Hmong is a Hmong-Mien language spoken by about 2.6 million people
in China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, USA, and French Guiana.
There are two major varieties of Hmong: White Hmong (Hmoob Dawb)
and Green/Blue Hmong (Moob Leeg/Hmoob Ntsuab), which are named
after the traditional colours worn by women of the different groups.
In China Hmong is known as Miao and is written with Chinese
characters or with an alphabet known as Pollard Miao.
In Thailand, it is written with the Thai alphabet. In
Vietnam Hmong is sometimes written with the Pahawh Hmong
alphabet. During the 1980s and 1990s several other alphabets were invented to write Hmong:
Ntawv Paj Ntaub, based on Thai letters and Chinese characters, and
Ai Ao Lo.
Romanized Popular Alphabet (RPA)
Today most Hmong write their language with the Romanized Popular Alphabet (RPA),
a version of the Latin alphabet developed mainly by American missionary
linguists in the 1950s in Laos. In the RPA tones are indicated by final consonants.
Sample text in Hmong (Miao) of northeastern Guizhou
Laix laix diangl dangt lol sob dab yangx ghax maix zit yef, niangb diot gid zenb nieef
haib gid quaif lit gid nongd jus diel pinf denx. Nenx dol maix laib lix xent haib jox
hvib vut, nenx dol nongt liek bed ut id xit deit dait.
Sample text in Hmong (Miao) of southeastern Guizhou
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason
and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)