Classical Meitei

ꯈꯨꯂꯨꯝꯆꯂꯤ! "ꯊꯥꯛ ꯑꯋꯥꯡꯄ ꯃꯩꯇꯩꯂꯣꯟ ꯋꯤꯀꯤꯕꯨꯛ"ꯇ ꯇꯂꯥꯝꯅ ꯑꯣꯛꯆꯂꯤ! ꯃꯐꯝ ꯑꯁꯤꯇ ꯅꯍꯥꯛ ꯂꯣꯜ ꯑꯁꯤ ꯇꯝꯒꯅꯤ!
Translation: Hello! Welcome to the Classical Meitei language Wikibook! Here you will learn Classical Manipuri!
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Classical Meitei
An introduction to Classical Meitei language

Welcome to the Classical Meitei WikiBook! This book is aimed at teaching from absolute beginners to advanced. It is a work in progress, please consider helping the project by contributing.

Note: This book is for Classical Meitei, for Ancient Meitei, click here, for Modern Meitei, click here.
Note: To use this book, your web browser must first be configured to display the Meitei characters. If the characters in the box below appear as blank boxes or question marks or any other forms of errors, it means it is not properly configured.
ꯃꯐꯝꯁꯤꯇ ꯃꯤꯇꯩ ꯃꯌꯦꯛ ꯎꯅꯤ ꯫!

Some basic knowledge of Meitei language and writing system before starting this course is assumed, though they are not mandatory.


Classical Meitei or Classical Manipuri is the standardized literary form of the Meitei language (officially known as Manipuri language). It is used most notably in the holy Puyas (the traditional Meitei religious and philosophical texts). It serves as the holy and sacred language of Sanamahism (traditional Meitei religion) since ancient times. It is the representation of the development of the rich literary sources of the modern day Meitei literature (Manipuri literature).

Meitei language is the only Indian language from Sino-Tibetan family (a greater branch of the Tibeto-Burman family) whose literature grew up under the royal patronage since ancient times. And so, Classical Meitei is the only standardised literary form of all the Sino-Tibetan languages of the Indian subcontinent (South Asia).

The classical form of Meitei language is the purest of all the forms of Meitei language. It has no mixing with any loan words from other languages. Classical Meitei is closer to Ancient Meitei (Old Manipuri) in comparison to its closeness to Modern Meitei (Modern Manipuri). It is because of the complete absence of foreign linguistic cultural influence. However, Classical Meitei is still used with modernised pronunciations in present day times.

Classical Meitei should not be confused with Medieval Meitei (Middle Meitei). Though Classical Meitei was still used in medieval times too, it remains distinct from every other forms of Meitei language. Medieval Meitei was a form of Meitei language where the usage of loan words from other languages, especially from Indo-Aryan languages, was at its peak.

Like Latin in the European continent, Classical Meitei was not a language spoken by a group of people in their day-to-day lives. Instead, it was a formal language that only intellectual elites used. Today, Classical Meitei is no longer used so widely, this language is still taught at high schools in Manipur as a subject extension of Modern Meitei (Modern Manipuri) and Elementary Meitei (Elementary Manipuri).

Classical Meitei is emphasized more as a written language rather than a spoken language. It is a poetic and sophisticated language. It is one of the most concise languages in the world.

Table of contentsEdit

External resourcesEdit

  1. Simple English Wikipedia has an article about Classical Meitei
  2. English Wikivoyage has an article about Classical Meitei language
  3. English Wiktionary has a definition for Classical Meitei