Tai Laing language

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Tai Laing
Tai Lai
Tai Nai
Native toBurma
RegionKengtung, Myitkyina
Native speakers
100,000 (2010)[1]
Burmese script (historical)
Language codes
ISO 639-3tjl

Tai Laing, pronounced Tai Lai or regionally Tai Nai, is a Tai language of Burma, related to Khamti. It has its own script, and, though not taught in schools, is experiencing a cultural revival, albeit still small. There is no census of speakers, but they are estimated to number around 100,000.


Alternate names for Tai Laing are Red Tai, Shan Bamar, Shan Kalee, Shan Ni, Tai Laeng, Tai Lai, Tai Lang, Tai Nai, and Tai Naing (Ethnologue).


Tai Laing is spoken in Homalin Township, Sagaing Region, along the Chindwin, Irrawaddy, and Uru rivers. It is also spoken in Kachin State from Bhamo to Myitkyina townships (Ethnologue).


There are two subgroups of Tai Laing, namely Tai Nai and Tai Lai. The Tai Nai live along the railway line between Myitkyina and Mandalay. The Tai Lai live along the river south of Myitkyina (Ethnologue).


  1. ^ Tai Laing at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Tai Laing". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.