Thado Chin, Thadou, Kuki
Native toIndia
EthnicityKuki people, natively to the Thadou tribe.
Native speakers
350,000 (2011–2017)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3tcz
ELPThado Chin

Thadou, Kuki, or Thado Chin is a Sino-Tibetan language of the Northern Kuki-Chin sub-branch. It is spoken by the Thadou people in Northeast India (specifically in Manipur and Assam).[2] The speakers of this language use Meitei language as their second language (L2) according to the Ethnologue.[3]

The language is known by many names, including Thado, Thado-Pao, Thado-Ubiphei, Thādo, Thaadou Kuki, or just Kuki or Chin.

There are several dialects of this language: Hangshing, Khongsai, Kipgen, Saimar, Langiung, Sairang, Thangngeo, Haokip, Sitlhou, Singson (Shingsol).[1] The Saimar dialect was reported in the Indian press in 2012 to be spoken by only four people in one village in the state of Tripura.[4] The variety spoken in Manipur has partial mutual intelligibility with the other Mizo-Kuki-Chin languages varieties of the area including Paite, Hmar, Vaiphei, Simte, Kom and Gangte languages.[5]

Geographical distribution

Thadou is spoken in the following locations (Ethnologue).


Ethnologue lists the following dialects of Thadou, the names of which mostly correspond to clan names. There is high mutual intelligibility among dialects.

The Saimar dialect is only spoken by 4 people in one village, which is located in Tripura.[6]



Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate ts
Nasal m n ŋ
Fricative voiceless s x h
voiced v z
lateral ɬ
Approximant w l j


Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e ə o
Open a


  1. ^ a b Thadou–Kuki at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Mahapatra, Bijaya P.; Padmanabha, P. (December 1989). The Written Languages of the World: A Survey of the Degree and Modes of Use : Book 2, Non-Constitutional Languages. Pr De L'Universite Laval. p. 1311. ISBN 978-2-7637-7196-0.
  3. ^ "Meitei | Ethnologue". Ethnologue. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  4. ^ "Just 4 people keep a language alive". The Hindu. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  5. ^ Singh, Chungkham Yashawanta (1995). "The linguistic situation in Manipur" (PDF). Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area. 18 (1): 129–134. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Just 4 people keep a language alive". The Hindu. 18 July 2012.
  7. ^ Haokip, Marykim (2014). Grammar of Thadou-Kuki: A Descriptive Study. New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)

Further reading