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China is located in the east of Asia. The Capital of China is Beijing. History-of-China.com provides the essence of China History. The ancient history of China reflects the beauty of Chinese culture and morality. With more than 5000 years of history, China has a wonderful culture and splendid civilization. To many Westerners, Chinese literature remains a hidden seam in the rich strata of Chinese culture. As a matter of fact, it is a treasure of a very considerable number of brilliant and profound works as each dynasty, in the long history of China, has passed down its legacy of magnificent events and works. For 3500 years, they have woven a variety of genres and forms encompassing poetry, essays, fiction and drama; each in its own way reflecting the social climate of its day through the high spirit of art. Chinese literature has its own values and tastes, its own reigning cultural tradition and its own critical system of theory. Chronologically, it can be divided into four main periods: classical literature, modern literature, contemporary literature and the present-age literature. From the oldest resident in China and the oldest dynasty, Xia dynasty, there have been millions of prominent people who made great contributions to the unity and development of Chinese civilization. They include emperors like Qin Shihuang(Qin dynasty emperor), Hanwudi (Emperor of Han dynasty) and Li Shimin (emperor of Tang dynasty), and Kangxi Emperor in Qing dynasty. There were also famous scholars like Confucius (Great educator in Spring and Autumn Period), and scientists like Zhu Chongzhi and Zhangheng. Besides them, there were also thousands of heros in China history who were remembered by modern Chinese. They are like a shining stars that living in all the heart of Chinese.It is their great contributions that made China today attractive and lovely. 5000 years have passed. The Chinese nation and society are welcoming much development in the 21st century. With the combined efforts of 1.3 billion people, China will enter a new phase in the 21st century and create a miracle for its people and the world. Learn more about China and China facts. Important Events Listed in ancient China History

Bronze of Shang dynasty Qin Dynasty Three Great Inventions Buddhism Development Prosperity of Zhenguan Zheng He Expeditions

Famous Emperors in History of China

Qin Shihuang Liubei Caocao Liu Bang Han Wudi Emperor Li Shimin

Wu Zetian Kangxi Emperor

Great Scholars in History of China

Confucius Sun Tzu Zhu Geliang Tao Yuanming Zhu Chongzi Li Bai

Prehistoric China
What is now China was inhabited by Homo erectus more than a million years ago.Recent study shows that the stone tools found at Xiaochangliang site are magnetostratigraphically dated to 1.36 million years ago. The archaeological site of Xihoudu in Shanxi Province is the earliest recorded use of fire by Homo erectus, which is dated 1.27 million years ago. The excavations at Yuanmou and later Lantian show early habitation. Perhaps the most famous specimen of Homo erectus found in China is the so-called Peking Man discovered in 1923-27. Three pottery pieces were unearthed at Liyuzui Cave in Liuzhou, Guangxi Province dated 16,500 and 19,000 BC. Neolithic See also: List of Neolithic cultures of China The Neolithic age in China can be traced back to between 12,000 and 10,000 BC. Early evidence for proto-Chinese millet agriculture is radiocarbon-dated to about 7000 BC. The Peiligang culture of Xinzheng county, Henan was excavated in 1977. With agriculture came increased population, the ability to store and redistribute crops, and the potential to support specialist craftsmen and administrators. In late Neolithic times, the Yellow River valley began to establish itself as a cultural center, where the first villages were founded; the most archaeologically significant of those was found at Banpo, Xi'an. The Yellow River was so named because of loess forming its banks gave a yellowish tint to the water. The early history of China is made obscure by the lack of written documents from this period, coupled with the existence of accounts written during later time periods that attempted to describe events that had occurred several centuries previously. In a sense, the problem stems from centuries of introspection on the part of the Chinese people, which has blurred the distinction between fact and fiction in regards to this early history. By 7000 BC, the Chinese were farming millet, giving rise to the Jiahu culture. At Damaidi in Ningxia, 3,172 cliff carvings dating to 6000-5000 BC have been discovered "featuring 8,453 individual characters such as the sun, moon, stars, gods and scenes of hunting or grazing." These pictographs are reputed to be similar to the earliest characters confirmed to be written Chinese. Later Yangshao culture was superseded by the Longshan culture around 2500 BC.

Xia Dynasty-The First Country of China

Era Time:(From about 2100 Information B.C. to 1600 B.C. )

Location of Capital: Western part of Henan and the Northern part of Shaanxi. Emperors: 16 emperors, including Qi, Tai Kang, Shao Kang Zhongxing, Kong Jia and Jie and so on. Replaced by: Shang Dynasty

Introduction Jade in Xia Dynasty Bronze Vessels in Xia Dynasty Xia History Site in Modern China

Xia Dynasty was the first dynasty of China. Xia dynasty can be dated back to 1600 B.C. The region of Xia dynasty was near Henan and Shaanxi province. Thesere two provinces are civilization cradle of Chinese. Henan and Shaanxi are rich in historical sites and cultural sites of China. Chinese culture and history are originated from these areas.

There were 13 generations and 16 kings in Xia dynasty. The capital area of Xia dynasty was located in the western part of Henan and the northern part of Shanxi. It was said that the regime of the Xia has been stoped at some time. It was Shaokang to rebuild Xia dynasty. After that, Xia declined continuously and was replaced by Shang dynasty finishing its 400 years of existing. Because there were no words to record the events of Xia dynasty, most of the information of Xia was learned from some ancient record, including the remains of the king, officials and the prison conditions. In recent years, many huge palace, mausoleum and bronze have been unearthed. They also reflected from another side the politics, economic, cultural and life. This help people learn more about the first and special age in China's history. As the first prehistoric country in China mainland, Xia dynasty is an important dinasty with great history research. It's rich culture plays a important role in the culture of China and the whole history of China.

Oracle Bone Inscription

Era Time: Location of Capital: Emperors: Replaced by: Zhou Dynasty

Information (1700 Modern City of Anyang



B.C.-1027B.C.) Province

Introduction The Bronze Oracle Bone Inscription Political History of Shang Culture and Art

The oracle bone script of the late Shng appears archaic and pictographic in flavor, as does its contemporary, the Shng writing on bronzes. The earliest oracle bone script appears even more so than examples from late in the period (thus some evolution did occur over the roughly 200year period).

Comparing oracle bone script to both Shng and early Western Zhu period writing on bronzes, oracle bone script is clearly greatly simplified, and rounded forms are often converted to rectilinear ones; this is thought to be due to the difficulty of engraving the hard, bony surfaces, compared with the ease of writing them in the wet clay of the molds the bronzes were cast from. The more detailed and more pictorial style of the bronze graphs is thus thought to be more representative of typical Shng writing (as would have normally occurred on bamboo books) than the oracle bone script forms, and this typical style continued to evolve into the Zhu period writing and then into the seal script of the Qn state in the late Zhu period. It is known that the Shng people also wrote with brush and ink, as brush-written graphs have been found on a small number of pottery, shell and bone, and jade and other stone items, and there is evidence that they also wrote on bamboo (or wooden) books just like those found from the late Zhu to Hn periods, because the graphs for a writing brush and bamboo book ( c, a book of thin vertical slats or slips with horizontal string binding, like a Venetian blind turned 90 degrees) are present in the oracle bone script. Since the ease of writing with a brush is even greater than that of writing with a stylus in wet clay, it is assumed that the style and structure of Shng graphs on bamboo were similar to those on bronzes, and also that the majorit of writing occurred with a brush on such books. Additional support for this notion includes the reorientation of some graphs, by turning them 90 degrees as if to better fit on tall, narrow slats; this style must have developed on bamboo or wood slat books and then carried over to the oracle bone script. Additionally, the writing of characters in vertical columns, from top to bottom, is for the most part carried over from the bamboo books to oracle bone inscriptions. In some instances lines are written horizontally so as to match the text to divinatory cracks, or columns of text rotate 90 degrees in mid stream, but these are exceptions to the normal pattern of writing, and inscriptions were never read bottom to top. The vertical columns of text in Chinese writing are traditionally ordered from right to left; this pattern is found on bronze inscriptions from the Shng dynasty onward. Oracle bone inscriptions, however, are often arranged so that the columns begin near the centerline of the shell or bone, and move toward the edge, such that the two sides are ordered in mirror-image fashion.

Zhou Dynasty
Era Information Time: 1027 Location of Capital:Hao, near the city Emperors: Twelve kings for Replaced by:Spring and Autumn Period


Xian, eleven

B.C.-221B.C. Shannxi Province dynasties

Introduction Agriculture and Handicraft The Decline of Zhou Dynasty Western Zhou Eastern Zhou Qu Yuan According to Chinese accounts, Zhou was built by a chieftain of a tribe called Zhou. The chieftain overthrew Shangs last ruler and build the Zhou dynasty. He settled down in Hao, a city near todays Xian city in Shannxi province. Take a Xian Tours to experience the historical site.

Zhou dynasty has lasted for a long time from 1027B.C. to 221B.C. The philosophers of Zhous period enunciated the doctrine of mandate of the heaven: and produced the notion that the ruler governed by divine right but his dethronement would prove that he had lost his mandate.

The Zhou Dynasty originated from the Zhou clan whose existence stretches back into history. By the 11th Century BC, the Zhou Clan had become increasingly powerful and had extended throughout the present Shaanxi and Gansu Provinces. The Zhou Clan's mightiness increasingly menaced the Shang Dynasty and the conflict between the two groups intensified. At that time, the Shang Dynasty was under the rule of King Zhou. He was atrocious to his people and doted on his imperial concubine, Daji. All he did caused great rage amongst his people. The chief of the Zhou Tribe, Zhou Wenwang thought it was the right time to attack the Shang Dynasty and entrusted his son Ji Fa to fulfill his last wish. After Zhou Wenwang died, his son Ji Fa (Zhou Wuwang) succeeded him. He made full preparations for the war and killed King Zhou. Thus the Shang Dynasty ended in 1046 BC. Later, Zhou Wuwang established the Zhou Dynasty and made Haojing (the present Chang'an County, Shaanxi Province) its capital. The Zhou Dynasty was the longest dynasty in Chinese history. It lasted for over 800 years and included the reigns of 37 emperors. The Zhou Dynasty is divided into two periods: the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC to 771 BC) and the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770 BC - 221 BC). It is so divided because the capital cities in the Western Zhou Dynasty of Fengyi (presently in the southwest of Chang'an County, Shaanxi Province) and Haojing lie to the west of the Eastern Zhou's capital of Luoyi (present Luoyang, Henan Province). As to the Eastern Dynasty, it is divided into the Spring and Autumn Periods (770 BC-476 BC), and the Warring States Period (476 BC - 221 BC). Each of the periods featured turbulent wars. The achievements during the Zhou Dynasty in economy, politics, science and culture, were much more illustrious than any which occurred during the Shang Dynasty. In the year 221 BC, Qin defeated the other six states which existed during the Warring States Period and unified China. Thus, history moved forward to a new age called the Qin Dynasty.

The Spring and Autumn Period

Era Information Time: 770 B.C.-256B.C. Location of Capital:Disunity of the country Emperors: Five hegemony in Spring and Autumn, Seven Kings in Warring States Replaced by: Qin Dynasty


Ironware and Cow Force Hundred Schools of Thought Confucius Laozi Meng Zi Xun Zi Zhuang Zi Han Fei Zi Mo Zi Qu Yuan Although there were many civil strife and in the period of disunity, the Spring and Autumn period saw a great prosperity in cultural movement and development. It has been called the golden age in Chinas history.

The civil war of the period was leaded by the different interest of each empire. Each empire tried its best to seize more fields and more people. This situation was also good for the unity of the whole country. But too many wars and civil strife made the people in the period live a sad and depressed life. It was in the depressed society, the reform and new life is eagerly needed by most of people. So there appeared the hundred schools of thoughts in the period. The regional lords wanted to build a strong and a big administrative are so that they can collect more taxation and build a strong army to defeat other regional lords. In order to develop the economic and military as well as the production, the regional lords need a lot of skilled and literature officials and excellent teachers to help them. Thus the great thoughts and ideas were produced in the situation. The uses of iron have improved the production of agriculture and the iron was also used to forge as weapons.Numerous of Walls were built around the cities and the board of every country. It is in the situation that many philosophies were produced to conduct and analyze the disunity conditions. The hundred schools of thoughts were appeared under the great situations. The thoughts and the discipline of the great thinkers influenced the Chinese history until today.

Qin Dynasty
Era Information Time: 221 Location of Capital: Xianyang City in Shanxi Province, not Emperors: Ying Zheng, Fushu, Zi Replaced by: Han Dynasty


B.C.-207B.C. from Xian Ying

Introduction Qin Shi Huang The Decline of Qin Dynasty Shang Yang Reform Zhao Gao Li Si Meng Tian Bai Qi

In 221 B.C.,Chinese were unified for the first time to construct a great country that ended the long era of disunity and warring. In that year the western frontier state of Qin, the most aggressive of the Warring States, subjugated the last of its rival state. Centralization and autarchy were achieved by ruthless methods and focused on standardizing legal codes, bureaucratic procedures, the forms of writing and coinage, and the pattern of thought and scholarship. To silence criticism of imperial rule, the kings banished or put to death many dissenting Confucian scholars and confiscated and burned their books. Qin expansionism was aided by frequent military expeditions pushing forward the frontiers in the north and south.

In order to fend off barbarian intrusion, the fortification walls built by the various warring states were connected to make a 5,000-kilometer-long great wall. What is commonly referred to as the Great Wall is actually four great walls rebuilt or extended during the Western Han, Sui, Jin, and Ming periods, rather than a single, continuous wall. At its extremities, the Great Wall reaches from northeastern Heilongjiang Province to northwestern Gansu. A number of public works projects were also undertaken to consolidate and strengthen imperial rule. These activities required enormous levies of manpower and resources, not to mention repressive measures. Revolts broke out as soon as the first Qin emperor died in 210 B.C. His dynasty was extinguished less than twenty years after its triumph. The imperial system initiated during the Qin dynasty, however, set a pattern that was developed over the next two millennia

Southern and Northern Dynasties

Era Time: Location of Capital: Emperors: Replaced by: Sui Dynasty China Information 220A.D.-589A.D. was divded by three Regional states

1. Introduction 2. The flourish of Buddhism 3. Zhu Chongzi and From A.D.420 to A.D.589, ancient China comes into a disunity country which lasted for 169 years. China was divided to the northern part and the southern part in Dong Jin dynasty. The northern was apposed by the southern for a long time. There were four dynasties in the south, Song, Qi, Liang, Chen. They replaced each other from the begin to the end. The dynasties in the south sharing one capital in Jiang Kang( Nan Jing in today) besides Jiang Ling, which is the capital city of Liang Yuan Di. During the period, Liu Song was the biggest, strongest and the longest dynasty which has 8 emperors for 7 years. It is the dynasty that emperors changed the most frequently

Song Dynasty
Era Time: Location of Capital: Emperors: Replaced by: Yuan Dynasty

Information Kai Feng in today's Henan 1271-1279 Province


In political terms, the fall of the Tang Dynasty (681-907) and the resultant disintegration of the empire did not mean a sharp break with the past. The Five Dynasties all aspired to the reunification of China and by 959 the Later Zhou had brought much of the country back under a single ruler. The changes of dynasty were due to the change of ruling family. The ruling elite remained unaltered and the civil service continued the routine tasks of government with no serious disruption In the south in several of the Ten States the same continuity was evident and the examination system continued. When Zhao Kuangyin seized power by a coup in Chenqiaoyi in 960 he was able to consolidate and extend his control in a restrained and methodical manner. The Song Dynasty that he founded has been divided into two periods. Firstly, the Northern Song when the capital was in Dongjing (present day Kaifeng City in Henna Province) from 960 to 1127. Secondly, the Southern Song, with their capital in present day Hangzhou from 1127 to 1279.

The Song Dynasty ranks alongside the Tang and also the Han (206 BC - 220 AD) in importance. For a little under three and a quarter centuries under its rule, China enjoyed a period of economic growth coupled with great artistic and intellectual achievement. It has been said that song was referred as the Renaissance of Chinese which compared to Europes Renaissance. It is a great period in Chinas history.

Chinese Regain Power- Ming Dynasty

Era Time: Location of Replaced by: Qing Dynasty

Information 1368-1644 Capital: Beijing


Introduction Economic of Ming Dynasty The navigation of Zheng He to west countries

The Yuan dynasty was collapsed in the rivalry among the Mongo imperial heirs, natural disasters, and numerous peasants uprising. The Ming dynasty (1368-1644) was established by Zhu Yuanzhang, who was a Han Chinese peasant and former Buddhist monk turned rebel army leader. With its capital first at Nanjing which means Southern Capital) and later at Beijing (or Northern Capital), the Ming reached the zenith of power during the first quarter of the fifteenth century. Annam, which was called northern Vietnam, was conquered by Chinese armies. The fleets of China also sailed to the Indian Ocean and cruised to the east coast of Africa. The maritime Asian nations sent envoys with tribute for the Chinese emperor. Internally, the Grand Canal was expanded to its farthest limits and proved to be a stimulus to domestic trade. The Ming maritime expeditions stopped rather suddenly after 1433, the date of the last voyage. Historians have given as one of the reasons the great expense of large-scale expeditions at a time of preoccupation with northern defenses against the Mongols.

Opposition at court also may have been a contributing factor, as conservative officials found the concept of expansion and commercial ventures alien to Chinese ideas of government. Pressure from the powerful Neo-Confucian bureaucracy led to a revival of strict agrariancentered society. The stability of the Ming dynasty, which was without major disruptions of the population (then around 100 million), economy, arts, society, or politics, promoted a belief among the Chinese that they had achieved the most satisfactory civilization on earth and that nothing foreign was needed or welcome. Long wars with the Mongols, incursions by the Japanese into Korea, and harassment of Chinese coastal cities by the Japanese in the sixteenth century weakened Ming rule, which became, as earlier Chinese dynasties had, ripe for an alien takeover. In 1644 the Manchus took Beijing from the north and became masters of north China, establishing the last imperial dynasty, the Qing (1644-1911).

Qing Dynasty Introductions

Era Information Time: 1636-1840 Location of Capital: Beijing City Emperors: Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong, Jiaqing, Daoguang, Xianfeng, Tongzhi(Cixi), Guangxu, Puyi Replaced by: Modern China

Introduction Contribution of Li Shizhen imperial examination Emperor Kangxi Yongzheng Emperor Qianlong Emperor Emperor Guangxu Empress Cixi

Qing Dynasty, with its captial Beijing, was the last ruling of China from 1644 to 1912. Although the Manchus were not Han Chinese and were strongly resisted, especially in the south, they had assimilated a great deal of Chinese culture before conquering China Proper. Realizing that to dominate the empire they would have to do things the Chinese way, the Manchus retained many institutions of Ming and earlier Chinese derivation. They continued the Confucian court practices and temple rituals, over which the emperors had traditionally presided. The Manchus continued the Confucian civil service system. Although Chinese were barred from the highest offices, Chinese officials predominated over Manchu officeholders outside the capital, except in military positions. The Neo-Confucian philosophy, emphasizing the obedience of subject to ruler, was enforced as the state creed. The Manchu emperors also supported Chinese literary and historical projects of enormous scope; the survival of much of China's ancient literature is attributed to these projects.

Ever suspicious of Han Chinese, the Qing rulers put into effect measures aimed at preventing the absorption of the Manchus into the dominant Han Chinese population. Han Chinese were prohibited from migrating into the Manchu homeland, and Manchus were forbidden to engage in trade or manual labor. Intermarriage between the two groups was forbidden. In many government positions a system of dual appointments was used--the Chinese appointee was required to do the substantive work and the Manchu to ensure Han loyalty to Qing rule. The Qing regime was determined to protect itself not only from internal rebellion but also from foreign invasion. After China Proper had been subdued, the Manchus conquered Outer Mongolia (now the Mongolian People's Republic) in the late seventeenth century. In the eighteenth century they gained control of Central Asia as far as the Pamir Mountains and established a protectorate over the area the Chinese call Xizang but commonly known in the West as Tibet. The Qing thus became the first dynasty to eliminate successfully all danger to China Proper from across its land borders. Under Manchu rule the empire grew to include a larger area than before or since; Taiwan, the last outpost of anti-Manchu resistance, was also incorporated into China for the first time. In addition, Qing emperors received tribute from the various border states. The chief threat to China's integrity did not come overland, as it had so often in the past, but by sea, reaching the southern coastal area first. Western traders, missionaries, and soldiers of fortune began to arrive in large numbers even before the Qing, in the sixteenth century. The empire's inability to evaluate correctly the nature of the new challenge or to respond flexibly to it resulted in the demise of the Qing and the collapse of the entire millennia-old framework of dynastic rule.

Chinese literature
Chinese literature the literature of ancient and modern China. Early Writing and Literature It is not known when the current system of writing Chinese first developed. The oldest written records date from about 1400 BC in the period of the Shang dynasty, but the elaborate system of notation used even then argues in favor of an earlier origin. From short inscriptions on bone and

tortoiseshell (used for divination), characters standing for individual words have been deciphered and are traceable through many notations to modern forms. Most of the oldest surviving works of literature were not written until the later centuries of the Chou dynasty (c.1027-256 BC). At this time was written most of what scholars of the Han dynasty (202 BC-AD 220) made into the canonical literature of Confucianism (which also included their own commentaries), although the current versions of these works, traditionally classified as the Wu Ching [five classics], contain interpolations. The Wu Ching, traditionally attributed to Confucius either as author or compiler, consist of diverse books. The Ch'un Ch'iu [spring and autumn annals] is an unadorned chronology of Lu, Confucius's native state. The I Ching [book of changes] explains, often in allusive and ambiguous language, a system of divination, based upon the study of 64 hexagrams of whole and broken lines. The Li Chi [book of rites] describes ceremonials and an ideal Confucian state. The Shu Ching [classic of documents or book of history] contains historical records, many of them known to be later forgeries. While some of these works contain verse, the main collection of poetry in the Wu Ching is the Shih Ching [classic of songs or book of odes], made up of 305 poems. Written in simple rhyming stanzas, they tell of the peasant's life, of love, and of the wars of the feudal states. During the Sung dynasty (960-1279) selections from the Li Chi and two other works were formed into the Ssu Shu [four books]; they were thought to embody the quintessence of Confucian teachings. They are the Ta Hseh [great learning] and the Chung Yung [doctrine of the mean] from the Li Chi, the Lun Y [analects of Confucius], and the Book of Mencius (see Mencius ). Other important early books include the Tao Te Ching [classic of the way and its power], traditionally ascribed to Lao Tzu , and the work of Chuang-tzu . These two books, which form the chief literature of Taoism , probably circulated in their present form from the 2d cent. BC The early Chinese books originally appeared in the cumbersome form of strips of bamboo. Silk was substituted as a writing material in the 2d cent. BC, and the invention of paper in the 2d cent. AD was responsible for a great increase in the number of books. The method of printing whole pages from wooden blocks was discovered under the T'ang dynasty (618-906) and was perfected and in widespread use by the 10th cent. This technology permitted an enormous increase in the number of copies available of any book. Styles of Literature Over time, the nature of the language in which the literature of China was written diverged sharply, producing two main styles of writing, one composed in a specifically literary language and the other in the vernacular. Both strands produced their own very different styles of literature, and both styles reflected their own characteristic language. Literary Style The literary style was exceedingly concise and was unmatched for its vigor, richness, and symmetry. Historical and literary allusions abounded, and finally special dictionaries were required for their elucidation. In poetry the relatively simple prosody of the Chou period was followed by systems of more minutely prescribed forms. The lines, which rhymed, had to be matched syllable by syllable in both part of speech and intonation. By the T'ang period the prosodic rules no longer suited the spoken structure of the everyday language; they continued to be observed in spite of changes in pronunciation. It is generally agreed that China's greatest poetry was written in the T'ang dynasty. Wang Wei , Li Po , Tu Fu , and Po Ch-i are masters of this period. In the succeeding Sung dynasty Su Tung-p'o was perhaps the foremost poet. Translations of T'ang and Sung poetry strongly influenced the modern imagist school in English (see imagists ). Chinese lyrics are generally very short, unemphatic and quiet in manner, and

limited to suggesting a mood or a scene by a few touches rather than painting a detailed picture. Intellectual themes and narratives are comparatively rare. Many varieties of learned prose have also been written in China. Notable for accuracy and objectivity are the series of dynastic histories produced since Han times; the famous Shih chi [records of the historian] (c.100 BC) by Ssu-ma Ch'ien served as their model. Chinese lexicography developed in response to multiplication of characters. The last of a great series of dictionaries (still in standard use) was produced in the reign of K'ang Hsi (1662-1722). So-called encyclopedias, actually extracts from existing works, have been occasionally compiled; one such work of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) ran to over 11,000 short volumes and appeared in three manuscript copies. Vernacular Style While the literati were cultivating polite literature during the T'ang and Sung periods, prose and verse of a popular nature began to appear. It was written in the spoken vernacular rather than in the classical literary language, and scholars regarded it with scorn. Springing from story cycles made familiar by professional storytellers, this vernacular literature first emerged as a fullfledged art in the drama of the Yan dynasty (1260-1368). The vernacular style later developed into the great novels of the Ming period that followed. Both the drama and the novel proved immensely popular. Thus the 13th cent. witnessed the emergence of the resources of the living language of the people. The vernacular novels, although they had their roots in the Yan epoch, took shape gradually during the Ming era until they were finally given their finished form, perhaps anonymously by some talented traditional scholar. An early and outstanding example of the novel is the San Kuo Chih Yen I (tr. San Kuo or Romance of the Three Kingdoms, 1925); it is set in the Three Kingdoms period (220-265) and recounts heroic deeds and chivalrous exploits. Another historical romance is the Shui Hu Chuan (tr. All Men Are Brothers, 1937), a picaresque tale of men forced by the venality of officials to become bandits. The Hsi Yu Chi (tr. Monkey, 1943) is an allegorical tale, full of the supernatural, concerning the adventures of a Buddhist pilgrim on a journey to India. The Chin P'ing Mei (tr. The Golden Lotus, 1939) by contrast portrays domestic life and amorous intrigue; it is marked by realistic incident and the interplay of human relationships. The greatest Chinese novel is considered to be Hung Lou Meng (tr. Dream of the Red Chamber, 1958), an 18th-century work chiefly from the hand of Ts'ao Hseh-ch'in . With an unrivaled gift for subtle characterization and plot construction, the author recounts the declining fortunes of an aristocratic family. The Early Twentieth Century After the republican revolution (1911) authors turned away from the classical modes of composition, and many writers (notably Hu Shih and Lu Xun ) advocated writing in the baihua vernacular. The change in Chinese education from preoccupation with the classic literature to scientific and technological subjects reduced mastery of the traditional literary skills as did the abolition of the civil service examinations for official posts, which had been based on a knowledge of the Four Books of the Confucian canon. The use of characters instead of an alphabet persisted, however; this made older writings accessible and permitted the Chinese, who speak widely different dialects, amounting to different languages, to communicate with one another. The use of baihua has proved especially effective in prose. Translations of Western books frequently appeared in China, and the novelists of the republican period were greatly influenced by European writers. Among the most distinguished writers of 20th-century China are Lu Xun, Guo Moruo , and Ba Jin . During the 1930s and 40s several talented novelists came to the fore, including Mao Tun , Lao She , and Shen Ts'ung-wen, while modernist poets such as Ai Ch'ing experimented with Western-style free verse. Women writers

who grew equally prominent during these decades include Ting Ling, Hsiao Hung, and Chang Ai-ling (Eileen Chang). Literature in the Communist Era Fiction during the first years after the 1949 Communist revolution depicted the great social transformations taking place. Party leaders advocated socialist realism , which was marked by strict adherence to party doctrine and by a narrow emphasis on the credible depiction of external reality; it inhibited writers' creativity and led to stagnation. The Hundred Flowers Campaign (1956-57) encouraged writers and other intellectuals to voice criticisms of party policy. Those who did so were soon punished during the 1957 antirightist campaign, when they were denounced and either imprisoned or sent to labor reform camps. Many, such as Wang Meng and Zhang Xianliang , were to remain confined for over two decades. Even harsher was the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution , during which thousands of intellectuals were sent to work on distant farms. Some writers, such as Lao She , were either murdered or committed suicide. Following Mao Zedong 's death in 1976 and Deng Xiaoping 's consolidation of power in 1979, strictures on literary freedom were relaxed. The first stories from this period relate the nightmarish experiences of the Cultural Revolutionthe "literature of the wounded." Despite a crackdown on "bourgeois liberalism" and "spiritual pollution," writing continued to flourish in the 1980s. Many works struggled with general social issues, such as official corruption and overcrowding; feminist issues were treated in novels by women writers such as Zhang Jie and Wang Anyi. Reportage literature, a hybrid of journalism and fiction, grew popular. Novelists experimented with stream of consciousness and other narrative techniques, while the Misty School of poets, exemplified by Bei Dao, Duo Duo, and Gu Cheng, developed a fusion of various modernist styles. Han Shaogong, Ah Cheng , and others developed a "seeking roots" literature, characterized by rural settings, geographical and botanical descriptions, and the incorporation of local dialects and folklore. Zhang Xianliang, Gu Hua, and Can Xue were prominent among the regional writers who emerged, most notably from China's far west and south. After the massacre of prodemocracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square (June 4, 1989), many writers fled China, fearing government reprisals for their support of the democracy movement. Most continue to write in exile, publishing their work in literary journals in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and overseas.




Compiled from From Compton's Living Encyclopedia on America Online (August 1995) China is the only country in the world with a literature written in one language for more than 3,000 consecutive years. This continuity results largely from the nature of the written language itself. It is the use of characters, not letters as in Western languages, that is most important in the Chinese language. The characters stand for things or ideas and so, unlike groups of letters, they cannot and need never be sounded. Thus Chinese could be read by people in all parts of the country in spite of gradual changes in pronunciation, the emergence of regional and local dialects, and modification of the characters . The dominance of the written language has had significant effects on the development of the literature. In handwriting or in print, a piece of literature has visual appeal. This has given rise to the great respect that calligraphy enjoys in China, where it has been regarded for at least 16 centuries as a fine art comparable to painting (See Calligraphy). The main disadvantage of

written Chinese is the great number of characters it contains: Even basic reading and writing require a knowledge of more than 1,000 characters. This has often made it difficult to spread the skills of reading and writing into certain areas of the country. But even with this disadvantage, Chinese has been a potent factor in shaping and maintaining a cultural continuity for millions of people. Because the written characters tend to keep the language stable, Chinese never developed into distinctly separate languages as did Latin in southern Europe with the formation of the several Romance languages. China has a very old and rich tradition in literature and the dramatic and visual arts. Early writings generally derived from philosophical or religious essays such as the works of Confucius (551-479 BC) and Lao-tzu (probably 4th century BC). These writings were often about how people should act and how the society and political system should be organized and operated. A strong tradition of historical writing also evolved. After the fall of a dynasty, for example, a grand history of the late dynasty was commissioned and written by scholars in the next dynasty. In addition to philosophical, religious, and historical writings, China also produced poetry, novels, and dramatic writings from an early date. Poetry became well established as a literary form during the T'ang Dynasty, from AD 618 to 907. One of China's greatest poets, Li Po, wrote during this period. This tradition of poetry, often dealing with the relationship of humans to their natural surroundings, has continued. Drama is another old and important literary form. Chinese drama usually combines vernacular language with music and song and thus has been popular with the common people. A variety of popular and standard themes are presented in Peking Opera, which is probably the best known of several operatic traditions that developed in China. Chinese opera is a favorite artistic and cultural medium. Early Chinese novels often stressed character development and usually centered on an adventure or supernatural happening; an example is the classic Ming version of `Shui-hu chuan' (The Water Margin). Historical themes were also popular, as in the `Romance of the Three Kingdoms', written in the late Yuan period. There were also love stories such as the extremely popular "Dream of the Red Chamber', probably China's most famous novel. Many of the early novels were written anonymously. Often these works were written in the vernacular, and many authors felt it was beneath their station to be associated with this type of writing. China's literary tradition continues to the present, though much 20th-century writing has concentrated on efforts to reform or modernize China. Probably the most famous 20th-century writer is Lu Xun, a poet, essayist, and novelist whose work focused on the need to modernize through revolution. Under Communism, writers have been expected to uphold the values of the socialist state, though the degree of control over their output has varied. (See Chinese Literature; Confucius; Lao-tzu; Li Po; Lu Xun)

2. DYNASTIC LITERATURE FROM 221 BC TO AD 960 With the unification of China by the short-lived Ch'in Dynasty (221 to 206 BC), the singular feature in literary matters was what is called the "Burning of the Books." The emperor, Shih Huang Ti, was determined to be an absolutist ruler and opposed to writings on good government such as those in the Classics. In 213, it is believed, he ordered the burning of all texts that appeared threatening to him. Whether the books were actually burned or simply kept from the people is uncertain. The result was the same: It was necessary during the next dynasty to reconstruct the texts of the Classics. The Han Dynasty (206 BC to AD 220) actively promoted the restoration and teaching of the Classics. In 124 BC a national university was opened for the purpose of teaching Confucianism.

