Online Thai to Lao Translation

Lao Script for Windows has been providing Thai to Lao translation products for many years and are now pleased to announce the availability of online Thai to Lao translation.

What can be translated?


Thai text may be typed or pasted into the upper box on the page or uploaded from a plain text file on your computer or device by clicking Upload and selecting the file with the text to be translated.

Click Translate to display the Lao translation of entered or uploaded Thai in the lower box.

Web pages in Thai can also be automatically translated to Lao with linked pages also being translated when opened (see below). Click Browse and enter the URL of the page to be opened. Alternatively, a page can be opened without being translated to Lao and some or all of the Thai text on the page copied for interactive translation.

It is not necessary to install Thai or Lao keyboard mapping on your computer or device to use the app. On both computer and smartphone, the app uses Keyman technology to map the keyboard as Thai or Lao where needed.

Translation method

Translation first divides the Thai text into words using a Thai dictionary. If translating by words each Thai word is then replaced by its Lao equivalent in the dictionary. If translating by syllables or if no Lao equivalent word is found in the dictionary, each Thai syllable is transliterated phonetically into Lao.


If a Thai word in the Thai–Lao dictionary has more than one corresponding Lao equivalent, the translated Lao is displayed as follows:


Where more than one Lao word is shown, choose the best Lao word for the context by clicking the preferred Lao word, as in the example shown here where the list of alternatives ເຂົາ|ລາວ has been replaced by ລາວ.

Unresolved words are left coloured orange. Click Choose to select the next unresolved word.


If the default choice or a previous disambiguation is not correct for the context, double-clicking (or touching and holding) the green Lao word will replace that word by an orange list of all known Lao translations of the original Thai word to allow selecting a more appropriate word. The preferred Lao word (or words) translating each Thai word can be changed by the user as explained below.

When retranslating the Thai source text after adding or changing dictionary entries, or after making minor changes to the source content, previous disambiguations will be retained where possible.

Translated Lao

The translated Lao is displayed with words or syllables dot spaced (as shown above), thin spaced or unspaced. When the Lao is dot spaced, the corresponding original Thai will also be shown with words separated by middots.

Translated text can be downloaded either as plain text or highlighted HTML by clicking Save.

The Thai–Lao Dictionary


To see, add or modify dictionary entries, click Dictionary. The form shown here for entering or modifying dictionary entries will then be displayed. Click on an identified word in the Thai text in the upper box, or enter any Thai word in the Thai input field, to lookup the corresponding Lao.

If no corresponding Lao is shown, or if a different Lao word is wanted, enter the Lao word in the Lao input field and click at the right of the Lao word. If is clicked without entering anything in the Lao input field, a phonetic transliteration of the Thai word will be added. You will be prompted to confirm whether or not to add a word.

A Lao entry for a Thai word can be removed from the dictionary by clicking at the right of the Lao word. If all Lao entries are removed, the Thai word will then be translated phonetically into Lao.

If the dictionary contains multiple entries for a Thai word, it is usually helpful to mark one of the Lao words as preferred, to reduce the need for disambiguation. This is done by clicking the empty cell at the left of that word. Preferred Lao words are shown by at the left of each word. Clicking the check mark indicating a preferred word stops it being identified as preferred. In this way, a preferred default translation for a particular Thai word can be changed when translating different texts. More than one Lao word may be marked as preferred for a Thai word, but in that case, that word will always need disambiguation when encountered during translation.

Clicking at the right of the Thai word will remove the Thai word entirely from the dictionary, which may sometimes be necessary if a word in the dictionary has been added with incorrect spelling. Changes made to the dictionary are kept in local storage and will be retained when a page is refreshed or the browser is closed and reopened unless the browser cache is cleared but Thai entries in the default dictionary that have been deleted by users will always be restored if the page is refreshed or reopened.

Uploading and downloading dictionary entries

External wordlists

To download the Thai–Lao dictionary including any additions, changes or deletions you have made, open the dictionary form then click at the bottom right. Three additional buttons will be displayed. If you click Export… you will be prompted to enter a file name and choose either CSV or JSON format for export. (For most users, CSV will probably be best, as that can also be opened and modified with Excel or other spreadsheet applications.)

The downloaded file (or any similar Thai–Lao word list using the same format) can then be uploaded by clicking Import… and will extend or replace default dictionary entries. In this way, subject-specific dictionaries with proper names, loan words and terminology words not found in a standard Thai dictionary can be added and used to translate texts on that subject and re-imported if the browser is closed or has the cache cleared.

Click Clear… to remove all user changes and restore the default Thai–Lao dictionary.

Translating web pages

Translating web pages

Clicking Browse opens a window within the app with navigation controls and a frame for the copied page. Buttons to go back or forward and a drop-down list of recently visited URLs allow moving through visited pages in addition to the input area for entering a URL. As pages shown are static copies of the original pages, not all content is available and some links may not work, but most text will usually be translated into Lao. Of course, the translation depends on the available Thai–Lao dictionary, so some words (especially names) are likely to not translated correctly.

To extract and interactively translate some or all Thai text on a page, select Thai from the drop-down list in the navigation controls. This will cause the page to be reloaded without translation, and an additional control will become enabled, to allow selected or all text to be copied to the main input area. The purpose of this is to allow interactive translation of downloaded text with changes made to the dictionary if needed for downloading if required.

Limitations to Translation App

Online Thai to Lao Translation can be used with either computers or smartphones but when translating anything other than short texts, it will usually be easier to use the app on a computer. Uploading and downloading text files for translation will usually also be easier on a computer.

While other online translation apps (such as Google Translate) can translate Thai to Lao with larger dictionaries and some contextual management, the approach to disambiguation used by Online Thai to Lao Translation and its support for modifying and extending the translation dictionary may make the Lao Script for Windows translation app advantageous for some users.

Note that some Thai-language web pages do not permit selecting or copying text when opened in a frame on another page. However, it will often still be possible to open the page in a separate browser window and copy text from that page and paste it into the Thai source area of the translation app.