A language of Myanmar

Alternate Names
Chingpaw, Chingp’o, Jinghpaw, Jinghpo, Jingphaw, Kachin

900,000 in Myanmar (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001). Population total all countries: 940,000.


Very large area, mainly Kachin State, except for north and southwest; Shan State, Muse and Lashio districts; Sagain, western border strip.

Language Status

3 (Wider communication).Lingua franca for Zaiwa [atb], Lashi [lsi], and Lhao Vo [mhx].


Dulong (Dalaung, Duleng), Dzili (Jili), Hkaku (Hka-Hku), Kauri (Gauri, Guari, Hkauri). Dzili may be a separate language. Hkaku and Kauri are only slightly different. Lexical similarity: 50% with Singhpo [sgp] of India.


SOV; adjectives and numbers follow nouns; singular, dual, plural pronouns; tense-lax vowel distinction; 4 tones.

Language Use

Most domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Burmese [mya]. Used as L2 by Khamti [kht], Lashi [lsi], Lhao Vo [mhx], Lisu [lis], Rawang [raw], Rumai Palaung [rbb], Zaiwa [atb].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 60%–100%. Literacy rate in L2: 50%–75%. Some community literacy classes. Newspapers. Radio programs. Films. Dictionary. Bible: 1927–2009.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Kachin refers to a cultural, not linguistic, group. Glossonym: Aphu or Phu by Rawang [raw] people. Christian.

Also spoken in:

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