Southern China and Indochina
Linguistic classificationSino-Tibetan
haya1251  (Ha-Ya)
honi1244  (Hao-Bai)

The Hani languages are a group of closely related but distinct languages of the Loloish (Yi) branch of the Tibeto-Burman linguistic group. They are also referred to as the Hanoid languages by Lama (2012) and as the Akoid languages by Bradley (2007).

Approximately 1.5 million people speak these languages, mainly in China, Laos, Burma (Myanmar), and Vietnam; more than 90% of the speakers of these languages live in China. Various ethnicities that use Hani languages are grouped into a single class recognized nationality named Hani after the largest subgroup. In China, the languages of this group—which include Hani proper, Akha, and Hao-Bai (Honi and Baihong)—are considered dialects (Chinese: fangyan 方言). Western scholars, however, have traditionally classified them as separate languages.


In China, Akha and other related languages are considered to be derivatives of Hani. They are not mutually intelligible, which means that speakers of one language do not necessarily understand speakers of the other language. In 2007, according to Ethnologue, there were almost 1.5 million speakers of all Hani varieties. Slightly more than half (760,000) of these speakers can speak Hani properly (considering age etc.). Lama (2012) groups the principal varieties of the Hani languages identified by Bradley (2007) as follows: Yunnan locations and speaker populations are from Haniyu Jianzhi 哈尼语简志 according to information from 1986.

David Bradley (2007)[4] considers the Hani-Akha (Ha-Ya) and Haoni-Baihong (Hao-Bai) languages to be part of an Akoid subgroup.

In China, all of the Bi-Ka languages (Chinese: 碧卡) are considered to form a single Hani dialect cluster (Chinese: 方言 fangyan), and the speakers are officially classified as ethnic Hani (Haniyu Jianzhi 哈尼语简志 1986). Recognized dialects include Biyue 碧约 (autonym: bi31jɔ31), Kaduo 卡多, and Enu 峨努. In Yunnan, China, they are spoken in Mojiang, Jiangcheng, Jingdong, and other counties, with a total of 370,000 speakers. The representative dialect is that of Caiyuan 菜园, Mojiang County.[5][6]

Other Hani varieties include Luomian 罗缅, Guozuo 果作, Gehuo 格活, and Guohe 郭合 (Tang 2011).

Yunnan Provincial Gazetteer

The Yunnan Provincial Gazetteer (云南省志:少数民族语言文字志, p. 113) classifies the Hani languages as follows. Additional dialects and datapoints from Zhang (1998)[7] and Tang (2011) are also included.



In China, Hani languages are spoken mostly in areas east of the Mekong River in the south-central Yunnan province, concentrated in the Pu'er and Honghe prefectures as well as in parts of other surrounding prefectures. Hani is also spoken in Lai Châu Province of northwestern Vietnam, northern Laos, and Shan State of northeastern Burma.


Edmondson (2002) reports that the Hani of Vietnam is distributed in 2 provinces of northwestern Vietnam. The earliest Hani pioneers to Vietnam probably numbered around 5 to 6 families, and arrived in Mường Tè District from Jinping County and Lüchun County in Yunnan about 325 years ago. The Hani of Phong Thổ District and Bát Xát District arrived later, about 175 years ago from Yunnan. The Hani of Vietnam claim to be able to communicate in the Hani language with ethnic Hani from different areas of Vietnam despite significant geographical barriers. Edmondson (2002), however, reported different Hani speech varieties in various parts of northwestern Vietnam, which differ mostly lexically.

Further reading

Tang Mingsheng (2011, ed.) contains word lists and ethnographies of Hani subgroups. There are 12 books in the Regional Culture Investigation of International Hani/Aka (国际哈尼/阿卡区域文化调查) series edited by Tang.


  1. ^ 绿春县大兴镇大寨村委会大寨村
  2. ^ Xu Shixuan [徐世璇] (1991). 缅彝语几种音类的演变. Minzu Yuwen.
  3. ^ a b 墨江哈尼族自治县联珠镇癸能村委会水癸河自然村
  4. ^ Bradley, David. 2007. "East and Southeast Asia." In Moseley, Christopher (ed.), Encyclopedia of the World's Endangered Languages, 349-424. London & New York: Routledge.
  5. ^ 墨江哈尼族自治县联珠镇回归村委会上菜园自然村
  6. ^ 墨江哈尼族自治县联珠镇回归村委会下菜园自然村
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Zhang Peizhi [张佩芝]. 1998. Comparative vocabulary lists of the Ha-Ya dialects of the Hani language [哈尼语哈雅方言土语词汇对照]. Kunming: Yunnan Ethnic Publishing House [云南民族出版社].
  8. ^ 元阳县新街镇麻栗寨村委会
  9. ^ 元阳县牛角寨乡果统村委会
  10. ^ 金平苗族瑶族傣族自治县金河镇马鹿塘村委会
  11. ^ 云南省编辑委员会编. 2009. "金平县一区马鹿塘哈尼族社会调查", p.44. In 哈尼族社会历史调查, p.43-60. 民族出版社. ISBN 9787105087754
  12. ^ 红河县甲寅乡甲寅村委会甲寅自然村
  13. ^ Hu Dan [胡坦] & Dai Qingxia [戴庆厦]. 1964. Haniyu yuanyin de songjin 哈尼语元音的松紧. In Zhongguo Yuwen 《中国语文》 1964:1, pp.76-89.
  14. ^ 红河县乐育乡乐育村委会
  15. ^ Lan Qing [澜清]. 2009. Fertility: The kinship of China Yicyu [丰饶:哈尼族奕车人的亲属关系]. Yunnan People's Press [云南人民出版社]. ISBN 9787222058439
  16. ^ a b 元阳县上新城乡新城村委会新亚拥村
  17. ^ a b "金平苗族瑶族傣族自治县金水河镇普角村委会". Archived from the original on 2018-12-30. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  18. ^ a b 金平苗族瑶族傣族自治县营盘乡罗戈塘村委会白马上寨村
  19. ^ a b 元阳县马街乡登云村委会
  20. ^ 澜沧拉祜族自治县富东乡那东村
  21. ^ "墨江哈尼族自治县雅邑乡坝利村委会". Archived from the original on 2018-12-25. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  22. ^ a b c 哈尼族. In 云南民族宗教文化资源库.
  23. ^ 墨江哈尼族自治县通关镇民兴村
  24. ^ 墨江哈尼族自治县雅邑乡雅邑村委会大寨自然村
  25. ^ 金平苗族瑶族傣族自治县金河镇哈尼田村委会
  26. ^ 勐海县格朗和乡苏湖村委会大寨
  27. ^ 新平县平掌乡柏枝村民委员会老缪寨
  28. ^ 金平苗族瑶族傣族自治县者米拉祜族乡顶青村委会哈备村
  29. ^ 绿春县三猛乡哈德村委会
  30. ^ 元阳县大坪乡大坪村委会小坪子村

Lewis, Paul W.; Bai, Bibo (1996). Haqniqdoq-yilyidoq, Doqlo-Soqdaoq [Hani-english/english-hani Dictionary]. London: Kegan Paul International in association with the International Institute for Asian Studies.