If you decide to make a home in Vientiane or Luang Prabang, perhaps there is no more important thing than learning romantic ways to say I love you in Lao. The easiest way to say 'I Love You' is (kho huk chau) ຂ້ອຍຮັກເຈົ້າ...It is all well and good knowing day-to-day small talk, but eventually, you might find yourself needing to know the big, big talk. Don't worry if your knowledge is lacking, as the great love poet Oscar Wilde said: The very essence of romance is uncertainty.
Let's dive into some Lao words for love.
I Love You (kho huk chau) ຂ້ອຍຮັກເຈົ້າ
I Miss You (kho huk jâo) ຂ້ອຍຄິດຮອດເຈົ້າ
I'm yours (khoi pen khong jao) ຂ້ອຍເປັນຂອງເຈົ້າ
You won't see many public displays of affection in Laos, at least romantic ones. Although Laos is a former French colony, la bise(kiss on the cheek) never caught on here.
In the past, it was common to get married at a much younger age, but many young people are putting off the decision until they have been to university.
As you'd expect in a conservative country, divorce is rare, especially in rural areas. Of course, as Western culture takes hold, attitudes in the city are constantly evolving, for good and for bad.
|You complete me||Jao teum tem si vid khong koi||ເຈົ້າເຮັດ ສຳ ເລັດຂ້ອຍ|
|Will you marry me?||Taeng ngan gub khoi bor||ເຈົ້າຈະແຕ່ງງານກັບຂ້ອຍບໍ?|
|You're my sweet||Jao pen thi hug khong khoi||ເຈົ້າສຸດທີ່ຮັກຂອງຂ້ອຍ|
|You're my everything||Jao pen thuk sing thunk yang khong khoi||ເຈົ້າເປັນທຸກສິ່ງທຸກຢ່າງຂອງຂ້ອຍ|
|I think I'm in love with you||Khoi kid va khoi tuk lum hug jao laew||ຂ້ອຍຄິດວ່າຂ້ອຍຫຼົງຮັກເຈົ້າ|
|I have feelings for you||Khoi huu suek dee gub jao||ຂ້ອຍມີຄວາມຮູ້ສຶກຕໍ່ເຈົ້າ|
|You make me want to be a better man||Jao hed hai khoi yak pen kon thi dee goua ni||ເຈົ້າເຮັດໃຫ້ຂ້ອຍຕ້ອງການເປັນຜູ້ຊາຍທີ່ດີກວ່າ|
|You're so awesome||Jao geng lai||ເຈົ້າເກັ່ງຫຼາຍ|
|I want to hug you||Hoi yak god jao||ຂ້ອຍຢາກກອດເຈົ້າ|
|I want to kiss you||Khoi yak jub jao||ຂ້ອຍຢາກຈູບເຈົ້າ|
|I'm always here for you||Khoi yuu khang jao sa meu||ຂ້ອຍຢູ່ທີ່ນີ້ສະເyouີ ສຳ ລັບເຈົ້າ|
|You're special to me||Jao kue kon phi sed sam lub khoi||ເຈົ້າເປັນຄົນພິເສດ ສຳ ລັບຂ້ອຍ|
There are many wedding traditions (Suu Khwan) that persist until today. Most weddings take place in the home villages of the husband and wife, or at least they perform key parts of the ceremony in the countryside and then move to the city for the reception.
There still persists a good deal of superstition in Laos and picking an auspicious day for the wedding is important. Relatives consult monks who then determine what day will bring the couple the best fortune.
Other Lao superstitions include: stairs must be odd-numbered, a woman shouldn't sit above a man on a bus, and you'll lose your finger if you point at a rainbow. For a more extensive list of Lao superstitions check out this facts and details page.
It is easy to laugh until you remember how absurd western traditions must appear to people from Laos. Take wedding ceremonies as one example. We also have a traditional date evinced by this proverb: 'Marry in September’s shine, your living will be rich and fine.'
As well as another old rhyme that dictates: 'Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe.'
As with all cultures, there are traditional clothes that both the bride and groom wear. Typically the bride will wear a colorful silk skirt called a sinh along with a matching one-shoulder, sleeveless top. The husband wears salong which are a kind of billowing, silk trousers.
This is something very specific to Southeast Asia where you see a blend of Buddhist and animist religions. The idea is that each person has 32 spirits guarding vital parts of the body and when one of these spirits becomes displaced illness occurs. By tying a cotton string to the wrists during the ceremony the parts of the soul are united and harmony is returned.
Different languages attach different significance to love. Sanskrit, for example, has 96 words for love. It is a blessing for Valentine's cards manufacturers, but a disaster for anyone attempting to expand their Sanskrit vocabulary! Japanese couldn't be more different. Ai shiteru (translation: I love you) is only saved for the deepest and most personal bonds.
(For further exploration on this topic check out another blog on our website: 10 easy ways to say I love you in Japanese today. As the author explains. Japanese people have a very different conception of love than you might be accustomed to.
As you have seen, there is more than one love word in Lao. The Lao language is as complex and beautiful as the Khuang Si waterfall which is why I hope you will consider learning it with the Ling App. Our platform allows you to practice your pronunciation. You can listen, repeat, and hear yourself improving day by day.
If this less was a bit heavy for you and you'd prefer to keep things a bit more casual, why not check out our blog about greetings in Lao. Here you will find vocabulary aimed more at beginners, as well as more information on places to visit in Laos.