Native toThailand, China
Ethnicity700 in Thailand (2007)[1]
Native speakers
240 in China (2005)[1]
Thai script, Latin script
Language codes
ISO 639-3bzi

Bisu (Chinese: 毕苏语) is a Loloish language of Thailand, with a couple thousand speakers in China. Varieties are Bisu proper (Mbisu) and Laomian (Guba), considered by Pelkey to be distinct languages.

The Laomian are classified within the Lahu ethnic group; the Lahu proper call them the "Lawmeh".[2]


According to Bisuyu Yanjiu 毕苏语研究 (2002), there are over 5,000 Bisu speakers in Yunnan, China, and a total of nearly 10,000 Bisu speakers in all countries combined. Within Yunnan, it is spoken mostly in Pu'er Prefecture, as well as neighboring parts of Xishuangbanna.

In Thailand, two dialects of Bisu are spoken in the following villages of Phan District, Chiang Rai Province (Bisuyu Yanjiu 2002:152).

Another variety of Bisu differing from the Phayao variety is spoken in Takɔ (Ban Thako), Mae Suai District, Chiang Rai Province.

In Laos, Bisu (pi33 su44; also called Lao-Phai) is spoken in Phudokcham village, Phongxaly District.[5] In Myanmar, Bisu is spoken in three or two villages of Shan State, and Bisu speakers live alongside Pyen speakers


In Thailand, the Bisu language is written with the Thai script.


Labial Coronal Palatal Velar Glottal
plain sibilant
unaspirated p ⟨p, ป⟩ t ⟨t, ต⟩ ts ⟨c, จฺ⟩ t͡ɕ~t͡ʃ ⟨č, จ⟩ k ⟨k, ก⟩ ʔ ⟨-, อ⟩
aspirated ⟨ph, พ⟩ ⟨th, ท⟩ tsʰ ⟨ch, ชฺ⟩ t͡ɕʰ~t͡ʃʰ ⟨čh, ช⟩ ⟨kh, ค⟩
voiced b ⟨b, บ⟩ d ⟨d, ด⟩ g ⟨g, กง⟩
Fricative f ⟨f, ฟ⟩ s ⟨s, ซ⟩ ʃ ⟨š, ซฺ⟩ h ⟨h, ฮ⟩
Nasal plain m ⟨m, ม⟩ n ⟨n, น⟩ ɲ ⟨ñ, ญ⟩ ŋ ⟨ŋ, ง⟩
preaspirated ⟨hm, ฮม⟩ ⟨hn, ฮน⟩ ɲ̊ ⟨hñ, ฮญ⟩ ŋ̊ ⟨hŋ, ฮง⟩
Approximant plain w ⟨w, ว⟩ l ⟨l, ล⟩ j ⟨y, ย⟩
preaspirated ⟨hl, ฮล⟩ ⟨hy, ฮย⟩


There is no different meaning between long and short vowels. However, check syllables may sound shorter than non-checked ones when speaking. Thai standard uses only long vowels.



  1. ^ a b Bisu at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Bradley (2007)
  3. ^ "Láncāng Lāhùzú Zìzhìxiàn Zhútáng Xiāng Lǎotànshān Lǎomiǎnzhài" 澜沧拉祜族自治县竹塘乡老炭山老缅寨 [Laomianzhai, Laotanshan, Zhutang Township, Lancang Lahu Autonomous County]. Archived from the original on 2018-08-16. Retrieved 2013-03-02.
  4. ^ "Měnghǎi Xiàn Měngzhē Zhèn Mànhóng Cūnwěihuì Lǎopǐn Zìráncūn" 勐海县勐遮镇曼洪村委会老品自然村 [Laopin Natural Village, Manhong Village Committee, Mengzhe Town, Menghai County]. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2013-03-02.
  5. ^ Kingsadā, Thō̜ngphet; Shintani, Tadahiko (1999). Basic Vocabularies of the Languages Spoken in Phongxaly, Lao P.D.R. Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA).
  6. ^ a b "Bisu". Omniglot. Archived from the original on 2019-07-05.
  7. ^ a b สำนักงานราชบัณฑิตยสภา. คู่มือระบบเขียนภาษาบีซูอักษรไทย ฉบับราชบัณฑิตยสภา. กรุงเทพฯ : สำนักงานราชบัณฑิตยสภา, 2563, หน้า 32.
  • Bradley, David (2007). "Language Endangerment in China and Mainland Southeast Asia". In Brenzinger, Matthias (ed.). Language Diversity Endangered. New York: Mouton de Gruyte.