Karen, Pwo Western


A language of Myanmar

Alternate Names
Bassein Pwo Karen, Delta Pwo Karen, Mon Karen, Mon Kayin, Mutheit, Pathein Pwo Karen, Phlong, Phlong Sho, Pho, Shu, Talaing Karen

210,000, decreasing.


Ayeyarwady region: Einmeh, Maubin, Pathein, Twante, others; Bago region: Kyonpyaw and Hinthada, others; Yangon region: Twante.

Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Very little dialectal variation among Western Pwo Karen.


SVO; prepositions; numeral classifiers; 25 consonants, 11 vowels and 2 diphthongs; tonal (4 tones); verb serialization.

Language Use

Vigorous in villages; lessening in towns. All domains. Some young people, all adults. Positive attitudes. Also use Burmese [mya]. Used as L2 by S’gaw Karen [ksw].

Language Development

Summer and church literacy classes in many communities; used and taught in Bible schools. Dictionary. Bible: 1883–1885.


Myanmar (Burmese) script [Mymr].

Other Comments

Buddhist, Christian.

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