If you are traveling to Laos soon, you will surely step in and encounter a range of traditional households with unique designs and items. So, how about you learn some everyday Lao household items vocab to enjoy your trip with an authentic Lao experience?
Knowing basic household vocabulary in the Lao language will go a long way. The foremost reason stands in your accommodation. Since you must be planning to stay in a traditional house through Airbnb to immerse into the authentic Lao culture, knowing the essential words used by native speakers will allow you to conveniently navigate things concerning your room.
You can also use household Lao words in different situations, like asking for an item, repairing, or even purchasing one. Moreover, what can be the best way of describing the country’s unique houses- ເຮືອນ ( heuon) than uttering words that most people in Laos use? So, with today’s post, where we will cover all the essential household items vocab and facts relating to Laos architecture, you will be able to express yourself meaningfully with the locals and improve your language skills! If you are ready to learn Lao, continue reading.
The Lao Traditional Architecture
Let us first review the traditional Laos architecture and acknowledge the original beauty of the Lao nationals.
Traditional Lao homes are called heuon. The most distinct feature of a heuon is its construction based entirely on woven bamboo thatching or wood. They are usually built on stilts or piers above the ground. Such a practice took place in ancient times to provide protection from animals and also for ventilation, and along the line, the practice became a significant feature of cultural distinction.
In recent times, however, high-rise houses have become a way of protecting the structure from mud during the rainy season. Traditional houses are seen chiefly in rural areas, with different ethnic groups having unique hints to their houses. But, with the advent of the communist government and urbanization, traditional house styles are slowly disappearing in the town areas.
Most houses have a porch, and the interior consists of two rooms along with a common room, usually the outside area is booked for dining, cooking, and guests’ visits. Some houses have a chamber to worship where strangers are prohibited from entering.
One of the most interesting facts is that most Lao people still avoid building toilets. Although they are developing the in-house toilet system in urban areas, rural locals still defecate near streams or rivers. However, it is considered taboo in some places.
It is also essential to acknowledge that in Lao culture, the house is considered a refuge for life. The locals are enthusiastic about building their own homes and using local materials and tools. Construction is considered a serious business of the owner.
Common Lao Household Items Vocab
In this section, we will go through some of the commonly kept household items in a Lao traditional house, along with some house-related vocabulary. Later, we will discover more words related to house items that are seen conventionally under different room categories. So, let’s get started.
Since we are talking about household items, the first word we need to learn in Lao is ເຮືອນ. The pronunciation goes as heuon. The most straightforward type of house or the traditional house in Laos is called the heuon. If you are looking for traditional accommodation, you can use this word to ask for guides from the locals.
The next house-related word is the ບ້ານ, and it is pronounced as a ban. As we all know, a home is one that is personally attached to a person, whereas a house is a structural building. If you want to discuss your home with the locals, the right word to use is ban.
Next, the most common thing related to a house in Laos is ສວນ- suan. Since most houses are located in areas near natural greens and water bodies such as rivers, streams, mountains, etc., home gardens become an inevitable part of the house. However, if we talk about gardens that are seen in urban households, there might be some limitations in such an expression regarding rural Laotian homes.
The term ບ້ານໃກ້ເຮືອນຄຽງ- ban kaiheuonkhiang is also of much use. If you are looking for a place to stay for an extended time, you must be aware of your neighborhood because Laos still has many rural villages and slum areas. Thus, if you want to state a particular concern to your agent or broker regarding your preferred neighborhood, you can use the word ban kaiheuonkhiang.
Coming to house items, one of the most common things that you will see in every household is the ຕາຕະລາງ- tatalang. In Laos, the tables are usually of low height because they prefer sitting on cushions or on the floor. So, tatalang in Laos has shorter legs than normal conventional ones.
6. Bamboo Rice Steamer
If you have read about Lao food ingredients in the earlier posts, you are no stranger to the fact that sticky rice is the life of Laotion people. Hence, every household, be it rural or urban, has the ຫ້ວຍຂາວ- houat khao. No Lao home is complete without this item. In fact, people also gift houat khao to newlywed couples as a blessing for a lifetime of rice cooking in their lives.
7. Mortar And Pestle
Translation: ໂຄກ ແລະ ຊາກ
Similar to the Houat Khao, another essential kitchen item that you will find in every house in Laos is ໂຄກ ແລະ ຊາກ- khok and saak. A mortar and pestle made of deep clay is a fixated item in the Laos kitchen that is used to blend spices, sauces, pastes, and salads. If you live in an Airbnb, you will definitely find one without any failure.
Like any other house, even in Laos, a ຕຽງ- tiang is a must-have. Although rural people prefer sleeping on the floor over a mattress, a tiang is a must-have in urban areas. Most Lao houses have low-rise beds, and they prefer keeping the bed legs short, made of authentic wood, and a giant mattress. High-rise beds are primarily seen in hotels.
Since Lao people eat sticky rice religiously, ຟັກ- fak is a commonly seen item. Just like in other countries of Southeast Asia, fak in Laos is a central part of the kitchen and is seen in every household. Although history records that people also use their hands to eat, eating with fak is a typical family rule. If you are new to the use of fak, now is the best time to see youtube tutorials and learn!