Probably at about this time civil-service examinations, which determined the appointment and promotion of government officials, began to be based on the Classics. It was also during the Han period that the Classics became established as the basis of Chinese education. Literature flowered again during the Han Dynasty. Traditional poetry and prose forms, especially the fu prose poems, flourished. But the most notable achievement came with the reactivation of the Yueh Fu, or Music Bureau, in 125 BC. This agency was founded in the previous century to collect traditional songs. One of its achievements was the compiling of folk songs and ballads. The most outstanding folk ballad of the period, about AD 200, was `Southeast the Peacock Flies'. It tells of the tragedy of a young married couple who committed suicide as the result of the cruelty of the husband's mother. The major prose authors of the Han Dynasty were Liu An, Ssu-ma Ch'ien, and Pan Ku. Liu An was a prince of Huai-nan in the 2nd century BC. The work attributed to him, but probably done under his patronage, is `The Master of Huai-nan'. It is a compilation of 21 chapters on cosmology, philosophy, politics, and ethics. Although the book contains little that is not traditional, its cosmology was highly regarded by the Taoists and became part of their accepted teaching. The masterpiece of the period was the `Shih-chi', meaning "Historical Records," of Ssu-ma Ch'ien. It was completed in about 85 BC and took 18 years to produce. It contains a record of events and personalities for the previous 2,000 years. The text is divided into 130 chapters with more than 520,000 words. It was the first attempt at a national history in China, and it set the pattern for the histories of dynasties in the following centuries. In the next century Ssu-ma Ch'ien was followed as historian by Pan Ku, who was born about AD 32 and died about AD 92. He was also a poet, soldier, and the author of `Han shu', meaning "History of the Former Han Dynasty." Completed after 16 years of study, the history contains more than 800,000 words. Because he was court historian, Pan Ku could get all the official records as well as the family histories of the emperors. In addition to information about the rulers, the author added sections on geography, natural phenomena, memorable biographies, and a descriptive account of books in the imperial library. The Han Dynasty was followed by the period of the Six Dynasties and the Sui Dynasty (AD 221 to 618). The major poet of this era was T'ao Ch'ien (365-427). In his 20s he became a government official, but after about ten years he resigned and with his family went to live in a farming village to contemplate nature and to write poetry. His verse was in a plain style that was imitated by poets long after. He was a master of the five-word line and has been called the first of China's great nature poets because most of his writings deal with rural activities. Although he was essentially a Taoist, his work also showed elements of Confucianism and Buddhism. The 3rd and 4th centuries were, for prose writers, a time of individuality and partial rejection of slavish imitation of past models. Lu Chi (261-303) was a renowned poet and literary critic who emphasized originality in creative writing. He wrote a great deal of lyric poetry but is best remembered for his `Wen fu', an essay on literature. The revolt against imitative writing was also expressed in a 5th-century style called "pure conversation," an intellectual discussion on lofty matters. Some of these were recorded in a collection of anecdotes entitled `Sayings of the World'. In the 6th century the first book of literary criticism, `Carving of the Literary Dragon', was published by Liu Hsieh (465-522). It was written in the p'ien wen, or parallel prose, style. Two other 6th-century prose masters were Yang Hsien-chih, author of `Record of Buddhist Temples in Lo-yang', and Li Tao-yuan, author of `Commentary on the Water Classic'. Both of these are outstanding records of not only what was happening but also of the folklore of the time. The period from 618 to 960, the time of the T'ang Dynasty and the Five Dynasties, is considered China's golden age of poetry. The works of more than 2,000 poets, totaling more than 48,900 pieces, have been preserved. The writing adapted traditional verse forms and created new ones.

Among the new and popular forms were lu shih, meaning "regulated verse"; chueh chu, "truncated verse"; and a song form called tz'u. Regulated verse consisted of eight lines of five or seven syllables set in accordance with strict tonal patterns. Truncated verse was an outgrowth of regulated verse: It omitted four of the lines but maintained the tonal qualities of regulated verse. The tz'u consisted of lines of irregular length written as lyrics for music. Because the lines varied from 1 to 11 syllables, they were comparable to the natural rhythms of speech and were easily understood when sung. The tz'u served as a major style for poetry during the succeeding Sung Dynasty. Two of the greatest poets in all Chinese literature lived during the T'ang Dynasty: Li Po (701762) and Tu Fu (712-770). Li Po was a romantic who celebrated such things as drinking, friendship, and nature as well as solitude and the passage of time. His work showed a great deal of imagination and a fresh approach to old themes. Tu Fu also celebrated the beauties of nature and bemoaned the passage of time, but he was also a satirist and critic. In `The Army Carts' he condemned the senselessness of war, and in `The Beautiful Woman' he made fun of the luxuriousness of the imperial court. Tu Fu's great reputation in literature comes in part from his expert use of all types of poetic style. His mastery of the regulated verse form was unmatched. Chinese prose also underwent a stylistic reform during the T'ang period. The major change was brought about by Han Yu (768-824). He promoted classic Confucian doctrines at a time when they had begun to fall into neglect because of the rising popularity of Buddhism and Taoism. In his writing he advocated a return to the free, simple prose of the ancient philosophers. His own essays are among the most beautiful ever written in Chinese and became models for the style of writing he prized. At his death he was honored with the title "Prince of Letters." 3. SUNG DYNASTY (960-1279) During the Sung Dynasty, especially in the 11th century, the tz'u form of poetry and song was brought to its greatest heights, particularly through the efforts of China's best woman poet, Li Ch'ing-chao (1081-1141). She produced six volumes of poetry and seven volumes of essays, all of which have been lost except for some poetry fragments. Her early poems dealt with the joys of love and were intensely personal. Later in life her writing began to reflect a dark despair, caused by long separations from her husband and, eventually, by his untimely death. The prose reform continued under followers of Han Yu, and poetry of the conventional type continued to be written by members of rival literary schools. The only real innovation came with the use of everyday speech in local dialects in storytelling. This literature had its origin in unrecorded oral tales recounted by individuals to audiences gathered in marketplaces or temple yards. By the 12th century these tales became fairly lengthy narratives, many dealing with fictionalized history. This style opened new vistas in prose fiction in later periods, though its use was at first despised by professional writers.

4. YUAN, OR MONGOL, DYNASTY (1279-1368) The best-known ruler of the Yuan, or Mongol, Dynasty was Kublai Khan. In literature Chinese drama came to the fore for the first time, and vernacular fiction was firmly established. (See Kublai Khan; Mongol Empire) Puppet shows, skits, vaudeville acts, and shadow plays of previous ages had laid the foundation for a full-fledged drama. Plays in four or five acts, including songs and dialect in language quite close to that of the common people, became popular. More than 1,700 musical plays were written, and more than 105 dramatists were recorded. The first, and probably the greatest, playwright of classical theater was Kuan Han-ch'ing (1241?-1320?), author of about 60 plays. He

wrote in a simple and straightforward manner, often about common everyday occurrences. Among his best works were `Injustice Suffered by Tou-o', `Meeting Enemies Alone', and `Saving a Prostitute'. Wang Shih-fu (1250-1337?) wrote one of the best dramas of the period, `Romance of the Western Chamber', a work that is still popular. It is about the romantic exploits of the poet Yuan Chen, renamed Chang Chun-jui in the play. It is notable for its length, two or three times that of the standard Yuan drama. In vernacular fiction one of the greatest novelists was Lo Kuan-chung (1330-1400), known for his masterpiece, `The Romance of the Three Kingdoms'. He is also presumed to be the author of one of China's best-known novels, `The Story of the Water Margin' (translated by novelist Pearl S. Buck as `All Men Are Brothers'). The work is a semihistorical collection of stories about a band of enlightened outlaws--social and political dissenters whose exploits were recorded in official dynastic history. This is one of the few traditional novels approved today by Chinese Communist authorities and critics. 5. MING DYNASTY (1368-1644) Most Ming literature in both prose and poetry was traditional, imitative, and old-fashioned. Two schools of writing challenged this trend, claiming that literature should change with the age instead of slavishly imitating the past. The influence of these schools did not last long, however. It was in the vernacular literature of the period that writers made significant contributions. The dramatic form ch'uan-chi (tales of marvels) became popular. Some examples were full-length dramas with many changes of scene and many subplots, while others were one-act playlets. This drama form won gradual support from literary figures, and in the 16th century the influential K'un school, which was to dominate the theater until the end of the 18th century, was formed. In fiction there were some novels that are still considered outstanding. Wu Ch'eng-en (1500?82?) wrote `Monkey', the adventures of a cunningly resourceful animal that accompanied the Buddhist monk Hsuan-tsang on a pilgrimage to India. `Adventure to the Western Ocean' was an expanded tale of the 15th-century explorer Cheng Ho. The author of `Gold Vase Plum', subtitled "The Adventurous History of Hsi-men and His Six Wives," is unknown. It was the first realistic social novel to appear in China--the first fiction work not derived from popular legends or historical events. In a very naturalistic, somewhat coarse way it describes the life of a well-to-do businessman who has acquired his wealth largely through dishonest means; his goals in life are animal pleasures and heavy drinking. Although the novel was banned in China more than once, and Western translators have occasionally resorted to Latin for offensive passages, it is one of the most popular Chinese novels. 6. CH'ING, OR MANCHU, DYNASTY (1644-1911) Ch'ing was the last imperial ruling house of China. During its reign most Chinese literature tended to be old-fashioned and imitative; genuine creativity was rare. Toward the end of the period, however, China had its first extensive contacts with European powers, and ideas from the West began to filter into the literature through translations of novels and other books. In native prose fiction two works stand out. P'u Sung-ling (1640-1715) wrote a collection of supernatural tales entitled `Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio'. The other is one of the great novels in world literature--`Dream of the Red Chamber', by Ts'ao Chan (1715?-63). Partly autobiographical and written in the vernacular, it describes in sometimes lengthy detail the decline of a powerful family and the ill-fated love between two young people. A much later novel, `The Travels of Lao Ts'an', by Liu E (1857-1909), was significant because it pointed up the problems inherent in the weakening dynasty, which was soon to be overthrown by revolution. The book was published in 1904-07.

7. POLITICAL AND LITERARY REVOLUTIONS The Ch'ing Dynasty was overthrown in the Chinese Revolution of 1911-12, and from that time China was in almost continual turmoil until the success of the Communist revolution in 1949. Even then the turmoil did not altogether cease, for the nation was subject to the whims of the Communist leadership. The Great Leap Forward, the government program of the 1950s, brought economic disaster to China, and the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s poisoned the whole cultural and social environment. Political revolution was followed by literary revolution. In 1915 Youth Magazine (later, New Youth) was founded by Ch'en Tu-hsiu (1879-1942), who soon became a founder of the Chinese Communist party. A leader in developing the intellectual basis of the revolution, Ch'en published an article about the rebellion against traditional and classical literary forms and ideas. Hu Shih (1891-1962) was a proponent of a new national literature in the vernacular (See Hu Shih). Another significant writer of this period was Lu Hsun, the pen name of Chou Shu-jen (18811936). In 1918 he published a short story, "A Madman's Diary," the first Western-style short story written in Chinese. He followed it in 1921 with "The True Story of Ah Q." Both stories criticized and rejected the old order. He is considered a revolutionary hero. Political writings and speeches came much into prominence at this time, especially in the works of Sun Yat-sen, known as the father of modern China; Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of Nationalist China; and Mao Zedong, the leader of Communist China. Under Mao's leadership countless literary works were produced, all of which reflected Communist policies and what in the Soviet nion was called "socialist realism." One of the prominent writers of the early Communist era was Ting Ling, the pen name of Chiang Wei-chih (1904-86). He wrote `The Sun Shines over the Sangkan River', a novel about land reform. Chou Li-po (born 1910), author of the novel `The Hurricane', about rebellious peasants seizing power from armed landlords, was also a major writer. So too was Chou Erh-fu (born 1912), the author of `Morning in Shanghai', a novel about changes in a textile factory after the revolution. The one 20th-century giant of Chinese literature whose fame spread far beyond his native land was Lin Yu-tang (1895-1976). The peak of his career in China came with the establishment in 1932 of the satirical magazine Analects Fortnightly. His work reached English-speaking readers with `My Country and My People', published in 1935. From 1936 he lived mostly in the United States, writing books on Chinese history and philosophy, but he returned to Asia ten years before his death in Hong Kong. He has been acclaimed as one of the most versatile Chinese writers of all time, producing novels, plays, short stories, and essays in addition to historical and philosophical works. Lu Xun (1881-1936). Although he died 13 years before the Communist party came to power in China, the writer Lu Xun is considered a revolutionary hero by present-day Chinese Communists. By the 1930s, when his reputation as a writer was established, he hailed Communism as the only means of unifying China and solving its social and economic problems. Lu Xun was born Chou Shu-jen in Shaoxing in 1881. He attended the School of Railways and Mines of the Kiangnan Military Academy in Nanjing and later studied medicine, literature, and philosophy in Japan. He returned home a committed foe of the Manchu dynasty, and, after the revolution that overthrew the dynasty in 1911, he joined the new republican government in its ministry of education.

Lu Xun's literary activity began in 1918 when, at the urging of friends, he published a short story, "A Madman's Diary." The first Western-style short story written in Chinese, it was a satiric attack on the traditional Confucian culture of China. Its success laid the foundation for acceptance of the short story as a literary vehicle. "The True Story of Ah Q," published in 1921, was also a repudiation of China's old order. In addition to his stories, Lu Xun wrote essays, of which "Outline History of Chinese Fiction" is by far his best known; made compilations of classical fiction; and translated literature from Russian to Chinese. His pessimism about the republican government led him to leave Peking in 1926 and settle in Shanghai. There he recruited many fellow writers and countrymen for the Communist party, although he never joined it himself. He died there on Oct. 19, 1936. Lin Yu-tang (1895-1976) Chinese philosopher and writer, born in Fukien (now called Fujian) Province; son of pastor of American Reformed church mission; professor at Peking National University 1923-26; in U.S. 1935-66; returned to Asia 1966; interpreted China with urbane humor (nonfiction: `My Country and My People', `The Importance of Living', `On the Wisdom of America', `The Importance of Understanding'; novels: `Moment in Peking', `A Leaf in the Storm', `Chinatown Family', `Vermilion Gate', `The Secret Name')

Classical Literature Classical literature refers to the earliest period and covers works from three thousands years ago to the late Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), and is a virtually unbroken strand enduring dynastic changes. Written in an ancient form of language that is very different from present day Chinese, it needs to be carefully studied to be understood. Since it was nearly always developed under the reign of centralized and unified government, it is imbued with the thoughts of a culture that embraced slavery and a feudal society. It was steeped in an enclosed environment that hardly had any real links with religion or least of all the literature of foreign cultures. Chinese Drama Chinese Essay Chinese Fiction Ancient Poetry The Classic of Odes, Chu Ci, Han Yuefu Tang Poetry & Poets Song Ci & Yuan Qu Modern Literature Modern literature refers to the periord from the Opium War in 1840 to the May Fourth Moverment in 1919. As the decadent reign of the Qing failed to inspire the minds of people, the literary forms had remained unchanged; till the Opium War in 1840. Then they absorbed the impact of western thoughts as foreigners poured in China and established their colonies. Novels, poetry and other works began to appear with a theme of patriotism and a revelation of social ills. Contemporary Literature Contemporary literature spanned the period from 1919 to the foundation of modern in 1949 and took on a new vigor, despite the fact that Chinese was in the throws of checkered and complicated times. This period was distinctive as it brought into being a new and revised literary language, form, content and skills allowing it to evolve into an independent and open art available to the whole of society. It attached great attention to people's lives and a future with strong political tendencies. Influenced by the tide of the world literature, it provided wide and amiable communication between writers and readers. Present-Age Literature Present-age literature is that which has evolved since the establishment of the People's Republic

in 1949. During this time, there was a logjam as a consequence of the Cultural Revolution that lasted for nearly 10 years. That era is now long past and we now have a favorable turn on events and a great number of responsible writers deepen the literary forms and content. Nowadays literature prospers. As the Chinese nation is a racial mix of Han people together with 55 other ethnic groups, literature reflects this. The various ethnic groups have contributed greatly in this field.

Languages of China
See language maps. [See also SIL publications on the languages of China.] Peoples Republic of China, Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo. 1,312,979,000. 55 official minority nationalities total 123,330,000 or 9% of the population (2005). Han Chinese 1,182,950,000 or 91% (2005). National or official languages: Mandarin Chinese, regional languages: Daur, Kalmyk-Oirat, Lu, Peripheral Mongolian, Central Tibetan, Uyghur, Xibe. Literacy rate: 91% (2003). Immigrant languages: American Sign Language, Central Khmer (1,000), Parsi (5,000), Portuguese (8,980). Information mainly from J. Dreyer 1976; J. Evans 1999; J. Janhunen 1989, 2003; J. Matisoff, S. Baron and J. Lowe 1996; Ostapirat 2000; J-O Svantesson 1989, 1995, 2003; S. Wurm, B. Tsou, D. Bradley, Li Rong, Xiong Zhenghui, Zhang Zehnxing, Fu Maoji, Wang Jun and Dob 1987. Blind population: 2,000,000. Deaf population: 20,040,000 (China Disabled Persons Federation 2006). Deaf institutions: There are 550 schools for the deaf in addition to 683 special education schools in mainland China, some of which have classes for the deaf. The number of individual languages listed for China is 293. Of those, 292 are living languages and 1 has no known speakers. Achang [acn] 27,700 in China (1990 census). Population total all countries: 62,700. Ethnic population: 33,936 (2000 census). Dehong Dai-Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture and Baoshan District, western Yunnan Province, along the Myanmar border, Longchuan, Liangge, and Luxi counties; Baoshan Prefecture, Tengchong and Longling counties; Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunlong County. Also in Myanmar. Alternate names: Acang, Achang, Achung, Ahchan, Atsang, Maingtha, Mnghsa, Ngacang, Ngacang, Ngachang, Ngatsang, Ngo Chang, Ngochang. Dialects: Longchuan, Lianghe, Luxi. Each of the 3 main counties has a distinctive dialect. Dialects reportedly not mutually inherently intelligible. Longchuan differs more from the others, with more Dai loanwords. Lianghe and Luxi use many Chinese loanwords. There are also Burmese loanwords. Related to Hpon [hpo], Maru [mhx], Lashi [lsi], Zaiwa [atb]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Burmish, Northern More information. Ache [yif] 35,000 (2003). Yunnan Province, Shuangbai, Yimen, Eshan, and Lufeng counties. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, LoloBurmese, Loloish More information. Ai-Cham [aih] 2,700 (2000). Qiannan Buyi-Miao Autonomous Prefecture, southern Guizhou Province, Libo County, Die and Boyao townships. 13 villages. Alternate names: Atsam, Jiamuhua, Jin, Jinhua. Dialects: Die, Boyao. Dialects have phonological differences, but are largely mutually intelligible. Similar to Mak [mkg]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Kam-Sui More information. Ainu [aib] 6,570 (2000). Southwest Xinjiang Autonomous Region, Hetian, Luopu, Moyu, Shache, Yingjisha, and Shulekuche counties; Kashgar area,









Yengixar (Shule) town, Hanalik and Paynap villages, and Gewoz village near Hoban. Alternate names: Abdal, Aini, Aynu. Dialects: Has the same grammar as Uyghur [uig] but much Persian [pes] vocabulary. Some consider it a dialect of Uyghur [uig], others an Iranian language heavily influenced by Uyghur. The government classifies them as Uyghur nationality. Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Eastern More information. [aeu] 10,000 in China (2007), increasing. Population total all countries: 12,400. South Yunnan Province, Xishuangbanna Prefecture, most villages in Jinhong County, some in Mengla County. Also in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand. Alternate names: Aki, Akui. Dialects: Similar to Akha [ahk]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Lolo, Southern More information. [ahk] 240,000 in China (Bradley 2007), increasing. Ethnic population: 240,000 (Bradley 2007). Southwest Yunnan, Xishuangbanna and Simao prefectures. Alternate names: Ahka, Aini, Aka, Aka, Ekaw, Ikaw, Ikor, Kaw, Kha Ko, Khako, Khao Kha Ko, Ko, Yani. Classification: SinoTibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southern More information. [aub] 3,500 (2007), increasing. Yunnan Province, Yuanyang County, Fengchunling District across the Honghe River; Gejiu County, Manhao District. Alternate names: Phula, Muji, Phupha. Classification: SinoTibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [yna] 25,000 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, north Wuding, Luquan, Yuanmou counties; Sichuan Province, Huili, Miyi counties. Alternate names: Laka, Gan Yi, Yala, Lila, Niluo. Classification: SinoTibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [vwa] 98,000 (Zhou and Yan 2004). Masan Dialect: 33,000 in Ximeng County; Xiyun Dialect: 2,200 in Lancang and Menglian counties; Dawangnuo Dialect: 30,000 in Menglian and Ximeng counties; Awalei Dialect: 2,200 in Ximeng County; Awa proper: 30,600 In Lancan County. Southwest Yunnan Province, Simao Prefecture: Ximeng Va, Menglian Dai, Lahu and Va, and Lancang Lahu autonomous counties. Alternate names: Awa Wa, Ava, Va. Dialects: Masan (A Vo, Ro via, La via, Vo), Xiyun (Va, Shixi), Dawangnuo (Damangnuo, Vo, Wangnuo, Mangnuo), Awalei (A vo loi, Awalai). Closely related languages: Wa [wbm], Parauk [prk], Blang [blr]. Classification: AustroAsiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Palaungic, Eastern, Waic More information. [yiu] 20,000 (2002). Yunnan Province, primarily north Honghe Prefecture, Mile and Luxi counties; south Qujing Prefecture, Shizong and Luoping counties. Alternate names: Luowu, Luwu. Dialects: Northern Awu, Southern Awu. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [yix] 100,000 (Bradley 2007), decreasing. Southeast Yunnan Province, Mile and Luxi counties. Shilin County, 1 village. Alternate names: Ahi, Axibo, Axipo. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [ayx] 2,200 (2004). Northwest Yunnan, Nujiang Nu-Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, Fugong and Gongshan counties. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Unclassified




Bai, Central

Bai, Northern

Bai, Southern



Biao Mon

More information. [yyz] 50 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, Beidacun District, Aimalong village; Shilin County, Beidacun and Banqiao districts. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern Nearly extinct. More information. [aza] 53,000 (2007). Yunnan Province, primarily along the border between Wenshan and Yanshan counties. Alternate names: Aji, Ajiwa, Andze, Antsaozo, Azan, Nimitso, Phuphje, Phula, Hua Phula, Hua Yi, Shaoji Phula, Sifter Basket Phula, Hei Phula, Black Phula, Niuweiba Phula, Cowtail Phula, Jin Phula, Golden Phula, Han Phula. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [yiz] 54,000 (Bradley 2007). Ethnic population: 60,000. Yunnan Province, Mile County: Xun Jian, Wushan, Jiangbian districts; Huaning County, Panxi District; north Kaiyuan County, Xiaolongtan District, Xiaolongtan Community; Lebaidao District, Jiedian Community; Mazheshao District, Chongzi Community; northeast Jianshui County, 1 village. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [bca] 800,000 (2003). Northwest Yunnan, Jianchuan, Heqing, Lanping, Eryuan, and Yunlong. Alternate names: Labbu, Leme, Minchia, Minjia, Minkia, Nama, Pai. Dialects: Jianchuan, Heqing, Lanping, Eryuan, Yunlong. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bai More information. [bfc] 40,000 (2003). Northwest Yunnan, Nujiang, and Lanping. Alternate names: Bijang Bai. Dialects: Nujiang, Lanping. Classification: SinoTibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bai More information. [bfs] 400,000 (2003). Northwest Yunnan, Dali, and Xiangyun provinces. Dialects: Dali, Xiangyun. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Bai More information. [bqh] 11,000 (EDCL 1991). Older adults and a few middle aged are monolingual. Ethnic population: 11,000. North-central Sichuan Province, Pingwu, Nanping, and Songpan counties; Gansu Province, Wen County. Alternate names: Bai Ma, Pe. Dialects: Southern Baima (Pingwu Baima), Northern Baima (Wen Baima), Western Baima (Nanping Baima). Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Unclassified More information. [byk] 80,000 (1985 L. Min). 10,000 women and small children are monolingual. Ethnic population: 120,000. Guangdong Province, southwest corner of Huaiji County (Shidong, Yonggu, Dagang, Liangcun, and Qiaotou districts); Fengkai County, Changan, Jinzhuang and Qixing districts, several villages. Alternate names: Kang Bau, Kang Beu. Dialects: Minor dialect differences, but all mutually intelligible. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Kam-Sui More information. [bmt] 20,000 (Wang and Mao 1995). Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Mengshan, Zhaoping, Pingle, Lipu, and Gongcheng counties. Alternate names: Biao Mien, Biaoman, Changping, Min Yao, Sida Min Yao. Dialects: Biao Mon (Min Yao), Shi Mun (Sida Min Yao). May be intelligible with some dialects of Iu Mien [ium]. Quite different from and

Biao-Jiao Mien






unintelligible with Biao Jiao Mien [bje] or its dialect Biaomin, also called Biao Mien. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Mienic, Mian-Jin More information. [bje] 43,000 (Wang and Mao 1995). Northeast Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Quanzhou, Guanyang, and Gongcheng Yao autonomous counties; south Hunan Province, Shuangpai, and Daoxian counties. Alternate names: Biao Chao, Byau Min. Dialects: Biao Min (Biaomin, Biao Mien, Dongshan Yao), Jiaogong Mian (Chao Kong Meng, Shikou). Dialects reportedly mutually unintelligible. Quite different from and unintelligible with Biao Mon [bmt] (Biaoman). Lexical similarity: 70% with Iu Mien [ium], 67% with Kim Mun [mji], 58% with Dzao Min [bpn]. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Mienic, Biao-Jiao More information. [bzi] 240 in China (Xu 2005). No monolinguals. Population total all countries: 1,240. Ethnic population: 240. Southwest Yunan Province, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Menghai County, Mengzhe village; Simao Prefecture, Lancang Lahu Autonomous County, Zhutang, Laba, Donglang, and Fubang villages; Meglian Dai, Lahu, and Va autonomous counties, Jingxin, Fuyan, and Nanya villages; parts of Ximeng Va Autonomous County. Possibly also in Laos. Also in Myanmar, Thailand. Alternate names: Misu, Mibisu, Mbi, Laopin, Lawa, Lua, Pin. Dialects: Lanmeng, Huaipa, Dakao. Similar to Mpi [mpz], Pyen [pyy], Phunoi [pho]. Some dialect differences based on Dai [dij] versus Lahu [lhu] loanwords. Lexical similarity: 36% with Hani [hni], 32% with Lahu, 31% with Lisu [lis]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southern More information. [byo] 120,000 (Bradley 1997). Yunnan Province, southeast Simao Prefecture, Mojiang, Jiangcheng, Zhenyuan, Jingdong counties. Alternate names: Bio, Biyue, Piyo. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southern More information. [blr] 42,000 in China (2000 census). Population total all countries: 55,200. Southwest Yunnan Province, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Menghai County, Bulangshan, Bada, Xiding, Daluo districts; Jinghong County, Damengnong District. Also in Myanmar, Thailand. Alternate names: Bulang, Kala, Kawa, Kontoi, Plang, Pula, Pulang. Dialects: Phang, Kem Degne. In Thailand, the group from Mae Sai came from Sipsongpanna, Yunnan, China, stayed in Myanmar for a while, and have been in Thailand since 1974. 6 to 10 dialects represented in one refugee village in Thailand. Samtao [stu] of Myanmar and China is not intelligible with Blang, but is closely related to Blang and Wa [wbm]. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Palaungic, Eastern Palaungic, Waic, Bulang More information. [ybk] 10,000 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, central Pingbian, east Jinping, and western Hekou counties. Alternate names: Bokho, Hei Muji, Black Muji, Hua Phula, Flowery Phula, Aphu, Akapa, Lao Phula, Pao Tle. Dialects: Similar to Phuma [ypm]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [ply] 10,000 (1993). Far west Guangxi on the Guizhou and Yunnan borders, Xilin and Longlin counties, in 2 groups. Possibly in Yunnan. Alternate names: Baliu, Lai, Lailai, Paliu, Palju, Palyu, Polyu. Dialects: May be similar to Bugan [bbh], which is the nearest Mon-Khmer language geographically. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer,




Bunu, Bu-Nao

Bunu, Jiongnai

Palyu More information. [peh] 6,000 (1999 Junast). Ethnic population: 24,500, including 16,500 Jishishan and 8000 Tongren. Southwest Gansu Province, Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Jishishan Baoan-Dongxiang-Sala Autonomous County; east Qinghai Province, Bonan-speaking Tu in Tongren. Alternate names: Baoan, Baonan, Boan, Paoan, Paongan. Dialects: Jishishan (Dahejia, Dajiahe, Dakheczjha), Tongren (Tungyen). Jishishan subdialects are Ganhetan and Dadun; Tongren subdialects are Nianduhu, Guomari, Gajiuri, and Lower Baoan village. Jishishan dialect has been influenced by Mandarin Chinese [cmn], Tongren by Tibetan [bod]. There are phonological and grammatical differences between them, and inherent intelligibility may be low. Classification: Altaic, Mongolic, Eastern, Mongour More information. [pcc] 2,600,000 in China (2000 census). Population total all countries: 2,649,205. Ethnic population: 2,945,000. Guizhou-Yunnan plateau, mainly Buyi-Miao and Miao-Dong autonomous prefectures, Zhenning and Guanling counties, south and southwest Guizhou; Yunnan Province, Luoping County; Sichuan Province, Ningnan and Huidong counties. Also in France, United States, Viet Nam. Alternate names: Bo-I, Bui, Buyei, Buyi, Buyui, Chung-Chia, Dioi, Giay, Pu-I, Pu-Jui, Pui, Pujai, Puyi, Puyoi, Shuihu, Tujia, Zhongjia. Dialects: Qiannan (Southern Guizhou, Bouyei 1), Qianzhong (Central Guizhou, Bouyei 2), Qianxi (Western Guizhou, Bouyei 3). Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, TaiSek, Tai, Northern More information. [bbh] 2,700 (2002 L. Jinfang). Southeast Yunnan Province, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Guangnan and Xichou counties, South Guangnan Nasa Township, 4 Bugan villages: Laowalong, Xinwalong, Xinpingzhai and Nala; Guangnan County, Zhuanjiao District, 2 Bugan villages: Jiuping, Shibeipo; Northern Yanshan County, Jijie District, Manlong and 6 other villages. Alternate names: Bengan, Bogan, Hualo, Huazu, Pukan. Dialects: Very minor accent differences between villages. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Palyu More information. [bwx] 258,000 (McConnell 1995). 97,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 439,000 (1982 census). 100,000 ethnic Bunu speak a Northern Zhuang language as L1. West Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, counties: Duan, Bama, Dahua, Lingyun, Nandan, Tiandong, Tianyang, Pingguo, Fengshan, Donglan, Hechi, Mashan, Bose, Tianlin, Leye, Tiandeng, Xincheng, Shanglin, Longan, Debao, Laibin, Luocheng counties; Guizhou Province, Libo County; Yunnan Province, Funing County. Alternate names: Bunao, Po-Nau, Punu. Dialects: Dongnu (Tung Nu), Nunu, Bunuo (Pu No), Naogelao (Nao Klao), Numao (Nu Mhou, Hong Yao), Cingsui Longlin, Hontou Longlin. The dialects listed may be 5 languages (D. Strecker 1987), communication is difficult (McConnell 1995). Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Bunu More information. [pnu] 1,080 (1999 M. Zongwu). 269 monolinguals. East Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Jinxiu Yao Autonomous County. Alternate names: Hualan Yao, Jiongnai, Jiongnaihua, Kiong Nai, Punu, Qiungnai. Dialects: Very different from and unintelligible to surrounding Yao and other Bunu speakers. Lexical similarity: 52% with Bu-Nao Bunu [bwx]. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Bunu More information.

