A language of China

Alternate Names
Hanhi, Hani Proper, Haw

740,000 in China (Bradley 2007). Population total all countries: 758,620. 444,000 monolinguals.


South Yunnan Province, Jingdong and Jinggu counties, Yuanjiang and Lancang (Mekong) river basins, Ailao mountains.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized nationality: Hani.


Hani has numerous dialects and is reportedly fairly similar to Akha [ahk].


SOV; tonal, 3 tones.

Language Use

Vigorous. Some users of nearby languages also speak Hani. Taught at Kunming Institute. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. 40% also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn]. Written Chinese is in common use. Also use Lipo [lpo], Lü [khb]. Used as L2 by Kucong [lkc], Lahu [lhu], Laomian [lwm], Sangkong [sgk].

Language Development
40,000 can read and write Hani. Newspapers. Radio programs. Films. TV. Dictionary. Grammar.

Latin script [Latn], pinyin-based, used in 1958–1964 and from 1982, experimental, used in education, literature, and media.

Other Comments

Includes Hani, Akha, Biyo, Kaduo, Honi, and other groups, all speaking Southern Ngwi languages. The Hanhi ethnic group in Viet Nam and Laos speak Hani. Traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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