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Recording the Thai National Anthem with Niwat

Recording Khun Niwat

Everyone should have a Niwat…

My dear Canadian friend, Lynn, works with a wonderful guy here in Bangkok. Khun Niwat. And when a request is within his power, Khun Niwat delivers.

Can’t find a back street in Bangkok? Khun Niwat can source it right quick. Need a complicated form sussed out? Khun Niwat’s your man. Head shaking over the mysteries of living in Thailand? Khun Niwat is sure to know, or know someone who knows.

Niwat singsBeing gifted with a musical nature, Khun Niwat will often entertain Lynn with songs from his childhood, or popular tunes and short ballads. Week after week, she never knows what to expect. And when I’m along for the ride, me neither.

For instance, last week, during a drive to Ayutthaya, we were serenaded with the sweet Săao Pàk Hai สาว ผัก ไห่ (an Ayutthaya love song).

But as Lynn is making her way back home, there are not many Thai weeks left for her. That’s right, she’s going home to the cold country (she’ll be sorely missed).

I’m sure they’ll be many last requests before she’s on that plane (and maybe even after she’s gone). But here’s one I was pleased to help fulfil.

Yeah, you’ve surely guessed. Right? It’s a recording of Khun Niwat proudly singing the Thai National Anthem. The very same rousing song that gives us pause twice a day, at 8 and 6.

Thai National Anthem

Now, does that bring a smile to your face, or what?

Ok. For painfully slow readers (like me) let’s pull the reins in bit…
(…and for expats going for your Thai paper, it might not hurt to give it a go)

Thai National Anthem with script, transliteration and translation…

ประเทศ ไทย รวม เลือดเนื้อ ชาติ เชื้อ ไทย
Bprà-têt tai ruam lêuat-néua châat chéua Tai.
Thailand unites flesh and blood of Thais

เป็น ประชา รัฐ ไผท ของ ไทย ทุก ส่วน
Bpen bprà-chaa rát pà-tai kŏng Tai tóok sùan.
Nation of the people; belonging to the Thais in every respect.

อยู่ ดำรง คงไว้ไ ด้ ทั้ง มวล
Yòo dam-rong kong wái dâai táng muan…
Long maintained [has been] the independence…

ด้วย ไทย ล้วน หมาย รัก สามัคคี
…dûay Tai lúan măai rák săa-mák-kee.
…because the Thais seek, and love, unity.

ไทย นี้ รัก สงบ แต่ ถึง รบ ไม่ ขลาด
Tai née rák sà-ngòp dtàe tĕung róp mâi klàat.
Thais are peace-loving; but at war we’re no cowards.

เอกราช จะ ไม่ ให้ ใคร ข่ม ขี่
Ek-gà-râat jà mâi hâi krai kòm kèe,
Sovereignty will not be threatened,

สละ เลือด ทุก หยาด เป็น ชาติ พลี
sà-là lêuat tóok yàat bpen châat phali.
sacrificing every drop of blood for the nation.


เถลิง ประเท ศชาติ ไทย ทวี มี ชัย ชโย
Thaloeng bprà-têt châat Tai tá-wee mee chai cha-yo!
Hail the nation of Thailand, long last the victory, hurrah!


What you might not know about the Thai National Anthem…

  • The music was composed by Phra Jenduriyang (Peter Feit), the son of a German immigrant.
  • The words were written by Colonel Luang Saranuprapan.
  • It’s said to be similar to the French National Anthem, La Marseillaise (but I prefer the Thai).
  • Where the French anthem was used during the French Revolution, the Thai came along during the coup of 1932.
  • When the national flag is raised, the Thai anthem is played in public offices and radio and tv stations at 8.00 every morning and 6.00 in the evening. Be prepared to show honour by standing still.
  • Along with a Thai Royal Anthem, the Thais show respect to their King and Queen during the Thai National Anthem.
  • To qualify to even apply for Thai citizenship, the applicant must be able to sing the Thai National Anthem.

More about the Thai National Anthem…

A warm thanks goes to Khun Niwat, for sharing his voice. And another thanks goes to Wikipedia’s translation of the Thai National Anthem, as well as Thai2English.com for their transliteration assistance. And I’d better not forget Lynn. Thanks girl! Thanks for being quiet yesterday, while we fiddled with computers and mics and cats and recordings… and all without a noisy ac (I’m still dripping).

Note: If you are wondering what Khun Niwat is doing with a white ball and script for the Thai Alphabet, please stay tuned while we figure out how to get fuzz-free entertainment from a Snowball.

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My passion is promoting the Thai language. Fullstop. Oh, and traveling. I'm passionate about that as well. And photography too.

