Dimasa language

Native to India
Region Assam, Nagaland
Native speakers
110,000 (2001 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 dis
Glottolog dima1251[2]

The Dimasa language is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by the Dimasa people in the state of Assam and Nagaland in North East India, The Dimasa language is known to Dimasas as "Grao-Dima". The Dimasa Language is similar to languages of Tiprasa (Tripuri) or Kokborok.


The Dimasa language is one of the oldest languages spoken in North East India, particularly in Assam. The word Dimasa etymologically translates to "Son of the big river" (Di- Water, ma- suffix for great, sa-sons), the river being the mighty Brahmaputra. The Dimasa word "Di" for water forms the root word for many of the major rivers of Assam and North East India, such as Dikrang, which means green river, Dikhow, which means fetched water, Diyung, which means huge river, and many others. The mighty river Brahmaputra is known as Dilao (long river) among the Dimasas even now. Many of the important towns and cities in Assam and Nagaland received their names from Dimasa words such as Diphu, Dimapur (a capital of the Dimasa Kingdom), Dispur, Hojai, Khaspur, etc. In fact, the Dimasa language is one of the last languages of North East India to retain its original vocabulary without being compromised by foreign languages.

Geographical distribution

Dimasa is spoken in:

Writing system

Dimasa is written using the Latin script, which has been introduced in the lower primary education system in Dima Hasao District. The main guiding force behind it is the Dimasa Lairidim Hosom, a literary apex body of the Dimasa community.[3]

The Bengali script is used in Cachar, where the Dimasas live alongside Bengali people.[4]

See also


  1. Dimasa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Dimasa". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. http://online.assam.gov.in/tribes_of_assam#Dimasa Kachari
  4. http://www.omniglot.com/writing/langalph.htm
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