Isan Language

Isan language (Thai: ภาษาอีสาน, RTGS: phasa isan, ) is the collective name for the dialects of the Lao language as they are spoken in Thailand. It is spoken by approximately 20 million people, which is nearly one-third of the entire population of Thailand, predominantly in the Isan region of northeastern Thailand. There are also large numbers of speakers, migrant workers, in Bangkok. It serves as the primary lingua franca of the Isan region, used as a communication medium amongst native speakers and second language speakers amongst various other minority groups, such as the Northern Khmer. There are more speakers of Lao (Isan) in Thailand than in Laos.

Although the Lao language is vibrant in Northeast (Isan) Thailand, spoken as the main language in 88% of speakers’ households, the language suffers from reduced transmission and its absence in media, official events, and education. The language is written using the Thai alphabet and is also heavily influenced by Thai, as it is the principal language of writing, education, government, and most official situations. Code-switching is common, depending on the context or situation. Adoption of Thai neologisms has also further differentiated Isan from standard Lao.

Read more about Isan Language:  Classification, History, Geographic Distribution, Legal Status, Dialects, Writing System, Phonology, Grammar, Nouns, Adjectives and Adverbs, Verbs, Questions and Answers, Vocabulary

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