12 Beautiful and Useful Lao Words Every Traveler Should Know (2023)

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What are the basic greetings in Lao? ›

  • The standard greeting in Laos is 'Sabaideebor', which means 'How are you?' ...
  • If someone greets another by saying 'Sabaideebor', the receiver will usually reply with 'Sabaidee' ('It goes well').
  • Informally, Lao may greet each other with 'Kin khow leo bor?

What does Satu mean in Lao? ›

Satu. Put simply, satu is the Buddhist equivalent of “Amen”.

What does Sok Dee mean in Laos? ›

“Sok Dee” means “good luck!” It's often used in place of goodbye or “La Gon.” Luck and superstition play a big role in Lao culture.

What does Ma Der mean in Lao? ›

(ma-derr) is a Laotian phrase that basically means “come eat! or “come thru!” It's an open invitation to our dinner table. Chef Jeff's favorite memories include gatherings with family, friends and a feast of Lao food.

What is hello in Laos? ›

Boualaphan: Traditionally, Lao people greet each other by saying “sa bai dee” and pressing their palms together in a sort of prayer gesture which is called a “nop”.

What does Nee Tao Rai mean? ›

This question can be useful if you're off the beaten path and need to buy something, as “Nee tao rai?” means “How much is it?

What does Kin Lao mean? ›

This can be answered with any affirmative, kin lao – or, I have, is a great response.

What does koi mean in Lao? ›

Koi (Lao: ກ້ອຍ; Thai: ก้อย, Thai pronunciation: [kɔ̂j]) is a "salad" dish of the Lao people living in modern-day Laos and Isan, Thailand, consisting of raw meat denatured by acidity, usually from lime juice.

How do you say boyfriend in Laos? ›

Come over and speak Lao now.
Relationship Vocabulary In Lao.
EnglishLaoLao Script
Charmingsa neສະເໜ່
17 more rows
Mar 25, 2022

What does Mae mean in Laos? ›

At age 53, Mae (translate into "Mother" in Lao language) Phaivan has become an influential voice in her community and a key driver for nutritional behaviour change in rural Southern Laos.

What does mi dai means? ›

English Translation. give me. More meanings for mi dai. you give me.

What is 555 in Lao? ›

5 (five) – ha like ha ha ha or laughing. (Actually if you ever get a text sms from a Lao person, instead of the Western LOL, they will use 555 because it sounds like laughing!)

What things are taboo in Laos? ›

Taboos in Laos

Don't be unkind to the Buddha. In particular, do not touch the Buddha with your hands or lower parts of your body; do not climb or step on the Buddha, litter the Buddha, or put it in your pocket. Don't lose your respect for the monks. Do not stand or sit above the monks, and do not speak rudely to them.

How do you say no problem in Laos? ›

Lao: Bo panang.

What do you call a girl from Laos? ›

A common mistake is to call people from Laos 'Lao'. The correct term for people that live in Laos is 'Laotian'. The term 'indigenous peoples' is not used by the Laotian government. Instead, they refer to non-Lao people as 'ethnic minorities'.

How do you say sorry in Laos? ›

Ling will not only help you say sorry in Lao, but we also have 50 other units that cover everything from basic words and phrases to spaceship vocabulary!
How To Say Sorry In Lao + Some Other Related Phrases.
EnglishLaoLao Script
Sorrykho othdຂໍ​ໂທດ
Excuse mekhaw tootຂໍໂທດ
2 more rows
May 24, 2022

How do you show respect in Laos? ›

Respect is shown by bowing and bringing the praying hands up to the bottom of the nose. For social leaders, such as an important community elder or a statesman, the praying hands should touch the eyebrows. Finally, for the head monks in the temple, the hands should be brought up to the top of the forehead.

How do you say you are beautiful in Laos? ›

Laos is a breathtaking place to visit and even to settle down in and its language is equally beautiful.
How To Say Beautiful In Lao In Different Ways.
EnglishLaoLao Script
You're beautifulchao ngamເຈົ້າ​ງາມ
It's beautifulman ngamມັນ​ງາມ
Attractivedungdud chaiດຶງດູດໃຈ
5 more rows
Aug 6, 2022

How to be polite in Laos? ›

Don't pat people on the head, even if it is meant as a gesture of affection. The traditional greeting is called the "nop" or "wai," and if you can master it you will be considered very polite. You don't do it to waitresses or children. It is a sign of respect for your equals and social superiors.