Bunu, Wunai

Bunu, Younuo

Buriat, China


Buyang Ema

Buyang, Baha

Buyang, Langnian

Cao Miao


[bwn] 18,400 (McConnell 1995). West Hunan Province, Longhui, Xupu, Tongdao, Chenxi, Dongkou, Cengbu, and Xinning counties. Alternate names: Hm Nai, Ngnai, Punu, Wunai. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Bunu More information. [buh] 9,720 (McConnell 1995). Northeast Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Xingan and Longsheng counties. Alternate names: Pu No, Punu, Younuo, Yuno, Yunuo. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Bunu More information. [bxu] 65,000 (1982 census). 47,000 New Bargu, 14,000 Old Bargu, 4,500 Buriat. Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Hulun-Buyr District, near Russia (Siberia) and Mongolia borders. Alternate names: BaerhuBuliyate, Bargu Buriat, Buriat-Mongolian, Buryat, Northeastern Mongolian, Northern Mongolian. Dialects: New Bargu (Xin Baerhu), Old Bargu (Chen Baerhu), Buriat (Buliyate, Buryat), Khori, Aga. Differs from Buriat of Mongolia [bxm] and the Russian Federation [bxr] due to influences of other languages. Classification: Altaic, Mongolic, Eastern, Oirat-Khalkha, Khalkha-Buriat, Buriat More information. [bgk] 200 in China (1994). Southwest Yunnan Province, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Mengla County. Classification: AustroAsiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Khmuic, Khao More information. [yzg] 300 (1995). Yunnan Province, Wenshan Zhuang-Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Funing County, Gula Township, Langjia and Nianlang villages. Alternate names: Langjia Buyang, Buyang Zhuang, Eastern Buyang, Funing Buyang, Buozaang. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kadai, Yang-Biao, Buyang, Eastern More information. [yha] 600 (2007). Yunnan Province, Wenshan Zhuang-Miao Autonomous Prefecture, northern Guangnan County, Dixu District, Yanglian village; Bada District, Anshe village. Alternate names: Western Buyang, Guangnan Buyang, Buyang Zhuang, Buyang. Dialects: Yalang, Ecun, Langjia. Similar to Langnian [yln] and Ema Buyang [yzg]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kadai, Yang-Biao, Buyang, Western More information. [yln] 300 (1995). Yunnan Province, Wenshan Zhuang-Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Funing County, Gula Township, Langjia and Nianlang villages. Alternate names: Langjia Buyang, Buyang Zhuang, Eastern Buyang, Funing Buyang, Buozaang. Dialects: Similar to Ema Buyang [yzg]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kadai, Yang-Biao, Buyang, Eastern More information. [cov] 63,600 (2000). Southeast Guizhou Province, Liping County; southwest Hunan Province, Tongdao Dong Autonomous County; northeast Guangxi, Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, near South Dong, small villages. Alternate names: Grass Miao, Mjiuniang, Sanjiang Miao. Dialects: Similar to Northern Dong [doc] and sometimes referred to as a special dialect of Dong. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Kam-Sui More information. [cdy] 20,000 (2007). Northeast Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Lingui County, Guilin Muncipality; Chadong District (most villages), Liangjiang Township; Yongfu County, Longjiang District. Alternate names: Chadonghua, Chadongyu, Cha Dong. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Kam-Sui More information.



Chinese Chinese Sign Language

Chinese, Gan

Chinese, Hakka

Chinese, Huizhou

Chinese, Jinyu

[ycp] 2,000 in China (2007). Southern Yunnan Province. Also in Laos. Dialects: Related to Akeu [aeu]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southern More information. [ych] 3,300 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, northwest Xinping, southeast Shuangbai, and southwest Eshan counties. Dialects: Related to Samtao [stu]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [zho] A macrolanguage. Population total all countries: 1,212,515,844. More information. [csl] Ethnic population: 20,040,000 deaf persons in China (2006 CDRF). Also in Malaysia (Peninsular), Taiwan. Alternate names: Zhongguo Shouyu. Dialects: Shanghai Sign Language. Several dialects, of which Shanghai is most influential. Few signs of foreign origin. Classification: Deaf sign language More information. [gan] 20,600,000 (1984). Jiangxi and southeast corner of Hubei including Dachi, Xianning, Jiayu, Chongyang, and parts of Anhui, Hunan, and Fujian provinces. Chang-Jing in Nanchang City, Xiuhui, and Jingan; YiLiu in Yichun (Ichun) in Jiangxi, Liuyang in Hunan. Alternate names: Gan, Kan. Dialects: Chang-Jing, Yi-Liu, Ji-Cha, Fu-Guang, Ying-Yi. Marginally intelligible with Mandarin [cmn] and Wu [wuu] Chinese. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese More information. [hak] 25,700,000 in China (1984). Population total all countries: 30,032,520. Widespread with other dialects. Eastern and northeastern Guangdong greatest concentration; also in Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Hunan, and Sichuan. Also in Brunei, Canada, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Indonesia (Java and Bali), Malaysia (Peninsular), Mauritius, New Zealand, Panama, Singapore, South Africa, Suriname, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States. Alternate names: Hakka, Hokka, Ke, Kechia, Kejia, Majiahua, Tu Guangdonghua, Xinminhua. Dialects: Yue-Tai (Meixian, Raoping, Taiwan Kejia), Yuezhong (Central Guangdong), Huizhou, Yuebei (Northern Guangdong), Tingzhou (MinKe), Ning-Long (Longnan), Yugui, Tonggu. Yue-Tai is standard dialect. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese More information. [czh] 4,600,000 (2000 census). Jixi dialect: 988,000; Xiuyi dialect: 861,000; Qide dialect 798,000, Yanzhou dialect 638,000, Jingzhan dialect 134,000. South Anhui Province, Huizhou region and Jixi, She (Xi), Ningguo, Jingde, Tunxi, Xiuning, Yi, Qimen and Dongzhi counties; northern Zhejiang Province, Chunan County, Jiande municipality; northeast Jiangxi Province, Wuyuan, Dexing and Fuliang counties. Alternate names: Huizhou. Dialects: Jixi, Xiuyi, Qide, Yanzhou, Jingzhan. Formerly considered part of Jianghuai dialect of Mandarin Chinese [cmn], but now considered by many a separate major dialect of Chinese. Dialects reportedly differ greatly from each other. Different from Huizhou dialect of Hakka Chinese [hak]. Classification: SinoTibetan, Chinese More information. [cjy] 45,000,000 (1995). Mainly in Shanxi Province; some in Shaanxi and Henan provinces. Alternate names: Jinyu. Dialects: Formerly considered part of Xibei Guanhua dialect of Mandarin Chinese [cmn], but now considered by many a separate major dialect of Chinese. Unlike Mandarin, it has contrastive glottal-checked syllables and other distinctive

Chinese, Mandarin

Chinese, Min Bei

Chinese, Min Dong

Chinese, Min Nan

features. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese More information. [cmn] 840,000,000 in China (2000 census), increasing. 70% of Chinese language users speak a Mandarin dialect as their mother tongue, including 9,816,805 Hui (2000 census) and 10,682,262 Manchu. 1,182,950,000 Han in China (2005 census). Population total all countries: 845,456,760. Widespread north of Changjiang River, a belt south of the Changjiang from Qiujiang (Jiangxi) to Zhenjiang (Jiangsu), Hubei, except southeast corner, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, northwest part of Guangxi, and northwest corner of Hunan. Also in Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Indonesia (Java and Bali), Laos, Libya, Malaysia (Peninsular), Mauritius, Mongolia, Mozambique, Philippines, Russian Federation (Asia), Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Viet Nam, Zambia. Alternate names: Beifang Fangyan, Guanhua, Guoyu, Hanyu, Mandarin, Northern Chinese, Putonghua, Standard Chinese. Dialects: Huabei Guanhua (Northern Mandarin), Xibei Guanhua (Northwestern Mandarin), Xinan Guanhua (Southwestern Mandarin), Jinghuai Guanhua (Jiangxia Guanhua, Lower Yangze Mandarin). Wenli is a literary form. Written Chinese is based on the Beijing dialect, but heavily influenced by other varieties of Northern Mandarin. Putonghua is the official form taught in schools and is inherently intelligible with Beijing dialect and other Mandarin varieties in the northeast. Mandarin varieties in the Lower Plateau in Shaanxi are not readily intelligible with Putonghua. Mandarin varieties of Guilin and Kunming unintelligible to Putonghua speakers. Taibei Mandarin and Beijing Mandarin are fully mutually inherently intelligible. Nearly all L1 speakers in Taiwan speak with Min-influenced grammar and various degrees of Min-influenced pronunciation. Many educated strive to cultivate standard pronunciation. Grammatical differences of the Taiwan variety often appear in writing. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese More information. [mnp] 10,300,000 in China (1984). Population total all countries: 10,304,000. North Fujian Province, 7 counties around Jianou. Also in Singapore. Alternate names: Min Pei, Northern Min. Dialects: The Chinese now divide Chinese Min into 5 major varieties: Min Nan [nan], Min Bei [mnp], Min Dong [cdo], Min Zhong [czo], and Pu-Xian [cpx]. Others say there are at least 9 varieties which are inherently mutually unintelligible. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese More information. [cdo] 8,820,000 in China (2000). Population total all countries: 9,134,060. Fujian, Fuan in northeast to Fuzhou in east central. Also in Brunei, Indonesia (Java and Bali), Malaysia (Peninsular), Singapore, Thailand, United States. Alternate names: Eastern Min. Dialects: Fuzhou (Fuchow, Foochow, Guxhou). The prestige dialect is spoken in Fujian. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese More information. [nan] 25,700,000 in China (1984). 2.5% of the population, including 1,000,000 Xiamen dialect (1988 census), 6,000,000 Quanzhou dialect (Quanzhoushi Fangyan Zhi). Population total all countries: 47,265,100. South Fujian, Guangdong, south Hainan Island, south Zhejiang, south Jiangxi provinces. Xiamen in south Fujian, Jiangxi, and Taiwan; Hainan in Hainan; Leizhou on Leizhou peninsula of southwest Guangdong; Chao-Shan in far east corner of Guangdong in ChaozhouShantou area; Longdu is a dialect island around Zhongshan City and Shaxi in Guangdong south of Guangzhou; Zhenan Min in southeast Zhejiang Province around Pingyang and Cangnan and on Zhoushan

Chinese, Min Zhong

Chinese, Pu-Xian

Chinese, Wu

Chinese, Xiang

Chinese, Yue

archipelago of northeast Zhejiang. Also in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia (Java and Bali), Malaysia (Peninsular), Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United States. Alternate names: Minnan, Southern Min. Dialects: Xiamen (Amoy), Leizhou (Lei Hua, Li Hua), Chao-Shan (Choushan, Chaozhou), Hainan (Hainanese, Qiongwen Hua, Wenchang), Longdu, Zhenan Min. Xiamen has subdialects Amoy, Fujian (Fukien, Hokkian, Taiwanese). Amoy is the prestige dialect. Amoy and Taiwanese are easily mutually intelligible. Chao-Shan subdialects: Chaoshou (Chaochow, Chaochow, Teochow, Teochew), Shantou (Swatow). ChaoShan, including Swatow, has very difficult intelligibility with Amoy; Sanjiang somewhat difficult for other dialect speakers; Hainan quite different from other dialects; Min Nan most widely distributed and influential Min variety. 2 subdialects in Taiwan: Sanso and Chaenzo. Most Min Nan speakers in Thailand use Chaoshou dialect. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese More information. [czo] 3,100,000 (2000 census). Central Fujian Province, Sha County, Yongan and Sanming municipalities. Alternate names: Central Min. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese More information. [cpx] 2,520,000 in China (2000). Population total all countries: 2,558,800. East central Fujian Province, Putian and Xianyou counties. Also in Malaysia (Peninsular), Singapore. Dialects: Putian (Putten, Xinghua, Hinghua, Henghua, Hsinghua), Xianyou (Hsienyu). Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese More information. [wuu] 77,200,000 in China (1984). Population total all countries: 77,201,820. Jiangsu south of Changjiang River, east of Zhenjiang, on Chongming Island, mouth of the Changjiang, and north of the Changjiang in the area around Nantong, Haimen, Qidong, and Qingjiang; Zhejiang Province south to Quzhou, Jinhua, and Wenzhou. Also in United States. Alternate names: Wu. Dialects: Taihu, Jinhua (Kinhwa), Taizhou, Oujiang, Wuzhou, Chuqu, Xuanzhou, Shanghai. Varieties of Taihu dialect are Piling, Su-Hu-Jia, Tiaoxi, Hangzhou, Lin-Shao, Yongjiang; Chuqu subdialects are Chuzhou, Longqu; Xuanzhou varieties are Tongjing, Taigao, Shiling. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese More information. [hsn] 36,000,000 in China (1984). Population total all countries: 36,024,400. Hunan Province, Sichuan Province, over 20 counties; parts of Guangxi and Guangdong provinces. Also in United States. Alternate names: Hsiang, Hunan, Hunanese, Xiang. Dialects: Changyi, Luoshao, Jishu. Linguistically between Mandarin and Wu [wuu] Chinese and marginally intelligible with them. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese More information. [yue] 52,000,000 in China (1984). 498,000 in Macau. Population total all countries: 55,541,660. Guangdong (except Hakka speaking areas northeast, Min Nan-speaking areas east, Hainan Island); Guangxi. Hong Kong and Macau. Also in Australia, Brunei, Canada, Costa Rica, Honduras, Indonesia (Java and Bali), Malaysia (Peninsular), Mauritius, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Viet Nam. Alternate names: Cantonese, Gwong Dung Waa, Yue, Yueh, Yuet Yue, Yueyu. Dialects: Yuehai (Guangfu, Hong Kong Cantonese, Macau Cantonese, Shatou, Shiqi, Wancheng), Siyi (Seiyap, Taishan, Toisan, Hoisan, Schleiyip), Gaolei (Gaoyang), Qinlian, Guinan, Ping. The Guangzhou variety is considered the standard. Varieties of Yuehai are Xiangshan,



Darang Deng


Dong, Northern

Dong, Southern

spoken around Zhongshan and Shuhai, and Wanbao around Dong Guan City and Baoan County. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese More information. [cda] 154,000 (2004). South Gansu Province, east Gannan Prefecture, Lintan, Zhuoni, Diebu and Zhouqu counties. Alternate names: Chona, Chone, Cone, Jone, Zhuoni. Dialects: Hbrugchu (Zhouqu), Thewo (Diebu). Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Northern More information. [cuq] 80,000 (1999 J. Ouyang). 59% monolingual, mainly children, elders, and some women. North Dongfang County, south bank of Changhua River, north bank in Changjiang County, Hainan Island. Alternate names: Cun-Hua, Cunhua, Ngao Fon. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 40% with Hlai [lic]. Many loanwords from Chinese. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kadai, Yang-Biao More information. [mhu] 850 (1999 Sun Hongkai). 750 are monolingual. Southeast Tibet Autonomous Region, Chayu (Zay) County along Dulai River valley, Xiazayu, Quantong, and Gayao townships, Nyingchi Prefecture. Alternate names: Darang, Darang Dengyu, Digaro, Digaro-Mishmi. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, North Assam, Tani More information. [dta] 96,100 in China (1999 Y. Dong). 24,270 monolinguals. 35,000 Buteha dialect, 35,000 Qiqihaer dialect, 15,500 Hailaer dialect, 4500 Ili dialect. Ethnic population: 132,394. Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Hulun Buir League, Hailar Prefecture, Morin Dawa (Molidawa) Daur Autonomous Banner, Oroqen Autonomous Banner and Ewenki Autonomous Banner; Heilongjiang Province, Nenjiang Prefecture, Fuyu and Nehe counties; Qiqihar Prefecture, Qiqihar City; northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Tacheng Prefecture (Ili dialect). Also in Mongolia. Alternate names: Daguor, Dagur, Dawar, Dawoer, Tahuerh, Tahur. Dialects: Buteha (Butah, Bataxan, Nawen, Nemor, Aihui, Darbin, Mergen), Hailaer (Hailar, Nantun, Mokertu), Qiqihaer (Qiqihar, Tsitsikhar, Jiangdong, Jingxi, Fularji), Ili. Definitely distinct from other Mongolian languages (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977). Some identify Hailaer dialect as a dialect of Evenki [evn]. Classification: Altaic, Mongolic, Eastern, Dagur More information. [doc] 463,000 in China (2003). Area where west Hunan and north Guangxi provinces meet, southeast Guizhou (Yuping Autonomous County); Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. 20 contiguous counties. Also in Viet Nam. Alternate names: Gam, Kam, Tong, Tung, Tung-Chia. Dialects: Zhanglu speech in Rongjiang County, Guizhou Province is standard variety. Reportedly similar to Mulam [mlm]. Lexical similarity: 80% with Northern Dong varieties, 71% with Southern Dong [kmc], 46% with Lakkia [lbc], 29% with Qabiao [laq], 26% with Hlai [lic], 24% with Gelao [gio], 22% with Lachi [lbt], 6% with Hmong Njua [hnj], 4% with Iu Mien [ium]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Kam-Sui More information. [kmc] 1,000,000. 68% of 1,463,000 speak Southern Dong. Area where west Hunan and north Guangxi provinces meet, southeast Guizhou (Yuping Autonomous County); Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. 20 contiguous counties. Alternate names: Gam, Kam, Tong, Tung, TungChia. Dialects: Similar to Mulam [mlm]. Lexical similarity: 93% with Southern Dong dialects, 71% with Northern Dong [doc], 46% with Lakkia [lbc], 29% with Qabiao [laq], 26% with Hlai [lic], 24% with



Dzao Min

English Enu


Gelao [gio], 22% with Lachi [lbt], 6% with Hmong Djua [hnj], 4% with Iu Mien [ium]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Kam-Sui More information. [sce] 250,000 (1999 Junast). 80,000 monolinguals. Half in the Suonanba dialect. Ethnic population: 373,872 (1990 census). Southwest Gansu Province, Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, 7 counties and a city; Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture, Yining and Huocheng counties. Alternate names: Tung, Tunghsiang. Dialects: Suonanba (Xiaonan), Wangjiaji, Sijiaji. Some intelligibility with Bonan [peh]. Minor dialect differences in pronunciation and borrowed words. Suonanba considered the standard. Classification: Altaic, Mongolic, Eastern, Mongour More information. [duu] 14,000 (2000). 95% monolingual. 8,500 in Nu River dialect, 5,500 in Dulong River dialect. Dulong River dialect in far northwest Yunnan, Gongshan Dulong-Nu Autonomous County, both sides of the Dulong River. Nu River dialect from Gongshan Dulong-Nu Autonomous County west to Chayu (Zay) County in Tibet. Alternate names: Dulong, Qiu, Rawang, Trung, Tulung. Dialects: Dulong River (Derung River), Nu River. Dialects reportedly inherently intelligible. Nu River Drung is not the same as Tibeto-Burman Nung [nun], which is also in Myanmar. Different from Rawang [raw] in Myanmar. Other possible dialect names are Melam, Metu, Tamalu, Tukiumu. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Nungish More information. [bpn] 60,000 (Wang and Mao 1995). North Guangdong Province, Liannan and Yangshan counties; south Hunan Province, Yizhang County. Alternate names: Ba Pai Yao, Yao Min, Yau Min, Zaomin. Dialects: Not intelligible with other Mienic languages. Lexical similarity: 61% with Iu Mien [ium], 59% with Kim Mun [mji], 58% with Biao-Jiao Mien [bje]. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Mienic, Zaomin More information. [eee] 30,000 (Edmondson 1992). North Guangxi -Zhuang Autonomous Region, Rongshui Hmong Autonomous County, Yongle District, Xiatan, Simo, Xinglong (Xingyou) and other villages; Luocheng Mulam Autonomous County border areas. Alternate names: Eahua, Kjang E, Wuse Hua , Wusehua. Classification: Mixed language More information. [eng] 59,000 in China (1993). Mainly in Hong Kong. Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English More information. [enu] 30,000 (Dai and Duan 1995). Simao municipality, Mojiang County, Yayi, Baliu, and Sinanjiang townships; Jiangcheng County, Jiahe, and Qushui townships; Honghe Prefecture, Luchun County. Alternate names: Ximoluo. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 76% with Biyo [byo] (17 % of similarities are Han loanwords that both have borrowed); 74% with Kaduo [ktp]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, LoloBurmese, Loloish, Southern, Akha, Hani, Bi-Ka More information. [ers] 20,000 (Shearer and Sun 2002). 500 monolinguals. Ersu (Eastern Ersu, 13,000), Duoxu (Central Ersu, 3000), Lizu (Western Ersu, 4000). South central Sichuan, lower reaches of the Dadu River; Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Ganluo, Yuexi, Mianning, and Muli counties; Yaan Prefecture, Shimian and Hanyuan counties; Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Jiulong County; dispersed among Yi, Chinese, and Tibetan peoples. Alternate names: Buerci, Buerzi, Buerzi Ersu,




Geman Deng


Doxu, Duoxu, Erhsu, Lizu, Lusu, Tosu. Dialects: Ersu (Eastern Ersu), Duoxu (Central Ersu), Lisu (Western Ersu, Lz, Liru). Menia (Menya) reportedly a dialect, but unclear relation to other dialects. Dialect differences reportedly great,with low mutual intelligibility. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Tangut-Qiang, Qiangic More information. [evn] 19,000 in China (1999 D. Chaoke). 3,000 monolinguals. Huihe 14,300, Aoluguya 150, Chenbaerhu 1,600. Population total all countries: 27,615. Ethnic population: 30,500 (2000 census). Inner Mongolia: Hulunbuir banners; Ewenki, Moriadawa, Oronchon, Chen Bargu, Arong, Ergune East, and Huisuomu; Heilongjiang Province, Nale Prefecture; a few in Xinjiang. Also in Mongolia, Russian Federation (Asia), United States. Alternate names: Ewenke, Ewenki, Khamnigan, Owenke, Solon, Suolun. Dialects: Hailaer, Aoluguya (Olguya), Chenbaerhu (Old Bargu), Morigele (Mergel), Huihe (Hoy). Huihe is the standard dialect. Significant dialect differences from the Russian Federation. Classification: Altaic, Tungusic, Northern, Evenki More information. [hmj] 60,000 (1995 F. Wang). East central Guizhou: Huangping County, Chongan Township; Kaili Municipality, Longchang Township. Alternate names: Ge Jia, Gejia, Ge-Mong, Gho-mhon, Gedou, Gedong, Gedang, Keh Deo, Gedou Miao, Gedu, Gedoudiu. Dialects: Not inherently intelligible with other varieties of Miao. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. [gio] 3,000 (1999 L. Jinfang). 500 monolinguals. Qau 2000, Aou 1500, Hagei 1700, Duoluo 1200, Tulu 1500. Ethnic population: 579,357 (2000 census). Guizhou Province, Zunyi, Daozhen Gelao and Miao, Wuchuan Gelao and Miao autonomous counties; southwest Guizhou Province, Anshun, and Bijie prefectures; southeast Yunnan Province, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous District Prefecture, Maguan and Malipo counties, and those near Vietnam border; Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Baise Prefecture, Longlin PanMultiple-Nationalities Autonomous County; Hunan Province. Alternate names: Chilao, Gelo, Ilao, Kehlao, Kelao, Keleo, Khi, Klau, Klo, Lao. Dialects: Qau (Gao, Aqao), Aou (Auo), Hagei (Hakei, Hakhi), Duoluo (Toluo). Dialects probably not mutually intelligible. Tulu is a speech form of uncertain status spoken by Baigelao (White Gelao) people in Yunnan, Wenshan Prefecture, Malipo County. Lexical similarity: 45% with Lu [khb], 40% with Dong [doc], 36% with Lachi [lbt], 32% with Qabiao [laq], 24% with Dong [doc], 22% with Lakkia [lbc], 27%40% with Hlai [lic], 10%15% with Hmong Djua [hnj], 5%15% with Iu Mien [ium]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kadai, Ge-Yang More information. [mxj] 200 in China (1999 Sun Hongkai). Several townships in Chayu (Zay) County, Nyingchi Prefecture, on tablelands either side of lower reaches of Chayu (Zay) River in southeast corner of Tibet Autonomous Region, in their own small villages. Alternate names: Kaman, Keman, Miji, Miju, Mishmi. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, North Assam, Tani More information. [ygp] 100,000 (2007), decreasing. Northeast Yunnan Province: Luquan, Fumin, Xundian, Luxi, Shizong, Luoping, Malong, Songming, Huize, Mile, Shilin, and Dongchuan counties. Alternate names: Kpu, Gupu, Gepu, Guo, Pingtouyi, Jiantouyi, Baiyi, Nasu, Guzu. Dialects: Luquan Naso, Wuding Naisu. Related to Nasu [ywq]. Classification: Sino-








Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [gro] 12,800 in China (1993). Population total all countries: 26,800. Chambi Valley, between Sikkim and Bhutan, Tibet. Also in India. Alternate names: Tromowa. Dialects: Upper Groma, Lower Groma. Possible dialects or related languages: Spiti, Tomo (Chumbi). Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, TibetoKanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Southern More information. [jiq] 50,000 (1993 Lin). North central Sichuan, southwest tip of Maerkang County, Jinchuan River tributaries; northwest Jinchuan County; southeast Rangtang County. Alternate names: Western Jiarong, Zhongzhai. Dialects: Xiaoyili, Siyaowu, Muerzong, Guanyingqiao, Ergali, Taiyanghe, Ere, Yelong. Phonologically Western and Northern are fairly similar and differ greatly from Eastern. Lexical similarity: 60% between Western and Northern Jiarong dialects. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Tangut-Qiang, rGyarong More information. [gqi] 6,000 (2000 H. Sun). 1,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 7,000 (2000 D. Bradley). West central Sichuan, Ganzi (Garz) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Luding County, plateaus on both sides of the Dadu River north; northwest Tianquan County. One town is Wasigou. Alternate names: Guichong. Dialects: Phonological dialect differences, but communication is possible. 2 or 3 varieties have difficult mutual intelligibility. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, TangutQiang, Qiangic More information. [hni] 740,000 in China (Bradley 2007). 60% of the official nationality are monolingual. Population total all countries: 518,620. South Yunnan, Jingdong and Jinggu counties, Yuanjiang and Lancang (Mekong) river basins, Ailao Mountains. Also in Laos, Viet Nam. Alternate names: Hanhi, Hani Proper, Haw. Dialects: Hani has numerous dialects and is fairly similar to Akha [ahk]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southern More information. [lic] 667,000 (1999 J. Ouyang). 160,000 monolinguals. 432,000 Ha, 178,000 Qi, 44,000 Bendi, 30,000 Meifu (1990 census). Ethnic population: 1,247,814 (2000 census). Central and southern Hainan Province, Wanning, Tunchang, Danxiang, Chengmai, Baisha. Alternate names: Bli, Dai, Day, Dli, Klai, La, Lai, Le, Li, Loi, Slai. Dialects: Ha (Luohua-Hayan-Baoxian), Qi (Gei, Tongshi-Qiandui-Baocheng), Meifu (Moifau), Bendi (Zwn, Baisha-Yuanmen, Local Li). Some dialects may be separate languages. Matisoff (1988) lists 8 varieties: Baoding, Xifang, Tongshi, Baisha, Qiandiu, Heitu, Yuanmen, Baocheng. Luowo subdialect of Ha dialect is considered the standard. Lexical similarity: 27% with Gelao [gio], 26% with Dong [doc] and Qabiao [laq], 25% with Lachi [lbt]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Hlai More information. [hle] 15,000 (2007), decreasing. Central Yunnan Province, Zhenyuan and Shuangbai counties, scattered mountaintop locations; Yuanjiang County, 38 villages; Xinping County, 40 villages; Eshan County, 6 villages; Shiping County, 5 villages. Alternate names: Shansu, Sansu, Lesu. Dialects: Related to Lolopo [ycl]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [hmn] A macrolanguage. Population total all countries: 6,463,595.

