Tao is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken on Orchid Island, a part of Taiwan, by about 3,800 people (in 2006). It belongs to the Batanic (Bashiic/Ivatanic) branch of Malayo-Polynesian languages. The Batanic languages are classified as Northern Philippine languages by some linguists, but others believe they are a separate branch of the Malayo-Polynesian language family. Tao is also known as Yami, Botel Tobago, Lanyu or Tawu.

Orchid Island is called Pongso no Tao ("Island of Tao") in Tao, and 蘭嶼 in Chinese, which is pronounced Lán Yǔ in Mandarin and Lân-sū in Taiwanese.

Tao alphabet and pronunciation

Tao alphabet and pronunciation

Sample text

O nimanoma do pongso ta ya a tao nokakoa am, sira mina Paloy, aka nira mina Ozamen, aka nira Pacilalaw. Sira rana ori am, ji sia mingongoyod pa a tao, ta somavik sira a tao. Sira Paloy rana ya am, ji sia hakakaw, ta ji sia ateneng a omhakaw, so ikabo no kanen da, to sia nginonginom so sazowsaw am ranom, ori o ikaviay da nira ori am, iyangay da nira mina Paloy ya.


About the earliest humans on this island, there were si Paloy, si Ozamen, si Pacilalaw, etc. These people, though, were not real people, for some of the things they thought or did were not like normal people. Now, Si Paloy and that group, they did not work in the fields because they did not understand agriculture, and therefore they did not have food. They lived by drinking the wind and water. This was the life of si Paloy's group.

Source: http://yamiproject.cs.pu.edu.tw/elearn/reading.php?sn=72

Sample videos in and about Tao

Information about Yami/Tao | Phrases | Numbers


Information about Tao

Learn Tao Online

Batanic languages

Itbayat, Ivatan, Yami

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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