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Introducing Tamago: PickUpThai’s E-Picture Book for Learning Thai

PickUpThai Podcast

It’s here! After putting in loads of time and having a heap of fun while she was at it, Yuki from PickUpThai released Tamago, a colourfully designed picture ebook for learning Thai.

Tamago comes with a LOT of stuff! The book comes in two formats, PDF and Kindle. There are cute books for each version (Thai, transliteration, and English), a plain pdf English with translations, plus three different sound sets (the story, extra sentences and vocabulary).

The Thai PDF version starts out with the story in Thai, then the vocabulary with English translations, followed by the story in English only, and ending with extra phrases to use the sentence patterns. The Kindle version is different in that the story is shown once and when you double click the Thai text the English translation for each paragraph appears in a pop-up text box. A sample is shown below.

PickUpThai

Who is it for: This picture book is particularly made for non-Thai adults learning the Thai language (beginner to intermediate), especially those who learn better visually with images. However, the story was written and the illustrations were deliberately created to also appeal to children. Since the book is bilingual, Thai children can learn English from it as easily as non-Thai speaking kids can use it to learn Thai.

Difficulty: The story is written at an intermediate level using mostly simple vocabulary and simple, short, sentences. The vocabulary is correspondingly basic, and drawn from everyday life situations. But learners will still find a few more complex sentences and complicated vocabulary words included to challenge them, maintain their interest, and help build their skills.

Prices:
Thai Script: $9.99
Transliteration: $9.99
Thai Script & Transliteration: $15.99

NOTE: Sample pages for each version (Thai script, Transliteration and English) with audio files can be downloaded from Tamago: E-Picture Book for Learning Thai.

Website: PickupThai
YouTube: PickupThai
Facebook: PickUpThai
twitter: @PickupThai

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Review: 5000 Thai Phrases – Seriously Addictive iOS + Android Apps

FunEasyLearn

5000 Thai Phrases: Learn the Thai Language for FREE…

Last week I reviewed FunEasyLearn’s 6000 Thai Words App. As the 5000 Thai Phrases app is similar (and to stop you from having to bounce between the two reviews) I’ve duplicated parts of the post.

Earlier I mentioned that the 6000 Thai Words app is “a seriously addictive smartphone app!” and the same is true for this one as well. When playing with FunEasyLearn’s apps, Albert Einstein’s advice to his son comes to mind:

“That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes”.

Motivation really is as simple as that. Find a language learning method you love and you won’t need to force-feed vocabulary and phrases – studying should come naturally!

And now, on to the review…

Tutorial from FunEasyLearn…

Here’s the quick tutorial from the gang at FunEasyLearn:

Our apps help you to learn most common words and phrases. These words and phrases are useful when travelling, meeting new people, developing life-long friendships or simply in any daily conversation.

Easy Steps to Use our App:

  1. When you run the app you can find three rows: Topic, Subtopic and Game.
  2. Just choose the Topic you want to learn first (for example Topic: Shopping).
  3. Then choose Subtopic (for example Subtopic: supermarket).
  4. After this choose the game you want to play (we recommend to start with Vocabulary game).
  5. Tap “Play” button and that’s it!

Besides the fact that you learn many useful words and phrases, these games help you to improve your writing, reading and pronunciation.

Tips for you:

  1. Spin Categories – allows the app to choose a random topic, subtopic and game for you.
  2. Review Manager – helps you to review your wrong answers, right answers, or even all the phrases.
  3. Favourite words or phrases – permits you to choose your difficult words/phrases, set as favourite and revise them later. After you selected your favorite words/phrases just go to Main Menu, choose Review words/phrases and tap Review Words/Favorite Phrases button.

TIP: When going to the next level (say, from beginner to intermediate), to see the new vocabulary, under ‘Level’ in xxx, make sure ‘Learn words from previous level’ is turned off.

Walk-through of the Beginner level: 500 Words…

As in the previous review of the sister app, 6000 Thai Words, I’ve mapped out the Beginner Level for you. Intermediate, Advanced and Expert aren’t out yet – I’ll announce them when they arrive.

FunEasyLearn

Across the top of the main screen there are three icons: 1) Manage App, 2) Search Phrase, and 3) to the far right, a Flower.

Manage App (circle icon):

FunEasyLearn

  1. Level: Select level (Beginner 500 phrases, Intermediate 1000 phrases, Advanced 1500 phrases, Expert 2000 phrases), turn on/off learn words from previous levels. Unlike in the Vocab app, there is no way to turn on/off Thai script and transliteration.
  2. Statistics: Scores, overall stats, current streak, streak targets, levels completed, words reviewed, your skills, learned word target.
  3. Store: This is where you can get more levels by paying to get rid of ads. The Intermediate, Advanced and Expert levels are coming soon (I’ll be sure to let you know).
  4. Restore purchases: Just as it says.
  5. Support: FAQs and making contact (plus reporting any mistakes you find).
  6. Settings: Native language, sounds, reset tutorials (the animated walk through), one word a day notification (haven’t figured it out yet), review word notification (haven’t figured it out yet).
  7. App: Rate the app, more language apps, about this app. Icons across the bottom go to Facebook, twitter, Google+, and YouTube.

Search Phrase (search bar):

FunEasyLearnWhen you click on the phrase search bar the vocabulary for the Topic you are studying appears (you can see Basic Phrases and Saying hello & goodbye highlighted to the right).

There are two ways to scroll up and down the phrase lists: 1) via the phrase list on the left, or the Topic and SubTopic list on the right. To select a different topic scroll to the left or right then click on a Topic. To select a SubTopic scroll down and click on each graphic. Either way, the phrase list switches to that lesson. At the end of each Subtopic are totals of the phrases found in other levels.

In the left column each phrase first shows the English and the Thai script. To the right is a Favourites star. Below that are four bars that denote which level the word comes from (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert).

Click inside a box and it expands while saying the phrase using a real Thai voice (not machine generated). The transliteration now appears below the Thai. I just noticed they are using Google Translate for their transliteration. Ouch. But, all the better to get people interested in learning how to read Thai script!

At the bottom of the expanded box are three icons: 1) audio (repeats the phrase), 2) book (takes you to the phrase’s dedicated Phrase page – clicking the left arrow takes you back), and 3) the Favourites star again.

Flowers (flower icon): As you play the game, you earn flowers that you can then redeem inside the app. Flowers are what makes the app free. For now there aren’t any levels after beginner but there will be.

The main guts of the app…

FunEasyLearnThe app operates around three main nav sections: 1) Topic, 2) Subtopic, and 3) Games.

In the graphic to the right the selected Topic is Basic Phrases, the Subtopic is Saying hello & goodbye, and the Game is Vocabulary.

To work the app you slide each nav section to the left or right to line up different choices. When working your way through a section, reaching the end automatically moves you to the next one.

Tip 1: Unless you freewheel it, the beginning of the app starts with Basic Phrases and each section automatically leads you into the next, and the next, and the next, until you make it to the end of the course. But that’s only if you follow a set route.

Tip 2: Also important to know is that clicking on a Topic/Subtopic/Game running down the middle either selects or deselects that item. You need to have one icon from each section selected (Topic/Subtopic/Game) before the bottom arrow allows you to play a game. If three are not selected and you double click on the arrow, it will select for you.

So now, on to the guts of the app…

Below is the route to take if you plan on working from the beginning of the app to the very end.

1) Topic (top nav slider): Basic phrases, Making friends, Conversation, Travel, Plane, Car, Other transport, Hotel, Places to stay, Bar and Cafe, Restaurant, Food, Shopping, Health, Work, Services, Education, Leisure time, Communications, Reference, Review phrases,

2) Subtopic (middle nav slider): Same as the app above, the middle nav swings around so I decided to create a map of the subjects here.

Subtopic – Basic phrases: Saying hello and goodbye, Well-wishing, Languages, Thanks, Apologising, Common questions, Expressing feelings, Instructions, Emergencies, More expressions, Congratulations, Basic phrases Review Favourites, Basic phrases Review Wrong, Review Basic Phrases >> Introductions…

Subtopic – Making friends: Introductions, Ages & birthdays, Nationality, Place of residence, Family, Preferences, Dislikes, Describing people, Dating, Romance, Making friends Review Favourite, Making friends Review Wrong, Review Making friends >> Starting a conversation…

Subtopic – Conversation: Starting a conversation, Ending a conversation, Making an invitation, Accepting an invitation, Declining an invitation, Agreeing and disagreeing, Asking for information, Giving your opinion, Asking for help & advice, Permission, Suggestion, Conversation Review Favourite, Conversation Review Wrong, Review Conversation >> Asking directions…

Subtopic – Travel: Asking directions, Giving directions, Tickets, On tour, Signs, Travel Review Favourite, Travel Review Wrong, Review travel >> Airport…

Subtopic – Plane: Airport, Checking in, On the plane, Passport control, Airport signs, Plane Review Favourite, Plane Review Wrong, Review Plane >> Driving…

Subtopic – Car: Driving, Car hire, Problems, Road signs, Car Review Favourite, Car Review Wrong, Review Car >> Train…

Subtopic – Other transport: Train, Bus, Taxi, Bicycle and motorbike, Ship, Signs, Other transport Review Favourite, Other transport Review Wrong, Review Other transport >> Making a booking…

Subtopic – Hotel: Making a booking, Room, Checking in, During your stay, Checking out, Problems, Signs, Hotel Review Favourite, Hotel Review Wrong, Review Hotel >> At home…

Subtopic – Places to stay: At home, Renting, Going camping, Hostel, House, Estate agent, Places to stay Review Favourite, Places to stay Review Wrong, Review Places to stay >> Ordering drinks…

Subtopic – Bar and Cafe: Ordering drinks, Drinks, Ordering snacks, Bar & cafe Review Favourite, Bar and cafe Review Wrong, Review Bar and cafe >> Where to eat…

Subtopic – Restaurant: Where to eat, Booking a table, Ordering a meal, During the meal, Complaining, Paying, Fast food, Restaurant Review Favourite, Restaurant Review Wrong, Review Restaurant >> Breakfast…

Subtopic – Food: Breakfast, Soup, Meat, Fish, Vegetables, Staples, Fruit, Dessert, Herbs and spices, Food Review Favourite, Food Review Wrong, Review Food >> Department store…

Subtopic – Shopping: Department store, Shopping for clothes, Finding the right size, Buying goods, Supermarket, Payment & returns, Perfumery & cosmetics, Florist’s, Bookshop, Signs, Shopping Review Favourite, Shopping Review Wrong, Review Shopping >> Pharmacy…

Subtopic – Health: Pharmacy, Symptoms, Doctor, Dentist, Optician, Human body, Health Review Favourite, Health Review Wrong, Review Health >> Professions…

Subtopic – Work: Professions, Employee, Alternatives, Workplace, Interview, CV, Work Review Favourite, Work Review Wrong, Review Work >> Bank…

Subtopic – Services: Bank, Cash machine, Hairdresser’s, Repair, Other services, Police, Agriculture, Services Review Favourite, Services Review Wrong, Review Services >> School…

Subtopic – Education: University, Student, Exams, Library, Conference, Science, Education Review Favourite, Education Review Wrong, Review Education >> Cinema…

Subtopic – Leisure time: Cinema, Film, Theatre, Museum & gallery, Nightclub, Concert, Music, Sport, Holidays, Woods, Leisure time Review Favourite, Leisure time Review Wrong, Review Leisure time >> Phone…

Subtopic – Communications: Phone, Talking on the phone, Making the connection, Problems, Internet, Radio & TV, Newspapers, Post office, Communications Review Favourite, Communications Review Wrong, Review Communications >> Telling the time…

Subtopic – Reference: Telling the time, Time expressions, Calendar, Numbers, Colours, Weather, Writing letters, Reference Review Favourite, Reference Review Wrong, Review Reference >> Review all wrong answers…

Subtopic – Review Phrases: Review All Wrong Answers, Review All Phrases, Review All Right Answers, Review All Favourite Phrases >> Saying hello and goodbye…

3) Games (bottom slider nav): Vocabulary, Choose Phrase, Listen and Choose, Match Phrases, Translate & Listen, Complete Phrases, Listen & write, Find the Mistake, Translate Phrases, Fill in the Blank, Make Phrases.

FunEasyLearn

FunEasyLearn

FunEasyLearnGames – Vocabulary (dictionary icon): Here you study the information, record your voice to see how close you can get to the Thai (and OMG I love this! – the app converts your voice into Thai script!), create favourites, then move onto the next phrase in the series. This section introduces each phrase with a graphic, Thai script, transliteration, and audio recorded by real people.

Note: Although there are particles (polite and otherwise) used throughout the games there’s no explanation (that I came across) about the male/female polite particles. For instance, in the Vocabulary game the polite (ending) particles are female. Not a biggie but it’s worthwhile to take note of as you work through the app.

FunEasyLearnGames – Choose Phrase (two rectangles icon): This is a simple listening exercise where you match the English phrase to one of the two Thai phrases. Clicking on the right phrase gives you the audio and advances you to the next screen. Clicking the wrong phrase and the box turns red. You can’t advance until you make the correct selection.

FunEasyLearnGames – Listen and Choose (four squares icon): This is a listening exercise where you hear the phrase spoken in Thai and match it to one of the four English phrases. Get it right and the box turns light turquoise and you advance. Get it wrong and the box turns red with an X in the middle. There is a cheat icon on the bottom right that gives you Thai transliteration from Google Translate.

FunEasyLearnGames – Match Phrases (horizontal rectangle icon): This is a reading exercise. You match one of the four Thai phrases to its English translation. Get it right and the boxes turn light turquoise and disappear. Get it wrong and the boxes briefly flash light red then go back to white. Click on the ? in the middle of the two sections to cheat one set at a time.

FunEasyLearnGames – Translate & Listen (audio icon): This is a listening exercise. Your job is to match one of the three spoken Thai phrases with the single English phrase. The audio for each Thai phrase can be repeated and slowed down. Get it right and the circle turns light turquoise and you advance to the next screen. Get it wrong and a red circle replaces the green. There are not cheats (unless you call repeating the phrases cheating).

FunEasyLearnGames – Complete Phrases (vertical rectangle icon): This is a reading exercise (no audio). You are given four Thai written phrases that have been cut in half. Your job is to put the halves back together by selecting the boxes. When you get it right the phrase joins and turns light turquoise then disappears. Get it wrong and the boxes flash light red then go back to white. Same as with Match Phrases, you click on the ? in the middle of the two sections to cheat one set at a time.

FunEasyLearnGames – Listen & write (sound and pencil icon): This is a listening, reading, spelling exercise. Your job is to fill in the missing letters in the Thai phrase. You first hear the phrase spoken in Thai then select what’s missing from the white boxes below. If your spelling is poor (like mine is) you are just going to love the challenge! You can repeat the audio at the same speed or slower. Get it right and it changes to light turquoise and goes onto the next section. Get it wrong and the box flashes light red then goes back to white. The cheat is a ? on the bottom right of the screen.

FunEasyLearnGames – Find the Mistake (multi-boxes icon): This is a reading exercise. You are presented with several boxes filled with Thai script and one English phrase. The challenge is to choose which one of the boxes with Thai is incorrect. Select the incorrect box and you are given a range of boxes to choose the correct replacement from. Pick the right replacement and it changes to light turquoise and goes onto the next section. Pick the wrong replacement and the box flashes light red then goes back to white. As usual, you can cheat by clicking on the ? symbol.

FunEasyLearnGames – Translate Phrases (box, circles, arrow icon): This is another reading exercise. You are faced with a blank box to fill in (scary). The English sentence you need to translate is underneath, and underneath that are boxes of Thai words to select, one by one. Same as before, click the wrong box and it briefly flashes red. Click the right box and it goes light green then advances to the next screen. The ? cheat gives you the correct words one by one.

FunEasyLearnGames – Fill in the Blanks (sardine can icon): This is a reading, listening, spelling exercise where you fill in blanks by clicking on the correct boxes. Select the wrong box and it briefly flashes red. Select the right box and it goes light green and then you go on to the next screen. The ? cheat gives you the correct letter one by one.

FunEasyLearnGames – Make Phrases (pencil in papers icon): This is a reading/writing exercise where you find out why you were supposed to be paying attention to the graphics all along. At the top there’s a large graphic depicting a scene. The challenge is to create a phrase matching the graphic by clicking on different words. After you get it right, the phrase is spoken. The ? cheat gives you the correct words one by one. Ditto on the flashing red for wrong and green for right.

FunEasyLearnBasic navigation inside each game: When you start playing a game, across the top there’s an arrow on the left that takes you back to the home screen. There’s also a round icon on the right that tells your game progress, game score, and what Topic and Subtopic you are in (see the graphic to the right). Depending on the game, across the bottom the icons change.

FunEasyLearn

Game Wheel: You only get the screen that has all of the game icons (shown above) when you’ve completed a game. The circular icon with the arrow on the end replaces the icon of the game you just completed – click to repeat the game. The home icon takes you back to the main screen. The centre icon takes you to the next game on the list. And I just noticed that you can flip the wheel to make it spin. So fun!

Learn 6000 Thai Words on iOS, Android and Windows 10…

This app has it all. Listening, reading, writing, spelling, and taking a stab at translating.

As I mentioned before, this app is brilliant for those who can read Thai or are learning how to read Thai and want improve their spelling using Thai script. It’s fun. It’s addictive. What more could you ask for? Ok, besides Intermediate, Advanced, and Expert levels – but all three are on the way.

Here’s the Thai phrase app on iTunes and Google Play:

iOS: 5000 Phrases – Learn Thai Language for Free
Android: 5000 Phrases – Learn Thai Language for Free

And here’s the Thai vocabulary app:

iOS: 6000 Words – Learn Thai Language for Free
Android: 6000 Words – Learn Thai Language for Free
Windows 10 (mobile, tablet, PC): 6000 Words – Learn Thai Language for Free

NOTE: You can report mistakes from inside the app (Manage App >> support >> contact us) or send them to support@funeasylearn.com

FunEasyLearn around and about:

Twitter: @FunEasyLearn
Facebook: Fun Easy Learn
YouTube: Fun Easy Learn
Website: FunEasyLearn

If I find anything new I’ll add it to this review. And if you find anything please let me know either by leaving comments below or via my contact form.

