Sgaw Karen (ကညီကျိာ် / K'nyaw)

Sgaw Karen is a member of the Karenic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. It is spoken by about 2 million people in southern Myanmar and northwestern Thailand. In Myanmar it is spoken in Kayin State, and in the regions of Tanintharyi, Ayeyarwady, Yangon and Bago. In Thailand is spoken by about 200,000 people in the provinces of Tak, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi and Kamphaeng Phet.

Other names for Sgaw Karen include Burmese Karen, Kanyaw, Kayinpyu, Kyetho, Paganyaw, Pchcknya, Pwakenyaw, S’gau, S’gaw, S’gaw Kayin, White Karen or Yang Khao. It is an official language in Kayin State in Myanmar, and is recognised as a minority language in Thailand.

Sgaw Karen is written with the Mon/Burmese alphabet, and can also be written with the Latin alphabet. Some dialects of S'gaw Karen are sufficiently different to be considered separate languages by some: Paku, Mopwa, Wewew and Monnepwa.

Mon alphabet for Sgaw Karen

Mon alphabet for Sgaw Karen

Hear the Sgaw Karen alphabet

Latin alphabet for S'gaw Karen

Latin alphabet for S'gaw Karen

Download alphabet charts for S'gaw Karen (Excel)

Details of S'gaw Karen alphabets provided by Wolfram Siegel

Sample text in S'gaw Karen

Sample text in S'gaw Karen (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample video in S'gaw Karen

Information about S'gaw Karen | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about the Karen languages'gaw_Karen_language/a>'gaw

Karen dictionaries

A Grammar of S'gaw Karen (PDF)

Type S'gaw Karen online

Karenic languages

Eastern Pwo Karen, Manumanaw Karen, Northern Pwo, Pa'O, Red Karen (Kayah Li), S'gaw Karen, Western Pwo

Languages written with the Burmese/Mon script

Aiton, Arakanese, Burmese, Eastern Pwo Karen, Jingpho, Khamti, Marma, Palaung, Pa'O, S'gaw Karen, Tai Laing, Tai Phake, Western Pwo

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 18.01.23


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