Spaces and punctuation in Lao

Learn to speak and read Lao.
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Just Landed
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Spaces and punctuation in Lao

Postby javelin92 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:15 am

Hi there!

Looking at Lao script (in a newspaper for example) I see there are no spaces between words and no punctuation either. This makes me wonder how you will know when a new word or a new sentence begins. Anyone who can enlighten me on this?
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Vientiane Lurker
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Re: Spaces and punctuation in Lao

Postby lucas » Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:14 am


It is correct that there are no spaces between words in Lao script. Thus to separate words you will actually need to recognize each word you read to know where the spaces are supposed to go. It is really not as hard as it sounds. Take this example in English:


You would be able to read this even without spaces as "where - are - you - from", because your eyes recognize all 4 words. Now the equivalent in Lao:

ເຈົ້າມາແຕ່ໃສ (ເຈົ້າ - ມາ - ແຕ່ - ໃສ or transcribed jâo máa taa sai)

So to read Lao script I would say you need a decent vocabulary first.

Sentences in Lao are separated by space. Commas, semi-colon etc are not used, but question marks I often see (although I believe in the old days they used some kind of tone mark to indicate questions marks).

Hope you will continue with your Lao language studies - it is really a fun language to learn :thumbup:

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