Everything You Need To Learn Lao
Lao (ພາສາລາວ or Laotian) is the national and official language of Laos, a landlocked country in Southeast Asia. It is spoken by over 30 million people in Laos and Thailand.
Part of the larger Tai-Kadai language family, Lao is closely related to Thai, and more distantly related to the Khmer, Mon, and Vietnamese languages.
Lao is written using the Lao script, a descendent of the Khmer script, which was in turn derived from the Pallava script of southern India.
Unlike its cousin Thai, materials for learning Lao are pretty scarce. Still, we’ve tried to compile as many resources as we could find and hope you’ll be able to learn a thing or two from them.
Lao Language Learning Books
Getting started in Lao is easy and affordable with a comprehensive Lao course book. You’ll learn basic Lao grammar and sentence structure, as well as build your core Lao vocabulary. Some of these books come with audio CDs or MP3 download links so you can listen to correct pronunciation.
Next on your list should be a concise Lao-English dictionary, as you’ll want to look up the new Lao words you come across, and see how they’re used in different contexts and sentences.
Also worth getting is a Lao alphabet writing practice book so that you can familiarize yourself with the writing system.
Lao Children’s Books
A great way to build basic Lao reading comprehension skills and boost your vocabulary is to read Lao-language kids’ books. They are written in simple, easy-to-read sentences with common vocabulary so learners can slowly build up their Lao lexicon.
Another great thing about some of the Lao children’s books on this list is that they’re bilingual English-Lao stories with parallel text.
There are some Lao products that don’t necessarily teach you the language but make using it easier. With Lao keyboard stickers/labels, you can type in Lao with ease.