Why do Lao people speak French?

The French language was introduced to Laos in the 19th century when French explorers arrived in Laos trying to make inroads into China after colonizing Vietnam. … The French language peaked between the 1910s and World War II and spread throughout the nation but, like Vietnam, was not widely spoken in most rural areas.

What percentage of Laos speaks French?

OIF figures

Country French speakers %
Laos 190,000 2.73%
Latvia 21,575 1.12%
Lebanon 2,314,924 37.99%
Lithuania 68,186 2.37%

What language is closest to Lao?

Lao has also received influence from the neighbouring, and closely related, Standard Thai, the national language of Thailand. The language is written in a script of Indic origin, similar to that of Thai.

What language is spoken in Lao?

When the French replaced the Portuguese as the primary European power in Southeast Asia in the 1790s by helping to unify Vietnam under the Nguyen Dynasty and later colonizing Southern Vietnam, they introduced the French language to locals.

Is French still spoken in Laos?

French is spoken by a significant minority in Laos. Laos has the second largest Francophone community in Southeast Asia, the others being found in Vietnam and Cambodia. French is used as a diplomatic and commercial language and is also studied by over a third of students in Laos.

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Is Lao a tonal language?

Lao serves as a lingua franca among the citizens of Laos, who also speak approximately 90 other languages, many of which are unrelated to Lao. It is a tonal and analytic language, similar to other Kra-Dai languages as well as to Chinese and Vietnamese.

Is Lao language same as Thai?

Lao and Thai languages are very similar to each other. In fact, the two languages are linguistically similar, though their writing script varies a bit. Thai is the native language of Thailand and is spoken in minority in Cambodia. … Hence, the people in Laos are very familiar with the Thai language.

Can Thai and Laos understand each other?

Thai and Lao are closely related languages. They’re in a way mutually intelligible at least for a greater part. Thai people can understand most of spoken Lao, though perhaps with difficulties. If the Thais are from the Northeastern region (Isan), then it’s easier for them, as the Isan dialect is very close to Lao.

Do they speak English in Laos?

In Laos, the official language is Lao. But official language aside, there is a horde of other languages they speak. English is one of these languages that locals speak.

Is Lao a hard language?

Lao does not take really long to learn (compared to other languages that might take many years or decades). … Both Lao and Thai are from the Tai-kadai language class, so by learning Lao first as the foundation, you’ll be able to understand a variety of Lao regional dialects and Thai quicker.

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Does Cambodia speak French?

The French language began its presence in Cambodia in the late 19th century after French explorers and merchants made their way from Vietnam into Cambodia. In 1863, Cambodia became a protectorate of France and was incorporated into French Indochina in 1887. … After the war, French again became the sole official language.

Is Lao a difficult language?

So, how hard is Lao to learn? The main areas of difficulty are going to be the tonal nature of the language the complexity of the writing system. Vocabulary – Laos has a number of loanwords from Pali and Sanskrit. There has also been a lot of language exchange between Lao, Thai and Khmer.

Do Vietnamese understand French?

In fact, less than 1 percent of Vietnam’s 77 million people speak French with any degree of proficiency, and most people in that tiny percentage are older Vietnamese who remember French colonial rule. … “Use of the French language has diminished in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.”

Is Vietnam an official French speaking country?

Currently, Vietnamese is the only official language of Vietnam, and French speakers constitute a very small minority. … Vietnam has been a member of the OIF (International Organization of Francophonie) since 1970 and they hosted a 1997 summit on Francophonie.

What was Vietnam called when it was a French colony?

From the late 1800’s to 1954, Vietnam was part of a French colony called French Indochina. When the French first became interested in Indochina French missionaries sought to convert the Vietnamese to Catholicism, the religion of France.