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BANGKOK 23 March 2019 11:13

Thai Months & Days

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As for the months, they are named after the signs of the zodiac. Etymologically speaking, each month name consists of a zodiac sign + either อาคม and อายน. The words อาคม and อายน both mean 'coming' or 'arrival,' so when you combine the zodiac name plus อาคม and it translates to "the coming of zodiac sign __." February is slightly different because it is กุมภ์ + อาพันธ์, where อาพันธ์ means "bind" or "tie."

The pronunciation of each month's name is according to the rules of Thai word sandhi (สนธิ), a process of word compounding which melds more than one root word into a single phonological word.

มกราคม = มกร [มะ-กอน] + อาคม "The arrival of Capricorn"

The word มกร is a variant of มังกร, which also means 'dragon' but in this case refers to the symbol of capricorn, the sea-goat.

กุมภาพันธ์ = กุมภ์ + อาพันธ์ "The binding of Aquarius"

The word กุมภ์ means 'pot' or 'container,' the vessel of the water carrier.

มีนาคม = มีน + อาคม"The arrival of Pisces"

The word มีน means 'fish,' the symbol of Pisces. You might recognize this word from the district มีนบุรี in Bangkok, which would mean "village of fish."

เมษายน = เมษ [เมด] + อายน "The arrival of Aries"

The word เมษ means 'sheep,' and usually a ram is the symbol of Aries. A random example of where else one finds the word เมษ is in some Thai translations of the bible, when it refers to Christ as "the Lamb of God" it is translated พระเมษโปดก [พระ-เมด-สะ-โป-ดก] = holy + sheep + offspring.

พฤษภาคม = พฤษภ [พรึ-สบ or พรึด-สบ] + อาคม "The arrival of Taurus"

As one might guess, พฤษภ means 'cow' or 'bull.'

มิถุนายน = เมถุน/มิถุน + อายน "The arrival of Gemini"

The word เมถุน means 'couple' or 'twins' or also 'copulate.'

กรกฎาคม = กรกฎ [กอ-ระ-กด] + อาคม "The arrival of Cancer"

The word กรกฎ means 'crab.'

สิงหาคม = สิงห์ + อาคม "The arrival of Leo."

The word สิงห์ means 'lion.'

กันยายน = กันย์ + อายน "The arrival of Virgo."

The word กันย์ means 'virgin,' or 'young woman.'

ตุลาคม = ตุล/ตุลย์ + อาคม "The arrival of Libra"

The word ตุล means 'scales,' and appears with the meaning 'judge' (i.e. one who weighs a situation) in the word ตุลาการ, or in ฝ่ายตุลาการ 'judicial branch (of the government).'

พฤศจิกายน = พฤศจิก [พรึด-สะ-จิก] + อายน "The arrival of Scorpio"

The word พฤศจิก means 'scorpion.'

ธันวาคม = ธนู + อาคม "The arrival of Sagittarius"

The word ธนู means 'bow.'

great post I had not realised that but love to learn and I did

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Is there a colour for each day of the week?

Yes, every day has it's own color, and it's own Buddha image as well.

You can read some more about it on this website for instance.

In Thailand your day of birth determines what your own color and Buddha image is.

The King was born on a monday for instance, so that's why everyone is wearing the yellow shirts, since the color for monday is yellow.

Same goes for the Queen, she was born on a friday, that's why you'll see a lot of people wearing blue shirts as well.

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Along with the คม and ยน endings helping with the number of days, all of the months except April use short vowels at the beginning of the word and long vowels at the end. That's always helped me with the spelling. Us old heads need all the help we can get.

I get the impression from my teacher that shortcuts like i before e except after c aren't part of the training here. They always worked for me, even the really stupid ones like sep a rat e ...... a rat, not e rat

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Thais do use memory aids, but not the same ones of course. The words associated with each consonant were introduced in the 19th century (and standardized in the 20th) as memory aids to help students differentiate the words, and to disambiguate letters when spelling aloud.

Thais also have mnemonics for the consonant classes:

High class:

ฉันฝากขวดขี้ผึ้งใส่ถุงให้เศรษฐี (not in alphabetical order, but all present, if you count the ษ in เศรษฐี)

Middle class:

ไก่จิกเด็กตายบนปากโอ่ง = ก จ ด ต บ ป อ (alphabetical order, but leaves out ฎ and ฏ)

I'm sure there's one for low class, too, but I don't know it.

And there are several poems to remember the twenty ไม้ม้วน words. The one I've heard:


ใฝ่ใจเอาใส่ห่อ มิหลงใหลใครขอดู


สิ่งใดอยู่ในตู้ มิใช่อยู่ใต้ตั่งเตียง


เล่าท่องอย่าละเลี่ยง ยี่สิบม้วนจำจงดี

Is that the kind of thing you had in mind?

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that's really diffcult!! how long do you normally need to be able to read a newspaper??? i guess at least 10 years, right??

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sometimes you find things funny that you have been going through all your life.

I didin't notice it either before.