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Review: 6000 Thai Words – Seriously Addictive iOS + Android + Windows 10 Apps

FunEasyLearn

6000 Words: Learn the Thai Language for FREE…

If your motivation to study Thai is wavering, you really should try FunEasyLearn – it’s a seriously addictive smartphone app! It’s free (except for removing ads – up to you) so all you have to lose is your time.

But before you start wading through this lengthy review … if Thai-English vrs English-Thai vocabulary lists matters to you, go no further. The vocabulary in this app comes from an English database so there’s a chunk of Thai specific vocabulary missing.

So sure, you won’t come across vocabulary for coke in a bag, sticky rice with mango, tuk-tuks, sanuk, etc.

BUT! There is a LOT of vocabulary! If I could learn how to spell a chunk of the 6000 words in this app I’d be chuffed to bits. Seriously. My spelling is sucky.

A quick tutorial from FunEasyLearn…

They do have a video (below) plus an animated walk-through inside the app but I wanted more so contacted the gang at FunEasyLearn for tips:

Our apps help you to learn most common words and phrases. These words and phrases are useful when travelling, meeting new people, developing life-long friendships or simply in any daily conversation.

Easy Steps to Use our App:

  1. When you run the app you can find three rows: Topic, Subtopic and Game.
  2. Just choose the Topic you want to learn first (for example Topic: Shopping).
  3. Then choose Subtopic (for example Subtopic: supermarket).
  4. After this choose the game you want to play (we recommend to start with Vocabulary game).
  5. Tap “Play” button and that’s it!

Besides the fact that you learn many useful words and phrases, these games help you to improve your writing, reading and pronunciation.

Tips for you:

  1. Spin Categories – allows the app to choose a random topic, subtopic and game for you.
  2. Review Manager – helps you to review your wrong answers, right answers, or even all the phrases.
  3. Favourite words or phrases – permits you to choose your difficult words/phrases, set as favourite and revise them later. After you selected your favorite words/phrases just go to Main Menu, choose Review words/phrases and tap Review Words/Favorite Phrases button.

TIP: When going to the next level (say, from beginner to intermediate), to see the new vocabulary, under ‘Level’ in xxx, make sure ‘Learn words from previous level’ is turned off.

Now that you’ve read the quick explanation and watched the video, I have two suggestions: Either 1) Go have fun with the app, or 2) keep reading for a detailed overview.

Walk-through of the Beginner level: 1000 Words…

This is quite a big app so I mapped it out with only the Beginner’s level turned on. There are three levels (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced) and they all suck into the Topics shown here – keeping to one level to start helped to make it manageable.

The top nav…

FunEasyLearn

On the main screen there are three icons across the top: 1) Manage App, 2) Search bar, and 3) to the far right, a Flower.

Manage App (circle icon):

FunEasyLearn

  1. Level: Select level (beginner-intermediate-advanced), turn on/off learn words from previous levels, turn on/off Thai script.
  2. Statistics: Scores, overall stats, current streak, streak targets, levels completed, words reviewed, your skills, learned word target.
  3. Store: This is where you can get more levels by paying to get rid of ads. Beginner is £2.99 and Intermediate £8.99. Via the mysterious Flowers section I received 60% off the Advanced level (£6.99).
  4. Restore purchases: Just as it says.
  5. Support: FAQs and making contact (plus reporting any mistakes you find).
  6. Settings: Native language, sounds, reset tutorials (the animated walk through), one word a day notification (haven’t figured it out yet), review word notification (haven’t figured it out yet).
  7. App: Rate the app, more apps, about this app. Icons across the bottom go to Facebook, twitter, Google+, and YouTube.

Search (search bar):

FunEasyLearnI love this search. It’s beautifully designed (as is the entire app). When you click on the search bar (without typing in anything) the vocabulary for the Topic you are studying appears. Scroll up and down to see all of the vocabulary for the different Subtopics under Topic. At the end of each Subtopic you’ll see how many words for that Subtopic are in other levels.

Each word first shows the English and the Thai script, with a Favourites star on the right (to put the word into a Favourites list). The three bars denote which level the word comes from (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced).

Click inside a box and it expands while saying the word using a real Thai voice, not machine generated (T2S). The transliteration now appears below the Thai.

At the bottom of the expanded box are three icons: 1) audio (repeats the word), 2) book (takes you to the word’s dedicated Vocabulary page – clicking the left arrow takes you back), and 3) the Favourites star again.

Flowers (flower icon): As you play the game, you earn flowers that you can then redeem inside the app. Flowers are what makes the app free. Earn flowers, get new levels for free. I was only on the app a short while when I was offered 60% off the Advanced course so it’s worth paying attention to.

The main guts of the app…

FunEasyLearnAs mentioned in FunEasyLearn’s tutorial above, the app operates around three main nav sections: 1) Topic, 2) Subtopic, and 3) Games.

In the graphic to the right the selected Topic is People, the Subtopic is Body, and the Game is Vocabulary.

To work the app you slide each nav section to the left or right to line up different choices. When working your way through a section, reaching the end automatically moves you to the next one.

Tip 1: As you go through the app don’t think of it as linear. Think of it as peeling an apple all in one go. You start at the top (People), with each section leading you into the next, and the next, and the next, until you reach the bottom, the end of the course. But that’s only if you follow a set route – you can also wiz around willy-nilly. I started by bouncing all over the place but got dizzy so went in search of a logical way to attack the app.

Tip 2:Also important to know is that clicking on a Topic/Subtopic/Game running down the middle either selects or deselects that item. Just remember that you need to have one from each section selected (Topic/Subtopic/Game) before the bottom arrow allows you to play a game. If three are not selected and you double click on the arrow, it will select for you. Surprise!

So now, on to the guts of the app…

As per my confession, when I first started playing with the app I was twirling all over the place so I backed off, started from the beginning, and then worked my way to the end, taking notes as I went. And that’s what you’ll read below.

1) Topic (top nav slider): People, Appearance, Health, Home, Services, Shopping, Food, Eating out, Study, Work, Transport, Sport, Leisure, Environment, Reference, Review words.

2) Subtopic (middle nav slider): Each of the top nav subjects (shown above) break down into mini-subjects (Subtopics) within the middle nav. Tip: The course starts with People but when you open the app most any Topic could be in place.

Subtopic – People: Body, Face, Hand, Foot, Muscles, Skeleton, Internal organs, Family, Relationships, Emotions, Life events, People review favourites, People review wrong, Review. Then >> Children’s clothing, and the Subtopic bounces to the next in line, Appearance…

Subtopic – Appearance: Children’s clothing, Men’s clothing, Women’s clothing, Accessories, Hair, Beauty, Appearance Review Favourite, Appearance Review Wrong, Review appearance. Then it goes into >> Illness…

Subtopic – Health: Illness, Doctor, Injury, First aid, Hospital, Dentist, Optician, Alternative therapy, Health Review Favourite, Health Review Wrong, Review Health, and then >> House…

Subtopic – Home: House, Internal systems, Living room, Dining room, Kitchen, Kitchenware, Bedroom, Bathroom, Nursery, Utility room, Workshop, Toolbox, Decorating, Garden, Garden plants, Garden tools, Gardening, House Review Favourite, House Review Wrong, Review Home >> Emergency services…

Subtopic – Services: Emergency services, Communications, Hotel, Services Review Favourite, Service Review Wrong, Review Services >> Shopping centre…

Subtopic – Shopping: Shopping centre, Supermarket, Chemist, Florist, Newsagent, Confectioner, Other shops, Shopping Review Favourite, Shopping Review Wrong, Review Shopping >> Meat…

Subtopic – Food: Meat, Fish, Vegetables, Fruit, Grains and pulses, Herbs and spices, Bottled foods, Dairy products, Breads and flours, Cakes and desserts, Delicacies, Drinks, Food Review Favourite, Food Review Wrong, Review Food >> Cafe…

Subtopic – Eating out: Cafe, Bar, Restaurant, Fast food, Breakfast, Dinner, Eating out Review Favourite, Eating out Review Wrong, Review Eating out >> School…

Subtopic – Study: School, Maths, Science, College, Study Review Favourite, Study Review Wrong, Review Study >> Office…

Subtopic – Work: Office, Computer, Media, Law, Farm, Construction, Professions, Work Review Favourite, Work Review Wrong, Review Work >> Roads…

Subtopic – Transport: Roads, Bus, Car, Motorbike, Bicycle, Train, Aircraft, Airport, Ship, Port, Transport Review Favourite, Transport Review Wrong, Review Transport >> American football…

Subtopic – Sport: American football, Rugby, Soccer, Hockey, Cricket, Basketball, Baseball, Tennis, Golf, Athletics, Combat sports, Swimming, Sailing, Horse riding, Fishing, Skiing, Other sports, Fitness, Sport Review Favourite, Sport Review Wrong, Review Sport >> Theatre…

Subtopic – Leisure: Theatre, Orchestra, Concert, Sightseeing, Outdoor activities, Beach, Camping, Home entertainment, Photography, Games, Arts and crafts, Leisure Review Favourite, Leisure Review Wrong, Review Leisure >> Space…

Subtopic – Environment: Space, Earth, Landscape, Weather, Rocks, Minerals, Animals, Plants, Town, Architecture, Environment Review Favourite, Environment Review Wrong, Review Environment >> Time…

Subtopic – Reference: Time, Calendar, Numbers, Weights and measures, World map, North and central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania >> Reference Review Favourite, Reference Review Wrong, Review Reference >> Review All Wrong Answers…

Subtopic – Review words: Review All Wrong Answers, Review All words, Review All Right Answers, Review All Favourite Words >> Body… (where it goes back to the beginning which is People). Tip: If you only have a few words to review it will pull from the general list (words you might not have seen).

3) Games (bottom slider nav): Vocabulary, Choose word, Find image, Match words, Listen and choose, Write word, Listen and write.

FunEasyLearn

FunEasyLearnGames – Vocabulary (book icon): This section introduces each word with Thai script, transliteration, a graphic, and audio recorded by real people. Here you study the information, record your voice to see how close you can get to the Thai (it’s great – the app converts your voice into Thai script), create favourites, then move onto the next word.

There’s no way to turn off transliteration but it doesn’t last for long (unless you’ve selected the ‘transliteration only’ option via the settings). Vocabulary is the only game where you can click the star icon on the top right to make the word a favourite (otherwise use the dictionary search). The arrow on the top left takes you back to the main screen. The thick arrow on the right auto scrolls the screens. Turn off auto scrolling by clicking on the || icon that replaces the right arrow. Across the bottom left of the screen there are two audio controls. One repeats at a normal speed and the other at a slower speed. The icon to the right records your voice (you first need to let the app access your microphone). Speak into your phone and a Thai translation in Thai script appears. It’s pretty nifty for getting your pronunciation right, as well as enforcing spelling.

FunEasyLearnGames – Choose word (finger icon): This is a Thai script reading exercise with audio. There’s a single graphic across the top with the English word below. The two boxes across the bottom each have a word in Thai (default setting is script, no transliteration). If you select the correct Thai word the box turns green, the word is spoken, and you advance to the next selection. Select the wrong word and the box turns red with an X on it. You must select the right word to advance. There are no cheats (more about those below).

FunEasyLearnGames – Find Image (magnifying glass icon): This is a Thai script reading exercise with audio. There are four boxes, each with a word in English. Along the bottom there’s a Thai word in Thai script (no transliteration unless you’ve changed it in the settings). You need to select the correct word in English. If you select the right word, it’s spoken, the square goes green and then it flips to the correct graphic. If you get it wrong you get a box with a red X inside. You must get a correct answer before moving on.

FunEasyLearnGames – Match words (scale icon): This is a Thai script reading exercise but sans audio. There are two rows of boxes: the row on the left has Thai script (unless you’re studying with transliteration) and the row on the right has English. Click one of each to match the boxes. Get it correct and the two boxes go green and disappear. Get it wrong and the two boxes turn red and then back to white. There is a cheat: Click the ? symbol in the lower right corner and it’ll match boxes for you.

FunEasyLearnGames – Listen and choose (earphones icon): This is a listening exercise. On the screen are four squares with graphics inside. You have to match a graphic with the audio that you hear as soon as four boxes appear. Get it right and the box goes green and you advance to the next screen. Get it wrong and the box goes red with an X in the middle. There are two sound icons on the bottom left. One replays the audio at a normal rate and the other at a slower rate. The icon to the right is cheat for those in a Thai script setting; clicking the icon gives you Thai transliteration.

FunEasyLearnGames – Write word (paper/pencil icon): This is a spelling exercise. There’s a single graphic with word under it in English. Under that is a partially filled in word (unless it’s a two letter word), with dashes denoting missing letters. Below are boxes with a choice of letters in Thai script (unless you’ve chosen transliteration). You need to click the boxes to fill in what’s missing. When you get it right you’ll hear the word spoken and then move onto the next. There is a cheat: Clicking on the ? symbol fills in the missing items one by one.

FunEasyLearnGames – Listen and write (radio icon): This is a listening, spelling exercise. Similar to Write word, there’s a single graphic but in this one there’s no English. Instead of words, the audio plays automatically with dashes showing how many spaces you need to fill in. All of the letters are missing. Below are boxes with Thai script (unless of course, you are using transliteration). Click on boxes to fill in the spaces. To the left is an audio icon to hear the word once more. Again, the cheat is the ? symbol.

FunEasyLearnBasic navigation inside each game: When you start playing a game, across the top there’s an arrow on the left that takes you back to the home screen (logical). There’s also a round icon on the right that tells your game progress, game score, and what Topic and Subtopic you are in. Depending on the game, across the bottom the icons change.

FunEasyLearn

Game Wheel: You only get the screen that has all of the game icons (shown above) when you’ve completed a game. The circular icon with the arrow on the end replaces the icon of the game you just completed – click to repeat the game. The home icon takes you back to the main screen. The centre icon takes you to the next game on the list.

Here’s a breakdown of the icons again: Vocabulary (book icon), Choose word (finger icon), Find image (magnifying glass icon), Match words (scale icon), Listen and choose (earphones icon), Write word (paper/pencil icon), Listen and write (radio icon).

Learn 6000 Thai Words on iOS, Android and Windows 10…

This app has it all. Listening, reading, writing and spelling.

And if you haven’t figured it out (and before I forget to mention) this app is brilliant for those who can read Thai or are learning how to read Thai and want improve their spelling using Thai script. I haven’t seen anything like it.

If you are using transliteration (only) the spelling sections (Write word and Listen and write) might need a miss but the rest should keep you hopping. Let me know how you get on?

Here’s the app on iTunes and Google Play:

iOS: 6000 Words – Learn Thai Language for Free
Android: 6000 Words – Learn Thai Language for Free
Windows 10 (mobile, tablet, PC): 6000 Words – Learn Thai Language for Free

Eventually I’ll make my way over to the phrase version of the app. Love it.

iOS: 5000 Phrases – Learn Thai Language for Free
Android: 5000 Phrases – Learn Thai Language for Free

EDIT: You can report mistakes from inside the app (Manage App >> support >> contact us) or send them to support@funeasylearn.com

Here’s FunEasyLearn around and about:

Twitter: @FunEasyLearn
Facebook: Fun Easy Learn
YouTube: Fun Easy Learn
Website: FunEasyLearn

There’s still more I need to figure out but I can promise you that eventually, I’ll get to the bottom of the app. But, instead of delving further, I’m going to get back to having fun getting my spelling up to speed. If I find anything new I’ll add it to this review. If you find anything, please let me know either by leaving comments below or via my contact form.

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Thai Slang Put into Phrases: Free Audio and PDF Downloads Included

Benjawan Poomsan Becker

After creating the post, Thai Slang You Might Need to Know I thought it’d be whacking great fun to create phrases out of each slang word. And Thai friends though it would be interesting as well. Game on.

But when I went looking for volunteers, not a one would touch it with a ten foot poll. “Go for it” they said “it’ll be a learning experience for you” they said. So here we are.

Be warned. I seriously did not feel comfortable creating the translations for this post. I don’t use a lot of Thai slang personally, so I did struggle.

Sean Harley: Slang evolves constantly (some go out of fashion, some make a comeback, some don’t, some become really popular, etc). It can also be ‘jargony’, for example it may mean something to teenagers but something else to adults.

This list is not new slang, it’s been around for awhile (you can find many of the words in Benjawan’s Speak Like a Thai series (1&2). And while the teenagers of today do have their own evolving language, many of the terms below, like hi-so and gik, are quite common. But of course there will be pockets of the local population who would have to ask for translations of a few, same as I did.

My translations had a double aim: First) to give an ballpark idea of the meaning in English. And second), where possible, to share English idioms with a Thai friend.

Needless to say, my Thai friend and I had a whale of a time with her trying to get Thai slang through to my thick head, and me trying to explain often old-fashioned Western slang to her.

We both loved it. Perhaps too much. My head still hurts.

Now, not everyone will agree with the translations below. As mentioned, this was a learning experience for me, so under those circumstances it’s to be expected.

All I ask is that you please share your corrections/suggestions either by commenting below, or via the contact form. Both will be welcomed.

Ah. I almost forgot. To see how Google Translate (GT) gets on with Thai slang, I added those as well. Ha! And what a laugh that was … just see for yourself.

Finally, Thai slang put into phrases…

กรอบ /gròp/ dirt poor

สมชายจนกรอบ เลยถูกแฟนทิ้ง
sŏm-chaai jon gròp loie tòok faen tíng
Somchai’s girlfriend left him because he’s dirt poor.

GT: Somchai was crushed by the fans. 


กร่อย /gròi/ boring

เรื่องผจญภัยที่เขาเล่ากร่อยมาก
rêuang pà-jon pai têe kăo lâo gròi mâak
The adventure story he told was so boring!

GT: The story of his adventures very chilly.


กระตั๊ก /grà dták/ abundant

เขาจีบผู้หญิงเก่งเขามีแฟนเป็นกระตั๊ก
kăo jèep pôo yĭng gèng kăo mee faen bpen grà dták
He’s good at flirting, that’s why he gets extra bits on the side.

GT: He flirts with a good woman, he has a girlfriend.


