A They are similar (especially the formal language), but even though a lot of the words are the same, it’s usually difficult for Thai speakers to understand Lao and vice versa. For example, some words that are commonly used in Thai are rarely used in Lao. Also slang is very different in the two languages. Thai speakers tend to leave out pronouns and to speak more informally. Very formal language, without slang, is easier to understand (Lao speakers can understand some formal Thai and Thai speakers can understand some formal Lao).
Lao has more words borrowed from Vietnamese and French; Thai has more words borrowed from English.
Some basic words that are different in the two languages:
Thai: pom/dichan (ผม/ดิฉัน)
Thai: nangseu (หนังสือ)
Thailand: gradat (กระดาษ)
Thailand: khanompang (ขนมปัง)
Lao: sabai dii
Thai: sawat di (สวัสดี) (but, in Thai, sabai di reu (สบายดีหรือ) is “how are you” and the reply is sabai di (สบายดี) – like Lao)
There is also a language spoken in northern Thailand called Isaan (ภาษาอีสาน) or Northeastern Thai which is mutually intelligible with Lao.
The website below has some interesting information about the similarities and differences:
Please refer to my post of just two days ago titled Isaan Dictionary. I will not be repeating any of it today, nor making any further reference to it in this post. Neither will I be making repeat reference to any of the links that I posted there.
If you are just interested in finding out a few Isaan words or phrases, you can scour the Web and locate smatterings at a number of different locations. One oft-referred to discussion is Siamsmile‘s Isaan Dialect. For years, people have referenced this instruction’s earlier location at Geocities.
Possibly the translation website thai2english.com may be of some aid, although I am unsure if the very brief discussion of Isaan is doing anything more than yielding more Central Thai translations.
You should find thai-language.com‘s page of words and phrases in the Isaan Dialect quite helpful if you’re serious about learning a few words.
Occasionally someone will post concerning Isaan at the Thai Visa Forum, if you care to try and fish around there — for instance, this short post begun April 6, 2008: Isaan Words – Waa San ว่าสั่น. An interesting thread by Farangs (or Expats) associated with or even living in the Isaan Region is a three-page thread begun August 29, 2012, titled More Ups Than Downs Surviving In Isaan. I suppose that I should here mention that I am doing a November 1 (2012) edit to this post, which was first published back on May 7.
However, the TeakDoor.com forum may yield better results. Witness this post begun February 11, 2007: Learn to Speak Issan. It has extended over three pages.
A third forum to explore is The Paknam Web Forums (thailandqa.com). One thread begun July 8, 2011, titled Learning Isaan is currently nine pages in length.
I rather like this phrase from a page at Isaan.com:
Isaan people are also known to speak quickly and because of their different dialect which essentially broadens their vocabulary past regular Thai, they are often found to be quick-witted comics.
I am supposing that what is meant is that the Isaan speaker knows both Central Thai as well as his or her own Isaan dialect, and thus has a broader or more flexible vocabulary that an average Central Thai speaker might. Supposedly, specialists who study such things claim that Central Thai is a somewhat more complex language than Isaan or Lao. I am in no position to make any comment about that.
You must surely know that Isaan derives from Lao; in that context, you might pay some attention to Blue Jellyfish Press‘s Essential Lao Phrases. But I don’t want to complicate your life too much.
You might find some help at YouTube, actually. Check out the two following videos:
LearnThai: Isan language – Greeting
Uploaded by thailanguagehut on Mar 8, 2011
If you like this lesson the please click on the like button. In this lesson we will learn with Issan conversation. You will learn how to introduce yourself in Issan Thai. Hope you like this and can now introduce yourself to Issan Thai nationals.
Should you wish to learn more Thai language please contact our school on teacher @thailanguagehut.com or look at our website www.thailanguagehut.com. We do lessons at our school, at a site of your choice in Bangkok or Online using Skype.
Learn Thai Conversation : Isaan Language 2
Uploaded by thailanguagehut on Mar 22, 2011
Please click like if you like my video. In this video we will learn about the Thai Conversation : Isaan language 2
What follows are a few Isaan-related references you may find of some interest:
No exchange of words, then the boys started to lob bricks and stones, hitting them many times, suddenly the boys ran towards them, pushing the girl to the ground. On this, the man tried to help his girlfriend up. While he was …
More and more I am asked to explain terms in Buddhism and I am very careful to separate opinion from fact and many terms are beyond my simple explanation. The following is …. to go forward. Posted by tom isaan at 8:38 AM …
The Company is based in Isaan Province, the poorest region of Thailand, and it counts with the close partnership of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) and Kasetsart University (KU). In the frame of …
KoratFart.com – Nakhon Ratchasima and Isaan Forum for Art, News & Culture. * Simple Machines Forum … In other words, the operators should have no convincing reason for setting high fees. In addition, the 3G service …
So he was bumped sideways to write “Low Life”: 650 words a week of bitter, cantankerous whinging about the pleasures of his life that could make grown men weep with laughter. He was the man I most wanted to meet when I …
A Believing in it is one thing but actually buying and using it is another as people generally use simple amulets to protect themselves . Only few go into such detail as yourself .
