Lao language resources – Language Links Database

Lao or Laotian – is a tonal language of the Tai–Kadai language family. It is the official language of Laos, and also spoken in the northeast of Thailand, where it is usually referred to as the Isan language. Being the primary language of the Lao people, it is also an important second language for the multitude of ethnic groups in Laos and in Isan.

Lao, like many languages in Laos, is written in the Lao script, which is an abugida script. Although there is no official standard, the Vientiane dialect has become the de facto standard.

More informationWikipedia

Native speakers: 20–25 million (2004), (3 million in Laos)

Official language in: Laos

Lao Grammar and Pronunciation

  • - Lao Introduction, Alphabet, Writing System, Spoken Lao MP3(zip), Grammar Notes, Pronunciation, Tones, Vocabulary Learning, Basic Reading, Intermediate Reading, Signs Reading, Exercises and More by Northern Illinois University
  • - Lao lessons
  • FSI Language Courses - Textbook (pdf), reading practice and over 40 audio lessosns (mp3)
  • Omniglot - Lao Script
  • - Website about all things Lao-related, including phrases of the day

Digitized Grammar Books

  • Lao Basic Course, Volume 1 (1970), 449 pages (PDF pending restoration)
  • Lao Basic Course, Volume 2 (1971), 378 pages, (PDF pending restoration)
  • An Intermediate-Advanced Level Laotian Refresher Course (1961), 1717 pages (PDF pending restoration)
  • Reading Lao: A Programmed Introduction (1974), 491 pages (PDF pending restoration)
  • 10 Lessons of Pre-Employment Skills for ESL Students, with a Bilingual English-Laotian Glossary and a Teacher’s Guide (Upgraded Version), 151 pages (pdf). The lessons are designed to give newly-arrived, limited-English-proficient Laotian immigrants to the United States linguistic and practical skills for gaining employment.
  • Lao Grammar Part 3; Syntax. (April 4, 1974)
  • Lao Grammar Part 4 : Poetics
  • Google Books Lao for Beginners: An Introduction to the Spoken and Written Language of Laos by Tatsuo Hoshino,Russell Marcus (1989)(view only)
  • Google Books A Grammar of Lao by N. J. Enfield (2007)(view only)

Lao Vocabulary

Vocabulary-related (and digitized) E-books

  • English-Lao Phrasebook with Useful Wordlist (for Laotians)(1980), 159 pages (pdf)
  • Google Books Lao Phrasebook by Joe Cummings (2002)(view only)

Lao Reading Materials

Lao Dictionaries

Digitized Dictionaries

Lao Listening and Video Resources


  • WorldNomads - 14 min podcast teaching basic phrases and vocabulary




Lao In Other Languages

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