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.
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.
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.
Leb leb nis zib youl nangs, mex ad sheit nangd zend yanl nhangs njanl lib. Mix mex lix xinb gaot liangt send, leb leb lies nhangs ghob nab ghob geud nangd.
Cuat lenx cuat dol bongb deul ndax dex douf muax zif youx, nyaob shout zunb yinx tab ndas dos id, dax zis ib suk. Nil buab daf lol jaox muax lid xinf hlub hout tab liangx xinb shab nzhuk, yinf gaib keuk suk gud dix mol lol nit jinb shenx lol shib daf shib hlad.
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)
Information about the Hmong language and people
Information about the Romanized Popular Alphabet (RPA)
Hmong Language Institute of Minnesotta
Hmong Nationality Archives
Center for Hmong Studies, Concordia University, Saint Paul
Page last modified: 23.04.21
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