Hmong Njua

Hong Kong Language




Ili Turki

Iu Mien

More information. [hnj] 40,000 in China (Hattaway 2000). Southeast Yunnan, Maguan, and Malipo counties. Alternate names: Mong Ntsua, Hmong Nzhua, Blue Hmong, Blue Meo, Tak Miao, Green Hmong, Green Meo, Qing Miao, Ching Miao, Lu Miao; Meo Dam, Meo Lai, Hmong Lens, Hmoob Leeg. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Sign [hks] 20,000 (2007). Hong Kong, SAR. Alternate names: Heung Kong Sau Yue. Dialects: 40% similarity with Chinese Sign Language [csl], 42%52% similarity with Taiwan Sign Language [tss]. Classification: Deaf sign language More information. [how] 140,000 (Bradley 2007). South Yunnan Province, east Simao Prefecture, Mojiang Hani, Puer Hani, Yi, and Dai autonomous counties; Yuxi Municipal Prefecture, Yuanjiang Hani, and Yi and Dai autonomous counties. Alternate names: Baihong, Hao-Bai, Haoni, Ho, Ouni, Uni, Woni. Dialects: Haoni, Baihong. Dialects may be separate languages. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southern More information. [ero] 45,000 (Shearer and Sun 2002). 15,000 monolinguals. Eastern dialect: 4000, Northern dialect: 5000, Central dialect: 19,000, Western Dialect 17,000. Sichuan Province, Ganzi (Garz) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Danba (=Rongzhag), Daofu (Dawu), Luhuo, Xinlong (Nyagrong) counties; Aba (Ngawa) Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Jinchua (Quqn) County; Ganzi Prefecture, Chengguan District, Central and eastern Daofu County; Wari District, Wari, Xiajia, and Muru townships; Bamei District, Shazhong Township; Danba County, Dasang District, Geshiza, Bianer, and Dandong townships; Chuangu District, Donggu Township; Jinchuan District, Bawang, Jinchuan townships. Scattered communities in Hexi District, Manqing, Zhuwo, and Duoshan townships; Xialatuo District, Renda Township. Alternate names: Bawang, Bopa, Danba, Daofu, Daofuhua, Dawu, Ergong, Gangli, Hor, Hrsk, Huoer, Pawang, Rgu, Stau, Western Gyarong, Western Jiarong. Dialects: Western (Daofu, Taofu, Western Horpa, Western Ergong, Dawu), Eastern (Zhongzhai, Gangli, Jinchuan, Lawurong), Northern (Shangzhai, Rangtang), Central (Danba, Geshiza, Geshitsa). Eastern variety may be a separate language. The dialects of Horpa reportedly are not mutually intelligible. Classification: SinoTibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Tangut-Qiang, rGyarong More information. [huo] 1,000 (2006 L. Jinfang). Southwest Yunnan Province, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Mengla and Jinghong counties, 5 villages, including Nahuopa village in Jinghong, Mengyang Township. Dialects: Possibly a dialect of U [uuu], 76% similar lexically with U of Shuangjiang County. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, MonKhmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Palaungic, Eastern Palaungic, Angkuic More information. [ili] 120 in China (1980 R. Hahn), decreasing. Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture, Tekes, Nilka, Xinyuan, Gongliu, Zhaosu, and other counties, Ili Valley near Kuldja. Also in Kazakhstan. Alternate names: Turk, Tuerke, Tuerke. Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Eastern More information. [ium] 383,000 in China (Wang and Mao 1995). Population total all countries: 818,635. Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Dayao Mountains, Guangdong in Ruyuan County, Yunnan, Hunan provinces;




Jinuo, Buyuan

Guizhou Province, Rongjiang, Congjiang, and Libo counties. Also in Belgium, Denmark, France, Laos, Myanmar, New Zealand, Switzerland, Thailand, United States, Viet Nam. Alternate names: Ban Yao, Highland Yao, Mian, Mien, Myen, Pan Yao, Yao, Yiu Mien, Youmian. Dialects: Guoshan Yao. Dialects may not be intelligible. Biao Mon [bmt] may be a dialect of Iu Mien. Differences from other Mienic languages are in the tone system, consonants, vowel quality, vowel length. Chinese linguists consider the Iu Mien spoken in Changdong, Jinxiu Yao Autonomous County, Guangxi is the standard. May be most similar to Mandarin Chinese [cmn]. Lexical similarity: 78% with Kim Mun [mji], 70% with Biao-Jiao Mien [bje], 61% with Dzao Min [bpn]. Classification: HmongMien, Mienic, Mian-Jin More information. [jio] 52,300 (Wurm et al. 1987). South Hainan Province, Baoting, Lingshui, and Qiongzhong counties, near Wuzhi Mountain. Alternate names: Gevou, Kamau, Ku vou, Tai. Dialects: Considered by Chinese linguists a dialect of Hlai [lic], but very different from Hlai dialects in phonology, grammar, and vocabulary. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Hlai More information. [jya] 83,000 (1999 H. Sun). 25,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 151,197 including 139,000 in Situ Jiarong, 12,197 in Chabao and Sidaba (Lin 1993). North central Sichuan. Situ is in the traditional territory of 4 chieftaincies: Zhuokeji, Suomo, Songgang, Dangba. Chabao is in northeast corner of Maerkang County, Chabao District, Longerjia, Dazang, and Shaerzong townships. Sidaba is in Maerkang County, Sidaba District, Caodeng, Kangshan, and Ribu townships; north in southwest corner of Aba County, Kehe and Rongan townships; west along middle Duke River, Rangtang County, between Wuyi and Shili townships; and Seda County at the confluence of Seda and Duke rivers, a small town. Alternate names: Chiarong, Gyarong, Gyarung, Jarong, Jyarung, Rgyarong. Dialects: Situ (Eastern Jiarong), Chabao (Dazang, Northeastern, Northern, Central Jiarong), Sidaba (Caodeng, Northwestern, Western Jiarong). Varieties of Situ are: Maerkang, Lixian, Jinchuan (Dajin), and Xiaojin; Varieties of Sidaba are Caodeng and Ribu. Western and Northern phonology are fairly similar but differ greatly from Eastern. Dialects are likely three separate mutually unintelligible languages. Lexical similarity: 75% between Eastern and Northern Jiarong (with significant phonological differences), 60% between Western and Northern, 13% between the Situ dialect and Horpa [ero]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Tangut-Qiang, rGyarong More information. [kac] 40,000 in China (1999 X. Xu). 50% monolingual. Ethnic population: 132,143 in China (2000 census). West Yunnan, Dehong DaiJingpo Autonomous Prefecture, Yingjiang, Longchuan, and Ruili counties; Baoshan Prefecture,Tengchong County. Alternate names: Chingpo, Chingpaw, Dashanhua, Jinghpaw, Jingpo, Kachin, Marip. Dialects: Enkun (Nkhumka, Nkhum), Shidan (Satanka, Xidan), Hkaku (Hka-Hku), Kauri (Hkauri, Gauri, Kauri, Khauri, Kauzhika), Mengzhi, Dzili (Jili), Dulong. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Jingpho-Konyak-Bodo, Jingpho-Luish, Jingpho More information. [jiy] 1,000 (1994). Most monolingual. Ethnic population: 18,021 (1990 census). South Yunnan, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, near Laos and Myanmar borders, east of Jinghong. Youle Mountains. 40 villages. Alternate names: Buyuan, Jino. Dialects: Buyuan and Youle dialects not mutually inherently intelligible. Chinese used for

Jinuo, Youle

Jurchen Kaduo


Kang Kangjia




communication. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [jiu] 10,000 (Bradley 2007). South Yunnan, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, near Laos and Myanmar borders, east of Jinghong. Youle Mountains. 40 villages. Alternate names: Jino, Youle. Dialects: Youle and Buyuan dialects not mutually inherently intelligible. Chinese used to communicate. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [juc] Extinct. Alternate names: Nuchen, Nuzhen. Dialects: Related to Manchu [mnc]. Classification: Altaic, Tungusic, Southern, Southwest More information. [ktp] 180,000 in China (Bradley 2007), increasing. Population total all countries: 185,000. Yunnan Province, primarily southeast Simao Prefecture, Puer, Mojiang, and Jiangcheng counties. Also in Laos. Alternate names: Khatu. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southern More information. [xal] 139,000 in China (Wurm et al. 1987). 106,000 of Torgut (Tuerhute) dialect and 33,000 of Kk Nur (Qinghai). Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region; Bayan Gool Autonomous Prefecture, Bortala Autonomous Prefecture. Alternate names: Oirat, Weilate, Western Mongol, Xinjiang Mongolian. Dialects: Torgut (Tuerhute), Kk Nur (Qinghai), Jakhachin, Bayit, Mingat, Olot (ld, Elyut, Eleuth), Khoshut (Khoshuud), Dorbot. Classification: Altaic, Mongolic, Eastern, Oirat-Khalkha, Oirat-KalmykDarkhat More information. [kyp] 34,100 in China (1993). Southwest Yunnan. Alternate names: Tai Khang. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Kam-Sui More information. [kxs] 430 (1999 Sechenchogt). Ethnic population: 487. Qinghai Province, Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Jainca County, Shalimu, Zongzila, and Hangdao villages. Alternate names: Kangyang Hui. Classification: Altaic, Mongolic, Eastern, Mongour More information. [ykt] 5,000 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, Guangnan County, Balong District. Possibly in Guangxi. Alternate names: Gasu. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [kaf] 4,000 (Bradley 1997), decreasing. Yunnan Province, Yuxi Prefecture, Tonghai County, Xingmeng Mongolian Autonomous Township. Alternate names: Gazhuo, Gezhuo, Kazhuo. Dialects: All are proficient in Southwest Mandarin. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [kaz] 1,250,000 in China (2000 census). 85% are monolingual. 830,000 Northeastern Kazakh, 70,000 Southwestern Kazakh (1982). North Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Prefecture, Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, eastern Xinjiang; Mulei Kazakh Autonomous County, Balikun Kazakh Autonomous County; northwest Gansu, Akesai Kazakh Autonomous County; northwest Qinghai provinces. Alternate names: Hazake, Kazak, Kazax. Dialects: Northeastern Kazakh, Southwestern Kazakh. Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Western, Aralo-Caspian More information.






Kim Mun

Kon Keu




[kfj] 1,000 (1991). Southwest Yunnan Province, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Jinghong County. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Unclassified More information. [kjh] 10 in China (1982 census). Ethnic population: 875. Heilongjiang Province, Fuyu County, north of Qiqihar. Alternate names: Abakan Tatar, Khakhas, Khakhass, Yenisei Tatar. Dialects: Sagai, Beltir, Kacha, Kyzyl, Shor, Kamassian. Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Northern More information. [ykl] 21,000 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, southeast Wenshan County, northern and central parts of Maguan County. Alternate names: Tula, Namupha, Alapha, Mo, Pao, Hei Phula, Black Phula, Shaoji Phula, Sifter Basket Phula, Phulapha, Zokhuo Na, Black Zokhuo. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [kjg] 1,600 in China (1990). Southwest Yunnan Province, in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Jinghong County (9 villages), some in Mengla County. Alternate names: Chaman, Damai, Damailao, Damaile, Kamhmu, Kammu, Kamu, Kemu, Khamu, Khamuk, Khmu, Khomu, Lao Terng, Mou, Pouteng, Theng. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Khmuic, MalKhmu, Khmu More information. [khf] 1,000 in China (1993). Alternate names: Khouen, Khween, Kween. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Khmuic, Mal-Khmu, Khmu More information. [mji] 200,000 in China (Wang and Mao 1995). 61,000 in Hainan Province (2000 census). Population total all countries: 374,500. Yunnan Province, seventeen counties; Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, thirteen counties; Hainan Province, 7 counties. Also in Laos, Viet Nam. Alternate names: Chasan Yao, Gem Mun, Hainan Miao, Jim Mun, Jinmen, Kem Mun, Kimmun, Lan Tin, Lanten, Lowland Yao, Man Lantien, Men, Mun, Shanzi Yao. Dialects: Dao Quan Trang, Dao Ho. Not intelligible with Iu Mien [ium]. Lexical similarity: 78% with Iu Mien, 67% with Biao-Jiao Mien [bje], 59% with Dzao Min [bpn]. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Mienic, Mian-Jin More information. [kkn] 6,300 (2000). Southwest Yunnan Province, Xishuangbanna Dai Lincang, Baoshan, Simao prefectures. Possibly also in Myanmar and (or) Laos. Alternate names: Kongge. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, MonKhmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Palaungic, Eastern Palaungic, Angkuic More information. [kor] 1,920,000 in China (2000 census). 1,200,000 monolinguals. Inner Mongolia. 46% in Hyanbian Korean Autonomous District along Tumen River, Jilin (Kirin); Heilongjiang; Liaoning. Alternate names: Chaoxian. Classification: Language isolate More information. [xnh] 1,000 (1991). Southwest Yunnan Province, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Jinghong County. Alternate names: Damai. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Unclassified More information. [lkc] 40,000 in China (Bradley 2007), decreasing. Central Yunnan Province, Jinping, Luchun, Jiangcheng, Mengla, Yuanjiang, Xinping, Jinggu, and other counties. Alternate names: Cosung, Lahlu.

Kyerung Kyrgyz




Lahu Shi


Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [kgy] 100 in China (2002). Tibet. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central More information. [kir] 160,000 in China (2000 census). Older adults monolingual. 60,000 Northern Kirghiz, 40,000 Southern Kirghiz. West and southwest Xinjiang, in Wuqia, Akqi, Akto, Tekes, Zhaosu, Baicheng, Wushi counties. Alternate names: Kara, Keerkez, Kirgiz. Dialects: Southern Kyrgyz, Northern Kyrgyz. Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Western, Aralo-Caspian More information. [lbt] 60 in China (2000 L. Yunbing), decreasing. Ethnic includes 193 Bag Lachi in 37 households, 852 Han Lachi in 179 households, 157 Red Lachi in 27 households, 432 Flowery Lachi in 72 households. Ethnic population: 1,634. Yunnan Province, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, southern Maguan County, several villages. Alternate names: I To, Ku Te, La Chi, Laji, Lati, Lipulio, Tai Lati, Y Mia, Y Poong, Y To. Dialects: Lipute (Bag Lachi), Liputcio (Han Lachi), Lipuke (Red Lachi), Lipuliongtco (Flowery Lachi), Liputi (Black Lachi), Lipupi (Long-Haired Lachi). Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kadai, Ge-Chi More information. [lbj] 12,000 in China (1995). Western Tibet. Alternate names: Ladak, Ladaphi, Ladhakhi, Ladwags. Dialects: Leh (Central Ladakhi), Shamma (Sham, Shamskat, Lower Ladakhi), Nubra Ladakhi. Classification: SinoTibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Western, Ladakhi More information. [lhu] 280,000 in China (Bradley 2007). Population total all countries: 445,700. Southwest Yunnan Province, Simao Prefecture, Lancang Lahu, Menglian Dai, Lahu & Va autonomous counties; Lincang Prefecture, Gengma Dai, Va autonomous counties. Also in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam. Alternate names: Kaixien, Kucong, Kutsong, Lahuna, Laku, Lohei, Moso, Muhso, Mussar, Musso, Mussuh, Namen. Dialects: Na (Black Lahu, Musser Dam, Northern Lahu, Lohei), Nyi (Red Lahu, Southern Lahu, Musse Daeng), Shehleh. Na considered standard dialect. Black Lahu and Lahu Shi (Yellow Lahu) have difficult intelligibility. (See separate entry for Lahu Shi.) Mossu is in Laos. Lahu Shi (Yellow Lahu) and Kucong Lahupu (White Lahu, e.g. in Zhenyuan County) are distinct. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [lhi] 117,000 in China (Bradley 2007), increasing. Population total all countries: 196,200. Ethnic population: 120,000. South Yunnan Province, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Menghai District, Menghai County (Menghai Township); Simao Prefecture, Lancang Lahu Autonomous County, Nuofu District, other areas. Also in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, United States. Alternate names: Kur, Kwi, Lahu Xi, Shi, Yellow Lahu. Dialects: Banlan, Bakeo. Most similar to Lahu [lhu]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [lbc] 12,000 (1999 L. Baoyuan). 4,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 12,000. Eastern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Jinxiu Yao Autonomous County. Alternate names: Chashan Yao, Lajia, Laka, Lakia, Lakja, Lakkja, Tai Laka, Tea Mountain Yao. Dialects: Classified as Yao (Mien) nationality, but the language is Tai-Kadai (Svantesson).

Lalo, Dongshanba

Lalo, Xishanba

Lalu, Eastern

Lalu, Western








Phonetically similar to Iu Mien [ium], word order to Bunu [bwx]. Not intelligible with Hmong Djua [hnj] or Bunu. Minimal variation within Lakkia. All varieties mutually inherently intelligible. Lexical similarity: 45% with Dong [doc], 23% with Lachi [lbt] and Qabiao [laq], 22% with Gelao [gio]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Lakkja More information. [yik] 30,000 (2002). West Yunnan, in Weishan, Yangbi, Midu, Xiaguan, Yongping, Baoshan, and Lancang counties. Alternate names: Lalu, Lalupa, Lalupu. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [ywt] 300,000 (Xiong 1991). West Yunnan, in Weishan, Fengqing, Midu, Changning, Lincang, Yunxian, Jingdong, Jinggu, Yongde, Shidian, Nanjian, Yangbi, Zhenkang, Yunlong, Zhenyuan, Binchuan, Eryuan, and Heqing counties. Alternate names: Lalo, Lalopa, Misaba. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [yit] 38,000 (2002). Yunnan, in Xinping, Zhenyuan, Mojiang, and Yuanjiang counties. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [ywl] 38,000 (2002). West Yunnan, in Baoshan, Shidian, Zhenkang, Longling, Luxi counties. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [llh] 120 (2007), decreasing. Ethnic population: 295. Yunnan Province, Dali Prefecture, Northeast Binchuan County. Classification: SinoTibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [yne] 2,000 (2007). Yunnan Province, southwest Yongsheng County. Alternate names: Lau. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [lwm] 1,600 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, northwest Lancang County; Menglian County. Alternate names: Guba, Lawmeh, Bisu. Dialects: Similar to Bisu [bzi]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southern More information. [lsi] 1,800 in China (1997). Yunnan Province, Dehong Dai-Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture, Luxi, Longchuan, Yingjiang, and Ruili counties. Alternate names: Acye, Chashanhua, Lachikwaw, Lasi, Leqi, Letsi. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Burmish, Northern More information. [mhx] 3,500 in China (2000). West Yunnan Province, Dehong Dai-Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture, Luxi, Longchuan, Yingjiang, Ruili, Lianghe counties. Alternate names: Diso, Lange, Laungaw, Laungwaw, Lawng, Liangsu, Malu, Matu, Maru, Nyky, Zi. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Burmish, Northern More information. [lhm] 1,000 in China. Tibet Autonomous Region. Alternate names: Lhoket, Shing Saapa. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central More information. [ylm] 29,000 (2002). Yunnan, in Yongde, Fengqing, Yunxian counties. Alternate names: Liumi. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman,





Lolopo, Southern

Luoba, Bogaer

Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [onb] 600,000 (2000 L. Min). 100,000 monolinguals. 350,000 Lincheng, 170,000 Qiongshan. Hainan north central coast, Lingao County, parts of Danxian, Chengmai, and Qiongshan counties, Haikou City suburbs. Alternate names: B, Limkow, Linkow, Ong-Be, Ongbe, Vo Limkou. Dialects: Lincheng (Lingao Proper-Dengmai), Qiongshan. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Be More information. [lpo] 420,000 (2007). North-central Yunnan Province in Luquan, Wuding, Lufeng, Yuanmo, Yongsheng, Dayao, Binchuan, Yuanmo, Yongren, Yaoan counties; south Sichuan Province, Renhe County. Alternate names: Central Lisu, Dayao, Eastern Lisu, Lolongo. Dialects: Western Lipo, Eastern Lipo. Both dialects are similar to Lisu [lis], but neither is intelligible with Lisu. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [lis] 610,000 in China (2000 census), increasing. Population total all countries: 767,000. West Yunnan Province, 11 prefectures, 63 counties, upper reaches of Salween and Mekong rivers; Sichuan Province, southwest Liangshan Prefecture. Also in India, Myanmar, Thailand. Alternate names: Chedi, Cheli, Chung, Khae, Leisu, Leshuoopa, Lesuo, Li, Li-Hsaw, Li-Shaw, Lipa, Lisaw, Lishu, Liso, Lissu, Loisu, Lu-Tzu, Lusu, Southern Lisu, Yao Yen, Yaw Yin, Yaw-Yen, Yeh-Jen. Dialects: Bai Lisu (White Lisu), Dechang Lisu, Hei Lisu (Black Lisu), Hua Lisu (Flowery Lisu), Lu Shi Lisu, Ninglang Lisu, Northern Lisu, Nujiang Lisu, Shibacha Lisu, Western Lisu. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Lolo-Burmese, Loloish, Northern, Lisu More information. [ycl] 380,000 (2007). Central Yunnan Province, Nanhua, Chuxiong, Yaoan, Jingdong, Shuangbai, Mouding, and Lufeng counties primarily. Alternate names: Bai Yi, Central Yi, Gaoshanzu, Hei Yi, Lolopho, Lulupu, Luolu. Dialects: Nanhua Lolopo, Shuangbai Lolopo, Yaoan Lolopo. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [ysp] 190,000 (2002). Yunnan, in Jingdong, Jinggu, Lancang, Zhenyuan, Simao, Puer counties. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Loloish, Northern, Yi, Central Yi More information. [khb] 280,000 in China (2000 census). 50% monolingual. Population total all countries: 701,960. South Yunnan, Jinghong (Chiang Hung, Chien Rung), Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, west of Lixianjiang (Black) River. Also in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam. Alternate names: Dai, Dai Le, Lu, Lue, Ly, Paii, Pai-I, Shui-Pai-I, Sipsongpanna Dai, Tai Lu, Xishuangbanna Dai. Dialects: Muang Yong and dialects in the Lanna area may converge phonologically with Northern Thai [nod] (Diller and Juntanamalaga 1990). Low intelligibility with Shan [shn] (Dehong). Different from Tai Na [tdd], each having their own traditions. Most closely related to Khun [kkh]. Lexical similarity: 88% with Northern Thai, 74% with Central Thai [tha]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Southwestern, Northwest More information. [adi] 1,090 in China (1999 J. Ouyang). 400 monolinguals. Southeast Tibet, Lhunze and Mainling counties, south of Yaluzangjiang River, Luoyu area. Alternate names: Abor, Adi, Adi-Bokar, Bengni-Bogaer,

Luoba, Yidu




Man Met




Miao, Central Huishui

Bogaer, Bokar, Lho-Pa, Lhoba. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, North Assam, Tani More information. [clk] 80 in China (1999 H. Sun). 50 monolinguals. Southeast Tibet, Nyingchi Prefecture, Chayu County, Xia Chayu (Zayu) zone, Xia Chayu (Zayu) and Baantong townships, in Danba River valley and adjoining mountain slopes, near Bhutan border. Alternate names: Chulikata, Idu Lhoba, Idu Mishmi, Lho-Pa, Lhoba, Yidu. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, North Assam, Tani More information. [mzs] 4,000 (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977). Ethnic population: 8,500 (1985). Macau, Hong Kong. Possibly in USA. Alternate names: Macaense, Macao Creole Portuguese. Classification: Creole, Portuguese based More information. [mja] 12,000. Yunnan Province, Jinggu Dai, Yi, Puer Hani, Yi autonomous counties. (Jinggu, formerly Chingku or Kingku; Puer, formerly Ning Erh). Alternate names: Mahe, Maheh. Dialects: May be identical to Lolo [llb]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Loloish, Southern, Akha More information. [mkg] 10,000 (1982 census). Ethnic population: 10,000 (2000 D. Bradley). Guizhou Province, northwest Libo County, Yangfeng, Fangcun, Jialiang, and Die villages; some in neighboring Dushan County. Alternate names: Ching, Mo, Mo-Hua, Mochiahua, Mohua, Mojiahua. Dialects: Mak, Chi, Ching (Cham), Hwa, Lyo. Dialect differences are minor. Similar to Ai-Cham [aih]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Kam-Sui More information. [mml] 900 (1990 J-O. Svantesson). Southwest Yunnan Province, 5 communities in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture near the Hu. Alternate names: Manmi, Manmit. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, MonKhmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Palaungic, Eastern Palaungic, Angkuic More information. [mnc] 60 (1999 A. Zhao). Ethnic population: 10,682,262 (2000 census). Heilongjiang, a few Manchu-speaking villages in Aihui and Fuyu counties. Alternate names: Man. Dialects: Bala, Alechuxa, Jing, Lalin. Classification: Altaic, Tungusic, Southern, Southwest More information. [zng] 500 in China. Yunnan Province, Honghe Prefecture, Jinping County, Honghe Mengla District. 4 villages. Alternate names: Bae, Chaman, Manbu, Mang U, Xamang. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Mang More information. [mmd] 30,000 (2005), decreasing. A few thousand women and children monolinguals. Ethnic population: 107,166 (2000 census). North central Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Huanjiang Maonan Autonomous County, Xianan; a few in nearby Hechi, Yishan, Nandan, Duan counties. Alternate names: Ai Nan. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Kam-Sui More information. [hmc] 40,000 (1995 F. Wang). Central Guizhou Province, Huishui and Changshun counties, suburbs of south Guiyang Municipality. Alternate names: Central Huishui Hmong. Dialects: Inherently mutually unintelligible with other Miao varieties. 30 to 40 different Hmong (Miao) languages in China. Great linguistic differences. Classification: HmongMien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian

More information. [hmm] 70,000 (1995 F. Wang). South central Guizhou Province, Ziyun, Wangmo and Luodian counties. Alternate names: Central Mashan Hmong. Dialects: Not inherently intelligible with other varieties of Miao. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Miao, Chuanqiandian [cqd] 1,400,000 (1995 F. Wang). West Guizhou, west Guangxi, south Cluster Sichuan, Yunnan (especially southeast and northeast). Alternate names: Chuanchientien Miao, Chuanqiandian Miao, Core Farwestern Hmongic, Hua Miao, Sichuan-Guizhou-Yunnan Miao, Western Miao. Dialects: Hmong Dou, Downhill Hmong, Hongxian Miao, Red Thread Miao, Dananshan Miao, Hua Miao, Hwa Miao, Mong Hoa, Flowery Meo, Variegated Mong, Mong Leng, Mong Lenh, Hmong Len, Mong Shi, Mong Si, Hmong Shi, Light Hmong, Bai Miao, Qing Miao, Blue Hmong, Blue Meo, Tak Miao, Green Hmong, Green Meo, Qing Miao, Ching Miao, Lu Miao, Meo Dam, Black Meo, Meo Lai, Striped Hmong, Hmong Dle Ncha, Qingshui Miao, Clear Water Hmong, Hmong La, Red Mong, Mong La Hou, Red-headed Hmong, Hmong La, Paddyfield Miao, Hmong Shua Bua, Sa Pa Hmong, Meo Den, Hmong Den, Hmong Dlo, Hmong Bua, Hmong Sou, Hei Miao, Black Mong, Black Hmong, Hmong Be, Mountain Hmong, Chuan Miao, River Miao, Sichuan Miao, Yaque Miao, Magpie Miao, Hmong Drout Raol, Six Village Miao, Liuzhai Miao, Luzhai Miao, Dianxi Miao, Western Yunnan Miao, Bai Miao, White Miao. Similar to White Miao [mww]. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Miao, Eastern Huishui [hme] 14,000 (1995 F. Wang). Central and south Guizhou Province, Huishui, Pingba, Luodian counties. Alternate names: Eastern Huishui Hmong. Dialects: Inherently mutually unintelligible with other Miao varieties. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Miao, Eastern Qiandong [hmq] 350,000 (1995 F. Wang). East Guizhou Province, Jianhe, Jinping and Liping counties; west Hunan Province, Huitong, Jingzhou and Tongdao counties. Alternate names: Black Miao, Central Miao, Chientung Miao, Eastern East-Guizhou Miao, Eastern Hmu, Hei Miao, Hmu. Dialects: Not intelligible with other Miao varieties. Corresponds more or less to Mas Central Miao and Purnells Eastern Miao. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Qiandong More information. Miao, Eastern Xiangxi [muq] 80,000 (1995 F. Wang). West Hunan Province, Luxi, Guzhang, Jishou and Longshan counties, some in Hubei. Alternate names: Eastern Ghao-Xong, Eastern Miao, Eastern West-Hunan Miao, Ghao-Xong, Hsianghsi Miao, Meo Do, Northern Miao, Red Meo, Red Miao. Dialects: Not inherently intelligible with other varieties of Miao. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Xiangxi More information. Miao, Horned [hrm] 50,000 (Hattaway 2000). Northeastern Yunnan, Zhenxiong County, Guiyang, Bijie, Qingzhen cities; northwest and central Guizhou, Dafang, Nayong and Zhijin counties. Alternate names: A-Hmo, Bai Miao, Hmong Khua Shua Ndrang, Hmong Sou, Jiao Miao, Jiaojiao Miao, Kha-Nzi, White Miao. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Miao, Large Flowery [hmd] 300,000 (1995 F. Wang). Northwest Guizhou Province, Weining, Hezhang, Shuicheng, Puan, Zhenning, and Ziyun counties, Liupanshui municipality; northeast and central Yunnan Province, Zhaotong area, Yongshan, Yiliang, Daguan, Suijiang, Qiaojia, Xundian, Fumin, Luquan, Miao, Central Mashan

Lufeng, and Wuding counties, Xuanwei, Qujing, Kunming, Anning and Chuxiong municipalities; south Sichuan Province, Panzhihua municipality. Alternate names: A-Hmao, Big Flowery Miao, Da Hua Bei Miao, Da Hua Miao, Diandongbei Miao, Flowery Miao, Great Flowery Tribe, Hua Miao, Hwa Miao, Northeastern Dian Miao, Northeastern Yunnan Miao, Ta Hwa Miao. Dialects: Inherently mutually unintelligible with other Miao varieties. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Miao, Luopohe [hml] 61,000 (1995 F. Wang). Central Guizhou east of Guiyang, Wengan, Guiding, Longli, Kaiyang counties, Fuquan and Kaili municipalities. Alternate names: Lobohe Miao, Luobo River Miao, Luobohe Hmong, Luopohe Hmong, Xi, Xijia Miao, Ximahe Miao. Dialects: 2 dialects. Not inherently intelligible with other Miao varieties. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Miao, Northern Guiyang [huj] 84,000 (1995 F. Wang). Central Guizhou Province, Jinsha, Qianxi, Xifeng, Kaiyang, Xiuwen, Pingba Guiding counties, west Guiyang municipality suburbs. Alternate names: Northern Guiyang Hmong. Dialects: Inherently mutually unintelligible with other Miao varieties. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Miao, Northern Huishui [hmi] 70,000 (1995 F. Wang). Central Guizhou Province, Guiyang municipality, Gaopo District; Huishui, Longli and Guiding counties. Alternate names: Northern Huishui Hmong. Dialects: Inherently mutually unintelligible with other Miao varieties. Classification: HmongMien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Miao, Northern Mashan [hmp] 35,000 (1995 F. Wang). South central Guizhou Province, Changshun, Luodian and Huishui counties. Alternate names: Northern Mashan Hmong. Dialects: Not inherently intelligible with other Miao varieties. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Miao, Northern Qiandong [hea] 1,250,000 (1995 F. Wang), decreasing. East and south Guizhou Province, Majiang, Danzhai, Leishan, Taijiang, Huangping, Shibing, Jianhe, Zhenyuan, Sansui, Fuquan, Pingba, Zhenning, Xingren, Anlong, Guanling, Zhenfeng and Ziyun counties, Kaili Qingzhen municipalities; northwest Guangxi Province, Longlin County. Alternate names: Black Miao, Central Miao, Chientung Miao, East Guizhou Miao, Gha Ne, Gha Ne Dlai, Heh Miao, Hei Miao, Hmu, Northern East Guizhou Miao, Northern Hmu. Dialects: Not intelligible with other Miao varieties. Corresponds more or less to Mas Central Miao and Purnells Eastern Miao. At least 4 dialects (vernaculars). The official standard variety of Qiandong Miao is based on Yanghao, but with some similarities to other varieties. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Qiandong More information. Miao, Small Flowery [sfm] 84,000 (1995). Alternate names: Atse, Ghab-Mvb Ghab-Svd, Ghuab-Hmongb Ghuab-Soud, Xiao Hua Miao, Hsiao Hwa Miao. Dialects: Similar to Large Flowery Miao. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Miao, Southern Guiyang [hmy] 28,000 (1995 F. Wang). South central Guizhou Province, Changshun, Ziyun Zhenning counties, Anshun Municipality. Alternate names: Southern Guiyang Hmong. Dialects: Not inherently intelligible with other Miao varieties. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian

More information. [hma] 10,000 (1995 F. Wang). South Guizhou Province, Wangmo County. Alternate names: Southern Mashan Hmong. Dialects: Not inherently intelligible with other Miao varieties. Classification: HmongMien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Miao, Southern Qiandong [hms] 500,000 (1995 F. Wang). All Miao in China: 8,949,116 (2000 census). Southeast Guizhou Province, Sandu, Danzhai, Libo and Rongjiang Congjiang counties; north Guangxi Province, Rongshui and Sanjiang counties. Alternate names: Black Miao, Central Miao, Chientung Miao, Hei Miao, Hmu, Southern East-Guizhou Miao, Southern Hmu. Dialects: Not intelligible with other Miao varieties. Corresponds more or less to Mas Central Miao and Purnells Eastern Miao. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Qiandong More information. Miao, Southwestern [hmg] 70,000 (1995 F. Wang). Central Guizhou Province, Pingba, Guiyang Changshun counties, suburbs of Guiyang, Qingzhen, Anshun municipalities. Alternate names: Southwestern Guiyang Hmong. Dialects: Not inherently intelligible with other Miao varieties. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Miao, Southwestern [hmh] 56,000 (1995 F. Wang). Central Guizhou Province, Huishui, Huishui Sandu, Changshun counties. Alternate names: Miao, Southwestern Huishui Hmong. Dialects: Inherently mutually unintelligible with other Miao varieties. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Miao, Western Mashan [hmw] 14,000 (1995 F. Wang). South Guizhou Province, Wangmo, Ziyun counties. Alternate names: Western Mashan Hmong. Dialects: Not inherently intelligible with other Miao varieties. Classification: HmongMien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Miao, Western Xiangxi [mmr] 820,000 (1995 F. Wang), decreasing. Northwest Hunan Province, Huadan, Fenghuang, Baojing, Jishou, Guzhang, Longshan, Xinhuang Mayang counties; northeast Guizhou Province, Songtao County, Tongren and southeast Chongqing municipalities; Xiushan and Youyang counties; southwest Hubei Province, Xuanen County; north Guangxi Province, Nandan County, Hechi municipality. Alternate names: Eastern Miao, Ghao-Xong, Hsianghsi Miao, Huayuan Miao, Meo Do, Northern Miao, Red Meo, Red Miao, West Hunan Miao, Western Ghao-Xong, Western West-Hunan Miao. Dialects: Not inherently intelligible with other Miao varieties. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Xiangxi More information. Miao, White [mww] 233,000 in China (2004). All Miao in China: 8,949,116 (2000 census). Population total all countries: 613,400. Ethnic population: 8,949,116. South and southwest Guizhou, northwest Guangxi, southeast and southwest Yunnan. Also in France, Laos, Thailand, United States, Viet Nam. Alternate names: Bai Miao, Banded Arm Hmong, Hmong Daw, Hmong Dleu, Hmong Qua Mpa, Meo Do, Meo Kao, Mong Do, Mong Trang, Pe Miao, Peh Miao, Striped Arm Hmong, Striped Hmong, White Hmong, White Lum, White Meo. Dialects: Largely intelligible with Hmong Njua [hnj] and Hmong Daw (Mong Leng dialect) but sociolinguistic factors require separate literature for Hmong Daw. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. Mili [ymh] 23,000 (2002). Yunnan Province, Jingdong, Yunxian, Zhenyuan, Xinping counties. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Miao, Southern Mashan



