Lao (Laotian)

Taught in the South-East Asia and Pacific Department, Lao, closely related to Siamese, is an invariable language with tones and durations. Originally monosyllabic, it has been enriched with numerous polysyllables through contact with Khmer, Mône and, above all, the liturgical languages of Buddhism: Pāli and Sanskrit.

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Possessing five to six tones depending on the region, while including specific regional tones, the Lao language is spoken in Laos and neighboring countries - mainly northern and northeastern Thailand (Thai Lanna and Isan region); northeastern Myanmar (Shans states); southern Yunnan (Xishuanbanna autonomous prefecture); northwestern Vietnam (Sipsongchautai) as well as northeastern present-day Cambodia.

The Lao language is spoken by numerous Lao communities settled in France, the USA, Canada, Australia, etc.

In France, Lao is one of the optional written tests offered at the baccalauréat in the "langues vivantes étrangères et régionales" category.