Hmong is a Hmong-Mien language spoken by about 2.6 million people in China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, USA, and French Guiana. There are two major varieties of Hmong: Hmong Dau or White Hmong (Hmongb Dleub) and Hmong Njau or Blue Hmong (Hmongb Nzhuab), which are named after the traditional colours worn by women of the different groups.
In China Hmong is known as Miao and is written with Chinese characters or with an alphabet known as Pollard Miao. In Thailand, it is written with the Thai alphabet. In Vietnam Hmong is sometimes written with the Pahawh Hmong alphabet. During the 1980s and 1990s several other alphabets were invented to write Hmong: Nyiakeng Puachue Hmong, based on Thai letters and Chinese characters, and Ai Ao Lo.
Today most Hmong write their language with the Romanized Popular Alphabet (Ntawv Thoob Teb), a version of the Latin alphabet developed mainly by American missionary linguists in the 1950s in Laos. In the RPA tones are indicated by final consonants.
Laix laix diangl dangt lol sob dab yangx ghax maix zit yef, niangb diot gid zenb nieef haib gid quaif lit gid nongd jus diel pinf denx. Nenx dol maix laib lix xent haib jox hvib vut, nenx dol nongt liek bed ut id xit deit dait.
Leb leb nis zib youl nangs, mex ad sheit nangd zend yanl nhangs njanl lib. Mix mex lix xinb gaot liangt send, leb leb lies nhangs ghob nab ghob geud nangd.
Cuat lenx cuat dol bongb deul ndax dex douf muax zif youx, nyaob shout zunb yinx tab ndas dos id, dax zis ib suk. Nil buab daf lol jaox muax lid xinf hlub hout tab liangx xinb shab nzhuk, yinf gaib keuk suk gud dix mol lol nit jinb shenx lol shib daf shib hlad.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about: Hmong | Hmong Dau | Hmong Njua | Scripts for Hmong: Pahawh Hmong | Romanized Popular Alphabet | Pollard Miao | Nyiakeng Puachue Hmong | Phrases in: Hmong Dau | Numbers in: Hmong Dau | Iu Mien | Tower of Babel in: Hmong Dau | Hmong Njua | Iu Mien | Books about Hmong
Information about the Hmong language and people
Information about the Romanized Popular Alphabet (RPA)
Hmong Language Institute of Minnesotta
Hmong Nationality Archives
Center for Hmong Studies, Concordia University, Saint Paul
Page last modified: 09.09.22
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