Whan
Thai language and its culture
Sawaddee from Thailand ka

I would like to share a story about Thai language and its culture. If you have any opinion or something you would like to say, just feel free to do it :) 

What do you think about Thai language? I have been teaching Thai language for nearly 8 years and have heard so many people say that THAI LANGUAGE IS DIFFICULT. Although it is not a famous language to learn, it is really useful for expats or even tourists who want to get cheaper price and do some 'discount competition'. 


What is it special about Thai language? I've heard so many people say it is a weird language because one word sounds the same but has millions of meanings. For example, 'mai' can mean 'silk', 'new', 'burn', 'wood', the prefix for negative sentence or even a question marker.  These intonations make people crazy and give up learning Thai language.


It is funny sometimes when you want to say the word 'ma' (a house), you end up saying 'ma' (a dog) instead.  However, I think learning Thai language is a form of art. It is like singing songs. If you can change the 5 tones in Thai, it means you can learn any language in Asia (May be in the world, you never know :P)


Learning Thai is also learning culture. Thai people always end their sentences by saying 'ka' (for women) or 'krap' (for men) to show politeness. For example, Sawaddee ka/krap (Hi/Hello), Sabai dee mai ka/krap (How are you?)


You will also see the age hierarchy in the word for family tree. In English, you use 'uncle' and 'aunt' for older or younger brother/sister. However, in Thai language, you use 'Loong' for an uncle (your older brother) , 'Ah' or 'Na' for an uncle who is younger than you. 'Bpa' for an older aunt and 'Ah' or 'Na' for a younger aunt. Moreover, grandfather and grandmother are too broad for Thai people. They use 'Bpu' (grandfather) and 'Ya' (Grandmother) for your father's parents. They use 'Dta' (grandfather) and 'Yaai'(grandmother) for your mother's parents. There are still many words that I cannot explain all here. 

I hope that this short article will not freak you out :) No language is easy or difficult for people, it depends on how much inspiration you want to have. 

Good luck with every language and I am sorry if my English language is not all correct :)

Have a great day

Sawaddee ka 
Apr 11, 2017 12:30 PM
Comments · 2
I learn Thai university few years ago. I learn for 3 years. I achieved the level where I can read, write and understood when the native Thai talk. (intermediate level only) However, it's rare for them to understand when I talked.

Finally, due to frustration thenI chose to stop learning this language and move to Japanese language. I'm happy learning Japanese now since every native Speaker understand my words.. hahaha
April 16, 2017
It's been two weeks since I got back from Thailand. And just now I stumbled on this article which really surprised me. When my wife and I came in a cafe, a waitress always said this "Sawaddee ka", but when my wife came in the cafe first, the waitress said this welcome message differently. That's why I felt like she said different things all the time))) Now I understand why she said it. Anyways, Thai is extremely difficult language to learn especially when it comes to pronunciation. I was barely able to understand their English, but in a week I could communicate well with Thai people (by the way, who are very talkative and friendly people=)) I fell in love with your food and nature :)

April 11, 2017