Monba, Tawan

Mongolian, Peripheral


Muji, Northern

Muji, Qila

Ngwi, Central More information. [yiq] 30,000 (Bradley 2007), decreasing. Ethnic population: 50,000. Yunnan Province, Wuding (Jincheng, Jiuchang, and Chadian districts), north Fumin, north Lufeng, south Luquan counties, parts of Yongren, Dayao, Yaoan, Nanhua, Jingdong, Zhenyuan, Jinggu, Yimen counties. Alternate names: Micha, Mielang, Minqi. Classification: SinoTibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [ymi] 2,000 (2008), decreasing. Yunnan Province, south and southwest Wenshan County; west Xichou County, Luchaichong village; possibly east Fumin County. Alternate names: Flathead Phulai, Muji, Phula, Phulawa, Pingtou Phula. Dialects: Luchaichong. Moji patterns with Proto-Muji subgroup phylogenetically, but the Luchaichong dialect (the most vital dialect) heavily influenced by contact with Khlula and Zokhuo. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [twm] 1,300 in China (2000 census). Less than half monolingual: Young children, older people, some young adults. 600 Southern Cuona, 700 Northern Cuona. Southeast Tibetan Autonomous Region, Shannan Prefecture, Cuona County, Lebu District (Southern Cuona); Linzhi Prefecture, Motuo County, Dexing District, Wenlang village (Northern Cuona). Alternate names: Cona Monba, Cuona Menba, Cuona Monpa, Cuona Monba, Menba, Menpa, Moinba, Momba, Mompa, Monba, Monpa. Dialects: Northern Cuona, Southern Cuona. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Unclassified More information. [mvf] 3,380,000 in China (1982). 2,500,000 are monolingual. Population includes 299,000 Chakhar, 317,000 Bairin, 1,347,000 Khorain, 593,00 Karachin, 123,000 Ordos, 34,000 Ejine. Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang provinces, Urumchi to Hailar. Also in Mongolia. Alternate names: Inner Mongolian, Menggu, Monggol, Mongol, Southern-Eastern Mongolian. Dialects: Chahar (Chahaer, Chakhar, Qahar), Ordos (Eerduosite), Tumut (Tumet), Shilingol (Ujumchin), Ulanchab (Urat, Mingan), Jo-Uda (Bairin, Balin, Naiman, Keshikten), Jostu (Keerqin, Kharchin, Kharachin, Kharchin-Tumut, Eastern Tumut), Jirim (Kalaqin, Khorchin, Jalait, Gorlos), Ejine. Largely intelligible with Halh Mongolian [khk], but there are phonological and important loanword differences. Classification: Altaic, Mongolic, Eastern, OiratKhalkha, Khalkha-Buriat, Mongolian Proper More information. [ymd] 2,000 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, Jinghong County, Nanpianshan District. Dialects: Related to Mpi [mpi]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southern More information. [ymx] 9,000 (2008). Yunnan Province, south Mengzi County, west Pingbian County. Alternate names: Bokha, Hlaka Mujima, Phula. Dialects: Similar to Southern Muji [ymc]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [ymq] 1,500 (2008), decreasing. Yunnan Province, south Jinping County. 2 isolated villages. Alternate names: Doka, Mujitsu, Phutsu. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern

Muji, Southern








More information. [ymc] 26,000 (2008), increasing. Yunnan Province, north Jinping County; some in southwest and east Jinping County, south Mengzi County, southeast Gejiu County. Alternate names: Aga, Khlaka, Lahi, Muzi, Phula, Tjeki, Tshebu, Tshibu. Dialects: Dazhai, Maandi, Tongchang, Yingpan, Jinhe, Gamadi. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [mlm] 86,000 (2005 Guangxi Language and Orthography Use Situation). Fewer than 10,000 monolinguals (including women and preschool children). Ethnic population: 210,000 (2000 census). North central Guizhou Province, Luocheng Mulam Autonomous County (90% in Dongmen and Siba communes), adjacent counties, Majiang and Kaili City. Alternate names: Abo, Ayo, Kyam, Molao, Mulao, Mulao Miao, Muliao, Mulou. Dialects: Similar to Southern Dong [kmc]. Lexical similarity: 65% with Dong (probably Southern Dong). Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Kam-Sui More information. [mvm] 13,000 (2000 H. Sun). About 2,000 are monolingual. West central Sichuan, Kangbo (Kangding) and Jiulong (Gyaisi) in the Ganzi (Garz) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, and Simian (Shimian) County in the Yaan District. Alternate names: Boba, Manyak, Menya, Minyag, Minyak, Miyao, Munya. Dialects: Eastern Muya, Western Muya. Dialects reportedly not mutually inherently intelligible. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Tangut-Qiang, Qiangic More information. [ymz] 10,000 (2008). Yunnan Province, south and east Gejiu County; west Mengzi County, scattered villages. Alternate names: Muji, Mogeha. Dialects: Similar to Notthern Muji [ymx]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [ylo] 40,000. Yunnan, Qiaojia, Wuding, Luquan, Yuanmou, Huize counties. Alternate names: Qiao-Wu Yi, Qiaojia-Wuding Yi. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Loloish, Northern, Yi, Eastern Yi More information. [nmy] 4,000 (2000 H. Sun). 200 monolinguals, mainly older adults. Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Mianning, Muli, Xichang, Yanyuan counties; southwest Sichuan, Ganzi (Garz) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Jiulong (Gyaisi) County. Alternate names: Naimuci, Naimuzi. Dialects: Eastern Namuyi, Western Namuyi. Low intelligibility between dialects, with lexical and phonological differences. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Tangut-Qiang, Qiangic More information. [gld] 12 in China (1999 D.Chaoke). Ethnic population: 4,640 in China (2000 census). Northeast corner of Heilongjiang Province, near merge of Heilong, Songhua, and Wusuli rivers, Tongjiang County, Bacha, Jiejinkou villages; Raohe County, Sipai village. Most in the Russian Federation (Asia). Alternate names: Gold, Goldi, Hezhen, Juchen, Nanay, Sushen. Dialects: Hezhen (Hezhe, Heche), Qileng (Qileen, Kili, Kilen, Kirin). Classification: Altaic, Tungusic, Southern, Southeast, Nanaj More information. [ywq] 250,000 (2007). Yunnan, Luquan, Wuding, Yongren, Lufeng, Yuanmou, Qujing, Xundian, Huize counties; south Sichuan, Huili County. Alternate names: Black Yi, Dian Dongbei Yi, Hei Yi, Nasu proper, Wu-Lu Yi. Dialects: Luquan Naso, Wuding Naisu. The Naisu

Nasu, Wumeng

Nasu, Wusa



Nisu, Eastern

Nisu, Northern

Nisu, Southern

Nisu, Southwestern

dialect is also called Hong Yi (Red Yi). Degrees of similarity between dialects, and also with Naluo [ylo], needs further investigation. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Loloish, Northern, Yi, Eastern Yi More information. [ywu] 190,000 (2007). West Guizhou and East Yunnan, in Weining, Shuicheng, Hezhang, Nayong, Xuanwei, Huize, and Yiliang counties; Northwest Yunnan Province, Zhaotong, Yongshan, Daguan, Ludian counties. Alternate names: Wusa Yi, Yuan-Mo Yi, Wumeng Yi. Dialects: Weining Yi, Hezhang Yi, Hen-Ke Yi. Classification: SinoTibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [yig] 500,000 (2007), decreasing. Ethnic population: 700,000. Guizhou Province, Weining Yi-Hui-Miao Autonomous, Dafang Autonomous, Hezhang, and Pan counties; west Guangxi, Baise District. Alternate names: Eastern Yi. Dialects: Qian Xi, Bijie, Dafang. Reportedly low intelligibility between dialects. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [nbf] 309,000 (2000 census). 100,000 monolinguals. Northwest Yunnan, Lijiang Naxi Autonomous County; scattered in Weixi, Zhongdian, Ninglang, Deqing, Yongsheng, Heqing, Jianchuan, and Lanping counties; Sichuan Province, Yanyuan, Yanbian, and Muli counties; southeast Tibet, a few in Mangkang County. Possibly in Myanmar. Alternate names: Lomi, Mo-Su , Moso , Mosso , Mu, Nahsi, Nakhi, Nasi. Dialects: Lichiang (Lijiang), Lapao, Lutien. The western dialect is reportedly fairly uniform and considered the standard (from Dayan town in Lijiang County). Eastern has some internal differences, and intelligibility may be low within it. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, LoloBurmese, Naxi More information. [yso] 36,000 (2002), decreasing. Southeast Yunnan, Wenshan, Yanshan, Maguan, Funing, Xichou, Malipo, Honghe counties. Classification: SinoTibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [nos] 75,000 (2004), decreasing. Yunnan, Jianshui, Tonghai, Gejiu, Kaiyuan, Mengzi, Pingbian, Hekou counties. Alternate names: Nisu, Shiping-Jianshui Nisu, Shiping-Jianshui Yi. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [yiv] 160,000, decreasing. Yunnan Province, Eshan, Xinping, Shiping (North), Yimen, Yuxi, Jiangchuan, Shuangbai, Jinning, Chengjiang, Northern Yuanjiang counties. Alternate names: E-Xin Yi. Dialects: Nasu, Nisu. The Nasu dialect of Northern Nisu is distinct from Nasu language continuum further north. Nasu users comprehend other varieties of Northern Nisu. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [nsd] 210,000 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, Honghe, Yuanyang, Mojiang, Simao, Lchun (Eastern), Jinping, Puer, Shiping (Southern), Yuanjiang (Southeastern) counties. Alternate names: Yuan-Mo Yi. Dialects: Yuanyang Nisu, Mojiang Nisu. Related to Northern Nisu [yiv], Southwestern Nisu [nsv]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [nsv] 15,000 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, Jiangcheng, Simao,





Pa Di


Palaung, Pale

Mojiang, Lchun (western), Puer counties. Dialects: Yuanyang Nisu, Mojiang Nisu. Related to Northern Nisu [yiv], Southern Nisu [nsd]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [nun] 390 in China (1999 H. Sun). Almost no monolinguals. Ethnic population: 500 in China (1999 H. Sun). Yunnan, middle reaches of Nu (Salween) River, Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, Fugong County border region, 7 hamlets: Mugujia, Hashi, Muleng, Lagagong, Ani, Qia, Lahaigong in Mugujia village, administrative region of Shangpa Township. Alternate names: Anong, Anoong, Anu, Anung, Fuchye, Khanung, Khupang, Kiutze, Kwingsang, Kwinpang, Lu, Lutze, Lutzu, Nu. Dialects: Cholo, Gwaza, Miko. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Nungish More information. [iii] 2,000,000 (2000 census), increasing. 60% monolinguals (Jiafa 1994). North Yunnan, south Sichuan, mainly in Greater and Lesser Liangshan mountains. Spoken in over 40 counties. Alternate names: Black Yi, Liangshan Yi, Northern Yi, Nosu Yi, Sichuan Yi. Dialects: Northern Shypnra, Southern Shypnra, Yynuo, Suondi (Adu). Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [nuf] 12,000 (Bradley 2007). 1,000 monolinguals. 2,000 in Northern Nusu, 4,000 in Southern Nusu, and 6,000 in Central Nusu. Yunnan Province, Nujiang Lusu Autonomous Prefecture, south Fugong and northeast Lushui counties. Dialects: Northern Nusu (Wawa-Kongtong), Southern Nusu (Guoke-Puluo), Central Nusu (Zhizhiluo-Laomudeng). Dialects not inherently mutually intelligible. Classification: SinoTibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [orh] 1,200 (2002 L. Whaley). 800 are monolingual. Ethnic population: 8,196 (2000 census). Heilongjiang Province, Hinggan Ling Prefecture, Tahe, Huma, Da, Xunke counties; Heihe Prefecture, Heihe City; Yichun Prefecture, Jiayin County; Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Oroqen and Butha banners of Hulun Buir League. Alternate names: Elunchun, Olunchun, Orochon, Oronchon, Ulunchun. Dialects: Gankui, Heilongjiang Oroqen. Gankui in Inner Mongolia is the standard dialect. Classification: Altaic, Tungusic, Northern, Evenki More information. [pdi] 1,000 in China. Population total all countries: 1,300. Yunnan Province, Honghe Hani and Yi prefectures, Hekou and Jinping counties. Also in Viet Nam. Alternate names: Padi. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Southwestern More information. [pha] 26,800 in China (McConnell 1995). 10,000 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 32,370. Ethnic population: 26,815 in China. Guizhou Province, Liping, Congjiang counties; northeast Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Rongshui, Sanjiang, Longsheng, Rongan, Lingui counties. Also in Viet Nam. Alternate names: Baheng, Bahengmai, Man Pa Seng, Meo Lai, Pa Hng, Pa Ngng, Pa Then, Paheng, Tng. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Pa-hng More information. [pce] 9,000 in China (2000). West Yunnan, Dehong Prefecture, Luxi County, east of Rumai. Alternate names: Bulai, Bulei, Dlang, Ngwe Palaung, Palay, Pale, Pulei, Silver Palaung, Southern Taang. Dialects: Bulei, Raojin. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Palaungic, Western Palaungic, Palaung

Palaung, Rumai

Palaung, Shwe






Phola, Alo


More information. [rbb] 2,000 in China (1995). Far western Yunnan, Dehong Prefecture, Longchuan, and Ruili counties, on Myanmar border. Alternate names: Gemai, Guangjia, Guangka, Hemai, Humai, Naang, Romai, Rumai, Ruomai. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern MonKhmer, Palaungic, Western Palaungic, Palaung More information. [pll] 2,000 in China (1995 SIL). Total Deang nationality in China 15,462 (1990 census), 17,935 (2000 census). Southwest Yunnan, Lincang Prefecture, Zhenkang County; Baoshan Prefecture, Longyang County. Alternate names: Golden Palaung, Shwe, Ta-Ang Palaung. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Palaungic, Western Palaungic, Palaung More information. [pcr] 12,000 (2002). Tibetan Autonomous Region. Alternate names: Banag, Banang, Panags, Panakha, Pananag, Sbanag, Sbranag. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, TibetoKanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central More information. [prk] 266,000 in China (2000 census). Southwest Yunnan, Lincang Prefecture, Cangyuan Va Autonomous, Shuangjiang Lahu, Blang, Dai Autonomous, Gengma Dai, and Yongde counties; Simao Prefecture, Lancang Lahu Autonomous County; Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Menghai County, Mengman District. Alternate names: Baraog, Baroke, Buliu, Bulu, Burao, Phalok, Praok, Wa. Dialects: Aishuai, Banhong, Dazhai, Alwa. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, MonKhmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Palaungic, Eastern Palaungic, Waic, Wa More information. [bxd] 400 (2000 D. Bradley). Ethnic population: 1,000 (2001 J. Edmondson). Yunnan Province, Dehong Prefecture, Luxi County, Santaishan Township; Yingjiang, Lianghe counties. Maybe also Myanmar. Alternate names: Bela, Bola, Bula, Pala, Polo. Dialects: Similar to Zaiwa [atb]. Considered by some a Zaiwa dialect. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Burmish, Northern More information. [ypa] 12,000 (2007). Yunnan Province, Shiping, Honghe counties, north and south banks of Yuanjiang (Honghe) River; Yuanyang, Jianshui counties, a few isolated villages downriver. Alternate names: Black Phula, Bola, Hei Phula, Khapho, Phula, Phulepho. Classification: SinoTibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [ypg] 13,000 (2007). Yunnan Province, Yuanjiang, Shiping, Honghe counties, along confluence of Yuanjiang (Honghe) and Xiaohedi rivers. Alternate names: Bola, Flowery Phula, Hua Phula, Phula, Phulepho, Tsha Phula. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [ypo] Yunnan Province, Yuanjiang County, Tuguozhai village. Alternate names: Pula, Bola. Dialects: Similar to Phola [ypg]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [yip] 30,000 (2008), decreasing. Ethnic population: 34,000. Yunnan Province, northeast Yanshan County, southeast Qiubei County; east Yanshan, west Guangnan, northeast Malipo counties, scattered. Alternate names: Black Phula, Flowery Phula, Phu, Phula. Classification: Sino-

Phowa, Ani

Phowa, Hlepho

Phowa, Labo






Pumi, Northern

Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [ypn] 10,000 (2007). Yunnan Province, north central Mengzi County, Xibeile District; south Kaiyuan County, Yangjie District. Alternate names: Flowery Phu, Hua Phu, Laotshipu, Pho, Phula. Dialects: Most similar to Labo Phowa [ypb]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [yhl] 36,000 (2007), decreasing. Ethnic population: 50,000. Yunnan Province, southwest Yanshan, north Mengzi, west Weshan, and north Pingbian counties. Alternate names: Abo, Boren, Bozi, Conehead Phula, Cowtail Phula, Daizhanpho, Digaopho, Flowery Phula, Hua Phula, Jiantou Phula, Minjia, Niuweiba Phula, Paola, Pho, Phula, Sandaohong Phula, Shaoji Phula, Sifter Basket Phula, Thrice Striped Red Phula, Xiuba. Dialects: Most similar to Labo Phowa [ypb]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [ypb] 17,000 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, central, north-central and southeast Kaiyuan County. Alternate names: Asaheipho, Asahopho, Ekhepho, Labopho, Pho, Phula, White Phu, Zemapho. Dialects: Most similar to Ani Phowa [ypn]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [phh] 5,000 in China (2008). Ethnic population: 7,000. Yunnan Province, southeast Maguan, southwest Malipo counties. Alternate names: Fu Khla, Phu Khla, Ph L, Ph L Hn. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [ypm] 8,000 (2007), increasing. Yunnan Province, east-central Pingbian County. Alternate names: Black Muji, Hei Muji, Muji, Paotlo, Phula, Phuli, Shaoji Phula, Sifter Basket Phula. Dialects: Related to Bokha [ybk]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [ypp] 3,000 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, southwest Mengzi County; southeast corner of Gejiu panhandle. Alternate names: Hlagho, Lagh, Lala, Lamu, Larhwo, Laou, Lapa, Muzi, Phula, Phupha, Tshebu. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [yph] 1,300 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, southwest Gejiu County. 4 villages; Yuangyang County, across Honghe River. 1 village. Alternate names: Phula, Phupho, Tsapho. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [ypz] 6,000 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, southwest Mengzi and southeast Gejiu counties. Alternate names: Hei Phu, Phujitsu, Phula, Phua. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [pmi] 35,000 (1999). 10,000 monolinguals. 24,000 as Pumi nationality, 30,000 as Tibetan nationality (1994). Southwest Sichuan, Muli, Yanyuan, and Kiulong counties; northwest Yunnan, Ninglang County, Yongning District. Alternate names: Chrame, Pimi, Primmi, Pruumi, Pmi, Prome, Pumi. Dialects: Taoba. Northern Pumi has 4 subdialects. Intelligibility with Southern Pumi [pmj] is low. Lexical similarity:

Pumi, Southern


Qiang, Northern

Qiang, Southern




between Northern and Southern is 60%, grammatical differences minor. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Tangut-Qiang, Qiangic More information. [pmj] 19,000 (1999). 6,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 28,000 (2000). Northwest Yunnan Province, Lanping, Weixi, Yongsheng, and Lijiang counties; Ninglang County, Xinyingpan District. Alternate names: Pimi, Primmi, Pruumi, Pmi, Prome, Pumi. Dialects: Qinghua. Southern Pumi has 4 subdialects. Intelligibility with Northern Pumi is difficult. Lexical similarity: 60% between Northern and Southern. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Tangut-Qiang, Qiangic More information. [laq] Few elderly speakers. Ethnic population: 400. Yunnan Province, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Malipo County, Tiechang, Matong, Punong, Pucha, and Pufeng towns. Alternate names: Ka Bao, Ka Biao, Kabeo, Laqua, Pu Po, Pubiao, Pupeo. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kadai, Yang-Biao More information. [cng] 57,800 (1999), decreasing. 14,000 Mawo dialect, 14,000 Weigu dialect, 11,000 Luhua dialect, 8000 Cimulin dialect, and 9,000 Yadu dialect. 130,000 total for Northern and Southern Qiang languages, including 80,000 as Qiang nationality and 50,000 as Tibetan nationality (1990 J-O. Svantesson). Ethnic population: 306,072 (2000 census). North central Sichuan Province, Mao, Songpan, Heishui, Beichuan counties. Alternate names: Chiang. Dialects: Mawo, Yadu, Weigu, Cimulin, Luhua. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Tangut-Qiang, Qiangic More information. [qxs] 81,300 (1999 J. Evans), decreasing. No monolinguals. 8,300 Daqishan dialect, 4,100 Taoping dialect, 3,100 Longxi dialect, 14,500 Mianchi dialect, 31,000 Hehu dialect. Around 130,000 total for Northern and Southern Qiang. 80,000 classified as Qiang nationality and 50,000 classified as Tibetan nationality (1990 J-O. Svantesson). North central Sichuan Province, Minjiang River basin between Zhenjiangguan in Songpan County to the north, and Wenchuan and Li counties to the south, as far east as Beichuan County. Alternate names: Chiang. Dialects: Dajishan (Daqishan), Taoping, Longxi, Mianchi, Heihu, Sanlong, Jiaochang. Related to Muya [mvm]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Tangut-Qiang, Qiangic More information. [qvy] 7,000 (1995). West Sichuan, Ganzi (Garz) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Xinlong (Nyagrong), Yajiang (Nyagquka) Litang counties. Alternate names: Choyo, Zhaba. Dialects: Similar to Zhaba [zhb]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Tangut-Qiang, Qiangic More information. [ril] 3,000 in China (1995). Southwest Yunnan, Lincang Prefecture, Zhenkang County; Baoshan Prefecture, Longyang County. Alternate names: Deang, Liang, Liang Palaung, Naang, Riang-Lang, Xiaoangou, Xiaochanggou, Yang Sek, Yang Wan Kun, Yanglam, Yin. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Palaungic, Western Palaungic, Riang More information. [rus] 2,940 in China (Shearer and Sun 2002). Ethnic population: 15,609 (2000 census). North Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Urumqi, Karamay (Kelamayi), Changji, Tacheng cities; Yili Prefecture (esp. Yining City); Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Eerguna Enhe Russian Autonomous District (Hulunbeier banner); Heilongjiang









Shan Shangzhai

Province, Heihe City. Alternate names: Eluosi, Olossu, Russ, Russki. Classification: Indo-European, Slavic, East More information. [slr] 60,000 (2002), decreasing. Under 20,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 104,503 (2000 census). Qinghai Province, Xunhua Salar Autonomous, Hualong Hui autonomous counties; Gansu Province, Jishishan Autonomous County; Xinjiang, Yining. Alternate names: Sala. Dialects: Jiezi, Mengda. Salar is spoken by descendants of an OghuzTurkic-speaking subtribe. Has an Oghuz Turkic base, and took on a medieval Chaghatay Turkic stratum through Central Asian contacts and finally acquired a stratum of features from local languages (1989 R. Hahn). Jiezi often seen as standard dialect. Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Southern More information. [ysd] 400 (2007), decreasing. Guandu District, Kunming Municipality, Zijun village. A few elderly speakers in Zhenkang and Yongde. Alternate names: Samadu, Samaduo, Samou. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [smh] 20,000 (Bradley 2007). Ethnic population: 35,000. Yunnan Province, Guandu District, Kunming City, Ala and surrounding communities (47 villages); west Yiliang County (7 villages). Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [stu] 100 in China (1993). Southwest Yunnan, Xishuangbanna Prefecture. Alternate names: Samtau, Samtuan. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, MonKhmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Palaungic, Eastern Palaungic, Angkuic More information. [sgk] 1,500 (1995 D. Bradley), decreasing. Ethnic population: 2,000. South Yunnan Province, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Jinghong County, Xiaojie (3 villages) and Menglong (1 village) districts. Alternate names: Buxia. Dialects: Similar to Bisu [bzi] and Phunoi [pho]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southern More information. [ysn] 100,000 (2007). Southeast Yunnan, Shilin, Yilang, Mile, Luxi, Qiubei counties. Dialects: Northern Sani, Southern Sani. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [ysy] 8,000 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, north Anning County, Kunming Municipality, Xishan District; southwest Fumin County. Alternate names: Bai Lolo, Bai Yi, Sanyie, Sanguie, Shanie, Shaniepu, White Yi. Dialects: Similar to Samatao [ysd]. Classification: SinoTibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Northern More information. [srh] 16,000 (2000 G. Erqing). Ethnic population: 20,412 (2000 G. Erqing). Southwest Xinjiang, Taxkorgan (Tashkurghan) area, Sarikol Valley. Alternate names: Salikur, Sarykoly, Tadzik, Tajik, Tajiki. Dialects: Not intelligible with Shughni [sgh] of Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Eastern, Southeastern, Pamir, Shugni-Yazgulami More information. [shn] 1 village. Alternate names: Dehong. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Southwestern, Northwest More information. [jih] 4,100 (2004). North central Sichuan, south Rangthang County,




Sinicized Miao


Tai Dam

Tai Dn

Shangzhai District, Shili, Zongke, and Puxi townships, near confluence of Duke River and its tributary Zhongke River. Alternate names: Western Jiarong. Dialects: Dayili, Zongke, Puxi. Phonologically Western and Northern are fairly similar and differ greatly from Eastern. Lexical similarity: 75% between Eastern and Northern Jiarong, 60% between Western and Northern Jiarong. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Tangut-Qiang, rGyarong More information. [shx] 910 (1999 M. Zongwu). 197 monolinguals. 579 Luofu, 386 Lianhua (McConnell 1995). Ethnic population: 709,592 (1990 census) as official She nationality, including 375,000 in Fujian Province, 171,000 in Zhejiang Province 78,000 in Jiangxi Province, 45,000 in Guizhou Province, and 28,000 in Guangdong. Southeast Guangdong Province. Luofu in Boluo and Zengcheng counties, Lianhua in Haifeng and Huidong counties. More than 10 villages. Alternate names: Huo Nte. Dialects: Luofu (Eastern She), Lianhua (Western She). Major linguistic differences with Iu Mien [ium]. Most similar to Jiongnai Bunu [pnu]. Dialects inherently intelligible. Classification within Hmong-Mien is in dispute (McConnell 1995:1320). Classification: Hmong-Mien, Ho Nte More information. [xsr] 800 in China (1994). Tibet. Alternate names: Serwa, Sharpa, Sharpa Bhotia, Xiaerba. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Southern More information. [sxg] 1,800 (2000 D. Bradley). 1,200 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 2,000 (2000 D. Bradley). Southwest Sichuan, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Muli Tibetan Autonomous County. Classification: SinoTibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Tangut-Qiang, Qiangic More information. [hmz] 250,000 (Hattaway 2000). Population total all countries: 252,000. Western Guizhou Province, Dafang, Guanling, Nayong, Puan, Puding, Qianxi, Qinglong, Shuicheng, Xingren, Zhenning, Zhijin, and Ziyun counties; southeastern Yunnan Province, Wenshan , Honghe prefectures; northwestern Guangxi Province, Longlin County; Anshun and Xingyi cities. Also in Viet Nam. Alternate names: Hmong Shua. Dialects: Similar to Chuanqiandian Cluster Miao [cqd], Small Flowery Miao (Gha-Mu) [sfm], Forest Miao (Hmong Rongd) [mww]. Classification: Hmong-Mien, Hmongic, Chuanqiandian More information. [swi] 200,000 in China (1999 X. Zeng). 100,000 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 200,120. Ethnic population: 406,902 (2000 census). Guangxi and northeast Yunnan; Guizhou: Sandu, and Libo districts; Guangxi: Nandan District. Also in Viet Nam. Alternate names: Ai Sui, Shui, Sui Li, Suipo. Dialects: Sandong (San Tung), Anyang (Yangan), Pandong. Dialect differences are minor, although Yunnan is reportedly more different. Sandong is the standard. Classification: TaiKadai, Kam-Tai, Kam-Sui More information. [blt] 10,000 in China (1995). Jingping County, Yunnan. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Southwestern, East Central, Chiang Saeng More information. [twh] 10,000 in China (1995). Jingping County, Yunnan. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Southwestern, East Central, Chiang Saeng More information.

