Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Lao is Thai-ish

To be fair I should also say Thai is a bit Lao-ish. Having got to the point where Thai doesn't sound foreign I want to start extending my ear for Thai. I will start looking for examples of dialects, accents etc. I read somewhere that Lao language is closely related to Thai which seemed a good starting point. I have done similar whilst learning Chinese the idea I had is simply that that listening around the boundaries of the language help me to understand the sounds of the language even better. Of course eventually this listening may actually help if I get into a conversation with someone who has that regional accent, dialect etc. Watch the video above to demonstrate my point (classical Spanish indeed :)).

So now for the analysis bit, the bit that hurts but at least provides the slightest chance that anyone will believe I actually get anything out of this madness. I listened to some Lao language (radio) without finding out much at all about it before hand. It sounds very like Thai (not rocket science), they use sa-bai-dee instead of sa-wat-dee for greeting (or at least they can... I have never heard this in Thai unless it is a question about how someone is sa-bai-dee mai?. Lao language doesn't seem to have the Krap and Ka polite words (or a least at a much less lower frequency than Thai). The numbers seems superficially the same (may be tone differences in a one or two).

Then I listened to some lessons on Youtube, which was interesting, the pronouns (wow I know a grammar word) are different. Significantly two people teaching Lao seemed to have poor accents, judging from their English I would say they are second generation Lao brought up in American, a European guy actually sounded more authentic. Of course I am basing this entirely on having listened to a lot of Thai so I may be talking rubbish.

That is probably enough Lao for now.

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