กระต่ายตื่นตูม /grà-dtàai dtèun dtoom/ the sky is falling (rabbit frightened of noise)

เรื่องนิดเดียวทำตกใจเป็นกระต่ายตื่นตูม
rêuang nít dieow tam dtòk jai bpen grà-dtàai dtèun dtoom
You are making a mountain out of a molehill.

GT: A little scarecrow shocked.


กิ๊ก /gík/ boyfriend, girlfriend, lover in a non-serious relationship 

ผู้ชายคนนี้มีกิ๊กเป็นกระตั๊ก
pôo chaai kon née mee gík bpen grà dták
This guy gets bookoo fluff.

GT: This guy has a gaggle.


เกิด /gèrt/ have a chance to shine 

ใส่ชุดนี้ไปงาน เกิดแน่นอน
sài chút née bpai ngaan · gèrt nâe non
Wearing this suit makes you look like a million bucks.

GT: Put this dress to the birth of course.


แก้มือ /gâe meu/ try to do better when given a second chance (to fix a new hand)

วันก่อนเขาเล่นหมดเงิน วันนี้เขาจะแก้มือ
wan gòn kăo lên mòt ngern · wan née kăo jà gâe meu
The other day he lost all his money gambling. Today he expects to win.

GT: The day before he played all the money. Today he will revenge.


ไก่อ่อน /gài òn/ inexperienced guy, naive (innocent chicken)

เรื่องไม่ธรรมดาอย่างนี้ไก่อ่อนอย่างเขาทำไม่ได้
rêuang mâi tam-má-daa yàang née gài òn yàang kăo tam mâi dâai
This is an unusual problem for a newbie to deal with.

GT: This is not as unusual as he can not do.


ขาประจำ /kăa bprà-jam/ regular customer

สมชายเป็นขาประจำร้านนี้เพราะคนขายสวย
sŏm chaai bpen kăa bprà-jam ráan née prór kon kăai sŭay
Somchai is a regular customer at this shop because of the nice looking vendor.

GT: Somchai is a regular attendant because of this beautiful salesman.


ขี้เต่า /kêe dtào/ silly/unimportant thing (armpit) 

อย่าคิดให้กลุ้มมันเป็นเรื่องขี้เต่า
yàa kít hâi glûm man bpen rêuang kêe dtào
Don’t think too much; it’s not such a big deal.

GT: Do not think of it as a dorky thing.


ขี้เลื่อย /kêe lêuay/ dull minded (sawdust)

ไอ้หัวขี้เลื่อย เรื่องแค่นี้ก็คิดไม่ออก
âi hŭa kêe lêuay · rêuang kâe née gôr kít mâi òk
Dmn you, stupid! It is what it is – no more and no less. You are clueless!

GT: Sawdust head This just does not work out.


ขึ้นกล้อง /kêun glông/ photogenic (rise in the camera)

นางแบบคนนี้ขึ้นกล้องมาก
naang bàep kon née kêun glông mâak
This model is mighty photogenic.

GT: This model is very camera.


เขี้ยวลากดิน /kîeow lâak din/ tough, does not easily give in (long in the fang – long toothed)

นายจ้างคนนี้มันเขี้ยวลากดิน
naai jâang kon née man kîeow lâak din
This employer is savvy.

GT: This employer is wily.


ควาย /kwaai/ stupid person (buffalo)
ผัวฉันโง่เหมือนควาย
pŭa chăn ngôh mĕuan kwaai
My husband is as foolish as a buffalo.

GT: I’m a fool like a buffalo


ค่าโสหุ้ย /kâa sŏh-hûi/ overhead (cost / expense – Chinese origin?)

ค่าโสหุ้ยแพงหูฉี่
kâa sŏh-hûi paeng hŏo-chèe
The cost is unreasonably high.

GT: Expensive Expenses


คุณไสย /kun-săi/ black magic 

เขาคงโดนเมียน้อยใช้คุณไสยเข้าแล้ว
kăo kong dohn mia nói chái kun-săi kâo láew
His mistress must have used black magic on him.

GT: He was mistaken to use you occult.


เครื่องร้อน /krêuang rón/ act immediately with enthusiasm (hot engine)

นักวิชาการเพิ่งจบมากำลังเครื่องร้อน
nák wí-chaa gaan pêung jòp maa gam-lang krêuang rón
The junior academic is enthusiastic.

GT: The scholars have just finished the heat.


งก /ngók/ stingy

เขางกสุดๆ ไม่แบ่งให้ใครหรอก
kăo ngók sùt sùt · mâi bàeng hâi krai ròk
He’s way stingy. He won’t share.

GT: She was not the best one to share it with.


งงเต็ก /ngong dtèk/ confused

คุณพูดอะไรฉันงงเต็ก
kun pôot a-rai chăn ngong dtèk
What are you going on about? I’m confused.

GT: What do you say?


งูๆปลาๆ /ngoo ngoo bplaa bplaa/ knowing very little about something (snake snake fish fish)

ฉันพูดอังกฤษได้งูๆปลาๆ
chăn pôot ang-grìt dâai ngoo ngoo bplaa bplaa
My English is next to nothing.


GT: I speak english


จ๋อย /jŏi/ be sad and dejected (to be pale)

พอทุกคนรู้ว่าเขาโกหก เขาหน้าจ๋อยเลย
por túk kon róo wâa kăo goh-hòk · kăo nâa jŏi loie
Everyone knows he’s lying. He went pale.

GT: Enough that everyone knows he is lying He’s a lil


จับกบ /jàp gòp/ stumble and fall (to catch a frog)

ถนนไม่ดี เดินดีๆ เดี๋ยวจับกบหร็อก
tà-nŏn mâi dee · dern dee dee dĭeow jàp gòp rók
It’s a bad road. Walk carefully or you’ll fall.


GT: The road is not good.


จ๊าบ /jáap/ cool (Onomatopoeic word?)

ว้าว วันนี้คุณแต่งตัวจ๊าบจัง
wáao · wan née kun dtàeng dtua jáap jang
Wow. You cleaned up mighty fine today!

GT: Wow, today you dress up!


จิ๊ก /jík/ steal little things (the sound of pecking something?)

มีคนมาจิ๊กเงินในกระเป๋าตังฉัน
mee kon maa jík ngern nai grà-bpăo dtang chăn
Someone lifted money from my purse.

GT: Someone was juggling my wallet.


เจ๊ /jáy/ older sister (Chinese word) 

เจ้าของร้านเรียกตัวเองว่าเจ๊
jâo kŏng ráan rîak dtua ayng wâa jáy
The shopowner refers to herself as ‘older sister’.

GT: The owner called himself chef.


เจ๊ง /jéng/ going out of business, bankrupt (to collapse)

ร้านนี้ขายไม่ดี เจ๊งไปแล้ว
ráan née kăai mâi dee · jéng bpai láew
This shop sold badly, it’s gone out of business already.


GT: This shop is not sold well gone.


เจ๋ง /jĕng/ cool, great! 

คุณพูดได้เจ๋งมาก
kun pôot dâai jĕng mâak
You speak very well!

GT: You say so cool


เจาะลึก /jòr léuk/ investigate thoroughly (to drill deep)

เขากำลังเจาะลึกข่าวการเมือง
kăo gam-lang jòr léuk kàao gaan meuang
He’s delving into politics.


GT: He’s going deep into politics.


แจ๋ว /jăew/ wonderful! (Onomatopoeic word?)

ความคิดคุณแจ๋วจริงๆ
kwaam kít kun jăew jing jing
Your idea is magnificent!

GT: Your thoughts are really beautiful.


แฉ /chăe/ reveal (possibly from English ‘share’)

เขาเอาเรื่องเมียเก่ามาแฉ
kăo ao rêuang mia gào maa chăe
He reveals everything about his ex wife.


GT: He was the old man unfolding.


ชวด /chûat/ miss, lose out on (rat, animal of the Thai zodiac)

อย่าช้านะ เดี๋ยวชวด
yàa cháa ná · dĭeow chûat
Don’t be late or you’ll lose out.

GT: Do not be late


ชะนี /chá-nee/ “woman” used by gay men (gibbons make sounds like ผัว /pŭa/ husband)

หมั่นไส้ชะนีพวกนี้ เดินตามผัวอยู่ได้
màn sâi chá-nee pûak née · dern dtaam pŭa yòo dâai
I despise women who walk behind their husbands.

GT: Gibbons Walk with your husband


ช้างน้ำ /cháang náam/ big, fat person (hippo)

เขาใส่ชุดนี้แล้วเหมือนช้างน้ำ
kăo sài chút née láew mĕuan cháang náam
In this dress she looks like a hippo.

GT: He dressed like a waltz.


เช้งกะเด๊ะ /cháyng gà dé/ extremely beautiful and sexy woman (Onomatopoeic word?)

วันนี้คุณสวยเช้งกะเด๊ะจริงๆ
wan née kun sŭay cháyng gà dé jing jing
Today you look smoking hot.

GT: You are really beautiful today.


เชย /choie/ old-fashioned

ชุดคุณเชยมาก
chút kun choie mâak
Your dress is out of fashion.

GT: You very cheesy


เชียร์แขก /chia kàek/ try to get customers to buy (loanword: ‘cheer’ on guests)

เขามีหน้าทีเชียร์แขกหน้าบาร์
kăo mee nâa tee chia kàek nâa baa
Her job is to attract customers into the bar.

GT: He has a cheeky face in front of the bar.


ซวย /suay/ unlucky

ซวยอีกแล้วงวดนี้
suay èek láew ngûat née
Yet again I am unlucky with the lottery.

GT: Hes again this period.


ซา /saa/ subside 

เมื่อก่อนขายของดี แต่ตอนนี้ซาลง
mêua gòn kăai kŏng dee · dtàe dton-née saa long
Before this we could make a good sale but it’s slowed down now.

GT: Once before the sale of good. But now sa


ซ่า /sâa/ showy 

หนุ่มคนนั้นทำตัวซ่าซะไม่มี
nùm kon nán tam dtua sâa sá mâi mee
The young guy behaves like a big shot but he really really isn’t.


GT: The young man does not have a body.


ซิ่ง /sîng/ brave and hip in expressing oneself, to race, to leave quickly (shortened from ‘racing’)

ซิ่งมาเลย ฉันไม่มีเวลาแล้ว
sîng maa loie · chăn mâi mee way-laa láew
Hurry! I don’t have any time.

GT: I have no time.


เซ้ง /sáyng/ lease (Chinese origin?)

ตึกนี้ให้เซ้งทุกๆ10 ปี
dtèuk née hâi sáyng túk túk sìp bpee
This building has a ten year lease.

GT: This building is rented every 10 years.


เซ็ง /seng/ dull 

ผมเซ็งกับงานนี้มาก
pŏm seng gàp ngaan née mâak
I’m really bored with this job.

GT: I was very impressed with this job.


ดอกฟ้า /dòk fáa/ high-ranking woman, young female of rich and powerful family (sky flower)

เธอเป็นดอกฟ้า ผมเป็นหมาวัด
ter bpen dòk fáa · pŏm bpen măa wát
She’s an uptown girl – I’m a backstreet guy.

GT: She is a fairy.


ดองงาน /dong ngaan/ procrastinate on working (pickling the job – slowing down work)

เจ้านายบ่นเพราะเขาชอบดองงาน
jâo naai bòn prór kăo chôp dong ngaan
The boss complains because his employee likes to slow down the job.

GT: The boss complained because he liked the job.


ดำน้ำ /dam náam/ guess (diving without knowing what you’ll hit)

คุณไม่รู้จริงอย่ามาดำน้ำ
kun mâi róo jing yàa maa dam náam
You don’t really know for sure, you just guess.

GT: You do not know, do not dive


ดีแตก /dee dtàek/ turning out to be not so good (broken goodness)

เขาเคยดี แต่เดี๋ยวนี้ดีแตก
kăo koie dee · dtàe dĭeow née dee dtàek
He used to be nice but now he’s just full of it.

GT: He used to be good, but now it’s good.


ดูไม่จืด /doo mâi jèut/ not looking good (look not bland)

ชุดที่ใส่ไปงานเมื่อคืน ดูไม่จืดเลย
chút têe sài bpai ngaan mêua keun · doo mâi jèut loie
The dress you wore at the party last night did not do you any justice.

GT: The dress that was put to work last night did not look fresh.


เด็กกะโปโล /dèk gà-bpoh-loh/ dirty, uncivilized and innocent child (childish child) 

คุณแต่งตัวให้ลูกยังกับเป็นเด็กกะโปโล
kun dtàeng dtua hâi lôok yang gàp bpen dèk gà-bpoh-loh
You dress like trailer trash.

GT: You are also dressed up as a child.


เด็กแนว /dèk naew/ young person who follows all the new trends (stylish kids)

เด็กคนนี้แต่งตัวเป็นเด็กแนว
dèk kon née dtàeng dtua bpen dèk naew
This child dresses trendy.

GT: This kid is dressed up as a kid.


เดิ้น /dêrn/ stylish and modern, go-go (shortened from ‘modern’)

ผมชอบมองเขาเพราะเขาแต่งตัวเดิ้นมาก
pŏm chôp mong kăo prór kăo dtàeng dtua dêrn mâak
I like to ogle him because he dresses stylishly.

GT: I like looking at him because he is very


เดี้ยง /dîang/ dead, out of order, broken, unwell

ตอนนี้เดี้ยง ขอพักก่อน
dton-née dîang · kŏr pák gòn
(I’m) feeling unwell now, (I) want to rest.

GT: Now, let’s rest.


ไดโนเสาร์ /dai-noh-săo/ old-fashioned (dinosaur, English loanword)

อย่าทำตัวเป็นไดโนเสาร์เต่าล้านปีได้มั้ย
yàa tam dtua bpen dai-noh-săo dtào láan bpee dâai máai
Don’t behave like a dinosaur! Will you?

GT: Do not act like a million-year-old dinosaur turtles?


ตกม้าตาย /dtòk máa dtaai/ fail before reaching success or goal (fall down from a horse and die)

เขาทำดีมาตลอดแต่ตกม้าตายตอนเกษียณ
kăo tam dee maa dtà-lòt dtàe dtòk máa dtaai dton gà-sĭan
He started out well but in the end fell flat on his face.

GT: He’s done good, but he fell off his horse when he retired.


ตงฉิน /dtong-chĭn/ work honestly (Chinese origin?)

ตำรวจคนนี้ได้รางวัลเพราะเขาทำงานตงฉินจริงๆ
dtam-rùat kon née dâai raang-wan prór kăo tam ngaan dtong-chĭn jing jing
This policeman received a reward because he’s super honest on the job.


GT: This cop won because he worked really hard.


ต้ม /dtôm/ bamboozle, trick, deceive (to boil) 

ฉันโดนเพื่อนต้มจนสุก
chăn dohn pêuan dtôm jon sùk
I was ripped off by a friend.

GT: I was cooked until cooked.


ต่อยหอย /dtòi hŏi/ very talkative (to keep punching a shell to break it)

ผู้หญิงคนนี้พูดเป็นต่อยหอย
pôo yĭng kon née pôot bpen dtòi hŏi
This woman has a motor mouth.

GT: This girl is talking


ตัวซวย /dtua suay/ jinx (unlucky person)

แกมันตัวซวย ไปไกลๆ ไป
gae man dtua suay · bpai glai glai bpai
You’re jinxed. Get away from me.

GT: It’s far far away.


ตาถั่ว /dtaa tùa/ be careless (peanut eyes)

แกมันตาถั่วจริงๆ นี่มันของปลอม
gae man dtaa-tùa jing jing nêe man kŏng bplom
You really turn a blind eye to fakes.

GT: You really eye it. This is fake


ติ๊งต๊อง /dtíng-dtóng/ wacky (Onomatopoeic word?)

เขาชอบทำตัวติ๊งต๊อง
kăo chôp tam dtua dtíng-dtóng
He likes to act crazy.

GT: He likes to do


ติดดิน /dtìt din/ down-to-earth, earthy (to stick to the ground)

เขารวยมากแต่ชอบทำตัวติดดิน
kăo ruay mâak dtàe chôp tam dtua dtìt din
He’s rich but down to earth.

GT: He is very wealthy but likes to stick to the soil.


ตีนแมว /dteen maew/ burglar (cat feet – cats walk softly, soundless)

เมื่อคืนฝนตก ตีนแมวเข้าบ้านไม่รู้ตัว
mêua keun fŏn dtòk · dteen maew kâo bâan mâi róo dtua
Last night when it rained we didn’t know a burglar had come into the house.

GT: When the rain falls, the cat’s feet enter the house unconsciously.


เตะฝุ่น /dtè fùn/ unemployed (to kick the dust)

เขาไม่มีงานทำเดินเตะฝุ่นทุกวัน
kăo mâi mee ngaan tam dern dtè fùn túk wan
He’s out of work. He’s forever without a job.

GT: He does not have to do daily walks.


เต่าล้านปี /dtào láan bpee/ very old-fashioned person (million year old turtle)

ความคิดแบบเต่าล้านปีนี่ เลิกได้แล้ว
kwaam kít bàep dtào láan bpee nêe · lêrk dâai láew
This outmoded idea has long ceased to be.

GT: This Taoist idea has ceased to exist.


แต๊ะอั๋ง /dtáe-ăng/ grope or touch sexually (Chinese origin?)

เวลาอยู่บนรถเมล์ระวังโดนแต๊ะอั๋งนะ
way-laa yòo bon rót may rá-wang dohn dtáe-ăng ná
Watch out for gropers when you are on the bus.

GT: Time to be on the bus.


ทึ่ง /têung/ amazed (Onomatopoeic word?)

เขาพูดได้น่าทึ่งมาก
kăo pôot dâai nâa têung mâak
He’s impressive when he speaks.

GT: He speaks amazingly.


ทุเรศ /tú-râyt/ obscene, shabby (ugly)

หยุดทำทุเรศๆ ได้มั้ย
yùt tam tú-râyt tú-râyt · dâai máai
Can you stop being so disgusting!?

GT: Can you make it?


นกเขา /nók kăo/ cock, penis (dove)

ช่วงนี้ไม่รู้เป็นไร นกเขาไม่ขันเลย
hûang née mâi róo bpen rai · nók kăo mâi kăn loie
I don’t know what’s wrong with my penis. It isn’t alert at all.

