The official Laos language is known as the Lao language. The Lao language is a descendant of the Tai languages, originally spoken in southern China and Vietnam. These two regions are believed to have been the original homeland of the lLao language. The Lao language alphabet has 32 letters, 10 vowels and 22 consonants written in the Lao script known as the Abigida.

The Lao language differs in the country by dialect and pronunciation, with each of the provinces having different dialects. For example the Vientiane Lao dialect is used in the Vientiane province, Vientiane capital and the prefecture province. The northern Lao dialect is used in the Luang, Prabang and the Oudoxay provinces among others.

Like many other languages, the Lao language utilizes a number of loan words from other foreign languages. Lao has special phrasing for specific occasions and users, for example adults use some phrases differently than a child would. This is because the language is divided into formal and informal uses.

Laos has other minority languages apart from the official language. These languages are estimated to number around 86. Many of the minority languages are spoken in the lowlands of the country. Some examples of these minority languages include Lao wiang, Tai Dam and French.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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