|670,000 including Khangoi (2019)|
Tangkhul is not close to other Naga languages. It is a dialect continuum, in which speakers from neighboring villages may be able to understand each other, but a dialect farther north or south will be less easily understood, if at all. The lingua franca is the Hunphun (Ukhrul) dialect. Languages in the northern villages of chingjaroi, razai , jessami and soraphung have languages under the Angami-pochuri group of languages.
The language dialect spoken by the people of Hunphun (the traditional name of Ukhrul) became the most common dialect among the Tangkhuls because the British set up their administration in Ukhrul. The American Baptist missionary Rev. William Pettigrew translated the Bible into the Hunphun dialect.
- Stop sounds /p t tʃ k/ may have voiced allophones [b d dʒ ɡ] in free variation.
- /m/ may be heard as [ɱ] when preceding /f/ or /ʋ/.
- /r/ can be heard as [r] or [ɾ] in free variation.
- /i e a u/ can have allophone sounds of [ɪ ɛ ɐ ɯ] in free variation.