Neha Patil (Editor)

S'gaw Karen language

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Pronunciation  [sɣɔʔ]
Ethnicity  S'gaw
Native to  Myanmar, Thailand
Region  Eastern Burma, Western Thailand
Native speakers  (4 million cited 1983–2011)
Language family  Sino-Tibetan Karen languages Sgaw–Bghai S'gaw Karen

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.

Distribution and varieties

S'gaw is spoken in Ayeyarwady delta area, in the Ayeyarwady, Bago, Kayin, and Rangon regions. S'gaw speakers are frequently interspersed with Pwo Karen speakers.

S'gaw dialects are:

  • Eastern dialect of S’gaw Karen (Pa’an)
  • Southern dialect of Western Kayah (Dawei)
  • Delta dialect of S’gaw Karen
  • Paku is spoken in:

  • northern Kayin State: hills southeast of Taungoo in eastern Bago Region, bordering Kayin State
  • southern Kayah State
  • Paku dialects are Shwe Kyin, Mawchi, Kyauk Gyi, Bawgali, the names of which are based on villages.

  • Kyauk Gyi and Shwe Kyin are spoken in Taungoo District, eastern Bago Region, near the Kayin State border.
  • Mawchi is spoken in Kayah State.
  • Bawgali is spoken in north Kayin State.
  • Mobwa is spoken in 9 villages at the western foot of the Thandaung Mountains in Thandaung township, Kayin State. There are also some in Taungoo township, Bago Region.

    Mobwa dialects are Palaychi (Southern Mobwa) and Dermuha (Southern Mobwa).


    S'gaw Karen language Wikipedia