GT: This is not known. Dove no fun


นกต่อ /nók dtòr/ informant (bird decoy)

หมอนั่นมันเป็นนกต่อของตำรวจ
mŏr nân man bpen nók dtòr kŏng dtam-rùat
That guy is a stool pigeon for the police.

GT: That doctor is a police bird.


นั่งนก /nâng nók/ sleep while sitting (sitting bird)

เขานั่งนกอยู่ที่โต๊ะทำงาน
kăo nâng nók yòo têe dtó tam ngaan
He fell asleep sitting straight up at the table at work.

GT: He sat at the desk.


น้ำเน่า /nám nâo/ dull and monotonous, soapy, soap operas (drains are not filled with good water)

สมัยนี้มีแต่ละครน้ำเน่า
sà-măi née mee dtàe-lá kon nám nâo
These days there are only monotonous soaps.

GT: This is a soap opera.


นิ้ง /níng/ superb (Onomatopoeic word?)

วันนี้คุณสวยนิ้งจริงๆ ใครๆก็มอง
wan née kun sŭay níng jing jing krai krai gôr mong
Today you are gorgeous indeed, everyone is looking at you.

GT: Today you’re really pretty looking at anyone.


เนี้ยบ /níap/ perfect, smart

อาจารย์คนนี้แต่งตัวเนี้ยบมาก
aa-jaan kon née dtàeng dtua níap mâak
This professor is a smart dresser.


GT: This teacher is very dressed up.


บอกผ่าน /bòk pàan/ inflate the price of something 

นี่ราคาปกติ ไม่ได้บอกผ่าน
nêe raa-kaa bpòk-gà-dtì · mâi dâai bòk pàan
This is the normal price. I didn’t put it up.

GT: This price is not usually told through.


บ๊อง บ๊องๆ /bóng · bóng bóng/ crazy (Onomatopoeic word?)

ชายคนนี้ยิ่งแก่ ยิ่งทำตัวบ๊องๆ
chaai kon née yîng gàe · yîng tam dtua bóng bóng
This man, the older he gets, the crazier he acts.

GT: This man is older. The act


บ้าๆบอๆ /bâa bâa bor bor/ crazy (Onomatopoeic word?)

เขาชอบพูดเรื่องบ้าๆ บอๆ
kăo chôp pôot rêuang bâa bâa bor bor
He likes to talk about crazy things.


GT: He likes to talk crazy


ปล่อยไก่ /bplòi gài/ embarrassed, make a silly or careless mistake (to release chickens)

ล่ามคนนั้นปล่อยไก่ แปลผิดโดยไม่รู้ตัว
lâam kon nán bplòi gài · bplae pìt doi mâi róo dtua
That guy unknowingly made a mistake. He translated it incorrectly.

GT: That translator is bloated. Misunderstandings


ปอดแหก /bpòt hàek/ chicken-hearted (broken lungs)

เขาปอดแหกไม่กล้าเดินคนเดียวตอนกลางคืน
kăo bpòt hàek mâi glâa dern kon dieow dtor nók laang keun
He’s a coward. He not brave enough to walk by himself at night.

GT: He did not dare to walk alone at night.


ปั้นเรื่อง /bpân rêuang/ make up a story (to mold a story)

เด็กคนนี้ชอบปั้นเรื่อง
dèk kon née chôp bpân rêuang
This kid likes to make up stories.

GT: This kid likes molding stuff.


ปากหอยปากปู /bpàak hŏi bpàak bpoo/ someone who gossips and causes damage to others (shell mouth, crab mouth)

อย่าไปฟังพวกปากหอยปากปู
yàa bpai fang pûak bpàak hŏi bpàak bpoo
Don’t listen to big mouths.


GT: Do not listen to the phalanx.


ปิ๊ง /bpíng/ click – between lovers (Onomatopoeic word?)

ผมเห็นเธอก็ปิ๊งเลย
pŏm hĕn ter gôr bpíng loie
I loved her at first sight.

GT: I see you are screaming.


แป๊บ /bpáep/ one little moment (Onomatopoeic word?)

เขาไปแป๊บเดียวแล้วก็กลับมา
kăo bpai bpáep dieow láew gôr glàp maa
She went away for just a minute and then came back.

GT: He went one by one and came back.


ผีเสื้อสมุทร /pĕe sêua sà-mùt/ big ugly woman (character from Thai literature)

เขาดูเหมือนผีเสื้อสมุทแต่เขาใจดี
kăo doo mĕuan pĕe sêua sà-mùt dtàe kăo jai dee
She has the look of a big ugly woman but she’s kindhearted.

GT: He looks like a butterfly, but he is kind.


เผา /păo/ gossip about, talk behind one’s back (to burn someone)

เธอชอบเอาเรื่องของเพื่อนไปเผา
ter chôp ao rêuang kŏng pêuan bpai păo
She likes to make trouble for her friend by gossiping.

GT: She likes to make friends with her.


ฝรั่งจ๋า /fà-ràng jăa/ those who idolise Western ways (food, dress, movies, lifestyle)

ความคิดเขาฝรั่งจ๋าเกินไป
kwaam kít kăo fà-ràng jăa gern bpai
Her mindset is too Western.

GT: He thinks too guilty


ฝอย /fŏi/ chat, brag

หยุดฝอยได้แล้ว
yùt fŏi dâai láew
Stop bragging already!

GT: Stop the fuzzy


เพื่อนซี้ /pêuan sée/ very close friend 

เราเป็นเพื่อนซี้กัน
rao bpen pêuan sée gan
We are very close friends.

GT: We are friends


แพะรับบาป /páe ráp bàap/ scapegoat (goat sin)

เขาไม่ผิดแต่เขาต้องมาเป็น แพะรับบาป
kăo mâi pìt dtàe kăo dtông maa bpen · páe ráp bàap
He is not in the wrong, but he had to be the whipping boy.

GT: He is not guilty, but he must be a scapegoat.


ภาษาดอกไม้ /paa-săa dòk máai/ language of love (flower language)

หล่อนพูดเป็นภาษาดอกไม้
lòn pôot bpen paa-săa dòk máai
She speaks the language of love.

GT: She speaks a flower language


ม้ามืด /máa mêut/ dark horse (unexpected winner)

เขาเป็นม้ามืด ไม่มีใครรู้ว่าเขาจะชนะ
kăo bpen máa mêut · mâi mee krai róo wâa kăo jà chá-ná
He was a dark horse; an unexpected winner.


GT: He is a dark horse No one knows that he will win.


มีกะตังค์ /mee gà dtang/ rich (to have coins – gà dtang comes from satang สตางค์ which means coins/money)

เขาใช้ของเหมือนคนมีกะตังค์
kăo chái kŏng mĕuan kon mee gà dtang
He lives as if he’s rich.

GT: He used to be like a man with money.


มือขึ้น /meu kêun/ having good luck (hand up)

คืนนี้เขาเล่นไพ่มือขึ้นจริงๆ
keun née kăo lên pâi meu kêun jing jing
Tonight he had really good luck at playing cards.

GT: Tonight he really played poker.


มือตก /meu dtòk/ having bad luck (hand down)

เมื่อวันก่อนเขายังมือตกอยู่เลย
mêua wan gòn kăo yang meu dtók yòo loie
The previous day he was unlucky.

GT: The day before he still hands down.


เมาท์ /mao/ speak with friends for fun, chat (shortened from ‘mouth’)

พอครูออกนอกห้อง ทุกคนก็เมาท์กันอย่างสนุกสนาน
por kroo òk nôk hông · túk kon gôr mao gan yàang sà-nùk-sà-năan
As soon as the teacher leaves the room everyone starts gabbing.

GT: When the teacher leaves the room. Everyone was happy.


แมงดา /maeng-daa/ pimp (insect, giant waterbug)

แมงดานั่นคุมซ่องนี้อยู่
maeng-daa nân kum sông née yòo
He’s the pimp who oversees the brothel.

GT: The pimps that control this broth.


ไม่เป็นสับปะรด /mâi bpen sàp-bpà-rót/ bad tasting or of low quality (not a pineapple)

เขาทำงานไม่เป็นสับปะรดเลย
kăo tam ngaan mâi bpen sàp-bpà-rót loie
His work is of low quality.

GT: He is not a pineapple.


ยาบ้า /yaa bâa/ methamphetamine, meth, amphetamine, speed (crazy medicine)

ผู้ชายคนนั้นติดยาบ้า
pôo chaai kon nán dtìt yaa bâa
That guy is a drug addict.

GT: The man is addicted to amphetamines.


ร้อนตับแตก /rón dtàp dtàek/ darn hot (row of dried nipa palm leaves used as a roof – doesn’t break but feels like it)

ออกไปข้างนอกดีกว่า ในนี้ร้อนตับแตก
òk bpai kâang nôk dee gwàa · nai née rón dtàp dtàek
It’s better to go outside. Inside it’s dang hot!

GT: Go out better In this hot, cracked liver.


รู้อย่างเป็ด /róo yàang bpèt/ familiar with many things but a master of none (to know like a duck)

พอเขาพูดออกมา เรารู้เลยว่าเขารู้อย่างเป็ด
por kăo pôot òk maa · rao róo loie wâa kăo róo yàang bpèt
As soon as he spoke, I understood right away that he doesn’t know very much.

GT: As he speaks out We know that he is dull.


เรื่องขี้ผง /rêuang kêe pŏng/ easy matter or trivial (story dust)

ไม่ต้องห่วงผม เรื่องนี้เรื่องขี้ผง
mâi dtông hùang pŏm · rêuang née rêuang kêe pŏng
Don’t worry about me, it isn’t anything much.

GT: Do not worry about me This story is trivial.


ลองของ /long kŏng/ try something usually bad 

คุณไม่ต้องมาลองของผม ผมรู้ทันคุณ
kun mâi dtông maa long kŏng pŏm · pŏm róo tan kun
You don’t have to try one on. I know when you are up to something.

GT: You do not have to try my hand, I know you


ลักไก่ /lák gài/ cheat in a game, to test someone (to steal a chicken)

ผมรู้ว่าคุณลักไก่
pŏm róo wâa kun lák gài
I know you’re a cheater!

GT: I know you


ลูกมือ /lôok meu/ helper or assistant (small hand)

ฉันชอบเป็นลูกมือทำอาหารให้เขา
chăn chôp bpen lôok meu tam aa-hăan hâi kăo
I’d like to be his cooking assistant.

GT: I like to cook for him.


วาบหวาม /wâap wăam/ provoking sensation or sexually explicit (Onomatopoeic word?)

คุณแต่งตัววาบหวามจังเลย
kun dtàeng dtua wâap wăam jang loie
You dress so sexy!

GT: You dress up


เว่อร์ /wer/ too much (shortened from ‘over’). 

อย่าแต่งตัวเว่อร์เดี๋ยวคนคิดว่าคุณบ้า
yàa dtàeng dtua wêr dĭeow kon kít wâa kun bâa
Don’t overdress, people will think you’re crazy.

GT: Do not dress up now, people think you crazy.


สวิงเด้ง /sà-wĭng dâyng/ scream with excitement 

เธอดีใจแบบสวิงเด้ง
ter dee jai bàep sà-wĭng dâyng
She’s immensely happy!

GT: She is happy swing.


สะเออะ /sà-ùh/ meddle

อย่ามาสะเออะเรื่องของฉัน ฉันไม่ชอบ
yàa maa sà-ùh rêuang kŏng chăn · chăn mâi chôp
Don’t poke your nose into my business. I don’t like it!


GT: Do not worry about me I do not like


สันดาน /săn daan/ trait

เด็กคนนี้สันดานเหมือนพ่อ
dèk kon née săn daan mĕuan pôr
(They’re) childish, just like their father.

GT: This child is like a father.


ไส้แห้ง /sâi hâeng/ destitute (dry intestines – to be starving)

เขาไม่มีงานทำ เลยไส้แห้ง
kăo mâi mee ngaan tam · loie sâi hâeng
He doesn’t have work. (He’s) penniless.

GT: He has no job to do


หน้าโหล /nâa lŏh/ common looking face (a dozen faces – everything the same)

เขาหล่อแบบหน้าโหลๆ
kăo lòr bàep nâa lŏh
He’s plain looking.

GT: He is a beautiful face


หมดตูด /mòt dtòot/ dead broke (finished pooping)

เดือนนี้ผมหมดตูด เลยไม่มีเงินไปเที่ยว
deuan née pŏm mòt dtòot · loie mâi mee ngern bpai tîeow
This month I have nothing left. There isn’t money to go out.

GT: This month I am out of order. No money to go


หมวย /mŭay/ young Chinese woman (Chinese origin?)

คุณสวยเหมือนหมวย
kun sŭay mĕuan mŭay
You’re beautiful, like a young Chinese woman.

GT: You are like boxing


หมาวัด /măa wát/ poor man (temple dog)

ผมเป็นหมาวัดที่หมายปองดอกฟ้า
pŏm bpen măa wát têe măai bpong dòk fáa
I’m a lowlife but I have high hopes.



GT: I am a temple dog.

หมาหมู่ /măa mòo/ group of dangerous men (a group of dogs)

เขาโดนพวกหมาหมู่รุม แต่มีตำรวจผ่านมาพอดี
kăo dohn pûak măa mòo rum · dtàe mee dtam-rùat pàan maa por dee
He was badly threatened by scum but the police came just in time.

GT: He was hit by the crowd But the police came through.


หมู /mŏo/ easy (pig)

งานนี้หมูมากสำหรับฉัน
ngaan née mŏo mâak săm-ràp chăn
This work is a piece of cake for me.

GT: This work is very pig for me.


หยวน /yŭan/ give in reluctantly

หยวนๆ ให้แล้วกันงานนี้
yŭan yŭan · hâi láew gan ngaan née
No loss no gain. Let’s make it this time around.


GT: Yuan to this job.

หลุดโลก /lùt lôhk/ eccentric or quirky (out of this world)

เขาเป็นคนหลุดโลก
kăo bpen kon lùt lôhk
He’s an eccentric guy.

GT: He is out of the world


หวย /hŭay/ illegal lottery, lotto 

ฉันซื้อหวยทุกงวด
chăn séu hŭay túk ngûat
I grab lottery tickets under the table whenever they’re around.

GT: I buy lottery every period.


ห่วย /hùay/ bad, no good

งานของคุณห่วยจริงๆ
ngaan kŏng kun hùay jing jing
Your work is truly good-for-nothing.

GT: Your work really sucks.


ห่วยแตก /hùay dtàek/ crap! (bad broken)

เขาทำงานแบบห่วยแตก
kăo tam ngaan bàep hùay dtàek
Their work is crap!


GT: He works a shabby way.


ห้องกง /hông gong/ jail (cell room – hông gong rhymes with Hong Kong)

ตอนนี้เขาอยู่ที่ห้องกง
dton-née kăo yòo têe hông gong
He’s in a jail cell now.


GT: Now he is in the Gong room.


หายต๋อม /hăai-dtŏm/ disappear for a long time (disappear + the sound of throwing something into the water)

นานแล้วเราไม่เจอกันเลย คุณหายต๋อมไปไหนมา
naan láew rao mâi jer gan loie · kun hăai-dtŏm bpai năi maa
We haven’t seen each other in yaks ages. Where did you disappear to?


GT: Long time ago we did not see each other. How did you get lost?


แห้ว /hâew/ lose one’s opportunity, to blow it (chestnut)

แห้วแล้วเรา ผู้หญิงคนนั้นมีแฟนแล้ว
hâew láew rao · pôo yĭng kon nán mee faen láew
We blew it. That woman already has a boyfriend.

GT: Frustration, we girls have a girlfriend.


เฮง /hayng/ fortunate, lucky (Chinese origin?)

ในที่สุดก็เฮง ถูกล็อตเตอรี่รางวัลที่สอง
nai têe sùt gôr hayng · tòok lót-dter-rêe raang-wan têe sŏng
I finally got lucky! I won a second lottery prize.


GT: Finally Heng Was the second prize lottery.

เฮี้ยน /hían/ manifesting the power of an evil spirit

ถนนนี้เกิดอุบัติเหตุบ่อยๆ เจ้าที่เจ้าทางเฮี้ยนมาก
tà-nŏn née gèrt u-bàt-dtì-hàyt bòi bòi jâo têe jâo taang hían mâak
This road is accident prone. The road god is vindictive.


GT: This road accident often. You are very goddamn.


ไฮโซ /hai soh/ high-class (shortened from ‘high society’)

พวกไฮโซนั่น ชอบใช้ของแบรนด์เนม
pûak hai soh nân · chôp chái kŏng bae ron-naym
The beautiful peeps always go for the brand names.

GT: The noble ones like to use the brand name.


Speak Like a Thai 1&2…

Many of the words (with phrases) in this list can be found in Benjawan’s Speak Like a Thai series.

Speak Like a Thai Volume 1
Speak Like a Thai Volume 2

Smartphone Apps: Talking Thai <> English Dictionary+Phrasebook…

Most of the slang vocabulary used in this post will be in the Talking Thai-Eng-Thai Dictionary by Paiboon Publishing and Word in the Hand.

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

Thai slang phrases download files…

PDF Download: Thai Slang Put into Phrases – 398kb
Audio Download: Thai Slang Put into Phrases – 4.8mg

Note: These files are for personal use only (please do not place them on other websites).

Before I go I’d like to think Benjawan for letting me use her slang list. Benjawan also suggested changes to the first run of the phrases – again, thanks! And I’d like to thank KP (my long-suffering Thai friend), who records for WLT and answers a gazillion questions about the Thai language and the Thai people, and my terrible Thai. Thanks to all!

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Thai Slang You Might Need to Know: Free Audio and Spreadsheet Downloads Included

Benjawan Poomsan Becker

Benjawan Poomsan Becker (of Paiboon Publishing fame) has a Thai and Lao Interpreters’ Study Group ล่ามไทย ນາຍພາສາລາວ on Facebook where they share tips and secrets of the trade.

While Benjawan hasn’t lived in Thailand for years she’s passionate about keeping up with new additions to the Thai language. And whenever she comes across new Thai slang, she adds it to the exceptional Talking Thai <> English Dictionary+Phrasebook.

