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(the following is a lame attempt at humour)

In this chapter, I will demonstrate some basics of the language, but you will also be initiated to some expert moves. Therefore, tongue in cheek stretching will be vital for proper pronunciation.


Let’s be honest, Asian languages are difficult to learn. But, how can I say this tactfully… Thai is the worst. One of the reasons for this of course, is they stubbornly refuse to replace their language with ours.


This is why I made this handy guide to get you up and going in a few minutes.


About the Thai language… I know very little about it, but asking the expert opinion of those who have learned it for years and claim they can speak some but are still very bad at it, say the Thai language is made up of the following:

  • ·       Tons of consonants
  • ·       Lots n lots of vowels
  • ·       A few dozens tones
  • ·       Jury still out on the clusters


Now, my sources tell me I’m might be out by a few dozens, but not by much!


Most Asian and Western languages alphabet is fixed; that is, the rules and pronunciation of the letters follow strict and predictable rules. But not so with Thai. Nay nay, there are many variables which are dependent of the following:

  • ·       Where the consonant is relative to the vowel.
  • ·       Where the vowel is relative to the tones
  • ·       Where you place the letters on the Scrabble board
  • ·       If it’s cloudy
  • ·       How many Soi dogs are barking right now
  • ·       Etc…


If this wasn’t bad enough there are 3 different kind of Thai languages. The uppity one (spoken by the uppity hill tribes), the educated one and the normal one. For the sake of brevity, we’ll stick with the uppity. Just joshin’, had you going there for a while – didn’t I?


Also, Thai is spoken with a nasal twang. Much like a country singer with a bad case of adenoids. It seems the prettier the girl, the more the noise emanate from her nose. Apparently, this is irresistible to the Thai male population. Most Farangs agree it is not unlike fingernails dragged on a chalk board.


While all these rules seem daunting, do not despair. Like many others, with time, much study, practice and dedication – you too can totally suck at it!


On the plus side, you will be hearing a lot of the word ‘Kaaaa’ from Thai females (pronounced Kaaaa). It’s similar to a telegram ‘stop’ word (Google it) or kinda like one of those word you use in between breaths, or instead of a comma. There seems to be no rules, and nobody seems to be offended no matter how many times you use it in a sentence. I’m pretty sure you will be understood if you use nothing but the word Kaaaa in one sentence. Naturally enough males will say Khrap instead (pronounced <deleted>). I mean, what’s not to love about a language where you can say that word non-stop! And it’s polite to boot!


Thai’s are also aware Farangs are not very bright and to help us out, they have very thoughtfully transliterated (it’s a word, look it up) all their road sign into English. So, for example, you will see road signs for the biggest airport in Bangkok in Thai but also in English spelled this way “Suvarnabhumi Airport”. So, let’s practice it shall we? As you will need it to explain the cabbie where you are going. All together now… Soo – Var – Nah – Boo – Mee. Repeat that a few times to get it right.


Ha ha, got you! You didn’t think it was that easy, did you? Of course not. Got a blank stare from the cabbie? Maybe because its actually pronounced “Schwa – Na – Hpoom”. Why don’t you just give up already?


It you are foolish enough to keep going, here are the actual Thai lessons below.


Now on to our lessons:


Lesson 1: The only Thai sentences you will ever need…

  • Tauw Rai (or Tow Lai depending on how many Soi dogs are barking right now). It means ‘how much?’. If you really want to amaze your Thai friends with your linguistic prowess, point at the thing you want to buy while saying it.
  •  Dtem Tam – it means “fill ‘er up!”

a.     Advanced move: Do not attempt without tongue stretching exercise! You can say Dtem Tam– but this time use hand gestures as if your filling the tank full. Or say ‘Full Full’. They’ll get that too.

  • 3.     Mai Pen Lai – It means ‘Hakuna Matata’
  • 4.     Hong Nam Krap! – It means ‘toilet <deleted>!’ Notice we are not getting fancy here with making a grammatically correct and properly conjugated sentence. Just have a worried look on your face while saying it and they’ll get it. You do not have to practice the worried look especially if you buy beach food in Pattaya, Phuket or Krabi.


And that’s pretty much it! For everything else, that is why God created Google translate.


Finally, you need to be aware Thais use a lot of Anglicism in their language. Which means instead of using a specific Thai word for a thing, they will use the English word instead. You’d think that would be a good thing, wouldn’t you? This is where you’d be wrong!


For example, Thais use the English word ‘computer’ instead of the Thai version which is loosely translated “the square box which has pictures when you turn it on. But they are not really pictures. It’s more like a TV, but you can play games on it too.” Otherwise spelled in Thai like this:


Here’s a few examples of English words used in Thai and how to pronounce them:

  • ·       Promotion: Say… Pro – Mo – Tiooooooooon
  • ·       Computer: Say… Com-Puh-Tuuuuuuuuuuuh
  • ·       Battery: Say… Bat-Tuh-Reeeeeeeeeeee
  • ·       Spaghetti: Say… Suh -  Pah – Geh – Teeeeeeeeeeeeeee ( note: 4 syllables)


Please note the last syllable is long and rising high tone. Say it through your nose to be fully understood.


So, for example, you could say: “My dear sir, while I dine on limp spaghetti with Ketchup like-sauce and hot dog wieners instead of sausages in your fine establishment, would you be kind enough to replace the defective batteries in my computer?”


·       You would say it like this: “Khrap, Su-Pah–Geh–Teeeeeeeeeeeeeee Khrap, Bat-Tuh-Reeeeeeeeeeee Khrap, Com-Puh-Tuuuuuuuuuuuh Khrap” and you would be perfectly understood!


You’re welcome!

Edited by Such a Hairy Guy
  • Haha 1

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 Your post is so incorrect that it is difficult to know where to start.

You reference western language alphabets -i.e 'the rules and pronunciation of the letters follow strict and predictable rules'.

For the English language -they do not.

The English language is terrible in this respect.

There are 20 vowel sounds in the English language-represented by 5 symbols.

Consider the sound of the vowel  A in the following words:








and A as I will read a book


The vowel A has 6 different sounds.


The Thai language has 30+  vowel sounds . Each vowel sound is represented by text.

For that  reason it is a good idea for a student to learn all things vowel.


Consonants in the English language are mostly consistent -but now all.

Consider the G in Gary and the G in George. The latter has a J sound.

I could go on...


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This topic is probably best moved to the Jokes Forum, as it is far from the truth and somewhat derogatory in nature IMO.


The OP however, probably thought it was funny.



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