What does Tao Kae Noi mean? ›

Taokaenoi means 'little boss'. Itthipat Peeradechapan or tob is the founder and ceo of Taokaenoi. he has started this seaweed snack business since he was just 19 years old.

What does Koh Tao means? ›

Koh Tao means “Turtle Island

A small island paradise, which is a 90 minute boat ride north of Koh Samui, offers the best dive sites in the Gulf of Thailand.

What does Mai Khao Zai mean? ›

don't understand = mai kao jai. don't know =mai ru.

What does Gao Lao mean? ›

Alternate names. They are also known as Lao Gao (Thai: ลาวเกา) or just plain Ga referencing the creaky, crow-like way of speaking peculiar to their dialect of Lao. Gao literally means scratchy, another attribute of the way Lao Ga speakers come across. Naturally, these terms are offensive.

What does Phet mean in lao? ›

In Lao, “boua” means lotus and “phet” is diamond.

What does Chan mean in lao? ›

Chan, Chanh, Chantha [càn] ຈັນ ຈັນທ໌, ຈັນທຣ໌ Sanskrit chandra, "moon", not to be confused with the tiane in Vientiane which means "sandalwood".

What does kakete koi mean? ›

“Kakatte Koi” is a Japanese phrase that is an answer to a challenge—basically “bring it on” with “yo!” being the emphatic punctuation.

Is it illegal to date in Laos? ›

Intimate relationships between Lao citizens and foreigners who are not married are illegal. This includes sexual relationships and living together. Marriages between Lao citizens and foreigners must be pre-approved by Lao authorities.

What is the dating culture in Laos? ›

Dating and Marriage

Typically, single Lao women and men will form a relationship with their longtime friends, with whom they socialise within friendship groups or at festivals, school or work. Once someone is in a relationship, it is typical for each partner to meet one another's family.

How much does a Lao girl cost? ›

Lao Girl Price

Actually, in some place in Vang Vieng, there is a red light district hidden just outside town. For each small stalls, it's around 5 to 10 girls. It could be from 150,000 to 750,000 kip. Especially, the white-skinned girls were the most expensive, if she was hot or beautiful.

What is your name in Laos? ›

Other Phrases To Introduce Yourself In Lao
EnglishLaoLao Script
What's your name?Jâo seu nyãng?ເຈົ້າຊື່ຫຍັງ
Good morningsa bai di ton saoສະ​ບາຍ​ດີ​ຕອນ​ເຊົ້າ
Where are you from?chao ma chak saiເຈົ້າ​ມາ​ຈາກ​ໃສ
I'm fromkhony ma chakຂ້ອຍ​ມາ​ຈາກ
3 more rows
Nov 1, 2021

How do you say child in Laos? ›

People in Laos take family very seriously, which is why this list of Lao family vocabulary is so important.
Lao Family Vocabulary.
EnglishLaoLao Script
10 more rows
Mar 2, 2022

What does Savannah mean in Lao? ›

May 2020) Savannakhet (Lao: ສະຫວັນນະເຂດ) is a province of Laos. The name derives from Savanh Nakhone ('heavenly district' or 'land of fertility suitable for agriculture') the province's original name. It bears the same meaning as Nakhon Sawan, a city in Thailand.

Does Dai mean yes? ›


But “dai” just means “Come on!” as in, “Please, oblige me.” Use it when someone refuses: “Let's go to Sicily.” “No.” “Dai!” Or to push someone to do something: “One more shot of limoncello, dai!” It can also be similar to “stop it!” Someone's stealing bites of your gelato?

What is Shi Dai in English? ›

The Chinese word shidai - 时代 - shídài. (age in Chinese)

What is the lucky number in Laos? ›

In Lao, the number 4 is believed to be lucky because it symbolizes a cat that is said to have four lives.

What race is Lao? ›

The Lao people are a Tai ethnic group native to Southeast Asia, who speak the Lao language of the Kra–Dai languages. They are the majority ethnic group of Laos, making up 53.2% of the total population. The majority of Lao people adhere to Theravada Buddhism.

