A language of Thailand

Alternate Names
Luang, Ma Ku, Mabri, Mla, Mrabri, Yumbri, “Phi Thong Lueang” (pej.), “Spirits of the Yellow Leaf” (pej.)
มละบริ‎ (Mlabri), มาลาบรี‎ (Malabri)

400 in Thailand (2017 F. Lipsius), increasing. Ethnic population: 400 (2017 F. Lipsius). Total users in all countries: 440.


Nan province: Na Noi and Wiang Sa districts; Phrae province: Rong Kwang and Song districts.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).

Language Use

Vigorous. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Many also use Thai [tha]. Some also use Hmong Daw [mww], mostly older men. A few also use Northern Thai [nod].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: 10%. Literacy rate in L2: 40% in Thai [tha].


Thai script [Thai].

Other Comments

Mlabri are different from the Kha Tong Luang (Phi Tong Luang, Yellow Leaf) in Laos, who are Western Viet-Muong (Wurm and Hattori 1981). Sometimes employed by the Hmong. Some nomadic. Traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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