Lai ṭong
Native toBurma, India
RegionWest Burma, North East India
Native speakers
(107,000 cited 1983–2001)[1]
  • Zanniat
  • Laizo
  • Zahau
  • Tlaisun
  • Khualsim
  • Lente
  • Tapong
  • Sim
  • Torr
  • Chorei
  • Ngawn
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
cfm – Falam Chin
cbl – Bualkhaw Chin
cnw – Ngawn Chin
ELPFalam Chin

Falam Chin (also known as Lai) is a Kuki-Chin language in Falam Township, Chin State, Myanmar, and also in Mizoram, India.[not verified in body]

Falam Chin is closely related to most Central Chin languages, especially Hakha Chin.[3] The Falam people are primarily Christian and have translated the Bible into Falam Chin.


Ethnologue lists the following dialects of Falam:

Falam takes its name from a village, founded by the Tlaisun (in English, 'Tashon') tribe, and Tashon was the original language spoken in Falam. Falam grew in population from the surrounding tribes from Sunthla (also 'Sunkhla'), Sim and Zahau (also 'Zahao') that created a new language based on these three tribes, very different from the Tlaisun language. This language was later popularly known as Laizo. Laizo was recorded as the first language used in the official radio broadcasting dialect of Chin in Myanmar (Burma). In order to be inclusive in Laizo, the name was later changed to Falam, although its official name is still Laizo.[citation needed]

Rupini and Koloi are also quite different.[1] The Chorei and Zanniat dialects (collectively known as Baro Halam) may be considered separate languages.[4] Tapong has lower intelligibility with other Falam Chin dialects, having 75% lexical similarity with Zanniat.[4] Dialects once misleadingly called Southern Luhupa are actually Northern Kuki-Chin, and evidently Falam.[5]

Ethnologue reported the following speaker populations of Falam dialects in 1983: 9,000 Taisun, 16,000 Zanniat, 7,000 Khualsim, 4,000 Lente, 14,400 Zahau, 18,600 Laizo.[citation needed]


The Falam language has five spoken vowels, but in writing, six are used. Of the five spoken, three of them, /u/, /a/, and /ɔ/ are spoke from the back of the mouth, /i/ is spoken from the top of the mouth, and /e/ is spoken from the middle. /ɔ/ can be pronounced as aw or o.[6]

Writing system

Falam Chin is written using the Latin script, with the exception of the letters Q, Y, J and X. The consonants (t with dot), ng (Guttural sound), and aw vowel (IPA [ɔː] or [ɑː]) are frequently used in both Chin literature and speaking.

This is a sample of written Falam Chin:


  1. ^ a b Falam Chin at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Bualkhaw Chin at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Ngawn Chin at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Endangered Languages Project data for Chorei.
  3. ^ King, Deborah (2010). VOICE AND VALENCE-ALTERING OPERATIONS IN FALAM CHIN: A ROLE AND REFERENCE GRAMMAR APPROACH. Arlington, Texas: The University of Texas at Arlington.
  4. ^ a b "Myanmar". Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-10-10.
  5. ^ Linguasphere code 73-DDD-bp
  6. ^ Chin Writers' Handbook. Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA: Bibles International. 2011.

Further reading