Laos language

Lao (as known as pasaa Lao), is the formal and most widely-used language of Laos. Belonged to the tonal Tai – Kadai language, it is spoken by about fifteen million Laos and Northeast Thailand people as well as lots of groups residing in different countries all over the world.
Due to the close relation to the Thai language, most people in these two countries can easily understand each other. There are mainly 5 dialects in the Laos language: Vientiane Lao (on which the country’s script is based), North Eastern Lao (Xieng Khouang), Northern Lao (Luang Prabang), Southern Lao (Champassak), and Central Lao (Khammouane).

Laos language

Until now, no formal Latin transliteration system is applied for the Lao script except the French-based one which is used widely but still contains lots of disagreement of spelling, especially vowels. Lao native speakers (comprising Lao Isaan and Lao Ngaew) are supposed to account for only 52% of the total population; another 15% is accounted by other Tai-Kadai speakers, and the remaining 33% is used by more than 90 ethnic groups living worldwide, many among them have their own mother language.

For many years, besides the official Lao language, the other 2 tongues spoken widely in this country are French and Vietnamese. However, since Laos became a member of ASEAN, the role of English has been enhanced and promoted at a higher level than ever, particularly in tourism and business fields.

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