A language of Myanmar

Alternate Names
“Bre” (pej.), “Brec” (pej.), “Brek” (pej.), Deleh, Ka-yaw, “Kayaw Brek” (pej.), Laku, “Paret” (pej.), Pramano, “Pre” (pej.), “Pret” (pej.)

16,600 (1983 census).


East Kayah State, 30 villages; northeast Kayin State, Yado area; south Shan State, Pekon township.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Bwe-Kayaw, Lowe Kayaw, Upper Kayaw. Upper Kayaw dialect is the basis for Kayaw literature. Some intelligibility with Bwe Karen [bwe], though some Kayaw who speak with the Bwe Karen may use S’gaw Karen [ksw] to communicate.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. 2,000 also use S’gaw Karen [ksw]. Also use Burmese [mya].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%. Bible portions: 1990–1999.

Latin script [Latn], used by Roman Catholics and Baptists.

Other Comments

Brek and Bwe are variant names of a dialect continuum extending from southwest Kayah State to northeast Kayin (Karen) State. Bwe-Kayaw is a mixed variety spoken in the middle of this continuum. See also Karen, Bwe [bwe]. Christian.