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that's really diffcult!! how long do you normally need to be able to read a newspaper??? i guess at least 10 years, right??

That depends on the newspaper! I can read Mathichon or Post Today, but after 20 years I still cannot read Thai Rath.

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I was planning to come for thailand .

And i was very worried i dont know language and all

I was searching for some other forum but i got this And i Register in this forum ....

And Really i am very glad this forum information Helping me lot and special thanks for Rikker

Thanks Rikker



Edited by punuruthan

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I'm a little late to this forum. A newbie! I'd like to add my two cents regarding days and months in Thai.

Like many Thai loanwords from other languages, Mithuna (มิถุนายน) and other months of the year are in fact Sanskrit. (Thais have learned that Thai words, especially proper nouns with fancy spellings, are either Pali or Sanskrit. But every Thai seems to forget that.)

Sanskrit is the language of Veda (เวท or เวทศาสตร์), the sacred knowledge, upon which Thai language and culture is based. Month names in Thai are inherently the Sideral zodiac signs (rasi ราศี) in Hindu's Vedic astrology, which is quite different from the Tropical astrology that most Westerners are familiar with. (But that's another topic all together in a future forum, if anyone is interested. Or Ayurveda or อายุรเวท that Thai yoga and massage derives from. lol).

Meṣa = April

Vṛṣabha = May Mithuna = June

Karkaṭa = July

Siṃha = August Kanyā = September Tulā = October Vṛścika = November Dhanus = Decembrer Makara = January Kumbha = February Mīna = March (Sorry, cannot fix the spacing here!)

You also guess correctly that days of the week in Thai are also the names of planets in Sanskrit (and in the Vedic system).

Surya = Sunday

Chandra = Monday

Mangala = Tuesday (in Thai, it's Ung-kaan)

Budha = Wednesday (Budha means intelligence in Sanskrit, not to be confused with the similarly written word "Buddha" as in Buddhism)

Brishaspati = Thursday (in Thai, it's P'-rue-hud-s'-b-aww-dee)

Shukra = Friday

Shani = Saturday (in Thai, it's Sa-ao)

Finally, Namaskar, a Sanskrit word that Thais use to greet only Buddhist monks.

Edited by Polsci
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BTW, you already know that Sunday is Ah-tid.

The word อาทิตย์ comes from Aditi who is, according the the Vedas, the Mother of all gods, including Surya and six others (of the week).

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Well I knew the thing about the days and the planets, but I have not been able to dig up any good, efficient, short mnemonic schemes to easily remember the Thai names of the Months, the Days, and maybe the rules of the Thai clock.

Can someone share a good method to learn the names of Thai months and days, hopefully within 15 minutes, in a way that will keep them fixed in ones old brain? --- Maybe a very short story, or a lurid limerick that might make our Thai girlfriends blush?


(If you have one, please don't delay in posting it. The days are passing over here, quickly.)

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Did this thread come to an abrupt end, or did it go somewhere else?

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Hey, if you're happy to be on my mailing list, I'm currently sending out a monthly newsletter almost exclusively devoted to remembering the names of the months in Thai (whether you can read Thai or not). Please PM with your email address (or fill out the contact form) and I'll add you, plus send you all the months up till now.

Here's the one for January:

January is MOCKARAA-COM มกราคม


After the expensive month of Christmas presents and New Year partying, all one can usually afford to eat in January is MACARONI.

(The -com or -yon endings refer to whether the month as 31 or 30 days respectively, so it's not something one needs to put any effort into remembering.)

Okay, so this mnemonic is a bit imprecise I admit. But I chose this to illustrate a point: even a convoluted suggestion is usually enough to help you remember something... if it's bizarre enough!

See if you still remember this tomorrow and next week...

As I said, you might not get "mockaraa-com" precisely. It might have been better to try a mnemonic involving "mocha" (e.g. my New Year's Resolution is to reduce my caffeine intake by drinking mocha
instead of coffee).


Important: Pronounce "ck" the same way as the "k" in "sky" - the air is kept inside your mouth, not expelled as a puff. mouth.jpg

The word for January consists of two syllables:
มก and รา. The first syllable has the invisible vowel "o" ("mock"). It's difficult for Thais to run these two syllables together, so they add the spacer sound "a" as a bridge. That's why you get "mock-a-raa" (and not "mokraa").


(Can you read the modern fonts? I cover these in the workshop, but I can also send you a handout that shows you how to do it easily.)

3 มกรา มาดู proud ขวัญเวียง ... ฟรี (mockaraa maa doo ... cwan wiyang ... free!)
3 Jan come look .. cwanwiyang ... free!

ขวัญเวียง is just the name of the moobaan, but it's an interesting name.

ขวัญ means "the spirit inside you" (possibly the same as "soul"?). So ของขวัญ is a (nice) thing for your soul, or a "gift".

เวียง means a walled city, like the old city in Chiang Mai. And a moobaan is, after all, a private, protected area for your soul (or peace-of-mind).

Nice name...!

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