Best way to learn Lao for the absolute beginner?

Learn to speak and read Lao.
gladstone
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Best way to learn Lao for the absolute beginner?

Postby gladstone » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:17 pm

Hi forum people :)

I have been to Laos once when I was only a teenager, and I remember this country as being very beautiful with kind and nice people. I want to go back there, and lately I've been thinking about learning the Lao language at least to a level where I can understand basic conversations and maybe even read and write a bit. However, getting started seems a little overwhelming to me, and I'm not sure what is the best way to learn. Maybe those of you who have experience learning Lao, have some tips for a newcomer like me ;) ??
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Re: Best way to learn Lao for the absolute beginner?

Postby JohnBKK » Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:03 am

If you don't mind a bit of self-study, think about getting a good book to teach yourself Lao. Although there aren't that many on the market, I find Lao for beginners by Benjawan is pretty good.

Oh, and you'll be much better off learning to read Lao script from the start, so don't waste time reading phonetic Lao only.
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Re: Best way to learn Lao for the absolute beginner?

Postby gladstone » Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:56 pm

JohnBKK wrote:If you don't mind a bit of self-study, think about getting a good book to teach yourself Lao. Although there aren't that many on the market, I find Lao for beginners by Benjawan is pretty good.
Thanks for the recommendation; I just bought it from Amazon ;-)
JohnBKK wrote:Oh, and you'll be much better off learning to read Lao script from the start, so don't waste time reading phonetic Lao only.
Not sure what you mean by "phonetic Lao"?
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Re: Best way to learn Lao for the absolute beginner?

Postby JohnBKK » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:14 pm

With Lao phonetics I mean romanisation of Lao script. For instance ຜົວ may be written as phǔa with phonetics. When you start out learning Lao, I recommend you avoid the phonetics if you can, and try to learn the language from Lao script instead. It may take a little longer to master a foreign script like Lao, but in the end you'll be happy you did as you will get a much better understanding of the language ;)
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Re: Best way to learn Lao for the absolute beginner?

Postby ads » Sun May 24, 2015 3:12 am

Are you aware of any other learning material? There isn't much online.
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Re: Best way to learn Lao for the absolute beginner?

Postby stumpy » Sun May 24, 2015 8:38 am

ads wrote:Are you aware of any other learning material? There isn't much online.


Try a Google search for Isaan Thai language as this is very similar to Lao. In years gone by Isaan Thai area was part of Laos
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Re: Best way to learn Lao for the absolute beginner?

Postby JohnBKK » Mon May 25, 2015 9:35 am

stumpy wrote:
ads wrote:Are you aware of any other learning material? There isn't much online.


Try a Google search for Isaan Thai language as this is very similar to Lao. In years gone by Isaan Thai area was part of Laos
Because there is not much learning material for learning Lao, using Thai Isaan learning material as an alternative is a good advice. But remember, that although the Lao vocabulary has many similarities to Isaan Thai, reading and writing Lao is a different matter since the scripting is different. I also believe Lao has more tone indications than Thai. Something worth remembering if you decide to use Isaan Thai learning material to learn Lao ;)
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Re: Best way to learn Lao for the absolute beginner?

Postby AhoyMcCoy » Tue May 26, 2015 3:23 pm

Just want to add a little of my own knowledge to this thread :-) One of my friends is married to a lady from Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. As I happened to speak to her this weekend, I asked her whether she understands Lao. She said that she cannot follow even a basic conversation in Lao, but one of her old Thai class mates from university who came from Nong Khai (a city in North Eastern Thailand close to the Laos border), could easily understand and speak Lao and even a bit of Khmer.

Regarding the use of Thai learning material to study the Lao language I think it could work out fine. Compare this to learning Portugese from Spanish language books, which would be the same, right?
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Re: Best way to learn Lao for the absolute beginner?

Postby ads » Fri May 29, 2015 3:56 pm

Thanks for the assistance guys, Its such a shame learning Lao is so off-putting due to a lack of resources. I suppose the more tourists that visit in the future, the more will become avail.
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Re: Best way to learn Lao for the absolute beginner?

Postby lucas » Sat May 30, 2015 9:24 am

stumpy wrote:
ads wrote:Are you aware of any other learning material? There isn't much online.


Try a Google search for Isaan Thai language as this is very similar to Lao. In years gone by Isaan Thai area was part of Laos
I found this interesting and topic related page: http://www.thailao.net/both_languages.htm

It neatly outlines the differences and commonalities between Lao and Thai. For instance the author writes that,
Possibly 70 percent of the words in Thai and Lao are the same
Based on this, I'm not sure I would use a Thai language study book to learn Lao.

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