Tai Hongjin

Tai Na

Tai Ya


Talu Tanglang

[tiz] 85,000 (2000 census). Southeast and north Yunnan Province, Sichuan north of the Yangtze at Huili and Takou. Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yongren, Wuding and Dayao counties; Kunming Prefecture, Luquan Yi, Miao autonomous counties; Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Maguan County; Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Honghe, Yuanyang counties; Yuxi Prefecture, Yuanjiang Hani, Yi, Dai autonomous counties; Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Lchun, Shiping, Jianshui counties. Dialects: Dialects are significantly different and probably not all mutually intelligible. Tai Hongjin dialects have undergone more influence from Chinese and surrounding Ngwi languages (Yi and Hani) than other Yunnan Tai languages, and are only 50%-60% lexically similar to other Tai languages. Tai Hongjin is a subgrouping of scattered non-Buddhist Southwestern Tai language groups, who have some common phonological traits, but many differences as well. Classification: TaiKadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Southwestern, Unclassified More information. [tdd] 540,000 in China (Zhou and Luo 2001). Population total all countries: 647,400. Ethnic population: 610,000. South central Yunnan, Dehong Prefecture, southwest of Dali near Lancang (Mekong) River. May be in north Viet Nam. Also in France, Laos, Myanmar, Switzerland, Thailand. Alternate names: Chinese Shan, Chinese Tai, Dai Kong, Dai Na, Dai Nuea, Dehong, Dehong Dai, Tai Dehong, Tai Le, Tai Mao, Tai Neua, Tai N, Tai Nue, Tai-Kong, Tai-Le, Yunannese Shan, Yunnan Shantou. Dialects: Dehong, Tai Pong (La, You, Ya, Ka, Tai Ka, Sai), Yongren. Lexical similarity: 29% with Qabiao [laq] and Lachi [lbt], 22% with Gelao [gio]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Southwestern, Northwest More information. [cuu] 50,000 in China (2000 census). Population total all countries: 50,400. Central and South Yunnan Province, Yuxi Prefecture, Xinping Yi-Dai Autonomous County, Mosha District; Yuanjiang Hani, Yi, Dai autonomous counties; Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yuanyang and Honghe counties. Also in Thailand. Alternate names: Cung, Daiya, Huayao Dai, Multi-colored, Tai Cung, Tai-Chung, TaiCung, Waistband Tai, Ya, Yuanxin Hongjin Dai. Dialects: Tai Ya, Tai Sai (Dai Sai), Tai Kha (Dai Ka), Tai Chung (Dai Zhong, Cung). Dialects mutually intelligible, though speakers of the latter three may understand Tai Ya dialect (the largest) more easily than speakers of Tai Ya understand the other three dialects. Some linguists have analyzed Tai Ya as most similar to Tai Na [tdd], others have grouped Tai Ya with other non-Buddhist Southwestern Tai groups. Tai Ya is probably not easily intelligible with other varieties of Tai. Classification: Tai-Kadai, KamTai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Southwestern More information. [tkk] Tibetan Autonomous Region on the India border. Alternate names: Dakpa, Dwags. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Western, Ladakhi More information. [yta] 13,600 (2007), decreasing. Alternate names: Taliu, Tagu, Tazhi. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. [ytl] Northwest Yunnan Province, south Lijiang County, Taian District, Hongmai Community. Locals call this area Tanglangba or Tanglang Basin. Alternate names: Tholo. Dialects: Similar to Lisu [lis]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central





Tibetan, Amdo

Tibetan, Central

Tibetan, Khams

More information. [tat] 800 in China (1999 Z. Chen), decreasing. Ethnic population: 4,890 (2000 census). North Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Yining (Ghulja, Kulja), Qvqek, and rmqi. Alternate names: Tartar, Tataer. Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Western, Uralian More information. [tct] 15,000 (1999 B. Wenze), decreasing. Ethnic population: 25,000 (2000 D. Bradley). Guizhou Province, east Pingtang County; Dushan County; Huishui, just south of Guiyang. Alternate names: Rau, Then, Yang Hwang, Yanghuang. Dialects: Hedong, Hexi, Huishui. Similar to Sui [swi], some scholars consider Ten to be a dialect of Sui (Shearer and Sun 2002). Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Kam-Sui More information. [thf] 300 in China (2002). Tibetan Autonomous Region. Alternate names: Dolakha, Thami. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Western Himalayish, Eastern More information. [ytp] 200 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, Guangnan County, South-central Zhetu District; northeast Zhulin District. Alternate names: Black Hat Folk, Black Phula, Hei Mao Ren, Phula. Classification: SinoTibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern More information. [adx] 810,000 (Wurm et al. 1987). 538,500 Hbrogpa, 97,600 Rongba, 112,800 Rongmahbrogpa, 60,600 Rtahu. Huangnan, Hainan, Haibei, and Guoluo (Golog) Tibetan autonomous prefectures; Qinghai Province, Haixi Mongolian-Tibetan-Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture; Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, southwest Gansu Province, Tianzhu Autonomous County; west and north Sichuan Province, Ganzi, Aba (Ngawa) Tibetan autonomous prefectures. Alternate names: Amdo, Anduo, Ngambo. Dialects: Hbrogpa, Rongba, Rongmahbrogpa, Rtahu. Central Tibetan [bod] or Khams Tibetan [khg] varieties not intelligible. Dialects may not be mutually intelligible. Lexical similarity: 70% with Central Tibetan and Khams Tibetan. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Northern More information. [bod] 1,070,000 in China (1990 census). 86% monolinguals. 570,000 Dbus, 460,000 Gtsang, 40,000 Mngahris out of 4,593,000 in the official nationality. Population total all countries: 1,277,620. Tibet, Sichuan, Qinghai. Also in Bhutan, India, Nepal, Norway, Switzerland, Taiwan, United States. Alternate names: Bhotia, Dbus, Dbusgtsang, Phoke, Tibetan, U, Wei, Weizang, Zang. Dialects: Gtsang (Tsang, Lhasa), Dbus, Mngahris (Ngari), Deqing Zang. In the exile community a so-called diaspora Tibetan has developed. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, TibetoBurman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central More information. [khg] 1,490,000 (1994). 996,000 Eastern, 135,000 Southern, 158,000 Western, 91,000 Northern, 77,000 Jone, 30,000 Hbrugchu. Northeast Tibet, Changdu (Qamdo) and Naqu (Nagqu) districts; west Sichuan, Ganzi (Garz) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture; northwest Yunnan Province, Diqing (Dqn) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture; southwest Qinghai Province, Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Alternate names: Kam, Kang, Khamba, Khampa, Khams, Khams Bhotia, KhamsYal. Dialects: Eastern Khams, Southern Khams, Western Khams, Northern Khams, Hbrugchu, Jone. Dialects may be separate languages; large differences reported. Lexical similarity: 80% with Dbusgtsang [bod] (Central Tibetan). Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman,






Tujia, Northern

Tujia, Southern


Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Northern More information. [lbf] 450 in China (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977). Western Tibet border. Alternate names: Bhotia of Lahul, Gondla, Lahauli, Lahouli, Lahuli Tinan, Rangloi. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Western Himalayish, Kanauri More information. [huq] 3,800 (1999 Y. Zheng). Ethnic population: 5,000 (2000 D. Bradley). South Hainan Prefecture; Yaxian (Sanya) County, Yanglan District, Huixin and Huihui villages. Alternate names: Hainan Cham, Hui, Huihui, Sanya Hui, Utsat, Utset. Dialects: Most similar to Northern Roglai [rog], but very different. Tsat is structurally changed to be like Chinese. Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, MalayoSumbawan, North and East, Chamic, Highlands, Chru-Northern, Northern Cham More information. [tsk] 12,600 in China (2000). Population total all countries: 23,790. Tibetan Autonomous Region. Also in Bhutan, Nepal. Alternate names: Tsuku, Tzuku. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central More information. [tsj] 7,000 in China (2000 census). Majority are monolingual. Ethnic population: 8,923. Southeast Tibetan Autonomous Region, Linzhi Prefecture, Motuo (Medoz, Medog) County, Beibeng, Motuo, Bangxing, and Dexing districts; Dongjiu District, Linzhi (Ngingchi) County. Alternate names: Canglo Monba, Cangluo Menba, Cangluo Monba, Central Monpa, Menba, Monba, Monpa, Motuo Menba, Sangla, Tsangla Monba, Tsanglo. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Bodish, Tshangla More information. [mjg] 152,000 (1999 K. Li). Very few monolinguals. Ethnic population: 190,000. East Qinghai Province, Huzhu Tu Autonomous County; Gansu Province. Alternate names: Mongor, Mongour, Monguor. Dialects: Huzhu (Mongghul, Halchighol, Naringhol), Minhe (Mangghuer). Said to be most divergent of all Mongolian languages. Dialects reported not inherently mutually intelligible. Huzhu: 150,000 people, 50,000 speakers; Minhe: 25,000. Dongren Huzhu considered standard. Dialects of Huzhu: Halchi, Karlong (18,000), Naringhol. Classification: Altaic, Mongolic, Eastern, Mongour More information. [tji] 70,000 (Brassett and Brassett 2005). 100 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 8,028,133. Northwest Hunan, Yingjiang and Yanhe counties, Hubei, Guizhou, Wuling Mt. range. Alternate names: Tuchia, Tudja. Dialects: Longshan, Baojing. Lexical similarity: 40% with Southern Tujia [tjs]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Tujia More information. [tjs] 1,500 (Brassett and Brassett 2005), decreasing. Monolingual speakers are mainly women, children, and older adults. Ethnic population: 8,028,133. Northwest Hunan Province, Luxi County. 3 villages. Alternate names: Tuchia. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 40% with Northern Tujia [tji], but with phonological and grammatical differences. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Tujia More information. [tyv] 2,400 in China (1999 H. Wu). No monolinguals. Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Altay Prefecture, Burjin, Habahe, Fuyun, and Altay counties. Alternate names: Diba, Kk, Mungak, Tuvin, Tuwa.


Uzbek, Northern


Wa, Vo



Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Northern More information. [uuu] 40,000 (2000). Southwest Yunnan Province, Baoshan Municipal Prefecture, Shidian and Changning counties. May be in Myanmar. Alternate names: Aerwa, Awa Blang, Puman, Puman, Wa, Wu, Wu Blang. Dialects: Not closely related to Blang [blr] (1990 J-O Svantesson). May be same as Wu dialect of Wa [wbm] in Myanmar and Hu [huo] of China. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Palaungic, Eastern Palaungic, Angkuic More information. [uig] 8,400,000 in China (2000 census). Most are monolingual. 4,700,000 Central Uyghur, 1,150,000 Hotan, 25,000 Lop. Population total all countries: 8,788,690. Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Also in Afghanistan, Australia, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkey (Asia), United States, Uzbekistan. Alternate names: Uighuir, Uighur, Uiguir, Uigur, Uygur, Weiwuer, Wiga. Dialects: Central Uyghur, Hotan (Hetian), Lop (Luobu). The Akto Trkmen speak a dialect of Uyghur with 500 different seldom-used words. There are 2,000 in 2 villages, Ksarap and Oytak in Akto County, south of Kashgar, Xinjiang. Dolan is a dialect spoken around the fringes of the Taklimakan Desert in Xinjiang. Chinese linguists recognize 3 dialects. Others have used the following dialect names: Kashgar-Yarkand (Kashi-Shache), Yengi Hissar (Yengisar), Khotan-Kerya (Hotan-Yutian), Charchan (Qarqan, Qiemo), Aksu (Aqsu), Qarashahr (Karaxahar), Kucha (Kuqa), Turfan (Turpan), Kumul (Hami), Ili (Kulja, Yining, Taranchi), Urumqi (Urumchi), Lopnor (Lopnur), Dolan, Akto Trkmen. There are significant dialect differences between China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Eastern More information. [uzn] 5,000 in China (2000 A. Chentgshiliang). Ethnic population: 12,370. North and west Xinjiang; Urumqi, Kashgar, and Yining (Ghulja) cities, especially Ili. Alternate names: Ouzbek, Ozbek, Usbaki, Usbeki. Dialects: Andizhan, Tashkent, Samarkand, Fergana. Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Eastern More information. [vie] 7,200 in China (1999 J. Ouyang). South coast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region, on Shanxin, Wanwei, and Wutou peninsulas (the three peninsulas), Fangcheng Pan-Nationality Autonomous County; Jiangping region. Alternate names: Annamese, Ching, Gin, Jing, Kinh. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Viet-Muong, Vietnamese More information. [wbm] 40,000 (2000). Many monolinguals. Southwest Yunnan, Lincang Prefecture, Yongde and Zhenkang counties. Alternate names: Awa, Kawa, Kawa, Va, Vo, Wa Proper, Wa Pwi, Wakut. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Palaungic, Eastern Palaungic, Waic, Wa More information. [wbl] 6,000 in China. Ethnic population: 41,028 in Tajik nationality (2000 census). Xinjiang Ughur Autonomous Region, Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County (especially Daftar); mountains south of Pishan. Alternate names: Khik, Vakhan, Wakhani, Wakhigi. Dialects: Eastern Wakhi. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Eastern, Southeastern, Pamir More information. [wxa] 300,000 (1995). West Hunan Province, a 6,000 sq km area, Wuling





Yugur, East

Yugur, West


Mountains, including Yuanling, Chunxi, Jishou, Guzhang, and Dayong. Alternate names: Wogang, Xianghua. Dialects: Classified as Han nationality. It differs greatly from both Southwestern Mandarin (Xinan Guanhua) and Xiang Chinese (Hunanese), but is relatively uniform within itself. Neighboring Han Chinese, Miao, and Tujia people do not understand it. Some view it as a special variety of Chinese, others as a minority language, perhaps related to Miao. Classification: Unclassified More information. [wuh] 2,000 (1995). East Qinghai Province, Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Tongren County, Longwu Township, Upper, Lower Wutun and Jiangchama villages. Alternate names: Wutong, Wutun. Classification: Mixed language, Chinese-Tibetan-Bonan Mongour Mongolian More information. [xia] 100 (1994). West Yunnan Province, Dehong Dai-Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture, Yingjiang County, Jiemao District, Manmian Township, Xiandao and Menge villages. Alternate names: Xiandaohua. Dialects: Members of Achang nationality speak it; some consider it a dialect of Achang [acn]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Burmish, Unclassified More information. [sjo] 30,000 (2000 J. An). Few monolinguals. Ethnic population: 188,824 (2000 census). Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Qapqal, Huocheng, Gongliu, Xinyuan, Nilka, Tekes and Zhaosu counties; Ili Prefecture, Yining City; Tacheng Prefecture, Tacheng County; Bortala Prefecture, Bole County, rmqi City. Alternate names: Sibe, Sibin, Sibo, Xibo. Dialects: Inherently intelligible with Manchu [mnc]. Classification: Altaic, Tungusic, Southern, Southwest More information. [yrn] 380 (2000). West Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Baise Prefecture, Napo County, on the Yunnan Province and Viet Nam border; Longhe District, Rongtun and Gonghe villages; Pohe District, Shanhe, Yongan and Guoba. Alternate names: Ban Yao, Da Ia, Daban Yao, Eastern Buyang, Guangxi Buyang, Ia Hrong, Iron Yao, Khyung Buyang, Liu Yao, Napo Buyang, Six Yao, Tie Yao, Tu Yao Indigenous Yao, Yalang, Yang Khyung, Yerong Buyang. Dialects: Yerong is closely related to, but not mutually intelligible with, the 3 Buyang languages. May be most similar to the recently discovered En [enc] of Northern Viet Nam. Lexical similarity: 67% with Langnian Buyang [yln], 63% with Ema Buyang [yzg], and 46% with Baha Buyang [yha]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kadai, Yang-Biao, Buyang, Eastern More information. [yuy] 3,000 (1999 Junast). Ethnic population: 6,000 (2000 D. Bradley). Northwest Gansu Province, east Sunan Yugur Autonomous County, Kangle, Mati, and Dahe districts. Alternate names: Eastern Yogor, Enger, Shera Yogur, Shira Yugur, Yogor, Ygur, Yugar, Yugu. Classification: Altaic, Mongolic, Eastern, Mongour More information. [ybe] 2,600 (1999 J. Zhong). Ethnic population: 6,000 (2000 D. Bradley). Northwest Gansu Province, Sunan Yugur Autonomous County near Zhangye (Kanchow). Alternate names: Sari Yogur, Sarig, SaryUighur, Sarygh Uygur, Ya Lu, Yellow Uighur, Yugu, Yuku. Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Eastern More information. [atb] 80,000 in China (1999 X. Xu). 20,000 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 110,000. Yunnan Province, Dehong Dai-Jingpo

Autonomous Prefecture, Luxi, Ruili, Longchuan, Yingjiang, Bangwa districts. Also in Myanmar. Alternate names: Aci, Aji, Atshi, Atsi, AtsiMaru, Atzi, Azi, Szi, Tsaiwa, Xiaoshanhua. Dialects: Longzhun, Tingzhu, Bengwa. Some consider Pela [bxd] (Bola, Polo, Pala), Lashi [lsi] (Leqi) and Maru [mhx] (Langsu, Langwa) to be dialects of Zaiwa. Related to Hpon [hpo], Achang [acn]. Dialects have only minor phonological differences. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Burmish, Northern More information. Zauzou [zal] 2,100 (Bradley 2007). About 10% monolingual, mainly older adults. Ethnic population: 2,500 (1999 Sun Hongkai). Northwest Yunnan Province, Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, Lanping County, Tue, Biji, Wupijiang, Guoli, Xiaocun and Jiangmo districts; Lushui County, Luzhang, Shuilizhai and Liukuzhen districts and townships. Alternate names: Jaojo, Raorou, Rourou. Dialects: Bijilan, Wupijiang. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Central More information. Zhaba [zhb] 7,700 (1995). Southwest Sichuan Province, Ganzi (Garz) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Yajiang (Nyagquka) County, Zhamai District; Daofu (Dawu) County, Zhaba District; Litang and Xinlong counties. Alternate names: Zaba. Dialects: Eastern Zhaba, Western Zhaba. Similar to Queyu [qvy]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, TangutQiang, Qiangic More information. Zhuang [zha] A macrolanguage. Population total all countries: 14,935,800. More information. Zhuang, Central [zch] 1,080,000 (2007). Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, either side Hongshuihe of central stretch of HSH River, including Duan, Dahua, Mashan, north Shanglin and possibly other border areas such as east Pingguo. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Northern More information. Zhuang, Dai [zhd] 120,000 in China (2007). About 50% monolingual. Population total all countries: 120,200. Southeast Yunnan Province, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Wenshan County, Matang, Dehou, Laohuilong, Panzhihua, and Kaihua townships; Yanshan County, Pingyuan Township; Guangnan County, Zhulin Township; Maguan, and Malipo (western edge) counties. Also in Viet Nam. Alternate names: Bu Dai, Kau Ndae, Khaau Daai, Thu Lao, Tu, Tuliao, Tuzu, Wen-Ma Southern Zhuang. Dialects: Most similar language is Nong Zhuang [zhn]. Quite different from most other Southern Zhuang (Central Tai). Lexical similarity: 70% among Nong, Yang [zyg], Yongnan [zyn], Zuojiang [zzj], and Dai [zhd], 65% with Yongbei Zhuang [zyb]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Central More information. Zhuang, Eastern [zeh] 1,200,000 (2007). Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, south of Hongshuihe eastern Hongshuihe River and south of Qianjiang River, includes south Shanglin, south Xincheng, south Xingbin, north Guigang, west Guiping and south Wuxuan. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Northern More information. Zhuang, Guibei [zgb] 1,500,000 (2007). Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region: Longsheng, Sanjiang, Yongfu, Rongan, Rongshui, Luocheng, Huanjiang, Hechi, Nandan, Tiane, Donglan, Bama. Classification: Tai-Kadai, KamTai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Northern More information. Zhuang, Guibian [zgn] 1,000,000 (2007). Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; Fengshan,

Zhuang, Lianshan

Zhuang, Liujiang

Zhuang, Liuqian

Zhuang, Minz

Zhuang, Nong

Zhuang, Qiubei

Zhuang, Yang

Tianlin, Longlin, Xilin, Lingyun, Leyun; Yunnan, Funing, N. Guangnan. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Northern More information. [zln] 33,000 (2007). Guangdong, Lianshan Zhuang, Yao Autonomous prefectures. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Northern More information. [zlj] 1,560,000 (2007). Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region: Liujiang, N. Laibin, Yishan, Liucheng, N. Xincheng. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Northern More information. [zlq] 370,000 (2007). Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, east of Liujiang and north of Qianjiang rivers; includes north Wuxuan, Xiangzhou, Luzhai; possibly Pingle, Yangshuo and Hezhou. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Northern More information. [zgm] 2,600 (2007). Southeast Yunnan Province, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Funing County, Langheng District (now part of Tianbeng Township), Sankeshu, Xionggu, Shangmabu, Tianfang, Getao, Gezao, Gecai, Bagan, Naen, Longnong, Anha villages. Alternate names: Kon Min, Bu Xiong. Dialects: Most similar language is Nong Zhuang [zhn]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Central More information. [zhn] 500,000 (2007). Less than 50% monolingual. Ethnic population: 600,000. Southeast Yunnan Province, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, central and west Guangnan, east Yanshan, north Wenshan, Maguan, Xichou, Malipo counties. A few in Funing and Qiubei counties. Alternate names: Kau Nong, Khaau Nong, Nong hua, Phu Nong, Phu Tei, Yan-Guang Southern Zhuang, Zhuangyu Nanbu fanyan Yan-Guang tuyu. Dialects: Western Guangnan, Liancheng. Most similar languages: Yang Zhuang [zyg], Ty [tyz], Min Zhuang [zgm]. Some Ty dialects near Viet Nam-Yunnan border reportedly mutually intelligible with Nong Zhuang. Lexical similarity 70% between Nong, Yang [zyg], Yongnan [zyn], Zuojiang [zzj], and Dai [zhd], 65% with Yongbei Zhuang [yzb]. Dialects mutually intelligible, but Nong Zhuang is not mutually intelligible with Dai Zhuang, Min Zhuang, Yang Zhuang or Guibian Zhuang. Lexical similarity 65% with Northern Zhuang [ccx]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Central More information. [zqe] 200,000 (2007). Southeast Yunnan Province, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Qiubei western edge of Guangnan County; Qujing Municipal Prefecture, Shizong and Luoping counties. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Northern More information. [zyg] 870,000 in China (2000). Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, most Zhuang populations of Jingxi, Debao, and Napo counties; Yunnan Province, Funing County, scattered in Boai, Xinhua, Zhesang, Dongbo, Guichao, Banlun townships and districts. Also in Viet Nam. Alternate names: De-Jing Vernacular of the Southern Dialect of the Zhuang Language, Dejing Zhuang, Gen Yang, Jingxi Zhuang, Nung Giang, Tianbao, Tuhua, Yangyu, Zhuangyu Nanbu fangyan Dejing tuyu. Dialects: Yang (Yangyu, Tuhua), Tianbao (Tianpao, Dianbao), Fouh (Fu), Cuengh (Zong), Sengh (Sheng), Caj coux (Zouzhou, Jiazhou). Most similar languages are Nong Zhuang [zhn], Zuojiang Zhuang [zzj], Yongnan Zhuang [zyn], and other Nung languages of Viet Nam. Lexical

Zhuang, Yongbei

Zhuang, Yongnan

Zhuang, Youjiang

Zhuang, Zuojiang


similarity: 70% between Nong Zhuang [zhn], Yang [zyg], Yongnan [zyn], Zuojiang, and Dai [zhd], 65% with Northern Zhuang [ccx]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Central More information. [zyb] 1,980,000 (2007). Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, N. Yongning, Hengxian, Bingyang, Wuming, Pingguo. Classification: TaiKadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Northern More information. [zyn] 1,800,000 in China (2000 J. Edmondson). About 50% monolingual. Population total all countries: 1,810,000. South Guangxi, south Yongning, Longan, Fusui, Shangsi, Qinzhou and Fangcheng counties; some in Jingxi County; Yunnan, Funing County. Also in Viet Nam. Alternate names: Bou Rau, Long An, Longan, Nung An, Southern Zhuang, Yongnan Vernacular of the Southern Dialect of the Zhuang Language, Zhuangyu nanbu fangyan Yongnan tuyu. Dialects: Most similar languages are Zuojiang Zhuang [zzj] (Nung Chao), Yongbei Zhuang [zyb], Yang Zhuang [zyg] (Nung Giang), and other Nung languages of Viet Nam. Lexical similarity: 70% between Nong [zhn], Yang [zyg], Yongnan [zyn], Zuojiang [zzj], and Dai [zhd], 65% with Northern Zhuang [ccx]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Central More information. [zyj] 870,000 (2007). Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Tiandong, Tianyang, Baise. Classification: Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Northern More information. [zzj] 1,500,000 in China (2000 census). Population total all countries: 1,840,000. Southwest Guangxi Province, Tiandeng, Daxin, Chongzuo, Ningming, Longzhou and Pingxiang Jingxi counties; Yunnan Province, Funing County, a few villages. Also in Viet Nam. Alternate names: Longzhou, Longyin, Ken Tho, Pho Thai, Pu Tho, Southern Zhuang, Zhuangyu nanbu fangyan Zuojiang tuyu. Dialects: Most similar languages are Yang Zhuang [zyg], Yongnan Zhuang [zyn], Nong Zhuang [zhn], and other Nung languages of Viet Nam. Lexical similarity: 70% between Nong [zhn], Yang [zyg], Yongnan, Zuojiang [zzj], and Dai [zhd], 65% with Yongbei Zhuang [ccx]. Classification: Tai-Kadai, KamTai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Central More information. [yzk] 13,000 (2007), decreasing. Yunnan Province, southeast Wenshan, south Yanshan counties. Alternate names: Cowtail Phula, Nimitso, Niuweiba Phula, Phula, Ruoke, Tshokha, Zekhe, Zuoke. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic, Ngwi, Southeastern

Mandarin As one of the six official languages used by UN (United Nations), Chinese now has earned itself greater status in the World. The official language of China is the Mandarin (Standard Chinese), which is the very name of 'Hanyu' or 'Putonghua', belonging to Sino-Tibetan. Chinese Characters Putonghua, standard form of modern Chinese, is a parlance in mainland China. It is the common language of all modern Han nationality people. In Taiwan Province and Hong Kong, it is called 'Guoyu' while in Singapore and Malaysia, it is often called 'Huayu'.

Mandarin Chinese is shaped and based on the Beijing dialect and other dialects spoken in the northern areas of China. Students are often taught Chinese language as 'Yuwen' in their schoolbooks. It is beyond all doubt that Chinese is the language used as a mother tongue by the most people accounting for about one fifth of the world's population. Chinese once had very great influence on some peripheral countries with their languages and characters, such as Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese. English is a required course and universal education in China and has great popularity. Nowadays many Chinese people can speak basic English, especially the youth, students, and staff of service trades like hotels, restaurants, airlines, banks and post offices. In large cities there are more people who can communicate with foreigners in English than smaller towns & cities. Some may master a second foreign language like French, German, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish. However, in rural or remote areas, few people can speak English or other foreign languages.

Chinese Character The language barrier now is not a problem at all for those that wish to come to China. Here we offer some basic expressions in Chinese for every day use: Basic Expressions in Chinese and reference can also be made to our Learning Chinese Forum. Chinese Learning Resources: Learn Chinese: MasterChinese provides a new interactive method to learn Mandarin Chinese. You will get professional Chinese language and culture training through online real-time interactive classes. Online Chinese Lessons: The best 1 on 1 live Chinese lessons from Touchchinese.com. Learn online Chinese language and culture, know about Chinese Pinyin and Character and learn to speak Mandarin Chinese, take one-on-one Chinese lessons online with native teacher. www.icanspeakchinese.com: One of the earliest Chinese language and culture training centres in Shanghai. Experience and benefit from experienced teachers, small-size class, flexible course arrangements and various culture activities. Learn to speak Chinese for free: Practice Chinese on Internet before leaving on a journey and download the mp3 and pdf files to take away the expressions abroad. Chinese.travel-way.net: use the Simplified Chinese characters and Pinyin to provide some useful phrases for travellers. The phrases can be seen and heard. 1on1 Mandarin-Learn Chinese in Beijing, China: 1on1 Mandarin specializes in practical Mandarin, the spoken word, and proper pronunciation. Their goal is to help you Speak like a Chinese, see online sample videos of their Students' Chinese. Easyou: Learn Mandarin Chinese in Beijing China. Beijing Mandarin School: a professional institution provides Chinese language instruction to individuals and corporations. Learn Chinese: offeres online Chinese course, all courses are taught by professional native chinese teacher and offered at competitive price. Chinese for Kids: Learn Chinese with Mandy and Pandy. LearnChineseFromMovies.com: Learn Chinese from your favorite Chinese movies. Unique, intuitive subtitles (including Pinyin) for you to mix and match. Available for iPod, Android smartphones, and streaming movies (like Netflix), and more. Dialects With a vast territory and huge population, China has many different dialects which are of great complexity. Divided into official and non-official dialects, they vary between different areas. The official dialects generally refer to the northern dialects, while the non-official dialects are

often spoken in the southeast part of China. Below is a table showing the Chinese dialects in detail: Categories Dialects Spoken in Areas of China

Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei Province, Henan Province, Shandong Province, North China Liaoning Province, Jilin Province, Heilongjiang Province, Part of Inner Mongolia Northwest China Official Southwest China YangtzeHuaiRiver Wu Gan Nonofficial Xiang Yue Min Hakka Shanxi Province, Shaanxi Province, Gansu Province, Part of Qinghai Province, Ningxia Province and Inner Mongolia Most areas of Hubei Province (southeastern and eastern parts excluded ), Yunnan Province, Guizhou Province, Sichuan Province, north sides of Hunan Province and Guangxi Province Areas along the northern and southern banks of Yangtze River in Anhui Province, Northern areas of Yangtze River in Jiangsu Province (Huizhou excluded), Southern areas of Yangtze River (northernmost to Nanjing and southernmost to Zhenjiang) Southern part of Jiangsu Province; Zhejiang Province JiangxiProvince HunanProvince; northern part of Guangxi Province GuangdongProvince; Southeast part of Guangxi Province FujianProvince; Taiwan Province; Guangdong Province (Chaozhou, Shantou), Hainan Province Eastern and northern part of Guangdong Province; Western part of Fujian Province; Southern part of Jiangxi Province; Taiwan Province

Due to the differences between each of the Chinese dialects, there are obvious obstacles to people speaking their own dialects and communicating with each other, especially among the non-official Chinese dialects. Characters The Chinese character has more than 3,000 years of history. It is a kind of hieroglyphic which originated from carapace-bone-script in the Shang Dynasty (16th - 11th century BC). It then developed into different forms of calligraphic handwritings like large seal script, small seal script, official script, regular script, cursive script and running script. There are altogether 80,000 Chinese words or so that originate from ancient times; however, only about 3,000 words for daily use are available to express over 99% of the information in written form because a Chinese word contains many different meanings. The Chinese character is now of two kinds Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. Simplified Chinese are often used in mainland China, Singapore, and oversea Chinese communities in Southeast Asia, while the latter is often accepted in Taiwan Province, Hong Kong, Macau and oversea Chinese communities in North America. Minorities Actually the Mandarin and Chinese characters used by Han people are also the common language for other minorities. Among all the 55 Chinese ethnic minorities, the people of Hui and Man nationalities also use Mandarin Chinese and its characters. 29 ethnic minorities have their own traditional languages like Tibetan, Yi, Mongol, Uygur, Kazak, Lahu, Chaoxian and Kirgiz. Some minorities, like Dai nationality and Jingpo nationality, use even more than one kind of language and characters.

Dongba Characters of Naxi Minority

Religion in China
Bob Whyte surveys the many strands of religion in China. The article first appeared in SACU's China Now magazine. It has often been said that the Chinese are not deeply religious. It is true that they have shown a comparative indifference to metaphysical speculation; Chinese culture was perhaps the first to develop an intellectual scepticism concerning the gods. Attempts to manipulate the forces which shape the human and natural worlds have been a key element in all China's religious traditions. This is manifested in a complex mix of religious, superstitious and magical beliefs and practices. Popular religion has always been dismissed as 'superstition' by the intelligentsia, particularly Marxists. Yet the various folk traditions in the religion of the rural masses have a comparable preoccupation with this worldly concerns, expressed in earthbound beliefs in the gods of the family and the soil. In their different ways most Chinese have shown themselves to be concerned primarily with the human person and society. In a predominantly rural country, this has manifested itself in a concern for the land and its prosperity. Thus religious practice has been closely linked with the question of the ownership of the land.

Persistent beliefs
The communist revolution sought to break these ancient connections, but with limited success. While the power of the clan or lineage has declined, the family has remained the focus of production. The rural reforms of recent years have reinforced this. Despite all attempts at reeducation by the Communist Party the family cult associated with Confucianism and popular religion still flourishes throughout the countryside, as do so-called 'superstitious practices'. Peasants saw no contradiction in attending both Buddhist and Daoist worship, nor in incorporating a diversity of gods into the local pantheon. The Confucian state, dominated by Confucian thinking, was generally tolerant of the various religions that contended for the hearts and minds of the people, and other religions were allowed to flourish provided they did not challenge the fundamental Confucian order. Both Buddhism and Daoism inspired heterodox religious systems, and from time to time these broke out in social rebellions, leading to state intervention and attempted suppression.

Confucius (Kong Zi) lived from 551 to 479 BC in the state of Lu (in modem Shandong province). He came from a family of officials and his concern was with the restoration of the Way (Dao) of the ancient sages. His teaching was therefore related mainly to society and its government. He advocated strict conformity, and thought that fostering correct behaviour, within the context of the family, would produce an ordered society. He was not particularly interested in religion, except insofar as it related to social life. However, in 59 AD during the Han dynasty, it was decreed that sacrifice should be made to Confucius and this began a process which was to make Confucian philosophy into the foundation of the Chinese political order. Confucius himself had only accepted the legitimacy of sacrifice to one's own ancestors, but from now on an official Confucian cult emerged, with its own temples. It gradually became linked with the state cult of the Emperor. From the fifth century AD Confucian orthodoxy retreated before the popularity of Buddhism and Daoism. But a renaissance came during the Song dynasty when Confucianism responded to the challenge and developed its own metaphysics. This new trend is known as Neo-confucianism, and its main exponent was Zhu Xi (1130-1200). It subsequently became the main orthodoxy of the scholar officials until the demise of the imperial system in 1912. In contemporary China, the Confucian cult has disappeared, but the Confucian approach to government and society retains a powerful hold on many people.

Lao Zi founder of Daoism

Daoism (Taoism)
The origins of Daoism are obscure, but it is first seen as a rival to Confucianism. The teachings of early Taoism are ascribed to Lao Zi (Lao Tze) in the fifth century BC who is the reputed

author of the most influential Taoist text, the Dao De Jing (The Way and its Power). Where the Confucian stressed ethical action, the Taoist spoke of the virtue of Wu Wei (non-action), going with the flow of things. Like the Confucianists, Daoists looked back to a golden age. The good ruler, they thought, guided his people with humility, not seeking to interfere with the rhythms of social life conducted within the larger patterns of the natural world and the whole cosmos. The Daoist adept was concerned to achieve 'immortality', seen as transmuted earthly existence. This led to the development of alchemy and to methods of meditation aimed at reaching material immortality. As time passed Daoism found itself in direct competition with the foreign teachings of Buddhism. It borrowed Buddhist practices and also drew on folk religious traditions to create its own religious form and ethos. It secured an essential place in popular religious life, but in this form it has ceased to bear much resemblance to the philosophical precepts of the early teachers. The earlier, more philosophical Daoism has continued to inspire Chinese painters and poets through the ages and its teachings appealed to many a scholar official who adhered to a strictly Confucian ethic in public life.

Buddhism is the only foreign religion that has been widely accepted in China. It first entered China in the second century AD and by the Tang dynasty was the most dynamic and influential of all religions. However, its very success led to a severe curtailment of its activities in the late Tang, since officials began to see its power as a threat, both to their own power and to the order and prosperity of society. After this it remained an important element in Chinese life, but took its place alongside Daoism and a revitalised Confucianism. Both Confucian and Daoist teaching were 'non-dualistic' - matter and spirit formed a continuum within a cosmos that was self-generating and impersonal. Buddhism, however, taught a radical

dualism. Through a long process of adaptation, various Chinese schools emerged such as Chan (Zen) and the Pure Land school, which were far more congenial to traditional Chinese thought. Zen, with its meditative techniques, and Pure Land with its stress on faith in the Amitabha Buddha as the way to salvation, became the dominant forms of Chinese Buddhism. These teachings with their focus on sudden enlightenment and on salvation through grace rather than through ascetic practices appealed to many ordinary Chinese. Buddhism today continues as an important force in some parts of the country. The extent of its influence is unclear, but it remains a key component in village religion. Temples and monasteries are reopening in many places and new monks and nuns are in training.

