Languages

Moken

Fact corner

Introduction

Moken language is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by Sea Gypsies living in the western coastal waters of Burma and Thailand. The people refer to themselves as Mawken or Moken. They are called Selung or Salon by the Burmese.

There are six dialects of Moken;

  • Dung
  • Jait
  • Lebi
  • Niawi
  • Jadiak
  • Moklen

The Moken Alphabet

There is an existing Burmese-based ortography. There have also been at least two earlier ortographies:

  • Pwo Karen -based, and
  • Roman-based

Sample Verbs

The sample verbs are written in phonetic script.

  • bəje, to stand in a group
  • gilen, to roll up
  • məchu, to raise the hands
  • məlan, to swallow
  • məŋam, to eat
  • məŋap, to catch
  • məŋɛ̌aŋ, to walk
  • məpeŋ, to rest
  • məthu:n, to carry on the head
  • ŋəpoy, to jump into
  • phalo, to tease

External References

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