20+ Helpful Lao School Phrases For Beginners

Lao school language

Most people give up on the Lao language at the very initial stage of learning. Well, we can’t blame them. Lao is a very complex language with phonetic alphabets and multiple dialects that change from region to region. It will require more than just primary words like Hi, Hello, and Thank You for grasping the essence of Lao tones and pronunciation. And Especially if you are traveling to Lao for educational purposes, basic Lao school phrases like ຂ້ອຍ​ເຂົ້າ​ໄປ​ໄດ້​ບໍ່ (May I come in) and native Lao words like ຄູສອນ (Teacher) related to school is a must-know!

Thus, to help you with your learning journey, this blog has prepared all the necessary Lao phrases and facts concerning education. Learning such essential phrases will help you communicate in school on the very first day. Moreover, suppose you are pursuing the Lao language for your private concern. In that case, nothing can be better than going through regular school phrases to jog your memory and revise the Lao alphabet. So, want to learn more? Continue reading!

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Education In Laos: Facts

Education in Laos is rather rudimentary than advanced. But, with globalizing habits and open developments, the educational background has recently started improving. From Buddhist temples imparting knowledge to the National education system, Laos today has a planned education scheme that is trying to provide an educational platform to students from every region.

As we all agree, education is an essential part of our lives, where we learn about the basics and functions of the adult world. Thus, Laos has developed policies and schemes to enhance the literacy of male and female populations country-wide

Education is now compulsory and accessible for every gender till the fifth grade. Although high prices of textbooks and ethnic disparities among regions have time and again proved to be a hindrance to the overall growth of national literacy, the government is trying to remove such discrimination and inflation.

The official education in Laos has eight levels. Primary school occupies five years, lower secondary school covers four years, upper secondary school four years, post-secondary education lasts for one or two years, and finally, tertiary education is extended for three to six years. The system, thus, comprises general education, primary education, lower secondary and upper secondary education, technical and vocational education, and then higher education.

Universities In Laos

From having only a few primary schools and only two universities in the country, today, Laos has built many higher educational institutions with English teachers that impart foreign exchange and advanced research studies. Some names are as follows;

  • Champasack University (CU)- Champassak Province
  • University of Health Sciences(administered by Ministry of Health)- Vientiane Capital
  • Rattana Institute of Business Administration- Vientiane Capital, Business School
  • National University of Laos (NUOL)- Vientiane Capital
  • Savannakhet University- Savannakhet Province
  • Souphanouvong University – Luang Prabang Province


Primary Lao School Phrases

Lao school phrases

In this section, we will learn some common useful phrases related to school that you can regularly use to greet your colleagues and friends. Later, we will get into a more specific list of phrases and vocabulary that you can read according to your designation. Let’s begin!

1. Hi! How Are You?

Translation: ສະບາຍດີ! ສະ​ບາຍ​ດີ​ບໍ?

The first phrase that you need to learn by heart is ສະບາຍດີ! ສະ​ບາຍ​ດີ​ບໍ?- sabaidi sa bai di bo. It is a basic greeting phrase in Lao culture that will come in handy irrespective of your position as a teacher or a student. Whenever you meet someone, you should greet them by saying ສະບາຍດີ! ສະ​ບາຍ​ດີ​ບໍ?. It can also mark a great beginning of conversations with your new mates in Laos.

2. Where Are You From?

Translation: ເຈົ້າ​ມາ​ຈາກ​ໃສ?

As a new member of the school, you will constantly get asked ເຈົ້າ​ມາ​ຈາກ​ໃສ?- chao ma chak sai. So, it is best to know what it sounds like and how to react to such a question when a local member asks. The smartest way of replying to this question is by saying ຂ້ອຍ​ມາ​ຈາກ… khony ma chak. It says “I am from…” in the English language.

3. Where Is The Principal’s Office?

Translation: ສຳນັກງານໃຫຍ່ຢູ່ໃສ?

Once you reach your new school premises in Laos, you will have to keep running from the staff room to the principal’s room for documentation and interviews. However, getting lost can be quite common since it is a new environment. So, to bring yourself out of the bafflement, you can ask for help by politely asking someone ສຳນັກງານໃຫຍ່ຢູ່ໃສ?- samnakngan hainy yusai. While most locals speak English, the native words will get a more immediate response.

4. Where Is The Canteen?

Translation: ໂຮງອາຫານຢູ່ໃສ?

