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Thai Language School Review: PRO Language Chiang mai

Thai Language School Review: PRO Language Chiang mai

PRO Language: Chiang mai…

School: PRO Language
Website: PRO Language Chiang mai
Telephone Number: 053-400-980 , 086-431-0377

Address: 6/4-5 Nimmanhemin Rd. Suthep, Mueng, Chiang Mai.

PRO Language School in Chiang mai is located on the northern end of the trendy Nimman Heimman street where a lot of the Digital Nomads live, but the building itself is a bit older. Classes are two times a week: 2h at a time, with a 15min break in between.

From my experience with PRO Chiang mai, the biggest motivation for people to choose this school is the location, the price, plus the flexible attendance rules.

In my opinion, Pro Chiang mai is a great school if you want to attain the student visa and speak basic Thai. But, if you really want to learn Thai, then you’ll need to do a lot of work yourself on your own, take supplementary private classes, and/or enroll somewhere else as well.

Beginner level…

At the beginners’ level, the first class covered the tones and the vowels in an hour and then moved on to greetings and basic phrases. The pace was fast and each class or each 1.5 classes covered a different subject. And while they did follow a book (written by the school itself I believe) they also used a lot of handouts and had simple homework once a week. Considering the class was twice a week and 2h/day with a 15min break, that’s a good amount of homework (and we always checked it the following lesson). 

There didn’t seem to be much focus on making sure that every student could follow along. But, as many students were lax in their motivation, I cannot blame the teachers. If the teachers tried to get everyone up to speed all the time, they’d never get anywhere with the students who are motivated to learn. 

We spoke in pairs a lot, read out aloud from the book, and our teacher asked us a lot of questions. Our teacher was young, energetic, and happily took the time to explain. She generously went off-topic to answer our questions about how to say this and that in Thai so we’d often ask her about everyday Thai things (such as how to speak to the taxi drivers and market sellers, what foods in restaurants are called, etc). And after answering our questions, she always got us back on topic again. 

Intermediate level…

I was in an intermediate class at Pro Language for about six weeks. Officially, there were 15-18 students in my class.

The teaching was divided into speaking for the first hour, often following photocopied texts brought by the teacher, and then a reading and writing section after the break. The teaching was actually OK, albeit based on continual repetition.

I did learn to read basic Thai as well, so something must have worked.

The level was generally very easy and it was obvious that many students had absolutely no understanding of the Thai language at all. I genuinely liked the teacher, who tried hard to motivate students and get them to take part, but it must have been a thankless task.

I could have asked to move to a different class but as I was effectively getting private lessons at Pro Language I was more than happy to stay there. However, due to the low numbers of students showing up, the group was finally cancelled. I’ve just been moved to the next level where I’m hoping that it’ll be a bit more challenging.

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Cat Cartoons Episode Ninety Two: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons…

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

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน เพลา – เพลา
Narrator: Episode – ‘Plao’ – ‘Pay-laa’.

เก่ง: แกนเชื่อมล้อรถนั้นหรือชื่อว่าเพลา ช่างเงียบเหงานักหนาเพลาเย็น
Geng: ‘Gaen cheuam lor rot nan reu cheu waa plao’ ‘Chaang ngiap ngao nak naa pay-laa yen’.

ก้อย: อ่านอะไรน่ะพี่เก่ง เอ๋ คำที่ขีดเส้นใต้เนี่ยะ(นี่อ่ะ)เขียนเหมือนกัน แต่ทำไมพี่เก่งอ่านออกเสียงต่างกันละจ้ะ
Goi: What are you reading, Pee Geng? Hmm. The words that are underlined have the same spelling but why is Pee Geng pronouncing them differently?

เก่ง: เค้า(เขา)เรียกว่า คำพ้องรูป จ้า มีตัวสะกดเหมือนกัน สระเอ พ พาน ล ลิง สระอา แต่อ่านไม่เหมือนกันน้า(นะ)
Geng: They are called ‘heteronyms’. They are spelt the same: ‘Sa-ra ay’, ‘Por paan’, ‘Lor ling’ and ‘Sa-ra aa’, but they do not sound the same.

ก้อย: แล้ว อ่านอะไรได้บ้างล่ะพี่เก่ง
Goi: So, what are its pronunciations, Pee Geng?

เก่ง: อ่านว่า เพลา ก็ได้ หรืออ่าน เพ-ลา ก็ได้
Geng: It can be pronounced ‘Plao’ or ‘Pay-laa’.

ก้อย: หลอ(หรือ) ความหมายเหมือนกันมั้ย(ไหม)พี่เก่ง
Goi: Is that so? Do they have the same meaning, Pee Geng?

เก่ง: ความหมายก็ต่างกันจ้ะ เพลา หมายถึง แกนที่ใช้สอดเชื่อมระหว่างล้อรถ ส่วน เพ-ลา หมายถึง เวลา
Geng: They have different meanings. ‘Plao’ means ‘(a) bar that is used to connect the wheels of a vehicle’ whereas ‘Pay-laa’ means ‘time’.

ก้อย: พี่เก่งอ่านอีกทีสิ ก้อยชอบ
Goi: Pee Geng, do read it again. I like it.

เก่ง: แกนเชื่อมล้อรถนั้นหรือชื่อว่าเพลา ช่างเงียบเหงานักหนาเพลาเย็น
Geng: ‘Gaen cheuam lor rot nan reu cheu waa plao’ ‘Chaang ngiap ngao nak naa pay-laa yen’.

ผู้บรรยาย: สระเอ พ พาน ล ลิง สระอา อ่านว่า เพลา หมายถึง แกนที่ใช้สอดเชื่อมระหว่างล้อรถ หรืออ่านว่า เพ-ลา หมายถึง เวลา
Narrator: ‘Sa-ra ay’, ‘Por paan’, ‘Lor ling’ and ‘Sa-ra aa’: can be pronounced as ‘Plao’, meaning ‘(a) bar that is used to connect the wheels of a vehicle’ or as ‘Pay-laa’, meaning ‘time’.

