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Extinct: no
Family: Austro-Asiatic
Branch: Mon-Khmer
Continent: Asia
Country: Laos
 
Region: SO, LAOS: Both sides of the Mekong River in Thakhek and Savannakhet Provinces in Laos and Thailand. Also spoken in Thailand. SO, CAMEROON: Melan and Emvane cantons, Akonolinga Subdivision, Nyong-and-Mfoumou Division, Center Province; a few in Upper Nyong Division, East Province. SO, DRC: Orientale Province, north of Basoko. May also be in Uganda.
Countries Where Spoken: SO, LAOS: 102,000 in Laos (1993). Population total all countries: 160,000. Thailand. SO, CAMEROON: 9,000 (1992 SIL). SO, DRC: 6,000 (1971 Welmers).
Countries Where Official: Laos, Cameroom, Democratic Republic of Congo
   
Native Speakers: 102,000
Speakers Total: 160,000
  
Phrasebase members who speak So at a native level: 0
Phrasebase members who speak So at a conversational level: 0
Phrasebase members primary language they are trying to learn is So: 0
Phrasebase members secondary language they are trying to learn is So: 0
  
Three Letter Code: SSS
Alternative Names: MANGKONG, MANG-KOONG, MAKONG, SO MAKON, MANKOONG, MANG CONG, BRU, KAH SO, THRO, SSO, SHWO, FO, HESO, ESO, SOKO, SOA, GESOGO
Dialects:
 
Summary: SO, LAOS: Because of contact with the Laotian Tai, they speak Tai dialects. Called "Mangkong" and "Bru" in Laos. The name "So" is not used in Laos. Mangkong is a separate ethnic group. Literacy rate in first language: Below 1%. Literacy rate in second language: 15% to 25%. Dictionary. Bible portions 1980. SO, CAMEROON: The two dialects have vocabulary and pronunciation differences, but no reported problem with intelligibility between them. Melan So has been influenced by Beti (Ewondo and Bulu). Beti is also used in home and village. Children are increasingly learning Beti and French. Beti is used in church and the marketplace. There is a lot of intermarriage with the Beti. French is used in schools and government offices. So is used in the home and village. Different from So (Heso) of DRC. Investigation needed: bilingual proficiency in Beti. SO, DRC: Distinct from So of Cameroon. Turumba and Gesogo may be names for So. NT 1920, out of print.
 

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