Difference Between Lao and Laos

Lao vs Laos

Laos is a country in Southeast Asia that is landlocked and borders other Southeast Asian nations such as Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia. It is a peaceful Buddhist nation that is known for its mountains and temples. Tourists coming over to Laos are confused whether they should call it Laos or Lao as Lao is not just a name for the people belonging to Laos but also a name of the language spoken by the people of Laos. This article takes a closer look at the two names Laos and Lao to remove confusion from the minds of readers.

The name of the landlocked country in Southeast Asia is Laos or Lao DPR as it is called officially to reflect the fact that it is a socialist republic. Laos is a single party ruled country with a constitutional monarchy in place when it became independent. It was an area ruled by three kingdoms when it became a French Protectorate in 1893. Japanese occupied the country for a short period during WW II, but after WW, French granted the country autonomy, and it was declared independent in 1953.

The language of Laos is Lao, and in this language, the name of the country happens to be Pathet Lao or Muang Lao. These names simply translate as Lao country. Lao was the most dominant ethnic group in the country which is why the French chose to name the country as Laos. As in French, s remains silent, it would appear that westerners got it wrong when they thought the name to be Lao and not Laos.

Lao vs Laos

• The official name of the country is Lao PDR, and it does not make a difference if one pronounces Lao or Laos.

• The people of the country are called Lao, they speak Lao language, and they refer to their country as Lao. However, the French misspelt the name when they took control and united the country in 1893.

• As s remains silent in French, their naming of the country as Laos created confusion in the minds of the others.

• The country was called the Kingdom of Lao in English language, but when translated into French, it became Royayume Du Laos that gave birth to a new spelling to the name of the country.

• Apart from the French name, the country remains Lao for all other and for the people of the country, as well.