Learn Lao
with Ling

Use our comprehensive lessons, conversation topics, and more to connect with those closest to you

Used by 5M Ling Learners


What makes learning with Ling special

Interactive exercises

Improve your pronunciation by starting a conversation with our app’s interactive chatbot

Engaging activities

Practice your skills with mini-games and track your progress with fun quizzes

Mix of languages

Choose from over 60 languages, both big and small, and listen to audio from native speakers

Proven results

Backed by linguistic research, our learning methods can help you achieve fluency in record time

Master 4 language skills in 10 minutes a day

1-3 minutes to learn new vocabulary
Select a language, lesson, and topic of study. Get introduced to new vocabulary and any relevant grammar tips.
3-5 minutes to review
Quick comprehension checks! You might be asked to match the photo with the word, sort the sentence, or match the cards together.
3-5 minutes to test your listening skills
Listen to the conversation between two native speakers. Next, fill in the blanks of their conversation accordingly.
Did that seem too easy? Don’t worry, Ling offers lessons for all 5 language levels, from beginner to advanced.

Join over 5 million language learners for a 100% guaranteed amazing language experience

Frequently asked questions about learning Lao

Is Lao Easier Than Thai?

It’s true that many students adjust more easily to learning Lao than Thai due to its simpler writing system and pronunciation. While Thai and Lao have similar sounds, Lao has fewer consonants with an easier phonetic script.


According to the Foreign Service Institute FSI), Thai and Lao are both classified as category III languages, which means it will take the average learner 1100 hours to reach proficiency.


However, if you want to learn Lao, then there’s no reason to be afraid! All you need to learn the language is a little time, effort, and a good language app.


Learn Lao easier by:


  • Focusing on writing and speaking Lao from its written script
  • Listening to Lao music and repeating the lyrics
  • Finding a speaking partner to exchange Lao conversations with
  • Following a structured learning plan from A1 to C2


Ultimately, your language learning progress will be a direct result of how much time and effort you put into it. With Ling, you can practice all these language skills in just one convenient language learning app!

What Language Is Closest To Lao?

Lao is closest to languages like Thai, Chinese (Jizhao in Guangdong, China), Kra-Dai languages, and Southwestern Tai languages. You also might want to learn Lao if your language is French or Vietnamese, as it has loan words from both cultures.


Lao is the official language of the 30 million native speakers in Laos. But, the closest language to Lao is Thai, as they both come from the Tai-Dai and Daic language families. Since they both have deep connections due to their political history, many Thai people also speak Lao, the majority of which live in Isan, Thailand.

Other language families share similar characteristics in grammar and pronunciation like Hmong-Mien, Austro-Tai, Japonic, and Sino-Tai.

You can also find Lao spoken in Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, and the United States.


What Kind Of Language Is Lao?

Lao, commonly known as Laotian, is an analytical and tonal language. It emerged from the family of Tai languages, specifically, the Lao-Phutai group.


The Lao language is subdivided into five regional dialects: Vientiane Lao, Northern Lao (Louang Phrabang Lao), Northeastern Lao dialect (Tai Phouan), Central Lao, and Southern Lao.


Want to know more? Here are some Lao language facts to remember:


  • Grammar: Lao has six tones, four marks, and is monosyllabic. It also follows the Subject-Verb-Object sentence structure. You’ll find measure words or classifiers to point out plural words in almost every sentence.
  • Vocabulary: The Laotian language uses native words with a Pali-Sanskrit origin. As part of the Lao culture, the language has specific words to express authority and politeness, especially to elders.
  • Speaking/Listening: The Lao language consists of twenty-seven consonants with three tone classes. If you’re learning Lao for the first time, pay close attention to different dialects, tones, and pitch differences.
  • Reading/Writing: The Lao script ( ອັກສອນລາວ or Akson Lao) is written from left to right. It consists of 27 consonants and 33 vowels with some combined letters to form a total of 28 vowel sounds.
Is Lao Intelligible With Thai?

Thai and Lao share similar words and are mutually intelligible. In fact, at least 70 to 80 percent of vocabularies in both languages are the same, with a few loanword exceptions.


If you want a real challenge, you can learn Lao and Thai simultaneously! But, how can you do this? All you have to do is use the Ling app! The Ling app has a variety of activites and exercises to help you retain lesson vocabulary, words, phrases, and even grammar tips.


If you’re just starting your language journey, here are some similiarities and differences between Lao and Thai:


  • Curvier, rounded glyphs distinguish Lao from Thai, which utilizes more straight lines
  • Both akson Lao and aksorn Thai’ are written from left to right
  • Thai has five tones for pronunciation, while Lao has six
  • Lao is relatively easier to speak than Thai because there are less consonants to pronounce
  • Phenological divergence between Lao and Thai. The /m/, /h/, and /ɲ/ sounds become /l/, /r/, and /j/