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Fae Tan Fah or 飛談話
Pronunciation[fᴀi̯ tᴀn fᴀ]
Created byNathan Xu
Native toFaitonia
  • Sinitic
    • Faiten
Official status
Official language in
Regulated by共產媈唐人民共和國政府 or Kaung Shan Fai Tang Hnin Bin Gong Var Quoc Jieng Fu


Faiten Language (also known as Tan Language) is a constructed language with its roots in the Sino-Tibetan language family. It is primarily spoken in the region of Faitonia and holds a community of 4 million speakers (4.5 million including in Faitonian diaspora). While Faiten initially gained popularity as a tool to circumvent government censorship on the internet, it has also evolved into a fully-fledged spoken language. Faiten's linguistic structure draws influences from mainly Chinese and in some cases Vietnamese.


Vowel inventory

Front Back
Close i y ɨ u
Middle e ø ə o
Open ɛ œ ɔ


Palatal Labial
i̯a ai̯ u̯a au̯
i̯e ei̯ u̯e eu̯
ɨ̯ə əi̯ u̯ə
i̯o u̯o ou̯
y̯ø øy̯

Consonant inventory

Labial Dental Velar Alveolar Retroflex Palatal
Stop Aspirated t͡sʰ ʈ͡ʂʰ t͡ɕʰ
Tenuis p t k t͡s ʈ͡ʂ t͡ɕ
Voiced b d g
Fricative Tenuis f h s ʂ ɕ
Voiced v z ʐ ʑ
Resonant Nasal m n ŋ
Liquid w l j

Correspondences From Middle Chinese


  • Labialisation of initials 幫 滂 並 明 only occur in independent rimes 嚴 元 殷 庚 凡 文 廢 微 幽 as well as Chongniu-B rimes 祭 支 脂 宵 鹽 侵 仙 真 清 as well as Closed mouth III rimes 戈 陽 蒸.
  • Rimes 魚 虞 are realized as back vowels /u o/ in initials 知 徹 澄 娘 莊 初 崇 生 俟, and front /y ø/ for the initials 章 昌 禪 書 船, and /i̯o i̯u/ for the rest.
  • Before initials 知 徹 澄 娘 莊 初 崇 生 俟 the mixed III finals lose their palatal glide as they merge with division II.
  • The initials 曉 匣 are both realized as /h/. But in closed mouth syllables they labiodentalise into /f v/ which lose their -u̯- glide.
  • Before initials 端 透 定 泥 精 清 從 心 邪 they lose their palatal glide while retaining their vowels.
  • In initials 知 徹 澄 娘 莊 初 崇 生 俟 the vowels /e i/ become /ə ɨ/.
  • In initials 見 溪 羣 疑, Chongniu-B rimes loses it’s palatal glide while Chongniu-A rimes retains the -i- glide.


Faiten utilises two scripts in it's literature: Latin and Hanzi. Occasionally, these two scripts intertwine, although primarily in informal or conversational contexts. However, the Latin script used in Tan lacks a rigid standard set of letters to render certain phonemes and tends to exhibit inconsistency in orthography. In Faiten a grapheme becomes a vessel for multiple phonemes, and conversely, multiple phonemes find expression within a single grapheme.


Initials Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Retroflex Velar
Stop Aspirated

p, hp, ph

t, ht, th


tz, ch




kr, gr

k, hk, kh

Tenuis p

p, b


t, d






tr, dr


k, c, g

Voiced b

b, bh


d, dh


g, gh

Fricative Tenuis f










Voiced v








Resonant Nasal m

m, hm


n, hn


ng, gn

Liquid l

l, lh, hl

Glide j

i, y


u, w


Plain Rime Front Back
Flat Round Flat Round
Close i

i, ee


u, uu, ue


z, ze, y


u, oo, ou

Middle e

e, ay, ai, eh, er


eu, eo, oe, oeu


e, o, a


o, aw, au, oh, or

Open ɛ

e, ay, ai, eh, er


eu, eo, oe, oeu


a, aa, ah, ar


o, aw, au, oh, or

As noticeable in this table, the vowels [e ɛ] [ø œ] [o ɔ] are merged in orthography and share the same graphemes, however in spoken Faiten these sounds are distinguished with context disambiguating the graphemes semantic value. For instance <ke> is either pronounced [ke] "fake", [kʰe] (classifier), [kɛ] "family", or [kʰɛ] "cash".

