This has to be one of the most critical things you will learn in your second language journey. Knowing how to say sorry in Lao will potentially get you out of many potentially embarrassing and even dangerous situations(don't worry, Laos is generally very safe). Let's start with the basics. Sorry is (kho othd) ຂໍໂທດ
|Excuse me||khaw toot||ຂໍໂທດ|
|I don't understand||khoy baw khao jai||ຂ້ອຍບໍ່ເຂົ້າໃຈ|
|Don't worry about it||baw pen nyang||ບໍ່ເປັນຫຍັງ|
It bears mentioning that there are different ways to say sorry in Lao, both formal and informal.
Sorry (informal)- Kho thod
On the other hand, we also need to say sorry in a formal setting. In Laos, you will often see this on official road signs or public government messages.
Sorry (formal)- Kho aa phai
Although we have already shown you how to accept someone's apology, baw pen nyang ບໍ່ເປັນຫຍັງ, there are also two other ways:
I forgive you- Khoi hai a phai
Never mind (informal)- ya mun
However, there are times when you are just so angry that you don't want to accept someone's apology. In this case, you would say
I don't forgive you- khoi bor hai a phai
If you've paid attention to our other articles, you'll know the importance of the nop (the other word is wai). That is the bow of the head with the hands together that was made famous in Thailand.
Note: the position of the hands + the deepness of the bow indicates the level of deference needed to be shown
Although this is used as also a sign of respect to monks, it is also correct to nop if you want to show regret in the way of an apology.
Now that you know some useful vocab, it's worth putting it together into longer sentences.
I'm really sorry that I'm late- kho thod ee lee thi khoi ma sa
I'm sorry. Are you okay?- kho thod de per yang bor
I'm sorry for my mistake- khoi kho thod sum lub kouam phid phae
Excuse me, can I get through? - kho thod der kho thang nae
As we've previously explored in other articles, Laos is a predominantly Buddhist country.
Every religion has different concepts of the term forgiveness. For example, in Christianity, it is embedded deep into the faith. There is the concept of original sin in which humanity was forever in God's debt when Eve ate from the tree of knowledge. What is particularly strong in catholicism is the idea of confession. You can confess your sins to a priest who then absolves you and allows you entrance to paradise.
Forgiveness exists in Buddhism, although it is conceived of differently from other religions. The Buddha was famous for teaching love, hatred, and forgiveness. Famously he was said to have remarked, 'Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.'
A good way the Buddha would like to have thought about hatred was that it was like an anchor that we tie to ourselves and then drag around. Buddhists actively cultivate a practice of forgiveness. Interestingly, the first step on the road to enlightenment is understanding that to forgive others, we have to think of all the ways we have done hurtful things to other people.
Buddhists also pay attention to the very concept of anger itself. Anger comes from attachments that can be broken through meditation practice, as can hatred. You see that hatred is only a transitory mental state.
Another quote from the Buddha that perfectly exemplifies the need for forgiveness and the futility of anger is this 'Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, but you are the one who gets burned.'
Over and over again, Ling has proven that it is the best place to learn a lesser spoken language. Apps like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone have made the business decision not to include languages like Lao, and we think to their tremendous detriment.
Although apps like Duolingo operate on a 'freemium basis,' the overall quality of the product suffers. Ling is best used as a subscription-based model; however, the price is so low it is practically free. In May, you can get a 1-year deal for just $2.30 per month. This is crazily good, especially if you're living in Northern Europe, where it's less than the price of a coffee. What is more valuable?
Ling has all different kinds of practice covering all bases, including speaking, reading, writing, listening, and grammar practice.
Don't forget that this blog is updated every week, so you can always get your language learning practice in. A note on the blogs. They tend to follow the outline of the Ling lesson plan, which means there is nothing unrelated to the language. The last two have been common daily vocabulary in Lao and apps for learning Lao
A final comment. The Lao language is great to learn, not just because the Lao people are beautifully spirited but also because the language itself has attractive linguistic merits. Forget relying on an awkward search and garbled translations. Now is the time to have that language deep in your mind!