Life in Laos through the lens of a diplomatic wife raising twin toddlers.

Learning Lao Update

Remember when I mentioned that reading Lao was dreaded? Well I STILL dread it but at least I can better stomach longer narratives now…

A little reminder as to why this is so hard:

The Lao writing system is comprised of individual consonants that look like random squiggles to the untrained eye, and vowel marks (more squiggles) that can either be before each consonent, above, after, below, or any combination of all four…

The written form has no punctuation, no upper or lower-case designation, nospacesinbetweendistinctwordsandyoudonotknowwhenonesentenceends
andanotherbegins. Sometimes you can’t even tell if one consonant belongs to the word before or the word after.


But I’ve only three weeks left and I have wholeheartedly appreciated the opportunity to learn the language, a great perk for diplomatic spouses and partners. Thank you to all you US tax payers out there!

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5 comments on “Learning Lao Update

  1. Tricia A. Mitchell
    May 25, 2012

    Are there any similarities between Lao and Khmer? To the untrained eye, the scripts looked somewhat similar (as I read the signs in those two countries). Good luck with your studies! 🙂

    • Wanderlustress
      May 25, 2012

      Hi Tricia, you are absolutely correct, they are similar and are based on similar roots, but not as close as Thai and Lao. Thanks for your encouragement!

  2. Karyn @ kloppenmum
    May 23, 2012

    Wow and I thought English was tricky with all the rules and exceptions and accents and so on!

    • Wanderlustress
      May 24, 2012

      English is very difficult bc of grammar rules, an area that is very simple in Lao where there is no past or future tense. You only have to mention the time-frame and use the present tense for the rest of the conversation.

  3. You’re welcome! LOL

    Sounds crazy!!! Good luck!

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This entry was posted on May 23, 2012 by in Laos and tagged , , , , , , .

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