Learn Thai Language & Culture

A Woman Learning Thai... and some men too ;)

Francesco Accomando: Sharing My Personal Retrospective With Those Just Beginning to Study Thai

Francesco Alessandro Accomando

I started studying English while in primary school in Italy, then moved to London in June 2007. By then I’d been studying English for about 10 years. Although I never really spoke English during that time I would chat online and play English language video games.

Once living in London I couldn’t communicate with anyone; it was very hard to put words together and even harder to understand anyone.

After three months I was still having problems, mostly because I was living and working with other Italians, which limited my chances of practicing English. I moved once again and started living, working and interacting with more non-Italian speakers.

I’m not sure how long it took me to get used to the language both in expressing myself and understanding others, but in September 2009 I started College (High School) and didn’t have any problems with English.

That means that in two years living in UK I was already fluent; although, I’m quite sure it took me less than that.

So why am I telling you this? Because in September 2013 I decided to actively learn a third language and I chose Thai.

With a personal tutor I started by writing the Thai alphabet and phonics. Although I tried speaking, it was always hard and gave me headaches whenever I attempted to remember anything. To learn vocabulary and expressions I used apps with spaced repetition.

In November 2013 I went to Thailand for three weeks and discovered that I could read few words on sight, but except for a few words, I couldn’t speak or understand Thai.

When I went back to London I had a month rest but wanted to get back to focusing on the language. From March to December 2014 I studied mostly writing and reading but I was still not comfortable with speaking.

During that time I watched the series Hormones although I couldn’t make out anything that was said. But, I did discover that Thai people used Line, so I joined and started chatting a lot. This is where learning to write and read helped boost my progress.

You may not know how to speak, but you can check words in a dictionary. And compared to listening, reading is easier. Don’t use a translator like Google Translate for sentences. Translate word by word and try to make meaning out of the sentences. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t, but translators will throw you off completely – they are useless.

If you do language exchange, be smart. Either chat with someone of your level or someone whose level is lover then yours.

You need to practice. If you speak more English (or your Mother tongue) than Thai, you are not helping yourself.

Even when your Thai is so basic that it’s not enough to make conversation, try to type or say as many words in Thai as you can. Even writing สวัสดี everyday will help you learn spelling and typing.

For reference I did 10 months of studying two hours a week. That’s only 80 hours. If you are consistent you can learn how to read in the span of three to six months.

In January 2015 I went to live in Bangkok for two months. I tried to speak as much as I could although I found it very difficult and would rely on people typing out what they were saying.

I studied again for a few more months, mostly to not forget what I’d already learned. And then I moved to Chiang Mai in October 2015. I’m still here.

I can understand basic conversation, I can express myself.

My vocabulary is roughly around 1000 words. I don’t understand everything I hear so I have to ask what words mean. But I discovered that in Thai there are many expressions that are not literal like in English, and while you may know every word in that sentence yet still not understand the meaning, that’s still ok.

So how long it took me to get here? Two years and seven months.

Here’s what has worked for me the best, and what you should do (in my opinion) if you want to improve faster:

  • Learn to read and write: there is no reason not to. You are missing out on a lot if you don’t. You can learn words by sight too.
  • Be consistent: revise about 10 words a day and you will end up knowing 3000+ words in 12 months (Disclaimer: I’ve yet to do this but I intend to).
  • Make sentences using the words that you know: it will help you learn how to use them and understand language patterns without needing to study grammar.

Other advice:

  • Use Line to chat with people.
  • Write down new words and expressions you encounter.
  • Get the Thai English Dictionary app by Christian Rishoj to translate sentence by individual words (bulk).
  • Study with Glossika Thai Fluency 1-3 but only if you have already some vocabulary and possibly if you can already read.

โชคดี
Interview: Francesco is Getting By in Thai

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Cat Cartoons Episode Twenty Nine: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons: Episode Twenty Nine…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: พระ – พระอาทิตย์
Narrator: Episode – ‘Pra’ – ‘Pra Aa-tit’.

เก้าแต้ม: แน่ะ พระอาทิตย์กำลังจะตกดิน ดวงกลมโตดีจัง
Kao Taem: Aha! The ‘Pra Aa-tit’ is falling to the ground, a really large round star.

วิเชียรมาศ: สีสวาดรู้มั๊ย(ไหม) ทำไมต้องเรียกว่า “พระอาทิตย์” ไม่เรียกว่า “อาทิตย์” เฉยๆ
Wi-chian maat: Si Sawat, do you know why it is called ‘Pra Aa-tit’, and not just ‘aa-tit’?

