A language of China

Alternate Names
Hanhi, Hani Proper, Haw
Ha Nhi

740,000 in China (Bradley 2007b). 444,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 1,660,000 (2010 census). Includes Akeu [aeu], Akha [ahk], Biyo [byo], Chadong [cdy], Enu [enu], Honi [how], Kaduo [ktp], Muda [ymd], and Sangkong [sgk] languages. Total users in all countries: 762,440.


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

Language Status

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


Hani has numerous dialects and is 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. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Some also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn], especially written Chinese. 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. TV. Videos. 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.

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