Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Dai - Tai Lue


Finn Bamboo
 Share

Recommended Posts

I lived in Thailand for 19 years and I can speak, read and write Thai. One of my interests is the culture and languages of Tai/Dai, particularly those living in Xishuang Banna/Shan/Northwestern Laos/Northern and North-eastern Thailand and Central plains of Thailand.

 

Does anybody here have any links to Dai (living in China or other areas) culture and/or language websites?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

I have been interested in this myself. Unfortunately there is very little information anywhere on the internet on Chinese minority languages.

 

If you search on youku, there are a number of songs in Dai, but it is near impossible to find any plain spoken Dai, and certainly nothing that could be used as a learning resource.

 

There are almost no books either for learning Dai - well, there are a couple that do not come with audio, and they are not very comprehensive either, so they won't get you very far.

 

Another problem is that few people are literate in Dai, so there is very little printed matter. There are a few books, mainly of folk tales, published in the 1980s, and a small number of other random publications (Chinese law, a few school literature books) which does not provide much for making it worthwhile learning to read. Besides this, there is more than one Dai script. There is Xishuangbanna Dai, which was updated in the 1950s I believe (so new publications, road signs etc. are in the new script, but temple inscriptions etc. are in the old script), and Dehong Dai. I'm not sure how much variation there is in the language itself between these areas, but at least the scripts are mutually unintelligible.

 

So, essentially, whilst I have contemplated having a crack at Dai, on balance, I think it would be a waste of time unless I could actually live long-term in Xishuangbanna, otherwise I would not be able to use it. At least with Chinese, there is plenty to read, much media to watch, and it's easy to chat with others using text. Dai on the other hand has almost nothing to read, no media, and few people could text chat with it. So, outside of Dai-speaking areas, essentially useless.

 

Another minority language I'm interested in is Yi. A very unique script.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I assume you're referring to 傣仂语 (Tai Lü), right? It's true that the only recording of spoken Tai Lü just about anywhere is the missionary stuff that's been done. I don't think songs are too bad a place to start though! There's also a little from Seasite.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

YouTube is blocked in China, so I can't open your link, but I assume you are talking about Xishuangbanna (Sipsongpanna) Dai.

I have a number of Dai books in the UK. I'll post some pictures next month if I have time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, sorry, didn't think about the block. It was a song and text to the song in Lanna language, which I asume is very much the same as the language spoken by Dai. Would be nice to see at least the names of the authors and the titles of your books, thanks. Are they in English or some other language?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is the old script. The one in current use is here: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/tailue.htm

 

I say "current use", but in reality, few people can read it. The few publications that are available are in the new script. I have never seen a publication in the old script - though I do have one book that compares the two so has some (hand-written) text in the old script.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess, it would be more useful for me to learn the old script as there must be texts using that in Laos, Shan area of Burma and Northern Thailand. All these areas have also Thai Lue population. I am more interested in reading old texts about the culture and history of these people. The old script is not that different from Thai or Laotian so it wouldn't be too much of a burden to learn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...