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Languages > Yi

Language Information

Yi, also known as Lob, is spoken by about 6 million people in Yunnan Province, southern China. It is a member of the Tibeto--Burman subgroup of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. The origin of the Yi script is unclear. The characters are mainly ideographic, possibly adaptations of the Chinese, but a number seem to be phonetic. In 1958 the Chinese government introduced a Roman-based alphabet for use in Yi.

Yi is spoken/used in China

Language Family
Family: Sino-Tibetan
Subgroup: Tibeto-Burman

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

Writing Sample

Writing Sample


1. In ancient times there were differences between man and animal.

2. January likes the autumn rain.

3. February likes the leaves of the grasses.

4. March likes the frog.

5. April is the four-legged snake.

6. May is the house lizard.

7. June assumes the form of man.

8. July has mother's transformation.

9. August unites mother's spirit.

10. September is in mother's bosom.

—Passage describing the growth of a child during its mother's pregnancy

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