สีสวาด: ถึงแม้พี่เก่งเคยบอกว่า คำว่า พระ ใช้หน้าคำแสดงการยกย่อง อาทิตย์ เป็นชื่อเทวดาของอินเดีย คนอินเดียโบราณเชื่อว่า เทวดาองค์นี้ขับรถระหว่างโลกมนุษย์กับโลกของเทวดา ทำให้เกิดแสงสว่างตั้งแต่เช้าจนเย็น คนไทยรู้เรื่องว่าอาทิตย์เป็นเทวดาก็เลยใช้คำว่า พระ นำหน้าคำว่า อาทิตย์ เหมือนชื่อเทวดาอื่นๆ
Si Sawat: Even though P’ Geng has said before that the word ‘Pra’ is placed in front of a word to show respect and admiration, ‘Aa-tit’ is actually the name of an Indian god. Indian people in ancient times believed that this divinity drives a chariot between Man’s world and the gods’ world, creating a bright light from dawn till dusk. When Thais learned that ‘Aa-tit’ is a divinity, they started using ‘Pra’ in front of the word ‘Aa-tit’, just as they would do so for the other divinities.

วิเชียรมาศ: ใช่ๆ พระพรหม เป็นเทวดาก็มีคำว่า พระ นำหน้าชื่อ
Wi-chian maat: Yes, that is true. ‘Pra Prom’ is a divinity, so there is the word ‘Pra’ in front of the name.

ผู้บรรยาย: ดวงอาทิตย์ให้แสงสว่างแก่โลก เราจึงมักเรียกดวงอาทิตย์ว่า พระอาทิตย์
Narrator: The sun provides a bright light for the world, that we usually call the sun ‘Pra Aa-tit’.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

Comments…

Although 94.6 percent of Thai people today identify as Buddhist (with the largest minority religion being Islam at 4.6 percent), scholars have long recognized the significant presence of Hindu / Brahmanical elements in Thai religious culture, including the Hindu belief that the sun is the Hindu god Surya (or Soorya) who drives a chariot pulled by seven white horses. In Thailand, Surya and Brahma are known as ‘Pra Aa-tit’ (พระอาทิตย์ / พระสุริยะ) and ‘Pra Prom’ (พระพรหม) respectively.

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Disclaimer: The study pdfs are Catherine’s baby. If you notice any mistakes she’d love for you to drop her a line via the contact form.

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Why Do Foreigners Quit Learning Thai?

This is a recurring problem that I hear from many learners of Thai. I put this clip together to hopefully help Thais who are working or living with foreigners know how to better handle some situations with foreigners to ensure that they will keep motivated with their learning.

If you live or work with any Thais, send this clip to them. I’m sure it will help!

Follow the conversation on FCLT: Why do foreigners quit learning Thai?

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Feeling the Burn of Language Learning Motivation

Motivation

Now that Thai New Years is over how about a New Year’s resolution, Thai-Style?

In Nir Eyal’s article on Psychology Today, A Surefire Tip For Making Yourself Do What You Need to Do, he wrote about a motivational idea that’s just kinky enough to work: The “burn or burn” technique.

His article wanders around a bit so I’ll cover just the interesting bits. Basically, the idea is that burning money is painful so if you go along with the “burn or burn” method you will avoid at least one of the burns by sticking to whatever challenge you’ve set yourself. That’s if you are not a cheater. Cheaters need not apply.

This is how to “burn or burn”Feeling the BURN of Language Learning Motivation

  • Decide what you are going to study.
  • Choose your study time(s).
  • Mark your study time(s) on a calendar.
  • Beg, borrow, or steal a crisp $100 bill.
  • Grab your man’s lighter.
  • Tape the $100 bill to today’s date.
  • Place the lighter nearby.

It doesn’t matter if it’s US dollars, Thai baht or UK pounds. Just make sure that it’s a large enough amount that it’d be painful to set alight.

I chose US$100 for two reasons. Reason One) The amount would matter to the man and the man matters (it’s all funny money to me). And Reason Two) US dollars are difficult to spend in Thailand so it’s not like I’ll find any old excuse to buy something with it.

Nir: Now you have a choice to make: Every day, when the time comes to do your routine, you can chose either option A and do the routine, which in my case was to feel the “burn” in the gym, or option B—literally, burning your money. You can’t give the money to someone or buy something with it, you have to set it aflame.