18 Comments

  1. นิวัตร์ (Niwat)

    September 5, 2008 at 6:24 am

    ยินดีกับคุณแมวด้วย (you’re welcome, Khun Cat.)

    ถ้าต้องการความช่วยเหลือ ติดต่อได้ตลอดเวลา (If you need any more help, call me any time)

    ขอบคุณมากครับ ที่ให้โอกาสผมได้เข้ามาดูแลเวบไซด์ของคุณ. (Thank you very much for allowing me to take part in your wonderful website)

    Thank you bye bye.

  2. Hi Khun Niwat, thank you so much for dropping by to read the post.

    I had a hilarious time recording yesterday. I know Lynn did too as there were grins all around.

    Saturday has a great chance of being equally entertaining… especially if I can work through the instructions that came with the Snowball.

    See you then!

  3. Thank you! I just sang the Thai anthem as I read your transliteration!

  4. Janet,

    Good deal! I’ve been practicing too

    But… the man has been threatening something mysterious if I play the Thai National Anthem ONE MORE TIME! Hah!

    You see, he wasn’t as thrilled as I was, when finding all the different varieties of the anthem. And who knew there were so many?

    I wish you could meet Niwat for a sing along. He’s so great! And so sweet.

    Please stay tuned for more as I finally figured out my mic. The next lot will be amazing, even if it’s just the Thai alphabet.

  5. ไม่รู้จะคอมเม้นอะไร เพราะบางอย่างมันบอกไม่ได้ เอาเป็นว่า มาเที่ยวอยุธยาอีกนะคะ จะรอ…

  6. สวัสดีคะ คุณ lee ยินดี ทีได้รู้จัก

  7. Beau, Niwat is your dad? Lucky you, he’s great!

  8. Hi Cat,
    thank you so much for doing the effort putting the Thai National Anthem with all its detail and translation here. Since 4 or 5 years I am bit by bit learning the Thai language, more because I love talking thai to thais rather than needing it for anything important. I know many thai songs (mostly pop songs) by heart – though that doesnt mean I do understand what I´m singing – but the National Anthem was somehow always a blind spot as it seems too complicated for me to learn. Anyway, I will do so now, cause you did a great job putting it together here. :-) And Niwat´s singing is just gorgeous – especially when he tryies to reach the high tones at the end.
    You are a good inspiration for me not giving up thai! Apart from that, your stories give me a great laugh! Thanks!
    Servus from Vienna,
    Annika

  9. A huge thanks back Annika. I so agree on the Thai National Anthem being complicated all in one go (especially for this lagging brain!) And that’s why I thought bite-sized chunks would help. Next up will be the Thai alphabet song and and and…

    You know Thai songs? Nice! I walked into a cd shop at Emporium and asked for a range of albums to listen to. I enjoy Sek Loso (ring a bell?) But so far, I haven’t found all the Thai favourites I hear around me. Time…

  10. รูปหล่อจัง.ร้องเพลงเพราะด้วย.( Good)

  11. boonsom, yes! Niwat is handsome and he can sing too :-)

  12. useful site wish I had found it some years before.
    Alot of information about Thailanguage, wish I had made something similar when I began reading Thai.

    cat:
    where you write the text to เพลงชาติ “in the second paragraph/player” you have written เป็น wrong.

  13. namkeng,

    I’m struggling with the Thai language so I figured this would be the best way for me to learn. When I want to know something new, I research and have a long talk with my Thai teacher and others about it. And if anyone else gets something out of it, all the best!

    ‘where you write the text to เพลงชาติ “in the second paragraph/player” you have written เป็น wrong.’

    I know how mistakes are easily made, so thanks! I will ask my Thai teacher to double check just to be double sure.

  14. Thank you so much for providing a way to download this great song Cat. At the risk of embarrassing myself I have to say I cannot get this to download anywhere. It plays just fine but I cannot “capture” it anywhere to listen to it whenever I want. Is it just me?

  15. Sophie, No worries :-) On a Mac, we hold down the option key while clicking the link. On a PC, I believe it’s a right click?

  16. Cat, Thanks so much for the suggestion. I got it!!! Now at 8 and 6, I too, can pause, play the song and be transported to The Land of Smiles. I continue to enjoy your website very much. Have purchased David Smyth’s book, and some of Benjawan Poomsan Becker’s products as well. It is all so helpful and I really appreciate all the research you have done for all of us out here trying to make our way through the Thai language. Please keep up the good work.

  17. Sophie, excellent :-) every time I listen to Niwat sing the Thai national anthem, I smile. He has such a lovely voice.

    Glad to know that WLT is getting some usage. There is a new product from Benjawan that you might like too – her dictionary software (review on the way).

    Paiboon Publishing ‘s Thai-English English-Thai Talking Dictionary

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