Nataoran or Sakizaya?


Nataoran or Sakizaya?

liuxinyu970226, Sat, 2017-10-28 10:05
Alternate Names
ISO 639-3: 

Afaics per Wikimedia Meta-Wiki (, the de facto primary name of ISO 639-3 ais, "Amis, Nataoran" (aka the title, I'm sorry I can't see a good "Regarding" option for it), is basically wrong. There's actually no so-called "Nataoran" language existing in Taiwan, that name is only an alias of Natawran community, one of Amis tribes, where they use Northern (Nanshi) dialect of Amis (ami). The ais is used in any of Taiwanese Government departments, especially the Council of Indigenous Peoples, however, for Sakizaya, the real existing lingua franca of the Sakizaya peoples (per By the way, saying Sakizaya as a part of Amis is also logically wrong per this Canadian Center of Science and Education document: Sakizaya or Amis? -- A Hidden Ethnic Group in Taiwan?

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Jennifer, Sat, 2017-10-28 10:45

I found a couple more sources, so I'll add them to this discussion. Both of these state that Natawran and Sakizaya are not mutually intelligible.

"The language of the Sakizaya is different from those spoken by its neighboring Amis groups, such as Natawran, Polpol, Lidaw, and Cikasuan. These languages are mutually incomprehensible."

"The Sakizaya language is so different from the languages of other Amis villages (such as Natawran, Pokpok, Lidaw, Cikasuan) that they cannot understand one other."

lyh.hsuan_103326, Sun, 2017-10-29 07:24

More informations:
According to the page of Amis Language on Ethnologue and the Infos provided by the Council of Indigenous Peoples(CIP) in Taiwan, the five dialects of Amis do not include Nataoran Language:

Chuck Fennig, Tue, 2017-10-31 11:40

The Ethnologue follows the ISO 639-3 Standard for language identification. So, for making any changes for the [ais] code, a Change Request would need to be submitted to the Registrar (

There are two possible ways to do the Change Request process, both of them as a two-step process: (1) If there is no such language name as Nataoran/Natawran, that code [ais] could be retired as referring to a non-existent language; then a separate New Code Request could be submitted for Sakizaya for a new language code element. (2) If Nataoran/Natawran is considered to be a dialect name for Amis [ami], then the code element [ais] could be retired by merging it into the [ami] code (Amis); then a separate New Code Request would be submitted for Sakizaya.

Since Nataoran and Sakizaya are mutually unintelligible (i.e. two different languages), it probably would not work to just change the name for the [ais] code element from Nataoran Amis to Sakizaya. That would be the simplest way if it were acceptable to the ISO 639-3 Registrar.

Instructions and forms for ISO 639-3 changes can be found here:

Chuck Fennig
Managing Editor, Ethnologue

Chuck Fennig, Thu, 2017-11-09 09:12

I have spoken to the ISO 639-3 Registrar, and there is indeed the possibility of simply changing the name for the [ais] code from Nataoran Amis to Sakizaya.

Again, if someone would be willing to do the Change Request for this, that would be great!

Chuck Fennig
Managing Editor, Ethnologue

lyh.hsuan_103326, Thu, 2017-11-09 16:33

Hey, thanks a lot for telling! We plan to submit the change request in the 2018 series requests and are gathering the material at present.

Best Wishes
Yu-Hsuan Lee

Chuck Fennig, Tue, 2017-11-21 08:53

Many thanks to all who contributed to this discussion on Nataoran and Sakizaya [ais].

We look forward to the Change Request being submitted and acted upon.

Best wishes,

Charles Fennig
Managing Editor, Ethnologue