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7 things to know about Tripura’s Kokborok language

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Jupiter Debbarma
Tripura's Independent Indigenous Blogger & Writer

Kokborok is known as the main native language of Tripura. It is spoken by the indigenous communities of Tripura. Kok means “verbal” or “language” and borok means” people”. It was declared as an official language of the state of Tripura, India by the State Government in the year 1979. Here are the 7 things to know about the Kokborok language.

7 things about Tripura’s Indigenous language Kokborok:

  1. Known as one of the Tibeto-Burman languages and widely spoken in the northeast part of India and neighboring Chittagong hill tracts of Bangladesh. And closely related to the Boro, Dimasa, and kachari language of the neighboring state of Assam. The Communities which speak Kokborok are known as “Tipra/Tripuris”.

2. Formerly known as Tipra, its name was changed after the 20th century. The Kokborok comprise of 17nos language code among the 47language code in India according to the 6th All India Educational Survey.

3. The language is mostly spoken by the Debbarma, Kalai, Reang , Jamatia, Tripura, Rupini, Uchoi and Murasing peoples. In addition to main language the Tipra people also speak three other language (Tripura, Riam chong, and Darlong ) Riam chong which is mostly spoken by the Halam community and Darlong language which is mostly spoken by Darlong people but all these are known to be different from each other .

4. The script of the kokborok was known as ‘koloma’ in which the chronicle of the Borok kings(184 kings) were written in a book called the Rajratnakar Which was written down using the ‘Koloma’ script by Durlobendra chontai. but this script is no longer available anymore. And Still now the script isn’t finished or done due to many social and political debates but some people write it in “Latin script” and some write it in “Bengali” script

5. Radhamohan thakur was the first person to write kokborok. He wrote the Grammar of kokborok named “kokborokma” published in 1900, as well as two others books. “ Tripur Kothamala” which was the kokborok-bengali-english translation book published in 1906 and “Tripur Bhasabidhan” which was published in 1907. And the first kokborok magazine “Kwtal kothoma” was edited and published in 1954 by Sudhanya Debbarma.
“Hachuk khurio” ( in the lap of hills) by Sudhanya Debbarma was the first modern kokborok novel which was published by the Kokborok sahitya sabha and sanskriti samsad in 1987. The new Testament of the Bible in kokborok language “Smai Kwtal” was one of the major translation of the 20th century which was published in 1976 by the Bible Society of India.

6. Kokborok was known as the common people’s dialect during the rule of the Borok kings in the kingdom of Tipra from the 19th to till 20th century.

7. The Anglo –kokborok –bengali dictionary compiled by Binoy Debbarma published in 2002 by the Kokborok tei Hukumu Mission which was known as the 2nd edition of the trilingual dictionary published in 1996.
Twiprani laihbuma(The Rajmala- history of Tripura) was translated by R.K Debbarma and published in 2002AD by the KOHM.

8. Every year on January 19 Kokborok days is celebrated in the state of Tripura on the development of the Kokborok language. various cultural and literary activities are also done on these days. Student, chief minister, several cabinet ministers, etc all are present on this occasion.


Even the kokborok language is now been taught in government schools, colleges, and universities. And various educational institutions are even theirs to promote the kokborok language. Even a library of kokborok books has been set up in Khumulwng town since 2015.which is known to consists of more than 5000 books of kokborok language and its related topics.

Kokborok Tei Hukumu Mission (KOHM), Kok Dictionary, and many Governments and non-government groups are involved in promoting and developing the Kokborok language, literature, art, films, etc. And still, there is currently demand and effort going on to give recognition of the language as per the 8th schedule of the constitution in India.

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Jupiter Debbarma
Tripura's Independent Indigenous Blogger & Writer

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