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.


‘Plao’ (เพลา) basically means ‘(an) axle’.

‘Way-laa’ (เวลา) basically means ‘time’. ‘Pay-laa’ (เพลา) is an alternative spelling of (เวลา) however ‘Way-laa’ (เวลา) is more commonly used.

PDF Downloads…

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

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Ninety Two: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

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

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FREE Audio and Vocabulary Downloads: Thai for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced

Language Habit Toolkit

Benjawan Poomsan Becker and Paiboon Publishing…

When it comes to all things Thai language, Benjawan Poomsan Becker (Paiboon Publishing) is an amazing powerhorse. I do not know where she gets all her energy.

Benjawan is also as generous as all get-out to the Thai language learning community. Her most recent contribution came about during WLT’s ninth year celebration where she gave permission for me to record and release the vocabulary for her three classic Thai courses: Thai for Beginners, Thai for Intermediate and Thai for Advanced Readers.

Below you’ll find the downloads for audio files and spreadsheets. I’ve created spreadsheets for Flashcards Deluxe but they can also be used for Anki. If you are interested in creating Anki files please let me know via WLT’s contact form.

Using the materials, a manageable 100 words at a time, John Smith is contributing to the collection by creating Memrise courses. Thanks John!

Spreadsheet Downloads: Thai for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced…

The spreadsheets are in Excel and Numbers (Mac) formats. The Beginners sheet gives a choice of Thai script and transliteration. The Intermediate and Advanced spreadsheets are without transliteration.

Thai for Beginners: Download audio and spreadsheets (11.7mg)
Thai for Intermediate: Download audio and spreadsheets (10.8mg)
Thai for Advanced: Download audio and spreadsheets (9.4mg)

I use Flashcards Deluxe but the spreadsheets and audio files can be sucked into most flashcard software/apps. They’ll come in handy when studying with Benjwan’s books, or on their own. Please note that I have not checked the spreadsheets against the books so if you do find snafus just let me know via WLT’s contact form.

If you can’t find the books in your local bookstore, in the US you can order online from Paiboon Publishing. If you are elsewhere, DCO Books delivers.

Memrise:Thai for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced…

Taking up the gauntlet, John Smith is using the materials to create Thai courses on Memrise. Memrise is a popular language learning platform with a website, iOS and Android apps.

John Smith: I’ve always found Memrise to be, hands down, the best way of learning vocabulary. It’s free, it’s engaging, and the high score aspect can even make it somewhat competitive.

Each course I’ve uploaded has 100 words. After I finish each course, I print out a list of all the words in English. I review the vocabulary until I can give the Thai translation for every single word from memory. Then it’s time to move on to the next course.

I’ve made some really amazing progress with this method so far and I would love to see some other people using my courses!

I’m at the “advanced beginner” to “intermediate” stage of learning, so this is what these courses are geared towards. It’s not every vocabulary word from every book, just the ones I didn’t already know. I’ll continue making courses and posting the links to them as I progress. Enjoy!

Thai for Beginners: Thai Vocab Builder 1
Thai for Beginners: Thai Vocab Builder 2
Thai for Beginners: Thai Vocab Builder 3
Thai for Beginners: Thai Vocab Builder 4
Thai for Beginners: Thai Vocab Builder 5
Thai for Beginners: Thai Vocab Builder 6
Thai for Beginners: Thai Vocab Builder 7
Thai for Beginners: Thai Vocab Builder 8
Thai for Beginners: Thai Vocab Builder 9
Thai for Beginners: Thai Vocab Builder 10

Leave a comment below if you’d like a spreadsheet listing the words John has not included.

Here’s a detailed tutorial showing you how to create a course on Memrise.

More from Paiboon Publishing and Word in the Hand…

For iOS and Android apps, one of the best Thai-Eng-Thai dictionaries out there comes from Paiboon Publishing and Word in the Hand. Don’t let the price scare you off – it’s worth every bit of that and more. To see what I mean, just check out the features here: Talking Thai <> English Dictionary+Phrasebook.

iOS: Talking Thai <> English Dictionary+Phrasebook
Android: Thai <> English Dictionary

Paiboon Publishing also has an iOS app for those studying with Thai for Beginners. It’s nicely designed and perfect for those short trips via taxi, standing in line, whatever.

iOS: Thai for Beginners

Quote: For beginning Thai students, or those who want to improve their basic Thai. Clear recordings of native Thais speaking each of the 3,000 words and phrases. Examples of the five tones. Increase size of text. Show or hide English text. No data charges once you download the app. Play a phrase over and over, or autoplay an entire lesson. Test your knowledge with built-in exercises. English voice can be turned on or off. Each item is presented in Thai, transliteration and English. Detailed HELP section.

And Benjawan isn’t done yet! As a professional interpreter Benjawan saw the need for more Thai interpreters in the US and other countries so she launched Paiboon Language Academy, an online interpretation and translation school for Thai speakers. If you are curious here’s the Paiboon Language Academy Press Release.

Website: paiboonlanguageacademy.com
Facebook: Paiboon Language Academy

I just can’t wait to see what Benjawan comes up with next.

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Cat Cartoons Episode Ninety One: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons…

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

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน ยืนตรง
Narrator: Episode – Standing Up Straight.

สีสวาด: วิเชียรมาศ ดูอะไรน่ะ
Si Sawat: Wi-chian maat, what are you looking at?

วิเชียรมาศ: ดูเด็กๆ เค้า(เขา)เข้าแถวเตรียมเคารพธงชาติ แต่ไม่เรียบร้อยเลย
Wi-chian maat: I’m looking at the kids lining up to prepare to pay respect to the national flag, but they’re not doing it properly.

