Learn Survival Lao/Laotian/Isan
Wikitravel users have collectively created a free Lao phrasebook with the goal of making it possible for travelers to "get by" while traveling in areas where Lao is spoken.
Wikitravel phrasebooks are available in many languages and each one varies in depth and detail. Most of the phrasebooks include a pronunciation guide, a general phrase list, information about dates and numbers, a color list, transportation-related phrases, vocabulary for shopping and phrases for eating and drinking. Some are even more in depth, and all are free!
Lao (BGN/PCGN: phasa lao, IPA: [pʰáːsǎː láːw], pháa-sǎa láo) is the main language of Laos. Lao or Laotian is a tonal language of the Kradai language family, and a member of the Tai-Kadai language family. It is the official language of Laos, and also spoken in the northeast of Thailand. Being the primary language of the Lao people, Lao is also an important second language for the multitude of ethnic groups in Laos and in Isan. Lao, like all languages in Laos, is written in an abugida script. Although there is no official standard, the Vientiane dialect has become the de facto standard.
Isan language (Thai: ภาษาอีสาน, RTGS: phasa isan, [pʰaːsǎː ʔiːsǎːn]) is the collective name for the dialects of the Lao language as they are spoken in Thailand. Thai is closely related to Lao, and the Isaan dialect is, with minor differences in vocabulary aside, virtually identical to Lao.