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Influence of political and social factors on the Burmese and Lao languages

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Burmese and Lao Languages

Languages represent a country’s culture and they are an essential part of people’s identities. It is also a great medium of communication that is influenced by the heritage, customs, and cultural uniqueness of a community. However, global businesses have to be conscious of all the political and social factors that are contributing to the evolution of the Burmese and Lao native languages.

Businesses expanding in these regions may have difficulty translating to and from these languages, and they must hire only native translators who are proficient in the languages and have extensive translation experience. Investing in professional Lao and Burmese translation services can be helpful in this matter. In this article, we will evaluate different factors influencing the Burmese and Lao languages.

Evaluating the Impact of Various Socio-Political Factors on Burmese and Lao 

There are many factors behind the evolution of the Burmese and Lao languages. Following are some major reasons that are influencing the Burmese and Lao languages.

Complexities in Script 

Both Burmese and Lao languages have unique scripts that have their own complexities. Both Burmese and Lao scripts are abugida, which means that each character represents a consonant with an inherent vowel sound. This non-alphabetic nature can be challenging for learners who are accustomed to alphabetic writing systems. Burmese and Lao use diacritics to modify the inherent vowel sound of consonants. These diacritics can be intricate and vary in shape and position, making the script more complex to master. Learning these scripts can be time-consuming and challenging, which is why it is not so easy to find translators who are proficient in reading and writing these languages. So, the complexity of these scripts can hinder the preservation of the languages.

Myanmar and Laos Language Policies

Burmese and Lao are the official languages of Myanmar and Laos, respectively. Their government promotes these languages over other indigenous languages. The governmental policies in favor of these languages allow Burmese and Lao to play dominant positions in education, media, etc. Such policies sometimes create problems for students from non-Burmese-speaking communities, and they struggle to access quality education in their native languages. So, if you are a business that wants to target Laos, you must get professional Lao translation services from a reliable language service provider.

Rural-Urban Migrations

Rural-to-urban migration is a prevalent phenomenon in both the Myanmar and Laos regions. More people are leaving their villages to find better economic opportunities in urban cities. It results in the relocation of many individuals from native language-speaking communities to urban regions where people mostly speak official languages, such as Burmese or Lao. In this scenario, migrants from native regions have to learn the official languages for daily communication. It further promotes language dominance in a region and makes more people compelled to learn it. Moreover, in urban areas, there are more economic and business opportunities, population moving from rural to urban cities can get professional Burmese and Lao translation services to operate their businesses smoothly.

Generational Shift

Younger generations are more in favor of the use of dominant languages. To them, it also represents modernity and success. People today aren’t really in favor of sticking to native languages or passing them down to the next generation. It also makes more and more people in the Myanmar and Laos regions shift to the dominant languages of Burmese and Lao, abandoning their native languages. Moreover, as more people move to urban cities, their children get an education in dominant languages and lose their proficiency in native tongues. Younger generations are also more exposed to these languages through television, the internet, and social media.

Conflict and Displacement

The continuity of political conflicts and displacement in Myanmar has had a profound influence on linguistic diversity. Many Burmese communities are forced to flee their homes to far-off places where their native languages are not spoken or understood. It is a great challenge for this displaced population to adapt to their new environment and communicate with people. The political instability in the region also leads to forced language shifts and has terrible consequences for linguistics.

This phenomenon has also urged the population to learn the official language of Burmese to be able to communicate effectively. In urban cities, native populations have to learn the official languages for economic purposes, they also get professional certified Burmese translation services to run their startups and businesses.

Summing Up!

In the regions of Myanmar and Laos, their official languages, Burmese and Lao, are spoken by the majority of the population in urban areas. These languages also stand as pillars of socio-cultural history and a community’s collective identity. However, political and social changes have had a huge influence on these languages throughout history. So, there are many factors behind the rise and fall of Burmese and Lao languages that have been the major factors behind the evolution and usability of these languages in Myanmar and Laos.