Published November 30, 2019
This video was recorded by Jeremy Inthisane in the US state of California. Lao is spoken primarily in Thailand, where it is known as Northeastern Tai or Isan, and Laos, where it is the official language. Like other Tai languages, Lao possesses a tonal system -- in Lao's case it is comprised of six tones. Despite being written in different scripts, Lao, Isan, and Thai are so closely related that they form a dialect continuum. The Southwestern Tai languages have their common origins in southern regions of modern China and northern Vietnam, where the Tai languages emerged. Lao contains many loanwords from Pali thanks to the influence of Buddhism. In this video Maly Rinhsamouth is speaking the Lao dialect Pakse, or Southern Lao. Southern Lao is spoken by 3.2 million people internationally. Lao is a Southwestern Tai language within the Tai-Kadai language family.