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Thai Language Tutorial

Ever imagine how hard it is to speak Thai (that actually makes other people understand what you are saying) or listen to Thai language?? Yes, it really is hard but by practicing, you would be able to make it in no time. (Yeah, right!...)

Seriously speaking, lots of native English speakers especially Americans are practicing Chinese (Mandarin/Cantonese) mostly found on the internet. Thai language is more resemble to Chinese than to English. That may be the reason why lots of native Thais can speak Chinese or vice versa, or can learn to do so easily if not.

But wait, this page is dedicated to those who really want to speak or understand Thai language. However, a lot of effort would have to be done in order to make it systematic with those multimedia guru :) Wave files will be created so that you know the exact pronunciation.

We will use a pronunciation indication called "Ecko" (c) format as will be described below.


First Glance  alladvantage-ba4.gif (4266 bytes)

First of all, let's take a look at the basic structure of Thai. The structure of a sentence is like what you know in English except that there will not be any word transformation, e.g., Plural, Past Tense, Continuous Tense, etc. But don't you think Thai vocab would be less than that in English. NO! you have no idea how many they are!!! Anyway, here is the form of a typical sentence.

1.[Subj] + 1.2<Adj for Subj> + 1.9<Prep> + 2.[V] + 2.1<Adv> + 3.[Obj] + 3.1<Adj for Obj> + 4.<Clause> + 5.<Question Indicator>

Note that bracket [] portions are needed but the other bracket <> portions may be used according to the purpose of the sentence. But Obj. may not be needed if using Intransitive Verb as in English.

Let's take a look at some of these examples:

That tall man is walking very fast.???? will be separated in to a form of

1.2<That tall> 1.[man] 1.9<is> 2.[walk]ing 2.1<very fast>

You can notice that the Adjective "That tall" will come after "man" in Thai. The Verb "walk" will remain the same form (no "-ing" formation) while "is" is "gomlong".

This sentence will be pronounced as follows:

Phoo^chai Tuasoong+ Khonnon~ gomlong dern reaw mog^
man tall that is + V.-ing walk fast very

The translation between Thai-English is always opposite direction. Whatever sequence you say in English have to be flipped in Thai.


Alphabets     vp1.gif (5389 bytes)

There are 44 alphabets in Thai but almost half of them sound similar to some of the rest. We will not pay attention to how the word is spelled but only to how it is actually pronounced. Click on each alphabet to listen to its pronunciation.

g k ng j ch s y d th t b p ph f n m r l h


Vowels

Each vowel has its own pair where one of them sounds shorter than the other. The shorter one consists of "h" at the end.

Click at each Vowel to listen to its pronunciation.

ah ar ih ee uh uu ooh oo erh er oh o eh e aeh ae iah ia ooah ooa uah ua

 


Pitches

There is 5 pitches in Thai which are indicated after each syllable as:

Indicator ===> <no indicator> ' ^ ~ +
Example ===> barn (blossom) parn' (silk thread) barn^ (house) kharn~ (argue) kharn+ (respond)

Click at the sample word to listen to the correct pitch.


This page is still under construction. It will be consistently updated. Please bookmark this page.


Last revised: 04/17/02 22:31:55.

sirote@thai.org      http://thai.org/sirote

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