Interpreters and translators will obviously be aware of homegrown slang but they need to have the translations at the tips of their tongues. Understanding Thai slang is also a great way for students to learn more about the language as well.

Just recently Benjawan shared her shortlist of Thai slang with the Interpreters’ Study Group.

With permission from Benjawan (thanks!) below is her list. The notes in the parenthesis are mine (not set in stone) so if you have suggestions, please, don’t be shy (contact me).

At the bottom of this post you’ll find two files to download: audio and spreadsheet (English, Thai script, and transliteration included). Of course, audio files for each of the words (recorded by Benjawan) can also be found in the dictionary. Have fun! I sure did.

กรอบ /gròp/ dirt poor
กร่อย /gròi/ boring
กระตั๊ก /grà dták/ abundant
กระต่ายตื่นตูม /grà-dtàai dtèun dtoom/ chicken little and the sky is falling (rabbit frightened of noise)
กิ๊ก /gík/ boyfriend, girlfriend, lover in a non-serious relationship
เกิด /gèrt/ have a chance to shine
แก้มือ /gâe meu/ try to do better when given a second chance (to fix a new hand)
ไก่อ่อน /gài òn/ inexperienced person (innocent chicken)
ขาประจำ /kăa bprà-jam/ regular customer
ขี้เต่า /kêe dtào/ armpit
ขี้เลื่อย /kêe lêuay/ dull minded (sawdust)
ขึ้นกล้อง /kêun glông/ photogenic (rise in the camera)
เขี้ยวลากดิน /kîeow lâak din/ tough, not easily give in (long in the fang)
ควาย /kwaai/ stupid person (buffalo)
ค่าโสหุ้ย /kâa sŏh-hûi/ overhead (cost / expense – Chinese origin?)
คุณไสย /kun-săi/ black magic
เครื่องร้อน /krêuang rón/ act immediately with enthusiasm (hot engine)
งก /ngók/ stingy
งงเต็ก /ngong dtèk/ confused
งูๆปลาๆ /ngoo ngoo bplaa bplaa/ knowing very little about something (snake snake fish fish)
จ๋อย /jŏi/ be sad and dejected (to be pale)
จับกบ /jàp gòp/ stumble and fall (to catch a frog)
จ๊าบ /jáap/ cool (Onomatopoeic word?)
จิ๊ก /jík/ steal little things (the sound of pecking something?)
เจ๊ /jáy/ older sister (Chinese word)
เจ๊ง /jéng/ going out of business (collapse)
เจ๋ง /jĕng/ cool, great!
เจาะลึก /jòr léuk/ investigate thoroughly (to drill deep)
แจ๋ว /jăew/ wonderful! (Onomatopoeic word?)
แฉ /chăe/ reveal (possibly from English ‘share’)
ชวด /chûat/ miss, lose out on (rat, animal of the Thai zodiac)
ชะนี /chá-nee/ “woman” used by gay men (gibbons sound like ผัว /pŭa/, husband)
ช้างน้ำ /cháang náam/ big, fat person (hippo)
เช้งกะเด๊ะ /cháyng gà dé/ beautiful and sexy woman (Onomatopoeic word?)
เชย /choie/ old-fashioned
เชียร์แขก /chia kàek/ try to get customers to buy (English loanword: ‘cheer’ on guests)
ซวย /suay/ unlucky
ซา /saa/ subside
ซ่า /sâa/ showy
ซิ่ง /sîng/ brave and hip in expressing oneself (shortened from ‘racing’)
เซ้ง /sáyng/ lease (Chinese origin?)
เซ็ง /seng/ dull
ดอกฟ้า /dòk fáa/ high-ranking woman of rich and powerful family (sky flower)
ดองงาน /dong ngaan/ procrastinate on one’s work (pickling the job)
ดำน้ำ /dam náam/ guess (diving without knowing what you’ll hit)
ดีแตก /dee dtàek/ turning out to be not so good (broken goodness)
ดูไม่จืด /doo mâi jèut/ not looking good (look not bland?)
เด็กกะโปโล /dèk gà-bpoh-loh/ dirty, uncivilized and innocent child (childish child)
เด็กแนว /dèk naew/ young person that follows all the new trends (stylish kids)
เดิ้น /dêrn/ stylish and modern, go-go (shortened from ‘modern’)
เดี้ยง /dîang/ dead, out of order, broken
ไดโนเสาร์ /dai-noh-săo/ old-fashioned (dinosaur, English loanword)
ตกม้าตาย /dtòk máa dtaai/ fail before reaching success (fall down from horse and die)
ตงฉิน /dtong-chĭn/ work honestly (Chinese origin?)
ต้ม /dtôm/ bamboozle, trick, deceive (to boil)
ต่อยหอย /dtòi hŏi/ very talkative (to keep punching a shell to break it)
ตัวซวย /dtua suay/ jinx (unlucky person)
ตาถั่ว /dtaa tùa/ be careless (peanut eyes)
ติ๊งต๊อง /dtíng-dtóng/ wacky (Onomatopoeic word?)
ติดดิน /dtìt din/ down-to-earth, earthy (to stick to the ground)
ตีนแมว /dteen maew/ burglar (cat feet – cats walk softly, soundless)
เตะฝุ่น /dtè fùn/ unemployed (to kick the dust)
เต่าล้านปี /dtào láan bpee/ very old-fashioned person (million year old turtle)
แต๊ะอั๋ง /dtáe-ăng/ grope or touch sexually (Chinese origin?)
ทึ่ง /têung/ amazed (Onomatopoeic word?)
ทุเรศ /tú-râyt/ obscene, shabby (ugly)
นกเขา /nók kăo/ cock, penis (dove)
นกต่อ /nók dtòr/ informant (bird decoy)
นั่งนก /nâng nók/ sleep while sitting (sitting bird)
น้ำเน่า /nám nâo/ soap operas (drains are not filled with good water)
นิ้ง /níng/ superb (Onomatopoeic word?)
เนี้ยบ /níap/ perfect, smart
บอกผ่าน /bòk pàan/ inflate the price of something
บ๊อง บ๊องๆ /bóng · bóng bóng/ crazy (Onomatopoeic word?)
บ้าๆบอๆ /bâa bâa bor bor/ crazy (Onomatopoeic word?)
ปล่อยไก่ /bplòi gài/ embarrassed, make silly or careless mistakes (to release chickens)
ปอดแหก /bpòt hàek/ chicken-hearted (broken lungs)
ปั้นเรื่อง /bpân rêuang/ make up a story (to mold a story)
ปากหอยปากปู /bpàak hŏi bpàak bpoo/ someone who gossips and causes damage to others (shell mouth, crab mouth)
ปิ๊ง /bpíng/ click – between lovers (Onomatopoeic word?)
แป๊บ /bpáep/ one little moment (Onomatopoeic word?)
ผีเสื้อสมุทร /pĕe sêua sà-mùt/ big ugly woman (character from Thai literature)
เผา /păo/ gossip about, talk behind one’s back (to burn someone)
ฝรั่งจ๋า /fà-ràng jăa/ Western idolizer
ฝอย /fŏi/ chat, brag
เพื่อนซี้ /pêuan sée/ very close friend
แพะรับบาป /páe ráp bàap/ scapegoat (goat sin)
ภาษาดอกไม้ /paa-săa dòk máai/ language of love (flower language)
ม้ามืด /máa mêut/ dark horse (unexpected winner)
มีกะตังค์ /mee gà dtang/ rich (to have coins – gà dtang comes from satang สตางค์ which means coins/money)
มือขึ้น /meu kêun/ having good luck (hand up)
มือตก /meu dtòk/ having bad luck (hand down)
เมาท์ /mao/ speak with friends for fun, chat (shortened from ‘mouth’)
แมงดา /maeng-daa/ pimp (insect, giant waterbug)
ไม่ใจ /mâi jai/ coward (no heart)
ไม่เป็นสับปะรด /mâi bpen sàp-bpà-rót/ bad tasting or low quality (not a pineapple)
ยาบ้า /yaa bâa/ methamphetamine, meth, amphetamine, speed (crazy medicine)
ร้อนตับแตก /rón dtàp dtàek/ darn hot (row of dried nipa palm leaves used as a roof – doesn’t break but feels like it)
รู้อย่างเป็ด /róo yàang bpèt/ jack of all trades, master of none (to know like a duck)
เรื่องขี้ผง /rêuang kêe pŏng/ easy matter or trivial (story dust)
ลองของ /long kŏng/ try something usually bad
ลักไก่ /lák gài/ cheat in a game (to steal a chicken)
ลูกมือ /lôok meu/ helper or assistant (small hand)
วาบหวาม /wâap wăam/ provoking sensation or sexually explicit (Onomatopoeic word?)
เวอร์ /wer/ too much (shortened from ‘over’).
สวิงเด้ง /sà-wĭng dâyng/ scream with excitement
สะเออะ /sà-ùh/ meddle
สันดาน /săn daan/ trait
ไส้แห้ง /sâi hâeng/ destitute (dry intestines – to be starving)
หน้าโหล /nâa lŏh/ common looking face (a dozen faces – everything the same)
หมดตูด /mòt dtòot/ dead broke (finished pooping)
หมวย /mŭay/ young Chinese woman (Chinese origin?)
หมาวัด /măa wát/ poor man (temple dog)
หมาหมู่ /măa mòo/ group of dangerous men (a group of dogs)
หมู /mŏo/ easy (pig)
หยวน /yŭan/ give in reluctantly
หลุดโลก /lùt lôhk/ eccentric or quirky (out of this world)
หวย /hŭay/ lottery, lotto
ห่วย /hùay/ bad, no good
ห่วยแตก /hùay dtàek/ crap! (bad broken)
ห้องกง /hông gong/ jail (cell room – hông gong rhymes with Hong Kong)
หายต๋อม /hăai-dtŏm/ disappear for a long time (disappear + the sound of throwing something into the water)
แห้ว /hâew/ lose one’s opportunity, to blow it (chestnut)
เฮง /hayng/ fortunate, lucky (Chinese origin?)
เฮี้ยน /hían/ manifesting the power of an evil spirit
ไฮโซ /hai soh/ high-class (shortened from ‘high society’)


Speak Like a Thai 1&2…

Many of the words (with phrases) in this list can be found in Benjawan’s Speak Like a Thai series.

Speak Like a Thai Volume 1
Speak Like a Thai Volume 2

Smartphone Apps: Talking Thai <> English Dictionary+Phrasebook…

There is no better Thai dictionary with audio and phrases than the Talking Thai-Eng-Thai Dictionary by Paiboon Publishing and Word in the Hand. It’s an amazing resource that keeps on getting better. Most of the slang used in this post will be in the dictionary.

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

Thai slang download files…

Spreadsheet Download (zip): Thai Slang To know – 498kb
Spreadsheet Download (pdf): Thai Slang To know – 80kb
Audio Download (zip): Thai Slang To know – 1.9mg zip

Note: These files are for personal use only (please do not place them on other websites).

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Andrej: How I’m learning Isaan

Andrej

Isaan is a catch phrase for Lao varieties spoken by about 20 million people in North-Eastern Thailand. These languages are closer to Lao than to Thai, but due to Isaan being part of Thailand the influence of Standard Thai is substantial and sets Isaan apart from the Lao spoken across the border. Isaan, Lao and Thai itself are closely related and have split off and developed from one common ancestor language in the past.

Isaan has always been my favourite part of Thailand, both in terms of people and food. I’ve been learning Thai for several years and initially didn’t want to mix things up, but my Thai is now at a level where I feel comfortable, and I’m ready for something new. I was fortunate to find a speaker of Isaan (Ton) willing to work with me long-term, and so it started.

Initial challenges…

There is no *one* Isaan language, there is no standard which could serve as a reference. Actually, there are several varieties/dialects which have different tones and vocabulary. Currently, there is also no established writing system for Isaan dialects, and the Thai writing system, without adaptions, is not suited to represent Isaan pronunciation faithfully. Isaan and Thai tones have different contours, and Isaan varieties can have more than five tones.

There are a few books (in English) and webpages (mostly in Thai) for learners of Isaan. I’ve looked at the books but as I’m not a fan of textbooks, I haven’t worked with them. The Thai websites are pretty useless to me as a primary source because I can’t figure out the correct tone from the approximative Thai spelling. Learning a tonal language without getting the tones right doesn’t work for me.

Andrej

Listening…

So I started out making my own language learning materials. I’ve developed a set of illustrations for basic vocabulary and communicative functions, and I got Ton to record descriptions or questions and answers for these pictures. In the beginning, I only listened to the recordings, trying to understand what’s going on and getting a feel for the tones without analysing anything. Many Isaan words have Thai cognates, so I usually had enough context to guess and learn those words which were different.

After a few months, I added some pictures stories which were a lot of fun but also showed me that many basic words and the language used in real communication can be very different from Thai. There’s a lot I don’t understand at all. The listening phase was pretty casual, I didn’t spend too much time on it, but it was important to get a feel for the tones and learn to recognise some vocabulary.

Andrej

Getting serious…

End of last year, after about ten months of casual listening, I decided to take a stab at the tonal system of Ton’s language. As mentioned before, there are various Lao dialects in Isaan which differ in at least their tonal systems. Ton is from Khon Kaen province, and that’s the variety I’m learning.

There’s actually a pretty neat way to determine the tonal system of Tai languages (like Lao, Thai and other related languages). Due to their common ancestor and how the tonal system developed, all native Tai words fall into one of 20 categories. Words in each category have the same tone, and many categories share the same tone as well (so that Thai ends up with five tones, not 20). In order to figure out the tones of a new dialect, one only has to go through these 20 categories. This approach has been developed by Gedney and is sometimes called ‘Gedney tone chart’ or ‘Gedney tone box’. A corresponding illustration with 80 words which can be used to elicit these 20 categories is on my website.

I went through the Gedney tone chart with Ton. After a bit of back and forth, and also consulting with Luke who knows both Thai and Lao, I distinguish now six tones. They are all pretty different from Thai, and two of them may actually be just one underlying tone with a lot of variability. I’ve recorded the Gedney words and documented the analysis on my website; whoever wants to learn another variety can follow the same approach.

Once I’d figured out the tones, I realised that it’s actually possible to write the language with Thai characters by reinterpreting the tone rules. This is due to the conservatism of Thai spelling which makes learners’ lives difficult but is a huge boon for learning Isaan. For instance, words with ไม้เอก always carry a high tone (which, by the way, sounds different from the Thai high tone): ไก่ ไข่ ด่า พ่อ are all pronounced with a high tone in Ton’s Isaan. I worked through the Gedney chart and wrote down the tone rules, and so far I haven’t found a word I can’t spell with proper Isaan tones.

The writing system is obviously a private one which nobody else uses. I don’t even use it myself consistently when I text-chat with Ton and drop some Isaan because I know that he is more used to approximating Isaan tones with Thai tone marks instead of reinterpreting the rules. But for my learning it’s super useful because I can write all words with their correct tone. For 90% of the cognates, the Thai spelling already gives away the correct Isaan tone, and for the rest I can often figure out the tone from the Lao spelling. It’s a huge boost.

Andrej

Second phase…

Now that I have a writing system, I can transcribe recordings. I love doing transcripts, I’m learning so much by doing this. When I’m just listening, I can gloss over words I don’t understand as long as I still understand the overall message, or even zone out a few seconds. When I’m writing a transcript, I need to catch every word.

This second phase in my Isaan learning journey consists of writing transcripts and seeing a lot of vocabulary and structures in context. I’m mixing slow and easy illustration-based recordings with much more challenging little stories à la ‘Thai Recordings’. Whenever I’ve worked through a recording, I put it on my website and integrate it into the little corpus I’m building up. It’s currently a lot of fun, and I’m seeing a lot of progress in my comprehension.

In order to keep track of the spellings and tones of the words I’m hearing and writing, I’ve started a little dictionary; it’s on the website. It’s a work in progress and constantly developing, but I hope that most of the entries have the right tones and are correctly translated. It’s currently pretty small and doesn’t live up to linguistic standards, but given the dearth of materials it might still be a useful reference, especially if it grows over time.

Andrej

What’s next?…

Who knows. I’m in it for the fun of it. I love languages, and I enjoy experimenting with language learning materials. I have quite a few plans with Isaan, but in the end it all comes down to whether I enjoy what I’m doing or not. It’s clear that all these recordings and transcripts don’t magically turn me into a good speaker of Isaan — in order to develop speaking skills, I need to engage in speaking. What I’m doing now is laying the foundation: acquiring vocabulary, getting ample exposure to structures, getting the tones right.

Links:
Isaan page on aakanee: check out document on tones, the dictionary and the recordings.

Other Isaan dictionaries on the web:
IsanGate
Chula
Thai-Isan-Lao Phrasebook
Pantip: There are a lot of vocabulary lists on Pantip, not well structured but sometimes good to confirm a hunch.

Andrej

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

Learn Thai With Porn

Here’s part FOUR of 65 Useful Phrases You Won’t Find in a Travel Phrasebook.

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.

196. มาคนเดียวเหรอครับ

Have you come here alone?
Are you here alone?

197. เปล่าค่ะ มากับเพื่อน เพื่อนไปเข้าห้องน้ำ

No, I am here with a friend, he has gone to the restroom.

198. เพื่อนหรือแฟน

A friend or a boyfriend?

199. ถามทำไมคะ จะจีบฉันเหรอ

Why do you ask? Are you hitting on me?

200. เพื่อความแน่ใจเฉยๆครับ

I just wanted to make sure!

201. ไม่เชื่อหรอก
I don’t believe it!

202. พูดไม่ออกเลย
I am speechless!

203. จะไปรู้ได้ยังไง

How should I know?

Phrase 203 is showing annoyance that somebody asked you about a certain topic.

204. โน คอมเม้นท์
No comment.

205. ขอไม่พูดเรื่องนี้ดีกว่านะ
I’d rather not talk about it.

206. เบื่อเต็มทีแล้ว
I am really fed up with it.

207. เบื่อกับงานเต็มทีแล้ว
I am really fed up with my job.

208. เปลี่ยนใจแล้ว

I have changed my mind.

209. ผม/ฉันพูดอย่างงั้นจริงๆเหรอ

Did I really say that?

210. ไปได้ยินมาจากไหน

Where did you hear that?


