Thai Language is the national and official language of Thailand spoken by the Thai people, the dominant ethnic group of Thailand. Thai is part of the Tai languages, which is part of the Tai-Kadai family that has had its origins probably in southern China. The monarchs of the Chakri Dynasty, once reunified the country under the Kingdom of Siam, have done much for the national unity, with the adoption of a unique language and a common religion. The Thai people are very nationalistic and proud of their country, so they consider Thai language a symbol of sovereignty and independence, as well as a cultural and artistic heritage. Due to the influence of the ancient Chinese language, Thai Thai is basically made up of monosyllabic words. Some words are of undoubted Khmer origin, while polysyllabic words can be attributed to the influence of Pali and Sanskrit. Thai language is the product of centuries of influences, development and maturation.
Thai language is written and read from left to right. Thai alphabet uses its characters and consists of forty-four consonants, 32 vowels, between long and short, and four indicators of tone. Two vowels and eight consonants are dissuete, regarded as outdated. The consonants are written horizontally from left to right, while the vowels are placed above, below, right or left, or even around the consonant that follow. There are also characters that represent Thai numerical system, but in practice is used the western numerical system. In Thai writing there is no distinction between uppercase and lowercase letters; the phrase is written without spaces between words, just the end of a sentence is marked by a space.
Thai is a bi-tonal and analytic language, the meaning of a word depends not only from the syllables that form it but also by the tone or accent. In practice it means that a single word may assume two, three, or more meanings in dependence on the manner in which it is pronounced. There are five tonalities in Thai language: the low, the crescent, the high, the increasing and normal. Example: the Thai words for white: ขาว K̄hāo, rice: ข้าว K̄ĥāo, glue: กาว Kāo, nine: เก้า Kêāo, us that not having practice with the tonal language, we mistakenly pronouncing all: Kao. You do not have to worry, the Thai people appreciates those who strive to speak a few words of their language, and at your mistakes will smile and understand anyway, even when for example confusing hand: มือ Mụ̄x, with pork: หมู H̄mū, we risk of colossal blunder.
The grammar is really simple and follows a few simple rules. The sentence structure is made in order by the subject, verb and complement. The names are expressed in the singular, the plurality is indicated by numerical additional words. The articles do not exist. Adjectives follow always the name that should qualify, and do not require the support of the verbs. An easy example is our phrase like: The sea is blue in Thai language is transcribed in a easier: Blue sea, i.e. ทะเลสีฟ้า Talé si fa.
In Thai language, there are no verbal inflections or conjugations, verbs do not change with person, time or mode. The verb has a unique shape; people are recognized by the personal pronoun that always precedes the verb forms. Time and manner are distinguished by particles added. To form the past they adds the verb particle ไค้ Dai, or postpones the verb particle แล้ว Leo, for the future is used the particle จะ Cià. It will be easy for you improving the dictionary with new words, many words are in fact the union of others, for example with the basic Thai words water: น้ำ Nảm, hard: แข็ง K̄hæ̆ng, lemon: มะนาว Manāw, mother: แม่ Me, the union of these forms: ice: น้ำแข็ง Nảmk̄hæ̆ng, lemonade: น้ำ มะนาว Nảmmanāw and river: แม่น้ำ Menảm.
Below some essential words for those who wish to practice Thai language.
|Hello||[sa-wùt dee ka/krúp]*||สวัสดีครับ/ค่ะ|
|Goodbye||[sa-wùt dee ka/krúp]*||สวัสดีครับ/ค่ะ|
|Thank you||[kòrp-kOOn ka/krúp]*||ขอบคุณ|
|You're welcome||[mâi bpen rai]||ไม่เป็นไร|
|How are you?||[sa-bai dee mái?]||สบายดีไหม|
|I'm fine, thank you||[sa-bai dee ka/krúp]*||สบายดี ขอบคุณ|
|I'm not well||[pǒm/di-chún mâi sa-bai]*||ผม/ดิฉันไม่สบาย|
|Do you speak English?||[kOOn pôot pah-sǎh ung-grìt bpen mái?]||คุณพูดภาษาอังกฤษเป็นไหม|
|Pleased to meet you||[yin dee têe dâi róo-jùk kOOn]||ยินดีที่ได้รู้จักคุณ|
|I need help, please||[chôo-ay nòy ka/krúp]*||ไม่|
|I'm sorry||[kǒr-toht ka/krúp]*||ขอโทษครับ/ค่ะ|
|My name is ...||[pǒm/di-chún chêu …]*||ผม/ดิฉันชื่อ……|
|I don't understand||[pǒm mâi kâo jai]||ผม/ดิฉันไม่เข้าใจ|
|See you later||[láir-o jer gun ná]||ผม/แล้วเจอกันนะ|
* Note: In the Thai language is customary always end a sentence with a courtesy particle, which is used to express appreciation or in any case the attention to person with whom we dialogue. If the subject is masculine is used: krúp, while if the subject is feminine is used: kà. Into a sentences if you want to indicate the subject of the sentence, which is usually omitted, the masculine pronoun is: pom, the female is: di-chún.
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