SOAS Wa Dictionary Project

Resources for Wa Language and Culture

Textual resources

Media (Samples of spoken Wa)

  • The Tale of the Two Kings
    (from Old Testament [2 Chronicles 16-17?; 2 Kings?]) (MP3 format)

  • Friends Forever
    (from Old Testament) (MP3 format)

  • The Peaceable Kingdom (Haktiex Yien yawk)
    (from Bible) (MP3 format)

  • "Pet La Pa Ang Kwe Rhawm Keut" (The Mindless Rabbit) (MP3, 3756KB) from Lai Vax, Wa Reader, Glawg 4, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2000), read by the editor of that textbook series, the Rev. Ai Pao Pleek Sgu, with accompanying text.

  • Wa Hymns Audio CD

  • Dialogues 25-38 from Wayu huihua keben 佤语会话课本)
    [Phuk Lai Gau Ra Lai Ah Loux Vax / Pug lāi mgāe dui loux loux Vax (MP3, Big! 13,751KB)

  • Tapes to accompany new bilingual Chinese-Wa primary-school language text Lāi Loux (2003)
    • Tape 1: basic sounds, word lists, first part of kewen texts etc. for vols. 1-2 (MP3, 11,241KB)
    • Tape 2: Most of kewen lesson texts, etc. for vols. 1-2 (MP3, 11,161KB)

Fonts and Displaying Burmese Characters

The Web pages on our website are increasingly requiring more sophisticated display capability for foreign-language characters, including the main languages with which we are concerned: Wa, Burmese (Myanmar), Chinese, and English, and also several symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). English, Wa in the Revised Bible orthography, and Wa in the Chinese orthography (using macrons over vowels to indicate breathy syllables), and also Chinese pinyin transcription with tones, can be handled by the core fonts installed with most of the operating systems since 2000 or so (Windows, Macintosh, Unix/Linux). Fonts for displaying Chinese are widely available, so proper display of Chinese on our pages should not be a problem for those who require it.

As mentioned above concerning the orthography charts, in order to see IPA characters displayed correctly, you will need to have installed in your operating system a Unicode font with glyphs for IPA characters, such as Lucida Sans Unicode (included as part of Windows NT/2000/XP) Arial Unicode MS, Code 2000 (shareware, suggested US$5 registration fee), or the free Doulos SIL.

This leaves Burmese, which is indeed a problem. All our data, including Burmese, is stored as Unicode. However, in the case of Burmese, in order to accommodate the existing state of limited display capabilities for complex scripts in operating systems and Web browsers, we make use of a transitional "Unicode-compatible" Burmese, in which most characters are stored with their regular Unicode values in the U+1000-U+1059 Myanmar block. But there are two departures from "pure Unicode."

  1. A few (but high-frequency) characters are stored out of their canonical phonetic (dictionary-sort) order (and they are thus currently displayed in their correct visual order).
  2. Some characters are stored using variant glyph shapes using codepoints in the Unicode Private User Area (PUA), again ensuring correct current visual appearance.
We make use of conversion tools both to convert Burmese text in legacy "ASCII" encodings into this transitional "Unicode-compatible" encoding; and also to convert the transitional encoding into canonical Unicode for long-term preservation and exchange of data, as well as future display of the data, when the major operating systems support display of Burmese.

You can use any Unicode font which includes Burmese characters (for example, Code2000 or SIL Padauk) to display the majority of characters correctly, but in order to see the special glyphic variations displayed properly, you will need to download and install our SOASMyanmar font (read more about SOASMyanmar font | download SOASMyanmar font. Because of idiosyncracies in the way Microsoft Internet Explorer handles display of PUA characters, it is regrettably very likely that you will not see all the variant glyphs displayed correctly in MSIE. Current versions of Netscape, Mozilla (Firefox), Opera, and perhaps other browsers, do a better job.

If you have no special font for displaying IPA, Chinese, or Burmese, installing the single font "Code 2000" will give you the ability to display IPA, much of the Burmese, and several thousand common Chinese characters.

Phonetic/Mnemonic Keyboards for Wa, Burmese, Shan, Chinese Pinyin, Russian, etc.


     Maps of the greater Wa-speaking area

Some Internet links to other Wa-language-related sites or corpus-based lexicography sites


The following pages require a password for access:

Arts and Humanities Research Council School of Oriental and African Studies

The Wa Dictionary Project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and hosted at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Please send suggestions, queries or comments to Justin Watkins or Richard Kunst.