สีสวาด: เด็กๆ ก็หยั่งงี้(อย่างนี้)แหละ อยู่นิ่งไม่ค่อยได้
Si Sawat: Well, kids are like that. They just can’t stay still.

วิเชียรมาศ: เค้า(เขา)ต้องหัดนิ่งให้ได้สิ ยืนเคารพธงชาติเดี๋ยวเดียวเท่านั้น ต้องบังคับตัวให้ได้
Wi-chian maat: They should make sure that they stay still and as it only takes but a moment to pay respect to the national flag, they should just force themselves to do it.

สีสวาด: นั่นนะสิ เดี๋ยวเดียวยังทำไม่ได้ แล้วหยั่งเนียะ(อย่างนี้อ่ะ)จะไปหัดให้มีความอดทน มีวินัยได้ยังไง(อย่างไร)
Si Sawat: That’s just it! If you can’t even do it when it takes but a moment, then how will you be able to develop the ability to take it and the discipline required?

วิเชียรมาศ: ชั้น(ฉัน)ว่า ครูควรจะต้องหัดให้เด็กๆ อดทนและคุมให้อยู่ในระเบียบหน่อยน้า(นะ) ถึงจะได้เรียกว่า อบรมสั่งสอนศิษย์
Wi-chian maat: I think that the teachers should train the kids to be able to take it and the teachers should maintain order and discipline; only then can it be considered educating one’s pupils.

สีสวาด: ดูสิ ยืนยุกยิก(ขยุกขยิก / หยุกหยิก) เวลาเคารพธงชาติต้องยืนให้ตรงและไม่ทำอะไรอย่างอื่นไปด้วย
Si Sawat: Look at that! They’re fidgeting while standing to attention. When paying respect to the national flag, one should stand up straight and not do anything else at the same time.

ผู้บรรยาย: การยืนตรงเคารพธงชาติ ควรยืนตรงและนิ่งด้วยอาการแสดงความภาคภูมิใจในเอกราชของชาติ
Narrator: When one stands up straight to pay respect to the national flag, one should stand up straight and stay perfectly still with a sense of pride in one’s own national sovereignty.

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.


The RSD defines ‘Ka-yuk ka-yik’ (ขยุกขยิก) and ‘Yuk yik’ (หยุกหยิก) as ‘(ขะหฺยุกขะหฺยิก) ก. ไม่อยู่นิ่ง ๆ ขยับไปขยับมา (ใช้ในอาการที่แสดงถึงความไม่เรียบร้อย) เช่น นั่งขยุกขยิก, โดยปริยายหมายถึงลักษณะที่เขียนไม่เรียบร้อย อ่านยากหรืออ่านไม่ออก เช่น เขียนลายมือขยุกขยิก’ and ‘ก. ขยุกขยิก’ respectively [suggesting that they are interchangeable]. The closest English equivalents of ‘Ka-yuk ka-yik’ (ขยุกขยิก) / ‘Yuk yik’ (หยุกหยิก) would probably be ‘(to) fidget, (to) scribble’.

To get a better understanding of what a typical morning assembly is like in Thai schools, check out Thai School Assembly.

PDF Downloads…

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

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Ninety One: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

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

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Review: The Language Habit Toolkit by Fluent Language

Language Habit Toolkit

The Language Habit Toolkit: For when your language habits suck swampwater…

Immediately after commiserating with a friend about how abysmal our language studies were going, I happened across a post by Chiara from Runaway Daydreamer: How I created my ideal language learning routine with the Language Habit Toolkit.

The Language Habit Toolkit is all about getting organized and creating a language routine. It is designed to track your progress and it includes five wonderfully designed worksheets to evaluate and plan.

Talk about my good luck! I was not only looking for a way to get my study habits under control but I just happen to love making lists and filling out stuff.

And as I’ve long been a fan of the author of the Language Habit Toolkit, Kerstin Cable (language coach at Fluent Language), I already trust her advice.

In addition to the Language Habit Toolkit, Kerstin wrote the popular Fluency Made Achievable: The Fluent Guide to Core Language Skills and The Vocab Cookbook: The Fluent Guide to Building Foreign Language Vocabulary. Both are in my language learning bookcase.

Language Habit Toolkit

And I kid you not, Kerstin’s online course, Focus & Fluency, was written with me in mind (I suffer from having too much language learning stuff). Talk about back-to-back “ah hah’s!” All through the course I laughed, grinned, and nodded in agreement. The F&F was just what I needed pre getting stuck into the Language Habit Toolkit.

Before I get started into my review, here’s a few tips from Kerstin to help you with toolkit (paraphrasing):

Ultimately the main goal is to create a language learning habit. It starts with a question: Where do you want to be and what do you want to achieve?

Goals are snapshot of where you are right now. They are also a clear and measurable roadmap. But goals are not set in stone; they are flexible. They will serve you as you change and as you grow. Don’t beat yourself up if a goal changes or becomes irrelevant.

Goals are not a way to compare yourself to others. Your goals don’t have to live up to anybody else’s. Instead, look inwards in order to create the best goals for you.

Focus on the process instead of the outcome. Trust yourself. Don’t feel discouraged if your outcome doesn’t quite match what you thought it would, as long as you did the work. Celebrate the effort you are making because that is where you are growing.

REVIEW: Language Habit Toolkit…

Right away I was impressed at how beautifully designed the toolkit is (blame the designer in me). And after going through each item (book, guide, worksheets and video), it’s clear to see how Kerstin’s expertise on the subject makes the toolkit what it is: A practical and highly useful resource for planning a workable route to serious language study.

