Kanda, Kandh, Khond, Khondi, Khondo, Kodu, Kodulu, Kuinga, Kuy
Native toIndia
EthnicityKhonds, Dal, Sitha Kandha
Native speakers
941,000 (2011 census)[1]
  • South-Central
    • Gondi–Kui
      • Kuvi–Kui
        • Kui
Odia script
Odia Braille
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
uki – Kui (standard)
dwk – Dawik Kui
ELPKui (India)
Kui is classified as Vulnerable by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger[2]

Kui (କୁଇ)(also Kandh, Khondi, Khond, Khondo, Kanda, Kodu (Kōdu), Kodulu, Kuinga (Kūinga), Kuy) is a South-Central Dravidian language spoken by the Kandhas, eastern Indian state of Odisha. It is mostly spoken in Odisha, and written in the Odia script. With 941,988 registered native speakers, it figures at rank 29 in the 1991 Indian census.[3] The Kui language was also referred to as the Kuinga language during the historical period. It is closely related to the Gondi and Kuvi languages.


Labial Dental Retroflex Palatal/
Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɳ
voiceless p t ʈ t͡ʃ k
voiced b d ɖ d͡ʒ ɡ
Approximant central ʋ ~ b j
lateral l
Fricative s h
Flap ɾ ɽ


Kui language has five short vowels and five long vowels.[5] The vowels are illustrated below in IPA.[6]

Front Central Back
short long short long short long
High i u
Mid e o
Low a


  1. ^ Kui (standard) at Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018) Closed access icon
    Dawik Kui at Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Moseley, Christopher; Nicolas, Alexander, eds. (2010). Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger (PDF) (3rd ed.). Paris: UNESCO. pp. 46–47. ISBN 978-92-3-104096-2. Archived from the original on 23 July 2022.
  3. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". www.censusindia.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
  4. ^ Krishnamurti, Bhadriraju (2003). The Dravidian languages (null ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-511-06037-3.
  5. ^ Winfield, W.W. (1928). A grammar of the Kui language. Bibliotheca Indica. Printed at the Baptist mission press, Pub. by the Asiatic society of Bengal. p. 1. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  6. ^ Krishnamurti (2003), p. 70.
  7. ^ Krishnamurti (2003), pp. 72