Cantonese and Tai Lue

Relationship between Cantonese and Tai Lue

The chart below is about the similarity between Cantonese and Tai Lue vocabulary. Only a few examples are listed in here. Click on the picture to see the big version.
Cantonese and Tai-Kadai
Many Cantonese/Chinese people will immediately say that these must be loanwords from Chinese. Except for the word “vagina”, which some source say that it should be written as 屄 (but it is pronounced as “bei1” in Cantonese), most of the words in the chart are just written with homophones.

More on Tai Lue

Both Cantonese and Tai Lue have nine tones according to the traditional count.

Where does Tai Lue speakers live?

According to wiki, most of them reside in a Yunnan area that borders with Burma called Sipsongpanna (Mandarin pinyin: Xishuangbanna).

Photo Credit


  1. Interesting. In Thai and Lao(tone omitted) it’s khii, hii, lom, ?, lut, khaan, jam, khan, and laai.

    1. I got a paper, in Chinese, that introduces some fundamental vocabularies that share between Hakka, Cantonese and Tai-Kadai langauges. I’ll post them when I’ve time.

  2. Mannie Tu · · Reply

    And Viet… my in laws speak Vietnamese and I find that I can understand about 15- 25% of their dialogues that sounds almost the same as Cantonese.

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