The official language of Laos is called ລາວ (Lao or Laotian). It is also spoken in northeast Thailand, where it is usually called the Isan language. The country of Laos is home to multiple ethnic groups and about 86 different languages are spoken within its borders, so Lao has the status of an important lingua franca. The language is closely related to Thai but is written with a slightly different script.
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