10. Traditional Stove
A traditional stove in Lao or ແສງເພັງ- Saengpen is one of the country’s charms. Mostly in rural areas, instead of modern stoves- ເຕົາ (tao), you will find one made of clay and cement known as the ແສງເພັງ- Saengpen, quite popular in Thailand as well. It is a Narn charcoal stove used by locals, which is considered more fuel efficient by Laotian women. Although modern glass or steel stoves are ordinary in Laotian households, if you go to a rural house, you are expected to find a Saengpen.
Conventional Household Items In The Lao Language
Now we will go through various house items seen in every kind of household. While you already have the idea of some essential traditional items, learning the following words will further enhance your Lao vocabulary.
Kitchen Items In Lao
|Apron||ຜ້າກັນເປື້ອນ||pha kan peuon|
|Cutting board||ກະດານຕັດ||kadan tad|
|Cabinet||ຕູ້ໂຊມີລີ້ນຊັກ||tu os mi lin sak|
|Dish rack||ຊັ້ນວາງຈານ||san vang chan|
|Microwave||ໄມໂຄເວຟ||maiokh ve f|
|Potholder||ຫມໍ້ຫຸງຕົ້ມ||mo hung tom|
|Table cloth||ຜ້າຕາຕະລາງ||pha tatalang|
Bedroom-Related Lao Words
|Bedsheet||ຜ້າປູບ່ອນນອນ||pha pu bon non|
|Bookshelf||ຊັ້ນວາງປຶ້ມ||san vang pum|
|Bedside table||ໂຕະຂ້າງຕຽງ||to khang tiang|
|Night Lamp||ໂຄມໄຟກາງຄືນ||okhm fai kangkhun|
Livingroom Items In Lao
|Coffee table||ໂຕະກາເຟ||to ka fe|
|Dining table||ໂຕະກິນເຂົ້າ||to kin khao|
|Decorative item||ລາຍການຕົກແຕ່ງ||laikan tokaetng|
Bathroom-Related Lao Words
|Body wash||ລ້າງຮ່າງກາຍ||lang hangkai|
|Dental floss||ຂັດແຂ້ວ||khad aekhv|
|Detergent||ຜົງຊັກຟອກ||phong sak fok|
|Hair dryer||ໄດເປົ່າຜົມ||dai peoa phom|
|Laundry basket||ກະຕ່າຊັກລີດ||kata sak lid|
|Paper towel||ເຈ້ຍເຊັດ||cheny sed|
|Washing machine||ຈັກຊັກເຄື່ອງ||chak sak kheuong|
Lao House-Related Phrases
|I love your house||ຂ້ອຍຮັກເຮືອນຂອງເຈົ້າ||khony hak heuon khongchao|
|Where is the bathroom?||ຫ້ອງນໍາ້ຢູ່ໃສ?||hong noa yu sai|
|Can I use the kitchen?||ຂ້ອຍສາມາດໃຊ້ເຮືອນຄົວໄດ້ບໍ?||khony samadsai heuonkhua daibo|
|What is the price of the room?||ລາຄາຫ້ອງເທົ່າໃດ?||lakha hong theoadai|
|Do you have toilet paper?||ເຈົ້າມີເຈ້ຍອະນາໄມບໍ?||chao mi cheny anamai bo|
|I don’t know how to use chopsticks||ຂ້ອຍບໍ່ຮູ້ວິທີໃຊ້ຟັກ||khonybo huvithi sai fak satik|
|The sticky rice is delicious||ເຂົ້າໜຽວແຊບໆ||khaoniav aesb|
|I bought a new house||ຂ້ອຍຊື້ເຮືອນໃຫມ່||khony su heuonhaim|
Have Fun In Laos!
Now that you know all the essential household words and phrases in Lao, nothing can stop you from experiencing authentic bliss during your trip. From Luang Prabang to Champassak province, no matter where you stay or explore, words like ແສງເພັງ, ຫ້ວຍຂາວ, will undoubtedly come in handy. However, if you want to blend in with the locals thoroughly, you must learn much more about the country and its people.
Thus, I suggest you download the Ling app and sign up for free now. You can find it on Appstore or Playstore and use it on your preferred device. With Ling, you will no longer have to worry about language barriers because learning Lao has become much easier with its unique features.
Learn Lao With Ling
If you speak English and want to learn something new, the Ling app is one of the greatest apps you can opt for. It is a language learning app that provides lessons in over 60 languages and various topics such as sports, food, business, accommodation, weather, etc. Most users have commented that the best part is Ling’s listening practice. Actual native speakers record pronunciations and translations to create audio and help you pick up the correct accent.
Moreover, Ling makes speaking tonal language easy through games, quizzes, dialogues, and the AI Chatbot. The bot lets you engage in conversations which is one of the finest ways of retaining your lesson and improving communication skills. Apart from vocabulary, you also gain additional knowledge from the efficient resources expert writers provide through blog posts. If you are interested, download Ling today and start learning Lao.