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Lao script is completely different from Roman script. Whereas it is not usually considered difficult to learn, it would take more than 10 hours of classroom study just to learn to write with Lao letters and subscripts. Instead, then, we are use transliteration into English.
After reviewing a number of more technical and comprehensive Lao language learning books, we have taken the liberty of devising our own version of phonetic charts for consonants and vowels used in Lao words.
Again, this system was created to be as simple as possible (and risks being too simple), but it follows from our decision at the outset to make things in a short, basic course - basic.
We could not agree on features of this system, so we do not expect you
As for the five (some say six) tones, we have opted for not showing
or teaching them at
A good reason for this is that the Lao people themselves would probably consider it a waste of our precious time here. You will soon find that the Lao graciously accept—and even reward—shoddy-but-earnest pronunciation from foreigners. We feel you will do better just to say the words as they are spelled, come close enough, and learn as many as you can.
In most cases, the context of your speaking will override misunderstandings from wrong tones.
For the full document describing the Phonetic spelling,
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© VIS & Bruce Knox 2005 - This site was most recently updated on June 8 , 2006 by Bruce Knox