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I'm sorry, I just don't agree with this (Read 9228 times)
 
Buk Nut
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I'm sorry, I just don't agree with this
25th Jun, 2014 at 2:02am
 
I was reading through old threads and I read a post from the Admin.

Admin Saovaluck wrote on 11th Dec, 2013 at 6:09am:
Both Lao and Thai are tonal languages so no book is as good as learning your Lao language skills from talking with Laotians because Lao is their mother language.

Depending on what you want to learn Lao for, many people find the language irrelevant but it's up to you. English is the language that the "Generation Y" in Laos are so desperate to learn, and it's more important than Lao or Thai.

I have many Lao relatives who are married to westerners and they speak English with each other.


This is one of the worst comments I've seen from admin, and I'm sorry but I am against this 100%

How can these language be irrelevant? Should every country just switch to English so we can all communicate with each other?
Why would one even call themselves  Lao if they think the Lao language is irrelevant?

First of all, English is not hard to learn. Anyone can learn it. I have some Lao friends who work as tour guides and they said they didn't really take any classes, they just looked on the internet and practiced a bit and they can speak it.

Why would someone have to stop speaking Lao/Thai just so you can speak English? That is the act of a true race traitor.

Relatives that think that just because they married a foreigner that they have to go back and speak English with all of their relatives in Asia?

That's so disgraceful that I'm at a loss for words. The truth is that most Southeast Asians are no different, whether it be Khmers, Burmese, Thais or Laos. English is simply seen as a status symbol rather than a tool for education.

As for TexasCowboy learning Lao, why wouldn't it be useful for him? I'm pretty sure not everyone in Laos speaks English, and if he speaks Lao then he can communicate with everyone, and also understand if people are trying to rip him off. The fact is, in Southeast Asia if you don't speak the local language you will get ripped off left and right. Be it at the market, hotel or anywhere, you will get charged double. Even if you DO speak the language, you will still get ripped off if you don't bargain. So by not speaking the language he is at a huge disadvantage.

Not everyone in Laos/Thailand is trying to learn English. Some care about English some don't. I've never spoken English in Southeast Asia once, not once. When people speak find out that I'm from America and try to speak English with me, I just completely shut down the conversation and make them look like a fool.

I can speak Thai, Lao and Khmer.
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Re: I'm sorry, I just don't agree with this
Reply #1 - 25th Jun, 2014 at 2:40am
 
At no stage did I say that Laotians should stop speaking Lao altogether, however the younger generation of Laotians can speak English more than the people in the same age group from 20 or 30 years ago.

I also didn't say that anyone should not learn Lao, I said it is up to them, but it you're a foreigner wanting to get started on Lao language, no book will help you.

No one in Laos will rip them off. Even if they do, what will an extra 50 cents or a dollar do? Consider it a donation. At tourist areas such as main temples, there are usually signs with the price in English, and foreigners generally need to pay more than the locals anyway.
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Re: I'm sorry, I just don't agree with this
Reply #2 - 25th Jun, 2014 at 10:24am
 
Admin Saovaluck wrote on 25th Jun, 2014 at 2:40am:
... if you're a foreigner wanting to get started on Lao language, no book will help you.


Um ... then, if, for instance, one has a very dear Lao friend who he hasn't seen much for a few years but he is planning on contacting her some time and maybe wants to learn a little Lao first, what do you think is the best way to learn some of the language if one currently has no other Lao acquaintances?  (She speaks English like a native of the U.S. ... I just think it would be fun to learn a little Lao.) 

Also -- how similar are the Lao and Thai languages?  I've been listening to some Thai music that I picked up from the internet and I've picked it apart a little to learn a few words.)
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Re: I'm sorry, I just don't agree with this
Reply #3 - 25th Jun, 2014 at 11:13am
 
They know each other, and have communicated with each other before. If she can speak English then continue to speak English with her.

If you learn Lao language on your own, you will just assume that you are talking the correct way because there's no one to help with any errors.
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Re: I'm sorry, I just don't agree with this
Reply #4 - 25th Jun, 2014 at 12:55pm
 
The language thing isn't important for communication.  I just think it might be fun. 

Back when we saw each other all the time (we used to work at the same company) we only spoke English.  She speaks like a native California girl, so I had never heard Lao until one day when we were out at a park at lunch time and she got a call on her cell phone from her mom and she started speaking this weird language that I had never heard before, and it sounded very interesting.  To my ears, it sounded even more exotic even than Japanese or Chinese, both of which I hear occasionally.

She went to work for a different company shortly after that and I have only seen her again once recently.  But for the past few years, I've thought the language sounds very intriguing. 

As I said before, I've listened to some Thai music, I guess mostly because it's easier to find than Lao on the internet on sites like YouTube.  (Some of your members who think traditional culture should be saved might want to slap me, so don't tell them, but I'll admit to you that I've become kind of addicted to certain modern Thai pop music.) 

I'm somewhat accustomed to hearing the sound of Thai and I've looked up and listened to translations of some words and phrases and that's why I was wondering how similar Lao is to Thai.
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Re: I'm sorry, I just don't agree with this
Reply #5 - 25th Jun, 2014 at 1:00pm
 
[quote author=485459534F534C54555D3C0  (Some of your members who think traditional culture should be saved might want to slap me, so don't tell them, but I'll admit to you that I've become kind of addicted to certain modern Thai pop music.)


Holy  Laugh
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Re: I'm sorry, I just don't agree with this
Reply #6 - 25th Jun, 2014 at 1:37pm
 
How similar is Lao to Thai? Well, I'd say about 70-85% of it is the same. Lao has no R sound like Thai, the R sound is replaced by an L or an H depending on the word.

Thai has polite endings such as Krab and Kha, although Northern Thai uses the word "jao (เจ้า) just like Lao does.

Ever heard of the Isan language? It's the most spoken dialect in all of Thailand second to Central Thai. Isan is actually a dialect of Lao and not Thai.

The Isan language=Lao language.

Native speakers of Lao Isan in Thailand ~25 million

Native speakers of Lao in Laos ~3 million (only about half the population of Laos is ethnically Lao)

So there are more native Lao speakers in Thailand than there are in Laos. The city with the highest concentration of Lao speakers in the world is nowhere other than Bangkok (not Vientiane) due to economic migration.

As for your comment about music, it warrants a seperate music video thread which I will start for you.
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Re: I'm sorry, I just don't agree with this
Reply #7 - 25th Jun, 2014 at 6:44pm
 
Miss Administrator Saovaluck Garland is correct. Due to the paucity of Lao language learning resources, particularly a lack of sound recordings, the language is incredibly difficult to learn for anyone living outside of Lao-speaking areas. If a SE Asian studies program exists in the US, I could imagine some clever students obtaining proficiency without setting foot outside of the US, but only under the tutelage of a native speaking Lao.  The same applies to Vietnamese. I know a very clever but very anti-social Hungarian who was interested in learning VN for professional reasons. I told him that if he was unwilling to speak the language with locals for at least 1-2 hours a day, he would never be able to speak or understand spoken Vietnamese.

Since I've been in Lao off and on since December, I can now internally vocalize most words. But without the countless hours of hearing spoken Lao, I would be helpless with regards to my pronunciation and listening skills.
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Re: I'm sorry, I just don't agree with this
Reply #8 - 26th Jun, 2014 at 12:24am
 
Google translate has 100 percent of the Thai audio/voice pronunciations. Just learn Thai and then learn Lao afterwards. Most Laos can understand Thai. Also try thai-language.com as it has lots of resources and complete audio pronunciations as well. Lao is exponentially easier than Thai as the script has been simplified.
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Re: I'm sorry, I just don't agree with this
Reply #9 - 26th Jun, 2014 at 2:27pm
 
Buk Nut wrote on 26th Jun, 2014 at 12:24am:
Google translate has 100 percent of the Thai audio/voice pronunciations. Just learn Thai and then learn Lao afterwards.


Thanks. That's basically what I've been doing. And I'm not really expecting to learn to speak the language; just a few words and phrases.

Google translate does a horrible job with the grammar of oriental languages, though, so I pick sentences apart and translate one word at a time to see how the phrases are put together. And then, it helps to find a translation of the full meaning of a sentence to get the sense of the whole thing.

To learn effectively, you need both: The full translation of the meaning of the sentence plus the word-for-word buildup to know how that meaning was constructed.

I haven't done it very much. But it's kind of fun to do with songs ... especially ones that get stuck in your head. And I've been able to find translations of the meanings of the lyrics for some of the (silly) Thai-Pop songs, so that helps.

Mostly, I guess I just find it intriguing.  Kind of like a puzzle.
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Re: I'm sorry, I just don't agree with this
Reply #10 - 30th Jun, 2014 at 4:40am
 
I speak both Thai and Lao and even I have trouble believing they are different languages, they just seem like dialects of each other.

Certain languages (such as Bavarian, Austrian German and German) that are even more different from each other than Thai and Lao are still considered the same language, so there is a sort of grey area here. Also the Lao alphabet has been modified and a number of the consonants have been removed for simplification of the script.

Before the Lao script was modified every Lao consonant had a Thai equivalent and they basically just looked like slightly different ways of writing the same symbol.

Even the now out of use Lanna script of Northern Thailand is more different from Central Thai than Lao is.

One could say that Thai and Lao are even more similar than Spanish and Italian are.

Despite their similarities, I'm glad they were split into 2 countries and are not one nation. Being part of Thailand would've meant the demise of the concept of a separate Lao nation and people, and they would've just disappeared as a separate people, similar to the Cham kingdom of Southern Vietnam, and the Mons of Thailand and Burma. Just erased off the map and no one cares about them anymore except for the occasional linguist or history enthusiast.
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