Yao is a Chinese language spoken in parts of Guangxi Province in southern China. It is also spoken in parts of Vietnam and Laos. Yao belongs to the Tai-Kadai language family. The Yao people have a long history. They are believed to have originated in what is now Guangdong Province. They migrated to Guangxi in the 13th century. The Yao people have their own unique culture and traditions. The Yao language is a tonal language. That means that the meaning of a word can change depending on the tone of voice used to say it. There are four tones in Yao. The Yao language is written with a modified form of the Chinese characters. It is also written with a unique script called Dongba. Dongba is a pictographic script. That means that the characters represent objects or ideas, not sounds. The Yao language is in danger of disappearing. It is estimated that there are only about 200,000 speakers of Yao. Most of them are older people. Young people are more likely to speak Mandarin Chinese or Vietnamese. The Yao language is an important part of the Yao people's cultural heritage. Efforts are being made to preserve the language.

Language group

Bantu languages

Language locales, regions and scripts

Yao, Mozambique, Latin
Yao, Latin