As radical as “burn or burn” sounds, there’s good science to support why it’s so effective: For one, it’s no surprise we hate losing money. But why not pay yourself for doing the routine instead of taking money away?

Tip 1: Instead of a paper calendar (who uses paper anymore anyway) an iOS app such as Don’t Break The Chain! will work just as well. I’ve used that app before and it’s a dandy way to keep track (and you feel just as guilty). If you have Android there’s Lift and others.

Tip 2: Tape your lighter and money of choice to an area you’ll see daily. I put mine on the wall right by the kettle. In that way I also get the ‘feel good’ of treating myself to a cuppa before I embark on my studies.

Tip 3: For emotional support, arrange for a Study Buddy to go with distance with you. I lucked out because my Study Buddy is far better at sticking to language studies than I am (I’m seriously caca). And an added plus, he’s not sympathetic to whining.

After much discussion the main course materials (Thai, French, and Italian) have been chosen and our schedule is set for three months. I’m quite chuffed because it’s all good (materials and time limit). I can do this.

Burn, baby, burn… or not.

Confused? Go to: A Surefire Tip For Making Yourself Do What You Need to Do.

Nir Eyal is the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and blogs about the psychology of products at NirAndFar.com. He has nothing to do with language learning.

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Cat Cartoons Episode Twenty Eight: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons: Episode Twenty Eight…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: กินบนเรือน ขี้บนหลังคา
Narrator: Episode – ‘Gin bon reuan, kee bon lang-kaa’.

สีสวาด: เก้าแต้ม! ขึ้นไปบนหลังคาทำไมน่ะ!?
Si Sawat: Kao Taem! Why are you up there on the roof?

เก้าแต้ม: ขอทำธุระหน่อยนะ ฉันปวดท้องจัง เดี๋ยวจะลงไปเล่นด้วย
Kao Taem: Let me finish my business first, OK?! My stomach hurts really bad. I’ll be down shortly to play with you.

สีสวาด: ลงมา ๆ อย่าขึ้นไปทำสกปรกบนหลังคา คนเค้า(เขา)ยิ่งว่า กินบนเรือน ขี้บนหลังคา
Si Sawat: Come down now. Don’t go up there to do your dirty business on the roof. All the more so as the folk saying goes ‘gin bon reuan, kee bon lang-kaa’

วิเชียรมาศ: ใครกินบนเรือน ขี้บนหลังคา
Wi-chian maat: Who ‘gin bon reuan, kee bon lang-kaa’?

สีสวาด: จะใครซะอีกล่ะ แมวอย่างพวกเรานะสิ คนเค้า(เขา)หาว่าแมวกินบนเรือนแต่ชอบขึ้นไปถ่ายบนหลังคา ทำให้เจ้าของบ้านเดือดร้อน คนสมัยก่อนต้องกินต้องใช้น้ำฝนที่รองจากหลังคา ถ้าหลังคาสกปรก คนก็ต้องกินต้องใช้น้ำสกปรก ถ้าแมวถ่ายบนหลังคา เจ้าของบ้านจะเดือดร้อนมาก
Si Sawat: Well, who else could it be but cats like us?! People accuse cats of eating in the house and then the cats like to climb up onto the roof to poop there. In olden times, people had to consume and use rain water run-off collected from the roof. If the roof is dirty, then they will have to consume and use dirty water. Cats that poop on the roof put their owners to such a lot of trouble.

ผู้บรรยาย: กินบนเรือน ขี้บนหลังคา เป็นสำนวน หมายถึง ไม่รู้บุญคุณ อาศัยเค้า(เขา)แล้วยังทำให้เข้าเดือดร้อนหรือขายหน้า
Narrator: ‘Gin bon reuan, kee bon lang-kaa’ is a saying, meaning ‘(to) show ingratitude: depending on people for support and then putting them to a lot of trouble or causing them to be embarrassed’.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

Comments…

The above dialogue confirms the thinking of many Thai people who consider the saying ‘gin bon reuan, kee bon lang-kaa’ as a metaphor of a cat defecating on the roof of its master’s house. It is interesting to note that the closest English equivalent of this Thai saying is ‘bite the hand that feeds you’, a metaphor of a dog biting its master. (See: Bite the hand that feeds you).

