Thai Language Lessons - Lesson 1
Five different tones are used in Thai. For the purpose of these pages words are broken up into syllables and each syllable has it's own tone. To indicate the appropriate tone one of the following letters is used in front of each syllable. The mid tone is indicated by the absence of a letter and is pronounced without any inflection in the middle of the vocal range.
(!) an exclamation mark used after a syllable indicates a short syllable
Some consonants in Thai do not have an exact English equivalent but are somewhere in between two English letters. Where this occurs I have used both of the English letters to indicate this. Examples are:
'bp' where the sound is neither an unaspirated 'b' or an aspirated 'p' but somewhere in between, such as (m)bpee for year/s.
'dt' where the sound is neither an unaspirated 'd' or an aspirated 't' but somewhere in between, such as (h)dtoh! for table.
Some aspects of Thai are a lot easier than English. On the other hand, there are complications in Thai that don't exist in English. Personal pronouns are one such example.
The personal pronoun for 'I' changes depending on age, sex, degree of formality, and the relationship with the other person. It is the same with 'you'.
The simplest way to explain this is that men use 'pom for 'I' and women use 'chun'. Young children will often use 'noo' (mouse). Once your Thai gets better you will start to hear the other personal pronouns that are used but I won't go into them at this level.
Replying to the question, "How are you?"
Sabai dee mai? (How are you?)
bpen - the Thai verb 'to be' but not used in the same way as the English verb to be
bpuat - ache
Some alternatives to 'Sabai dee' (very well) or 'Mai sabai' (not well)
Pom bpen wut (wide mouth) - I have a cold
Pom bpuat hua - I have a headache
Pom bpuat fun - I have a toothache
Pom bpuat lung - I have a backache
Pom bpuat ..... followed by which ever part of the body is hurting
ear - (r)hoo (purse lips)
hand - (m)meu (contorted face)
finger - (h)niw!
eye - (m)dtaa (bug-eyed)
nose - (m)ja-(l)mook
face - (f)naa (long sound)
arm - (r)kaan
mouth - (l)bpaak
shoulder - (l)lai
lung - (l)pawt
leg - (r)khaa
elbow - (r)kaw-(l)sawgh
ankle - (f)kaw-(h)tao
Telling The Time
Early hours of the morning - 01:00 to 05:00
01:00 - dtee (l)neung
02:00 - dtee (r)sawng
03:00 - dtee (r)saam
04:00 - dtee (l)sii
05:00 - dtee (f)haa
Morning - 06:00 to 09:00
06:00 - (l)hohk! mohng (h)chao
07:00 - (l)jet! mohng (h)chao
08:00 - (l)bpaat mohng (h)chao
09:00 - (f)gow mohng (h)chao
Late morning to midday - 10:00 to 12:00
10:00 - (l)sip! mohng
11:00 - (l)sip! eht! mohng
12:00 - (f)tiang
Afternoon - 13:00 to 16:00
13:00 - (l)bai mohng
14:00 - (l)bai (r)sawng mohng
15:00 - (l)bai (r)saam mohng
16:00 - (l)bai (l)sii mohng
Late afternoon - 17:00 to 18:00
17:00 - (f)haa mohng yen!
18:00 - (l)hohk! mohng yen!
Evening - 19:00 - 24:00
19:00 - (l)neung (f)tuum!
20:00 - (r)sawng (f)tuum!
21:00 - (r)saam (f)tuum!
22:00 - (l)sii (f)tuum!
23:00 - (f)haa (f)tuum!
24:00 - (f)tiang keun
16:20 - (l)bai (l)sii (m)mohng (f)yee (l)sip! (m)nah-(m)tee 16:30 - (l)bai (l)sii (m)mohng (f)kreung!
