A language of China

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

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


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

Language Maps
Language Status

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


Lanmeng, Huaipa, Dakao, 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. Some young people, all adults. Positive attitudes. Many also use Lahu [lhu], Mandarin Chinese [cmn]. Also use Hani [hni], Lü [khb].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 70%. Grammar.


Thai script [Thai], experimental.

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.

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