Use when you hear somebody say something that you know is wrong, you want to tell them they are wrong.

211. เมื่อกี๊ถึงไหนแล้ว
Where were we?


You are asking your conversation partner what it was that you were talking about last.

212. พูดอีกอย่างนึงก็คือ
In other words

213. ตัวอย่างเช่น
For example

214. ทำแบบนี้เพื่ออะไร

What are you doing this for?

215. เดี๋ยวมันก็ผ่านไป
This too shall pass.

216. มาจากดาวดวงไหนเนี่ย
What planet are you from?

217. ตอนเด็กๆไม่ชอบเรียนภาษาอังกฤษใช่ไหม
You did not like learning English when you were young, did you?
English was not your favourite subject, was it?

218. ลูกชายผมพูดภาษาอังกฤษเก่งกว่าคุณอีก
My son speaks English better than you do.

219. ก่อนจะช่วยคนอื่น เอาตัวเองให้รอดก่อนนะ

Before you help others, help yourself first.

220. คุณก็เป็นแค่ตัวตลก

You are a joke.

221. ผมเคยบอกคุณหรือยัง…
Have I ever told you…


ว่าคุณมีความหมายกับผมมากแค่ไหน
…how much you mean to me.

222. กินข้าวหรือยัง
Have you eaten?

223. หิวหรือยัง
Are you hungry yet?

224. ใช้กรรไกรเสร็จหรือยัง
Have you finished with the scissors?

225. อ่านหนังสือเล่มนั้นจบหรือยัง
Have you finished that book yet?

In 221-225 หรือ can be omitted.

226. ใครกินเค้กหมด
Who finished off the cake?

227. กินให้หมด
Finish up your food!

228. ทำการบ้านให้เสร็จ
Finish your homework!

229. ผมยังทำงานไม่เสร็จ
I have not finished my work yet.

230. หนังเลิกกี่โมง
What time does the film finish?

231. ไม่ยุติธรรมเลย

This is so unfair.

232. ไม่รู้จะตอบแทนคุณยังไงดี
I don’t know how to repay you.

233. นั่นมันปัญหาของคุณ ไม่ใช่ของผม
That’s your problem, not mine.

234. เธอทำให้โลกนี้น่าอยู่ขึ้นเยอะเลย
She makes this world a better place to live in. 

235. คุณมาถูกทางแล้ว
You are on the right track.

236. อย่าแม้แต่จะคิด

Don’t even think about it!

237. อย่าคิดมากนะ
Don’t overthink it. 

238. อย่าคิดแบบนั้นสิ
Don’t think of it that way.

Don’t look at it that way.

239. คิดดีแล้วใช่ไหม
Have you thought it through?

240. อย่าทำอะไรเกินตัว
Don’t overstretch yourself. 

241. ขำอะไร
What’s so funny?


Used for telling someone that you do not understand why they are laughing. 

242. รู้นะคิดอะไรอยู่
I know what you are thinking.

243. คุณคิดว่าผมเป็นคนแบบไหน
What kind of person do you think I am?!

244. มันไม่สำคัญหรอกว่าคนอื่นจะคิดกับฉันยังไง
It does not matter what others think of me.

245. ต้องขอเวลาคิดก่อนนะ
I need some time to think.

246. เงียบหน่อย ผมกำลังใช้ความคิดอยู่
Be quiet. I am thinking. 

247. ผมว่าเอมม่าคงไม่ได้งานหรอก
I don’t think Emma will get the job.

248. ฉันว่าพรุ่งนี้ฝนคงไม่ตกหรอก
I don’t think it will rain tomorrow.

249. ผมไม่สนหรอกว่าคุณจะคิดยังไง

I don’t care what you think. 

250. คิดยังไงก็พูดออกมา
Say what you think.

251. เคยไปเมืองนอกมาหรือยัง
Have you ever been abroad?

252. เคยไปประเทศไหนมาบ้าง
Which countries have you been to?

253. ชอบประเทศไหนมากที่สุด
Which country did you like the most?

254. เคยนั่งเครื่องบินไหม
Have you ever been on a plane?

255. เคยเห็นหิมะไหม
Have you ever seen snow?

256. อยากเห็นไหม
Do you want to see it?

257. แต่งงานกับผมนะ
Will you marry me?

258. ผมสัญญาว่าจะดูแลคุณไปตลอดชีวิต
I promise to take care of you for the rest of my life.

259. ผมขาดคุณไม่ได้
I can’t live without you.

260. เวลาคุณรักใครสักคน คุณต้องเชื่อใจเขา
When you love someone, you’ve gotta trust them.

Downloads…

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

PDF (231kb): 65 Useful Thai Phrases You Won’t Find in a Phrasebook: Part Four
ZIP (1.8mb): Audio: 65 Useful Thai Phrases: Part Four

Even more phrases are being created on Wannaporn’s FB at Learn Thai with พร.

65 Useful Thai Phrases
: The Series…

Please help support Baan Gerda…

Before I end this post I’d like to share a charity close to my heart, Baan Gerda. Baan Gerda is a project of the Children’s Rights Foundation, Bangkok. The charity supports children who have been orphaned by AIDS; some are HIV positive.

Baan Gerda is located in Lopburi, the province I come from. When I visited the children they reminded me how fortunate we all are. They gave me the hope to live happily so I want to help them live happy lives in return.

I would be overjoyed if you could reach out and help the children with a donation, no matter how small. You can find information on this link: Sponsorship and Support for BaanGerda. Many thanks.

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Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation: Essential Verbs: Present, Past, Future

The Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation

Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation…

Just do it!
– Nike slogan

With Thai verbs, there is some good news, and some really good news.

The Good news…

Unlike English verbs, and verbs from all Romance languages as well as so many other languages around the world, Thai verbs don’t change with the person. There is no “I go”, “You go” “He goes”. It is all just “go”. You’ll never have to learn a Thai verb conjugation.

The really good news…

You will never have to learn different endings for Thai verbs for person, or for present, past, and future tenses. And there are no such things as irregular Thai verbs. You’ll have to learn a few Thai words that will help with time stamps, and some simple time words like today, yesterday, and tomorrow, that will help us know when an action is taking place, but compared to conjugations, they’re a piece of cake.

Who said Thai was difficult?

We will be giving examples of verbs in sentences by using a list of frequently used verbs. An old colleague of mine, Professor Steve Tripp of the University of Aizu in Japan, has done some interesting computer based language analysis. He used an algorithm to parse the Internet and came up with an English verb frequency list. It is a huge list but we’ll use only some of the most used verbs for our examples.

Here is a list of our verbs and their Thai equivalents. When there are synonyms in Thai we’ll give them too.

go: ไป /bpai/
do: ทำ /tam/
think: คิด /kít/ (ว่า /wâa/, ถึง /tĕung/), นึก /néuk/ (ว่า /wâa/, ถึง /tĕung/)
get: ได้ /dâai/ ได้รับ /dâai ráp/, เอา /ao/
know: ทราบ /sâap/
be: เป็น /bpen/, อยู่ /yòo/, คือ /keu/
want: ต้องการ /dtông gaan/, อยาก /yàak/
look: ดู /doo/
come: มา /maa/
try: ลอง /long/, พยายาม /pá-yaa-yaam/
say พูด,ว่า pôot , wâa
make: ทำ /tam/, สร้าง /sâang/
would: คงจะ /kong jà/
see: ดู /doo/
work: งาน /ngaan/
have: มี /mee/
could: ได้ /dâai/
talk: พูด /pôot/, คุย /kui/
eat: กิน /gin/, ทาน /taan/
study: เรียน /rian/
play: เล่น /lên/
read: อ่าน /àan/

Examples of some “really good news”…

If you only read this section you’ll have Thai verbs down. We’ll use the verb at the top of our frequency list “to go” – ไป / bpai /

I go – ฉัน ไป /chăn bpai/
He goes – เขา ไป /kăo bpai/
We go – เรา ไป /rao bpai/
She goes – เธอ ไป /ter bpai/

And (context or “time words” will tell us the tense).

I go – ฉัน ไป /chăn bpai/
I went – ฉัน ไป /chăn bpai/
I will go – ฉัน ไป /chăn bpai/
I am going – ฉัน ไป /chăn bpai/

Okay, there is a little more to it, but in fact, the above are all correct and would be understood depending on the context in which they were spoken.

Simple Present Tense…

Some time-words for simple present tense

usually: ตามปรกติ /dtaam bpròk-gà-dtì/
often: บ่อย /bòi/, บ่อยครั้ง /bòr-yá-kráng/
never: ไม่เคย /mâi koie/
sometimes: บางครั้ง /baang kráng/
every day: ทุกวัน /túk wan/
every year: ทุกปี /túk bpee/
(in the) winter: (ช่วง) ฤดูหนาว /(chûang) réu-doo năao/
currently: ขณะนี้ /kà-nà née/
on the weekends: วันหยุดสุดสัปดาห์ /wan yùt sùt sàp-daa/
in the evening: ตอนเย็น /dton-yen/
in the morning: ตอนเช้า /dton-cháo/
in the afternoon: ตอนบ่าย /dton-bàai/
at night: ตอนกลางคืน /dtor nók laang keun/
now: ตอนนี้ /dton-née/

Verbs used in these examples:

be: เป็น /bpen/, อยู่ /yòo/
do: ทำ /tam/
think: คิด /kít/ (ว่า /wâa/, ถึง /tĕung/), นึก /néuk/ (ว่า /wâa/, ถึง /tĕung/)
get: ได้ /dâai/, เอา /ao/

For underlined timewords to the sections below, download the pdf.

เป็น /bpen/ – to be (+ a noun, a thing):

He’s American.
เขา เป็น ชาว อเมริกัน
kăo bpen chaao a-may-rí-gan

She is a teacher.
เธอ เป็น ครู
ter bpen kroo

I am a volunteer at the school in the afternoon.
ตอนบ่าย ผม เป็น อาสาสมัคร ที่ โรงเรียน
dton-bàai pŏm bpen aa-săa sà-màk têe rohng rian

The boys are football players.
ผู้ชาย เป็น นักฟุตบอล
pôo chaai bpen nák fút-bon

อยู่ /yòo/ – to be (at, in, a place, position):

We are at home every day.
เรา อยู่ ที่ บ้าน ทุกวัน
rao yòo têe bâan túk wan

He is in 6th grade.
เขา อยู่ ชั้น 6
kăo yòo chán hòk

Preecha is in the restaurant now.
ตอนนี้ ปรีชา อยู่ ใน ร้านอาหาร
dton-née bpree-chaa yòo nai ráan aa-hăan

In the morning his daughter is at the office.
ตอนเช้า ลูก สาว อยู่ ที่ทำงาน
dton-cháo lôok săa yòo têe tam gaan

ทำ /tam/ – to do:

He’s does homework in the evening.
เขา ทำ การบ้าน ตอนเย็น
kăo tam gaan bâan dton-yen

She does artwork.
เธอ ทำ ศิลปะ
ter tam sĭn-lá-bpà

We do gardening on the weekends.
เรา ทำ สวน วัน สุดสัปดาห์
rao tam sŭan wan sùt sàp-daa

They currently do office work (work in an office).
ขณะนี้ พวกเขา ทำ งาน ออฟฟิศ
kà-nà née pûak kăo tam ngaan óf-fít

คิด /kít/ (ว่า /wâa/, ถึง /tĕung/), นึก /néuk/ (ว่า /wâa/, ถึง /tĕung/) – to think, to think about:

I think he is handsome.
ฉัน คิดว่า เขา หล่อ
chăn kít wâa kăo lòr

She thinks about a new iPhone often.
เธอ นึกถึง iPhone ใหม่ บ่อย
ter néuk tĕung iPhone mài bòi

Every day He thinks about his guitar.
ทุกวัน เขา คิดถึง กีตาร์ ของ เขา
túk wan kăo kít tĕung gee-dtâa kŏng kăo

We think the new song is difficult.
เรา คิดว่า เพลง ใหม่ ยาก
rao kít wâa playng mài yâak

ได้ /dâai/, ได้รับ /dâai ráp/, เอา /ao/ – to get:

He gets good grades every year.
เขา ได้ เกรด ดี ทุกปี
kăo dâai gràyt dee túk bpee

The children get flu shots in the winter.
เด็ก ๆ ได้ ยาฉีด ป้องกัน ไข้หวัดใหญ่ ช่วง ฤดูหนาว
dèk dèk dâai yaa chèet bpông gan kâi wàt yài chûang réu-doo năao

My teacher gets fried rice every day.
ครู เอา ข้าวผัด ทุกวัน
kroo ao kâao pàt túk wan

She frequently gets a new iPhone.
เธอ ได้ iPhone ใหม่ บ่อยครั้ง
ter dâai iPhone mài bòie-kráng

Past Tense…

(These may include what in English we call present and past perfect tenses.)

The use of the words ได้ and ยัง for negative past.

There is a special past-tense-helper in the Thai word ได้, especially used with negative sentences. The pattern is (person + ไม่ ได้ + verb).

I didn’t go.
ฉัน ไม่ ได้ ไป
chăn mâi dâai bpai

She didn’t eat.
เธอ ไม่ ได้ กิน
ter mâi dâai gin

We didn’t see the movie.
เรา ไม่ ได้ ดู หนัง
rao mâi dâai doo năng

We can also add the concept of “not yet” by using the word ยัง. The pattern is (person + ยัง ไม่ ได้ + verb).

I didn’t go yet.
ฉัน ยัง ไม่ ได้ ไป
chăn yang mâi dâai bpai

She didn’t eat yet.
เธอ ยัง ไม่ ได้ กิน
ter yang mâi dâai gin

We didn’t see the movie yet.
เรา ยัง ไม่ ได้ ดู หนัง
rao yang mâi dâai doo năng

Since Thai verbs don’t change when used in the past tense, we know we are speaking of the past in two ways. One) from context, and Two) From the use of a “past-word”. Since context can sometimes lead to misunderstandings it is best for us learners of Thai to use some “past-words” so that we can be more accurate and better understood.

Some time-words for past tense:

yesterday: เมื่อวานนี้ /mêua waan née/
last week: อาทิตย์ที่แล้ว /aa-tít têe láew/
last year: ปีที่แล้ว /bpee têe láew/
last month: เดือนที่แล้ว /deuan têe láew/
day before yesterday: เมื่อวานซืนนี้ /mêua waan-seun née/
this morning: เมื่อเช้านี้ /mêua cháo née/
in the evening: ตอนเย็น /dton-yen/
last night: เมื่อคืน /mêua keun/
in former times: สมัยก่อน /sà-măi gòn/, ในอดีต /nai a-dèet/
when …: เมื่อ … /mêua …/
before: ก่อน /gòn /
after: หลังจาก /lăng jàak /
used to: เคย /koie/
already: แล้ว /láew/

Verbs used in these examples:

try: ลอง /long/, พยายาม /pá-yaa-yaam/
say: พูด /pôot/, ว่า /wâa/, บอกว่า /bòk wâa/
make: ทำ /tam/, สร้าง /sâang/
eat: กิน /gin/, ทาน /taan/
study: เรียน /rian/
play: เล่น /lên/
read: อ่าน /àan/

Note: Download the pdf to see the underlined time-words.

Aree wanted a puppy when she was a girl.
อารีย์ ต้องการ (อยาก ได้) ลูก สุนัข (ลูก หมา) เมื่อ เธอ เป็น สาว
aa-ree dtông gaan (yàak dâai) lôok sù-nák (lôok măa) mêua ter bpen săao

We looked at the sunset yesterday (in the) afternoon.
เรา ดู พระอาทิตย์ ตก เมื่อวานนี้ ตอนบ่าย
rao doo prá aa-tít dtòk mêua waan née dton-bàai

Manee and Lek came (returned) late last night.
มณี และ เล็ก มา (กลับ มา) ดึก เมื่อคืน
má-nee láe lék maa (glàp maa) dèuk mêua keun

The students tried the new noodle shop after school (ended).
นักเรียน ลอง ร้าน ก๋วยเตี๋ยว ใหม่ หลังจาก เลิก เรียน
nák rian long ráan gŭay-dtĭeow mài lăng jàak lêrk rian

This morning she said she wanted fried eggs for breakfast.
เมื่อเช้านี้ เธอ บอกว่า เธอ อยาก ทาน ไข่ ทอด เป็น อาหาร เช้า
mêua cháo née ter bòk wâa ter yàak taan kài tôt bpen aa hăan cháo

In former times (in the past) the workers made (built) a wall around the city.
ในใสมัยก่อน (ในอดีต) คน งาน ทำ (สร้าง) กำแพง รอบ เมือง
nai săi mai gòn (nai a-dèet) kon ngaan tam (sâang) gam-paeng rôp meuang

We ate before we studied.
เรา กิน ก่อน เรา เรียน
rao gin gòn rao rian

She studied after she played video games.
เธอ เรียน หลังจาก เธอ เล่น วิดีโอเกม
ter rian lăng jàak ter lên wí-dee-oh gaym

The children used to play football in the evening.
เด็ก เคย เล่น ฟุตบอล ตอนเย็น
dèk koie lên fút bon dton-yen

I already read that book.
ผม ได้ อ่าน หนังสือ เล่ม นั้น แล้ว
pŏm dâai àan năng-sĕu lêm nán láew

Caveat: In the sentence เรา กิน ก่อน เรา เรียน /rao gin gòn rao rian/ (we translated it as “we ate before we studied”) the possibility of misunderstanding can arise.

The sentence เรา กิน ก่อน เรา เรียน /rao gin gòn rao rian/ could be translated as:

We ate before we studied.
We will eat before we study.
We eat (every day) before studying.

It a situation like this we may have to depend on the context in which we are speaking to know which one is correct. Yes, Thai verbs might be easier to navigate than English verbs but because they are less specific, sometimes misunderstandings can occur.

One way to deal with this problem is to add another time-word to clear things up.

