Build English-Lao-English Online Dictionary to Google Translate (completed)




This project is now closed as of 14 December 2012. Its stated objective (see below) has been achieved when Google announced last September 2012 that Lao is now supported by Google Translate facility.


We the core group members would like to thank all volunteers that have contributed time and effort to the project. Note this project team is not Google's official work team, but a volunteer team/group that helps contributing to the effort in general.

For any volunteer that wishes to contrinue with ongoing quality improvement of Google Translate for Lao language is encouraged to join the relevant forum below ...


(Last updated on 14 Dec 2012 (Luan))


-------------------------------------- Below is the initial stated purpose and objective of the project --------------------------------------------------

Our Group LaoEnGT (http://groups.google.com/group/laol10n-laoengt) would like to invite you if you are a person with Lao and English language background to come and help create an English-Lao-English dictionary online to Google Translate so that Lao language would be promoted in Google Translate as 'available'. This would facilitate translation from English to Lao and vice versa, and help with communication and information exchange. Currently only major languages are available, but not minor ones like Lao, or Khmer for examples. For Lao language it's up to Lao speaking people to make it happen. 

Please see new and up-to-date information at ... http://sites.google.com/site/eng2lao/z2home?pli=1














************************** Information below is no longer valid ****************************************************************************

*************************        For valid one see http://sites.google.com/site/eng2lao/z2home?pli=1  ***************************************



Link to Google Translate Toolkit is http://translate.google.com/toolkit/list?hl=en#translations/active

Hint: Select 'Translate Toolkit' at the left of the page, after you sign in.

Note LaoEnGT is part of a larger movement for development of Lao language for use in the Internet and computers. See ...



Current status of play regarding translation

As of September 2010, If I feed Josh's words (Senior Software Engineer at Google Translate) in for translation to Lao I get 2% translated, just the word  'Hello,' to  'ສະບາຍດີ'. The rest remains untranslated. See screenshot below.


 If I translate to Thai I get a substantially better result. See below. This is because Google Translate data repository is populated significantly with Thai to English word/expression pairs. 


Lao-English Word Pairs (to achieve English to Lao translation)

You can choose to work with Lao-to-English word pair files that was prepared and nearly ready for entering to Google Translate Toolkit, and are available at


or English to Lao word pair files. For the latters see section 'English-Lao Word Pairs (to achieve Lao to English translation)' below. 
For linguistic type information see section 'Questions and Answers' ... https://sites.google.com/site/eng2lao/home/-questions-and-answers

Work process consists of 2 phases:

Phase 1 - Word Pair Quality Control (WPQC). See http://sites.google.com/site/eng2lao/home/quality-control-phase, and  

Phase 2 - Word Pair Data Entry (WPDE). See http://sites.google.com/site/eng2lao/home/files .

Contact us for file assignment.

The actual action of doing translation as in phase 2 would automatically store data or information onto Google Translate Toolkit's memory, and subsequently become generally available to others. 

Do volunteer and send us an email at luan_vannithone@hotmail.com so I can update the table below accordingly. The Level of progress can be ascertained by the percentage completed. 

List of inaugural volunteers ...

Person                                                Task (Word pair file)                      % completed    Date startedas

Bounluang Vannithone                      LaoEng04.txt                                2%                  25-May-2010
Chittakone Sengchansavang           LaoEng03.txt                                3%                    4-Jun-2010
Outhong Phongsavath                       LaoEng02.txt                                1%                    4-Jun-2010
Sourith Kayasith                                 LaoEng06.txt                                1%                   4-Jun-2010
Souriya Mekdarasouk                       LaoEng05.txt                                1%                   4-Jun-2010
Thongrith Phoumirath (Dr)                LaoEng01.txt                                1%                   4-Jun-2010


(Approximately 28+ files are available. Each file contains approx 500 Lao-English word pairs. These files are based on the National University of Laos (NUOL) Spot Dictionary of June 2010.)

For complete and up to date information on current progress see Progress Report page, section 'Current Progress Status" .http://sites.google.com/site/eng2lao/home/progress-report

Below is a sample screenshot during WPDE phase. Note for a given Lao word there may be multiple English words. This simply reflects possible multiple synonyms. What one needs to do, on the Translation pane (not the Original Text pane), is to copy the Lao word and paste it on top of the English word (or various synonyms) then click 'Next'.




English-Lao Word Pairs (to achieve Lao to English translation)

In addition or alternatively you can work with English to Lao collection files below, containing English words and expressions needed to be entered into Google Translate. 

Work process consists of 2 phases:

Phase 1 - Word Pair Quality Control (WPQC). See http://sites.google.com/site/eng2lao/home/quality-control-phase, and  

Phase 2 - Word Pair Data Entry (WPDE). See http://sites.google.com/site/eng2lao/home/files .

Contact us for file assignment.

Collection file name                Volunteer translator              % completed      Date started

----------------------------                ---------------------------                ----------------      ---------------------------

Eng-Lao 00001-00999 A txt    BounLuang Vannithone          100%              3-May-2010

Eng-Lao 01000-01999 A txt    BounLuang Vannithone              5%               3-May-2010

Eng-Lao 02000-02999 A txt    ?

Eng-Lao 03000-03999 A txt    ?

Eng-Lao 04000-04999 A txt    ?

Eng-Lao 05000-05999 A txt    ?

Eng-Lao 06000-06999 A txt    ?


Eng-Lao 80001-80999 A txt    ?

..................................                  Overall % completed =                  1% ?                

(Approximately 80 collections)

Do volunteer and send me an email at luan_vannithone@hotmail.com so I can update the table above accordingly.


I think Google Translate Toolkit on-line help is reasonably easy enough to follow in order to translate and enter data. If further assistance is required contact me via email or call on 0459183 845 (Australia).

Note some words in the collections appears many times. This is to allow for possible word synonyms in Lao. If you can not find additional synonym, simply repeat the same word translation. In some cases where you cannot find corresponding Lao words I recommend you place before the English word, a Lao word written in Lao alphabets to sound out the English word and contain the latter in a bracket. Typically these words would be Technical words or terms. This approach would be acceptable. This translation can be superseeded at some stage later anyway by someone who knows the exact translation, by simply going through the translation process, and giving the word translation a higher weighted 'vote'. 


Below are sample resources that would assist you with the translation.

- A Lao 'corpus' type word search http://sealang.net/lao/dictionary.htm  by CRCL and the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- A free Windows based Lao-English-Lao dictionary program from Soutsaka College http://www.simt.edu.la/Students%20work.html
- Some of our members already have a soft copy of Lao-English-Lao glossary. I will try to obtain and make them generally available (however do not let this last point stop you from progressing).

In Summary

Once this endeavor is completed (or almost) the task of translating between English and Lao should be easier for anyone, thus enhancing communication and facilitating availability of technical and other knowledge in Lao language. 

For more info see discussion thread http://groups.google.com.au/group/laol10n/browse_thread/thread/6efb39a569fe043f?hl=en


[ I'm considering accepting financial contributions from those who want to help but do not have time to spare. The fund will be used to pay unemployed Lao persons (or any suitable person with English and Lao language knowledge) and who are looking for something worthwhile to do. To contribute click here http://sites.google.com/site/eng2lao/home/z-contribution-1. ]


As of today 6-June-2010 I'm happy to announce we have 7 inaugural members/ volunteers to help drive the project progress. See list of names in Progress Report page, section 'Volunteer or member List'.


A big 'Thank-you' to these individuals.


Luan (or Bounluang) Vannithone  3-May-2010

Updated on:          27-Dec-2010