Eastern Pwo language

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Eastern Pwo
Southern Pwo
Eastern Phlou
Native toBurma, Thailand
EthnicityPwo Karen people
Native speakers
1 million (1998)[1]
Burmese script (various alphabets)
Leke script, Thai script
Language codes
ISO 639-3kjp

Eastern Pwo or Phlou, is a Karen language spoken by over a million people in Burma and by about 50,000 in Thailand, where it has been called Southern Pwo. It is not intelligible with other varieties of Pwo.

A script called Leke was developed between 1830 and 1860 and is used by members of the millenarian Leke sect of Buddhism. Otherwise a variety of Burmese alphabets are used, and refugees in Thailand have created a Thai alphabet which is in limited use.



  • Pa’an (Inland Eastern Pwo Karen, Moulmein)
  • Kawkareik (Eastern Border Pwo Karen)
  • Tavoy (Southern Pwo Karen)


  1. ^ Eastern Pwo at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Pwo Eastern Karen". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.