Shan is a Southwestern Tai language spoken mainly in northern Myanmar, in the states of Northen Shan, Southern Shan, Kachin and Kayah, and in the Mandalay and Sagaing regions. There are also Shan speakers in Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, and Tak provinces in northern Thailand, and in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan province in southwestern China. In 2017 there were about 4.59 million speakers of Shan in Myanmar, and in 2006 there were about 95,000 Shan speakers in Thailand.
Written Shan is known as လိၵ်ႈတႆး [lik táj], while spoken Shan is known as ၵႂၢမ်းတႆး [kwáːm táj] or ၽႃႇသႃႇတႆး [pʰàːsʰàː táj]. Other names for Shan include: Burmese Shan, Great Thai, Sam, Sha, Shan Bama, Shan Gyi, Tai, Tai Long, Tai Luang, Tai Shan, Tai Yai, Tai-Lon and Thai Yai.
The Shan script is used in Burma to write Shan, although few Shan speakers can read it. The Burmese / Myanmar script is also used. In China a script similar to Dehong Dai (Tai Le) is used.
How to write the Shan alphabet
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 Shan language and alphabet
Ahom, Aima, Badaga, Badlit, Balinese, Balti-A, Balti-B, Batak, Baybayin, Bengali, Bhaiksuki, Bhujimol, Bilang-bilang, Bima, Blackfoot, Brahmi, Buhid, Burmese, Carrier, Chakma, Cham, Cree, Dehong Dai, Devanagari, Dham Lipi, Dhankari / Sirmauri, Ditema, Dives Akuru, Dogra, Ethiopic, Evēla Akuru, Fraser, Gond, Goykanadi, Grantha, Gujarati, Gunjala Gondi, Gupta, Gurmukhi, Halbi Lipi, Hanifi, Hanuno'o, Ibalnan, Inuktitut, Jaunsari Takri, Javanese, Jenticha, Kaithi, Kadamba, Kamarupi, Kannada, Kawi, Kerinci, Kharosthi, Khema, Khe Phri, Khmer, Khojki, Khudabadi, Kirat Rai, Kōchi, Kulitan, Kurukh Banna, Lampung, Lanna, Lao, Lepcha, Limbu, Lontara/Makasar, Lota Ende, Magar Akkha, Mahajani, Malayalam, Manpuri, Meroïtic, Masarm Gondi, Modi, Mon, Mongolian Horizontal Square Script, Multani, Nandinagari, Newa, Ojibwe, Odia, Pahawh Hmong, Pallava, Phags-pa, Purva Licchavi, Ranjana, Redjang, Sasak, Savara, Satera Jontal, Shan, Sharda, Siddham, Sinhala, Sorang Sompeng, Sourashtra, Soyombo, Sukhothai, Sundanese, Syloti Nagri, Tagbanwa, Takri, Tamil, Tanchangya (Ka-Pat), Tani, Thaana, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Tigalari, Tikamuli, Tocharian, Tolong Siki, Vatteluttu, Warang Citi
Page last modified: 01.06.21
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