Tujia (Bifzivsar / Mongrzzirhof)

Tujia is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by about 71,500 people in the Chinese province of Hunan, specifically in the northern part of Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in north-western Hunan.

There are two main varieties of Tujia: Northern Tujia (Bifzivsar) and Southern Tujia (Mongrzzirhof). They are not mutually intelligible. Northern Tujia has about 70,000 speakers in Baojing, Longshan, Guzhang and Yongshun counties, and Southern Tujia has about 1,500 speakers in Tanxi Township in Luxi County. Northern Tujia has two dialects: Longshan and Baojing.

The Tujia people, who number around 8 million, call themselves Bizika [pi˧˥ tsi˥ kʰa˨˩] or Mizika [mi˧˥ tɕi˥ kʰa˧]. Tujia (土家) is the Chinese name for the language and people. The Tujia live in an area that straddles the provinces of Hunan, Hubei and Guizhou and Chongqing in central China.

Tujia is used to a limited extent in schools, but has no presence in the media. There is no standard written form of Tujia. Efforts are being made to preserve and promote the language. These include a dicionary and instructions books.

Tujia pronunciation

Tujia pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Tujia (Excel)

Tujia is a tonal language with four tones: 1 = high level, 2 = high rising, 3 = low falling, and 4 = high falling.

Sample texts in Tujia

bi2zi1ka3 luo4 yo wei, da4 bo3 ca2 luo wei, ku2bi1 bao1bao1 ga3 ong3-bo3-la1 yo wei, se3ke1 pe2ti1 jie3-xi2 xie2 luo wei. la2 long1 ri1-lie3 qie4 duo3 xie2 luo wei, ang2 da4 ai1ka2se1pa2 ri1 ya, se1pa2 ri1 yo wei.

Translation

The Tujia are good to one another, sitting on Kubi Outcrop, we have our own fields and land. A year's work gives us all we need, we work in the fields together, work in the fields.
Traditional song, Source: http://www.brassett.org.uk/tujia/earch/etxt62.html

Northern Tujia (Bifzivsar)

Novdiex nongv liex hufniv dav zer nier, zunxyanr niex qianrlir garhaf hufniv dav zer nier. Gixzex livxinf niex lianrxinx xief, xiongxdif guanxxif nier jinxsenr gof dav duifdaif dor.

Mijisa Tujia

Novzeu nongv lie kylix dav zeu xi, zunyan nie qianlif gahaf kylix dav zeu xi. Gyxzeu livxinf nie lixtolo ca xie, xiongdif guanxif ai jinsen go duifdaif do.

Mijisa is a dialect of Northern Tujia spoken mainly in Baojing County in Hunan Province in central China.

Translation

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)

Videos in and about Tujia

Links

Information about the Tujia language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tujia_language

Tujia language and culture
http://www.brassett.org.uk/tujia/ehome.html

Sino-Tibetan languages

Angami, Bai, Burmese (Myanmar), Galo, Miju, Tangut, Thangmi, Tujia

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 17.01.22

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