Introduction to Thai

Introduction to Thai

Thai is generally monosyllabic, no word change due to conjugation and affixation.

2. Word order is very important. Thai is a Subject-Verb-Object

language, and a modifier always follows a head. That is, an adjective or an adverb always strictly follows a noun or a verb.

3. Thai sometimes omit a subject or an object. Meanings can be drawn contextually.

4. Thai is tonal, but no intonation. Each word has its tone. This tone will never change syntactically. Note that if the tone changes, so does the meaning.

(3 Types of Sound in Thai)

1. Thai has only 21 consonantal sounds but 44 forms of script. Each sound is not very difficult to learn at all. Final consonantal sound is not released. Thus no combination of the final sound of the preceding word and the following initial sound of the following word.

2. Vowel length is very crucial in Thai. A long vowel is distinct from a short one. Remember vowel length changes meanings. To pronounce vowels correctly, pay attention to the teacher’s lips.

3. Thai has only 5 tones; mid, low, falling, high and rising, but only 4 tone marks. Always remember that tones never change, wherever they occur in a sentence. Thai tones are very easy to learn and understand, especially after Thai is monosyllabic, but becomes polysyllabic due to lexical Processes and borrowing.

New words are formed by compounding.

Thai is easy to learn because it is an alphabetic language like English and other Indo-European languages. An alphabet represents a sound. Once all scripts are remembered, then learners can read and write Thai.

Thai consonants are divided into 3 classes; High, Mid, and Low

consonants. Understanding this system helps in understanding Thai tones and enable learners to write Thai correctly.


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