integration.



Meitei is also the medium of education in Manipur. In some universities of India, Manipur is taught as a subject to the postgraduate level students also. Manipuri is different from Bishnupriya Manipuri, which is classified as an Indo-Aryan language. As per the earliest written evidence on the history of Manipuri, the language dates back to the 11th century. It had an independent script that was in use until the 18th century. This script was derived from the Tibetan group of scripts.

With the arrival of the British rule, the script was modified and came to be known and used as the Bengali script. This script is being used till date. Efforts are being made to restore the original script and renew it. This will give it further recognition and importance among the current generation. In Manipur, more than 60 per cent of the people converse in Manipuri and there is an urgent need to revive its original script before it completely fades away from the memories of the people.

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