living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

“How I Mastered the Thai Language”


with subtitle:

“How I Mastered the Thai Language – NOT!”

After nearly four-years in Thailand, I can say:

hello (sawadi krup)

thank you (khup khun krup)

itsy-bitsy-teeny-tiny (nitnoy)

street (soi) – I’m now trying, with difficulty, to learn to say: soi 1, soi 2, soi 3

Thai International Airline (Thai International Airline)

Not only does Thai has have a goofy-ass, squigly-squigly script, but the language is tonal:

บาร์ /baa/ (mid tone) = bar

บ้า /bâa/ (falling tone) = crazy

ป่า /pàa/ (low tone, unaspirated initial consonant) = jungle, forest

ป้า /pâa/ (falling tone, unaspirated initial consonant [the sound is like a hard b]) = aunt

พา /phaa/ (mid tone, aspirated initial consonant) = to bring/take (a person) with you

ผ้า /phâa/ (falling tone, aspirated initial consonant) = textiles, cloth

example: ’Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool” has a totally different meaning in Thai, depending on whether you say it with a (mid tone) or (falling tone).


May 4, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

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