In my time at KSDC, students and I related by sharing language. I taught English, and the advanced course students taught me Karenni words: greetings, foods we ate, the natural features of the place around us. Even though it was just a little, learning some of the local language helped me make connections with the people and place around me. In doing so, I reflected a lot about the flow of knowledge. The teacher-student relationship can be a mutual interaction where teaching and learning flow in each direction.

My capstone offering is this final blog post, sharing some English and Karenni recordings of common words. This is a resource that KSDC teachers and students can both use to practice their language skills.

Thank you to my friend Bu Reh, for sharing the Karenni language recordings.


Banana Tree – di klui nge maw
Banana – di klui nge hse
Beans – ko bi hse
Cabbage – ta pleh bu
Cat – tyou
Cauliflower – ta pleh hpu
Chicken – shie
Child – pa cheh pu
Coconut – ma oo hse
Dog – twee
Cucumber – dyae hseh
Earthworm – ya kru
Eggplant – kya hseh
Father – phen
Female Teacher – ta ra muh (also sra maw)
Flower – hten phow
Friend – kobo siu
Hello to a Group – te ra be sei/te zya be sei
Hello to Single Person – te ra be neh/te zya be neh
How Are You – ne ou mou eh
Jack Fruit – mu lyar hseh
Jack Fruit Tree – mu lyar maw
Dawn – maw li bu (“light is coming”)
Lychee – hte pui hseh
Male Teacher – tara phen/sra phen
Mosquito – phuw shi
Mother – mhwo
Mushrooms – khruu
Papaya Flowers – di klui he phow
Papaya Tree – di klui he maw
Papaya – di klui he hseh
Parents – mhwo phen
Rain – gay chk
Rice – buh/buh hu/buh di
Rice Wine – htyae zya/htyae yar
River – htyae glu
Shirt – he cha bu
Stars – hta maw
Stream – lyaar glu
Sunrise – maw li htyar
Sunset – maw htar lyar
Thank you – tebui
Trees – saw maw/thaw maw
Water – htyae
Water Fall – htyae pa hta