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Disclaimer: The study pdfs are Catherine’s baby. If you notice any mistakes she’d love for you to drop her a line via the contact form.

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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UPDATE aakanee.com: Thai and Khmer Picture Supported Learning

Introducing aakanee.com

Last October Andrej announced his new site, aakanee.com in the post Introducing aakanee.com: Thai and Khmer Picture Supported Learning.

As Andrej is halfway through with the project, I thought I’d remind everyone of the wonderful materials he’s creating.

Andrej: All in all there will be around 50 topics of which 25 have been published.

The recordings and transcripts can be used to work on listening comprehension and to expand one’s vocabulary. They can also be shadowed or partially transcribed if the learner likes these techniques. In addition to that, the illustrations can be used with tutors/native speakers to talk about the topic, support role play (by imagining dialogues for the people involved) etc.; using the pictures in tutoring sessions gives some structure and probably quite a bit of challenge as well.

Introducing aakanee.com

This is the completed list so far:

Alms Round
Breaking a Bowl
Chili Fish Dip
Coffee and Soft Drink
Cold Season
Cutting one’s Finger
Exercise
Food Poisoning
Fried Rice
Getting Up
Going to Bed
Going to the ATM
Going to the Movies
Grilled Fish
Haircut
Having a Cold
Karaoke
Laundry
Loi Krathong
Motorcycle Taxi
Noodle Soup
Pickpocket
Rainy Season
Shopping for a T-Shirt
Thai New Year
Illustration
Tuk Tuk

Introducing aakanee.com

Here’s the list of upcoming topics:

Taking an Airplane
Night Train
Hot Pot
Boats
Fruits
Doing the Dishes
Personal Hygiene
Hospital
Post Office
Rice
Going to School
Mobile Phone
Going to the Doctor
Cleaning
Taking a Taxi
Going to the Dentist
Taking an Overland Bus
Geography
Snacks
Hotel
Animals
Tools
Professions
Making merit

It a top quality Thai resource – and did I mention FREE – so I hope everyone takes advantage however they can.

Here’s the explanation post again: Introducing aakanee.com: Thai and Khmer Picture Supported Learning

Thai: Thai Illustrations
Khmer: Khmer Illustrations
Follow Andrej on Facebook for updates: aakaneedotcom
Guest posts on WLT: Andrej

Introducing aakanee.com

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Cat Cartoons Episode Twenty Seven: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons: Episode Twenty Seven…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน ไตรรงค์ – รง
Narrator: Episode – ‘Dtrai-rong’ – ‘Rong’.

วิเชียรมาศ: ไตรรงค์ธงไทย ปลิวไสวงามสง่า เอ๊ะ ทำไมเราเรียกธงชาติไทยว่า ธงไตรรงค์ ล่ะ
Wi-chian maat: ‘Dtrai-rong’ Thai flag, waving gracefully and elegantly. Say! Why is the Thai national flag also called a ‘tong dtrai-rong’?

สีสวาด: เพราะธงไตรรงค์มีสามสี สีแดง ขาว น้ำเงิน คำว่า ไตร แปลว่า สาม คำว่า รงค์ แปลว่า สี คำว่า “รงค์” เวลาเขียนต้องใส่ ค ควาย การันต์ ด้วย ไม่อย่างงั้น(นั้น)ความหมายจะต่างกันไป
Si Sawat: That’s because a ‘tong dtrai-rong’ has three colors: red, white (and) blue. The word ‘dtrai’ means ‘three’. The word ‘rong’ means ‘color’ and when you write it, you must put in a ‘k kwaai gaa-ran’ otherwise the meaning will be different.

วิเชียรมาศ: ต่างกันยังไง(อย่างไร)หรอ
Wi-chian maat: How will it be different?

สีสวาด: คำว่า รง ถ้าไม่มี ค ควาย การันต์ หมายถึง ยางไม้มีสีเหลือง แต่ไม่ได้แปลว่าสี รง ใช้ทำยาได้ ใช้เขียนหนังสือ หรือระบายสีก็ได้
Si Sawat: The word ‘rong’ without the ‘k kwaai gaa-ran’ means ‘(the) yellowish gum-resin sap (of a tree)’, not ‘(a) color’. ‘Rong’ can be made into medicine, used for writing books or for painting (or coloring).

