Native toVietnam
RegionHa Giang Province
Native speakers
(50 cited 1997)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3gir
ELPRed Gelao

Vandu or Red Gelao is an endangered Gelao language spoken in two villages of Ha Giang Province, Vietnam. 1-2 speakers have also been located across the border in Malipo County, Yunnan, China.[2][3]

Samarina (2011), which includes lengthy word lists and audio recordings, is the most detailed linguistic description to date.[4]


As the most endangered Gelao language variety, Red Gelao of Vietnam (not to be confused with A'ou of Guizhou, China, which is also referred to as Red Gelao) is spoken by only about 50 people. Many speakers have shifted to Southwestern Mandarin or Hmong. The Red Gelao people, who call themselves the va35 ntɯ31, send brides back and forth among the villages of Na Khê and Bạch Đích (or Bìch Đich) in Yên Minh District, Hà Giang Province, Vietnam and another village in Fanpo, Malipo County, Yunnan, China[5] (autonym: u33 wei55) in order to ensure the continual survival of their ethnic group. Edmondson (1998) reports that there are also Red Gelao people in Cán Tí, Quản Bạ District and Túng Sán, Hoàng Su Phì District[6] who no longer speak any Gelao, and speak Hmong, Tay, or Vietnamese instead.[7] Hoang (2013:12)[8] reports that there also some Red Gelao in Vĩnh Hảo commune, Bắc Quang District who had moved from Túng Sán commune. However, the White Gelao of nearby Phố La Village and Sính Lủng Village of Dồng Văn District still speak the White Gelao language.


  1. ^ Vandu at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Li Jinfang [李锦芳]. 2006. Studies on endangered languages in the Southwest China [西南地区濒危语言调查研究]. Beijing: Minzu University [中央民族大学出版社].
  3. ^ Edmondson, Jerold A. "Red Gelao, the most endangered form of the Gelao language" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-30.
  4. ^ Samarina, Irina Vladimirovna [Самарина, Ирина Владимировна]. 2011. The Gelao language: materials for a Kadai comparative dictionary [Языки гэлао: материалы к сопоставительному словарю кадайских языко]. Moscow: Academia. ISBN 9785874443917
  5. ^ "麻栗坡县杨万乡杨万村委会翻坡自然村". Retrieved 2013-11-30.
  6. ^ "Nét đẹp trong đám cưới của người Cờ Lao". Retrieved 2013-11-30.
  7. ^ Jerold A. Edmondson. "The language corridor : New evidence from Vietnam" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-30.
  8. ^ Hoàng Thị Cáp. 2013. Văn hóa dân gian của người Cơ Lao Dỏ. Hanoi: Nhà xuất bản văn hóa thông tin. ISBN 978-604-50-0400-5