Xiang (湘语/湖南语)

Xiang (Hunanese) is a Sinitic language spoken mainly in Hunan (湖南) province in China, particularly in the cities of Changsha (长沙), Zhuzhou (株洲), Xiangtan (湘潭), Yiyang (益阳), Loudi (娄底), Hengyang (衡阳) and Shaoyang (邵阳). There are also Xiang speakers in southern Shaanxi (陕西), southern Anhui (安徽), northeast Guangxi (广西), Sichuan (四川) and Guizhou (贵州) provinces. In 2017 there were about 37 million speakers of Xiang.

Some scholars divide Xiang into two distinct varieties: Old Xiang, which is spoken in the southern parts of the Xiang-speaking area, and New Xiang, which can be heard in the northern Xiang-speaking area and has been influenced by Mandarin. Xiang names for these varieties are 娄底话 [siɔ̃44 ny42] or Loudi language for Old Xiang, and 长沙话 [ɕiæ̃33 y41] or Changsha language for New Xiang.

Xiang pronunciation (Pinfa romanisation system)

Gan pronunciation (Pinfa romanisation system)

The Pinfa romanization system was developed by Dr C. F. Lau, a.k.a. Liu Zin Fad (劉鎮發) for Hakka, and was later adapted for Xiang and Gan.

Download an alphabet chart for Xiang (Excel)

There are three main groups of Xiang dialects:

Videos in and about Xiang

Books about Chinese characters and calligraphy
Mandarin, Shanghainese, Hokkien, Taiwanese and Cantonese learning materials


Information about Xiang

Xiang poems

Sinitic (Chinese) languages

Dungan, Cantonese, Fuzhounese, Gan, Hakka, Jian'ou, Mandarin, Puxian, Shanghainese, Taiwanese, Taiwanese Hakka, Teochew, Weitou, Wenzhounese, Xiang

Chinese pages

Written Chinese: Oracle Bone Script, Simplified characters, Bopomofo, Types of characters, Structure of written Chinese, Evolution of characters, How the Chinese script works, Xiao'erjing, General Chinese

Spoken Chinese: Mandarin, Dungan, Wu, Shanghainese, Wenzhounese, Yue, Cantonese, Weitou, Min, Jian'ou, Taiwanese, Teochew, Fuzhounese, Puxian, Hakka, Xiang, Gan, How many people speak Chinese?

Other Chinese pages: Chinese numbers (數碼) | Chinese classifiers (量詞) | Electronic dictionaries | Chinese links | Books: Chinese characters and calligraphy | Cantonese | Mandarin, Shanghainese, Hokkien and Taiwanese

Semanto-phonetic writing systems

Akkadian Cuneiform, Ancient Egyptian (Demotic), Ancient Egyptian (Hieratic), Ancient Egyptian (Hieroglyphs), Chinese, Chữ-nôm, Cuneiform, Japanese, Jurchen, Khitan, Linear B, Luwian, Mayan, Naxi, Sawndip (Old Zhuang), Sui, Sumerian Cuneiform, Tangut (Hsihsia)

Other writing systems

Page last modified: 10.06.24


Green Web Hosting - Kualo

Why not share this page:


SpanishPod101 - learn Spanish for free

If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.


Note: all links on this site to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.fr are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.

Get a 30-day Free Trial of Amazon Prime (UK)