ผู้บรรยาย: ธงไตรรงค์ แปลว่า ธงสามสี เป็นเครื่องหมายแทนชาติ ศาสนา และพระมหากษัตริย์
Narrator: ‘Tong dtrai-rong’ means a tricolor flag symbolizing nation-religion-king.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

Comments…

‘Tong’ (ธง) means ‘flag’.

A large number of Thai words are written with ‘gaa-ran’ (การันต์ – อ์) or sound silencer over the final consonant. These are words of foreign origin whose written forms contain consonant combinations that do not exist in Thai. While the Thai writing system tries to preserve the original spelling, the pronunciation is adjusted to suit the Thai phonology. This resulted in one or two consonant sounds being ‘silenced’, or ‘killed’. (Source: page 142 of Khian Thai: Thai Writing Workbook by Titima Suthiwan).

The scientific name of ‘rong’ (รง) is Garcinia hanburyi. It is a plant species with the common name ‘gamboge’. (See Garcinia hanburyi).

The three colors of the Thai flag are said to stand for nation-religion-king, an unofficial motto of Thailand, red for the land and people, white for religions and blue for the monarchy, the last having been the auspicious color of Rama VI. (Source: wiki: Flag of Thailand).

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Disclaimer: The study pdfs are Catherine’s baby. If you notice any mistakes she’d love for you to drop her a line via the contact form.

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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65 Useful Thai Phrases You Won’t Find in a Travel Phrasebook: Part Two

Learn Thai With Porn

We had so much fun with the first postload of useful Thai phrases shared with members of my Facebook Group (Learn Thai with พร) that we kept on going!

Note: To help those learning to read Thai script, the below phrases have Thai only, no transliteration. A pdf combo of transliteration/Thai/English can be downloaded at the end of this post.

66. อยากให้ ผม/ฉัน อยู่ด้วยไหม


Do you want me to stay?

67. หมายความว่ายังไง

What do you mean?

หมายความว่าอะไร

What do you mean?

68. หมายถึงใคร
Who do you mean?

69. ถ้า ผม/ฉัน เป็นคุณ…

If I were you (I would)…


…ผม/ฉัน จะบอกความจริงทั้งหมด
…

…tell the whole truth.


70. คุณคือคนพิเศษสำหรับ ผม/ฉัน
You are a special person for me.

71. ฉันไว้ใจคุณเสมอ 


I always trust you.

72. คุณยกโทษให้ฉันได้ไหม

Can you forgive me?

73. คุณสัญญากับฉันได้ไหม
Can you promise me?

74. คุณให้โอกาสฉันอีกครั้งได้ไหม
Can you give me another chance?

75. ชาติหน้าตอนบ่ายๆ


A sarcastic way to say “that’s not gonna happen”.


[Literally means: “some time in the afternoon, in the next life”]

76. คุณอายุเท่าไหร่ 

How old are you?

77. ผม/ฉัน แก่แล้ว

I am old.

78. ยังไม่แก่เลย
You are not old at all.

ยังไม่แก่หรอก

You are not old at all.

79. ผมแก่พอที่จะเป็นพ่อคุณได้

I am old enough to be your father.

80. อายุเป็นเพียงตัวเลข

Age is just a number.

81. รักต่างวัย
Relationships with a big age difference.

รักต่างวัยทำยังไงให้เวิร์ค
How do we make relationships with a big age difference work?

82. อายุยังไม่ถึงเกณฑ์


underage

เด็กที่อายุยังไม่ถึงเกณฑ์เข้าเรียนอนุบาลได้หรือไม่
Are underage children allowed to attend kindergarten or not?

83. อายุของเราต่างกันมาก แต่มันก็ไม่เป็นปัญหา

There is a big age gap between us but it’s not a problem.

84. พ่อผมอายุเกือบจะ 90 แล้ว แต่ท่านก็ยังมีไฟอยู่

My dad is nearly 90 but he’s still young at heart.

85. เรามาเปลี่ยนเรื่องคุยกันดีกว่า


Let’s change the subject.

86. คุณทำแบบนี้เพื่ออะไร

What are you doing this for?

87. ขอบคุณสำหรับทุกสิ่งทุกอย่าง


Thank you for everything.

88. ผม/ฉัน เตือนคุณแล้วนะ

You’ve been forewarned.

89. คุณถนัดซ้ายหรือถนัดขวาคะ
Are you left handed or right handed?

90. 
อย่าเคี้ยวเสียงดังได้ไหม
Can you chew quietly, please?

เคี้ยวเบาๆหน่อยได้ไหม

Can you please stop chewing so loudly?