Palatal Labial

ia, ya, iar, iah, yar, yah


ae, ay


oi, oa, war, waa, wah


ao, aw, aou


ie, ye, iae, yae


ey, ei, ay, ai


we, way, wai, oue, oui


ew, aeo, eow, aio, iew


eau, uea, ea


aoe, aei, oie, eur, eor, uer


our, ua, wa


iau, io, iao, yau, yao, yo


uo, wo, wau


ow, ou, aw, au


ieu, iue, ieo, yeu, yue, yeo


eui, eoi, ui, uei, uy, oei


iou, iu, you, yoo, yu, ioo

Table 2.4: Codas

m, me, mp, mme, lm, chm, gm, mn, mh, sme,

p, pe, mp, lp, b, mpe, f, ph, pt, ft, bp, lf, be


n, ne, nt, l, lt, hn, nne, ll, le, sne, nne,

t, te, nt, lt, d, tt, th, nte, st, tch, dt, de, the,


ng, nn, gne, gn, nh, nc, ngh, nque,

k, ke, que, c, ch, g, nk, lk, ct, ck, gk, gh, ge


Faiten Language is an analytic nominative-accusative language with free word order and a head-initial structure. This means that the language relies on word order and context to convey meaning, rather than inflectional endings on words. In Faiten, the subject of a sentence is marked in the nominative case, while the object is marked in the accusative case. The language also has a head-initial structure, which means that the head of a phrase (such as a noun or verb) comes before any modifiers. This allows for flexibility in word order, as modifiers can be placed before or after the head without changing the meaning of the sentence.

Personal Pronouns

Table 3.1 Singular Plural
1st Person [ŋu], 我[ŋa], 余[y], 俺[em], 台[i], 朕[dɨm], 阮[ŋi̯on], 咱[t͡san], 剌[lat̚], 僕[buk̚], 婢[bi̯e], 偶[u], 厓[ge], 祽[t͡so̯u], 偔[ŋak̚] Singular Pronoun + 曹[zau̯]
2nd Person [ni̯o], 爾[nen], 尓[ni̯e], 迺[nai̯], 叒[ni̯ak̚], 君[ki̯un], 卿[kʰi̯aŋ], 農[nɔŋ], 恁[nim], 儕[ʐə], 子[t͡si], 倷[nə], 㑚[nɐ], 英[i̯aŋ], 眉[mi]
3rd Person [i], 人[nin], 佢[kʰøy], 諾[nak̚], 佗[dɔ], 亓[gi], 厥[ki̯ut̚], 渠[gi̯o], 夫[vu], 㞢[t͡ɕi], 伢[i̯a], 夷[i], 它[tʰa], 亳[bak̚], 㑢[kʰi̯ak̚]

Demonstrative Pronouns

Table 3.2 Proximal Distal
Singular [an], 此[t͡sʰe], 箇[ka], 葛[kat̚], 益[i̯ek̚], 遮[t͡ɕi̯a], 是[de], 斯[se], 茲[zi], 茊[ʑi], 者[ta], 只[t͡ɕi̯e], 拓[tʰak̚], 邇[ni̯e], 即[t͡sik̚], 呢[ni] [na], 彼[fe], 其[gu], 兀[gu̯ot̚], 個[kɔ], 許[hi̯o], 介[kei̯], 乢[kap̚], 艾[ŋai̯], 埃[ai̯], 改[kai̯], 該[kɛ], 嚀[neŋ], 遐[ha], 兜[tou̯], 箕[kɨ]
Plural Singular Proximal/Distal + 等[toŋ]

