Ministry of Health 2020 System


General Rules


The table below shows the Lao consonant letters and their transcriptions according to IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet), new MoH 2020, BGN/PCGN 1966, LC (US ALA-LC) and Thai (RTGS) systems as well as several different informal "Karaoke" styles which are popular among the Lao public.

No. Lao Initial Position Lao Final Position
LC Thai
"Karaoke" IPA MoH
LC Thai
1 /k/ k k k /k/ k k k,ck
2 /kʰ, x/ kh kh kh
3 /kʰ, x/ kh kh kh
4 /ŋ/ ng ng ng /ŋ/ ng ng ng
5 /tɕ/ ch ch ch,j
6 /s/ s s s,x,z
7 /s/ x x s s,x,z
8 * /ɲ/ ny gn ny y,nh * /j/ y y i i,y
9 /d/ d d d /t/ t t d,t,th
10 /t/ t t t
11 /tʰ/ th th th
12 /tʰ/ th th th
13 /n/ n n n /n/ n n n,ne,nh
14 /b/ b b b /p/ p p b,p
15 /p/ p p p
16 /pʰ/ ph ph ph
17 /f/ f f f
18 /pʰ/ ph ph ph
19 /f/ f f f
20 /m/ m m m /m/ m m m, me
21 /j/ y y y
22 /r/,/l/ r r l,r /n/ n
23 /l/ l l l n
24 /ʋ/,/w/ v v v,w v,w v,o v,o w v,o,w
25 /h/ h h h
26 /ʔ/
27 /h/ h h h
28 ຫງ /ŋ/ ng ng ng
29 ຫຍ* /ɲ/ ny gn ny y,nh
30 ໜ(ຫນ) /n/ n n n
31 ໝ(ຫມ) /m/ m m m
32 ຫຼ(ຫລ) /l/ l l l
33 ຫວ /ʋ/,/w/ v v v,w v,w


The table below shows the Lao vowel letters and their transcriptions. Vowel nuclei (highlighted in red) are combined with the Roman letter X.

Short Vowels Long Vowels
No. Lao IPA MoH
LC Thai
"Karaoke" Lao IPA MoH
LC Thai
1 x, xx /a/ a a ar,a x /aː/ a a ā a ar,a
2 x /i/ i i i,e,ee x /iː/ i i ī i i,e,ee
3 x /ɯ/ u u ư ue eu,ue,u x /ɯː/ u u ư̄ ue eu,ue,u
4 x /u/ ou ou u u u,ou x /uː/ ou ou ū u u,ou
5 x, xx /e/ e é e e e x /eː/ e é ē e e
6 x, xx /ɛ/ e/eh è æ ae ae,a,e,
x /ɛː/ e/eh è ǣ ae ae,a,e,
7 x, xx /o/ o ô o o o x /oː/ o ô ō o o
8 xາະ, xັອx /ɔ/ o/oh o ǫ o or,o x, xx /ɔː/ o/oh o ǭ o or,o
9 xິະ, xx /ɤ/ eu eu œ oe er,ue,eu,ur x /ɤː/ eu eu œ̄ oe er,ue,eu,ur
10 xັຽະ, xັຽx
/iə/ ia ia ie,ia xັຽ, xx
/iːə/ ia ia īa ia ie,ia
11 xຶອະ, xຶອx /ɯə/ ua ua ưa uea eua,uea,uo xືອ /ɯːə/ ua ua ư̄a uea eua,uea,uo
12 xົວະ, xັວx /uə/ oua oua ua ua ua,oua xົວ, xx /uːə/ oua oua ūa ua ua,oua
13 x, x, xັຍ /aj/ ai ai aiy,ai,ay xາຍ /aːj/ ay ay āi ai aiy,ai,ay
14 xົາ /aw/ ao ao ao,au
15 x /am/ am am am

Other Rules

A hyphen (-) is used to avoid ambiguity in syllable separation before a succeeding syllable that starts with a vowel and before 'ng' or 'ny' if the preceding syllable ends with a vowel. For proper nouns (unique names), the first letter after a hyphen should not be written in capitals.

Warning: The current Converter is partly supporting automatic hyphens, thus users must review outputs.