91. อย่าทำให้ ผม/ฉัน รู้สึกแย่ไปกว่านี้ได้ไหม


Can you not make me feel worse? 
Please do not make me feel any worse.

92. ผม/ฉัน เห็นใจคุณนะ แต่ ผม/ฉัน ไม่รู้จะช่วยยังไง

I sympathize with you but I don’t know how I can be of any help.

93. วันนี้ ผม/ฉัน รู้สึกว่า ผม/ฉัน จะมีโชค

I feel lucky today.


This means that the speaker has a sense that events, either in general or in some specific situation, will be favorable to him or her.

94. ทำร้ายร่างกาย
to assault 


เขาถูกดำเนินคดีข้อหาทำร้ายร่างกายโดยเจตนา

He was prosecuted for wilful assault.

95. ทำลาย
to destroy


เขามักจะทำลายข้าวของในบ้านเวลาเขาโมโห
He usually destroys things in the house when he is angry.

96. ปกติตื่นกี่โมง

What time do you normally get up?

97. ปกตินอนกี่ทุ่ม


What time do you normally go to bed?

98. ไปทำงานยังไง

How do you go to work?


ขับรถไป By car.

นั่งรถไฟฟ้าไป By sky train.

นั่งรถเมล์ไป By bus.

เดินไป On foot.

99. เลิกงานกี่โมง

What time do you finish work?

100. อาบน้ำวันละกี่ครั้ง

How often do you shower?


สองครั้ง
Twice a day.

101. ได้กลิ่นอะไรไหม

Can you smell something?

102. เหม็นมาก
Totally stinks! 


เหม็นเหมือนหนูตาย

Smells likes a dead mouse!

103. แปรงฟันวันละกี่ครั้ง

How often do you brush your teeth?

104. อ้าปากซิ

Open your mouth.

105. มีอะไรติดฟันอยู่น่ะ


You have something stuck between your teeth.

106. ไปล้างมือก่อนนะ


Go wash your hands / I am going to wash my hands.

107. คุณมีถุงเท้าทั้งหมดกี่คู่

How many pairs of socks do you own?

108. คุณมีรองเท้าทั้งหมดกี่คู่

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

109. ผมมีแค่สองคู่ 


I only have two pairs (of socks, shoes).

110. สระผมบ่อยไหม

How often do you wash your hair?


ทุกวัน Every day.

วันเว้นวัน Every other day.

สองสามวันครั้ง Every few days.

อาทิตย์ละครั้ง Once a week. 

เดือนละครั้ง Once a month.

111. มีใครอยู่ไหม
Is there anybody here?


112. ฉันว่าต้องมีอะไรไม่ชอบมาพากลแน่ๆเลย

I feel that something is wrong / I smell a rat.


113. ไม่เชื่อคอยดูสิ

Mark my words.

This is something that you say when you want to tell someone about something that you are certain will happen in the future.


114. ฉันกำลังพยายามเลิกบุหรี่

I am trying to quit smoking.


115. เลิกกวน ผม/ฉัน สักทีได้ไหม
Stop bothering me! / Get off my back!


หยุดกวน ผม/ฉัน สักทีได้ไหม
Stop bothering me! / Get off my back!


116. ผม/ฉัน เลิกกับแฟนแล้ว

I’ve broken up with my boyfriend/girlfriend.


117. เมื่อไหร่ ฉันจะได้เจอคุณอีก
When will I see you again?

เมื่อไหร่เราจะได้เจอกันอีก

When will we see each other again?

118. ทายซิว่า ผม/ฉัน กำลังทำอะไรอยู่
Guess what I am doing.


119. ผม/ฉัน ไม่ชอบดูหนังโป๊
I don’t like watching porn movies.


120. มานี่ เดี๋ยวทำให้ดู
Come here, I will show you how to do it.

121. ผม/ฉัน เสียเวลากับคุณมามากพอแล้ว

I have wasted enough time on you.


122. ผม/ฉัน จะไม่เสียเวลากับเรื่องนี้อีกต่อไปแล้ว
I will not waste any more time on this matter.

123. ดีใจด้วยนะ

I am happy for you.


124. ประชดหรือเปล่าเนี่ย

Are you being sarcastic?


125. เปล่า ไม่ได้ประชด พูดออกมาจากใจจริงเลย

No, I am not being sarcastic. It’s straight from the heart.


