Tangkhul language

Region Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura
Ethnicity Tangkhul Naga
Native speakers
140,000 (2001)[1]
  • Ukhrul
  • Khunggoi
  • Khangoi
  • Kupome (Luhupa)
  • Phadang
Latin script
Language codes
ISO 639-3 nmf
Glottolog tang1336[2]

Tangkhul (Tangkhul Naga) is a Sino-Tibetan language of the Tangkhul branch. It is spoken in 168 villages of Ukhrul district, Manipur, India, with speakers scattered in Nagaland and Tripura as well.

Within Ukhrul district, Manipur, Tanghkhul is spoken in the villages of Hundung, Sirol, Langdang, Lamlang Gate, Litan, Yangangpokpi, and other locations (Arokianathan 1995).

Tangkhul is not close to other Naga languages. It is a dialect continuum, in which speakers from neighboring villages may be able to understand each other, but a dialect farther north or south will be less easily understood, if at all. The lingua franca is the Hunphun (Ukhrul) dialect.

The language dialect spoken by the people of Hunphun (the traditional name of Ukhrul) became the most common dialect among the Tangkhuls because the British set up their administration in Ukhrul. The American Baptist missionary Rev. William Pettigrew translated the Bible into the Hunphun dialect.

The Kupome dialect is also called Luhupa, but the southern dialects once lumped under that name are Northern Kukish varieties.


  1. Tangkhul at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Tangkhul Naga". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
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