Pa'O language

Pa'O (also Pa-O, Pa Oh), sometimes called Taungthu, is a Karen language spoken by half a million Pa'O people in Burma.

Pa-O Karen
Native toBurma
EthnicityPa-O people
Native speakers
(560,000 cited 1983)[1]
Burmese script (Pa'O alphabet)
Karen Braille
Language codes
ISO 639-3blk

The language is primarily written using a system of phonetics devised by Christian missionaries,[3][4] and many of the materials now available for it on the internet derive from Christian missionary involvement, although the majority of the Pa'O are generally reported to be Buddhists (without real statistics, etc.).

The language is also referred to by the exonyms "Black Karen" and "White Karen", both of which are terms used in contrast to "Red Karen" (Karenni), also of Burma.


  1. ^ Pa-O at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Pa'o Karen". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ "Pa-oh ပအိုဝ်း - Word List". Language Documentation Training Center. 2015-10-03. Archived from the original on 2015-10-03. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  4. ^ "Pa-oh ပအိုဝ်း - Writing System". Language Documentation Training Center. 2015-10-09. Archived from the original on 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2019-03-21.