Isan is a peculiarity in languages.
From the beginning of the 20th century the region in the northeast Thailand was officially named as Isan, a term adopted from Sanskrit Ishan that means "north east direction". The Lao-speaking people from this region, who comprise a majority of the population, distinguish themselves not only from the Lao of Laos but in addition also the central Thai by calling themselves Khon Isan, or Thai Isan. The Khmer and Kuy (Suai) who live in the southern part of the northeast region of Thailand communicated in languages and follow custom that are more similar to Cambodia than to the tradition of either the Thai people or the Lao people.
Agriculture is the main economic activity, but due to the socio-economic conditions and hot, dry climate output lags behind that of other parts of the country. Isan is Thailand's poorest region.
The main language of the region is Isan, which is similar to Laotian. Considered by some to be a dialect of Laotian, but written in the Thai alphabet, Isan is among the Chiang Seng and Lao-Phutai languages, which are members of the Tai languages of the Kradai language family. Thai is also spoken, with regional accents, by almost everyone. Khmer (the language of Cambodia) is widely spoken in regions near the Cambodian border (Buriram, Surin, and Sisaket). Most of the population is of Lao origin, but the region's incorporation into the modern Thai state has been largely successful.
Isan on whatamieating.com
To find foods and foods and food-related items in whatamieating.com in Isan you may search by any of the following terms:
Asia Asian East Eastern Esarn Isaan Isan Isarn Issan Khon Lao Laos Laosian Laotia Laotian Laothian North Northern South Southern Thai Thailand
These terms associated with languages are hidden behind the scenes as there is some crossover with other languages. The traveller in Northern Thailand may not be precisely certain which language is in use, and can search using more general terms such as 'Thai''.
You may use any of the above terms in any search you make using 'Translate from English' so that if you wish to search for a translation of papaya, choose whichever of these language terms that you think is most appropriate, say:
'Thai papaya' and then click on 'Translate from English'
One of the problems of providing searches in a multilingual world-wide food dictionary is trying to help people reach the things they are searching for. People do not always know the precise language being used, so these more general searches such as 'Thai' or 'Lao' may help in a successful search.
Also included in the glossary are dishes from the cuisine of the region, cookery terms, drinks, food festivals etc
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