Islam first came to China in the seventh century AD (during the Tang dynasty). It was brought by Arab traders to the ports on the South-East coast and by Arab traders and soldiers to the North-West. It remains the religion of minorities to this day. In later centuries many of the various nationalities in the North and North-West converted to Islam from Buddhism and Nestorianism and as these peoples were incorporated into China during the Qing dynasty, China acquired a sizeable Muslim population. Meanwhile male Muslim settlers from the Middle East married Chinese women but retained their distinctive customs. Thus the community was formed which came to be known as the Hui people, who have since also settled in other parts of China, along trade routes and in major cities, even as far as Yunnan and Lhasa. There are perhaps as many as 15 million Muslims in China today, of whom over seven million are Hui. Politically, Islam is important both because China seeks good relations with Muslim countries and because the non-Hui Muslims live in strategically sensitive border areas.

Almost all Chinese Muslims are Sunni, but there has been considerable influence by Sufi brotherhoods in the past 200 years. Historically there has been little persecution of Islam. But there have been serious 'Muslim' rebellions in the North-West in the last century which were responsible for untold loss of life, though the issues at stake were national autonomy rather than religion.

Christian missionaries arrived overland from Persia in the seventh century. The so-called Nestorian Church that grew up around the foreign communities in the larger cities did not survive the demise of the Tang dynasty. Under the Mongol dynasties in China, both Nestorian and Roman Catholic churches were established, but serving the Mongols rather than the native Chinese. It was only with the arrival of the Jesuit Matteo Ricci in 1588 that Christianity made an impact on a small but significant group of Chinese. Qing Emperor Kang Xi's edict of 1721 banning Christianity did not eliminate Christianity, and when the missionaries returned in force in the mid- 19th century they found surviving Catholic communities. For the first time Protestants also sought to establish churches. All foreign missionaries in this period were linked to the imperialist 'opening up' of China and therefore Christianity was rejected as a foreign religion by many. The Liberation of 1949, while producing an enormous crisis in the church, also provoked a rethink which led, in the 1970s and 1980s, to a quite unexpected resurgence of Christianity. Today there are probably around 10 million Christians in China. Most significantly, the Christian community is free of foreign control and is increasingly accepted as a Chinese religion.

Popular folk religion

Village religion continues to flourish, although not necessarily retaining all the old forms. The family cult related to ancestors and to family events such as birth, marriage and death, is central.

Families will use elements from Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism since none of these makes claims of exclusivity. There is much semi-magical and superstitious belief mixed in with more overtly religious elements. Without doubt, folk religion is in transition as it adapts to the challenges of Marxism, modernization and, in some areas, Christianity. Nevertheless, the rather limited evidence that exists suggests that while some things such as clan temples are disappearing, other elements are surviving and have perhaps even experienced a revival in recent years.

Broader sense of spirituality

The importance of religion in the history of China is greater than it appears at first sight. At the same time, it is true that Chinese people have not tended to express their awareness of the spiritual through the formulation of dogmas and through metaphysical speculations. To this extent at least the view of China as a society uninterested in religion contains a degree of truth. But this perspective is based on a 'narrow understanding of religion'. Chinese people are no less concerned with ultimate questions of human life and destiny than any other people, but because their mode of expression has been so different from that of European culture, their way of asking these questions has not easily been subsumed under western definitions of 'religion'. Chinese spirituality has been expressed through painting and poetry, through a sense of unity with the cosmos and the world of nature. To understand the Chinese religious response to life one must first understand what has inspired the greatest Chinese artists; only then will one discover that sense of 'awe' that is at the heart of an authentic religious response. Buddhist and Daoist influence on art and poetry has been immense and through this they have entered the mainstream of Chinese tradition. It is a tradition that is profoundly ethical, but sees human beings in relationship to each other and to the cosmos. It is organic and dynamic. It understands the importance of people within the family and society. If this religion is bound to this earth then this may be because it has recognised the impoverishment of both the mechanistic materialist and the idealist understandings of reality. Chinese perspectives may well have much to offer in a world no longer satisfied with the supposed certainties of the Enlightenment.




Philosophy and Religion in China

Before the Communist Revolution, a number of religious and philosophical systems were practiced in China. Traditionally Taoism and Confucianism provided ethical guides to the proper behavior of individuals and officials. Both of these systems originated in China during the so-called Golden Age of Chinese thought, several centuries before the beginning of the Christian era. Taoism sought to promote the inner peace of individuals and harmony with their surroundings. Confucianism, based on the teachings and writings of the philosopher Confucius, is an ethical system that sought to teach the proper way for all people to behave in society. Each relationship--husband-wife, parents-children, ruler-subjects--involved a set of obligations which, if upheld, would lead to a just and harmonious society. Following his teachings would also promote a stable, lasting government.

Buddhism, which came to China from India as early as the 1st century AD, was a more conventional religion. Its followers attended occasional services, practiced rituals, and supported a temple on a regular basis. It has been estimated that more than 68 million Chinese still consider themselves Buddhists, though it is unlikely that they practice the religion regularly (See Buddhism). Prior to 1949, practices that may best be called folk religions were common throughout China. Although they incorporated elements of Buddhism and, especially, Taoism, these religions were usually local, often based on local gods, and served the local people. Christian missionaries have been active in China since Roman Catholics belonging to the Jesuit order arrived in the early 17th century. Protestant missionaries first appeared in the early 19th century. All the Christian missionaries had difficulty converting the Chinese because Christianity was associated in the popular mind with Western imperialism. By 1949 there were only 3 or 4 million Christians in China, less than 1 percent of the total population. Islam came to China mainly from Central Asia, where it was practiced by many of the Turkic peoples. Today there are believed to be more than 4 million Chinese Muslims. One autonomous region, Ningxia Huizu, has been designated for Islamic adherents. The Communists have discouraged religious practices, which they consider anti-socialist. Many temples and churches have been closed and their property taken. During the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (or simply the Cultural Revolution), a mass movement that lasted officially from 1966 to 1977, conditions were especially difficult, and religious practitioners were persecuted. The situation eased after 1977. A number of Buddhist temples were allowed to reopen. Worship services among Christians were permitted once again, and it is believed that as many as 2 million Christians are practicing their faith in China. The Chinese government is cautious about all religious activity, especially if it happens to involve foreign people in any way.


*CONFUCIANISM CONFUCIUS is a latinized form of the honorific title K'ung-fu-tzu (Master K'ung), given to a wandering scholar from the state of Lu in Shandong Province in northeastern China. Although little known in his lifetime, Confucius was revered as the greatest of sages throughout most of China's history. His teaching, Confucianism, was the state teaching from the beginning of the Han Dynasty in 202 BC to the end of the imperial period in 1911. Disturbed by constant warfare among the states, Confucius taught that most of the ills of society happened because people forgot their stations in life and rulers lost virtue. He advocated a return to the golden antiquity of the emperors Yao and Shun, when rulers were virtuous and people knew their places. Therefore, Confucius' primary concern lay in social relations, proper conduct, and social harmony. Confucius defined five cardinal relationships: between ruler and ruled, between husband and wife, between parents and children, between older and younger brothers, and between friends. Except for the last case, all of the defined relationships are between superiors and inferiors. He emphasized the complete obedience and loyalty of the inferior to the superior but also mentioned the benevolence of the superior to the inferior. The ideal Confucian family was an extended one of three or four generations, in which authority rested with the elderly male members. Filial piety (obedience to parents) was one of the most important virtues emphasized by later Confucians. Confucius reportedly spent his last years editing and completing some of the books that came to be known as Five Classics. These include the `Classic of Poetry', `Classic of History', `Spring and Autumn Annals', `Record of Rites', and `Classic of Changes', or `I Ching'. Memorized by scholars for generations in China, these books and four other works, including the `Analects', a compilation of Confucian teachings, were the subjects of civil service examinations for over 2,000 years. (See Confucius)

Confucianism commanded a greater following some 200 years later, during the time of Mencius, or Meng-tzu (371-289 BC). He was second only to Confucius himself in shaping Confucianism. His three main tenets were the basic good nature of human beings, the notion of society with a distinct distribution of functions, and the ruler's obligation to the people. On the last point, Mencius elaborated on the concept of the mandate of heaven, which allows that rulers lose support of heaven when they cease to be virtuous. The concept served as the basis of revolts in China and the succession of new rulers. MENICIUS MENG-TZU The `Meng-tzu', meaning "Master Meng," was written by the philosopher Mencius (a Latinized form of the name Meng-tzu) in the 4th century BC. The work earned for its author the title of "second sage" in China. The book deals with government and asserts that the welfare of the people comes before all else. When a king no longer is good to the people, he should be removed--by revolution if necessary. Mencius, like Confucius, declared that filial piety was the foundation of society. One unusual doctrine that Mencius supported was that of the natural goodness of mankind, for which he found proof in the natural love children have for their parents. Two other philosophies that have had an enduring influence on Chinese thought are Taoism and Legalism. Taoism gave the Chinese an alternative to Confucianism--passivity and escape to nature--while Legalism provided the Chinese state with one of its basic doctrines. *TAOISM In the Chinese language the word tao means "way," indicating a way of thought or life. There have been several such ways in China's long history, including Confucianism and Buddhism. In about the 6th century BC, under the influence of ideas credited to a man named Lao-tzu, Taoism became "the way". like Confucianism, it has influenced every aspect of Chinese culture. Taoism began as a complex system of philosophical thought that could be indulged in by only a few individuals. In later centuries it emerged, perhaps under the influence of Buddhism, as a communal religion. It later evolved as a popular folk religion. Philosophical Taoism speaks of a permanent Tao in the way that some Western religions speak of God. The Tao is considered unnamed and unknowable, the essential unifying element of all that is. Everything is basically one despite the appearance of differences. Because all is one, matters of good and evil and of true or false, as well as differing opinions, can only arise when people lose sight of the oneness and think that their private beliefs are absolutely true. This can be likened to a person looking out a small window and thinking he sees the whole world, when all he sees is one small portion of it. Because all is one, life and death merge into each other as do the seasons of the year. They are not in opposition to one another but are only two aspects of a single reality. The life of the individual comes from the one and goes back into it. The goal of life for a Taoist is to cultivate a mystical relationship to the Tao. Adherents therefore avoid dispersing their energies through the pursuit of wealth, power, or knowledge. By shunning every earthly distraction, the Taoist is able to concentrate on life itself. The longer the adherent's life, the more saintly the person is presumed to have become. Eventually the hope is to become immortal. LAO-TZU (604?-531? BC). Some people believe that only one man, Lao-tzu, wrote the most translated work in all the literature of China, the `Lao-Tzu' (also called `Tao-te Ching'). The book is the earliest document in the history of Taoism ("the Way"), one of the major philosophical-religious traditions that, along with Confucianism, has shaped Chinese life and thought for more than 2,000 years. It is a

viewpoint that emphasizes individuality, freedom, simplicity, mysticism, and naturalness. (See Confucius) Knowledge of Lao-tzu is so scarce that only legends remain. His earliest biographer, who wrote in about 100 BC, relates that Lao-tzu lived in the district of Hu in present-day Henan Province during the Chou Dynasty (1122-221 BC). Presumably he worked in astrology and divination at the court of the emperor. The biographer tells of a meeting of Lao-tzu with the younger Confucius, which would mean Lao-tzu lived in about 500 BC. Another story says that he left China during the decline of the Chou Dynasty, and on his way west wrote the `Tao-te Ching', after which he disappeared. He was worshipped as an Imperial ancestor during the T'ang Dynasty (618-907). Scholars today believe that the book cannot have been written by one man. Some of the sayings in it may date from the time of Confucius, while others are from a later period. It is possible that the name Lao-tzu represents a type of scholar and wise man, rather than one individual. `Tao-te Ching' The `Tao-te Ching', meaning "Classic of the Way of Power," is one of the great works of ancient China not included among the Confucian Classics. The presumed author, Laotzu, is considered to be the founder of Taoism. He may have been alive at the same time as Confucius but older. The book is not only significant philosophically, but it is also one of the most sacred scriptures of the Taoist religion. (See Lao-tzu) CHUANG-TZU (4th century BC), Chinese philosopher, author, and teacher; classic work bears his name; influential in development of Chinese philosophy and religious thought; interpreted Taoism (from tao, "way") differently from Lao-tzu; Chuang-tzu taught that wise people accept the ebb and flow of life without attempting to challenge it; true enlightenment involves freeing oneself of traditions and personal goals that stand in the way of the mysterious, all-encompassing Tao. Communal religious Taoism is quite distinct from its philosophical counterpart. It emphasizes moral teachings and collective ceremonies. Good moral conduct is rewarded with health and long life, while bad conduct results in disease, death, and suffering in the afterlife. There is an array of gods who are administrators of the universe, of which they are a part. From these gods come revelations of sacred texts. There is an order of married priests who live in the communities they serve and perform exorcisms and complex rituals. Folk religion Taoism is part of the everyday lives of the people. The gods are intimately connected with each individual's life as bringers of calamities or givers of bountiful gifts. Each object of daily life has its presiding spirit that must be consulted and appeased. All types of Taoism have in common the quest for a harmonious, well-ordered universe. They emphasize the individual's and the group's need for unity through mysticism, magic, and ceremony. *LEGALISM *BUDDHISM Although Buddhism first entered China from India during the Later Han, in the time of Han Ming Ti (AD 58-76), it did not become popular until the end of the 3rd century. The prevailing disorders, aggravated by barbarian invasions and the flight of northern Chinese to the south, heightened the attraction of Buddhism with its promise of personal salvation, despite its lack of affinity with the society-oriented thought of the Chinese. Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, a prince of the Sakya kingdom on the borders of what are now India and Nepal and a contemporary of Confucius. Intent on finding relief for human suffering, he received a moment of enlightenment while meditating under a Bo tree. The Buddha taught that desires are the source of pain, and that by overcoming desires, pain can be eliminated. To this end, he

advocated meditation and pursuing the Eightfold Path, similar to the Ten Commandments of Judaism and Christianity. The objective was to reach Nirvana, the condition of serenity of spirit, where all cravings, strife, and pain have been overcome, giving way to a merging of the spirit with eternal harmony. At an early stage of its development, Buddhism split into two major trends, Mahayana (Greater Vehicle) and Hinayana (Lesser Vehicle). Hinayana remained closer to the original Buddhism and is still the religion of the Southeast Asian countries. The Buddhism of China, Korea, Japan, Nepal, Tibet, and Vietnam, however, stems largely from Mahayana. Mahayana Buddhism contained more popular elements, such as belief in repetitive prayers, heaven and deities-bodhisattvas--who would help people gain salvation. It also readily adapted to the land and people it converted. In China, it split into several schools, including Ch'an (Zen in Japan), T'ient'ai (Tendai in Japan), and Pure Land. Ch'an [or Zen] Buddhism Through his popular book `The Way of Zen' (1957), the British-born American philosopher Alan Watts introduced Americans to the Zen school of Buddhism, which has a long tradition of development in China and Japan. Zen (Ch'an in Chinese) is a Japanese term meaning "meditation." It is a major school of Japanese Buddhism that claims to transmit the spirit of Buddhism, or the total enlightenment as achieved by the founder of the religion, the Buddha (See Buddha; Buddhism). Zen has its basis in the conviction that the world and its components are not many things. They are, rather, one reality. The one is part of a larger wholeness to which some people assign the name of God. Reason, by analyzing the diversity of the world, obscures this oneness. It can be apprehended by the nonrational part of the mind--the intuition. Enlightenment about the nature of reality comes not by rational examination but through meditation. Meditation has been an integral part of Buddhism from the beginning. Nevertheless, a school of meditation grew up in India and was taken to China by Bodhidharma about AD 520. When the meditation school arrived in China, it had a strong foundation on which to build: Taoism, the ancient Chinese religion (See Taoism). This religion is based on the idea that there is one underlying reality called the Tao. Taoists, like the followers of the meditation school, exalted intuition over reason. This Taoist tradition was easily absorbed by the Chinese meditation school, the Ch'an. Within two centuries the meditation school had divided into two factions: Northern Ch'an and Southern Ch'an. The northern school, a short-lived affair, insisted on a doctrine of gradual enlightenment. The southern school, which became dominant, held to a doctrine of instantaneous enlightenment. The southern school evolved under the powerful influence of Hui-neng (638-713), who is recognized as the sixth great patriarch of Zen and the founder of its modern interpretation. In a sermon recorded as the "Platform Scripture of the Sixth Patriarch," he taught that all people possess the Buddha nature and that one's nature (before and after being born) is originally pure. Instead of undertaking a variety of religious obligations to seek salvation, one should discover one's own nature. The traditional way to do this, sitting in meditation, is useless. If one perceives one's own nature, enlightenment will follow suddenly. The goal of adherents of the southern Ch'an is to gain transcendental, or highest, wisdom from the depths of one's unconscious, where it lies dormant. Ch'an tries to attain enlightenment without the aid of common religious observances: study, scriptures, ceremonies, or good deeds. Reaching the highest wisdom comes as a breakthrough in everyday logical thought. Followers are urged to find within themselves the answer to any question raised within because the answer is believed to be found where the question originates. Training in the methods of meditation leading to such an enlightenment is best transmitted from master to disciple.

Ch'an flourished in China during the T'ang and Sung dynasties (960-1279), and its influences were strongly felt in literature and painting. Ch'an declined during the Ming era (1141-1215), when Ch'an masters took up the practice of trying to harmonize meditation with the study of traditional scriptures. Meanwhile, sects of Zen had been transplanted to Japan. The Rinzai school was taken there in 1191 by the priest Enzai (1141-1215), and the Soto tradition arrived in 1227, taken there by Dogen (1200-53), the most revered figure in Japanese Zen. These schools had their origin in China during the 9th century, when Ch'an divided into five sects that differed from each other in minor ways. The Rinzai sect evolved from the work of Lin-chi (died 866), who was an exponent of sudden enlightenment. The Soto was founded by Liang-chieh (died 869) and Pen-chi (died 901). The Soto stressed quiet sitting in meditation to await enlightenment. A third group, the Obaku, was established in 1654. The Obaku school is closer to the Rinzai tradition except for its emphasis on invoking the name of Buddha. Zen gained an enthusiastic following among the Samurai warrior class and became in effect the state religion in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 16th century Zen priests were diplomats and administrators, and they enhanced cultural life as well. Under their influence literature, art, the cult of the tea ceremony, and the No drama developed. The focal point of Zen is the monastery, where masters and pupils interact in the search for enlightenment. A newcomer arrives at a monastery with a certificate showing that he is a regularly ordained disciple of a priest. He is at first refused entry. Finally being admitted, he spends a few days of probation being interviewed by his master. When he is accepted he is initiated into the community life of humility, labor, service, prayer and gratitude, and meditation.

Identification. The Chinese refer to their country as the Middle Kingdom, an indication of how central they have felt themselves to be throughout history. There are cultural and linguistic variations in different regions, but for such a large country the culture is relatively uniform. However, fifty-five minority groups inhabit the more remote regions of the country and have their own unique cultures, languages, and customs. Location and Geography. China has a land area of 3,691,502 square miles (9,596,960 square kilometers), making it the world's third largest nation. It borders thirteen countries, including Russia and Mongolia to the north, India to the southwest, and Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam to the south. To the east, it borders the Yellow Sea, the South China Sea, and the East China Sea. The climate is extremely diverse, ranging from tropical in the south to subarctic in the north. In the west, the land consists mostly of mountains, high plateaus, and desert. The eastern regions are characterized by plains, deltas, and hills. The highest point is Mount Everest, on the border between Tibet and Nepal, the tallest mountain in the world. The Yangtze, the longest river in the country, forms the official dividing line between north and south China. The Yangtze sometimes floods badly, as does the Yellow River to the north, which, because of the damage it has caused, is called "China's sorrow." The country is divided into two regions: Inner China and Outer China. Historically, the two have been very separate. The Great Wall, which was built in the fifteenth century to protect the country against military invasions, marks the division. While the areas of the two regions are roughly equal, 95 percent of the population lives in Inner China. The country is home to several endangered species, including the giant panda, the golden monkey, several species of tiger, the Yangtze alligator, and the red-crowned crane. While outside

organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund have made efforts to save these animals, their preservation is not a top priority for the government. Demography. China is the most populous nation on earth; in 2000, the estimated population was 1,261,832,482 (over one-fifth of the world's population). Of these people, 92 percent are Han Chinese; the remaining 8 percent are people of Zhuang, Uyhgur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities. Sichuan, in the central region, is the most densely populated province. Many of the minority groups live in Outer China, although the distribution has changed slightly over the years. The government has supported Han migration to minority territories in an effort to spread the population more evenly across the country and to control the minority groups in those areas, which sometimes are perceived as a threat to national stability. The rise in population among the minorities significantly outpaces that of the Han, as the minority groups are exempt from the government's one-child policy. Linguistic Affiliation. Mandarin Chinese is the official language. It is also called Putonghua and is based on the Beijing dialect. Modern spoken Chinese, which replaced the classical language in the 1920s, is called bai hua. The writing system has not changed for thousands of years and is the same for all the dialects. It is complex and difficult to learn

China and consists of almost sixty thousand characters, although only about five thousand are used in everyday life. Unlike other modern languages, which use phonetic alphabets, Chinese is written in pictographs and ideographs, symbols that represent concepts rather than sounds. The communist government, in an attempt to increase literacy, developed a simplified writing system. There is also a system, called pinyin, of writing Chinese words in Roman characters. Chinese is a tonal language: words are differentiated not just by sounds but by whether the intonation is rising or falling. There are a number of dialects, including Yue (spoken in Canton), Wu (Shangai), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, and Hakka. Many of the dialects are so different that they are mutually unintelligible. Some minority groups have their own languages.

Symbolism. The flag has a red background with a yellow star in the upper left-hand corner and four smaller yellow stars in a crescent formation to its right. The color red symbolizes the revolution. The large star stands for the Communist Party, and the four small stars symbolize the Chinese people; the position of the stars stands for a populace united in support of the state. The main symbol of the nation is the dragon, a fantastical creature made up of seven animals. It is accorded the power to change size at will and to bring the rain that farmers need. New Year's festivities often include a line of people in a dragon costume. Another patriotic symbol is the Great Wall. Spanning a length of 1,500 miles, it is the only human-made structure visible from the moon. Work began on the wall in the third century B.C.E. and continued during the Ming Dynasty in the fifteenth century. The emperor conscripted criminals and ordinary farmers for the construction; many died while working, and their bodies were buried in the wall. It has become a powerful symbol of both the oppression the Chinese have endured and the heights their civilization has achieved.

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. Records of civilization in China date back to around 1766 B.C.E. and the Shang Dynasty. The Zhou defeated the Shang in 1059 B.C.E. and went on to rule for nearly one thousand years, longer than any other dynasty. China was a feudal state until the lord of Qin managed to unite the various lords and became the first emperor in 221 B.C.E. He ruled with an iron fist, demanding that the teachings of Confucius be burned, and conscripting thousands of people to construct canals, roads, and defensive walls, including the beginning of what would become the Great Wall. The Qin Dynasty was shortlived; it lasted only three years, until the death of the emperor. The Han Dynasty, which held sway from 206 B.C.E. until 220 C.E. , saw the introduction of many of elements that would later characterize Chinese society, including the Imperial Examination System, which allowed people to join the civil service on the basis of merit rather than birth. This system remained in effect until the beginning of the twentieth century. The Han Dynasty was followed by the Period of Disunity, which lasted more than three hundred years. During that time, the country was split into areas ruled by the Mongols and other tribes from the north. It was during this period that Buddhism was introduced in the country. The Sui Dynasty rose to power in 581, connecting the north and the south through the construction of the Grand Canal. The Tang Dynasty ruled from 618 until 907 and saw a blossoming of poetry and art. It was also a period of expansion, as the nation increased its territory in the west and north. The Five Dynasties period followed, during which the empire once again split. The Song Dynasty (960 1279) was another artistically prolific era. The Song fell to Mongol invasions under the leadership of Kublai Khan, who established the Yuan Dynasty. It was during this time that the capital was established in Beijing. The Ming took over in 1368 and ruled for nearly three hundred years. During that period, trade continued to expand. The Qing Dynasty ruled from 1644 until 1911 and saw the expansion of China into Tibet and Mongolia. Especially in later years, the Qing practiced strict isolationism, which ultimately led to their downfall, as their military technology did not keep pace with that of the Western powers. Foreign traders came to the country by sea, bringing opium with them. The Qing banned opium in 1800, but the foreigners did not heed that decree. In 1839, the Chinese confiscated twenty thousand chests of the drug from the British. The British retaliated, and the four Opium Wars began. The result was a defeat for China and the establishment of Western settlements at numerous seaports. The foreigners took advantage of the Qing's weakened hold on power and divided the nation into "spheres of influence."

Another result of the Opium Wars was the loss of Hong Kong to the British. The 1840 Treaty of Nanjing gave the British rights to that city "in perpetuity." An 1898 agreement also "leased" Kowloon and the nearby New Territories to the British for one hundred years. A group of rebels called the "Righteous and Harmonious Fists," or the Boxers, formed to overthrow both the foreigners and the Qing. The Qing, recognizing their compromised position, united with the Boxers to attack the Western presence in the country. The Boxer Rebellion saw the end of the Qing Dynasty, and in 1912, Sun Yatsen became president of the newly declared Chinese Republic. In reality, power rested in the hands of regional rulers who often resorted to violence. On 4 May 1919, a student protest erupted in Beijing in opposition to continued Western influence. The student agitation gained strength, and the years between 1915 and the 1920s came to be known as the May Fourth Movement, a period that saw a large-scale rejection of Confucianism and a rise in social action, both of which were precursors to the communist revolution. The politically weakened and disunified state of the country paved the way for two opposing political parties, each of which had a different vision of a modern, united nation. At Beijing University, several young men, including Mao Zedong, founded the Chinese Communist Party. Their opposition, the Kuomintang, or Nationalist Party, was led by Chiang Kaishek. The two tried to join forces, with Chiang as the head of the National Revolutionary Army, but dissension led to a civil war. The Sino-Japanese war began in 1931 when Japan, taking advantage of China's weakened and divided state, invaded the country. An attack on the city of Nanjing (the capital at that time) in 1937 resulted in 300,000 deaths and large-scale destruction of the city. Japan did not withdraw its forces until after World War II. The Kuomintang, with its military superiority, forced the communists into a retreat to the north that lasted a year and became known as the Long March. Along the way, the communists redistributed land from the rich owners to the peasants, many of whom joined their fight. The Nationalists controlled the cities, but the communists continued to grow in strength and numbers in the countryside; by the late 1940s, the Nationalists were surrounded. Many Kuomintang members abandoned Chiang's army and joined the communists. In April 1949, Nanjing fell to the communists; other cities followed, and Chiang, along with two million of his followers, fled to Taiwan. Mao Zedong, the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, declared the establishment of the People's Republic of China on 1 October 1949. Mao began a series of Five Year Plans to improve the economy, beginning with heavy industry. In 1957, as part of those reforms, he initiated a campaign he named the Great Leap Forward, whose goals were to modernize the agricultural system by building dams and irrigation networks and redistributing land into communes. At the same time, industries were established in rural areas. Many of those efforts failed because of poor planning and a severe drought in the northern and central regions of the country. A two-year famine killed thirty million people. The government launched the so-called One Hundred Flowers campaign in the spring of 1956 with the slogan "Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend." The intent was to encourage creative freedom; the next year, it was extended to include freedom of intellectual expression. Many people interpreted this to mean an increased tolerance of political expression, but the government did not agree, and the result was a large-scale purge of intellectuals and critics of the Communist Party. This was part of what became known as the Cultural Revolution. In an attempt to rehabilitate his popularity, Mao initiated an attack on his enemies in the Communist Party. Those attacks extended beyond the government to include intellectuals, teachers, and scientists, many of whom were sent to work camps in the countryside for "reeducation." Religion was outlawed, and many temples were destroyed. Tens of thousands of young people were enlisted in Mao's Red Guards, who carried out his orders and lived by the words of the Little Red Book of Mao's quotations.

In the early 1970s, toward the end of Mao's regime, Zhou Enlai, an influential politician, worked to restore relations between China and the outside world, from which it had been largely cut off during the Cultural Revolution. In 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon made a historic trip to China to meet with Mao, beginning a period of improvement in diplomatic relations with the United States. When Mao died in 1976, the country was in a state of virtual chaos. His successor was Hua Guofeng, a protg whom the chairman had promoted through the ranks of the party. However, Mao's widow, Jiang Qing, along with three other bureaucrats (Zhang Chunqiao, Wang Hongwen, and Yao Wenyuan), assumed more power in the transitional government. Known as the Gang of Four, they were widely disliked. When the gang publicly announced its opposition to Hua in 1976, Hua had them arrested, a move that was widely approved. The four politicians were imprisoned but did not come to trial until 1980. In 1977, Deng Xiaoping, a Communist Party member who had been instrumental in the Civil War and the founding of the People's Republic, rose to power and began a program of modernization and moderation of hard-line economic policies. He was faced with the great challenge of updating a decrepit and wasteful government system and responding to demands for increased freedom while maintaining order. Dissatisfaction was widespread, particularly among students, who began calling for an end to government corruption and the establishment of a more democratic government. In 1989, Beijing University students organized demonstrations in Tiananmen Square that lasted for weeks. The People's Liberation Army finally opened fire on the protesters. The June Fourth Massacre (Tiananmen Square Massacre) garnered international attention and sparked worldwide indignation. The United States responded by imposing trade sanctions. Deng died in 1997, marking the end of government by the original founders of the communist state. Jiang Zemin, the mayor of Shanghai, became president. His government has faced a growing but unstable economy and a system beset by official corruption as well as several regions threatening the

A man stands in front of a family planning billboard in Beijing. Due to China's huge population, most families are allowed to have only one child. unity of the country as a whole. There is a boundary dispute with India, as well as boundary, maritime, and ownership disputes with Russia, Vietnam, North Korea, and several other nations. In 1997, following a 1984 agreement, the British returned Hong Kong and the New Territories to Chinese control. The handover occurred at midnight on 1 July. Although it had been agreed that Hong Kong would retain the financial and judicial systems installed by the British at least until 2047, an estimated half-million people left the city between 1984 and 1997 in anticipation of the takeover, immigrating to the United States, Canada, and Singapore.

Macao, a Portuguese colony, was given back to China in December 1999 under conditions similar to those in the Hong Kong deal, in which the territory would be permitted to retain much of its economic and governmental sovereignty. Taiwan remains another territory in question. The island broke away from the mainland government in 1949 after the relocation there of Chiang Kaishek and his nationalist allies, who have governed since that time. The Nationalists still maintain their mandate to govern the nation as a whole, and many are opposed to reunification, while the communists claim that Taiwan is a province of China. Tibet is a contested region that has gained international attention in its quest for independence. China first gained control of the area during the Yuan Dynasty (12711368) and again early in the eighteenth century. While it was part of China through the Qing Dynasty, the government did not attempt to exercise direct control of Tibet again until the communists came to power and invaded the territory in 1950. The Dalai Lama, Tibet's religious and political leader, was forced into exile in 1959. The region became autonomous in 1965 but remains financially dependent on China. The question of its independence is a complex one, and resolution does not appear imminent. National Identity. The vast majority of Chinese people are of Han descent. They identify with the dominant national culture and have a sense of history and tradition that dates back over one thousand years and includes many artistic, cultural, and scientific accomplishments. When the communists took over in 1949, they worked to create a sense of national identity based on the ideals of equality and hard work. Some minority groups, such as the Manchu, have assimilated almost entirely. While they maintain their own languages and religions, they identify with the nation as well as with their own groups. Other minority ethnic groups tend to identify more with their individual cultures than with the Han. For example, the Mongolians and Kazakhs of the north and northwest, the Tibetans and the Zhuangs in the southwest, and the inhabitants of Hainan Island to the southeast are all linguistically, culturally, and historically distinct from one another and from the dominant tradition. For some minority groups, the Tibetans and Uigurs of Xinjiang in particular, the issue of independence has been an acrimonious one and has led those groups to identify themselves deliberately in opposition to the central culture and its government. Ethnic Relations. China is for the most part an extremely homogeneous society composed of a people who share one language, culture, and history. The government recognizes fifty-five minority groups that have their own distinct cultures and traditions. Most of those groups live in Outer China, because the Han have, over the centuries, forced them into those harsh, generally less desirable lands. The Han often consider the minority groups inferior, if not subhuman; until recently, the characters for their names included the symbol for "dog." The minority groups harbor a good deal of resentment toward the Han. Tibet and Xinjiang in particular have repeatedly attempted to separate from the republic. The Tibetans and the Uighurs of Xinjiang have expressed animosity toward the Han Chinese who live in bordering regions, and as a result, China has sent troops to those areas to maintain the peace.

