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.


Taking a Taxi.

1. Excuse me, could you hail/get a taxi for me please?
ขอโทษค่ะ/ครับ ช่วยเรียกแท็กซี่ให้หน่อยได้ไหมคะ/ครับ
kŏr tôot kâ/kráp chûay rîak táek sîi hâi nòi dâai măi ká/kráp
2. Do you know where I can get a taxi?
kun rúu măi wâa chăn jà rîak táek sîi dâai tîi năi?
3. Could you take me to the airport please?
chûay bpai sòng chăn tîi sà-năam bin nòi
4. Drive me to this address please.
kàp bpai dtaam tîi – yùu níi ná ká / kráp
5. How much is the typical taxi fare to the airport?
bpòk-gà-dtì kâa táek-sîi bpai sà-năam bin tâo rài
6. Do you use a meter?
Kun chái meter mái
7. I’m really in a hurry!
pŏm gam-lang rîip.
8. Are we almost there?
rao gèuap tĕung rĕu yang
9. Please drive slowly.
chûay kàp cháa cháa nòi
10. Keep the change.
mâi dtông torn

Learn Thai vocabulary “Like”

Three ways to say “like” in Thai
1. ชอบ chôp
ชอบ means like when it is a verb (feeling)
I like you! ฉันชอบคุณ
(chăn chôp kun)
I like to eat Thai food. ฉันชอบกินอาหารไทย
(chăn chôp gin aa hăan thai)
2. เหมือน mĕuan
when “like = same as, similar or …be like”
You behave like a child. คุณทำตัวเหมือนเด็ก
(kun tam-dtua mĕuan dèk)
You are like my brother. คุณเหมือนพี่ชายของฉัน
(kun mĕuan pîi chaai kŏng chăn)
3. แบบ/อย่าง bàep/yàang
when “like = kind of…, sort of…, type, style..”
อย่าพูดแบบนี้ Don’t say like this!
(yàa pûud bàep níi)
ทำไมทำอย่างนั้น Why did you do like that?
(Tam-mai tam yàang nán)
*ทำตัว tam-dtua = to behave