126. ผม/ฉัน เคยโกหกคุณเหรอ

Have I ever lied to you?


127. ผม/ฉัน เป็นคนคออ่อน
I get drunk easily.


ผม/ฉัน เป็นคนเมาง่าย

I get drunk easily.

The opposite is คอแข็ง

128. ผม/ฉัน ชอบใส่เสื้อผ้าสีสดๆ

I like wearing bright colors.


129. คุณลืมรูดซิป

Your zipper is down / your fly is open.

130. มองหน้าผมสิเวลาผมคุยด้วย
Look at me when I talk to you.

If you missed it, here’s the first 65: 65 Useful Thai Phrases You Won’t Find in a Travel Phrasebook.

Downloads…

The pdf below has Thai script, transliteration, and English. The zip has numbered audio files.

PDF (236kb): 65 Useful Thai Phrases You Won’t Find in a Phrasebook: Part Two
ZIP (3.3mb): Audio: 65 Useful Thai Phrases: Part Two

Don’t forget, there’s even more fun Thai travel phrases being created at Learn Thai with พร.

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Cat Cartoons Episode Twenty Six: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons: Episode Twenty Six…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน ปริญญา
Narrator: Episode – ‘Bpa-rin-yaa’.

วิเชียรมาศ: น่าปลื้มใจกับคนที่ได้รับ ‘ปริน–ยา’ (ปริญญา)เนาะ ฉันอยากได้รับบ้างจังเลย
Wi-chian maat: We should be so chuffed for those who have got their ‘bprin-yaa’-s, right? I would really love to get one.

สีสวาด: เค้า(เขา)เรียกว่า ‘ปะ-ริน-ยา’ จ้ะ ไม่ใช่ ‘ปริน-ยา’
Si Sawat: It’s called ‘bpa-rin-yaa’, you know?! Not ‘bprin-yaa’.

วิเชียรมาศ: เอ๊ะ เค้า(เขา)เขียน ป ปลา ร เรือ สระ อิ ไม่ใช่หรอ ที เสื้อปริ ตะเข็บปริ ยังเรียกว่า “ปริ” เลย
Wi-chian maat: Huh? Isn’t it spelt with ‘bp bpl-aa’, ‘r reua’, ‘sa-ra i’? Even ‘seua bpri’ and ‘dta-kep bpri’ are pronounced with a ‘bpri’.

สีสวาด: ปิ น่ะไม่มี มีแต่ กะปิ สำหรับตำน้ำพริก ตะเข็บเสื้อที่แตกนิดหน่อยเรียกว่า ตะเข็บปริ ส่วน ปริญญา ต้องเรียกว่า ‘ปะ-ริน-ยา’ (ปริญญา)จ้ะ
Si Sawat: ‘Bpi’ is a word that doesn’t exist. There’s only ‘ga-bpi’, used in making (by pounding) a Thai chili paste. The ‘dta-kep’ in clothes with a small tear in it is called ‘dta-kep bpri’. As for ‘bpa-rin-yaa’, it has to be pronounced ‘bpa-rin-yaa’, OK?!

ผู้บรรยาย: ปริญญา แปลว่า รู้รอบ ผู้ที่เรียนจบมหาวิทยาลัยจะได้รับปริญญาบัตร
Narrator: ‘Bpa-rin-yaa’ means ‘general knowledge’. A person who graduates from a university will receive a ‘bpa-rin-yaa bat’.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

Comments…

‘Seua’ (เสื้อ) means ‘clothes’ in general however ‘seua bpri’ (เสื้อปริ) is usually used to refer to the dreaded ‘shirt gape’.

‘Dta-kep’ (ตะเข็บ) means ‘seam’ as in the line of sewing joining two pieces of cloth. ‘Dta-kep bpri’ (ตะเข็บปริ) is usually used to refer to a torn or ripped seam in an item of clothing.

‘Ga-bpi’ (กะปิ) is ‘shrimp paste’, a common ingredient used in Southeast Asian cuisine. It is made from fermented ground shrimp mixed with salt. It’s sold in wet or sun-dried form. In Thailand, ‘ga-bpi’ (กะปิ) is an essential ingredient in many types of Thai chili pastes, spicy dips or sauces, and in all Thai curry pastes. Very popular in Thailand is ‘nam prik ga-bpi’ (น้ำพริกกะปิ), a spicy condiment made with fresh ‘ga-bpi’ (กะปิ) and most often eaten with fried ‘bplaa too’ (ปลาทู) (mackerel) (See Episode 11) and fried, steamed or raw vegetables. (Adapted from: wiki: Shrimp paste)

‘Bpra-rin-yaa bat’ means ‘degree certificate’.