Most Thais know of some good amulet from their area like North or South Isaan or Central area and use amulets from well known persons from their area or other area
The word in town was that you are OUT of circulation. When did you get back? Cant stay away from YA huh?
Me forseeing the return of more amulet questions!
do u faham my question, i ask do Thais believe in it or not i am not saying i will use the power. or study it, u are out of circulation, some spend Millions of Baht in it thousands of ppl interested in it, Bila saya balik is none of ur business, YA does not oqn by u, i can come and go, ask and answer, Ham KC
Lao, Thai, Isaan Song. Borh-Leum-Xun-Yhah
Uploaded by Troy Chaisouang on Jan 16, 2011
Lao, Thai, Isaan Song. Borh-Leum-Xun-Yhah
Car Phone Mount, Vena [6Netic] Square Magnetic Cellphone Car Mount, Universal Air Vent Holder for iPhone X/8 Plus/8, Galaxy Note 8/S8 Plus/S8, Google Pixel 2/2 XL, LG V30/G6, HTC, Motorola – Black
A Perfectly Powerful Magnetic Air Vent Mount The Vena 6Netic magnetic air vent mount incorporates 6 powerful N45 magnets to safely and securely mount your smart phone to the magnetic mount an onto almost any air vent, whether in yours or your carpool’s car. Maximize Your Commute with the vCommute Case Pair the magnetic air vent mount with the Vena vCommute case and maximize your commute. With it…
128 Capacity CD/DVD case Wallet, storage,holder,booklet by Rekukos（Black）
. Protective Keep Dirt Away & Prevent Scratches . Durable exterior protects your CD/DVD . Moisture & Tear Resistant . Holds 128 CD/DVD Discs…
AFA [166 Pcs] Toyota Trim Clips Set – Most Popular Sizes & Applications – Free Fastener Remover
Approved for Automotive 166 Pcs toyota retainer clips box set with most popular sizes and applications. Made of very durable nylon that will not break instantly like other brands. Great for most popular applications such as: door trim, fender, hood and bumper for Toyota, Lexus, Mazda and other brands. Covers 5mm to 10mm hole sizes and several screws for exact OEM replacement of old, worn or broken…
Boveda 72-Percent RH Retail Cube Humidifier/Dehumidifier, 60gm – Pack of 12
Boveda Technology Works Two Ways Whether it’s food, cigars, cigarettes, RYO, chewing tobacco or herbal medicine, these products lose their character if the humidity isn’t right. Too much humidity is just as bad as being too dry, especially when mold enters the picture. Boveda’s patented technology adds or removes humidity as conditions require, maintaining the specific moisture conte…
Coop Home Goods – THE EDEN PILLOW – Ultra Tech Cover with Gusset – ADJUSTABLE Fill features cooling and hypoallergenic gel infused memory foam with fiberfill – MADE IN USA – QUEEN
I’m Eden, and you could say that I’m the top-of-the-line model here at Coop. I’ll keep you cool with my gel-infused memory foam. I also have a special blend of premium combed microfiber, which makes me softer, cushier, and more luxurious than the others. My gusseted cover makes me special and ensures full edge-to-edge support. The Case With an added gusset, the soft, luxurious Eden case allows mor…
Evenflo Loft Portable Bassinet, Grey Melange
Loft Portable Bassinet Give your baby a great night’s sleep at home or on the go. We’ve combined well-loved features like a simple, sleek folding design and easy-to-clean sheets with the modern technology of a Bluetooth speaker that plays your child’s favorite goodnight music or nature sounds. Cozy fabrics keep your baby comfortable, while breathable mesh sides provide ample visibility and airflow…
Maxrock Kitchen 2 Tier Stackable Stainless Steel Steamer IP Accessories for Pot in Pot Pressure Cooker-Fits 6, 8 Quart Instant Pot, 2 Tier Steamer Basket with Trivet
Package Content:√ 2 Stainless Steel Insert Pans√ 1 Stainless Steel Lid√ 1 Stainless Steel multi-purpose Holder with an interlocking HandleProduct specifications:√ Item condition: New√ Size: Fits inside 6 and 8-quart cookerI√ tem Dimension: 7.5 x 7.5 x 5.4 inch (L x W x H)√ Item weight: 2.5 pounds√ Material: Food-Grade Stainless Steel304(18/8)Product Features and Benefits:√ Multi-…
(3 pack) 16 oz THETIS Homes Plastic Squeeze Squirt Condiment Bottles with Twist On Cap Lids – Perfect For Syrup, Sauce, Ketchup, BBQ, Condiments, Dressing, Arts and Craft, Workshop, Storage, and More
Store and serve your favorite sauces, condiments, and oils with this set of 6 squeeze bottles from THETIS Homes. Full mouths make filling easy, and dishwasher safe PE makes clean up a breeze. Whether you are bottling your secret BBQ sauce for the neighborhood picnic or packing for a camping trip, squeezable condiment containers are a must. Not just any container will do, though. THETIS Homes condi…
Ravens Brew Whole Bean Deadmans Reach, Dark Roast 5-Pound Bag
Revitalize your lifestyle and resurrect your palate with this inimitable high-speed blend. Suitably brewed by any method: drip, French press, or espresso. Produces an outstanding crema and punches through a tall latte with dense coffee flavor. Dark Roast….