A language of Myanmar

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

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


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

Language Status

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


Hkaku (Hka-Hku), Kauri (Gauri, Guari, Hkauri), Dzili (Jili), Dulong (Dalaung, Duleng). Dzili is likely a separate language that is most likely extinct. 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], Lacid [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. Christian.

Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All
Page Views Left: