Zhuang guibei love poem
Aen ngaeuz mwngz youq ndaw gingq,
Dwg fwen gou ceiq giengh.
Hoeng, de mbouj raen riuz lai,
De dwg aen "Gou gyaez mwngz" gou youq laeng.
→ French poem ←
Zhuang guibei dialect
The translation of my poem into Zhuang guibei, a Tai language, belonging to the Kam-Tai branch of the Tai-Kadai language family.
The Zhuang dialects are very numerous, and can be divided into two groups. Those in the north, north of the Yongjiang and Youjiang rivers; and those of the south, south of these same rivers!
These two large dialect groups (north and south) are sufficiently separated, so that in general mutual understanding is impossible.
Zhuang Gubei, is a northern Tai language, spoken by nearly 2 million people, it is part of the northern Zhuang speaking group.
This Tai-Kadai language is spoken in Guangxi, a province in southern China, and has borrowed heavily from Chinese.
The standardization of Zhuang is based on another northern dialect, that of Yongbei in Wuming.
Officially for almost 70 years, Zhuang has been written with our Latin letters. Previously, and for 1500 years (Sui dynasty), the Zhuangs used a script based on that of Chinese.
In reality, most often, the Zhuangs use the Chinese script, which seems to them more practical so that the chosen literary language (that of Wuming), is comprehensible to the reading by the speakers of the other varieties of Zhuang.
In any case, even if there are media broadcast in Zhuang, the practice of writing in Zhuang remains uncommon.
Zhuang borrowed a lot from Chinese. It is considered that nearly 40% of common words are derived from it.
It should be noted that in China linguists associate Zhuang with the Zhuang-Tai branch of the Zhuang-Dong group of the Sino-Tibetan language family.
The origin of the language seems to be the Guangxi, and archeology shows traces of the Zhuangs in this region as early as 3000 BC. This same archeology shows all the extent of their old civilization.
Their culture is still very much alive, and they are known to be found in many festivals, in which music and songs are in the spotlight.
Despite everything, little by little, they participate in the rural Chinese exodus, and we can observe that in a few generations, these urbanites mixed with speakers of Chinese or Cantonese abandon their language.