Lao

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A language of Laos

Alternate Names
Eastern Thai, Lào, Lao Kao, Lao Wiang, Lao-Lum, Lao-Noi, Lao-Tai, Laotian, Laotian Tai, Lum Lao, Phou Lao, Rong Kong, Tai Lao
Population

3,070,000 in Laos (2005 census). Population total all countries: 3,273,180.

Location

Mekong river valley, Luang Prabang south to the Cambodia border. Lao-Khrang dialect is in Nakhonsawan and Nakhon Pathom areas. Also in Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Thailand, United States, Viet Nam.

Language Maps
Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (2003, Constitution, Article 89).

Dialects

Lao-Kao, Lao-Khrang, Luang Prabang, Pakse, Savannakhet (Suwannakhet), Vientiane (Wiang Jan). Dialect subgroup with Northeastern Tai of Thailand.

Typology

SOV

Language Use

800,000 L2 speakers.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 30%–60%. Literacy rate in L2: 50%–75%. Bible: 1932.
Writing
Lao script.
Other Comments

The Lao Kao migrated to Thailand and are in Nan, Loei, Saraburi, and elsewhere. Buddhist, traditional religion, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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