Dictionary and Phrasebook follows the same format as the Thai Dictionary
and Phrasebook with a description of basic grammar followed by a short
Lao-English dictionary of the most commonly used words. The English-Lao
section is large and contains all of the most useful vocabulary the
author heard while working in Laos, and is especially suited to people
who want to know the vocabulary of modern spoken Lao. The phrasebook
section of the book contains all the typical Lao phrases you'll hear
for most living, traveling, and working situations.
book gives a clear description of the range of vocabulary of the Lao
language. Writing the book required research into spoken Lao in the
Lao P.D.R. because most books available on the language are out of
date or don't describe the language as it's really spoken. There was
a lot of confusion even among native speakers about which words are
really Lao and which words are Thai or both Thai and Lao.
Because the Lao Dictionary and Phrasebook follows the Hippocrene format
there are only two columns, English and romanized Lao. There is no
column that has the words and phrases written in Lao script. However
the contents of the book are the most recent and best described of
all the books on Lao available, so the book is still a valuable reference
tool for anyone interested in the Lao language.
from Amazon US:
struggling with inadequate phrasebooks when I was learning Lao a few
years ago, I am really glad to finally see a decent one available!
Mr. Higbie's phrasebook is great for beginners because it clearly
marks the direction of the tones in a way which is easy for people
who have no experience with tonal languages to understand. Placing
words which have the same phonetic pronounciation but different tones
together in the dictionary section really simplifies the language
for travellers ('close' and 'far' for example sound the same, with
different tones). While living and working in rural Laos for 3 years,
I needed to learn to read and write in Lao script, but this is not
necessary for travellers. The book is great for anyone wanting to
communicate easily and quickly in Lao. Mr. Higbie presents the language
as it is spoken in daily life. This book is my first choice and will
be the one I recomend to anyone I know going to Laos.