This is what comes with the toolkit:

The Language Habit Handbook PDF.pdf
The Language Habit Handbook epub.epub
Language Habit Toolkit Quick Start Guide.png
Video Goal Setting Guide.m4v

1 – Vision Goals Worksheet.pdf
1 – Vision Goals Worksheet (for on-screen edits).pdf
2 – Language Goals Worksheet.pdf
2 – Language Goals Worksheet (for on-screen edits).pdf
3 – Language Habit Tracker.pdf
4 – Study Tracker.pdf
5 – Your Month in Review Worksheet.pdf
5 – Your Month in Review Worksheet (for on-screen edits).pdf

So with the Language Habit Handbook you are given a choice of reading it either via epub or pdf. The Vision Goals Worksheet, Language Goals Worksheet and Your Month in Review Worksheet can either be printed out and filled in by hand, or filled in on your computer (pretty nifty if you ask me).

TIP: If you are going the computer route and don’t intend on printing out your results, either first make copies of the three pdfs (Vision Goals, Language Goals and Your Month in Review) or make copies at the end of the month (but be prepared to tweak/delete). At the beginning of the new month my Vision Goals stayed the same, Language Goals needed a tweak (not a total rewrite), and Month in Review was given a clean slate.

How to use the Language Habit Toolkit…

When I started the Language Habit Toolkit I had ten days left in the month so I decided to use those days to get my head around the program. Below is a quick rundown of how I see using the materials.

1) First read the The Language Habit Handbook (pdf or epub), print out the Language Habit Toolkit Quick Start Guide (png), and watch the Video Goal Setting Guide (m4v).

I found all three inspiring. I haven’t been fond of watching instructional videos but due to writing this review I sat it out. And I’m glad I took the time because Kerstin’s natural way of communicating her experience with language learning fired me up. I now plan on getting further advice by watching her videos on the Facebook group dedicated to the Language Habit Toolkit.

2) Next fill out the Vision Goals Worksheet (print or digital). This sheet has you select your current level (I love that ‘it’s been awhile’ is included along with A1-C2), list resources that inspire you, include where you dream of ending up (comfortable to fluid, whatever) and how you’ll feel once you reach that level. In addition to the above, you also jot down three goals to keep you motivated.

Now, if you fill this section out as intended, you just might feel an emotional high like I did. At one point I even found myself giggling.

And a bonus, when filling out ‘My Sources of Inspiration’ I decided that needed another local musician so I asked my StudyBuddy for suggestions. I’m now a fan of yet another impressive talent (only female this time). Win. Win.

3) Then up comes the Language Goals Worksheet (print or digital). The This Month in Language section of the worksheet is for you to clarify where you are now and where you want to be by the end of the month. And the Path Goals section is to decide what you plan to do to practice your core skills (reading, listening, speaking and writing).

Tip from Kerstin: “the whole idea behind your Path Goals is to move you gradually towards your Vision Goals”.

What I especially enjoyed about this section is knowing that at the end of each month I check this sheet to evaluate what has worked (or not) and make adjustments for the following month. So if it isn’t fun, turf it out! Sweet.

4) The Language Habit Tracker (print only) is a language learning log. Print out enough copies for the month to jot down daily Study Sessions (big or small), daily Practice Sentences and Things to Look Up (and review at the end of the month).

5) The Study Tracker (print only) is a study log where you document the basics: The date, what you did, core skills studied, tools you used, how much time you’ve spent on your studies, and what you learned.

I wanted to add more detail so in Pages (Mac doc software) I created a custom version of the Study Tracker. In the doc I added movies and Youtube videos watched, chapters read, lessons rewritten to suit my interests, lessons completed, words and phrases to study, etc. Later I merged it with the Language Habit Tracker after the modified tracker gave me ideas for a new direction in my studies.

6) In the This Month in Review sheet (print or digital) you look back through the other sheets to fill in the goals you accomplished for the month, what went well, what didn’t go so hot, how much time you spent on each of the core skills (writing, reading, listening and speaking), etc. This is where you can get an understanding of what wasn’t working, what might need to be shuffled around, and/or what else can be added.

Note to self: I can see how I’d benefit from a This Week in Review sheet as well as a monthly review. It’s a thought anyway (we’ll have to see).

Fluent Language and the Language Habit Toolkit…

If you are interested in trying it out the toolkit it can be purchased on FluentLanguage at Language Habit Toolkit.

Kerstin: The Language Habit Toolkit is a set of tools that focus on the two most important ingredients you need to develop persistence: setting helpful goals and keeping an eye on the time you spend studying a language. Use these tracking tools every day, and soon you will have built a language learning habit that’s difficult to quit.

Website: Fluent Language
Blog: Fluent Language Blog
Podcast: Fluent Language Podcast
Facebook: Fluent Language
Facebook: Fluent Language Learners
twitter: @fluentlanguage

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Cat Cartoons Episode Ninety: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons…

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

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน ตะกุย – ตะกาย
Narrator: Episode – ‘Dta-gui’ – ‘Dta-gaai’.

วิเชียรมาศ: นั่นเก้าแต้มเค้า(เขา)ตะกุยอะไรที่ข้างกระถางต้นไม้ เดี๋ยวกระถางล้มลงมาเสียหายก็จะเดือดร้อนกันหมด
Wi-chian maat: What is Kao Taem ‘Dta-gui’-ng over there beside the tree pot? If the pot falls over and is damaged, there’ll be hell to pay.

สีสวาด: เก้าแต้มคงจะเห็นหนูหรืออะไรซัก(สัก)ตัวนึง(หนึ่ง)ละมั้ง เค้า(เขา)แค่ตะกุยไม่ได้ตะกาย กระถางก็คงไม่ล้มลงมา
Si Sawat: Kao Taem probably spotted a rat or some other animal, I guess. He’s only ‘Dta-gui’-ng, and not ‘Dta-gaai’-ng. So the pot would probably not fall over.

