A language of Myanmar

ISO 639-3: wbm

Population 558,000 in Myanmar (1993 Johnstone). Population total all countries: 838,000.
Region Shan State, upper Salween River area. Kentung Wa are in or around Kentung City in southern Wa area. Also spoken in China.
Alternate names   K'awa, Kawa, Va, Vo, Wa Pwi, Wakut
Dialects Wa Lon, Wu, Kentung Wa, Son, En, La. Related to Lawa and Parauk in Thailand and China. Kentung Wa is more closely related to Lawa than are the northern dialects. En and Son are very different from each other. Son, En, and La may be separate languages.
Classification Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Palaungic, Western Palaungic, Waic, Wa
Language development Magazines. Radio programs. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1938.
Comments 'Kawa' may refer to Blang. An official nationality in China. 'Wa pwi' means 'Wa people'. SVO. Mountain slope, plateau. Defoliated into scrub forest. 1,000 to 2,000 meters. Swidden agriculturalists. Traditional religion, Christian, Buddhist.

Also spoken in: China

Language name   Wa
Population 280,000 in China (1999 Chen Guoqing). Many are monolingual.
Region Awa Mountains, southwest Yunnan as far east as the Lancang (Mekong) River.
Alternate names   Va, Awa, K'awa, Kawa, Vo, Wa Pwi, Wakut
Dialects Baraoke, Va, Ava.
Language use Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive language attitude. Speakers also use Chinese, Lü or Lahu.
Language development Literacy rate in first language: 1%.


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Part of the Wa nationality. Traditional culture. Mountain slope, riverine, plains. 1,500 to 2,000 meters. Agriculturalists: potatoes, cotton, hemp, tobacco, sugarcane, tea, rice, beans, buckwheat, maize; ironsmiths; weavers; bamboo craftsmen; brewers; animal husbandry. Traditional religion, Buddhist, Christian.