A language of China

Alternate Names
Bisu, Guba, Lawa, Lawmeh, Lua, Mbi, Mibisu, Misu, Pin

4,000 (Bradley 2007), decreasing. Less than 1,000 Laopin (Bradley 2007). Ethnic population: 5,000 (Bradley 2007). Ethnic population does not include Laopin.


Yunnan Province, Lancang, Menglian, and Ximeng counties. Laopin dialect: Menghai county, Mengzhe township, Van Phin (Laopinzhai) village.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized nationality: Lahu.


Dakao, Huaipa, Lanmeng, Laopin. Similar to Pyen [pyy] and Bisu [bzi]. Lexical similarity: 93%–95% between Laopin and Laomian, 88% with Bisu [bzi] in Thailand.

Language Use

Use of Chinese [cmn] is increasing and leading to language shift. Home, village. Positive attitudes. High levels of bilingualism in Lahu [lhu]. High levels of bilingualism in Chinese [cmn]. Also use Hani [hni], Lü [khb].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 70%. Grammar.
Other Comments

The name ‘Laomian’ is the Chinese derivation of the Lahu name ‘Lawmeh.’ Others officially classified as Undetermined Nationality. Some view Bisu as an important link to their culture and hope to preserve it. Traditional religion.