วิเชียรมาศ: แล้ว ตะกุย กับ ตะกาย มันต่างกันยังไง(อย่างไร) มันใช้มือใช้เท้าที่มีเล็บคุ้ยหรือข่วนอะไรซัก(สัก)อย่างนึง(หนึ่ง)เหมือนๆ กันนั่นแหละ
Wi-chian maat: Sooo….how is ‘Dta-gui’ different from ‘Dta-gaai’? They’re the same in that both involve the use of the front and back paws with claws to dig around for or scratch something.

สีสวาด: มันคล้ายกันแต่ไม่เหมือนกันจ้ะ
Si Sawat: Well, they’re similar, but not the same.

วิเชียรมาศ: ไม่เหมือนยังไง(อย่างไร)อ่ะ
Wi-chian maat: Not the same, how?

สีสวาด: นี่ไง ตะกุย แล้วนี่ ตะกาย พวกหมาก็ชอบตะกายเจ้าของ เวลาตะกายมันจะตั้งตัวขึ้น
Si Sawat: This here is ‘Dta-gui’, while this is ‘Dta-gaai’. Dogs like to ‘Dta-gaai’ their owners. When ‘Dta-gaai’-ng, they stand on their hind legs.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตะกุย เป็นอาการใช้มือใช้เท้าคุ้ยหรือข่วนสิ่งที่อยู่บนพื้นราบ เช่น ตะกุยดิน ตะกุยพื้น ส่วน ตะกาย เป็นอาการข่วนสิ่งที่ตั้งอยู่ เช่น ตะกายฝา ตะกายต้นไม้
Narrator: ‘Dta-gui’ involves the use of one’s hands and feet to dig around for or scratch something on a flat surface, for e.g. “(to) ‘Dta-gui’ the ground” and “(to) ‘Dta-gui’ the floor”, while ‘Dta-gaai’ involves clawing at something that is standing upright, for e.g. “(to) ‘Dta-gaai’ the wall” and “(to) ‘Dta-gaai’ the tree”.

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.

PDF Downloads…

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

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Ninety: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

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

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Paiboon Language Academy: Thai Proverbs and Sayings (Video One)

As promised in the Press release for Paiboon Language Academy, here’s a video created for students of Benjawan’s online interpretation and translation school. I’ve added transliteration from Thai2English (as is).

Paiboon Language Academy: Thai Proverbs and Sayings (Video One)…

1) ความรักทำให้คนตาบอด
kwaam rák tam hâi kon dtaa bòt
Love is blind.

2) ไก่งามเพราะขน คนงามเพราะแต่ง
gài-ngaam-prór-kŏn kon-ngaam-prór-dtàeng
Fine feathers make fine birds.

3) จับปลาสองมือ
jàp bplaa sŏng meu
Seek two things simultaneously.

4) น้ำขึ้นให้รีบตัก
nám kêun hâi rêep dtàk
Make hay while the sun shines.

5) รำไม่ดีโทษปี่โทษกลอง
ram mâi dee tôht bpèe tôht glong
A bad workman blames his tools.

6) ขี่ช้างจับตั๊กแตน
kèe cháang jàp dták-gà-dtaen
Use a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

7) งมเข็มในมหาสมุทร
ngom kĕm nai má-hăa sà-mùt
Search for a needle in a haystack.

8) ช้าๆ ได้พร้าเล่มงาม
cháa cháa dâi práa lâym ngaam
Slow and steady wins the race.
Slow but sure.

9) ซื่อกินไม่หมด คดกินไม่นาน
sêu gin mâi mòt · kót gin mâi naan
Honesty is the best policy.

10) ดูตาม้าตาเรือ
doo dtaa máa dtaa reua
Look before you leap.

11) ที่แล้วมา ก็แล้วกันไป
têe láew maa · gôr láew gan bpai
Let bygones be bygones.

12) ปิดทองหลังพระ
bpìt tong lăng prá
Do good by stealth.

13) ไม่มีใครแก่เกินเรียน
mâi mee krai gàe gern rian
No one is too old to learn.

14) ได้อย่าง เสียอย่าง
dâi yàang · sĭa yàang
When you get something, you lose something.
You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.

15) วัวหายล้อมคอก
wua hăai lóm-kôk
Lock the stable door after the horse is gone.

16) สวยแต่รูป จูบไม่หอม
sŭay dtàe rôop · jòop mâi hŏm
Beauty without grace is a violet without smell.
Appearances are deceiving.

17) หนีเสือปะจระเข้
nĕe sĕua bpà jor-rá-kây
Out of the frying pan into the fire.

18) กันไว้ดีกว่าแก้
gan wái dee gwàa gâe
Prevention is better than cure.

19) ไม้ป่าเดียวกัน / กาเข้าฝูงกา หงส์เข้าฝูงหงส์
mái bpàa dieow gan / gaa-kâo-fŏong-gaa hŏng-kâo-fŏong-hŏng
Birds of the feather flock together.

20) ทำดีได้ดี ทำชั่วได้ชั่ว
tam dee dâi dee · tam chûa dâi chûa
As ye sow, so shall ye reap.
As you make your bed, so you must lie on it.

21) รักวัวให้ผูก รักลูกให้ตี
rák wua hâi pòok · rák lôok hâi dtee
Spare the rod, spoil the child.

22) เข็นครกขึ้นภูเขา
kĕn krók kêun poo kăo
To perform a Herculean task.

23) เอามะพร้าวห้าวไปขายสวน
ao má-práao-hâao bpai kăai sŭan
Carry coals to Newcastle.

