Chak [NEW]

The Chak people (not to be confused with the more numerous Chakma, who live in the same region) are an ethnolinguistic group who live in a remote area straddling the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, some 3,000 in the Chittagong Hill Tracts on the Bangladesh side of the border, and another 10,000 in Rakhine State on the Myanmar side. They are known as Chak or Cak in Bangladesh and as Sak in Myanmar.

Like many of the peoples in the area, the Chak/Sak traditionally had no script of their own, writing their language in the Bangla or Burmese scripts, which lack some of the letters needed. Writer and translator Mong Mong Chak worked for some 40 years, from the early 1970s to 2011, to create a usable script for the Chak language.

According to the Unicode proposal, the Chak script was officially adopted in 2015 by the Chak Language Council, an umbrella association of Chak/Sak people based in New Gulshan, Bandarban. Bandarban’s Small Ethnic Cultural Institute, operated by Bangladesh’s Ministry of Culture, runs a two-month Chak language course with the main objective of promoting Chak script and literature. In Myanmar, a total of 17 schools teach the Sak language from kindergarten to class 2 levels. In those schools, the language is taught exclusively in the Chak script. Currently 35 teachers are employed and 1171 students are learning.

This entry is what Wikipedia calls a “stub”–that is, we know very little, we’d like to know more, and we’d love to hear from anyone who can add to our miserable little stub of knowledge.

Unicode proposal:


Latitude: 21° 49′ 51.96” N
Longitude: 92° 22′ 7.0752” E