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Languages > Miao
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Language Information

Miao is spoken by about 6 million people in southern China, principally in the province of Kweichow, but also in Yunnan, Hunan, and Kwangtung. There are also some 200,000 speakers in Vietnam, 100,000 in Laos, and 50,000 in Thailand, though in these countries it is generally referred to as Meo. Miao and another language known as Yao constitute a separate branch of the Sino-Tibetan family.

Miao was first written in an ideographic script, but in 1904 a missionary, Samuel Pollard, developed the so-called Pollard script shown below. The simple, purely geometric symbols each stand for a syllable rather than a word. Although it enjoyed considerahle success for many years, it is now giving way to a new Roman-based alphabet.

Miao is spoken/used in the following countries:
China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam.

Language Family
Family: Sino-Tibetan
Subgroup: Miao-Yao

Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.

Writing Sample

Writing Sample


1. Hearken: Behold, the sower went forth to sow.

2. And it came to pass, as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside, and the birds came and devoured it.

3. And other fell on the rocky ground, where it had not much earth; and straightaway it sprang up, because it had no deepness of earth.

4. And when the sun was risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root it withered away.

From Luke viii

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