24) ความพยายามอยู่ที่ไหน ความสำเร็จอยู่ที่นั่น
kwaam pá-yaa-yaam yòo têe năi · kwaam săm-rèt yòo têe nân
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

25) ไม่มีมูล หมาไม่ขี้
mâi mee moon · măa mâi kêe
There is no smoke without fire.

26) ความไม่มีโรคเป็นลาภอันประเสริฐ
kwaam mâi mee rôhk bpen lâap an bprà-sèrt
Health is better than wealth.

27) เข้าเมืองตาหลิ่ว ต้องหลิ่วตาตาม
kâo meuang dtaa lìw · dtông lìw dtaa dtaam
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

28) ตาต่อตา ฟันต่อฟัน
dtaa dtòr dtaa · fan dtòr fan
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

29) กำแพงมีหู ประตูมีตา
gam-paeng-mee-hŏo bprà-dtoo-mee-dtaa
Walls have ears.

30) เห็นช้างขี้ ขี้ตามช้าง
hĕn-cháang-kêe kêe-dtaam-cháang
To keep up with the Joneses.

31) ไม้อ่อนดัดง่าย ไม้แก่ดัดยาก
mái-òn-dàt-ngâai mái gàe dàt yâak
It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

32) ขว้างงูไม่พ้นคอ
kwâang ngoo mâi pón kor
A bad penny always come back.

33) ชักแม่น้ำทั้งห้า
chák mâe náam táng hâa
Beat around the bush.

34) คนเดียวหัวหาย สองคนเพื่อนตาย
kon dieow hŭa hăai sŏng-kon-pêuan-dtaai
Two heads are better than one.

35) เข้าหูซ้าย ทะลุหูขวา
kâo-hŏo-sáai tá-lú-hŏo-kwăa
Go in one ear and come out the other.

36) ตนแลเป็นที่พึ่งของตน
dton lae bpen têe pêung kŏng dton
God helps those who help themselves.

37) ดูช้างให้ดูหาง ดูนางให้ดูแม่
doo cháang hâi doo hăang · doo naang hâi doo mâe
Like mother, like daughter.

เชื้อไม่ทิ้งแถว ลูกไม้หล่นไม่ไกลต้น
chéua mâi tíng tăew · lôok mái lòn mâi glai dtôn
Like father, like son.

38) นานาจิตตัง
naa-naa jìt dtang
Everyone to his own taste.
All sorts of minds.

39) หัวล้านได้หวี / ตาบอดได้แว่น / ไก่ได้พลอย
hŭa láan dâi wĕe / dtaa bòt dâi wâen / gài dâi ploi
Cast pearls before swine.

40) จับได้คาหนังคาเขา
jàp dâi kaa năng kaa kăo
Catch somebody red-handed.

41) มากหมอมากความ
mâak mŏr mâak kwaam
Too many cooks spoil the broth.

42) เสียน้อยเสียยาก เสียมากเสียง่าย
sĭa nói sĭa yâak · sĭa mâak sĭa ngâai
Penny wise and pound foolish.

43) พูดไปสองไพเบี้ย นิ่งเสียตำลึงทอง
pôot bpai sŏng pai bîa · nîng sĭa dtam-leung-tong
Speech is silver; silence is golden.

44) วันพระไม่มีหนเดียว
wan prá mâi mee hŏn dieow
Every dog has his day.

45) ตบหัวแล้วลูบหลัง
dtòp hŭa láew lôop lăng
A kiss after a kick.

46) อย่าผัดวันประกันพรุ่ง
yàa pàt-wan-bprà-gan-prûng
Never put off till tomorrow what can be done today.

47) แมวไม่อยู่ หนูระเริง
maew mâi yòo · nŏo rá rerng
When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

48) หนามยอกเอาหนามบ่ง
năam yôk ao năam bòng
Like cures like.

49) ยิงปืนนัดเดียวได้นกสองตัว
ying bpeun nát dieow dâi nók sŏng dtua
Kill two birds with one stone.

50) ระยะทางเป็นเครื่องพิสูจน์ม้า กาลเวลาเป็นเครื่องพิสูจน์คน / เวลาจะเป็นเครื่องพิสูจน์
rá-yá taang bpen krêuang pí-sòot máa · gaan way-laa bpen krêuang pí-sòot kon / way-laa jà bpen krêuang pí-sòot
Time will tell.

If you are a Thai speaker (not necessarily Thai native) and are interested in learning how to be a Thai interpreter or translator, check out by Benjawan’s Paiboon Language Academy. The Academy is a subscription based online learning website that offers two main courses: The Interpretation Course (US$25 per month / US$250 per year) and the General English Course ($10 per month / $100 per year). Both courses have online videos, monthly exercises and quizzes.

Website: paiboonlanguageacademy.com
Facebook: Paiboon Language Academy

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

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons…

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

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน ตะเกียกตะกาย
Narrator: Episode – ‘Dta-giak-dta-gaai’.

สีสวาด: เก้าแต้ม ไปทำอะไรมาตัวเปียก โดนใครเค้า(เขา)สาดน้ำไล่มาหลอ(หรือ)
Si Sawat: Kao Taem! What’ve you been up to? You’re all wet! Did someone run throw water at you to chase you away?

เก้าแต้ม: ไม่มีใครสาดน้ำไล่หรอก ชั้น(ฉัน)จะไล่จับจิ้งจก บังเอิญมันเกาะอยู่ตรงโอ่งน้ำพอดี ชั้น(ฉัน)กะโดดสูงไปหน่อยเลยพลาด เกือบจะตกลงไปในโอ่งเซียะ(เสีย)แล้ว ดีแต่ว่าชั้นเก่งยิมนาสติกเลยแค่ขาหลังตกลงไป
Kao Taem: No, nobody threw water at me to chase me away. I was chasing a lizard and it happened to land and stick on a water-filled earthen jar. I jumped a little too high so I missed and I almost fell into the jar. Good thing I’m good in gymnastics so only my legs fell into it.

