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Karen (ကညီကျိာ်)

Karen is a group of languages spoken by around 3 million people in Burma and Thailand. They are thought to be related to the Tibeto-Burman language family, though it is unclear exactly how. They are spoken by the Karen people, who are also known as Kayin or Kariang in English, Per Ploan Poe or Ploan in Poe Karen, and Pwa Ka Nyaw or Kanyaw in Sgaw Karen, and who live mainly in Karen State in the south and southeast of Burma (Myanmar), and also in Thailand.

The are three main branches of Karen: Pa'o, Pwo and Sgaw.

Pa'o

Pa'o is spoken in Burma by about half a million people, and is also known as Black Karen or White Karen.

Pwo

There are four languges within the Pwo Karen branch, with only marginal mutual intelligible between them: Eastern Pwo, Western Pwo, Northern Pwo, Phrae Pwo. They are spoken by the Pwo Karen people in eastern parts of Burma and western and northern parts of Thailand, and are known as Phlou or Ka Phlou ("Karen" or "human beings").

Sgaw (ပှၤကညီဖိ)

Sgaw, which is also known as S'gaw, S'gaw Karen or S'gaw Kayin, is spoken by over one million people in Burma, and Thailand. It is written using the Mon script. Some dialects of Sgaw are sufficiently different to be considered separate languages by some: Paku, Mopwa (Mobwa), Wewew and Monnepwa.

Sgaw Karen alphabet and pronunciation

Sgaw Karen alphabet and pronunciation

Sources: http://www.drumpublications.org/download/transliterate.pdf & http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks09/0900201p.pdf

Hear the Sgaw Karen alphabet

Sample text in Sgaw Karen

Sample text in Sgaw Karen (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample text in Pwo Karen

Sample text in Pwo Karen (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Translation

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 Pwo Karen

Sample video in Sgaw Karen

Information about Karen | Tower of Babel

Links

Information about the Karen languages
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_languages
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S'gaw_Karen_language
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenguas_kar%C3%A9nicas

Karen language courses
http://www.drumpublications.org/speakkaren.php
http://ktwg.org/Library/KTWG Karen Language Course.pdf

Karen phrases
http://www.drumpublications.org/speakkaren.php
http://www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/guidestoolkits/ethnographicguides/burma/chapters/appendixe.pdf

Karen dictionaries
http://sealang.net/karen/dictionary.htm
http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks08/0801341p.pdf

A Grammar of Sgaw Karen (PDF)
http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks09/0900201p.pdf

Children's books in Karen
https://reader.letsreadasia.org/?&lId=5738196700758016

Type Karen online
http://lixwa.com/

Karen Teacher Working Group
http://ktwg.org

Tibeto-Burman languages

Achang, Arakanese, Balti, Bantawa, Bisu, Drung, Dzongkha, Garo, Hajong, Hani, Hmar, Jingpho, Karen, Kayah Li, Ladakhi, Lahu, Lepcha, Limbu, Lipo, Lisu, Manipuri, Marma, Mro, Naxi, Nepal Bhasa / Newari, Sikkimese, Sunuwar, Tangkhul Naga, Tibetan, Tshangla, Tujia, Yi

Languages written with the Burmese script

Arakanese, Burmese, Jingpho, Karen, Marma, Palaung

Syllabic alphabets / abugidas


If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.

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