Karbi is a Tibeto-Burman language spoken in Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh in India by about 420,000 people. It is also known as Mikir or Arleng, and is thought by some linguists to belong to the Kukish branch of Tibeto-Burman languages.
Karbi can be written with the Latin or Assamese alphabets. The first texts in Karbi, published by American missionaries, appeared in the early 20th century. They included a newspaper, dictionaries and religious texts. Two daily newspapers in Karbi, Thekar and The Arleng Daily, are published in Diphua in Assam.
The Karbi people have a rich oral tradition which includes long stories such as the Mosera, which tells of the history of the Karbi.
Tangte nangtum lapusonle ardomnon: ‘Sining athak kedo netum a-Po, Nangmen pangthirnang; Nangrat pavangnang; Sining athak asonthot-le, pirthe athakta nangning kehang paplengnang. Pini netum kenangji a-an pini netum aphan nepitha; Lapen netum along apreng kedo atum aphan, netum kediyatang asonthot-le; netum aprengta nediyatha. Lapen asat kelangjile netum aphan neponrinon, bonta kehingno ajakong pen netum aphan nepajoktha.’ ‘Pima nangrat lapen jakong lapen anong, akai apar akai anta padonang.’
Sample text supplied by Michael Peter Füstumum
Thekar - Karbi newspaper