A language of Myanmar

Alternate Names
Samtau, Samtuan

9,550 in Myanmar (2000). Total users in all countries: 13,170.


Shan state: east.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).

Language Use

Vigorous. Home, village, community affairs. Used by all. Positive attitudes.


Unwritten [Qaax].

Other Comments

Samtao is used among the Palaungic peoples to refer to unintelligible dialects of Plang [blr]. In China, Samtao refers to Plang in Burma and occasionally to Plang from other China-based varieties with low intelligibility. ‘Samtao’, also refers to south Mong La area in East Shan state between the China border and Nam Lwe River. A third meaning refers to Plang who live in the Samtao area. Wan Phii Plang is a Samtao variety similar to and intelligible with Wan Sen and Wan Nyet, ancient Plang villages along Mong La-Kentung Road further west. A fourth meaning of ‘Samtao’ refers to Palaungic varieties more similar to Wa, such as the Wa, Pangloh, who also refer to themselves as Samtao. 1 Samtao village in Veng Phu Kha insists they speak the ancient Samtao language, but lexically it is Lao [lao] with Mon-Khmer phonology. Traditional religion.

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