S'gaw Karen language

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"Paku language" redirects here. For the language of Borneo, see Paku language (Indonesia).
S'gaw Karen
Pronunciation [sɣɔʔ]
Native to Burma, Thailand
Ethnicity S'gaw
Native speakers
unknown (4 million cited 1983–2011)[1]
Burmese script (S'gaw alphabet)
Karen Braille
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
ksw – S'gaw
jkp – Paku
jkm – Mopwa
wea – Wewaw
Glottolog sout1554[2]

S'gaw, also known as S'gaw Karen and S'gaw Kayin, is a Karen language spoken by over four million S'gaw Karen people in Burma, and 200,000 in Thailand. S'gaw Karen is spoken in Tanintharyi Region's Ayeyarwady Delta, Yangon Division, Bago Division, Western Thailand, Northern Thailand, and Kayin State. It is written using the Mon script. A Bible translation was published in 1853.

Various divergent dialects are sometimes seen as separate languages: Paku in the northeast, Mopwa (Mobwa) in the northwest, Wewew, and Monnepwa.[3]


  1. ^ S'gaw at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Paku at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Mopwa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Wewaw at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Southern Karen". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Christopher Beckwith, International Association for Tibetan Studies, 2002. Medieval Tibeto-Burman languages, p. 108.

External links[edit]