We already ate before we studied.
เรา กิน แล้ว ก่อน เรา เรียน
rao gin láew gòn rao rian

We will eat before we study.
เรา จะ กิน ก่อน เรา เรียน
rao jà gin gòn rao rian

(The word จะ /jà/ is a future word we will get to below)

We eat every day before we study.
เรา กิน ทุกวัน ก่อน เรา เรียน
rao gin túk wan gòn rao rian

Future Tense…

Some time-words for future tense:

The most important time-word for future in English is “will” and in Thai its equivalent is จะ /jà/. Almost all future sentences will contain the pattern จะ /jà/ + verb.

tomorrow: พรุ่งนี้ /prûng-née/
tomorrow morning: พรุ่งนี้เช้า /prûng-née cháo/
this afternoon: บ่ายนี้ /bàai née/
this evening: เย็นนี้ /yen née/
tonight: คืนนี้ /keun née/
next week: สัปดาห์หน้า /sàp-daa nâa/
next month: เดือนหน้า /deuan nâa/
next year: ปีหน้า /bpee nâa/
in two weeks: ในอีกสองสัปดาห์ /nai èek sŏng sàp-daa/
day after tomorrow: วันมะรืนนี้ /wan má-reun née/

Verbs used in these examples:

come: มา /maa/
eat: กิน /gin/, ทาน /taan/
study: เรียน /rian/
play: เล่น /lên/
be: เป็น /bpen/, อยู่ /yòo/
do: ทำ /tam/
get: ได้ /dâai/, เอา /ao/
try: ลอง /long/, พยายาม /pá-yaa-yaam/
make: ทำ /tam/, สร้าง /sâang/

Again, to see the underlined time-words, download the pdf.

Our relatives are coming tomorrow.
ญาติ ของ เรา จะ มา พรุ่งนี้
yâat kŏng rao jà maa prûng-née

Tomorrow morning she will eat eggs and toast.
พรุ่งนี้เช้า เธอ จะ กิน ไข่ และ ขนมปังปิ้ง
prûng-née cháo ter jà gin kài láe kà-nŏm bpang bpîng

I am studying English this afternoon.
บ่ายนี้ ฉัน จะ เรียน ภาษาอังกฤษ
bàai née chăn jà rian paa-săa ang-grìt

They are going to play football this evening.
เย็นนี้ พวกเขา จะ เล่น ฟุตบอล
yen née pûak kăo jà lên fút bon

She wants to be a doctor.
เธอ อยาก จะ เป็น หมอ
ter yàak jà bpen mŏr

The day after tomorrow she will be in Bangkok.
วันมะรืนนี้ เธอ จะ อยู่ กรุงเทพฯ
wan má-reun née ter jà yòo grung tâyp

Sunee will do her homework tonight.
สุนีย์ จะ ทำ การบ้าน คืนนี้
sù-nee jà tam gaan bâan keun née

Next week Somchai is getting a new motorcycle.
สัปดาห์หน้า สมชาย จะ ได้ รถจักรยานยนต์ ใหม่
sàp-daa nâa sŏm-chaai jà dâai rót jàk-grà-yaan yon mài

I’ll try to visit you next month.
เดือนหน้า ฉัน จะ พยายาม เยี่ยม คุณ
deuan nâa chăn jà pá-yaa-yaam yîam kun

I won’t make a mistake.
ฉัน จะ ไม่ ทำผิด
chăn jà mâi tam pìt

Present continuous tense…

The present continuous tense in English is one way we can say what is happening “now”. To create this tense in Thai we use the pattern กำลัง /gam-lang/ + verb.

Now:

He is working at the factory.
เขา กำลัง ทำงาน ที่ โรงงาน
kăo gam-lang tam ngaan têe rohng ngaan

She is studying English.
เธอ กำลัง เรียน ภาษา อังกฤษ
ter gam-lang rian paa-săa ang-grìt

They are playing video games.
พวกเขา กำลัง เล่น วิดีโอเกม
pûak kăo gam-lang lên wí-dee-oh gaym

If we add the word อยู่ to the pattern, giving us กำลัง + verb + อยู่ it adds the concept “right now”, “at this moment”.

Right Now:

Manit is eating dinner (right now).
มานิต กำลัง ทาน อาหารเย็น อยู่
maa-nít gam-lang taan aa-hăan yen yòo

Sunee is practicing piano (at this moment).
สุนีย์ กำลัง เล่น เปียโน อยู่
sù-nee gam-lang lên bpia noh yòo

I am working on the computer (right now).
ฉัน กำลัง ทำงาน คอมพิวเตอร์ อยู่
chăn gam-lang tam ngaan kom-piw-dtêr yòo

Future using กำลัง /gam-lang/:

As with the present continuous tense in English the same pattern can indicate a future time (“I’m going now”, “I’m going tomorrow”). To do this in Thai we need add the future word จะ /jà/. The pattern is กำลัง /gam-lang/+ จะ /jà/ + verb.

The girls are going to come tomorrow.
สาว ๆ กำลัง จะ มา พรุ่งนี้
săao săao gam-lang jà maa prûng-née

The policeman is going to get a new car next month.
ตำรวจ กำลัง จะ ได้ รถ ใหม่ เดือนหน้า
dtam-rùat gam-lang jà dâai rót mài deuan nâa

The students are going to (go to) school this morning.
นักเรียน กำลัง จะ ไป โรงเรียน เช้านี้
nák rian gam-lang jà bpai rohng rian cháo née

Vocabulary used in the chapter…

กลับ /glàp/ to return
กำแพง /gam-paeng/ wall
กีตาร์ /gee-dtâa/ guitar
เกรด /gràyt/ grade (English loan word)
ขนมปังปิ้ง /kà-nŏm bpang bpîng/ toast
ไข้หวัดใหญ่ /kâi wàt yài/ flu
ครู /kroo / teacher
คอมพิวเตอร์ /kom-piw-dtêr/ computer (English loan word)
ชั้น /chán/ level (school grade)
ชาว /chaao/ person of
ญาติ /yâat/ family relation
ดู หนัง /doo năng/ to go to (see) a movie
ทำผิด /tam pìt/ to make a mistake
ที่ทำงาน /têe tam gaan/ place of work, office
ป้องกัน /bpông gan/ protect (from)
พระอาทิตย์ตก /prá aa-tít dtòk/ sunset
เพลง /playng/ song
เมือง /meuang/ city, town
ยาก /yâak/ difficult
ยาฉีด /yaa chèet/ injection, inoculation
เยี่ยม /yîam/ to visit
รถจักรยานยนต์ /rót jàk-grà-yaan yon/ motorcycle
รอบ /rôp/ around
ร้าน ก๋วยเตี๋ยว /ráan gŭay-dtĭeow/ noodle shop
โรงงาน /rohng ngaan/ factory
ลูก สุนัข (ลูก หมา) /lôok sù-nák (lôok măa) puppy
ศิลปะ /sĭn-lá-bpà art/ art
สวน /sŭan/ garden
หมอ /mŏr / doctor
หล่อ /lòr/ handsome
ออฟฟิศ /óf-fít/ office (English loan word)
อาสาสมัคร /aa-săa sà-màk/ volunteer

Examples of verbs in sentences…

เขา เป็น ชาว อเมริกัน
kăo bpen chaao a-may-rí-gan

เธอ เป็น ครู
ter bpen kroo

ตอนบ่าย ผม เป็น อาสาสมัคร ที่ โรงเรียน
dton-bàai pŏm bpen aa-săa sà-màk têe rohng rian

ผู้ชาย เป็น นักฟุตบอล
pôo chaai bpen nák fút-bon

เรา อยู่ ที่ บ้าน ทุกวัน
rao yòo têe bâan túk wan

เขา อยู่ ชั้น 6
kăo yòo chán hòk

ตอนนี้ ปรีชา อยู่ ใน ร้านอาหาร
dton-née bpree-chaa yòo nai ráan aa-hăan

ตอนเช้า ลูก สาว อยู่ ที่ทำงาน
dton-cháo lôok săa yòo têe tam gaan

เขา ทำ การบ้าน ตอนเย็น
kăo tam gaan bâan dton-yen

เธอ ทำ ศิลปะ
ter tam sĭn-lá-bpà

เรา ทำ สวน วัน สุดสัปดาห์
rao tam sŭan wan sùt sàp-daa

ขณะนี้ พวกเขา ทำ งาน ออฟฟิศ
kà-nà née pûak kăo tam ngaan óf-fít

ฉัน คิดว่า เขา หล่อ
chăn kít wâa kăo lòr

เธอ นึกถึง iPhone ใหม่ บ่อย
ter néuk tĕung iPhone mài bòi

ทุกวัน เขา คิดถึง กีตาร์ ของ เขา
túk wan kăo kít tĕung gee-dtâa kŏng kăo

เรา คิดว่า เพลง ใหม่ ยาก
rao kít wâa playng mài yâak

เขา ได้ เกรด ดี ทุกปี
kăo dâai gràyt dee túk bpee

เด็ก ๆ ได้ ยาฉีด ป้องกัน ไข้หวัดใหญ่ ช่วง ฤดูหนาว
dèk dèk dâai yaa chèet bpông gan kâi wàt yài chûang réu-doo năao

ครู เอา ข้าวผัด ทุกวัน
kroo ao kâao pàt túk wan

เธอ ได้ iPhone ใหม่ บ่อยครั้ง
ter dâai iPhone mài bòr-yá-kráng

ฉัน ไม่ ได้ ไป
chăn mâi dâai bpai

เธอ ไม่ ได้ กิน
ter mâi dâai gin

เรา ไม่ ได้ ดู หนัง
rao mâi dâai doo năng

ฉัน ยัง ไม่ ได้ ไป
chăn yang mâi dâai bpai

เธอ ยัง ไม่ ได้ กิน
ter yang mâi dâai gin

เรา ยัง ไม่ ได้ ดู หนัง
rao yang mâi dâai doo năng

อารีย์ ต้องการ (อยาก ได้) ลูก สุนัข (ลูก หมา) เมื่อ เธอ เป็น สาว
aa-ree dtông gaan (yàak dâai) lôok sù-nák (lôok măa) mêua ter bpen săao

เรา ดู พระอาทิตย์ ตก เมื่อวานนี้ ตอนบ่าย
rao doo prá aa-tít dtòk mêua waan née dton-bàai

มณี และ เล็ก มา (กลับ มา) ดึก เมื่อคืน
má-nee láe lék maa (glàp maa) dèuk mêua keun

นักเรียน ลอง ร้าน ก๋วยเตี๋ยว ใหม่ หลังจาก เลิก เรียน
nák rian long ráan gŭay-dtĭeow mài lăng jàak lêrk rian

เมื่อเช้านี้ เธอ บอกว่า เธอ อยาก ทาน ไข่ ทอด เป็น อาหาร เช้า
mêua cháo née ter bòk wâa ter yàak taan kài tôt bpen aa hăan cháo

ในใสมัยก่อน (ในอดีต) คน งาน ทำ (สร้าง) กำแพง รอบ เมือง
nai săi mai gòn (nai a-dèet) kon ngaan tam (sâang) gam-paeng rôp meuang

เรา กิน ก่อน เรา เรียน
rao gin gòn rao rian

เธอ เรียน หลังจาก เธอ เล่น วิดีโอเกม
ter rian lăng jàak ter lên wí-dee-oh gaym

เด็ก เคย เล่น ฟุตบอล ตอนเย็น
dèk koie lên fút bon dton-yen

ผม ได้ อ่าน หนังสือ เล่ม นั้น แล้ว
pŏm dâai àan năng-sĕu lêm nán láew

เรา กิน แล้ว ก่อน เรา เรียน
rao gin láew gòn rao rian

เรา จะ กิน ก่อน เรา เรียน
rao jà gin gòn rao rian

เรา กิน ทุกวัน ก่อน เรา เรียน
rao gin túk wan gòn rao rian

ญาติ ของ เรา จะ มา พรุ่งนี้
yâat kŏng rao jà maa prûng-née

พรุ่งนี้เช้า เธอ จะ กิน ไข่ และ ขนมปังปิ้ง
prûng-née cháo ter jà gin kài láe kà-nŏm bpang bpîng

บ่ายนี้ ฉัน จะ เรียน ภาษาอังกฤษ
bàai née chăn jà rian paa-săa ang-grìt

เย็นนี้ พวกเขา จะ เล่น ฟุตบอล
yen née pûak kăo jà lên fút bon

เธอ อยาก จะ เป็น หมอ
ter yàak jà bpen mŏr

วันมะรืนนี้ เธอ จะ อยู่ กรุงเทพฯ
wan má-reun née ter jà yòo grung tâyp

สุนีย์ จะ ทำ การบ้าน คืนนี้
sù-nee jà tam gaan bâan keun née

สัปดาห์หน้า สมชาย จะ ได้ รถจักรยานยนต์ ใหม่
sàp-daa nâa sŏm-chaai jà dâai rót jàk-grà-yaan yon mài

เดือนหน้า ฉัน จะ พยายาม เยี่ยม คุณ
deuan nâa chăn jà pá-yaa-yaam yîam kun

ฉัน จะ ไม่ ทำผิด
chăn jà mâi tam pìt

เขา กำลัง ทำงาน ที่ โรงงาน
kăo gam-lang tam ngaan têe rohng ngaan

เธอ กำลัง เรียน ภาษา อังกฤษ
ter gam-lang rian paa-săa ang-grìt

พวกเขา กำลัง เล่น วิดีโอเกม
pûak kăo gam-lang lên wí-dee-oh gaym

มานิต กำลัง ทาน อาหารเย็น อยู่
maa-nít gam-lang taan aa-hăan yen yòo

สุนีย์ กำลัง เล่น เปียโน อยู่
sù-nee gam-lang lên bpia noh yòo

ฉัน กำลัง ทำงาน คอมพิวเตอร์ อยู่
chăn gam-lang tam ngaan kom-piw-dtêr yòo

สาว ๆ กำลัง จะ มา พรุ่งนี้
săao săao gam-lang jà maa prûng-née

ตำรวจ กำลัง จะ ได้ รถ ใหม่ เดือนหน้า
dtam-rùat gam-lang jà dâai rót mài deuan nâa

นักเรียน กำลัง จะ ไป โรงเรียน เช้านี้
nák rian gam-lang jà bpai rohng rian cháo née

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Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation: Thai Personal Pronouns

The Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation

Ten Essentials of Thai Conversation…

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
-The Beatles, She Loves You

The topic of Thai pronouns can be a daunting one. We will try to work with the basics here, just scratching the surface, while giving a taste of how very wide ranging this topic can be. But when it comes to learning Thai personal pronouns, especially compared to English pronouns, there is some good news, and some bad news.

Sorry but it is necessary to talk just a little grammar here.

With English pronouns we have what are called the nominative case and the objective case. One pronoun acts like the subject of a sentence, and the other acts like the object.

Here is what we are talking about.

English pronouns:

I/Me
We/Us
They/Them
He/Him
She/Her
Who/Whom
You

And here is how they are different:

I saw the cat. The cat saw me.
We paid for the dinner. He paid for us.
He ate the shark. They shark ate him.
She cooked the fish. The fish was cooked by her.
Who sent the letter? To whom would you like to send a letter?
You did something. Something was done to you (the grammar gods felt a little compassion for us by giving us just one).

The nominative case pronoun does stuff. The objective case pronoun gets stuff done to it (often with the help of a preposition like “to”, “for”, “by”, etc.).

Okay, English grammar lesson is over.

The good news.

The Thai language doesn’t have two pronouns for each person. They don’t break down into nominative and objective cases. So, you only have to learn one pronoun case for each person. Thanks for little victories.

The bad news.

I have counted least 27 different words for “I” in Thai, plus lots of other ways to refer to yourself. “You” is a little better with only a dozen words or so. All the rest are just as bad.

Thai Pronouns:

Lots of words like “uncle”, “auntie”, “big brother”, “teacher”, “sir”, “boss”, etc., although grammatically common nouns, are also used as pronouns ( for I, you, he, she, etc., etc.) There are countless of these and we look at some but will not be able to give examples of all of them.

We will give the most common and easy to use pronouns with examples. We will also give some other ways to say the same pronouns.

As with so much in the Thai language, the choice of words we use is dependent on who is talking to whom.

It is best to listen for all these other pronouns in Thai people’s normal conversations and learn how they are used and with whom, and in what situations. Later when you are sure of the relationship and the situation you can try some of these out in your own conversations. But be prepared for a few normal faux pas along the way.

The Null Pronoun:

After you have learned the many pronouns here, be aware that Thais in conversation can simply just leave out pronouns. The context of the sentence will tell them who is doing and whom it is being done to.

Examples:

จะไปตลาด
jà bpai dtà-làat
Going to the market.
(someone is going to the market)

จะซื้อให้
jà séu hâi
Will buy it for …
(someone is buying something for someone)

The Thais will know who and whom, and so will you after a while.

But let’s start with the simple stuff.

ผม, ดิฉัน, ฉัน /pŏm, dì-chăn, chăn/ – “I/Me”:

These three “I/Me” pronouns are the ones that we probably use most. They are basic and will allow you to say just about anything in referring to yourself.

ผม /pŏm/ – used by male speakers:

When a man is speaking.

ผม เห็น สมบัติ ที่ ตลาด
pŏm hĕn sŏm-bàt têe dtà-làat
I saw Sombat at the market.

มาลี คุย กับ ผม ที่ ห้างสรรพสินค้า
maa-lee kui gàp pŏm têe hâang sàp sĭn káa
Malee spoke with me at the shopping mall.

ผม จะ เล่น เปีย โน
pŏm jà lên bpia noh
I’m going to play the piano.

ครู ให้ ผม “A” ใน ทดสอบ
kroo hâi pŏm “A” nai tót sòp
The teacher gave me an “A” on the test.

Note: The word ผม /pŏm/ can sometimes be seen as a bit formal. If you are talking to a close friend you might want to use one of the “other ways to refer to yourself” discussed below.

ดิฉัน (ดีฉัน) /dì-chăn/ – used by female speakers:

When a woman is talking (in a fairly formal setting)

ดิฉัน จะ แต่งงาน กับ คุณ ปรีชา
dì-chăn jà dtàeng ngaan gàp kun bpree-chaa
I’m going to marry Preecha.

คุณ ปรีชา จะ แต่งงาน กับ ดิฉัน
kun bpree-chaa jà dtàeng ngaan gàp dì-chăn
Preecha is going to marry me.

อยาก ไป ช้อปปิ้ง กับ ดิฉัน ไหม
yàak bpai chóp-bpîng gàp dì-chăn măi
Would you like to go shopping with me?

