Useful Laotian phrases

It is not a requirement for tourists to learn how to speak Laotian when traveling to Laos. However, we recommend that it is much useful to know a few phrases or basic words, the local people would be delighted if you can exchange a little bit to them using their language.


Greetings are important when you first meet someone no matter who they are or where they from. It can also be fun when trying to introduce yourself in Laotian to the local people. 

English Laotian
Hello Sabaidee
Thank you Khàwp jai
Thank you very much Khàwp jai lai lai
Sorry/ Excuse me Khãw thôht
Never mind/ You're welcome  Bbaw pen nyãng
Goodbye La khãwn
Please  Khâluna
Yes  Jâo/dooy
No Baw
Welcome Yin dee torn háp
I/ Me Khàwy
You Jâo
She/ He Lâo/khâo
We Phuak hâo
They Phuak khâo
How are you?  Sábaidee baw?
I'm fine, thank you. And you?  Sábaidee, khàwp jai? jâo dây?
What's your name?  Jâo seu nyãng?
My name is ... Kháwy seu ...
Please to meet you Dee jai thee dái pop jâo
Do you speak Laotian? Jâo wâo pasa lao dai baw?
Do you speak English?  Jâo wâo pasa angkit dai baw?

Express your feelings

Sometimes, due to the change of climate, the unfamiliar food or the change of time zone, you might not feel well. Keep in mind the following phrase just in case you may need them.

English  Laotian
I’m not feeling very well Khàwy baw sábai
I'm hungry Kháwy hew khao
I’m thirsty Kháwy hew nam
I am full Kháwy im
I've got a headache Kháwy jeb hua
I've got a stomachache Kháwy jeb thong

Asking for direction

It is obvious to tourists that the roads are unfamiliar in another country and you’ll probably end up being lost somewhere without a map in your hand. This might be a perfect time for you to try some phrases to ask for the place you want to go to. 

English Laotian
I want to eat Kháwy yark kin
I want to go.... Kháwy yark pai....
I want to go to the airport Kháwy yark pai dern bin
Where's the toilet? Hàwng Nâm Yuu Sai?
Go straight Pai seu
Turn left Liaw sái
Turn right Liaw khua
How much is this? Anh nee thao dai?
Where are you going? Jâo ja pai sai?
Where to? Pai sai?
To Morning market Pai ta lard sao
I want to go to the airport Kháwy yark pai dern bin
Where is the post office? Hàwng karn pai xa nii yuu sai?
Where is the North bus station? Kew lot may xai neua yuu sai?
Where is the South bus station? Kew lot may xai tai yuu sai?
Where is the bus going? Lot may khan nii ja pai sai?

I hope that those phrases above should be enough for you to have a small conversation with the locals as well as understand a bit further about Laos culture.

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