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Disclaimer: The study pdfs are Catherine’s baby. If you notice any mistakes she’d love for you to drop her a line via the contact form.

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Luke Bruder Bauer: How I Learn Foreign Languages

Luke Bruder Bauer

The discussion of how I learn Thai is something that is kind of difficult for me to pull together. Usually, it ends up sounding really cluttered and disorganized. That’s because it is. A lot of people then say, “you must just really have a knack for languages”. This kind of irks me, and so I guess I will try to put it into words here with the hope of maybe inspiring others to try to incorporate my methods?attitudes?strategies? for learning foreign languages. Since people usually ask me about my accent, I will focus on that first.

Accent…




Don’t be lazy early on. To build your skills for an accent, you need to get far away from your native language. Even if sounds appear to be exactly the same, just assume they aren’t. If you are good at recognizing differences in sounds to begin with you may not need this. For example, I didn’t realize until about year three of learning Thai that the ก sound I was saying was not really like a ‘g’ in English in most cases. However, while I had been clear enough before, the knowledge being formalized just helped me to further distance my accent from an American one, my native language. 


When I started learning Thai, I was taking classical guitar lessons at the university. I had been playing guitar for about seven years already, and had been playing fingerstyle for about two years. I thought I was pretty good, but the prof I had just ripped my technique apart in his two-minute analysis of 10 minutes of my playing. I realized that many things which I found natural were actual inhibiting my progress and really slowing me down. Sometimes I built ceilings for myself that could only end in injury. 



Fortunately, compared to playing guitar, foreign language lessons aren’t physically demanding. But it doesn’t mean we don’t have to focus on how each muscle moves when producing sound in our mouth and throat. With Thai, mimicking correct tonal pronunciation and observing how your mouth and throat move, not just “what it sounds like”, are very important to internalizing these sounds and separating them.



While I would like to tell you that I went through each and every sound in the Thai phonemic system and learned them in and out, like I kind of mentioned above, I started out without really analyzing anything that closely at all. I just wanted to learn how to say stuff and say it as naturally as possible. I always stood by this. Fortunately, my friend who taught me Thai at the time was great at making sure I pronounced things the way they were said and not how they ‘should’ be read. Whenever I had a question, I asked it. And I basically always had questions.



So to summarize: Be a blank slate when you begin, assuming no sounds to be similar to the ones you know – to add in, once you can identify that this อา is similar to “a” in at least some contexts, you can think of it as “a” as you want to, but try to be like “that weird open-mouthed ah” or something, don’t ever just think of it as “a”. Eventually, that thing you are referring in this round-about manner in order to differentiate will just become อา and u won’t have to think about how its pronounced

Vocabulary/Sentence Patterns… 


I try not to think too much in terms of vocabulary, although with words I have not mastered, I still do fall back on this. For most words which I actively use though, I always try to think of them in the contexts in which they appear. Below is a short summary of how I go about learning vocabulary by working with natural texts.

I watch one hour of television every night in my target language, and after one week of watching one genre, switch to another. I don’t worry about understanding everything for the first month or so, I just do my best. Then, whenever I’m ready, I start going back through all the stuff I watched and parse it for new vocabulary, etc. Then go back through it again with new knowledge. And voila, increased fluency!

Once again, the important thing is try to get far away from your native language, remembering words within contexts of small chunks. Also, by engaging with natural texts, you are likely to be able to pick up new flavors of words, as they are being used independently of prescriptive language standards or translations. You can work back towards your native language later, because eventually you will want to be able to have options for translation in mind if need be, but it shouldn’t be your focus when figuring out when and how to use the new words you are learning.

It may sound obvious but I feel so many people are too caught up in either:

  1. Learning something until they have it perfect (usually not possible until you start working on harder things to challenge your skills. You will feel more comfortable when you go back to the easier stuff and you will be able to get closer to ‘perfect’).
  2. They go through info too fast and say “I’m done with that”, not revisiting it later to really maximise the gain from each resource. Also they (the second type) tend not to be very good at learning about their own learning habits, because they leave less time for reflection.

Luke Bruder Bauer
YouTube: lbb2r | Facebook: Luke Bruder Bauer





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