ดิฉัน เคย ทาน อาหาร กลางวัน ที่ ร้าน อาหาร ฝรั่งเศส
dì-chăn koie taan aa hăan glaang wan têe ráan aa hăan fà-ràng-sàyt
I have had lunch at that French restaurant.

Note: The word ดิฉัน is quite formal. If you are talking to people you know, of the same social status, or lower, you can use ฉัน or you might want to use one of the “other ways to refer to yourself” discussed below.

ฉัน /chăn/ – used by females in an informal setting—also used by males with intimate friends or paramours:

You can substitute ฉัน in any of the above mentioned sentences instead of ผม and ดิฉัน if the situation is informal and you are talking with friends.

ฉัน จะ ซื้อ รถ ใหม่
chăn jà séu rót mài
I’m going to buy a new car.

สุมาลี ซื้อ อาหารกลางวัน ให้ ฉัน
sù maa-lee séu aa-hăan glaang-wan hâi chăn
Sumalee bought me lunch.

คุณ อยาก จะ ไป ดู หนัง กับ ฉัน ไหม
kun yàak jà bpai doo năng gàp chăn măi
Do you want to go to the movies with me?

ฉัน สอบ ได้
chăn sòp dâai
I passed the test.

เมื่อวาน สุขใจ โทร หา ฉัน
mêua waan sùk-kà-jai toh hăa chăn
Yesterday Sukjai called me (on the phone).

And then you can have more intimate conversations:

ฉัน รัก เธอ
chăn rák ter
I love you.

Using your own name:

Often using the above three words for “I” might sound a bit distant. When a person, especially a woman but not exclusively, wants to sound a bit more familiar he/she can use their own name as a pronoun for “I”.

น้อย รัก แดง
nói rák daeng
Literally: “Noi loves Dang” but really means “I love you.”

Some other ways to say “I”:

  • พี่ /pêe/ – literally “older” brother or sister but is often used as “I” informally when you are older than the person you are talking to.
  • น้อง /nóng/ – literally “younger” brother or sister but is often used as “I” informally when you are younger than the person you are talking to.
  • หนู /nŏo/ – Usually used by women when a they are much younger than the person they are talking to.
  • เค้า /káo/ – very informal when speaking to a close friend. เค้า / káo / is the “I” paired with ตัว / dtua / for “you”

And then there’s…

ข้าพเจ้า /kâa-pá-jâo/ – when writing or speaking formally
ข้า, ข้าเจ้า /kâa, kâa jâo/ – abbreviation for ข้าพเจ้า
เจ้า /jâo/ – poetic
หม่อมฉัน /mòm chăn/ – used when speaking to royalty
อาตมา /àat-maa/ – used by monks
กู /goo/ – old form, today considered overly familiar, except with close friends
ข้าพระพุทธเจ้า /kâa prá-pút-tá-jâo/ – highly formal
ลูกช้าง /lôok cháang/ – your humble servant 
อิฉัน /i-chăn/ – female speakers in a formal setting
อาตมภาพ /aa dtom pâap/ – used by a monk
อัญขยม /an-yá-kà-yŏm/ – poetic 

คุณ, เธอ /kun, ter/ – “You”:

Although there are many other ways to say “you”, these two are the most popular. The pronoun คุณ /kun/ can be used for just about anyone whereas เธอ /ter/ is usually reserved for close acquaintances or very young ones.

คุณ /kun/

คุณ จะ ไป ไหน
kun jà bpai năi
Where are you going?

ใคร จะ ไป กับ คุณ
krai jà bpai gàp kun
Who is going with you?

คุณ กำลัง ใช้ อินเทอร์เน็ต หรือ เปล่า
kun gam-lang chái in-têr-nét rĕu bplào
Are you using the Internet?

ผม จะ พา คุณ กลับ บ้าน
pŏm jà paa kun glàp bâan
I will take you home.

Note on คุณ /kun/

You find คุณ /kun/ in many places. Besides meaning “you” as we do here, it is part of thank you (ขอบคุณ /kòp kun/), and it is also used as an honorific in front of a person’s name with the meaning of Mr. or Mrs./Miz. It is usually used with a person’s first name.

It is also used as a title for a woman (as in Lady …) in the term คุณหญิง /kun yĭng/, and คุณ /kun/ by itself was at one time a semi royal title.

Unless you are quite close to someone, when using their name we usually add an honorific like Mr., Prof., Older Brother, Auntie, etc. and คุณ / kun / is the most ubiquitous.

CAVEAT: When we want to talk about ourselves we never use the honorific คุณ /kun/. We would never say “my name is คุณ /kun/ Hugh”. I can say I am Uncle Hugh, or Teacher Hugh, or Big Brother Hugh, but never “I am Mr. Hugh.” Others will say it for you but you don’t say it for yourself.

เธอ /ter/

เธอ จะ ชอบ หนัง (เรื่องนี้)
ter jà chôp năng (rêuang née)
You would like the movie.

เพื่อน ของ เธอ ต้องการ ให้ เธอ ร้อง เพลง
pêuan kŏng ter dtông gaan hâi ter róng playng
Your friends wanted you to sing (a song).

เธอ จะ กิน ก๋วยเตี๋ยว วันนี้ ไหม
ter jà gìn gŭay-dtĭeow wan née măi
Will you have noodles today?

ฉัน ใช้ คอม ของ เธอ ได้ ไหม
chăn chái kom kŏng ter dâai măi
Can I use your computer?

Using the person’s name:

When a person wants to sound a bit more familiar he/she can use a person’s name as a pronoun for “you”.

If someone says to you น้อย รัก แดง /nói rák daeng/
(as above) you can answer with:

แดง ก็ รัก น้อย
daeng gôr rák nói
Literally: “Dang loves Noi also” but really means “I love you too.”

Some other ways to say “you”:

  • ท่าน /tâan/ – when speaking to someone with a very high status
  • นาย /naai/ – when speaking to someone of a higher status. The equivalent of “sir” or “boss”.
  • หนู /nŏo/ – used when the person you are talking to is much younger than you are.
  • พี่ /pêe/ – literally “older” brother or sister but is often used as “you” informally for someone older.
  • (คุณ) ลุง /(kun) lung/ – literally “uncle” but is often used as “you” informally for someone much older, possible the age of your father.
  • น้อง /nóng/ – literally “younger” brother or sister but is often used as “you” informally for someone younger
  • (คุณ) ป้า /(kun) bpâa/ – literally “auntie” but is often used as “you” informally for someone much older, possible the age of your mother.
  • แก /gae/ – impolite or colloquial usage
  • ตัว /dtua/ – very informal when speaking to a close friend. เค้า /káo/ is the “I” paired with ตัว /dtua/ for “you”.

Now that the biggies (I and You) are dealt with (albeit just scratching the surface), let’s stick with one Thai pronoun for each of the following (although there are many Thai words for each).

เรา /rao/ – “We/Us” (พวกเรา /pûak rao/ is a synonym for we/us, all of us):

เรา จะ ทาน อาหารกลางวัน ด้วยกัน
rao jà taan aa-hăan glaang-wan dûay gan
We’ll have lunch together.

มาลี เอา ผัก ให้ เรา
maa-lee ao pàk hâi rao
Malee gave the vegetables to us.

เรา ทุกคน เล่น ฟุตบอล
rao túk kon lên fút bon
We all played football.

คุณ ครู จะ สอน เรา วันเสาร์
kun-kroo jà sŏn rao wan săo
The teacher will teach us on Saturday.

เขา /kăo/ “He/She”, often เธอ /ter/ is also used for “She”:

เขา (เธอ) มา เร็ว เสมอ
kăo (ter) maa reo sà-mĕr
She always comes early.

เขา (เธอ) จะ เอา พริก ไหม
kăo (ter) jà ao prík măi
Does he want any chilis?

ให้ โทรศัพท์มือถือ ใหม่(แก่) เธอ
hâi toh-rá-sàp meu tĕu mài (gàe) ter
Give her the new cell phone.

บอก เขา (เธอ) ว่า บ้าน คุณ อยู่ ที่ ไหน
bòk kăo (ter) wâa bâan kun yòo têe năi
Tell him where your house is.

พวกเขา /pûak kăo/ or เขา /kăo/ (for short) – “They/Them”:

The word เขา /kăo/ can mean “he/she/they” but if we use the word พวกเขา /pûak kăo/ (พวก /pûak/ = “group of …”) then we know that it is a plural form so should be translated as “they”.

พวกเขา มา เร็ว เสมอ
pûak kăo maa reo sà-mĕr
They always come early.

พวกเขา จะ เอา พริก ไหม
pûak kăo jà ao prík măi
Do they want any chilis.

ให้ โทรศัพท์มือถืออัน ใหม่ (แก่) พวกเขา
hâi toh-rá-sàp meu tĕu mài (gàe) pûak kăo
Give them new cell phones.

บอก พวกเขา ว่า บ้าน คุณ อยู่ ที่ ไหน
bòk pûak kăo wâa bâan kun yòo têe năi
Tell them where your house is.

Extra Credit:

Here are some sentences using the “other” words that Thais use as pronouns.

ลุง ต้องการ น้ำ เย็น
lung dtông gaan nám yen
Lit: Uncle needs cold water. “I would like some cold water.”

คุณป้า เอา น้ำ เย็น ไหม
kun-bpâa ao nám yen măi
Lit: Does auntie want some cold water? “Would you like some cold water?”

เมื่อไร พี่ จะ มา
mêua rai pêe jà maa
Lit: When is older sister coming? “When are you coming?” or “When is she coming?” or “When are you coming?”

ครู จะ ช่วย หนู
kroo jà chûay nŏo
Lit: The teacher will help the mouse. “I will help you.” or “She will help her.” or “He will help me.”, etc.

นาย จะ ตี กอล์ฟ พรุ่งนี้ ไหม
naai jà dtee góf prûng-née măi
Lit: Will sir (boss) play golf tomorrow? “Will you play golf tomorrow?

ช่วย พี่ หน่อย
chûay pêe nòi
Lit: Please help older brother. “Please help me.” or “Please help him.”, etc.

เค้า กับ ตัว จะ ไป ด้วยกัน
káo gàp dtua jà bpai dûay gan
Lit: He and body will go together. “You and I will go together.”

พี่ จะ เลี้ยง น้อง
pêe jà líang nóng
Lit: Older brother will pay for younger sister. “I’ll pay for you.” or “You will pay for me.” or “She will pay for you”, etc.

Vocabulary used in this post…

กลับ /glàp/ to return
ก๋วยเตี๋ยว /gŭay-dtĭeow/ noodle soup
คอม /kom/ abbre: for computer
คุย /kui/ to talk
ช้อปปิ้ง /chóp-bpîng/ loan word: shopping
ซื้อ /séu/ to buy
ด้วยกัน /dûay gan/ together
ดู หนัง /doo năng/ to watch a movie
ตลาด /dtà-làat/ market
ตี กอล์ฟ /dtee góf/ play golf
แต่งงาน /dtàeng ngaan/ to marry
ทดสอบ /tót sòp/ test, examination
ทุกคน /túk kon/ everyone
โทร /toh/ to call (telephone)
โทรศัพท์ /toh-rá-sàp/ telephone
โทรศัพท์ มือถือ /toh-rá-sàp meu tĕu/ cell phone
เปีย โน / bpia noh/ loan word: piano
ผัก /pàk/ vegetable
พริก /prík/ chili
พรุ่งนี้ /prûng-née/ tomorrow
ฟุตบอล /fút bon/ loan word: football
มือถือ /meu tĕu/ cell phone (hand held)
เมื่อวาน /mêua waan/ yesterday
รถ /rót/ vehicle, car, motorcycle
ร้อง เพลง /róng playng/ to sing (a song)
รัก /rák/ to love
เร็ว /reo/ fast, early
เล่น /lên/ to play
เลี้ยง /líang/ to pay for
วันนี้ /wan née/ today
วันเสาร์ / wan săo/ Saturday
สอน /sŏn/ to teach
สอบ ได้ /sòp dâai to/ pass a test
เสมอ /sà-mĕr/ always
ห้างสรรพสินค้า /hâang sàp sĭn káa/ shopping mall (center)
ใหม่ /mài/ new
อาหารกลางวัน /aa-hăan glaang-wan/ lunch
อินเทอร์เน็ต /in-têr-nét/ Internet

Examples of Thai Pronouns sentences…

จะไปตลาด
jà bpai dtà-làat

จะซื้อให้
jà séu hâi

ผม เห็น สมบัติ ที่ ตลาด
pŏm hĕn sŏm-bàt têe dtà-làat

มาลี คุย กับ ผม ที่ ห้างสรรพสินค้า
maa-lee kui gàp pŏm têe hâang sàp sĭn káa

ผม จะ เล่น เปีย โน
pŏm jà lên bpia noh

ครู ให้ ผม “A” ใน ทดสอบ
kroo hâi pŏm “A” nai tót sòp 

ดิฉัน จะ แต่งงาน กับ คุณ ปรีชา
dì-chăn jà dtàeng ngaan gàp kun bpree-chaa

คุณ ปรีชา จะ แต่งงาน กับ ดิฉัน
kun bpree-chaa jà dtàeng ngaan gàp dì-chăn

อยาก ไป ช้อปปิ้ง กับ ดิฉัน ไหม
yàak bpai chóp-bpîng gàp dì-chăn măi

ดิฉัน เคย ทาน อาหาร กลางวัน ที่ ร้าน อาหาร ฝรั่งเศส
dì-chăn koie taan aa hăan glaang wan têe ráan aa hăan fà-ràng-sàyt

ฉัน จะ ซื้อ รถ ใหม่
chăn jà séu rót mài

สุมาลี ซื้อ อาหารกลางวัน ให้ ฉัน
sù maa-lee séu aa-hăan glaang-wan hâi chăn

คุณ อยาก จะ ไป ดู หนัง กับ ฉัน ไหม
kun yàak jà bpai doo năng gàp chăn măi

ฉัน สอบ ได้
chăn sòp dâai

เมื่อวาน สุขใจ โทร หา ฉัน
mêua waan sùk-kà-jai toh hăa chăn

ฉัน รัก เธอ
chăn rák ter

น้อย รัก แดง
nói rák daeng

คุณ จะ ไป ไหน
kun jà bpai năi

ใคร จะ ไป กับ คุณ?
krai jà bpai gàp kun

คุณ กำลัง ใช้ อินเทอร์เน็ต หรือ เปล่า
kun gam-lang chái in-têr-nét rĕu bplào

ผม จะ พา คุณ กลับ บ้าน
pŏm jà paa kun glàp bâan

เธอ จะ ชอบ หนัง (เรื่องนี้)
ter jà chôp năng (rêuang née)

เพื่อน ของ เธอ ต้องการ ให้ เธอ ร้อง เพลง
pêuan kŏng ter dtông gaan hâi ter róng playng

เธอ จะ กิน ก๋วยเตี๋ยว วันนี้ ไหม
ter jà gìน gŭay-dtĭeow wan née măi

ฉัน ใช้ คอม ของ เธอ ได้ ไหม
chăn chái kom kŏng ter dâai măi

แดง ก็ รัก น้อย
daeng gôr rák nói

เรา จะ ทาน อาหารกลางวัน ด้วยกัน
rao jà taan aa-hăan glaang-wan dûay gan

มาลี เอา ผัก ให้ เรา
maa-lee ao pàk hâi rao

เรา ทุกคน เล่น ฟุตบอล
rao túk kon lên fút bon

คุณ ครู จะ สอน เรา วันเสาร์
kun-kroo jà sŏn rao wan săo

เขา (เธอ) มา เร็ว เสมอ
kăo (ter) maa reo sà-mĕr

เขา (เธอ) จะ เอา พริก ไหม
kăo (ter) jà ao prík măi

บอก เขา (เธอ) ว่า บ้าน คุณ อยู่ ที่ ไหน
bòk kăo (ter) wâa bâan kun yòo têe năi

พวกเขา มา เร็ว เสมอ
pûak kăo maa reo sà-mĕr

พวกเขา จะ เอา พริก ไหม
pûak kăo jà ao prík măi

ให้ โทรศัพท์มือถืออัน ใหม่ (แก่) พวกเขา
hâi toh-rá-sàp meu tĕu an mài (gàe) pûak kăo

บอก พวกเขา ว่า บ้าน คุณ อยู่ ที่ ไหน
bòk pûak kăo wâa bâan kun yòo têe năi

ลุง ต้องการ น้ำ เย็น
lung dtông gaan nám yen

เมื่อไร พี่ จะ มา
mêua rai pêe jà maa

ครู จะ ช่วย หนู
kroo jà chûay nŏo

นาย จะ ตี กอล์ฟ พรุ่งนี้ ไหม
naai jà dtee góf prûng-née măi

ช่วย พี่ หน่อย
chûay pêe nòi

เค้า กับ ตัว จะ ไป ด้วยกัน
káo gàp dtua jà bpai dûay gan

พี่ จะ เลี้ยง น้อง
pêe jà líang nóng

Audio and Pdf Downloads…

Docx download (with transliteration): Pronouns
Docx download (sans transliteration): Pronouns
Audio download: Pronouns Audio

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Olly’s Thai For Beginners: How to Learn to Speak Thai from Scratch

Thai For Beginners

Back in August Olly Richards (I Will Teach You A Language) and Jan Van Der Aa (Language Boost) made an appearance with The Challenge: Two Weeks to Learn Thai in Bangkok!

During those two weeks they tweeted, Facebooked, and created YouTube videos about their experience.

Once back home, Olly wrote a lengthly post detailing just how he accomplished this feat: Thai For Beginners: How to Learn to Speak Thai From Scratch.

In this post, I’m going to take a step back and reveal everything I discovered about how to study Thai as a beginner, so you can benefit from my experiments and start your journey to learn Thai on the right foot.

I’ll start by describing in detail how I learnt Thai during my mission to Bangkok. Next, I’ll answer common questions about learning Thai. Then, I’ll finish with my recommended action steps for those who want to learn to speak Thai, followed by some great resources.

And to top it off, Olly is giving away a pdf with audio files created from his copious class notes. You can download them for FREE here: 150+ Essential Beginner Thai Words & Phrases for Effective Conversations.

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