Chinese, Xiang


A language of China

Alternate Names
Hsiang, Hunan
湘语‎ (Xiang)

37,300,000 (2017).


Hunan province: over 20 counties; parts of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; Guizhou and Hubei provinces.

Language Maps
Language Status

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


Changyi, Luoshao, Jishu, Changsha, Yiyang, Loudi, Shaoyang, Jixu, Xupu, Jishou. Linguistically between Mandarin [cmn] and Wu [wuu] Chinese and marginally intelligible with them. Reportedly becoming more similar to (southwestern) Mandarin [cmn] and is losing non-northern features. 3 main dialect groups: Changyi (includes Changsha and Yiyang), Luoshao (includes Loudi and Shaoyang), and Jixu (Jishu) (includes Xupu and Jishou). A member of macrolanguage Chinese [zho].

Language Use

Used by all. Also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 91% (2000 census, Han nationality). Highly literate in Chinese, and they use that literature.


Han script, Simplified variant [Hans]. Han script, Traditional variant [Hant]. Nüshu script [Nshu], used at least since mid-19th century, mainly used by women.

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