Bisu language

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Native toThailand, China
Ethnicity700 in Thailand (2007)[1]
Native speakers
240 in China (2005)[1]
Thai script, Latin script
Language codes
ISO 639-3bzi

Bisu (Chinese: 毕苏语) is a Loloish language of Thailand, with a couple thousand speakers in China. Varieties are Bisu proper (Mbisu) and Laomian (Guba), considered by Pelkey to be distinct languages.

The Laomian are classified within the Lahu ethnic group; the Lahu proper call them the "Lawmeh" (Bradley 2007).


According to Bisuyu Yanjiu 毕苏语研究 (2002), there are over 5,000 Bisu speakers in Yunnan, China, and a total of nearly 10,000 Bisu speakers in all countries combined. Within Yunnan, it is spoken mostly in Pu'er Prefecture, as well as neighboring parts of Xishuangbanna.

In Thailand, two dialects of Bisu are spoken in the following villages of Phan District, Chiang Rai Province (Bisuyu Yanjiu 2002:152).

  • Dialect 1: Huai Chomphu village (also called Ban Huaisan) and Doi Pui village
  • Dialect 2: Phadaeng village

Another variety of Bisu differing from the Phayao variety is spoken in Takɔ (Ban Thako), Mae Suai District, Chiang Rai Province.

In Laos, Bisu (pi33 su44; also called Lao-Phai) is spoken in Phudokcham village, Phongxaly District.[5]


  1. ^ a b Bisu at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Bisu". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Kingsadā, Thō̜ngphet, and Tadahiko Shintani. 1999. Basic Vocabularies of the Languages Spoken in Phongxaly, Lao P.D.R. Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA).
  • Bradley, David (2007). "Language Endangerment in China and Mainland Southeast Asia". In Matthias Brenzinger, ed. Language diversity endangered. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Further reading[edit]

Link to the New Testament in Bisu: