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Thai Language Book 1

Thai Language Book 1






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    Thai Language Book 1 Thai Language Book 1 Document Transcript

    • Learning Thai language Introduction Courtesy: www.thai-language.com Thai is the primary language of Thailand, a country in Southeast- Asia with a population of around 60 million people. This website is provides information for English-speakers with any level of interest in Thailand, its language and culture—from beginners who wish to learn a few phrases before their vacation to advanced students who may be living, working, or retired in Thailand someday. History of the Thai language Thai is the national language of Thailand, spoken by around eighty percent of the sixty million residents of the South-East Asian country. Linguists consider it an "uninflected, primarily monosyllabic, tonal language" in the "Ka-Tai group." The spoken language is believed to have originated in the area which is now the border between Vietnam and China, an idea which provides clues to the origin of the Thai people, an area of continued scholarly debate. Linguistically, the language is related to languages spoken in eastern Burma (Myanmar), northern Vietnam, Yunnan, and Laos. The written Thai Language was introduced by the third Sukothai period king, Ramkamhaeng, in 1283. This writing system has undergone little change since its introduction, so inscriptions from the Sukothai era can be read by modern Thai readers. The writing was based on Pali, Sanskrit, and Indian concepts, and many Mon and Khmer words entered the language.
    • Regional variation Within Thailand, there are four major dialects, corresponding to the southern, northern ("Yuan"), northeastern (close to Lao language), and central regions of the country; the latter is called Central Thai or Bangkok Thai and is taught in all schools, is used for most television broadcasts, and is widely understood in all regions. Nowadays, English is also taught in all public schools. There are a few minor Thai dialects such as Phuan and Lue, spoken by small populations. Also within Thailand, small ethnic minority groups (including so-called "hill tribes") account for around sixty languages which are not considered related to Thai. The four primary dialects of Thai should not be confused with four different "languages" used by Thais in different social circumstances. For example, certain words are used only by Thai royalty, creating a royal language. There are also languages used for religious figures, polite everyday interactions, and gruff or crude communications. Alphabet, tones, and grammar The Thai alphabet uses forty-four consonants and fifteen basic vowel characters. These are horizontally placed, left to right, with no intervening space, to form syllables, words, and sentences. Vowels are written above, below, before, or after the consonant they modify, although the consonant always sounds first when the syllable is spoken. The vowel characters (and a few consonants) can be combined in various ways to produce numerous compound vowels (diphthongs and triphthongs). Unlike the Chinese language, Thai is alphabetic, so pronunciation of a word is independent of its meaning (English is also an alphabetic language). On the other hand, Thai is tonal, like Chinese and unlike English. This means that each word has a certain pitch characteristic with which it must be spoken to be properly understood. The Thai language uses five tones: mid, low, high, rising, and falling. Each syllable, consisting of one or more consonants and a simple or compound vowel (possibly inherent or implied, and thus not written) has a "default" tone determined by several factors, including the type of consonant(s) present (consonants are divided into three classes for this purpose). The syllable's tone can be modified by one of four tone marks. Some people incorrectly assume that the tone marks identify all necessary tones, or perhaps force certain tones, but neither of these is correct. Actually the final
    • tone of a syllable is determined by the tone mark in conjunction with the type of syllable, as determined by the vowel and consonant characters present. The grammar of the Thai language is considerably simpler than grammar in Western languages, and for many students, this makes up for the additional difficulty of tones. Most significantly, words are not modified or conjugated for tenses, plurals, genders, or subject- verb agreement. Articles such as a, an, or the are also not used. Tenses, levels of politeness, verb-to-noun conversion, and other language concepts are accomplished with the simple addition of various modifying words (called particles) to the basic subject-verb- object format. Many westerners do not make time to learn written Thai, focusing instead only on speaking. One problem with this approach is that the various reference materials you will accumulate each have a different transcription (phonemic spelling with a western alphabet) scheme, and it thus becomes difficult to recognize connections between your multiple sources of information. Although only you can decide whether to make the extra effort to study Thai script, I think it can provide a valuable and rewarding foundation for continued learning of the Thai language. ขอใหโชคดี Good Luck! Introduction To Thai Language www.pattaya-funtown.com Thai is a member of the Tai group of the Tai-Kadai language family which originates from Southern Chinese territory where the ethnic group of Thai people has developed before migrating to modern Thai territory. Historically Thai is linked to Sino-Tibetan languages and vaguely related to Chinese and Khmer. In many aspects (both script and spoken language) Thai language corresponds to Lao language which is closely related to the dialect spoken in the Northeastern Thai region of Isaan but has developed a slightly different simplified alphabet which has adjusted the official script to spoken language. There are many references to the ancient Indian languages of Sanskrit and Pali evident in scientific or political terms whereas modern Thai vocabulary which has developed in recent decades only has been influenced heavily by English language (e.g. check bin, bia/ "beer", tow-wer plus many more). Except for words of foreign origin, most original Thai words are mono-syllabic and consist of one syllable only. Some exceptions consist of two syllables (compound words). Combinations of mono-syllables, however, can specify the meaning. E.g. the adjective soong means "tall", kwaam soong (kwaam indicates a certain group of nouns) has the meaning "height". More in the Basic Thai Grammar section. Probably the most complicated feature of Thai language for western learners is Thai phonology with its unique tonal system which does not exist in most Western languages. In English, for instance, it is possible to pronounce one word with different intonations, however,
    • this doesn't modify the meaning. In Thai language, however, a certain intonation of a given word has the function of specifying a new meaning. There are five different tones that specify the meaning of a word and four signs in the alphabet that indicate the intonation of a syllable: standard tone, deep tone, falling tone, rising tone, high tone. This means that two seemingly similar words can have two totally different meanings depending on their intonation. A famous example is the syllable mai which can have such diverse meanings as "new", "wood", "silk" or "to burn" but is also used for negations ("not") and as marker at the end of a sentence in order to signalize a question. As the mai-example and the possible English translations also show, Thai words aren't automatically categorized into nouns, verbs or adjectives! More in the Basic Thai Grammar section. Sounds complicated? It definitely is, and if you want to learn to speak proper Thai your best option is to visit a language school. If your aim is to learn only some basic Thai, however, you could as well ignore this complicated tonal system as Thais will usually understand you correctly from the context of your utterance even if you have used a wrong tone to pronounce a certain word. There are various regional dialects and varieties of standard Thai language, for instance, the Lao-influenced version that your girlfriend from Nongkhai speaks or the Khmer-influenced variety of her friend from Buriram near the Cambodian border probably sound a bit different from the "Oxford-style" standard Thai of the actors on Thai television. The most apparent difference is probably the pronunciation of certain letters. To give an example, Thai alphabet features very well a letter for the R-sound, combinations of consonants, e.g. PL or KR, are nothing unusual in written Thai either. In opposition to a Thai actress, however, average Thai speakers tend to realize the R-letter as "L" at the beginning of a syllable whereas they would simply delete it if the R followed another consonant as in KR. For example, the Northeastern province of "khoRaat" is usually pronounced as "khoLaat" by the locals and "sawat-dee kRap" ("hello" for male speakers) is usually simplified to "sawat- dee k_ap". Some consonants, however, have two official realizations, one if it appears at the beginning and an alternative one if it appears at the ending of a syllable, for example "CH" = CH/T; "F" = F/P; "J" = J/T; "L" = L/N; "R" = R/N; S = S/T. In many cases this weird feature of Thai letters has an irritating effect on the English transcription of Thai words. Two prominent examples are the King "Bhumiphol Adulyadeth" whose name is actually pronounced as "PoomipoN AdooNyadet" and the province of "Chonburi" which is sometimes written "Cholburi". According to the original Thai alphabet "chon" is actually written "choL", as the "L", however, stands at the end of a syllable it is correctly pronounced "choN". Other sounds will be neglected at the ending of a syllable even though the letter is actually written. Usually this applies to words that originate from foreign languages such as English "townhouse" which is realized as tow-how (without n and s at the endings of both syllables) in spoken Thai. Irregardless of the numerous regional dialects, standard Thai (including a standard Thai alphabet) is Thailand's official language and being studied by students and understood in all parts of the country. There are several different levels of speech in Thai language, "slang", "standard", "polite" and "very polite". By choosing a certain vocabulary a speaker indicates his self-perception and rating of his dialogue partner. Special vocabulary is being used when addressing Buddhist monks or when talking about (or with) members of the Royal Family. On a polite level of speech male and female speakers use different personal pronouns. The two frequently used particles khrab (for male speakers) and kha (for female speakers) are actually meaningless and could roughly be translated as "yes', when placed at the ending of a sentence, however, they indicate a polite level of speech and signalize respect for the conversational partner. The Thai alphabet with 44 consonants, 21 vowels, 10 diphthongs, triphthongs and several auxiliary signs indicating different tones will not be a subject of this introduction; instead I will try to use a suitable English transcription which comes as close to the original sound as possible. Furthermore, the tonal system mentioned above needs intensive speaking practice preferably at a language school in order to be learnt correctly and will thus be ignored in the
    • following sections. The basics of Thai grammar and syntax, however, are easy enough for a short description. Thai Language Courtesy: www.pattaya-funtown.com Thai is a fascinating language with melodic sequences of sounds and words and an exotic, seemingly irritating alphabet which has challenged me since my first ever visit to this country. The Thai language pages on this website aim at giving those travellers and foreign residents of Pattaya interested in learning more of Thai language than just sawat- dee krap and check bin a very basic introduction to the fundamental grammar, phonetics and syntax of Thai language. Thai might not be the easiest language to learn but it's definitely not as hard as it might seem initially to develop some basic Thai language skills! I have to admit that I'm neither a qualified Thai teacher nor have I ever studied Thai "professionally" at a language school. Instead I've picked up my most basic knowledge of Thai from textbooks, dictionaries and simple conversational practice with the locals. My Thai skills are far from being perfect but good enough for everyday conversation, furthermore I can read and write Thai, not fluently enough, unfortunately, to read Thai language books or newspapers yet reasonably enough to write a simple letter, read a restaurant menu or a street sign. For in-depth studies of Thai language I would advise you to visit one of the local language schools listed further below and start with an introductory course which is probably the most effective learning method for beginners. If you are ambitious enough, however, and have sufficient faith in your self-discipline you could as well begin with simple textbooks studies (preferably assisted by audio CDs or software programs), learn some basic vocabulary and turn the contents of your lessons into practice by simply talking to the local Thais! Still interested? Continue reading!
    • Thai alphabet (ตัวอักษรไทย) Courtesy: www.omniglot.com Origin The Thai alphabet was probably derived from, or at least influenced by, the Old Khmer alphabet. According to tradition it was created in 1283 by King Ramkhamhaeng (พอขุนรามคําแหงมหาราช). Notable features • This is a syllabic alphabet consisting of 44 basic consonants, each with an inherent vowel: [o] in medial position and [a] in final position. The [a] is usually found in words of Sanskrit, Pali or Khmer origin while the [o] is found native Thai words. The 18 other vowels and 6 diphthongs are indicated using diacritics which appear in front of, above, below of after the consonants they modify. • 8 of the letters are used only for writing words of Pali and Sanskrit origin. • For some consonants there are multiple letters. Originally they represented separate sounds, but over the years the distinction between those sounds was lost and the letters were used instead to indicate tones. • Thai is a tonal language with 5 tones. The tone of a syllable is determined by a combination of the class of consonant, the type of syllable (open or closed), the tone marker and the length of the vowel. • There are no spaces between words, instead spaces in a Thai text indicate the end of a clause or sentence. Used to write Thai (ภาษาไทย), a Tai-Kadai language spoken by about 25 million people in Thailand (ประเทศไทย), the Midway Islands, Singapore, the UAE and the USA Thai alphabet (ตัวอักษรไทย) Consonants (พยัญชนะ) Consonants are divided into three classes: 1 (green), 2 (red) and 3 (blue), which help to determine the tone of a syllable. The sounds represented by some consonants change when they are used at the end of a syllable (indicated by the letters on the right of the slash below). Some consonants can only be used at the beginning of a syllable.
    • The consonants in the final row are compounds used as alternatives to the basic consonants. The letter o ang acts as a silent vowel carrier at the beginning of words that start with a vowel. Vowel diacritics (รูปสระ)
    • Numerals (ตัวเลขไทย) Tone indication Open syllables Closed syllables * unmarked short vowel long vowel Class 1 mid low falling low low Class 2 rising low falling low low Class 3 mid falling high high falling * Closed syllables are those ending with p, t or k Sample text in Thai Transliteration
    • rao thuk khon koet ma yang itsara rao thuk khon mi khwamkhit lae khwam khaochai pen khong rao eng rao thuk khon khwan dairap kan patibat nai thang diaokan Listen to a recording of this text by Jo S. (www.omniglot.com) Translation All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) Longer sample text (Tower of Babel) Useful phrases in Thai Thai language courses, dictionaries, etc. Links Thai Translation Our Price:$10.00 Information about the Thai language http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_language Online Thai lessons and other resources http://www.learningthai.com/ http://www.seasite.niu.edu/Thai/ http://www.into-asia.com/thai_language/ http://www.learn-thai.com/ http://www.wiwi.uni- frankfurt.de/~sascha/thailand/dictionary/thaischrift.html http://1steasythaialphabet.com/ http://www.thai-lessons.com/ http://langhub.com/ http://www.its4thai.com/ http://www.learnthaionline.com/ http://learn-thai-podcast.com/ Thai <> English Dictionary http://lexitron.nectec.or.th/ Thai Electronic talking dictionaries http://www.ectaco.com/dictionaries/list.php3?refid=2516&lang=47 Thai-Isan-Lao Phrasebook http://www.phrasebook.thai-isan-lao.com/
    • Free online translation of English <> Thai http://c3po.links.nectec.or.th/parsit Virtual Thai keyboard and other software http://mog.software.free.fr/ Online Thai radio http://www.bbc.co.uk/thai http://www.escati.com/magic_radio.htm Your name in Thai http://www.learningthai.com/names.html http://www.cnx-translation.com/your-name-in-thai.php Information about King Ramkhamhaeng the Great http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramkhamhaeng # Downloading Thai font: Courtesy: www.into-asia.com To read webpages or emails written in Thai or to be able to type Thai, you will need to install the Thai font on your computer. Below we have a collection of basic Thai fonts that can be downloaded and used free of charge. An example of each of the fonts is shown, which is the Thai word sawat-dee (hello/goodbye). To download any of them, simply click on the name of the font or the example image. They are all in TrueType (.ttf ) format. If you are not sure how to install fonts on your computer, click here to read a step-by-step guide on how to do it. Example Font name Courier Mono Thai Courier Proportional Thai Disclaimer: To the best of our knowledge, all these fonts are in the public domain. If this is not the case, please contact us and we will be happy to either credit them appropriately or remove them. All fonts contained on this website have been tested for viruses and though we believe they are perfectly safe, we cannot be held responsible in any way for any damages or any loss of data which may occur by downloading files from this website.
    • How to type in Thai: www.intoasia.com To be able to type in Thai, you need to have both a Thai font installed on your computer and a piece of software that lets you type in Thai on your keyboard. A Thai keyboard (i.e. a keyboard with both the English letters and Thai characters on it) is not technically necessary, but it's very useful as without one you won't where the Thai letter you're looking for is located. If you don't have one, we have a page showing the layout of a Thai keyboard that can be used to type in Thai, albeit probably very slowly. With or without a Thai keyboard, you won't get very far if you don't have a program to switch between typing in English and in Thai. Short of getting a copy of a Thai edition of Microsoft Windows, probably the best and most sophisticated program to use is ThaiMaster. This costs 1500B to purchase but you can obtain a free 30 day trial copy from their website. It's also readily available to buy at Panthip Plaza or you may be able to purchase it online from DCOThai. There is also a free option which, although it comes with no added features, essentially works just as well. You can download it from http://thaigate.rd.nacsis.ac.jp/ftp/ thaisoft/new/HuiKey10.zip, and you should find the setup very simple. If you have any problems, the Nacsis Thaigate site is helpful and a good source of alternative and related downloads. There is also another similar program called ABCThai, which is also free to download albeit with some restrictions Thai keyboard layout www.into-asia.com This can be used to type in Thai without having a Thai keyboard, providing you have a Thai font and the necessary software installed already. You need a Thai font installed to be able to view this page properly. The tables show where the Thai characters are located in relation to the English letters and numbers. Because the Thai alphabet is so large, each English key has two Thai characters - one which can be accessed by simply pressing the key, the other by holding down Shift and the relevant key. English 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 - = Thai Å / _ À ¶ Ø Ö ¤ µ ¨ ¢ ª
    • Thai # ñ ò ó ô Ù õ ö ÷ ø ù + Shift English Q W E R T Y U I O P [ ] Thai æ ä Ó ¾ Ð Ñ Õ Ã ¹ Â º Å Thai ð " ® ± ¸ í ê ³ Ï ° , + Shift English A S D F G H J K L ; ' Thai ¿ Ë ¡ ´ à é è Ò Ê Ç § Thai Ä ¦ ¯ â ¬ ç ë É È « . + Shift English Z X C V B N M , . / Thai ¼ » á Í Ô × · Á ã ½ Thai ( ) © Î Ú ì î ² Ì Æ + Shift Thai numbers: Courtesy: www.into-asia.com This page shows the Thai numbers from 1 up to 90, and these are given in English, Thai and an approximate pronunciation of the Thai. We have another page showing the Thai numbers from 100 to 1000000. The Thai script numbers are fairly rarely used in comparison to the standard international ones, as it seems that they are mainly only used in situations where there is a different price for Thai people and for foreigners. This is presumably in the hope that foreigners won't realize how much more they are paying, though if you can recognize the Thai price then you have a reasonable chance of only having to pay that much.
    • Thai numbers from 100 to 1 000000 This page shows the Thai numbers from 100 up to 1000000, and these are given in English, Thai and an approximate pronunciation of the Thai. We have another page showing the Thai numbers from 1 to 90. The Thai script numbers are fairly rarely used in comparison to the standard international ones, as it seems that they are mainly only used in situations where there is a different price for Thai people and for foreigners. This is presumably in the hope that foreigners won't realize how much more they are paying, though if you can recognize the Thai price then you have a reasonable chance of only having to pay that much.
    • The Thai Language Though it's not really necessary to get by, you will undoubtedly have an easier and more enjoyable experience in Thailand from any time you spend learning Thai. Most Thais don't expect a foreigner to be able to speak any of their language, and are often visibly surprised if you can string a few sentences together. It's also encouraging how many people will tell you that you poot tai geng (speak Thai well), no matter how limited your command of the language really is. Even with only a fairly small vocabulary, you will find it a lot easier to get discounted prices at shops and markets (rah kah poot tai dai, "Thai speaker prices) and to make friends amongst the locals. Thai, like Chinese and Vietnamese, is a tonal language meaning that the same word can have a completely different meaning depending on it is pronounced. In total, there are 5 tones: Mid tone, high tone, low tone, rising tone and falling tone. A common example of the difficulty of tones in Thai is the word mai, whose meanings include "wood", "not", "silk", "burn", and "new" depending on what tone is used to pronounce it. It's not always this bad though, and the context means you will often be understood even if the tone is wrong. In some cases though, the context is unlikely to help very much and you will have to get the pronunciation correct in order to be understood - glai (mid tone, meaning "far away") and glâi (falling tone, meaning "near") is a good example. It takes a long time to learn how to pronounce the tones correctly, and it's all too easy to make an embarrassing faux pas or inadvertently offend simply by getting the tone wrong on one word. Luckily most Thais realize how difficult it is for foreigners to speak their language, and are generally quite tolerant of any mistakes - which is just as well really. Though there's no real way to know how to pronounce the tones except by listening to a native speaker, the rising and falling tones tend to be the easiest ones to pick up. The rising tone is approximately similar to the inflection used in English to indicate a question, the falling tone roughly like calling someone's name from far away. The low and high tones are respectively pronounced near the relative bottom and top of your vocal range. Try to avoid speaking slowly and hesitantly, as this will distort the tone on the word and make you much more difficult to understand than if you spoke confidently. When speaking fairly quickly even the Thais routinely don't pronounce each and every tone, as there's simply not enough time to do so. If your tones aren't perfect, you stand a much chance of being understood by talking at the same normal speed, rather than hesitantly. You'll know you're
    • well on the way to getting it right if you start being told that you poot tai chat (speak Thai clearly) rather than simply geng (well). Tones on this website are indicated using tone marks on the first vowel of each syllable. If there is no tone mark, it is pronounced with a mid tone. Other tones are shown as follows: • mái - Pronounced with a high tone. • yài - Pronounced with a low tone. • glâi - Pronounced with a falling tone. • sŏon - Pronounced with a rising tone. Thai grammar www.Intoasia.com In comparison to English and other European languages, there is very little in the way of fixed rules in Thai grammar. There's no definite or indefinite articles, no verb conjugations, no noun declensions, no object pronouns, and past and future tenses are often indicated only by context, or with the words "already" or "will" tacked on. If words aren't needed to make sense in the sentence, then they're often omitted. This may make it seem quite simple, but the lack of structure can end up making understanding sentences more difficult than others with stricter grammar rules.
    • Basic Thai Grammar & Syntax Courtesy: www.pattaya-funtown.com On a most fundamental level Thai grammar is very simple, especially when compared with English or other more complicated European languages. For example, verbs do not inflect in Thai, each lexical unit (word) always stays the same. There is no declination in Thai grammar, no plural forms of nouns and no conjugation of verbs either. Additionally, no distinctive verb forms are being used in order to signalize distinctive time levels (past tense, present, future). Whereas in English the verb "to have", depending on the speaker, time level a.s.o., is modified each time (I have, she has, they had) the equivalent Thai verb mee = "to have" always stays mee, no matter what context. There is no morphological distinction between different classes of words such as nouns, verbs, adjectives or adverbs, instead of different categories certain combinations of words define the current usage of a word. To give a simple example, by simply doubling the adjective reo = "fast" it's turned into an adverb (reo reo = "quickly") whereas the prefix kwaam turns agejectives into nouns (kwaam reo = "speed"). Additionally, there are no articles in Thai language, and much less prepositions are being used. Basic Thai syntax is also incredibly simple, every sentence is structured by an "S-P-O" pattern: Subject - Predicate - Object. Questions or negations are easily signalized by the addition of meaningful particles to a sentence without destroying its basic structure. If the meaning of an utterance isn't diminished both subject and predicate can be deleted as well. Personal pronouns (e.g. "I", "you") that refer to a 1st or 2nd person speaker or subjects/ objects which have been mentioned previously can be deleted without diminishing the meaning of a sentence. (See examples below.) As Thai words do not inflect and the fundamental structure of a sentence always represents a simple pattern it is very easy just to learn some basic vocabulary and start building phrases and sentences. This basic simplicity of Thai grammar, however, doesn't mean that Thai is a "primitive" or less precise language than its Western counterparts. In order to exemplify some basic patterns of Thai grammar and demonstrate a few more complicated features of the language let's learn a few new words first! For a Basic Thai vocabulary click here. Personal Pronouns Depending on the level of speech, there are different personal pronouns in use. The ones listed are the most commonly used personal pronouns. There are no reflexive or other personal pronouns.
    • As mentioned above, in Thai language every sentence is fundamentally structured by an "S- P-O" pattern = SUBJECT - PREDICATE - OBJECT For example, pom bpai pattaya = I go (to) Pattaya. Negation can be expressed by simply placing mai (falling tone) in front of the verb. pom mai bpai pattaya = I do not go to Pattaya. Questions are signalized by mai (rising tone) at the ending of a sentence. For example, khun bpai pattaya = You go to Pattaya. khun bpai pattaya mai? = Do you go to Pattaya? rue plao has the same function but a slightly different meaning ("or not"). khun bpai pattaya rue bplao? = Do you go to Pattaya (or not)? (laew) rue yang (roughly translates as "already or not yet") is being used in order to add a temporal aspect to a question, e.g. khun kin khao (laew) rue yang? = Have you already eaten (or not yet)? The correct Yes-answer is kin laew (khrab) = I (have) eat(en) already, the correct No-answer is yang mai kin (khrab) or simply yang (khrab) = not yet. Deletion of subject and/ or object As mentioned above, in certain cases both subject and object (or either of them) can be deleted when the reference is obvious. For example, question: khun bpai pattaya mai? answer: (phom) mai bpai (pattaya) = (I do) not go (to Pattaya). The same rule applies when a first person speaker makes a reference to him/herself or addresses a conversational partner. When uttered by a 1st person speaker "hiu khao" has the same meaning as pom hiu khao = I am hungry. Or hiu khao mai? has the same meaning as khun hiu khao mai? = Are you hungry?
    • hiu (khrab) instead of pom hiu khao would be fully sufficient as answer and could be translated as "yes" in this case. This example also displays the most common method of answering to a question. For a Yes- answer you simply repeat the most important word of the question (usually the verb), for a No-answer you simply place mai in front of the most important word of the question, e.g. question: hiu khao mai? answer: mai hiu. On a polite level of speech (recommended!) khrab (for male speakers) or kha (female speakers) are added to the answer, e.g. mai hiu khrab/ kha is more elegant and polite than just mai hiu. Question words are usually placed in front of the S-P-O structure. (The only exception is arai = what.) For example, tam-mai khun hiu khao = Why are you hungry? (tam-mai = why) Adjectives follow the respective noun they describe, e.g. poo ying tai suai. (poo ying = woman, tai = thai, suai = beautiful.) Literally translated, "woman/ women thai bautiful" (= "Thai women are beautiful.") Comparative forms are built with kwaa, e.g. suai kwaa = more beautiful (than). poo ying tai suai kwaa poo ying yoo-rop = women Thai beautiful more than women European ("Thai women are more beautiful than European women.") Superlative forms are built with tee soot, e.g. suai tee soot = most beautiful. poo ying tai suai tee soot = women Thai beautiful most ("Thai women are the most beautiful.") The "Too-form" of an adjective, e.g. "too expensive", is indicated by the particles koern bpai which follow the adjective, for example, paeng = expensive paeng koern bpai = too expensive. Adverbs are created by simply doubling an adjective. For example, reo = quick/ fast, reo reo = quickly. Plural forms Generally there are no plural forms of nouns in Thai language. poo ying can mean both woman and women. Unless the context points out the current usage or in order to make a more precise statement so-called "classifiers" must be used. There are different classifiers for different classes of nouns. Altogether there are twelve classifiers. For example, khon is the classifier for human beings. "Two women" in Thai language translates to poo ying so:ng khon, literally translared, "women two people" (so:ng = two; [o:] signalizes a long O-sound as in "morning"). To give another example. dtua is the classificator for animals, maa = dog, (see) dam = black. maa dtua dam = the black dog (dog animal black). maa song dtua = two dogs (dog two animal). In a few exceptional cases plural forms are created by simply doubling the respective noun, for example, dek = child, dek dek = children. As exemplified by the sentence poo ying thai suai the Thai equivalent of "to be" = bpen can be deleted when an adjective is used to describe a noun. It is toy bpen khon tai = Toy is a Thai, but poo ying tai suai (without bpen! poo ying thai bpen suai would be incorrect Thai language.) Genitive can be expressed with ko:ng which roughly translates as "of". For example baan ko:ng phom ("house of me") has the meaning "my house". As verbs do not inflect in Thai there is no conjugation either, no distinctive verb forms are being used in order to signalize distinctive time levels (past tense, present, future). Time levels, however, can be clarified by using certain adverbs and conjunctions. Present
    • kamlang, placed between subject and predicate, signalizes an action that is currently going on and can be compared to the "Present continuous" in English (e.g. "I am eating"). kin khao = to eat. Pom kin khao = I eat Pom kamlang kin khao = I am eating (right now). dtorn nee/ diao nee/ khana nee have an equivalent meaning as "now" in English, e.g.diao nee pom kin khao = I eat now. bpat-joo-ban (nee) has the meaning of "now, nowadays" as opposed to "before, in the past", e.g.bpat-joo-ban pattaya bpen muang yai = Nowadays Pattaya is a big city (in the past it was just a fishing village). we-laa/ dtorn tee/ khana tee are temporal conjunctions with a similar meaning as "when" in English. aharn tai = Thai food, took wan = every day. For example, we-laa pom yoo pattaya pom kin aharn tai took wan = When I stay in Pattaya I eat Thai food every day. Future ja signalizes an action that is going to take place in the future and has the same function as "to be going to" or "will" in English. proong nee = tomorrow proong nee pom ja bpai pattaya = Tomorrow I will go to Pattaya. diao ... ja, placed around the subject, signalizes an action that is going to happen in the immediate future, e.g.diao pom ja kin khao = I am going to eat (right now). eek ... ja adds a precise time information to an action that is going to happen in the future. pee = year. eek so:ng pee pom ja bpai pattaya = In two years I will visit/ go to Pattaya. Past phoeng signalizes an action that has just taken place. tueng = to arrive. pom phoeng tueng pattaya = I have just arrived in Pattaya. ... korn and mua ... tee laew indicate that an action has taken place in the past and equal English "ago" or "before". They must be combined with a precise indication of time. so:ng pee korn = two years ago/ before mua so:ng pee tee laew = two years ago/ before. mua korn indicates a previous state and can be translated as "before", "previously" or "in the past". lek = small, little. mua korn pattaya pen mue-ang lek = In the past Pattaya used to be/ was a small town. mua and dtorn tee signalize actions that have occured in the past and can be translated as "when". dtorn tee pom maa tueng pattaya = When I arrived in Pattaya ... mua pom maa tueng pattaya = When I arrived in Pattaya ... Temporal When-clauses are built with the temporal conjunction we-laa which originally has the meaning "time" but can be translated as "when" in this case. For example, we-laa pom yoo pattaya pom kin aharn tai took wan = When I stay in Pattaya I eat Thai food every day. Conditional If-clauses are built with taa which has an equivalent meaning as "if" in English. It is not obligatory yet possible to extend the main clause with the future particle ja (see above). For example, taa pom bpai pattaya pom (ja) kin aharn tai took wan = If I go to Pattaya I (will) eat Thai food every day.
    • There are much less prepositions in Thai language than there are in English. The one used most frequently and that can be used either as preposition or relative pronoun is tee. When used as relative pronoun tee can mean both "who" or "which/ that". For example, tee pattaya = In Pattaya (preposition) poo ying tee suai = women who are beautiful (relative pronoun) Time specification There are several methods of time specification in Thai, the most traditional method splits up the day (24 hours) into 4x6 hours, i.e. four 6-hour cycles. Within each cycle hours are counted from 1 to 6. For Thai numbers please visit our Basic Thai Vocabulary page. dtee ... - specifies hours between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m., ... mo:ng chao - specifies hours between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m, bai ... mo:ng - specifies hours between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m., ... toom - specifies hours between 6 p.m. and midnight. For example: Half hours are specified by khrueng, e.g. 8.30 p.m./ 20.30h = so:ng toom khrueng All other time specifications are made by hours + minutes. sip = ten, naatee = minute/s. 8.10 p.m./ 20.10h = so:ng toom sip natee. For the last quarter of an hour eek can be used. 7.50 p.m./ 19.50h = eek sip natee so:ng toom ("ten to eight"). For some basic Thai vocabulary and useful Thai phrases or in order to turn grammatical theory into conversational practice please visit Copyright © 2008 Pattaya-Funtown.com. All rights reserved. Personal Pronouns Singular I pom (male) chan (female you khun, tur he/ she khao it mun Plural we rao they puak khao bpai to go
    • mai (falling tone) expresses negation ("not") mai (rising tone) signalizes a question hiu khao hungry kin khao to eat poo ying woman/ women suai beautiful. pretty reo ("leo") fast, quick so:ng two sip ten maa dog (see) dam black bpen to be yai big, large lek small, little aharn tai thai food took wan every day (maa) tueng to arrive bpee year natee minute 12 a.m./ midnight tiang khuen 1 a.m. dtee nueng 2 a.m. dtee so:ng 3 a.m. dtee saam ... ... 6 a.m. hok mo:ng chao 7 a.m. nueng mo:ng chao 8 a.m. so:ng mo:ng chao ... ... 12 p.m. tiang wan 1 p.m., 13h bai nueng mo:ng 2 p.m., 14h bai so:ng (mo:ng) ... ... 6 p.m., 18h hok mo:ng yen 7 p.m., 19h nueng toom 8 p.m., 20h so:ng toom ... ... Half hours are specified by khrueng, e.g. 8.30 p.m./ 20.30h = so:ng toom khrueng All other time specifications are made by hours + minutes.
    • sip = ten, naatee = minute/s. 8.10 p.m./ 20.10h = so:ng toom sip natee. For the last quarter of an hour eek can be used. 7.50 p.m./ 19.50h = eek sip natee so:ng toom ("ten to eight"). Pronouns One of the aspects of Thai that is very different from most other languages is the staggering number of pronouns that are available and used in everyday speech. With over a dozen words for 'I/Me' and a similar number for 'you', knowing which one to use and when can seem like a daunting task. The choice of which one to use depends on just about everything - who you're talking to, how well you know them, how old you are relative to them and, most importantly, the relationship between you and who is of 'higher status'. This is a choice that has to be made countless times a day in every conversation you have, which is effortless for a Thai but poses quite a problem for non-native speakers. Thankfully, no-one expects a non-Thai to have a perfect understanding of all the pronouns available and by learning just a few you can cope in almost any situation you are likely to find yourself in without offending anyone. These are shown below: pom This is the normal word for 'I / Me' that is used by men. It's slightly formal (few Thai men would use it when talking with friends), but still perfectly okay for most situations you'll find yourself in. di-chan / chan Di-chan is used only by women, and is a polite word for 'I/Me'. The shortened form, chan, is less formal but fine for everyday use and is / probably the most common word used by women. More words for 'I/Me'... khun This is a polite and very common word meaning 'You'. It also doubles as the title put in front of people's name to be polite e.g. Mr Somchai would be known in Thai as Khun Somchai. ter Ter is another word for you, used with friends or in informal situations. More words for 'You'... rao This is a word for 'we/us' that can be used in any situation.
    • kao Kao is a standard word for 'he/him/she/her' that can be used in any situation. man This means 'it', and is used when referring to animals or things. It can also be used instead of kao to refer to people, but to do this is, not surprisingly, very insulting to the person you're referring to. (In some Thai dialects, man is actually a common way to refer to someone so you can't necessarily assume it's an insult if you hear it.) puak-kao This is a standard word for 'They/them' that can be used in any situation. pee / norng Pee (literally 'older brother or sister') and norng (literally 'younger brother or sister') are very commonly used as pronouns, and can be used to mean either 'I', 'Me', 'You', 'Him', 'her', 'he' or 'she' depending on the / situation. The difference is when they can be used - pee must be used referring to someone older and norng must be used, not surprisingly, when referring to someone younger. Despite their literal translation, using pee or norng doesn't necessarily imply a close relationship between the speakers. Though they are often used between friends and even married couples (as well as actual brothers and sisters), they are just as likely to be used when calling the attention of waiters/waitresses in restaurants or the porter in a hotel. If you often find you are asked your age when talking to a Thai, it is most likely they are doing so to establish who is pee and who is norng. The problem with this system is that without asking it means having to guess the age of other people relative to your own, and hoping you don't offend anyone too much ! It's also worth being careful with the pronunciation of pee, as if said with the wrong tone there is a unfortunate change in meaning from 'older brother or sister' to 'ghost/spirit'.
    • If there is a substantial age difference (say, 25 or 30+ years) then pee and norng are not used. Though this list is okay for most situations, none of these words are really appropriate if you are in conversation with someone perceived to be of substantially 'higher status' than you. For instance, if you were unfortunate enough to find yourself in a Thai court and in conversation with the judge, a more respectful pronouns should be used instead. Luckily, for the average visitor to Thailand it is very unlikely that you'll encounter many, if any, situations such as this. Buddhist monks are another example where respectful pronouns should be used, as they have pretty much the highest status of all apart from royalty. In reality though, monks in touristy temples are probably very used to foreigners not using the correct pronouns, and are unlikely to be offended if you forget. The respective pages on words used for 'I' and words for 'you' have more information on respectful pronouns. Words for I / Me Below is a list of pronouns meaning 'I/Me' in Thai, in approximate order of how common they are in everyday speech. Although there is a great range of pronouns, they're actually used quite sparingly and often omitted unless it's absolutely necessary to convey the meaning. For instance, to say 'Where are you going?' in Thai is just bpai nai (literally 'go where?') - no pronoun necessary. Though this list may seem pretty intimidating, you can get by perfectly fine in almost any situation you are likely to come across by knowing only chan, pom and di-chan. chan This is most common word used by women, and can be used in any situation that's not especially formal. Men can use chan also, but it's ฉัน much less common and is only used very informally. In Thai love songs sung by men, for instance, they always use chan to refer to themselves. pom This is the normal word for "I / Me" used by men, which can safely be used at pretty much anytime talking to anybody. When talking to friends ผม though, a less formal word is likely to be used instead. di-chan This is used only by women. It's a safe word to use for most situation but is quite formal, so it's unlikely to be used when talking with friends. ดิฉัน
    • pee Literally meaning "older brother / sister", this is quite a common word that can be used for 'I' when you speaking to someone younger than you. . พี่ norng The opposite of pee, this means "younger brother / sister". and can be used to mean 'I' when talking to people older than you. นอง [More information on pee / norng] gra-pom This is another word used only by men, and it's used to show respect when talking to people perceived to be of 'higher status' than you. For กระผม instance, the porter in an expensive hotel might say it when talking to a hotel guest. rao Confusingly, this is the normal word for 'we/us' but it is also used by both men and women as an informal word for 'I/me'. เรา goo This is sometimes used by Thais when talking with close friends. In almost any other context (even a husband/wife conversation), it is กู offensive and only used as an insult to the listener. As a foreigner, you're better off avoiding it altogether. When used, it's almost always combined with meung which is a similarly offensive word for 'you'. noo Literally meaning 'mouse', this is used by women when speaking to people much older. For instance, a Thai women talking to her parents will หนู often say it. It can also be used as a word for 'you', 'him', 'her' etc if talking to/about a young child. ua This is a word used only by Chinese Thais. อั้ว dtai-tao Literally meaning 'under your feet', this is a respectful word similar to gra- pom. ใตเทา kah-pa-jao This is a very formal word for 'I/Me' that is almost never heard in normal speech, but can be found written occasionally. For instance, when you ขาพเจา have to sign an immigration form to enter Thailand, the declaration in
    • Thai uses kah-pa-jao as the word for 'I'. kah-pa-pra-put-ta- This is a Royal Thai word, and is only used by those in conversation with jao the Thai King or another member of the Royal Family. That being the case, it's not a word you're likely to hear often, except at the cinema ขาพพระพุทธเจา where it's the first word of the royal anthem played before every film. Literally translated, it means 'The servant of the Lord Buddha.' Be warned that if you say this word in the wrong context, it may be taken as mocking the royal family and could land you in trouble. This is not a definitive list of words (some sections of society e.g. royalty and the military have their own words that only they use, and family relationship terms are also often used as pronouns), but it includes most of the main ones. One of the most common ways for women to speak about themselves isn't listed though, which is the habit of using their first name instead of any pronoun and so speak about themselves in the third person. Though men can do this also, it's not very common and sounds a bit effeminate so it's not a good habit to get in to. Another common way of speaking is by referring to your position or title instead of using a pronoun. For instance, a teacher talking to his students may use a-jahn (meaning 'teacher') as a word for 'I/Me' instead of one of the pronouns above. Thai words for 'you. Below is a list of pronouns meaning 'You' in Thai, in approximate order of how common they are in everyday speech? Although there is a great range of pronouns, they're actually used quite sparingly and often omitted unless it's absolutely necessary to convey the meaning. For instance, to say 'Where are you going ?' in Thai is just bpai nai (literally 'go where ?') - no pronoun necessary. Though this list might seem quite long, in reality you can easily survive knowing only khun. khun Khun is a polite and very common word meaning 'You', which is appropriate for most everyday situations you will come across. It also คุณ doubles as the title put in front of people's name to be polite e.g. Mr Somchai would be known in Thai as Khun Somchai. ter Ter is a more informal word for 'you' that can be used with friends or
    • people you know well. เธอ pee Literally meaning "older brother / sister", this is quite a common word that can be used when you speaking to someone older than you. พี่ norng The opposite of pee, this means "younger brother / sister". and can be used when talking to people younger than you. นอง [More information on pee/norng] tan Tan is a very respectful word for you that is only used when talking to monks or others at a similary high level in Thai society. ทาน meung / ayng / gair These is sometimes used by Thais when talking with close friends. In almost any other context, they are offensive words and only used as an มึง / เอง / แก insult to the listener. As a foreigner, you're better off avoiding it altogether. When used, they are often combined with goo which is a similarly offensive word for 'I/Me'. noo Literally meaning 'mouse', this is used to either to talk to very young children or to women who are much younger than the speaker. For หนู instance, parents talking to their daughter will often use it, even if the daughter is an adult herself. leu This is a word used only by Chinese Thais. ลื้อ dtai-fah-la-orng- This is a Royal Thai word, and is only used by those addressing the Thai tulee-pra-baht King or Queen. The degree of reverence that the Royal Family is held in in Thailand can be seen with this word, which translates as (the speaker ใตฝาละอองธุลพระ ี being) 'under the dust which is beneath the soles of your royal feet'. บาท Be warned that if you say this word in the wrong context, it may be taken as mocking the royal family and could land you in trouble.
    • This is not a definitive list of words (some sections of society e.g. royalty and the military have their own words that only they use, and family relationship terms are also often used as pronouns), but it includes most of the main ones. A common way of saying 'you' which isn't listed is just using someone's name instead of a pronoun, and talk about them in the third person. Also, someone's title or position can be used instead of using a pronoun. For instance, students talking to their teacher will use a-jahn (meaning 'teacher') as a word for 'you' instead of one of the pronouns above. . Basic Thai Vocabulary & Useful Phrases Monday wan jan Tuesday wan ang-kharn Wednesday wan poot Thursday wan pa-rue-hat Friday wan sook Saturday wan sao Sunday wan aatit day wan (= one) today wan nee tomorrow proong nee week aatit month duean year bpee January mokkara-khom February koompa-pan March meena-khom April maysa-yon May pruetsapa-khom June mitoona-yon July karakadaa-khom August singhaa-khom September kanyaa-yon October dtoolaa-khom November pruetsajeegaa-yon December tanwaa-khom Personal Pronouns Singular I pom (male) chan (female
    • you khun/ tur he/ she khao it mun Plural we rao they puak khao Depending on the level of speech (slang, standard, polite, very polite) there are different sets of personal pronouns in use. The ones listed on the left are recommended to use for foreign speakers. Reflexive or other pronouns ("me", "yourself", "him/ her") do not exist in Thai language. In polite speech the (meaningless) particles khrab (male) and kha (female) can be added to any sentence. 1 nueng 2 so:ng 3 saam 4 see 5 haa 6 hok 7 jed 8 baed 9 kao 10 sip 11 sip-et (!) 12 sip-so:ng 13 ... sip-saam 20 yee-sip (!) 21 yee-sip-et 22 ... yee-sip-so:ng 30 saam-sip 31 ... saam-sip-et 40 see-sip 50 ... haa-sip 100 (nueng) roi 101 (nueng) roi-et 102 ... (nueng) roi-so:ng 200 so:ng roi 300 ... saam roi 1000 nueng pan (= pun) 2000 ... so:ng pan 10,000 nueng mue:n 20,000 ... so:ng mue:n 100,000 nueng saen 200,000 ... so:ng saen 1,000,000 nueng larn
    • 2,000,000 ... so:ng larn Thai Numbers Please note that 11 = sip-et, not sip-nueng, 21 = yee-sip, not so:ng-sip! Accordingly 21 = yee-sip-et and 101 = roi-et! Useful Words & Phrases (General) Hello, Good morning ... sawat-dee khrab (male speakers)sawat-dee kha (female speakers)sabai dee mai? How are you? sabai dee khrab / kha I am fine. khorb khun khrab / kha Thank you khor toad khrab / kha Excuse me, Sorry pom (chan) chue ... My name is ... khun chue arai? What is your name? khun ayoo taorai? How old are you? pom (chan) ayoo ... bpee I'm ... years old khun pood pasaa angkrit bpen mai?pom (chan) Do you speak English? pood pasaa tai mai dai I do not speak Thai khao jai mai khrab / kha? Do you understand? mai khao jai khrab / kha I don't understand mai roo I don't know mai bpen rai Never mind, No problem mai ao khrab / kha I don't want mai chorb I don't like kee mo:ng What time is it? khun maa jark nai? Where do you come from? pom (chan) maa jark ... I come from ... ... yoo (tee) nai? Where is ...? ho:ng naam yoo nai khrab / kha Where is the toilet? mue-arai ...? When ...? pom (chan) rak khun I love you. tee-rak Darling, Sweetheart (rakhaa) taorai? How much? lot dai mai khrab / kha? Can you give me a discount? paeng Expensive chek bin / keb dtang duai Check the bill, please ro:ng raem Hotel ho:ng air Air-con room ho:ng pat lom Fan room Restaurant & Food
    • I'm hungry pom (chan) hiu khao to eat kin khao to drink due:m Restaurant raan aharn Thai food aharn tai Seafood aharn talay Western food aharn farang I want, I would like ... kor ... Drinking water naam due:m Ice(cubes) naam khaeng Beer bia One ... beer, please. kor bia ... nueng kwat Coffee (hot) kafae ro:n Ice coffee kafae yen Tea (hot) chaa ro:n Ice tea chaa yen Sugar naam dtaan Milk nom Orange Juice naam som Menu rai karn aharn/ mennoo Rice (normal) khao (suai) Fried rice khao pad Rice soup khao dtom Rice noodles kluay tiao Egg noodles bamee French fries, Chips faen fai Potatoes man farang Vegetables pak Fruits ponlamai Bread khanom bpang Beef nuea Pork moo Chicken kai Fish bplaa Prawn, Shrimp koong Squid bplaa muek Crab bpoo Eggs khai Fried egg khai dtao Salt kluea Pepper prik tai Plate jarn Glass kaew Spoon chorn Fork so:m Knife meed Toothpick mai jim fan Spicy pet Not spicy mai pet Delicious aroi (dee) Check the bill, please chek bin/ keb dtang duai
    • Accident ubati-he:t Help! chuay duai! Pain bpuat/ jeb (temporary) to have a cold bpen wat to have fever bpen khai Stomach ache bpuat to:ng Headache bpuat hua Toothache bpuat fan Sore throat jep khor Pharmacy raan khai yaa Hospital ro:ng payabaan Doctor mor to see a doctor bpai haa mor Dentist mor fan Medicine yaa Tablets, pills yaa me:t to take medicine kin yaa Injection cheet yaa Insurance bpra-kan Health Basic Thai Vocabulary A-Z A A address tee yoo (to be) afraid (of) klua afternoon dtorn bai again eek (...) ago (...) tee laew, korn air-conditioned mee air airport sanaam bin a little bit nid noy alone khon diao already laew alright, okay riab roi and lae angry kro:t, mo-ho: animal sat arm khaen to arrive (maa) tueng ash trey tee khia boori to ask tarm to answer dtorb B B back (pain) (bpuat) lang bad, evil jai rai, jai dam banana kluay bank (financial) tanakharn bank account bunchee bathroom, toilet ho:ng naam, sookhaa to be bpen I am a man = pom bpen poo chai to be (stay) yoo I am/ stay at home = pom yoo baan beach haad (sai) beautiful suay because, as, for pro-waa bed dtiang
    • better dee kwaa big, large yai bird nok black (see) dam (light) blue (see) faa (dark) blue (see) naam ngoen boat, ship ruea body dtua book nang-sue: bosom nom bottom kon, dtoot bridge sapaan brigh sawaang brother (younger) no:ng chai brother (older) pee chai brown (see) naam dtarn bus rot bus (speak "but") (do) business (tam) toorakhit businesman nak toorakhit but, however dtae to buy sue: C C can, to be able to, capable of bpen, e.g. I can speak Thai = pom pood paasaa tai bpen can, to be able to dai cannot, impossible mai dai capitol mueang luang car rot (yon) car park tee jord rot careful, attention! rawang cat maew to change plian to (ex)change money lae:k ngoen cheap, inexpensive too:k cheat, untruthful khee ko:ng child, baby loo:k, dek cigarette(s) boori city, town mueang clean sa-art climate akart to close bpid clothes suea paa coconut (loo:k) maprao cold, cool yen (to feel) cold nao colour see to come maa to come back klab maa to come from maa jark to come home klab baan company (business) borisat to cook tam kab khao (the) cook mae/ por khrua (fem./ male) country pra-te:t to cry ro:ng hai D D
    • dangerous antarai (during) day (klaang) wan daily took wan, wan la day off, holiday wan yoot dark mue:d (to have) debts bpen nee difficult, hard yark dirty sok-kra- bpok disappointed pid wang to do, make tam dog maa do not ...! yaa ...! door bpratoo (to) drink due:m (the) drink krueang due:m to drive (car) khab rot drugs yaa sep dtit drunk mao, mao mao (adv.) dry haeng E E ear hoo easy ngai to eat kin khao egoistic hen kae dtua electricity fai faa elephant chaang entrance taang khao evening dtorn yen every, each took exit taang ork expensive, dear paeng eye dtaa F F face naa family khro:b khrua fan pat lom fast reo, reo reo (adv.) fat (to be) uan, pom puy father por fire fai (mai) flood(ed) naam tuam food aharn foot (massage) (nuad) tao football foot-born for hai, puea for free f(r)ee to forget lue:m fridge dtoo yen friend puean friend (girl-/ boyfriend) faen fruit ponlamai fun, amusement sanook G G garlic kra-tiam
