Saaroa (Lha’alua)

Saaroa is a member the Southern Tsouic branch of the Formosan group of Austronesian languages. It is spoken in two villages, Taoyuan (桃源村) and Kaochung (高中村) in Taoyuan District of Kaohsiung county in the south of Taiwan. There are fewer than 10 native speakers of Saaroa, which is also known as Lha’alua, La'alua, La'arua, Lha'alua, Pachien, Paichien, Rarua, Saarua, Saroa, Shishaban Sisyaban or 拉阿魯哇語.

The Saaroa people have shifted from Saaroa to Bunun or Mandarin, and many speak Taiwanese Hokkien.

A standard orthography for Saaroa was officially established by the Council of Indigenous Peoples and the Ministry of Education of Taiwan's Executive Yuan.

Saaroa alphabet and pronunciation

Saaroa alphabet and pronunciation


Download an alphabet chart for Saaroa (Excel)

Sample text

ki-a-lha-llamu kana palhumiamia-isa um-a-u lhangulhanguvi. maaci kiariari a ucani lhangulhanguvi ka camai-isa ka m-a-vacange=mana kiariari lhuulhungu=na ka m-a-aru ka 'apase m-a-aru ka 'arisakai m-a-aru ka vutukulhu. m-a-rumuku a lhaamaama kiariari m-alhu-kua llhuulhungu pari-lhangulhanguvi um-aala kana 'arisakai=na.


(The story teller) is going to talk about its meaning of eating seaweed. In the past, (we) used one (kind of food), seaweed, as a side dish, when the creek where there were crabs, there was shrimp, and there was fish, was still good in the past. Old people in the past liked to go to a creek to get seaweed and to catch shrimp.

Source: Pan, Chia-Jung (2012). A grammar of Lha’alua, an Austronesian language of Taiwan. PhD thesis, James Cook University. (p 373).

Sample videos in and about Saaroa

Information about Saaroa | Numbers


Information about the Saaroa language

Formosan languages

Amis, Atayal, Bunun, Kanakanavu, Kavalan, Paiwan, Pazeh, Puyuma, Rukai, Saaroa, Saisiyat, Sakizaya, Seediq, Tsou

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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