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

While the majority of the population is still rural, the cities are growing, as many people migrate in search of work. Forty cities have populations over one million. The largest city is Shanghai, which is near the center of the country's east coast. Because of its strategic location as a port on the Huangpu River, near the Yangtze, areas of the city were taken over by the British, French, and Americans after the Opium Wars. Although those concessions were returned to China in 1949, Shanghai retains a European feel in some districts. It is a city of skyscrapers and big business, a cultural locus, and a center of both extreme wealth and extreme poverty.

Beijing, the capital, is the second largest urban center. Its history goes back three thousand years, and it has been the capital since the late thirteenth century. Beijing is divided into the Inner City (to the north) and the Outer City (to the south). The Inner City contains the Imperial City, which contains the Forbidden City. This spectacular architectural aggregation of temples, palaces, and man-made lakes, whose construction began in 1406, is where the emperor and his court resided. Although it once was off limits to civilians, today sightseers and tourists can admire its gardens, terraces, and pavilions. Tienanmen Square, the site of several demonstrations and events, as well as the location of Mao's tomb, is at one end of the Forbidden City. Despite the city's size, it is still possible to navigate Beijing without a car, and most people do; bicycles are one of the most common modes of transportationthis cuts down greatly on air pollution. Other important cities include Tianjin, a northern port and industrial center; Shenyang in the northeast, another industrial city; and Guangzhou, the main southern port city. Architecture varies with the diverse climate. In the north, people sleep on a platform called a kang. Mongolians live in huts called yurts. In the south, straw houses built on stilts are common. In much of the country, traditional houses are rectangular and have courtyards enclosed by high walls. The roofs are sloped, curving upward at the edges.

Food and Economy

Read more about the Food and Cuisine of China. Food in Daily Life. Rice is the dietary staple in most of the country. In the north and the west, where the climate is too dry to grow rice, wheat is the staple grain. Here, breakfast usually consists of noodles or wheat bread. In the south, many people start the day with rice porridge, or congee, served with shrimp, vegetables, and pickles. Lunch is similar to breakfast. The evening meal is the day's largest. Every meal includes soup, which is served as the last course. People cook in a wok, a metal pan with a curved bottom; this style of cooking requires little oil and a short cooking time. Steaming in bamboo baskets lined with cabbage leaves is another cooking method. Meat is expensive and is served sparingly. The cuisine can be broken down into four main geographic varieties. In Beijing and Shandong, specialties include Beijing duck served with pancakes and plum sauce, sweet and sour carp, and bird's nest soup. Shanghaiese cuisine uses liberal amounts of oil and is known for seafood and cold meat dishes. Food is particularly spicy in the Sichuan and Hunan provinces. Shrimp with salt and garlic, frogs' legs, and smoked duck are popular dishes.

Neighborhood houses in Dali reflect traditional Chinese urban architecture.

The southern cuisine of Canton and Chaozhou is the lightest of the four. Seafood, vegetables, roast pork and chicken, and steamed fish are served with fried rice. Dim sum, a breakfast or lunch meal consisting of a combination of different appetizer style delicacies, is popular there. Cooking reflects the country's history of famines caused by factors such as natural disasters and war. The Chinese eat parts and species of animals that many other cultures do not, including fish heads and eyeballs, birds' feet and saliva, and dog and cat meat. Tea is the most common beverage. The Han drink it unsweetened and black, Mongolians have it with milk, and Tibetans serve it with yak butter. The Chinese are fond of sugary soft drinks, both American brands and locally produced ones. Beer is a common beverage, and there are many local breweries. Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Special occasions and large family gatherings often entail big, elaborate meals. In the north, dumplings called jiaozi are served at the Spring Festival and other special occasions. For the Moon Festival in midautumn, "moon cakes" are served, baked pastries filled with ground sesame and lotus seeds or dates. Banquets originating in the imperial tradition are ceremonial meals common to important state gatherings and business occasions. They usually are held at restaurants and consist of ten or more courses. Rice is not served, as it is considered too cheap and commonplace for such an event. Basic Economy. In 1978, the country began the slow process of shifting from a Soviet-style economy to a more free market system, and in twenty years managed to quadruple the gross domestic product (GDP) and become the second largest economy in the world. However, the decentralization of the economy has often conflicted with the tight reign exercised by the highly centralized political system. The economy is burdened with widespread corruption, bureaucracy, and large state-run businesses that have been unable to keep pace with economic expansion. Inflation rates, which rose steeply in the 1980s, fell between 1995 and 1999 as a result of stricter monetary policies and government control of food prices. While the economy appears to be improving, the standard of living in rural areas remains poor, and the government faces problems collecting taxes in provinces that are becoming increasingly autonomous, such as Shanghai and Guangzhou. The labor force consists of 700 million people, of whom 50 percent work in agriculture, 24 percent in industry, and 26 percent in services. The unemployment rate is roughly 10 percent in the cities and higher in the countryside. A large number of migrants move between the villages and the cities, barely supporting themselves with part-time jobs and day labor. The national currency is named the yuan. One of the largest economic challenges has been feeding the enormous population. The government has taken a two-pronged approach, instituting a series of modernization projects to improve irrigation and transportation and trying to curb population growth by allowing each family to have only one child. The one-child law, which does not apply to minority groups, has faced widespread popular resistance. Land Tenure and Property. One of Mao's priorities was a program of land reform. He turned over the previous sharecropper-like system and in its place established collective, governmentrun farms. Deng did away with many of the large-scale communes. While safeguarding the system of government-owned land, he allowed individual farmers to rent land and gave them more freedom in decision making. This shift saw a large increase in agricultural productivity; output doubled in the 1980s. While farmers and other individuals have much more control over their land than in the past, the majority of it is still owned by the government. Commercial Activities. Much commercial activity revolves around agriculture. Products vary from region to region. The main goods produced for domestic sale are rice, wheat, soybeans,

fruits, and vegetables. From 1958 to 1978, all farms were run as communes and were required to sell all of their output to the government at predetermined prices. Today, farmers still must sell a portion of the yield to the government, but the rest goes on the open market where supply and demand determine the price. In government stores, there is no negotiating of prices, but the increasing numbers of privately owned shops often welcome bargaining. There is a large black market in foreign goods such as cigarettes, alcohol, and electronic products. Connections (called guanxi ) are of supreme importance in acquiring such goods. It is not uncommon for products made in state-owned factories for sale by the government to find their way into private stores. Hong Kong, with a fully capitalist economy, developed under British rule into an international financial center. The main commercial activities there are banking and high-technology product and services. Major Industries. The larger industries include iron and steel, coal, machine building, armaments, textiles and apparel, petroleum, footwear, toys, food processing, automobiles, and consumer electronics. Metallurgy and machine building have received top priority in recent years and account for about one-third of industrial output. In these, as in other industries, the country has consistently valued quantity in production over quality, and this is reflected in many of the products. Tourism, which increased during the 1980s, fell sharply after Tiananmen Square; however, it has picked up again as the economy has continued to open to Western investors. Trade. China imports machinery and equipment, plastics, chemicals, iron and steel, and mineral fuels, mainly from Japan, the United States, Taiwan, and South Korea. Exports include machinery and equipment, textiles and clothing, footwear, toys and sporting goods, mineral fuels, and chemicals. These products go primarily to the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, and Germany. Trade has shifted dramatically over the years. In the 1950s, the main trading partners were other communist countries; however, the decline of the Soviet Union as a world power changed that. Most trade today is conducted with the noncommunist world. Division of Labor. Initially, under communism, urban workers were assigned jobs by the government. Wages were predetermined and did not reward productivity. That system was modified in 1978 and again in 1986 to allow for wage increases and firings in relation to productivity. Under Deng Xiaoping, people were encouraged to develop their entrepreneurial skills as shopkeepers and taxi drivers and in other small business ventures. Older people often become caretakers for their young grandchildren. Many continue to engage in community work and projects.

Social Stratification
Classes and Castes. Confucian philosophy endorses a hierarchical class system. At the top of the system are scholars, followed by farmers, artisans, and finally merchants and soldiers. A good deal of social mobility was possible in that system; it was common practice for a family to save its money to invest in the education and advancement of the oldest son. When the communists took control, they overturned this traditional hierarchy, professing the

A view of the Great Wall of China, which is more than 1,500 miles long and is the only manmade structure visible from the moon. ideals of a classless society. In fact, the new system still has an elite and a lower class. Society is divided into two main segments: the ganbu, or political leaders, and the peasant masses. According to the philosophy of the Communist Party, both classes share the same interests and goals and therefore should function in unison for the common good. In reality, there is a large and growing gap between the rich and the poor. Weathy people live in the cities, while the poor tend to be concentrated in the countryside. However, farmers have begun to migrate to the cities in search of work in increasing numbers, giving rise to housing and employment problems and creating a burgeoning class of urban poor people. Symbols of Social Stratification. Cars, a rare commodity, are a symbol of high social and economic standing. Comfortable living accommodations with luxuries such as hot running water are another. Many government employees who could not otherwise afford these things get them as perks of the job. As recently as the 1980s, most people dressed in simple dark-colored clothing. Recently, more styles have become available, and brand-name or imitation brand-name American clothes are a marker of prosperity. This style of dress is more common in the cities but is visible in the countryside among the better-off farmers. Many minority groups maintain their traditional attire. Tibetans dress in layers of clothes to protect themselves from the harsh weather. The women wrap their heads in cloth. Uighur women wear long skirts and bright-colored scarves; the men wear embroidered caps.

Political Life
Government. China is a communist state. The president is the chief of state and is elected by the National People's Congress (NPC) for a five-year term. However, the president defers to the decisions and leadership of the NPC. The NPC is responsible for writing laws and policy, delegating authority, and supervising other parts of the government. The highest level in the executive branch of the government is the State Council, which is composed of a premier, a vice premier, councillors, and various ministers. The State Council handles issues of internal politics, defense, economy, culture, and education. Its members are appointed and can be removed by the president's decree. The country is divided into twenty-three provinces, five autonomous regions, and four municipalities. (Taiwan is considered the twenty-third province.) At the local level, elected deputies serve in a local people's congress, a smaller-scale version of the national body, which is responsible for governing within the region and reports to the State Council. Leadership and Political Officials. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is in effect the only political party. Eight registered small parties are controlled by the CCP. There are no substantial

opposition groups, but there are twothe Falun Gong sect and the China Democracy Partythat the government sees as potential threats. The Falun Gong in particular has received international attention because of the government's attempts to suppress it. The organization claims that it is a meditation group based on Buddhist and Taoist philosophies; the government considers it a cult that threatens public order and the state. The government has sent hundreds of Falun Gong members to labor camps and has imprisoned many of its leaders. The group is legal in Hong Kong. Social Problems and Control. The legal system is a complex mixture of tradition and statute. A rudimentary civil code has been in effect since 1987, and new legal codes since 1980. The country continues to make efforts to improve its laws in the civil, administrative, criminal, and commercial areas. The highest court is the Supreme People's Court, which supervises lower courts, hears appeals, and explains national laws. The crime rate is rising. Pickpocketing and petty theft are the most common offenses, but there are increasing numbers of incidents of violent crime. Prostitution and drug use are also growing problems. Public humiliation is a common punishment for crimes such as petty theft. Prisons often put inmates to work in farming or manufacturing. The death penalty is assigned not only for violent crimes but also for acts such as bribery and corruption. The government has been known to deal harshly with political dissidents. Many participants in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests were imprisoned, and the government continues to punish severely any displays of opposition. The country has been cited numerous times for human rights violations. Military Activity. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) includes the Ground Forces, the Navy (both marines and naval aviation), the Air Force, and the Second Artillery Corps (strategic missile force). The People's Armed Police, consisting of internal security troops, is supposedly subordinate to the Ministry of Public Security but is included in the "armed forces" and in times of war acts as an adjunct to the PLA. The government quotes a figure of over $12 billion (1.2 percent of the GDP) for military expenses, but many Western analysts place the amount several times higher. Service in the PLA is voluntary and highly selective. Both women and men can serve, and the army conscientiously upholds communist ideals of equality; there are no ranks in the army. As of 1998, there were 2.8 million people in the armed forces: 1,830,000 in the army, 420,000 in the air force, and 230,000 in the navy. That year, however, the government introduced a plan to cut the armed forces by half a million.

Social Welfare and Change Programs

State-run corporations or groups of factories often provide housing, child care, education, medical care, and other services for their employees. These organizations are called danwei, or work units. They also provide compensation for injury and disability, old age, and survivors' pensions. Many of the government's social welfare initiatives are concentrated in the cities where housing, education, and food are subsidized; in the countryside, the burden of social welfare often falls to companies, organizations, and individual families. The government supplies emergency relief in the case of natural disasters, including floods and crop failures. The government offers financial incentives to families that comply with its one-child policy, giving them preference in housing, health care, and other social services.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations

China is a member of a number of international associations, including the United Nations, UNESCO, and the World Health Organization. It has applied for membership in the World Trade Organization. There are a number of foreign health, development, and human rights

organizations active in China, including the Red Cross, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Peace Corps, Amnesty International, and others.

Gender Roles and Statuses

Division of Labor by Gender. Before the twentieth century, women were confined to the domestic realm, while men dominated all other aspects of society. The only exception was agriculture, where women's work had a somewhat wider definition. Western influence began to infiltrate the country in

A merchant rents books from a sidewalk rack on a street in Tunxi. the nineteenth century, when missionaries started schools for girls. Opportunities increased further as the country began to modernize, and under communism, women were encouraged to work outside the home. Today women work in medicine, education, business, sports, the arts and sciences, and other fields. While men still dominate the upper levels of business and government and tend to have better paying jobs, women have made considerable progress. The Relative Status of Women and Men. Confucian values place women as strictly subordinate to men, and this was reflected in traditional society. Women had no rights and were treated as possessions, first of their father's and later of their husband's. The practice of foot binding was symbolic of the strictures women faced in all aspects of life. From the age of seven, girls had their feet wrapped tightly, stunting their growth and virtually crippling them in the name of beauty. This practice was not outlawed until 1901. The procedure was inflicted mainly on upperclass and middle-class women, as peasant women needed full use of their feet to work in the fields. The rejection of many traditional values early in the twentieth century resulted in increasing equality and freedom for women. The Western presence in the nineteenth century also had an influence. Raising the status of women was a priority in the founding of the modern state. Women played an important role in the Long March and the communist struggle against the Kuomintang, and under Mao they were given legal equality to men in the home and the workplace as well as in laws governing marriage, divorce, and inheritance. Despite these legal measures, women still face significant obstacles, including spousal abuse and the practice of selling women and young girls as brides.

Marriage,Family, and Kinship

Marriage. According to custom, marriages are arranged by the couple's parents. While this system is less rigid than it once was, it is still common for young people to use matchmakers. People take a pragmatic approach to marriage, and even those who chose their own spouses often take practical considerations as much as romantic ones into account.

Weddings are usually large, expensive affairs paid for by the groom's family. For those who can afford it, Western-style weddings are popular, with the bride in a white gown and the groom in a suit and tie. The legal age for marriage is twenty for women and twenty-two for men. A marriage law enacted by the communists in 1949 gave women the right to choose their husbands and file for divorce. While it is difficult to obtain a divorce, rates are rising. Domestic Unit. It is common for several generations to live together under one roof. After marriage, a woman traditionally leaves her parents' home and becomes part of her husband's family. The husband's mother runs the household and sometimes treats a new daughter-in-law harshly. Although today practical reasons compel most children to leave the parents' home, the oldest son often stays, as it is his duty to care for his aging parents. Even today, many young adults continue to live with their parents after marriage, partly because of a housing shortage in the cities. Inheritance. The estate generally passes to the oldest son, although, especially in the case of wealthy and powerful men, most of their personal possession traditionally were buried with them. The remaining property went to the oldest son. Since the communists came to power in 1949, women have been able to inherit property. Kin Groups. Extended family is extremely important, and the wealthy and well educated often hire genealogists to research their family trees. Family members, even distant relations, are valued above outsiders. The passing on of the family name is of great importance. If the oldest son in a family has no son of his own, he often is expected to adopt the son of his next youngest brother. If no sons are born in the clan, a sister's son may be adopted to carry on the name.

Infant Care. Traditionally, male babies were valued much more highly than female offspring. Girls were looked at as a liability and in times of economic hardship often were sold into lives of servitude or prostitution. While this has changed somewhat, those attitudes have again become prevalent with the government's one-child policy. When families are allowed to have only one child, they want to ensure that it is a boy; for this reason, rates of female infanticide and abandonment have risen. While babies are highly valued, it is considered bad luck to praise them aloud. It is common to offer backward compliments, remarking on a child's ugliness. A baby usually is not washed for the first three days after birth. On the third day, he or she is bathed, and friends and relatives come to view the new addition to the family. When a male child turns one month old, the parents throw a First Moon party. The boy's head is shaved, and the hair is wrapped in a red cloth, which, after a hundred days, is thrown in the river. This is thought to protect the child. Women usually are granted maternity leave between two months and one year, but rural women tend to go back to work earlier. Child Rearing and Education. From a very young age, children are assigned responsibilities in both the family and the community. In the countryside, this means farm chores; in the city, it consists of housework or even sweeping the street. Schoolchildren are responsible for keeping the classroom clean and orderly. Under communism, when women were encouraged to take jobs outside the home, child care facilities became prevalent. Grandparents also play a significant role in raising children, especially when the mother works outside the home. Education is mandatory for nine years. Ninety-six percent of children attend kindergarten and elementary school, and about two-thirds continue on to secondary school, which lasts for three

years. In high school, students pursue either technical training or a general education. Those who receive a general education can take the extremely difficult qualifying exams to enter a university. The educational system stresses obedience and rote learning over creativity. Both traditional Confucians and the Communist Party view education as a method for inculcating values in the young. Under Mao, the educational system suffered from propaganda and the devaluation of intellectual pursuits. Because of the size of the population, classrooms and teachers are in short supply. The country has made great progress in increasing the literacy of the general population. When the communists came to power, only 15 percent of the population could read and write. Today, thanks to mandatory schooling for children and adult education programs, the rate is over 75 percent. Higher Education. Higher education is not accessible to many. Admission to the universities is extremely competitive; only 2 percent of the population attends college. In addition to the rigorous entrance examination, students are required to demonstrate their loyalty to the Communist Party. During the summers, university students perform manual labor. The curriculum emphasizes science

A mother and her children in a farming commune in Canton. Only ethnic minority families are allowed to have more than one child. and technology. It is considered a great honor to undertake advanced study, and a university degree virtually guarantees a comfortable position after graduation. The most prestigious universities are in Beijing and Qinghua, but there are more than a hundred others scattered throughout the country. There are technical and vocational schools that train students in agriculture, medicine, mining, and education.

Deference and obedience to elders is considered extremely important. There is a hierarchy that places older people above younger and men above women; this is reflected in social interaction. Chinese people are nonconfrontational. Saving face is of primary importance; appearing to be in the right or attempting to please someone is more important than honesty. It is considered rude to refuse a request even if one is unable to fulfill it. The fear of losing face is a concern that governs social interactions both large and insignificant; failure to perform a duty brings shame not just on the individual, but on the family and community as well. Individuality is often subsumed in the group identity. There is little privacy in the home or family, and housing shortages and cramped living quarters often exaggerate this situation.

People touch often, and same-sex hand holding is common. However, physical contact between men and women in public is limited. Smiling is not necessarily a sign of happiness; it can be a display of worry or embarrassment. Visiting is an important part of social life. Guests often drop in unannounced and are invited to join the family for a meal. It is customary to bring a small gift when visiting.

Relgious Beliefs. As a communist state, the country is officially atheist. Fifty-nine percent of the population has no religious affiliation. Twenty percent of the people practice traditional religions (Taoism and Confucianism), 12 percent consider themselves atheists, 6 percent are Buddhist, 2 percent are Muslim, and 1 percent are Christian. The teachings of Confucius are laid out in The Analects. It is a philosophy that stresses responsibility to community and obedience and deference to elders. Taoism, founded by Lao Tse Tsu, is more mystical and less pragmatic than Confucianism. The tao, which translates as "the way," focuses on ideals of balance and order and often uses nature as a metaphor. It also includes elements of animism. Taoism, unlike Confucianism, rejects rank and class. Taoists shun aggression, competition, and ambition. Buddhism, which came to the country from India, is similar to Taoism in its rejection of striving and material goods. The goal of Buddhism is nirvana, a transcendence of the confines of mind and body. Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are not mutually exclusive, and many people practice elements of all three in addition to worshiping various gods and goddesses, each of which is responsible for a different profession or other aspect of life. Luck is of supreme importance in popular belief, and there are many ways of bringing good fortune and avoiding badluck. A type of geomancy called fengshui involves manipulating one's surroundings in a propitious way. These techniques are used to determine everything from the placement of furniture in a room to the construction of skyscrapers. Many of the minority groups have their own religions. Some, such as the Dais in Yunnan and the Zhuangs in the southwest, practice animism. The Uighurs, Kazakhs, and Huis are Muslim. Tibetans follow their own unique form of Buddhism, called Tantric or Lamaistic Buddhism, which incorporates many traditions of the indigenous religion called bon, including prayer flags and prayer wheels and a mystical element. Despite the numerous Catholic and Protestant missionaries who arrived in the country beginning in the nineteenth century, Christianity has managed to gain few converts. Christians are mostly concentrated in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Religious Practitioners. Confucianism and Taoism do not have central religious figures. In Buddhism, there are monks who devote their lives to prayer and meditation. Worship is usually not communal; the only group services are performed at funerals. The central figure in Tibetan Buddhism is the Dalai Lama, a name that translates as "Ocean of Wisdom." When one Dalai Lama dies, it is believed that he is then reincarnated, and it is the duty of the monks to search out his spirit in a newborn child. Today the position has political as well as religious significance. The current Dalai Lama lives in exile in India and pursues the cause of Tibetan independence. Rituals and Holy Places. Taoist temples are dominated by the roof, usually yellow or green, which is adorned with images of gods and dragons. The interior usually consists of a courtyard, a main hall with an altar where offerings are placed, and sometimes small shrines to various deities. Buddhist temples incorporate pagodas, a design which came from India around the first century C.E. (the time when the religion made its way to China). These temples also display statues of the Buddha, sometimes enormous sculptures in gold, jade, or stone.

Worship generally takes the form of individual prayer or meditation. One form of spiritual practice that is very popular is physical exercise. There are three main traditions. Wushu, a selfdefense technique known in the West as gong fu (or kung fu), combines aspects of boxing and weapon fighting. Shadow boxing, called taijiquan (or tai chi chuan), is a series of slow, graceful gestures combined with deep breathing. The exercises imitate the movements of animals, including the tiger, panther, snake, and crane. Qidong is a breathing technique that is intended to strengthen the body by controlling the qi, or life energy. These exercises are practiced by people of all ages and walks of life; large groups often gather in parks or other public spaces to perform the exercises together. Buddhist and Taoist temples hold special prayer gatherings to mark the full moon and the new moon. The largest festival of the year is the celebration of the new year or Spring Festival, whose date varies, falling between mid-January and mid-February. People clean their houses thoroughly to symbolize a new start, and children are given money in red envelopes for good luck. Activities include fireworks and parades with dancers dressed as lions and dragons. It is a time to honor one's ancestors. The birthday of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, falls between late March and late April and is observed by visiting Taoist temples. The birthday of Mazu, the goddess of the sea (also known as Tianhou), is celebrated similarly. It falls in May or June. The Water-Splashing Festival is observed in Yunnan Province in mid-April. It involves symbolic bathing and water splashing that are supposed to wash away bad luck. The Zhuangs mark the end of the plowing season in the spring with a cattle-soul festival, which includes a sacrificial ceremony and offerings of food to the cattle. Moon Festival, or Mid-Autumn Festival, in September or October is celebrated with fireworks, paper lanterns, and moon gazing. The birthday of Confucius (28 September) is a time to make pilgrimages to his birthplace in Shandong Province.

A group of people practice tai chi along the main thoroughfare in Shanghai. The popular form of exercise emphasizes slow, graceful movements. Death and the Afterlife. Funerals are traditionally large and elaborate. The higher the social standing of the deceased, the more possessions and people were buried with him or her to ensure entry into the next world. Traditionally, this included horses, carriages, wives, and slaves. Chinese mourners dress in white and wrap their heads in white cloths. Ancestor worship is an important part of the religion, and it is common Buddhist practice to have a small altar in the house dedicated to deceased family members. Tomb-Sweeping Day, or Qingming, on 5 April, is dedicated to visiting the burial place of one's ancestors and paying one's respects. Food is often placed on graves as an offering. Ghost Month (late August to late

September) is a time when the spirits of the dead are thought to return to earth. It is not a propitious time for new beginnings, and anyone who dies during this period is not buried until the next month.

Medicine and Health Care

Traditional medicine is still widely practiced. It is an ancient, intricate system that places an emphasis on the whole body rather than specific ailments. All natural elements, including human beings, are thought to be made up of yin (the female force) and yang (the male force). These opposing forces are part of the body's qi. Health problems are considered a manifestation of an imbalance of yin and yang, that disrupts a person's qi. Remedies to right the imbalance include snake gallbladder, powdered deer antlers, and rhinoceros horn, as well as hundreds of different combinations of herbs. Another method of treatment is acupuncture, which involves the insertion of thin needles into the body to regulate and redirect the flow of qi. Massage techniques are also used, and doctors avoid cutting into the body. Western medical facilities are much more accessible in the cities than in the countryside. Even those who have access to Western medicine often use a combination of the two systems, but the government, which runs all the major health facilities, places a priority on Western medical practices. Health conditions have improved significantly since 1949. Life expectancy has risen, and many diseases, including plague, smallpox, cholera, and typhus, have been eliminated. Smoking is a growing health concern, particularly since American cigarette companies have begun large-scale marketing campaigns. HIV and AIDS are increasingly a problem, particularly in Yunnan province, which borders Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar. It is exacerbated by prostitution, a rise in intravenous drug use, and lack of education.

Secular Celebrations
New Year's Day on 1 January is observed in addition to the traditional Chinese New Year. Other holidays include International Working Women's Day on 8 March, International Labor Day on 1 May, Youth Day on 4 May, Dragon Boat Festival in May or June, Children's Day on 1 June, Founding of the Communist Party of China Day on 1 July, Founding of the People's Liberation Army Day on 1 August (celebrated with music and dance performances by military units), Teacher's Day on 10 September, and National Day on 1 and 2 October.

The Arts and Humanities

Support for the Arts. The government censors the output of all artists; it is forbidden to produce work that criticizes the Communist Party or its ideals. There is a long tradition of imperial patronage of the arts that continues today in the form of state-funded literary guilds that pay writers for their work. While providing support to writers, this system also suppresses their creative freedom. As the economy has become more open, however, the government has decreased its support, and artists are becoming more dependent on selling their work. Literature. Chinese poetry is not just a linguistic feat but a visual one. Classical poems express balance through both rhyme and tone as well as through the physical layout of the characters on the page. The oldest known anthology of poetry, The Book of Songs, was put together in 600 B.C.E. One of the first individual poets, whose work is still read today, is Qu Yuan, best known for his piece called Li Sao, or The Lament. A more popular and less elitist literary tradition developed during the Ming Dynasty with the dissemination of prose epics. The most famous of these are work The Water Margin and The Dream of the Red Chamber.

Western influence in the nineteenth century led to a literature based more on the vernacular. The first writer to emerge in this new movement was Lu Xun, whose best known work is The Rickshaw Boy, which details the life of rickshaw drivers in Beijing. During the communist revolution, literature was seen as a tool for promoting state-sponsored ideology. While the years after the Cultural Revolution saw some opening in terms of what was permissible, freedom of expression is still curtailed. Contemporary writers include Zhang Xianliang, whose work is known for its controversially sexual subject matter, and Lao Gui, whose Blood Red Dusk examines the events of the Cultural Revolution. Graphic Arts. Painters are best known for their depictions of nature. Landscapes strive to achieve a balance between yin, the passive female force, represented by water, and yang, the male element, represented by rocks and mountains. These paintings often have writing on them, sometimes by the artist and sometimes by a scholar from a later era. The inscription can be a poem, a dedication, or a commentary on the work. Communist politicians also took to this practice, and many paintings bear the writing of Chairman Mao. Writing is considered the highest art form, and calligraphy is said to be the deepest expression of a person's character. China has been known for sculpture and pottery since before the earliest dynasties. The art of pottery reached its pinnacle during the Song Dynasty, when porcelain was developed. Bronze vessels have been used for thousands of years as religious artifacts. They were engraved with inscriptions, and often buried with the dead. Jade was believed to have magical powers that could ward off evil spirits. Sculptures made of that material were placed in tombs, and sometimes corpses were buried in suits made of jade. Embroidery is practiced by women who decorate clothes, shoes, and bed linens with colorful, elaborate designs of animals and flowers. Performance Arts. Unlike the Western scale, which has eight tones, the Chinese has five. There is no harmony in traditional music; all the singers or instruments follow the melodic line. Traditional instruments include a two-stringed fiddle ( erhu ), a three-stringed flute ( sanxuan ), a vertical flute ( dongxiao ), a horizontal flute ( dizi ), and ceremonial gongs ( daluo ). Opera is a popular traditional art form. There are at least three hundred different forms of opera from different geographic areas. The performances are elaborate and highly stylized, involving acrobatic movements and intricate makeup and costumes. Actors play one of four types of roles: the leading male (usually a scholar or official), the leading female (usually played by a man), the painted-face roles (warriors, heroes, demons, adventurers, and other characters), and the clown. The subject matter is usually historical, and the language is archaic. Opera is not an entertainment only for the

Bicycles are one of the most common modes of transportation in China's crowded cities. elite; it is often performed in the marketplace for a few pennies a ticket. There is a lively rock music scene. The most famous performers are Cui Jian and Lui Huan. Chinese film gained international acclaim in the 1980s and 1990s. The films of the director Zhang Yimou deal with social issues, including women's lives in the precommunist period and the ramifications of the Cultural Revolution. His films, which include Raise the Red Lantern and To Live, have often been subject to disapproval or censorship from the government. The director Xie Fei is beginning to win recognition accolades for his social commentary films, which include Our Fields and The Year of Bad Luck.

The State of the Physical and Social Sciences

The Chinese have long been known for their scientific accomplishments; many discoveries and inventions credited to Western scientists were first made in China. Among those inventions are the seismoscope (an instrument used to detect earthquakes), first created in 132 C.E. , the mechanical clock (1088), and the compass (eleventh century). A Chinese alchemist discovered gunpowder by accident in the eleventh century. Before its use in firearms was developed, its use was in fireworks. Paper was invented in China in the first century B.C.E. , woodblock printing in the eighth century C.E. , and movable type in the eleventh century. Despite its contributions to technological development, Chinese science is no longer in the forefront. The country began to fall behind during the nineteenth century, and as the infrastructure and economy weakened, it could no longer keep up with the Western powers. Today, schools stress science and technology in an effort to catch up with other countries. The government prefers to concentrate its efforts on practical projects rather than in basic research, a policy that does not always please scientists and has made progress uneven. In the 1980s and 1990s, China developed its technology in satellites and nuclear weaponry as well as creating a supercomputer and a hybrid form of high-yield rice. The social sciences, like the arts, have faced censorship from the communist government, and the educational system gives science and technology priority over the social sciences. Both Beijing and Shanghai have numerous museums dedicated to national history and archaeology. There are also a number of archaeological museums in the provinces. The main libraries are in Beijing and Shanghai, and Beijing is home to the Historical Archives.