Saturday, October 09, 2010

i am Laos, i am not Lao.

this is the funniest thing i've seen in a long time:

but... (and i shouldn't have an opinion on this, but i do,) ...the only problem is the country is not really called "Laos" either; it is Lao. the country is Lao, the language is Lao, the people are Lao. (unless they're hmong, mien, khmu, thai dam, thai deng, akha, leu, kalom, prao, prai, lahu, then they're not Lao.)

the country name, "Laos," is a french construct where the "s" would be silent, unless followed by a vowel, rendering the pronunciation as "Lao." (i made a post on this some months back.) so if somebody says, "i am Lao from the country of Laos..." well, aint that wrong too? so they might as well get it all lined up: "i am Laos, from Laos, speak Laos, eat Laos food, (padek!) and i like the old Laos flag, not the new one." (and by the way, i am the united states of america.)

so despite the perfectly sound rationale of the above video production, i propose that if you wanna say you're Laos, then say that then; claim that "s," be all you that you can be, be a country.


Jordan said...

My mind is spinning: the final "s" is actually not to be pronounced? I think I have to lay down now. As always an insightful presentation of south east asian info.

jrm said...

yep, that is correct. the country is actually LAO. MEUANG LAO, PATHET LAO - (Country Lao). when it comes to the romance languages, you gotta find some way to spell another country's name, and "Laos" is what the french came up with. and i guess with the french construct Laos, sometimes the "s" would be pronounced if the term Laos is followed by a word that began with a vowel? somebody weigh in on this please. hahaha.

Alisak said...

Thanks for linking the video. Having spent most of my life in the state of Illinois (also named by the French), I absolutely agree that the final 's' in Laos should be silent. The video actually had a scene about that too, but I cut it out to concentrate on the Lao vs. Louse usage. :))

jrm said...

thanks for your comment! (and not being annoyed at my satirical ramblings!) your video is awesome!