Brao is a Mon–Khmer language of Cambodia and Laos.


Labial Coronal Palatal Velar Dorsal
Nasals ʰm m ʰn n ɲ ʰŋ ŋ  
Obstruents p b ʔb t d ʔd ç c ɟ ʔɟ k ɡ ʔɡ ħ ʔ
Trill   r      
Approximant   l j w  


According to Ethnologue, there are four distinct but mutually intelligible varieties, sometimes considered separate languages: Lave (Brao proper), Kru’ng (Kreung), and Kavet (Kravet), the latter spoken by only a couple thousand.

Sidwell (2003) also lists four communities of speakers, three of which are in Cambodia.

Lun, spoken in Stung Treng Province, Cambodia, is related to Lave and Kavet (Philip Lambrecht 2012).[4]


Sidwell (2003) suggests the possibility of a total of 50,000 speakers, while Bradley (1994:161) gives an estimate of 35,000. All estimates below are drawn from Sidwell (2003:30).

  • Laos: The 1995 Laotian census places the Laveh population at 17,544.
  • Cambodia: The Asian Development Bank gave an estimate of 29,500 speakers as of the early 2000s.
  • Vietnam: About 300 Brau live in Đắc Mế village, Bờ Y commune, Ngọc Hồi district, Kon Tum province (Đặng, et al. 2010:112).[5] Parkin (1991:81) also estimates several hundred Brao in Vietnam.
  • Thailand: Parkin (1991:81) estimates a Brao population of 2,500 in Thailand.


  1. ^ Lave at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Krung at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Kavet at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Laveh–Brao". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Keller, Charles E. (April 1999). "Brao-Krung Phonology" (PDF). Mon-Khmer Studies. 31. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  4. ^ http://li.payap.ac.th/images/stories/survey/khmer_khes_report_final.pdf
  5. ^ Đặng Nghiêm Vạn, Chu Thái Sơn, Lưu Hùng. 2010. Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam. Hà Nội: Thế Giới Publishers.
  • Sidwell, Paul (2003). A Handbook of comparative Bahnaric, Vol. 1: West Bahnaric. Pacific Linguistics, 551. Canberra: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.

Further reading

  • Keller, C. E. (1976). A grammatical sketch of Brao, a Mon–Khmer language. Grand Forks, N.D.: Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session. OCLC: 2915938