We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Useful Lao phrases/words?

Colorado
Level Contributor
1,332 posts
340 reviews
Save Topic
Useful Lao phrases/words?

What words and phrases would you recommend for a first time visitor to Laos to know?

How do you say “Not spicy” in Lao?

Thank you

Vientiane
Level Contributor
6,381 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Useful Lao phrases/words?

Try this site:

laolanguage.vislao.com/basic_fold/basic.htm

Colorado
Level Contributor
1,332 posts
340 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Useful Lao phrases/words?

thank you

Colorado
Level Contributor
1,332 posts
340 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Useful Lao phrases/words?

this one is good for the basics:

http://ispot.la/what-are-useful-lao-phrases/

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
4,774 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Useful Lao phrases/words?

Not that I speak either Lao or Thai but saw

there were some simalarities

Thai (say if I'm wrong please)

Pet nit noi Hot a little

Vientiane
Level Contributor
6,381 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Useful Lao phrases/words?

Nit noi is Thai. Noi neung is Lao.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
4,774 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Useful Lao phrases/words?

Thanks

Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
30 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Useful Lao phrases/words?

I think you can use dictionary to check

Vientiane, Laos
Level Contributor
55 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Useful Lao phrases/words?

The VIS site mentioned by Rufuscat is much better than the iSpot.la one.

The transliteration on the iSpot list is poor, and some of the phrases are incorrect for spoken usage.

The VIS site uses a transliteration more suitable for North American accents. For example, they use "baw" for "no", whereas other sources use "bor" or "bo". "Baw" is much closer to the sound for an American speaker.

Also, note that "th" and "ph" are not pronounced the same way as in English, the "h" after the consonant means that it is aspirated (soft), rather than unaspirated (hard).

So, "not spicy" is "baw phet" ("phet" is pronounced like "pet" in English). Another useful one may be "baw sai bpeng noo-ah" ("baw sai" is "dont' put" or "don't use" and "bpeng noo-ah" is MSG).

("bp" is how I write the unaspirated "p" sound)

Colorado
Level Contributor
1,332 posts
340 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Useful Lao phrases/words?

thanks for the info.

how do you say "I am vegetarian"?

Vientiane, Laos
Level Contributor
55 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Useful Lao phrases/words?

I think the clearest way to say that is "baw sai seen", which means "no meat". ("seen" is meat)

Another term for a type of Thai/Lao vegetarianism is "kin jay", which can take different forms. Some people will understand that you just want vegetarian, but "kin jay" can also mean other things as well like no chili pepper, no garlic, and some other stipulations.

Other words you might need are "khai" which means "egg", "bpaa" which means "fish", "phak" (pronounced "pak") which means vegetables, and "dtao hoo" which means "tofu".