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Lao

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Previously known as Lao Qua, Lao or the Democratic People’s Republic of Laos, is also known as the ‘country of a million elephants’.

It is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia.

Laos, also referred to as Laotian, is the official language of Lao. Apart from Lao itself, Laotian is also spoken in Cambodia and the northeast part of Thailand. Laotian is also spoken in different countries around the world, namely Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, Japan, Argentina, United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, just to name a few.

In the recent years, Laos has attracted the attention of foreign investors globally.  This is especially so in the power and agricultural sector, which showed promise and openness to investment. As such, Laos is indeed a good location for business expansion. Hence, we cannot undermine the importance of the Laotian language.

The Lao language belongs to the Tai-Kadai language family. It is a tonal language as such the pronunciation will affect the meaning of the words. There are five major dialectical groups for the language, namely Southern Lao, Central Lao, North-Eastern Lao, Vientiane Lao and Northern Lao. Similar to Thai, Laotian is written in a script of Indic origin. The consonants are divided into three classes to determine the tone of a syllable.

Where translation is concerned, be it from Laotian or into the language itself, the process is a feat in itself. French based systems are used in the language itself, and there is variation in spelling and vowels.

Because of the similarity between Thai and Lao languages, many Thai and Laotian are capable of speaking and understanding each other’s language. Those who are not familiar with 2 languages might even mix up both Lao and Thai language! Just like Thai, the Lao script also do not use any space between words or ending punctuation. Spaces are only used between certain sentences and clauses, which make the translation of the language trickier!

All of the above are not the only points to consider when translating from and into the Laotian language. There are much more things to consider than just getting someone who knows Laotian to handle both translations from and into Laotian.

In order to execute the translation properly, knowing the language well is only half a battle won. It is also critical to understand the heritage and language of the intended reader, as well as where he or she now lives. Also, one slight error in the word choice could all too easily make you sound highly rude and offensive. Translating word for word and word by word too, will make the sentence wordy, incomprehensible and sound ridiculous at times.

Hence, it is very essential to get the right quality people with enough training and professional experience to produce translations that are fit for its purpose.

With more than 2 decades of experience in providing English to Lao and Lao to English translation services, we can share this valuable experience with you.

With our ISO 17100 certification, you know your translations are in good hands. You can now leave the tedious task of translation to our professional team of linguists and project managers, while leaving you with more time to do what matters most to you.

Contact us now at +65 6570 0138 or fill up our web inquiry form immediately. We are ready to share our experience with you.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lao_language

https://laotiantimes.com/2017/05/25/small-steady-lao-businesses-expanding-abroad/

https://www.export.gov/article?id=Lao-Market-Opportunities

http://www.laughingroohoian.com/index.php/blogs/292-laos-is-also-known-as-country-of-a-million-elephants-or-vientiane

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