A language of Viet Nam

Alternate Names
Ngan, Phen, Tai Tho, “Thô” (pej.), Thu Lao, T’o

1,630,000 in Viet Nam (2009 census).


Central and northeast, near China border, Cao Bang, Lang Son, Bac Giang, Bac Kan, Thai Nguyen, Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Yen Bai, and Hai Duong provinces, Bac Thai, Quang Ninh, Ha Bac; south in Lam Dong province,Tung Nghia and Song Mao. Possibly in Laos.

Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized ethnic group: Tay.


Central Tày, Eastern Tày, Northern Tày, Southern Tày, Tày Bao Lac, Tày Trung Khanh, Thu Lao. Reportedly similar to Nung [nut].

Language Use

Also use Vietnamese [vie]. Used as L2 by Green Gelao [giq].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 1%–5%. Literacy rate in L2: 50%–75%. Radio programs. Dictionary. Bible portions: 1938–1963.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Tày is an official ethnic community. Traditional religion, Christian.