Northern Pwo (พลอง)

Northern Pwo is a member of the Pwo group of Karen languages. It is spoken by about 60,000 people in the provinces of Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Lamphun and Tak along the Salween river in the northwest of Thailand.

Northern Pwo is also known as Northern Pwo Karen or Phlong. Dialects include Mae Ping, Mae Sarieng and Omkoi, and they are mutually intelligible.

Ways to write Northern Pwo with the Thai alphabet were developed in the 1970s by the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) and Baptist missionaries. Some literature was produced in this orthography, including a dictionary, collections of folk tales and stories, and translations of religious works.

Another orthography for Nothern Pwo was devised between 2003 and 2006 by the Non-Formal Education Deparment. It is known as the NFE orthography, and is used in education projects in Chiang Mai province.

In 2007 the FAL orthography was developed, and combines elements of previous ways to write Northern Pwo.

Thai alphabet for Northern Pwo (NFE orthography)

Thai alphabet for Northern Pwo (NFE orthography)

Download an alphabet chart for Northern Pwo (Excel)

Details of the Northern Pwo alphabet provided by Wolfram Siegel

Sample text

Sample text in Northern Pwo


There was a man who wanted a wife, so he wooed a woman. When he had wooed the woman, they agreed to go together. Then, they agreed to marry each other. So, they prepared for the wedding. They boiled liquor for the wedding celebration.


Sample videos

Information about Northern Pwo | Tower of Babel


Information Northern Pwo

Karenic languages

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

Languages written with the Myanmar / Burmese script

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

Page created: 17.05.22. Last modified: 19.05.22


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