Useful Laotian Phrases & Common Lao Words You Should Know
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. Following are the most useful and common Laotian phrases you should know

1. Greetings

Greetings are so important when you first meet someone no matter who they are or where they from, especially when you just set foot in a totally strange country like Laos and have no friends with you. It will be fun and friendly when trying to introduce yourself in Laotian or speaking some Laotian basic phrases to 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 ...
Nice 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?

2. Express Your Feelings

Sometimes, due to the changes of climate, the unfamiliar food or the changes of time zone, you might not feel well. Keep in mind the following Laotian medical phrases and some common Laotian words 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
Leave me alone! Boh tong koun khoy

3. Asking for Direction

It is obvious to tourists that the roads are unfamiliar in another country and you will 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 direction or places in Laos 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?

4. Problems and Emergency

When running into troubles or any problem, you might need some short and easy Laotian words to asking for help. Following are the most useful Laotian Phrases for emergencies.

English Laotian
Help!!! Suay Dae
Don't touch me Ya jup khoy
Police!! Dtum louat
Stop, Thief! Yud! Kee Luck
Emergency souk sern
I'm lost Khoy lohng taang
I lost my wallet Khoy see-uh gkapow
I lost my bag Khoy see-uh tong
I'm sick Khoy pben kai/Khoy boh sabai
I'm injured Khoy jep/Khoy Theug baad jep
I need a doctor Khoy tong kan Maw
Can i borrow your phone Khoy sai/yeum tolasup dai boh?

5. Laos Romantic Phrases

English Laotian
I MissYou kho huk jâo
I Love You kho huk chau
Would you like to dance with me? phoen yark pai ten lum num hao bor? / paii ten num gun bor

I hope that those useful Laotian 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. To learn more, you can search for some Laos phrasebook to extend your Laotian vocabulary in your free time. Happy exploring! 

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