Explorer Gangte


Gangte is an indigenous language spoken in the verdant hills of Manipur, a bucolic northeastern state referred to by Indians as The Jewel of India. Gangtes have official tribal status in Manipur, but the language is also spoken in Assam, Meghalaya, and across the border in Myanmar. In total, it is spoken by approximately 15,000 people.

Gangte is a melodic Sino-Tibetan language. As it shares many commonalities in terms of grammar and sounds with other languages found in the region, it serves as a great gateway to other tongues in the same language family, such as Burmese. For those interested in learning a tonal language, Gangte is also a wonderful language to start with as it only has three tones. It uses English script for communication, making its written form also quite accessible to foreign students.

Originally animists until last century, Gangtes are now predominantly Christian, but oral folktale traditions are very much still alive in this language community. Gangtes are very proud to be known as cloud swimmers according to their folklore. They are also renowned for their creativity among the various hill tribe communities of Manipur.

Gangte is listed by UNESCO as an endangered language. Though its numbers may be relatively small, it is still very much alive in the 37 villages that are officially Gangte-speaking. It is also still spoken fluently by the youngest generation. There is fear though that over time the language may succumb to more dominant, national languages.

Learning Gangte will give you a new way to see the world. It possesses a beautiful naming pattern system, has a unique counting system starting at 10,000, and expresses colors, kinship, and the animal world differently from the Western World.

Course Features

  • Lectures 53
  • Quizzes 0
  • Duration 4 weeks
  • Skill level All levels
  • Language English
  • Students 1002
  • Certificate Yes
  • Assessments Yes
My name is Lalpaul and I grew up in the state of Manipur in northeastern India. I come from a large family. I am a librarian, as well as a language activist.