A language of Thailand

Alternate Names
Lao Prai, Lua Prai, Lua’, Phai, Pray, Thin, “Htin” (pej.)

20,000 in Thailand (2001). Possibly 3,000 Ban Wen dialect speakers. Total users in all countries: 48,700.


Nan province: Bo Klua, Chalerm Prakiat, Chiang Klang, Pua and Thung Chang districts.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Southern Prai, Ban Wen. The main dialect of Prai has 2 subvarieties referred to as, R and Y, which are reportedly minimally different. Ban Wen dialect shares cognates with both Mal [mlf] and Prai, but is unintelligible to Mal speakers.

Language Use

Used by all. Most also use Northern Thai [nod].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 25%–50%. Literacy materials include a set of primers and lessons. Dictionary. Bible portions: 1987–2013.


Thai script [Thai].

Other Comments

Distinct from Mal [mlf]. Lua is a self-reported language name for many Prai and Mal [mlf]. The southern dialect is called Longhouse (Jordan-Diller and Diller 2004). About 12 villages, mostly in Bo Klua district, with a few villages in Pua district. Ban Wen dialect speakers live in 10–15 villages, primarily in Bo Klua district, with some in Chalerm Prakiat district. Traditional religion, Buddhist.

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