Atayal is a member of the Formosan group or Austronesian languages. It is spoken in central and northern Taiwan along the Hsuehshan mountains by about 84,000 people. There are two main dialects: Squliq and C'uli' (Ts'ole). The language is also known as Tayal, Tyal, Taiyal, Ataiyal, Attayal, Taijyal, Bonotsek, Shabogala, Takonaans, or Tangao Yukaans, and it is 泰雅語 (tàiyăyŭ) in Chinese.
Atayal is written with the Latin alphabet and parts of the Bible have been translated into this language. There is also an Atayal-English dictionary and some Atayal grammar books.
In 1990 a number of schools in Wulai in Taipei County, where the majority of pupils are Atayal, started teaching the Ayatal language in extracurricular lessons.