Karen, Pwo Eastern


A language of Myanmar

Alternate Names
Moulmein Pwo Karen, Phlong, Phlou, Pho

1,000,000 in Myanmar (1998). Very few monolinguals. Population total all countries: 1,050,000.


Kayin State, Mon State, Tanintharyi Division. Also in Thailand (Pwo Western Thailand Karen).

Language Status

5 (Developing).


Kawkareik (Eastern Border Pwo Karen), Pa’an (Inland Eastern Pwo Karen, Moulmein), Tavoy (Southern Pwo Karen). Not intelligible with Pwo Karen [pwo]. Reportedly fairly high comprehension among Eastern Pwo Karen dialects. Lexical similarity: 91%–97% among dialects; 63%–65% with Pwo Karen [pwo].



Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Burmese [mya].

Language Development
Bible portions: 2002.
Leke (Chicken-Scratch) script, developed between 1830–1860, used by adherents to the Leke Millenarian sect. Myanmar (Burmese) script, primary usage, a variety of orthographies are in use. Thai script, developed by expatriates around 2000, used by West Central Thailand Pwo Karen community, limited usage.
Other Comments

Buddhist, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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