สีสวาด: ดีว่าไม่จมน้ำ
Si Sawat: Good thing you didn’t drown.

เก้าแต้ม: นั่นสิ ถ้าชั้น(ฉัน)ตกลงไปคงตะกุยตะกายแย่กว่าจะขึ้นได้
Kao Taem: You’re right! If I had fallen into it, I’d have needed to really ‘Dta-gui-dta-gaai’ to be able to climb out.

สีสวาด: อย่างนั้นเค้า(เขา)เรียกว่า ตะเกียกตะกาย จ้ะ ไม่ใช่ ตะกุยตะกาย
Si Sawat: That would be called ‘Dta-giak-dta-gaai’, not ‘Dta-gui-dta-gaai’.

เก้าแต้ม: ไม่ใช่ ตะกุยตะกาย หลอ(หรือ)
Kao Taem: It’s not ‘Dta-gui-dta-gaai’, huh?

สีสวาด: ต้อง ตะเกียกตะกาย จึงได้ขึ้นมา ถ้า ตะกุยตะกาย คงไม่ได้ขึ้นมาหลอก(หรอก)
Si Sawat: You must ‘Dta-giak-dta-gaai’ to be able to get out. If you had ‘Dta-gui-dta-gaai’-ed, you’ll probably not have gotten out.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตะกุยตะกาย หมายความว่า ใช้มือหรือเท้าคุ้ยหรือข่วนสิ่งใดสิ่งหนึ่ง ส่วน ตะเกียกตะกาย หมายความว่า พยายามป่ายปีนขึ้นเพื่อให้พ้นจากอันตราย
Narrator: ‘Dta-gui-dta-gaai’ means ‘(to) use one’s hands and feet to dig around for or scratch something’ while ‘Dta-giak-dta-gaai’ means ‘(to) try to scramble out so as to escape danger’.

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.

PDF Downloads…

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

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Eighty Nine: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

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

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How I Learned to Speak Thai During My First Month

Speak Thai

So, there I was: sitting in the same old café, listening to my cheerful old friend talking about all the fun she had while teaching English in Thailand, when suddenly I felt very old. I’m still what they call young, but at that moment I swear I was ancient. Something was missing from my life. And then I realized I had been listening about it for the last hour, in between sips of coffee.

I needed to go live abroad for a while! I needed to learn a new language, become friends with a new culture. The country I chose was Thailand. I had visited it before as a tourist, and fell in love with it, but this time I was going to get a teaching job there and finally learn Thai.

And that’s exactly what I did. I got a teaching job there. Now I was faced with the second part of my wish: learning the language. I had tried learning Thai, spent a lot on courses, but made no major progress. My pronunciation was terrible and my vocabulary limited. That got me worried. What if I wasn’t gifted enough to learn Thai? What if I get really disappointed? Perhaps it was just too difficult?

I’m sure many people feel like that when they’re about to embark on an adventure quite different than any before. The adventure in question here wasn’t just living in Thailand, but learning Thai too!

However, as I soon realized, there are ways of successfully learning a language no matter where you live! It is, of course, extremely valuable to communicate with native speakers on a daily basis if you wish to learn it quickly, but there are a few more things you can do. This is what I did in order to learn Thai fast:

1) I moved to Thailand…

Okay, yes, I know – easier said than done. You might not be in a position to move to Thailand, but I had already signed my contract, so for me it wasn’t an issue.

As it turned out, this proved to be the crucial step for my knowledge of Thai. It gave me the chance to figure out what I had been doing wrong and to focus on what needed to be fixed.

First thing I did, however, was this: I swore to myself that I was not going to be timid in my attempts to communicate with the locals. No way. I was going to immerse myself in the language and in the culture. I was going to surround myself with Thai and not resort to speaking English every time it got a little difficult to communicate. And it worked!

It was frustrating at times, but I powered through it. I used my free time for trips, I explored, experienced the everyday life of the locals. Thai people are very nice and interested in foreigners. The benefits of being surrounded by native speakers are numerous and extremely helpful for learning!

2) I learned the Thai alphabet before I arrived in the country…

Don’t panic – at first glance this seems extremely difficult if you’re used to the English alphabet and 26 letters. The Thai alphabet has a completely different script and consists of 44 consonants and 15 vowel symbols that comprise 32 vowels. A little overwhelming, I know.

Here’s what you can do, though, to make the learning easier: put two posters on your wall, next to your bed if you can – one with consonants and one with vowels. At this stage, everything will probably seem very strange to you, but that’s ok. Set aside a certain amount of time every single day to look at these symbols and make the sound with your mouth that they’re associated with.

Also, I found Easy Thai Alphabet very helpful and I highly recommend these learning methods. And, as a big fan of flashcards, I loved Thai FlashCards.

3) I started with the basics on my own…

In this day and age, technology allows us access to great amounts of material for learning. You can google the basics of any language and practice with various audio and video guides. That’s what I did.

First, I practiced the tones of Thai. This is a tonal language and a word in Thai can mean different things when a different tone is applied. Take ‘mai’ for example. ‘Mai’ can mean ‘no’, ‘new’ or ‘microphone’ depending on the tone applied.

When you read a Thai word, you will often see one of the four tone markers which are named ‘mai eak’, ‘mai toh’, ‘mai tree’ and ‘mai juttawa’. There is no tone marker in a syllable with a normal (mid) tone.

A good way of practicing the tones is through videos on YouTube. There are some very good ones, featuring native speakers. This lesson from Learn Thai With Mod was one of my favourites. Find the ones that suit you most and repeat the exercises as many times as you need!

Next, I learnt the most frequent groups of words. I focused on topics such as:

  • Greetings
  • Numbers
  • Places
  • Foods
  • Jobs

I made flashcards and practiced. You can do this too. Set mini-goals for yourself. Don’t try to take giant steps.