Apart from the principal’s office, the next most popular thing that comes to mind when we say school is “Canteen.” So, if you want to enjoy the delicious Laos cuisine and the local environment in the school canteen, you must use the phrase ໂຮງອາຫານຢູ່ໃສ?- ohng ahan yusai to get the right directions. Moreover, if you want to make friends immediately, you can add the phrase ເຈົ້າຢາກເຂົ້າຮ່ວມຂ້ອຍບໍ?- chao yakkhaohuam khony bo, which says, “Would you like to join me?”

5. Can You Please Help Me?

Translation: ກະລຸນາຊ່ວຍຂ້ອຍໄດ້ບໍ?

Being in a completely new environment, you will face multiple problems. The first few days will be a hassle, from technical to societal issues. But, the best way to solve any doubt would be to communicate and express your doubts by asking for help. So, you can say ກະລຸນາຊ່ວຍຂ້ອຍໄດ້ບໍ?- kaluna suanykhony daibo. It will allow the locals to assist you with your necessities.

6. What Is Your Name?

Translation: ເຈົ້າ​ຊື່​ຫຍັງ?

If you are learning Laos, then you must have already learned the phrase ເຈົ້າ​ຊື່​ຫຍັງ?- chao su jang. No matter where you go, the introduction becomes the most crucial part of your communication. And without names, you will hardly make any acquaintances in the new school. So, whenever you get a chance, ask Lao people chao su jang. Once you get asked the same question, you can reply by saying ຊື່​ຂອງ​ຂ້ອຍ​ແມ່ນ…- su khong khony aemn. It says, “My name is…”

7. What Is Your Subject?

Translation: ວິຊາຂອງເຈົ້າແມ່ນຫຍັງ?

Another typical school phrase that is a Kickstarter of new conversations is ວິຊາຂອງເຈົ້າແມ່ນຫຍັງ?- visa khongchao aemnjang. When you want to interact but have nothing to say, ask questions like visa khongchao aemnjang. It brings in information regarding your new mate and helps build friendships. Above that, speaking local words will bring respect and allow more robust connections with native speakers.

8. Do We Have Class Now?

Translation: ດຽວນີ້ພວກເຮົາມີຫ້ອງຮຽນບໍ?

It is natural to get confused with new routines and directions. So, if you fall into trouble and cannot figure out your class schedules, do not panic and waste time alone in the corner. Now is the best chance to start a new bond with a local mate by asking genuine questions like ດຽວນີ້ພວກເຮົາມີຫ້ອງຮຽນບໍ?- diauani phuakhaomi hong hian bo. Once you allow yourself to open up, there is no going back!

9. When Is Lunch Time?

Translation: ເວລາອາຫານທ່ຽງແມ່ນເວລາໃດ?

Whether you are a teacher or a student, we all eagerly wait for our lunchtime. While students are cunning and start munching their bites from the first period itself, to avoid getting in trouble, you can ask your friends by uttering ເວລາອາຫານທ່ຽງແມ່ນເວລາໃດ?- vela ahan thiang aemn veladai. Once you ask them the time, you can also offer your tiffin and share your table with them to start a friendly relationship.

10. Nice To Meet You!

Translation: ເວລາອາຫານທ່ຽງແມ່ນເວລາໃດ?

Regardless of your position and surroundings, once you are done meeting someone new and chatting with them, it is always generous to say ເວລາອາຫານທ່ຽງແມ່ນເວລາໃດ?- vela ahan thiang aemn veladai. It will leave a kind impression of your personality and make the locals more inclined towards you.


School Phrases For Students In The Lao Language

Lao phrases

This section will teach some school phrases related explicitly to students. You can use these phrases in the classroom, with your friends, and with the teacher to ask your doubts. All of them are essential so try to learn them by heart.

When is the first class?ເວລາໃດຊັ້ນໜຶ່ງ?veladai san nung
May I come in?ຂ້ອຍ​ເຂົ້າ​ໄປ​ໄດ້​ບໍ່?khony khao pai dai bo
Ma’am, I have a doubtແມ່, ຂ້ອຍມີຄວາມສົງໃສaem khony mikhuaam songsai
Where is the bathroom?ຫ້ອງ​ນໍາ​້​ຢູ່​ໃສ?Hong Nam Yu Sai?
Do you have the timetable?ເຈົ້າມີຕາຕະລາງເວລາບໍ?chao mi tatalang vela bo
What is the homework for today?ມື້ນີ້ວຽກບ້ານແມ່ນຫຍັງ?muni viakban aemnjang
Good morning, ma’am!ສະບາຍດີຕອນເຊົ້າ!sabaidi ton sao
I am not feeling wellຂ້ອຍຮູ້ສຶກບໍ່ດີkhony husuk bodi
Can I join you?ຂ້ອຍສາມາດເຂົ້າຮ່ວມເຈົ້າໄດ້ບໍ?khony samad khaohuam chao daibo
Would you like to be friends?ເຈົ້າຢາກເປັນໝູ່ກັນບໍ?chao yakpen mu kanbo
I understandຂ້ອຍ​ເຂົ້າ​ໃຈkhao jai
I don’t have any questionຂ້ອຍບໍ່ມີຄຳຖາມkhony bomi khamtham


