15 Inspiring Lao Phrases For Expressing Grief

lao phrases for expressing grief banner with a somber background

It’s never easy to find the right words to express your heartfelt condolences to someone trying to deal with the death of a loved one. This guide will list the Lao phrases for expressing grief that you can use when visiting friends or acquaintances in Laos who need sympathy without making them feel uneasy, lost, or even sadder. If you’re ready, read on below!

Importance Of Expressing Grief In Lao Culture

In Lao culture, expressing grief is a vital part of the mourning process. It is believed that expressing emotions and openly grieving can bring closure and comfort to the bereaved and honor the deceased. Here are some ways in which expressing grief is significant in Lao culture:

  • Funeral and Mourning Customs: Lao funerals and mourning customs carry a deep-rooted significance. Traditional Lao funerals can last between three to seven days, where family members and friends pay their respects and offer condolences to the family. It is customary for the mourners to wear black or white clothing and be silent to show their respect.
  • Baci Ceremony: The Baci ceremony is a traditional Lao ceremony performed during important life events, including funerals. This ceremony is a way to call back the lost spirit of the deceased and bestow blessings and good wishes on their soul. The Baci ceremony also offers an opportunity for the bereaved to express their grief in a communal setting and find comfort among friends and family.
  • Supportive Community: The Lao community places a significant emphasis on communal support during the grieving process. It is customary for family, friends, and even neighbors to show up to offer their condolences, support, and help with funeral arrangements or daily chores. This support system brings comfort to the bereaved, knowing that they are not alone in their grief.
hands holding each other to offer support and sympathy

Common Lao Phrases For Expressing Grief

So, how do you put into words your sympathy towards a grieving person in the Lao language? Here are the most common expressions you can use verbally or in written form:

1. I’m sorry for your loss

Lao translation: “ຂ້າພົ້ນ.” (Kha pohn.)

2. My condolences

Lao translation: “ກິນຂຶ້ນ.” (Kin keun.)

3. I am sad.

Lao translation: “ພົມໄດ້.” (Phom dai.) – I am sad

4. Please accept my sympathy

Lao translation: “ກະລຸນາ.” (Ka lun na.)

5. Heartfelt sorrow

Lao translation: “ຄຳແນວ.” (Kham naew.)

man and woman wearing black offering sympathies to one another

Common Lao Phrases For Losing A Mom

Here are the phrases you can use if the grieving party is mourning the death of their mother:

1. I offer my deepest condolences for the loss of your mother.

Lao translation: “ຂ້າພົ້ນທີ່ຂ້ອຍສົນໃຈສັກເຈົ້າເອງ.” (Kha pohn tee khawng khoy sone chao kheua naeng.)

2. May your mother’s soul find peace and eternal happiness.

Lao translation: “ສະບາຍດີເຂົ້າຂ້ອຍບໍ່ເຂົ້າຕົກເຈົ້າ.” (Sa-baai dee khao khoy baw khao tohk chao.)

3. May the loving memories of your mother bring you comfort.

Lao translation: “ຂອງຄົນສັນຫນ້າຂ້ອຍເປັນຄວາມມັນເຂົ້າຕົກຈົ່າຂ້ອຍ.” (Khong khon sah-nan khoy bpen kwaam man khao tohk chao khoy.)

4. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Lao translation: “ຄວາມຄິດຄໍາຂຶ້ນກ່ອນການປະທານນີ້ມີຄວາມມັນຂ້ອຍດີ.” (Kwaam kit kam keun koi-kor khon pai bpen kwaam man khoy dai.)

5. Wishing you strength and comfort as you navigate this loss.

Lao translation: “ດຳເນີນກີນຕັດສິກັນຄວາມຄິດໃນຕົວຂ້ອຍ.” (Dam naen kiun tat si-kan kwaam kit khoy.)

two women wearing black weeping and grieving at a gravesite

Common Lao Phrases For Losing A Dad

If they are dealing with the death of their father, here are some phrases they may want to hear during these difficult times:

1. I extend my deepest condolences on the loss of your father.

Lao translation: “ຂ້າພົ້ນທີ່ຂ້ອຍສົນໃຈທີ່ການຂອງຕົນ.” (Kha pohn tee khawng khoy sone tee kah noon khong tohn.)

2. May your father’s soul rest in eternal peace and tranquility.

Lao translation: “ສະບາຍດີພຣະນາມັນຂອງຕົນຢູ່ໃນຂາຍແລງ.” (Sa-baai dee pha-ra-na-man khong tohn yu pen khai leng.)

3. May cherished memories of your father bring you solace.

Lao translation: “ຄວາມຄິດຄໍາຂຶ້ນກ່ອນການປະທານຂອງຕົນ.” (Kwaam kit kam keun koi-kor bpen kwaam khoy.)

4. My thoughts and prayers are with you in this challenging time.

Lao translation: “ຄວາມຄິດຄໍາຂຶ້ນກ່ອນການຊົມເຄືອງຂ້ອຍ.” (Kwaam kit kam keun sai korng khoy.)

5. Wishing you strength and fortitude as you cope with this loss.

Lao translation: “ດຳເນີນກີນຕັດສິກັນຄວາມຄິດໃນຕົວຂ້ອຍ.” (Dam naen kiun tat si-kan kwaam kit khoy.)

You can, of course, try mixing sentences or alternating certain Lao words, depending on the person they’re saying goodbye to or the relation of the grieving party to the person who passed away.

Non-Verbal Ways Of Expressing Sympathy In Lao

In Laos, you can also express your condolence to the grieving families in a polite manner without saying anything:

1. Offering A White Silk Scarf (Pa Biang)

A white silk scarf symbolizes purity and respect. Offering it to someone who is grieving is a powerful gesture of sympathy.

2. Bowing Head In Respect

In Lao culture, respect is shown through a subtle bow of the head when in the presence of those mourning.

3. Keeping A Quiet Demeanor

A quiet demeanor is a sign of respect for the grieving family and the departed.

4. Avoiding Laughter Or Excessive Talking

Lao people refrain from such behaviors as a mark of compassion and empathy.

Express Grief Better In Lao With The Help Of Ling

If you want to express sympathy, make sure you say the right phrases to the grieving party, but only when you feel they are open to hearing such words. Grief is inexplicable, and different people have varying ways of coping, regardless of their nation or language. However, it’s best to be ready with the common phrase of sympathy, especially when traveling to a foreign country. This way, you will know how to express sorrow over the death of someone while understanding what the phrase means.

This is where Ling can help. It’s a language learning application you can download for FREE on the Play Store or App Store. Once installed, you can use it as an instant teacher or a handy language exchange friend. More importantly, it has several lessons that can help improve your Lao language speaking and writing skills and move forward to learning many other foreign languages once you’ve mastered Lao. Give it a try now!

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