Rukai (Drekay)

Rukai is a member of the Formosan group of Austronesian languages. It is spoken in Pingtung (屏東縣), Kaohsiung (高雄縣) and Taitung (臺東縣) counties in southern Taiwan, specifically in Wutai (霧臺鄉 / Vudai), Maolin (茂林鄉) and Peinan (卑南鄉) townships. In 2002 there were about 10,500 speakers of Rukai. The language is spoken by people of all ages in their everyday lives. Some people, particularly older adults, are monolingual in Rukai, while others also speak Japanese and/or Taiwanese.

There are six dialects of Rukai: Mantauran ('Oponoho), Maga (Teldrɨka), Tona (Kongadavane), Budai (Vedrai), Tanan (Taromak) and Labuan (Talamakao). Mantauran is spoken in Maolin township. Maga and Tona are spoken in Maolin Township. Budai and Labuan are spoken in Wutai Township, and Tanan is spoken in Peinan Township.

Various orthographies using the Latin alphabet have been developed to write different dialects Rukai by linguists and religious organizations.

Rukai alphabet and pronunciation

Rukai alphabet and pronunciation


Download an alphabet chart for Rukai (Excel)

Sample videos in Rukai

Information about Rukai | Tower of Babel


Information about the Rukai 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: 10.07.21


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