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Laotian Proverbs

Laotian Proverbs & sayings

Ten mouths speaking are not as good as seeing with one’s own eyes; ten eyes that see are not as good as what one has in one’s hand.

Live with vultures, become a vulture; live with crows, become a crow.

A person’s stripes are inside; those of a tiger are outside.

When you have money, you can speak; When you have wood, you can build your home.

If you must be a servant, serve the rich; if you must be a dog, let it be a temple dog.

Although he who walks behind an elephant may feel very secure, he is likely to get splattered with elephant dung.

One has to cross upstream, higher up, to come downstream properly.

Learning means loving the country.

Listen with one ear; be suspicious with the other.

When you’ve heard it you must see it; when you’ve seen it make a judgement with your heart.

A single rotten fish makes a basketful turn bad.

The voice of a poor man does not carry very far.

When the water rises, the fish eat the ants; when the water falls, the ants eat the fish.

One piece of wood will not make a fire.

A tray full of money is not worth a mind full of knowledge.

You know, you teach. You do not know, you learn.

When the buffaloes fight it is the grass that suffers.

You get nothing watering a stump.

If you like to have things easy, you’ll have difficulties; if you like problems, you will succeed.

Happiness flies away from those who want it most.

You can bend a young twig, but it is hard to bend an old tree.

The Lao are an ethnic group native to Laos and northeastern Thailand (where they are known as Isan), they belong to the family of Tai peoples.

Lao, also referred to as Laotian, is a tonal language of the Tai–Kadai language family. It is the official language of Laos, and also spoken in the northeast of Thailand, where it is usually referred to as the Isan language.

The Lao language serves as an important lingua franca as the country of Laos consists of multiple ethnic groups, whose population speaks about 86 different languages.

Spoken Lao is mutually intelligible with the Thai language; the two languages are written with slightly different scripts, but linguistically similar.

Lao, like many languages in Laos, is written in the Lao script, an abugida. Although there is no official standard, the Vientiane dialect has become the de facto standard.

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