Language Scientific’s Lao Translation Services

Language Scientific provides high quality Lao translation services, supplying technical, medical and scientific translation, localization and interpreting into and out of Lao. We are a US-based language services company serving over 1,500 global corporations. Our specialization, focus, industry-leading quality management standards and customer-centered attitude have earned us the trust of many of the world’s best technology, engineering, biomedical and pharmaceutical companies.

Language Scientific has two divisions—Technical and Engineering Localization and Translation Services Division and Medical and Pharmaceutical Localization and Translation Services Division. Both groups provide a full range of Lao language services including:

We offer a unique depth of subject-matter expertise via our Advanced Scientific Knowledge network (ASKnetwork™) and globalization know-how for companies in the Aerospace & Defense, Chemical, Clinical Research, Energy, Healthcare, Industrial Manufacturing, Medical Device, Pharmaceutical, Technology and related industries. Our ASKnetwork™ of over 6,000 specialists comprises multilingual engineers, doctors and scientists working in over 75 countries on 5 continents.

Language Scientific’s unique Accreditation Program for Technical and Medical Translators, along with a rigorous Quality Management System, ensures the quality standards that our clients have come to depend on. Language Scientific’s Quality Management System is ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 17100:2015 certified.

At Language Scientific, we are driven by the mission to set the new Standard of Quality for technical translation and localization. It is this mission that drives our success and sets us apart as a company. When you need precise global communication, Language Scientific is the clear choice.

Lao Language Statistics/Facts

Lao is the English name used for the Lao language, which is one of many Tai languages spoken in Southeast Asia. Approximately 3.6 million people speak Lao as native language of which the majority is from Laos while the total number of Lao speaking people all over the world is around 20 million.

The Lao language is mainly spoken in communities of ethnic Lao people. Lao is the official language of Laos. Lao is recognized as a minority language in the Northeastern areas of Thailand, (where it is generally known as Isan language) and is spoken as a regional language in Cambodia. Along with these countries, people who speak Lao are scattered in small communities in different countries across the globe, such as Vietnam, Myanmar (previously Burma), Singapore, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, United States and Canada.

The Lao or Lao language is categorized under the Tai-Kadai language family and belongs to the Lao-Phutai branch. It is a tonal language where the meaning of words of Lao is affected by pronunciation. Lao, just like Thai, is written in a script of Indic origin. Though there are debates regarding the actual number of Lao dialects, most of the language specialists agree that it has six dialects of which Vientiane is the standard and most used one.

Lao Dialects

Vientiane LaoVientiane, Bolikhamsai and Vientiane prefecture province of Laos; Chaiyaphum, Nong Bua Lamphu and parts of Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Nong khai and Yasothorn province of Thailand
Western LaoKalasin, Maha Sarakham and Roy Et. Province of Thailand
Tai PhuanXiangkhoang and Houaphanh provinces of Laos; parts of Sakon Nakhon and Udon Thani province of Thailand
Northern LaoLuang Prabang, Oudomxay and Sainyabuli province of Laos; Loei  province and parts of Khon Kaen and Udon Thani province of Thailand
Central LaoKhammouan and Savannakhet province of Laos; Mukdahan province and parts of Nongchai and Sakon Nakhon province of Thailand
Southern LaoAttapeu, Champasak, Sekong and salavan province of Laos; Amnat Charoen, Ubon Ratchathani and parts of  Buriram, Yasothorn, Surin, Si Sa Ket, and Nakhan Ratchasima province of Thailand

Countries Where Lao Is Spoken

  • Argentina
  • Canada
  • Laos
  • Switzerland
  • Australia
  • France
  • Myanmar
  • Thailand
  • Bangladesh
  • Germany
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • Brazil
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • United States
  • Cambodia
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • Vietnam

Lao-Speaking Country Data

Country: Laos

Capital: Vientiane
Population: 7,126,706
Communist: President BOUNNYANG Vorachit
Currency: Kip
GDP (ppp): $5,700
Unemployment: 1.3%
Government Type: Communist
Industries: Copper, tin, gold and gypsum mining; timber, electric power, agricultural processing, construction, garments, cement and tourism

Country: Thailand

Capital: The Kingdom of Thailand
Population: 68,414,135
Constitutional Monarchy: King WACHIRALONGKON Bodinthrathepphayawarangkun
Currency: Thai Baht
GDP (ppp): $16.900
Unemployment: 0.9%
Government Type: Constitutional monarchy
Industries: Automobiles and automotive parts, finance, electric tools and components, tourism, computers, manufacturing, plastic commodities, agriculture, textiles.

Country: Cambodia

Capital: Phnom Penh
Population: 16,204,486
Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy: King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen
Currency: Riel
GDP (ppp): $3,700
Unemployment: 0.3%
Government Type: Parliamentary Constitional Monarchy
Industries: Industry: tourism, rubber, motor vehicles, clothing

Cambodia is a unitary state which consists of 23 provinces. Though Phnom Penh, the capital is a special administrative area, sometimes is considered as a province because its level of administration is the same as the provinces.

Lao History

The Lao language originated from Tai languages spoken by the Tai tribes in the regions that are now called northern China and northern Vietnam. These areas are believed to be the home of the Tai-kadai language family and a few related languages are still used there by some minority groups.These Tai tribes were the descendents of some ancient people known by the name of the Yue and the Ai Lao.

Though the migration of the Tai tribes to South-East Asia began in the first millennium, large scale migration took place between 700 and 1300 AD. The main reasons for this migration include pressure from Mongol invaders, Han Chinese expansion and the search for a more suitable land for cultivating wet-rice. Thus, gradually the Tai People settled on the outskirts of some kingdoms of the Mon and Khmer Empire, especially the “Indianized” kingdoms. Their interaction with Indian people and their culture, philosophy, customs and language along with several Austro-Asiatic elements exercised profound effects in the development of Lao language.

The Tai people took advantage of the waning condition of the Khemer Empire and its poor condition to create independent Tai states, which was the beginning of the development of the Lao language and culture. From this point on, the Tai states began to flourish, and Lanxang, which is now Laos, became the most powerful kingdom. The kingdom of Lanxang prospered as it was the center of Buddhism in its region, had wealth and its capital was near the silk route. The languages used in the Khemer Empire, such as Austronesian and Mon-Khemer, were gradually absorbed and grew into various Lao languages. The introduction of Buddhism in Lanxang further enriched the Lao language. Buddhism bestowed several Pali and Sanskrit words to Lao, especially those related with religion. The Lao script (namely Tham) in which the Lao language is written today was derived from the Pali language that was brought to the region by Buddhist monks.

After the division of Lanxang kingdom into Luang Phra Bang, Vientiane and Champasak, the kingdoms fell under Siamese rule. In the 18th century, during the reign of Rama III, the campaigns of Taskin against Siamese rule began and resulted in the destruction of Vientiane among other cities. Most of the people from these cities were forcibly removed to barren regions of central Thailand and Isan. As a result, the Lao language found its way to Thailand.

Lao became the official language of Laos after a long period of struggle against French colonial rule. Laos finally achieved its independence in 1953. During the Vietnam War (also known as the Indochina War), many refugees fled to Vietnam from Laos, which spread the Lao language to Vietnam. Lao made its way to many other countries as a result of the Vietnam war where Lao refugees were granted asylum, such as United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, Canada and Singapore.