Dungan is a variety of Chinese spoken in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. There are approximately 90,000 speakers. The native name for the language is Хуэйзў йүян, which means 'language of the Hui'. In Chinese it is known as 东干语 (dōnggānyǔ).
Dungan is a variety of Guan (官话) and is quite closely related to Mandarin (普通话/國語). Speakers of Dungan can understand varieties of Mandarin spoken in Shaanxi (陕西) and Gansu (甘肃), but tend to find other varieties of Mandarin more difficult to understand. Apparently speakers of Beijing Mandarin can understand Dungan, but Dungan speakers cannot understand them.
There are two main dialects of Dungan: one with four tones which originates in Shaanxi province in China, and one with three tones, which serves as the standard form of the language and comes from the Chinese province of Gansu. Speakers of Dungan fled from Manchu and Chinese persecution over a hundred years ago after an abortive rebellion.
Dungan was originally written with a version of the Arabic alphabet. Between 1928 and 1953 it was written with the Latin alphabet. Since 1953 it has been written with a version of the Cyrillic alphabet. The method of writing Dungan with the Cyrillic alphabet was devised at a conference on 27 May 1953 in Frunze in Kyrgyzstan.
Source: Определитель языков мира по письменностям. Академия наук СССР. Москва – 1965.
Çili fьnli. Tjançi byanli. Jüdjanzь djekeli. Jünce ba tjan zo njanli. Jrz̧ьnz̧ьr zaluj je şjonkeli. Bьjjü von xa doni. Dixadi fi çi pordini. Çüçüzьnidi jüfi manli. Xijün guəli jü je z̧wxali. Yisьsьr tjançi kə çinli. Ƶətu sedi xunlorlordi. Jü şjaguə çisьj z̧inz̧irdixali. Tandoni za z̧ьmu çinşju, za z̧ьmu saluə! Çjoçjor goşinidi luan du z̧joxuandini. Da dunbongь gon je çwleli ...
Jixuj jigь ngəlojin mьnmьndi fidi djo z̧ivazьleli. Ngəlojin ba z̧ivazь je mə deşon, z̧jo gunz̧i ba ngəlojindi ji gwzь mo dodjoli.
Sample text supplied by Wolfgang Kuhl. Transliteration by Julijan Jovanovic
Information about the Dungan language
Implications of the Soviet Dungan Script for Chinese Language Reform
Other Chinese pages: Chinese numbers (數碼) | Chinese classifiers (量詞) | Video lessons | Electronic dictionaries | Chinese links | Books: Chinese characters and calligraphy | Cantonese | Mandarin, Shanghainese, Hokkien and Taiwanese
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