Tai Ya

Tai Ya is a member of the Tai branch of the Kra-Dai or Tai-Kaidai language family. It is spoken mainly in south-central Yunnan province in southern China, and also Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand. In the year 2000 there were about 50,000 speakers of Tai Ya in China, and in 2008 there were about 400 Tai Ya speakers in Thailand.

In Yunnan Tai Ya is spoken particularly in Honghe, Yuanyang, Lüchun, Shiping and Jianshui counties in Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, in Yongren, Wuding, Lufeng and Dayao counties in Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, and in Maguan County in Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture.

Tai Ya is also known as Tai Cung, Tai Chung or Dai Ya. It has one dialect: Tai Hongjin or Red Tai (红金傣语), which has several sub-dialects, all of which are more or less mutually intelligible.

There is no traditional form of writing for Tai Ya, however there is a rich oral tradition. The alphbet below is one way to write Tai Ya with the Latin alphabet.

Tai Ya alphabet

Tai Ya alphabet

Download an alphabet chart for Tai Ya (Excel)

Details of the Tai Ya alphabet provided by Wolfram Siegel

Sample video in Tai Ya


Information about Tai Ya language
Tai Ya in Thailand Present and Future: Reversing Language Shift

Tai-Kaidai languages

Ahom, Aiton, Bouyei, Isan, Kam, Khamti, (Tai) Khün, Lao, Lue, Northern Thai (Kam Mueang), Nùng, Shan, Sui, Tai Dam, Tai Dón, Tai Hongjin, Tai Laing, Tai Nuea, Tai Phake, Tai Ya, Thai, Thai Song, Yang Zhuang, Zhuang

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 18.10.23


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