Karen, Pwo Eastern


A language of Myanmar

Alternate Names
Moulmein Pwo Karen, Phlong, Phlou, Pho

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


Kayin State and Tanintharyi region, long contiguous area near Thai border; Bago region, Bago and Toungoo townships.

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]. Used as L2 by S’gaw Karen [ksw].

Language Development
Bible portions: 2002.

Leke (Chicken-Scratch) script [Qaak], developed between 1830–1860, used by adherents to the Leke Millenarian sect. Myanmar (Burmese) script [Mymr], primary usage, a variety of orthographies are in use. Thai script [Thai], developed by expatriates around 2000, used by West Central Thailand Pwo Karen community, limited usage.

Other Comments

Buddhist, Christian (Protestant).

Also spoken in:

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