What kind of flashcards do you prefer? For me, a combination of physical cards and the Thai Flashcards app did the job.

Traditional, physical cards offer beginners the best focus possible. That rectangular space confines the word(s) and makes you really pay attention. You can add photos, drawings or colored letters to your flashcards. This will help you remember the words even better as more sensory nerves will be employed.

The digitized flashcards offer everything that your senses need: audio pronunciation, relevant images, dynamic games…

Whatever you choose, practice with your flashcards as often as you can! Repeating makes you burn the words into your long-term memory.

Finally, I moved on to basic conversations. These too can be found within some excellent channels on YouTube.

6) I used technology to the max…

We live in a world where technology can help us in many ways. There are language exchange programs that let you communicate with native speakers and numerous apps you can download easily.

I, for example, always carry the Talking Thai <> English Dictionary with me. On my phone, that is. It’s simple to use and comes in very handy. Apps like these are easy to find on Google Play or iTunes. Just choose the right dictionary or phrasebook for yourself and practice away!

If you can’t be in contact with native speakers every day, you can always use the advantages of learning via Skype lessons or through language exchange sites. I’ve heard only good things about Learn Thai with Mod.

Italki is a great example of language exchange program benefits. Teach your native language to a Thai native and learn at the same time. It’s the perfect exchange!

5) I watched Thai movies…

I know, sounds too simple, right? You shouldn’t underestimate this type of audio-visual learning! If you just relax, your brain will pick up things and you’ll be surprised!

There are a number of frequent words and phrases that get repeated throughout any movie, so these will quickly become familiar to you.

Repeat these words after the actors. Stop the movie if necessary. Listen carefully to the pronunciation. Your brain will connect the words to the context. And your vocabulary will expand with every movie.

No matter what genre you prefer, you can find a lot of Thai movies online. Try Filmdoo, for example.

Oh, a tip: Don’t watch the movies with English subtitles. Use the Thai ones instead. This way, your brain will connect the spoken words with the written ones in the subtitles and help you learn more.

6) I did not let myself give up!…

So, there I was: surrounded by the beautiful Thai people, eating fantastic Thai food, enjoying this different, fascinating culture, when suddenly I felt very tired. Learning Thai demanded a lot of effort. However, I considered myself quite lucky to have felt this sort of tiredness. It was a sign that I was doing something very important to me, something fulfilling, and that I was doing it right!

Learning Thai quickly is a challenge indeed, but a very rewarding one!

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

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons…

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

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน คำซ้ำที่เน้นเสียง
Narrator: Episode – Stressed Reduplicated Words.

วิเชียรมาศ: เพื่อนของพี่ก้อยคนเนี้ยะ(นี้อ่ะ)สวยดีนะ
Wi-chian maat: This friend of Pee Goi’s is quite pretty.

สีสวาด: ใช่ หน้าตาดี๊ดี พูดก็เพร๊าะเพราะ
Si Sawat: Yup. Such a pretty face! She speaks so courteously too!

วิเชียรมาศ: ทำไมสีสวาดต้องพูดซ้ำอย่างนั้นด้วยล่ะ
Wi-chian maat: Why must Si Sawat talk using reduplicated words like that?

สีสวาด: อ๋อ ก็เป็นคำที่ต้องการเน้นให้มันชัดขึ้นไง เช่น ดี๊ดี หมายความว่า ดีมาก เพร๊าะเพราะ หมายความว่า เพราะมาก
Si Sawat: Well, they are words that you want to stress so that the intensification stands out clearly, for example ‘Dee-dee’ means ‘extremely good’ and ‘Pror-pror’ means ‘extremely melodious’.

วิเชียรมาศ: แล้วถ้าชั้น(ฉัน)จะพูดว่า สีสวาดเนี่ยะ(นี่อ่ะ)เก๊งเก่งนะ ถามอะไรตอบได้หมด ก็คือ เน้นว่าเก่งมากใช่มั้ย(ไหม)จ๊ะ
Wi-chian maat: So if I were to say, “Si Sawat here is ‘Gayng-gayng’; able to answer any question that is thrown at her”, I’m emphasizing the fact that she’s extremely ‘Gayng’, right?

สีสวาด: แหม ใช่แล้วจ้ะ อย่ามายอชั้น(ฉัน)เลย ชั้น(ฉัน)อ๊ายอายแล้วนะเนี่ยะ(นี่อ่ะ)
Si Sawat: Well, whaddya know! That’s right! Don’t flatter me too much. I’m starting to feel ‘Aai-aai’.

วิเชียรมาศ: นั่นแน่ เขินละสิ หน้าแด๊งแดง
Wi-chian maat: Aha! You’re embarrassed! Your face is ‘Daeng-daeng’.

ผู้บรรยาย: คำซ้ำที่เน้นความหมายหรือเพิ่มความหมาย จะเปลี่ยนเสียงวรรณยุกต์ของพยางค์หน้าเป็นเสียงเน้นพิเศษ เช่น ดี๊ดี เก๊งเก่ง
Narrator: In reduplicated words that emphasizes or intensifies a meaning, the tone of the leading consonant changes as it is especially stressed, for example ‘Dee-dee’ and ‘Gayng-gayng’.

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.


Depending on the context, ‘Nayn’ (เน้น) can mean ‘(to) stress’ or ‘(to) emphasize’.

‘Gayng’ (เก่ง) means ‘(to) be good or skilled at something’ and ‘Gayng-gayng’ (เก๊งเก่ง) means ‘(to) be extremely good or skilled at something’.

Depending on the context, ‘Kern’ (เขิน) can mean ‘embarrassed’ or ‘shy’.

PDF Downloads…

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

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Eighty Eight: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

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

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