    • to give hai to go (to) bpai (no preposition) to go home klab baan to go out, go on a tour bpai tiao good dee good heart jai dee green (see) khiao H H hair pom haircut dtat pom handsome lor happy dee jai to hate kliat to have mee head hua to hear dai yin heart hua jai heavy (weight) nak to help chuay hot, warm ro:n hotel ro:ng raem hour chua mo:ng house baan how yaang rai how long? naan taorai how many ...? kee ... how much? (rakhaa) taorai? hungry hiu khao husband saamee, pua I I icecubes naam khaeng if, in case taa in (three days) eek (saam wan) (to be) interested (in) son jai (nai) island ko J J jealous hueng jeans kaang kaeng yeen K K (to) kiss joob to know (s.o.) roo (jak) L L language paasaa to laugh hua ro to learn rian leg khaa letter jot mai to (speak a) lie ko hok light fai light (weight) bao
    • lighter fai chef to like chorb (drink) liquors, spirits (kin) lao to listen (to) fang to listen to music fang ple:ng little lek, noi to live in, stay at (pak) yoo (tee) lonely ngao long (material) yao long (temporal) naan to look hen, doo to love rak I love you pom (chan) rak khun M M man poo chai manager poo jat karn manicure/ pedicure dtat lep many lai, e.g. many women = poo ying lai khon market dtalaat to marry dtaeng ngaan (married already) dtaeng ngaan laew, mee mia laew menstruation, to menstruate bpen men midnight tiang kue:n minute natee money ngoen to borrow money jue:m ngoen to have no money mai mee ngoen/ dtang to owe money, have debts bpen nee to send/ transfer money song/ faak ngoen month duean monthly took duean, duean la morning dtorn chao mosquito yoong mother mae mountain, hill poo khao mouth bpaak must, have to dto:ng N N neighbour puean baan never mai koey ... loey, e.g. I never go to Pattaya = pom mai koey bpai pattaya loey new mai newspaper(s) nang-sue-pim (in the) night (klaang) kue:n no mai chai nose jamook not at all mai ... loey not yet yang (mai) now dtorn nee, diao nee O O of ko:ng old (material) kao
    • old (person) kae only taonan to open bpoe:d or rue: orange som other ... ue:n (ue:n) P P to pay jai perfume naam ho:m to pick (s.o.) up rab pineapple sapparot plane krueang bin to play len play cards len pai police dtam-ruat polite sooparp poor jon powder bpaeng pretty suay price rakhaa (to) promise sanyaa proud poom jai province jangwat Q Q quick(ly) reo (reo reo = adv.) R R railway station sartaanee rot fai rain ("It is raining.") fon (tog) to read arn really, sure jing, jing jing (adv.) red (see) daeng rent chao (the) rent khaa chao restaurant raan aharn rich ruay river mae naam to run wing S S sad sao jai salary, income ngoen duean to save money keb ngoen to say bork (to be) scared dtok jai school ro:ng rian sea, ocean talay to see (mo:ng) hen, doo to sell khai shirt, blouse suea shoes ro:ng tao shop raan short san shower, to take a shower arb naam
    • shy (khee) ai silk paa mai sister (younger) no:ng sao sister (older) pee sao to sit nang skin piu to sleep norn (lab) slim porm slow(ly) chaa, chaa chaa (adv.) small lek, noi (to) smile yim snake ngoo soap saboo some ... baang ... sorry, excuse me khor toad khrab / khab sour priao to speak pood sports keelar to start, begin roe:m strange, weird bplaek street, road tanon, sai side-street soi strong khaeng raeng suit, costume choot sweet warn to swim len naam T T to talk khui (kan) tall soong tax(es) paa-see taxi (rot) teksee to teach sorn teacher ajarn, khroo telephone torasap mobile phone mue: tue:, mobai to call s.o. to: haa to call back to: klab phone card bat torasap phone number boer torasap to think (that) kid (waa), nuek (waa) thirsty hiu naam tight, "Cheap Charlie" khee niao time wee-laa at what time ...? ... kee mo:ng tired, sleepy nguang norn, nueay to be tired of ... buea today wan nee together duai kan tomorrow proong nee tongue lin tooth, teeth fan toothbrush bpaeng see fan toothpaste yaa see fan towel paa chet dtua traffic jam rot tit train, railway rot fai to translate plae trousers kaang kaeng
    • U U to understand khao jai unhappy sia jai, sao jai, mai mee kwaam sook V V pak vegetables mark, mark mark (adv.) very (many, much) moo baan village bpai haa to visit (s.o.) W W ro: to wait dtuen norn to wake up dtoen to walk krabpao dtang wallet yark, dto:ng-karn want to doo toratat to watch TV naam water dtaeng mo: water melon ar-tit week ar-tit la, took ar-tit weekly bpriak wet arai what arai na? what, please? (wee-laa) kee mo:ng what is the time? mue-arai? when? wee-laa, dtorn tee when (temporal conjunction) teenai? where? bpai nai? where do you go? jark nai where from? ... yoo (tee) nai? where is ...? khon nai which (person) an nai which (material) (see) khao white khrai who? tammai, pro arai why panrayaa, mia wife mia noi second wife, mistress kab with poo ying woman tam ngaan to work tam ngaan nak to work hard khian to write Y Y bpee year bpee la, took bpee yearly (see) lueang yellow chai, khrab (kha) yes mue-awaan yesterday
    • Asking questions Asking questions in Thai is relatively straightforward, though there's a few different ways of doing it depending on what time of question you want to ask. An important thing to remember is not to automatically change the tone of your voice to indicate a question on the last word of the sentence (as English speakers naturally would), as this can interfere with the Thai tones. The most common way is simply to add the word ไหม at the end of a sentence, which can be thought of as the equivalent of a question mark. คุณชอบไหม - Do you like it ? (literally "you like %translitไหม%") - ชอบ - Yes, I like it (literally "like") - ไมชอบ - No, I don't like it (literally "not like") If you are asking for confirmation, then you can use ใชไหม instead (ใช on it's own means "yes"). This is roughly equivalent to "isn't it?" or "is that right?" in English. คุณจะมาเมืองไทยวันที่ 5 ใชไหม - You're coming to Thailand on the 5th aren't you? (literally "you will come Thailand day 5 %translitใชไหม%) - ใช - Yes, I am (literally "yes") - ไมใช - No, I'm not (literally "not yes") Another very common structure is to use the word หรือ (though normally pronounced as หลอ). This tends to be used when asking questions you think you already know the answer to, similar to a "so......then ?" structure in English. คุณกินอาหารเผ็ดไมไดหรื่อ So you can't eat spicy food then? (literally "you eat food spicy not can %translitหรื่อ%) - ใช - Yes, that's right (literally "yes") - ไมใช - No, I can eat spicy food (literally "not yes") หรื่อยัง, literally "or not yet?", is used in questions where it's expected the action being asked about will happen at some point even if not quite yet. These type of questions can be replied to by repeating the verb and adding the word แลว meaning "already", or say ยัง "not yet" to reply in the negative.
    • งวงนอนหรือยัง Are you tired ? (literally "tired or not yet") ่ - งวงนอนแลว Yes I am (literally "tired already") - ยังไมงวงนอน No I'm not (literally "not yet tired") หรื่อเปลา and หรื่อไม, both literally meaning "or not?" are also frequently used. Unlike in English where asking an "or not?" question may be considered abrubt or rude, it's considered a normal way of showing you want a straight answer in Thai and is perfectly acceptable. These can be answered in a similar way to the ไหม type questions. คุณจะไปหรื่อเปลา - Are you going to go (or not?) (literally "you will go or not") - ไป Yes I will (literally "go") - ไมไป (literally "not go") or เปลา (literally "no"), both meaning No I won't go Countries and continents These are given in English, Thai and an approximate pronunciation of the Thai.