Kanakanavu is a Southern Tsouic language spoken in the villages of Manga and Takanua in Namasia District (那瑪夏區) of Kaohsiung (高雄) in southern Taiwan. In 2014 there were just six fluent speakers of Kanakanavu, all of whom were over 60 years old. A few other people have some knowledge of the language.

Efforts are being made to revitalize the language with classes in the Kanakanavu language, songs, dances and traditions. A project to document and describe the Kanakanavu language was started in 2012 - more details.

An orthography for Kanakanavu was developed by the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan in 2005. It is used in the online Kanakanavu dictionary.

Kanakanavu alphabet and pronunciation

Kanakanavu alphabet and pronunciation


Long vowels can be indicated by double letters (aa, ee, etc).

Download an alphabet chart for Kanakanavu (Excel)

Sample text

Tee-pa ku para’ʉna puiisua sua ni-paraanara naparamaci miena sua ni-pana taniarʉ. Tavara-o sua iisi ikamu tati’ing manasii ka’aan kamu raimi nu ’esi-pa kamu nu anʉna. Ateeng’-o sua makasi sua isi ia tia naka sipuu’ʉn mita sua ni-para’an(ara) ta miena. Kanakanavu sua i:si na'ʉna.


I shall narrate about the event of Naparamaci who shot the sun long time ago. Know this, you youngsters, so that you won't forget as long as you live in the future. Remember like this that we are going to tell about our ancient event. This is a Kanakanavu story.

Source: http://kanakanavu.info/language-documentation/s-tsuchida-2003-story-1.html

Sample videos in and about Kanakanavu

Information about Kanakanavu | Numbers


Information about the Kanakanavu language

Formosan languages

Amis, Atayal, Bunun, Kanakanavu, Kavalan, Paiwan, Pazeh, Puyuma, Rukai, Saaroa, Saisiyat, Sakizaya, Seediq, Tsou

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 02.02.23


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