In addition to EQHOs headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, EQHO also has in-country production office located in central Vientiane in the Lao PDR. This, complimented by over 20 in-country Lao linguists makes EQHO a primary solution for all of your Lao translation and localization needs. From standard business translations through to the most complex of technical disciplines, EQHO has the linguistic talent to ensure that your translations satisfy audience expectations. In addition to Lao translation, EQHO provides comprehensive solutions for Lao in desktop publishing, web, software, voiceover and multimedia localization.
In-country Lao translators
Following industry best practices, EQHO works with professional in-country Lao linguists. Not only does this eliminate potential issues related to language evolution which can become a problem when working with linguists who have been away from their native country for prolonged periods of time, it also allows EQHO access to the widest possible pool of professional Lao translators.
Lao language services:
- Translation, editing & proofreading
- Terminology glossary & style guide creation
- In-country linguistic review
- Desktop publishing
- Voiceover & dubbing
- Subtitling & closed captions
- Flash & multimedia localization
- Linguistic & functional testing
Some of EQHO’s Lao experience
Lao Translation & Localization Challenges
- Due to the absence of spaces between words, line-breaking cannot be performed properly by a non-native DTP operator.Ā In addition, many DTP programs cannot properly support the multi-level positioning of vowels and tone markers.
- Non-Unicode fonts are still in common use, often combined with Unicode fonts in the same Lao source text; as a result, text extraction can be problematic.
- The Lao language has multiple registers; i.e., different vocabulary is used depending on the situation and social context, as well as on the age, sex, and status of the speaker / writer and the listener / reader.Ā There are four major registers ā royal (now obsolete), ecclesiastical, written, and spoken ā with written and spoken each having multiple sub-registers.
- Technical and scientific terms are often transliterated rather than translated, but there are few reference materials that define the āstandardā spellings of such transliterations.
- Lao has a very rich system of grammatical aspect; i.e., elaboration of the manner in which an event transpires and progresses over time.Ā This can result in considerable text expansion / contraction when translating from / to Lao.
Best Practice Processes
Successfully setting up Lao translation projects not only means assigning linguistic resources with the appropriate subject matter expertise, it also involves implementing the best process. Depending on the type of content and its intended use, for example, internal memorandums, technical manuals, software GUI or marketing copy; processes may be customized to include terminology glossary development, creation of multilingual corporate style guides, and implementation of client review stages, to name just a few.
While EQHO has documented processes for all generic project types, one size does not fit all. Our experienced project managers and account managers are ready to discuss with you which elements which are best suited to your projects. Here is a typical translation/ edit workflow with provision for glossary creation and desktop publishing (DTP).
Translation Tools and Lao Language
Due to the developing nature of the translation and localization industry in Lao PDR, translators are not as tool proficient as some other more developed nations. While some translators are able to use a limited number of CAT tools, projects often require work around solutions, including the use of MS word/ Excel in combination with CAT tools.Ā EQHO is in the midst of a recruitment drive and training program, so rest assured, this is destined to change, so watch this space!
Primary Translation Tools
- MS Word
- MS Excel
About the Lao Language
The Lao language is a member of the Tai group of the Tai-Kadai language family.Ā Other significant members of Tai group include Thai, Shan, and Zhuang; of these, Thai is most closely related to Lao, and for the most part, the two languages are mutually intelligible.Ā The colloquial languages of the majority of the population of north-eastern Thailand (Issan) are dialects of Lao.
The modern Lao script, Aksone Lao, has changed very little from the Tai Noi script which was gradually standardized by the monarchs of the Kingdom of Lan Xang beginning in the 14th century.Ā The character set was formerly an abugida ā a writing system in which the consonants may include a vowel sound which is not explicitly written ā but modern spelling reforms now explicitly mark all vowel sounds.
The Lao script comprises 27 consonants, 3 consonantal digraphs, and 17 distinct vowel glyphs which are used both individually and in combination with other vowel glyphs and certain consonants to form more than 40 vowels, diphthongs, and triphthongs.Ā In addition, there are 4 tone markers and a number of other characters which affect pronunciation or indicate duplication or abbreviation.Ā Although Western numerals are now in common use, traditional Lao numerals continue to be used in formal writing.Ā Lao is written from left to right with no spaces between words; spaces are used primarily to separate clauses, sentences, and items in lists.
* In order to ensure that vowels, tone markers, and the consonant sound cancellation glyph display correctly on all browsers, they are shown as paired with the letter
Speak to us today!
For more information on how EQHO Communications can assist you with your Lao translation & localization requirements, please donāt hesitate to contact us through our website, call us at +66 2 6378060 (Asia), +420 605 44 11 26 (Europe), +61 02 8003 3521 (Australia), +1 408 823 6353 (U.S.A.), request a call back, or send files and complete our request a quote form.