to understand is to enter the heart khao jai
to be glad is to feel good with a happy heart dee jai
to be kind and honest is to have a good heart jai dee
to be angry is to feel bad in the heart jai hai
to be sorry is to have lost the heart sia jai
to have empathy is to see the heart hen jai
to feel upset is to be unhappy at heart ouk jai
to be sensitive (touchy, nervous) is to have a small heart jai noy
to be mean or stingy is to have a narrow heart jai khap khaep
to be startled or get a fright is to drop the heart tok jai
to be absent-minded is to have a heart which floats jai loy
to be hesitant is to have several or many hearts lai jai
to be worried is to have a sick (not well) heart bo sabai jai
to be content is to have a serene heart sabai jai
to be without worries is to feel cool in the heart jai yen
to be impatient or angry is to have a hot heart jai hon
to be generous is to have a big heart jai kuang
to be sad is to have a heavy heart thouk jai
to be happy is to have a 'sweet' heart souk jai
to be grateful is to have a full or thankful heart kop jai
to be easily persuaded is to have an easy heart jai ngai
to be decisive jai det
to be bitter to the point of revenge is to have a black heart jai dum
to be charitable is to have a festive heart jai boun
to be considerate, respecting the wishes of elders and superiors greng jai
(or kreng jai probably the most difficult of all to explain in a Western concept)
to be generous is to be big hearted jai nyai
to be patient is to have a persevering heart jai ot thon
to be honest is to have a pure heart jai bolisud
to be brave is to have a daring heart jai ka
to be timid is to have a cautious (not daring) heart jai bo ka
to control one's emotions is to have a strong heart jai kaeng
to die (or be dead) is to have one's heart torn apart jai khart
See also our Culture Change page.
Spoken Lao has many similarities to Thai, sharing common words and expressions with Isaan, the north-eastern region of Thailand adjacent to the Mekong River, once part of the Lao kingdoms. The scripts have similar characters, but Lao is not readable by Thai people. However, many Lao can read and understand Thai.
For foreigners, learning Thai might prove more useful (and easier) than learning Lao. It helps a lot in understanding the people and will be an asset in many aspects of living, socialising as well as doing business in the Lao PDR or Thailand.
Many books, courses and dictionaries are available for learning the Thai language but fewer are available for Lao unless you are already there; the Morning Market in Vientiane is one source of Lao language primers and dictionaries. If you don't want to wait, you can buy a useful Lao-English/English-Lao dictionary from Amazon.com.
Visit our language learning and talking dictionaries pages to learn more about other ways of learning an Asian language.
Help Lao youngsters learn to read books in their
own language as well as English by visiting: