Laotian Pronunciation

Laotian words pronunciation
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Finding a common thing can be the ice breaker between two strangers. We often talk about how different we are from each other but it is also true that we are always looking for something similar in people. Just one similar habit can bring together people who have not much in common. Two people can have conflicting personalities and still manage to be friends. All of us have friends and family members that we don’t share any interests with us, even their views are different from us, but we don’t start fighting with them every day. We have learned to ignore the differences and focus on the similarities when it comes to the people who matter to us.

Although the same thinking can be applied each time we are interacting with a stranger, we are far away from that currently. However, this is something which can be seen in heterogenous societies. A population that doesn’t have much in common has to focus on the few things that they all share to stay together. Sometimes it is their religion, and some times it is a common language. Without something common to keep them together, heterogenous communities can fall apart quickly.

There are a lot of countries in the world with heterogenous populations. If there is no common factor between them, their states make up one. Like declaring a tongue as the national language. Sometimes, it is the federal government that manages to keep the provinces and states together. But there are also a few examples where unity failed and the populations ended up starting civil wars. And in some societies where it seems like heterogeneity is working, conflicts between minority and majority groups are pretty common. The fighting between sects in extremist societies is a proof of that. This is why the countries and their populations that make heterogeneity work should be applauded for their efforts.



Southeast Asia’s only landlocked country houses different ethnic groups. The Lao people make up the majority of the population but over 45% of the country’s habitants belong to different ethnicities. There are plenty of reasons why heterogeneity works in Laos. The continued struggle against colonization and foreign occupation brought the population together. But another common factor among the people of Laos is their language. The population as a whole speaks more than ninety languages but most of them are not mutually intelligible and not related to Laotian in any way. So, the people use the Lao, also known as Laotian, language to communicate with each other.

Laotian Language:

The lingua franca of the people of Laos is also spoken in Thailand. It has almost 30 million native speakers in both countries but it is also spoken by a lot of people in Laos as their second language. Laotian went through different phases during its history but the influence of Thai language is pretty evident in the current form of the tongue. A lot of modern words are directly taken from Thai.

Laotian Pronunciation:

A lot of us have been through awkward moments in life when we found out we had been pronouncing a word incorrectly. When we read words in books, we pronounce them whichever way we can. And if we don’t hear those words spoken by anyone else, we continue to pronounce them in the same way. It isn’t until we hear someone say the words or hear them spoken on the TV that we realize our mistake. There is nothing wrong with saying a word incorrectly because there are no pronunciations in books but we can’t make such mistakes when learning a new language.

Pronunciation of languages is a unique subject because even same tongues have different tones in different regions, like the different accents of English. Laotian is a tonal language with six different tones. Different consonants have different sounds. The labialized and simple versions of consonants have different sounds. There are also voiceless consonants in Laotian. The Vientiane dialect is the one which is used today by the speakers of Laotian.


One interesting thing about the Laotian pronunciation is that most of the words in the language have only one syllable. Multi-syllable words can be found in religion, government, and academic literature. They are considered a higher level of the tongue. Laotian alphabet was reformed multiple times in the past few decades to make it easier for non-native speakers. The updates in the alphabet removed multiple consonants so that the words in the tongue can be read phonetically. This is why the tongue is the most commonly spoken language among the people of Laos.

Multiple vernaculars have influenced Laotian over the years. Although its earlier version was influenced by Sanskrit, that effect diminished overtime and its place was taken by the Thai language. The vocabulary also has plenty of French influence. Like all other old tongues, Laotian came to its present form after going through a long evolutionary period during which it was affected by different cultures and vernaculars. Learning this tongue is not that difficult because of its tonal quality. Its features are also helpful to those who want to learn it. The absence of too many consonants and mono-syllabic quality of words is something which makes it pretty easy for people to get good at pronouncing Laotian.

Laotian’s ability to unite the people of Laos is a remarkable thing. Many linguists have studied the language only because of its power to connect people of different ethnicities.

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