(f)kreung! = half (speak through clenched teeth)
(m)aa-(l)gaat = weather
(m)aa-(l)gaat (h)rawn = hot weather
(h)chao (h)nii ah-(l)gaht (h)rawn = This morning it is hot
(h)chao (m)wun!-(h)nii (m)aa-(l)gaat (h)rawn = This morning it was hot
today = wun!-(h)nee
yesterday = (f)meu-uh wun or (f)meu-uh wun (h)nee
(h)chao (h)nee = this morning
(f)tiang (h)nee = midday today
(l)bai (h)nee = this afternoon
(m)yen! (h)nee = this evening
(m)aa-(l)gaat (r)naew = the weather is cold
(m)lom! (m)rairng = it's windy
(r)fon! (l)dtok! = to rain
(m)laa (l)gawn = goodbye
(h)pohp! (m)gun (l)mai = see you later
(m)jeu (m)gun (l)mai = see you later
(f)pruung!-(h)nee (h)pohp! (m)gun = see you tomorrow
(f)pruung!-(h)nee (m)jeu (m)gun = see you tomorrow
(m)jeu (m)gun / (h)pohp! (m)gun (m)wun! (h)puut! = see you on Wednesday
(h)pohp! (m)gun (m)deu-un (f)nah = see you next month
(m)deu-un (f)nah = next month
(m)deu-un (h)nii = this month
(m)deu-un (h)lair-o = last month
(l)hok! (m)deu-un (h)tee! (h)lair-o = 6 months ago
second = (h)wih!-(m)naa-(m)tee
minute = (m)naa-(m)tee
hour = (f)chu-ah (m)mohng
day = (m)wun
week = (m)aa-(h)tit!
month = (m)deu-un
year = (m)bpee
(r)pom (m)bpai (m)rong-(m)rean
I go to school
(r)pom (l)ja (m)bpai (m)rong-(m)rean
I will go to school
(r)pom (l)ja (m)bpai (m)rong-(m)rean (f)prung!-(h)nii
I am going to school tomorrow
(r)pom (m)bpai (m)rong-(m)rean (f)meu-uh (m)wun (h)nee [The (h)nee at the end is optional]
I went to school yesterday
(r)pom (m)bpai (m)rong-(m)rean (m)deu-un (h)tee! (h)la-ew
I went to school last month
(r)pom (m)bpai (m)gruung!-(f)tep (f)meu-uh wan (h)nii
I went to Bangkok yesterday
(r)pom bpai New York (r)sawng (m)bpii (h)ti! (h)la-ew
I went to New York two years ago
(r)pom ja bpai Chiang Mai ah-(h)thit! (f)nah
I am going to Chiang Mai next week
(r)pom ja bpai Chiang Mai (r)sawng ah-(h)thit!
I am going to Chiang Mai for the next two weeks
(r)pom ja bpai Chiang Mai (r)sawng ah-(h)thit! tud pai
(r)pom (l)yu (h)ti! Had Yai (r)sawng bpii
I have lived in Hat Yai for two years
(r)pom ja bpai Chiang Mai (l)eek (r)sawng ah-(h)thit! tud pai
I will go to Chiang Mai in two weeks (time)
(r)pom ja bpai Chiang Mai (l)eek (r)sawng ah-(h)thit! laa! ja (l)yu (h)ti! Chiang Mai (r)saam deu-un
In two weeks time I will go to Chiang Mai and I will stay there for three months
(r)pom (l)yoo (h)tee! bpra-(f)tet Thai (l)sii (m)bpii [(h)tee! optional]
I have lived in Thailand for four years
(r)pom kur-ee (clenched teeth) (l)yoo (h)tee! bpra-(f)tet Thai (l)sii bpii
I lived in Thailand for four years
Thailand is an incredibly photogenic country, both for its landscapes and its people. Regardless of whether you enjoy large Asian cities, beaches and islands, or rice fields and mountains, Thailand has something for you and it is a dream destination for photographers.
One of the great things about visiting Thailand is that hotels are plentiful and a lot cheaper than in most other countries. I always use Agoda to book hotels in Thailand. The company was established in Thailand and has great local knowledge, as well as a huge inventory of hotels.
If you click on one of the destinations opposite you will get a list of hotel deals from Agoda. It's generally a good idea to book on-line because you will get a good room rate and you won't suffer the disappointment of arriving at a hotel to find that it is full.
I book hotels regularly in Thailand and I have always found Agoda to be the best on-line travel agent. At times I have spent a lot of time researching hotel prices and although other deals sometimes look better at first I always end up returning to Agoda.
If you don't wish to pay for your hotel at the time of booking, Booking.com normally allows you to pay when you check in at the hotel. Some people prefer this method, but I have always found Booking.com to be more expensive than Agoda.
If you want to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined. However, you will normally find that Agoda is the cheapest and therefore you can save yourself time and money by just booking through Agoda in the first place.
Images of Thailand