Northern Qiang (Rrmea)

Northern Qiang is a member of the Qiangic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. It is spoken in the north of Sichuan Province in the south west of China, particularly in Beichuan, Heishui, Mao, and Songpan counties. In 1999 there were about 57,800 speakers of Northern Qiang, most of whom were adults. Few children acquire the language at home.

Northern Qiang is also known as Ch'iang. There are five dialects, which are mutually intelligible: Mawo, Qugu, Weigu, Cimulin and Luhua. It is closely related to Southern Qiang, which is tonal, unlike Northern Qiang.

Northern Qiang can be written with the Latin alphabet using an orthography developed in the 1980s and based on the Qugu dialect. This became the official way to write Qiang in 1993. Relatively few speakers of Qiang are able to read and write their language, however most are literate in Chinese. A new script, known as the Qiang or Rma Script, was introduced in 2017.

Qiang is taught during the first few years of primary schools, and is used as a medium of instruction, alongside Mandarin, to some extent.

Latin alphabet for Northern Qiang

Latin alphabet for Northern Qiang

Download an alphabet chart for Northern Qiang (Excel)

Sample text

Gver gverde ddubggrem gvuddu leage jumi legvei devgvuavu. Jumi degvei Vvapenzi rme. Bbobbo lea ddeabi de mimang shgvu legvi ddeabi le. Ddubggrem gvuddu deage mige Vvapenzi devgvuajia gvu she. Vvapenzi vvlo ravuerda guqu nyi rirgu.


Long long ago, there was a witch who stole a child. The child's name was Rapunzel. She grew into a beautiful woman. The witch was afraid someone would take Rapubzle. She locked Rapunzel in a tower.

Sample videos in Northern Qiang


Information about Northern Qiang

Qiangic languages

Northern Qiang, Pumi, Southern Qiang, Tangut

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 24.08.21. Last modified: 10.01.22


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