Why does Lao sound like Thai? ›

The two languages, Lao and Thai depict many similarities mainly because both belong to the Tai-Kadai language family. Thailand and Laos share border, and because of international trade between the two nations, there has been a lot of language exchange since ages.

What are 3 taboos? ›

Common taboos involve restrictions or ritual regulation of killing and hunting; sex and sexual relationships; reproduction; the dead and their graves; as well as food and dining (primarily cannibalism and dietary laws such as vegetarianism, kashrut, and halal) or religious (treif and haram).

What are the four taboos? ›

There are four major types of taboos namely religious taboos, social taboos, legal taboos, and sexual taboos.

What are the four major taboos? ›

Examples of Religious Taboos

Homosexuality – Several of the major religions have rules against homosexuality. Abortion – Most religions continue to forbid abortion. Adultery – Prohibition of adultery is one of the ten commandments. People who commit adultery usually keep it a secret because their actions are taboo.

What is the motto of Lao? ›

Laos' motto is “Peace, Independence, Democracy, Unity and Prosperity”.

Do you tip in Laos? ›

Tipping is not expected in Laos but a little spare change left at the end of a meal or taxi journey will be highly appreciated and will probably make a big difference to the worker's daily wage. 10% at the end of a meal and rounding up a taxi fare is a generous way of showing your thanks for good service.

What does Nang mean in Lao? ›

Lao people generally address others by titles and honorifics in formal/professional settings or when meeting someone for the first time. Titles are used with given names rather than with family names. People use the titles 'Thao' or 'Nai' for men (Mr.) and 'Nang' or 'Sao' for women (Mrs./Miss.)

What are traditional greetings? ›

A handshake is universally accepted as a greeting, both formally and informally. An exchange of “hello” or “hi” is usually enough as a casual greeting among peers. Other cultures kiss each other on the cheek, once, twice or thrice together with a handshake or a brief hug.

What are the verbal and non verbal greetings of Laos? ›

Lao people always keep smile during greetings. The standard Lao greeting is "Saibaideebor" means "how are you?" and the often response is "sabaidee". For men greeting men, this is usually done with both hands pressed together in a prayer in front of your body and accompanied with a slight bow or nod.

How do you say thank you in Laos? ›

Lao Script

The most common way to say thank you in Lao is khob chai (ຂອບ​ໃຈ). However if you want to add politeness or formality, you must say khob chai including nop while putting your two hands together near the chest level.

What are the three greeting rules? ›

7 Golden Rules for Meeting and Greeting
  • Stand Up. When you're greeting new people, do so face-to-face. ...
  • Look 'Em in the Eye. Making eye contact indicates engagement and focus. ...
  • Smile (and the World Smiles With You) ...
  • Take the Initiative With a Handshake. ...
  • Say Who You Are. ...
  • Observe the Hierarchy. ...
  • Get the Name Game Right.
Feb 19, 2018

What are the 3 greetings? ›

Good Morning / Good Afternoon / Good Evening

The greetings change depending on the time of the day. For example, “Good morning” is generally used from 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. whereas “Good afternoon” time is from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. “Good evening” is often used after 6 p.m. or when the sun goes down.

What are the five greetings? ›

Now that you've learned how to greet someone informally, let's check out some of the most common formal greetings in English.
  • Hello! In formal greetings examples, hello is preferred to “hi” or “hey.”
  • Hi there. ...
  • Good morning. ...
  • Good afternoon. ...
  • Good evening. ...
  • It's nice to meet you. ...
  • It's a pleasure to meet you.

What is considered disrespectful in Laos? ›

In Laos your head is "high", your feet "low". Using your feet for anything other than walking or playing sport is generally considered rude. The feet form the inferior part of the body (as much spiritually as physically). You must never indicate or touch another person or object with your foot.

What are the dos and don ts in Laos? ›

Do's and don'ts in Laos
  • Buddhism is the main religion in Laos, and the population is very religious. ...
  • Women are not supposed to touch monks or novices.
  • Never touch the head of another person unless you are close family or friends.
  • Always take off your shoes before entering a Lao house.

What does koi mean in Laos? ›

Koi (Lao: ກ້ອຍ; Thai: ก้อย, Thai pronunciation: [kɔ̂j]) is a "salad" dish of the Lao people living in modern-day Laos and Isan, Thailand, consisting of raw meat denatured by acidity, usually from lime juice.


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