Jarai is a member of the Chamic branch of Malayo-Polynesian languages spoken in parts of Vietnam and Cambodia by about 332,557 people. It is spoken in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, particularly in Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces, and also in Đắk Lắk province, and in Ratanakiri province in Cambodia. There are also Jarai speakers in the USA.
Jarai is related to the Cham language of central Vietnam, and has also been influenced by nearby Mon-Khmer languages.
The current Jarai alphabet was introduced by the French in the 1920s. Before then the language was not written. A Jarai dictionary was published in 1940, and other materials have been produced since then.
Ê̆ is also written Ē; Ô̆ is also written Ō; Ơ̆ is also written Ờ, Ư̆ is also written Ử.
Hear the letters of Jarai:
Abih bang mơnuih-mơnam tơkeng rai rơngai laih anŭn mơdơ̆-mơđơr amăng tơlơi pơpŭ-pơyôm hăng tơlơi dưi. Ƀing gơñu tŭ hơmâo tơlơi pơmĭn hăng tơlơi thâo djơ̆-glaĭ laih anŭn brơi ngă kơ tơdruă amăng tơlơi khăp ayŏng adơi.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
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