The language spoken by the Chinese Miao ethnic group in southwest China’s Guizhou Province is in danger of disappearing, a local political advisor has warned.
“Native people in Miao villages communicate in their own language less and less,” said Han Kan, vice chairman of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the Guizhou Provincial People’s Political Consultative Conference, citing a report made by his organization.
In the Tianzhu County of the Qiandongnan Autonomous Prefecture of Miao and Dong Nationalities where Miao people live in a compact community, only 32 out of 112 Miao language-speaking villages use their own language, according to the report.
In Qiandongnan’s Taijiang County, where the Miao population accounts for 97 percent of the total, 40 out of 180 Miao villages no longer use the Miao language.
In Danzhai County, also in Qiandongnan, only 60 percent of the people — mostly over 50 years old — speak their own language. In 1999, the figure was 85 percent.
I hate writing a post about a non-Sinitic language of China without S. Robert Ramsey’s invaluable The Languages of China at hand. But I won’t be able to get to my copy of this for several more days and I’ve been putting off finishing far too many posts as it is.
source: Language of China’s Miao ethnic group may disappear, Xinhua, July 27, 2006