Sui is a member of the Kam-Sui branch of the Tai language family. It is spoken mainly in Guizhou province in southern China, and also in northern Vietnam. In 2007 there were about 300,000 speakers of Sui, which is known as Thủy in Vietnam.

The majority of Sui speakers live in Sandu Shui Autonomous County (三都水族自治县) in Guizhou. There are also Sui speakers in Hechi City (河池) and Nandan County (南丹) in the neigbouring province of Guangxi. In Vietnam Sui is spoken in Hồng Quang Village in Chiêm Hoá District of Tuyên Quang Province.

Sui alphabet and pronunciation

Sui can be written with the version of the Latin alphabet shown below. It was also written was a written with a logographic script known as 水书 (shuǐshū), which includes about 500 characters, and was used by shamans for geomancy and divination. Efforts are being made by the Chinese government to preserve the Sui script, and it was added to the intangible cultural heritage list in 2006. The Sui usually write in Chinese these days.

Sui alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Sui (Excel)

Some examples of characters in the Sui script

Sui script characters


Sample text in the Sui script

Sui alphabet


Sample video in and about Sui


Information about the Sui language

Tai-Kaidai languages

Ahom, Aiton, Bouyei, Isan, Kam, Khamti, (Tai) Khün, Lao, Lue, Northern Thai (Kam Mueang), Nùng, Shan, Sui, Tai Dam, Tai Dón, Tai Hongjin, Tai Laing, Tai Nuea, Tai Phake, Tai Ya, Thai, Thai Song, Yang Zhuang, Zhuang

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

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: 15.03.23


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