Interrogative Pronouns

Table 3.3
What 何, 啥, 麼, 乜, 淡, 奚, 曷, 底
Who 誰, 疇, 孰, 誰人, 何人, 何者, 阿誰, 哪𠰻, 啥儂, 底儂,
When 曷, 何時, 幾時, 哪久, 底時, 何時節, 當, 曷
Why 何為, 何以, 何故, 何居, 何意, 何由, 緣何, 胡, 奚, 曷, 哪,
Where 何處, 何許, 何方, 安, 選, 哪, 狃, 阿裡, 佗位, 哪搭, 邊
How 何其, 如何, 奈何, 若何, 仰仔, 按怎, 做呢, 訾那, 焉, 咋,


In Faiten, the noun system is characterized by its simplicity and lack of inflection. Nouns in Faiten do not undergo changes to indicate case, gender, or number. Unlike many other languages, where nouns can take on different forms depending on their role in a sentence or their grammatical characteristics, Faiten nouns remain constant. This means that the same noun form is used regardless of whether it is the subject, object, singular, or plural. To indicate the number of the noun, Faiten incorporates the use of quantifier particles to specify the quantity or provide detailed counting of nouns. These particles are essential for indicating the number associated with a particular noun. Instead of relying on inflection or morphological changes within the noun itself, Faiten speakers utilise quantifier particles to convey precise numeric information.

Examples of Faiten Nouns:

  1. 龍 [loŋ] - dragon
  2. 蓮花 [lɛn fa] - lotus flower
  3. 古琴 [ku gim] - ancient musical instrument
  4. 山水 [ʂan ɕy] - landscape
  5. 書法 [ɕy fap̚] - calligraphy
  6. 古董 [ku tuŋ] - antique
  7. 酒坛 [dan t͡su] - wine jar
  8. 紅袍 [huŋ bau̯] - red robe
  9. 琉璃 [li̯u li̯e] - glass
  10. 丹鳳眼 [tan bi̯uŋ ŋan] - phoenix eye (a type of precious stone)
  11. 筆架 [fit̚ ke] - pen holder
  12. 羅漢床 [la han ʐaŋ] - Luohan bed (traditional Chinese wooden bed)
  13. 碧玉 [piak̚ ŋio̯k̚] - jade
  14. 金魚 [kim ŋi̯o] - goldfish
  15. 羽毛扇 [vu mau̯ ɕi̯en] - feather fan

In Faiten, there is an evident lack of inherent distinction between the singular and plural forms of nouns through infliction. Instead, to indicate whether a noun is singular or plural, it is necessary to specify the quantity or number of items involved. A key element in this process is the use of measure words, which are added between the number and the noun. Quantifiers assist in making the noun countable and provide clarity regarding the quantity being referred to. Unlike English, where measure words are primarily used to isolate individual parts of collective nouns (e.g., a piece of paper, a pair of pants, a drop of water), Faiten takes a unique approach. In Faiten, every noun, whether collective or not, is accompanied by a specific measure word. This distinctive feature of the language treats all nouns as if they were collective nouns, necessitating the use of measure words to define the grammatical number of a word. Consequently, Faiten extensively employs measure words to provide clarity and precision when indicating the quantity or number associated with a noun. Fortunately, all measure words or classifiers in Faiten tend to cognate a lot with Mandarin as well as Cantonese.

An average noun phrase follows the pattern,

Number/Quantifier + Classifier + Noun

To indicate similarity, the number 壹 is used in place of the quantifier, followed by the Classifier then the Noun. Quantifiers can also be omitted leaving the classifier following the noun, to convey singularity although it’s used colloquially.

+ Classifier + Noun (Standard Singular Noun Phrase)


Classifier + Noun (Informal Singular Noun Phrase)


it̚ zɔŋ kʰu kʰu̯an men deu̯
1 CL lasagna
"1 layer of lasagna" or "a layer of lasagna"
wun t͡ɕøn ŋi̯ap̚
(1)CL major
"1 major" or "a major"

For the plural nouns, the numbers 貳 higher, or quantifiers (for indefinite plural) is used to imply that the noun comes in a pair or multiple instances of the noun. Naturally Quantifiers are plural and they convey an indefinite plural.

Number (貳 or higher) / Quantifiers + Classifier + Noun

With demonstratives, the demonstrative comes before the number or the quantifier.

Demonstrative Pronouns + Number/Quantifier + Classifier + Noun

Example texts

Other resources