Lao Phrases For Teachers

Now, we will go through phrases that are most necessary for teachers. From dealing with students to giving homework, you will learn all the essential sentences you will constantly use in class.

Please sit downກະລຸນານັ່ງລົງkaluna nanglong
This your homework todayນີ້ແມ່ນວຽກບ້ານຂອງເຈົ້າໃນມື້ນີ້niaemn viakban khongchao naimuni
Do not make noiseຢ່າເຮັດສິ່ງລົບກວນya hed sing lobkuan
Are there any doubts?ມີຄວາມສົງໃສບໍ່?mikhuaam songsai bo
Time for attendanceເວລາສໍາລັບການເຂົ້າຮ່ວມvela soalabkan khaohuam
Thank you for your attentionຂອບໃຈສໍາລັບຄວາມສົນໃຈຂອງທ່ານkhobchai soalab khuaamsonchai khongthan
Solve this problemແກ້ໄຂບັນຫານີ້aekkhaibanhani
Please pay attention in the classກະລຸນາເອົາໃຈໃສ່ໃນຫ້ອງຮຽນkaluna aochaisai naihong hian
I hope you understoodຂ້ອຍຫວັງວ່າເຈົ້າເຂົ້າໃຈkhony vangva chao khaochai
Why are you late?ເປັນຫຍັງເຈົ້າມາຊ້າ?penjang chao masa
Is everything okay?ທຸກຢ່າງບໍ່ເປັນຫຍັງ?thukyang bopenjang


Lao Words Related To School

Apart from the sentences, here is a list of school-related vocabulary that will enhance your communication further. Please read them to become a fluent Laotian speaker.

Assignmentການມອບໝາຍkan mobmai
Blackboardກະດານດຳkadan dam
Chalkດິນສອກdin sok
Classmateເພື່ອນຮ່ວມຫ້ອງຮຽນpheuonhuam hong hian
Classroomຫ້ອງ​ຮຽນhong hian
Elementary schoolໂຮງ​ຮຽນ​ປະ​ຖົມohng hian pa thom
Gymສູນ​ອອກ​ກໍາ​ລັງ​ກາຍsun k koa lang kai
Homeworkວຽກ​ບ້ານviak ban
High schoolມັດ​ທະ​ຍົມ​ປາຍmad tha nyom pai
Lunchອາຫານທ່ຽງahan thiang
Middle schoolໂຮງຮຽນມັດທະຍົມohnghian madthanyom
Quizແບບສອບຖາມaebb sobtham
Studentນັກ​ຮຽນnak hian
Toiletຫ້ອງນ້ຳhong nam


Over To You!

So, now you know all the essential words and phrases related to school in the Laotian language. Although there are plenty of English speakers in Laos, the locals would love to hear you try their native language. Moreover, traveling for educational purposes to a new country makes language learning an inevitable part of the journey, and well, it only brings in more benefits than losses. With regular practice of the spoken lines and writing exercises, you will soon become a pro-Laotian speaker!

If you think this blog was helpful, explore more on the Laotion language with the help of the Ling app. Download the app from the Appstore or Playstore and use it for free!


Laotian Language With Ling

School phrases and words have already enhanced your language skills to a new level, but is that enough? Of course, not! To become a fluent speaker and become deeply familiar with Lao culture, you must learn more about the people and country. And to do so, the Ling app is the best language app available for you at no cost.

Ling covers not just Lao but 60+ languages on various topics such as food, sports, hobbies, weather, etc. With such diverse content, you will understand Laos better than ever and adapt quickly to its customs once you land. Furthermore, the app has an AI Chatbot that provides interactive exercises, which is an excellent way of practicing communicative skills. So, if you want to become an expert, download Ling today and start learning Lao immediately!

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