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HouseTalk: A Handy Shortlist of Instructions for Your Thai Maid

HouseTalk: Learn Basic Thai Cleaning Instructions

Giving your Thai maid instructions…

When planning a move to Northern Thailand I knew I’d have to get another maid so I put together a general list of things I wanted done. If you are contemplating something similar, at least parts of the list will come in handy for you as well.

Suggestion: After tweaking to suit, print out the text file for maids who can read Central Thai (you’ll also need to delete the transliteration and perhaps the English). But for maids who can’t read (not all maids can), either memorise your version of the list or have them listen to the edited audio. It won’t be perfect but it’ll be a start.

Tip: Audio and pdf downloads are at the end of the post.

Shortlist of Instructions for Your Thai Maid…

วันพุธ วันเสาร์: 9.00 – 16.00
wan pút wan săo: 9.00 – 16.00
Wednesday and Saturday: 9.00 – 16.00

** วันเสาร์ทุกอย่างเหมือนวันพุธยกเว้นไม่ต้องซักผ้าปูที่นอนของห้องนอนใหญ่
wan săo túk yàang mĕuan wan pút yá-gà-wâyn mâi dtông sák pâa bpoo têe non kŏng hông non yài
Saturday everything is the same except for sheets.

sák sêua pâa gòn
Start washing clothes first.

** ซักผ้าปูที่นอนของห้องนอนใหญ่
sák pâa bpoo têe non kŏng hông non yài
Wash sheets master bedroom.

sák pâa chét dtua kŏng hông náam túk hông
Wash towels in every bathroom.

gwàat bor-rí-wayn bâan
Sweep outside.

doo lae nôk chaan hâi sà-àat yòo sà-mĕr
Always keep the balconies clean.

láang jaan
Do dishes.

tam kwaam sà-àat hông krua
Clean kitchen. 

ao kà-yà bpai tíng
Empty garbage. 

tam kwaam sà-àat hông náam
Clean bathrooms.

bplìan saai maew
Replace kitty litter.

chét fùn fer-ní-jer
Dust furniture.

dòot fùn prom
Vacuum carpets.

tam kwaam sà-àat péun
Clean floors.

rêet pâa
Iron clothes.

** ปูที่นอนของห้องนอนใหญ่ 
bpoo têe non kŏng hông non yài
Make bed in master bedroom.

ao pâa chét dtua kwăen wai nai hông náam túk hông dûay
Replace towels in every bathroom.

ngaan èun èun têe kuan tam
Special instructions:

ซักผ้าปูที่นอน ห้องนอนแขกด้วย 
sák pâa bpoo têe non · hông non kàek dûay
Wash sheets in guest bedroom when there are guests.

อย่าเอาเสื้อผ้าและผ้าอื่นๆที่ซักแล้วตากแดด ให้ใช้เครื่องอบผ้า
yàa ao sêua pâa láe pâa èun èun têe sák láew dtàak dàet · hâi chái krêuang òp pâa
Do not put clothes and other laundry in the sun, use the dryer.

อย่าใส่ผ้าที่เลอะเป็นคราบลงในเครื่องอบ เอามาให้ฉันดู
yàa sài pâa têe lúh bpen krâap long nai krêuang òp · ao maa hâi chăn doo
Do not put stained clothes in the dryer, bring them to me.

yàa rêet táp roi bpêuan
Do not iron over stains.

อย่าเอาเสื้อผ้าที่เป็นคราบไปเก็บ แต่เอามาให้ฉันดูก่อน 
yàa ao sêua pâa têe bpen krâap bpai gèp · dtàe ao maa hâi chăn doo gòn
Do not put stained clothes away, bring them to me.

อย่าเอาเสื้อผ้าที่ขาดไปเก็บ แต่เอามาให้ฉันดูก่อน 
yàa ao sêua pâa têe kàat bpai gèp · dtàe ao maa hâi chăn doo gòn
Do not put ripped/torn/worn clothes away. Bring them to me.

ถ้าเห็นเสื้อที่กระดุมหลุด ช่วยเอามาให้ฉันด้วย
tâa hĕn sêua têe grà dum lùt · chûay ao maa hâi chăn dûay
Bring clothes with missing buttons to me.

sìng têe mêua rai têe hĕn wâa kuan tam
Extras to do during the month:

tam kwaam sà-àat péun bua
Clean skirting board/baseboards.

tam kwaam sà-àat roi bpêuan bon pà-năng bâan
Remove marks from walls.

chét grà-jòk
Clean mirrors.

chét nâa dtàang
Clean windows.

ปัดฝุ่นหิ้งหนังสือห้องรับแขก + ห้องนอน 
bpàt fùn hîng năng-sĕu hông ráp kàek + hông non
Dust bookshelves in living room + bedrooms.

bpàt fùn fer-ní-jer máai
Dust wooden furniture (use wax).

bpàt fùn dtó gaa-fae
Dust coffee tables (use wax).

láang dtôo yen
Clean refrigerator.

tam kwaam sà-àat kâang lăng dtôo yen
Clean behind refrigerator.

tam kwaam sà-àat nai dtôo hông krua
Clean inside kitchen cupboards.

yàa bplòi hâi sìng kŏng mee fùn
Don’t let things catch dust.

sìng têe kuan tam mêua rao mâi yòo bâan
Things to be done when we are not at home:

tam kwaam sà-àat bâan
Clean house.

rót náam dtôn máai
Water plants.

hâi aa-hăan bplaa
Feed fish.

ให้อาหารแมวทุกวันจันทร์ วันพุธ วันเสาร์
hâi aa-hăan maew túk wan jan · wan pút · wan săo
Feed cats Monday, Wednesday, Saturday.

Downloads: Basic Thai cleaning instructions…

The below downloads include the Thai script, transliteration, and sound files to the phrases in this post.

Pdf download 525kb: HouseTalk: Handy Shortlist of Maid Instructions
Audio download 2.3mg: Handy Maid Instructions

Please note: The materials are for your own personal use only.

The Thai HouseTalk series…

Connecting posts:

Disclaimer: When compiling the HouseTalk posts I often run the Thai phrases and vocabulary through Thai Skype teacher Khun Narisa. But when I code the posts I often tweak a little. So what I’m saying is that snafus are all mine and will be dealt with as such.

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Thai-Notes: Free Reading Course


A website growing in popularity with the Thai community for its online Thai Typing Trainer is Mike’s Thai-Notes. Mike is presently in the process of adding yet another free course – one that teaches you how to read Thai.

Thai-Notes is a website with a variety of applications to people learning Thai. Its latest addition is a reading course. This course takes the beginner from reading the first few characters and vowels, in small, easy steps, to a comprehensive mastery of all the rules of reading Thai with its many complexities and irregularities. Provided within each lesson are lots of opportunities for practice through simple, interactive games.

New materials introduced in a logical way, based upon frequency, makes sure that beginners get maximum use out of what they learn.

The course also includes instruction and worksheets for those who want to learn to write Thai characters and words.

Currently there are 12 lessons available online (out of a planned 70). Until the course is complete new lessons will be added.

The course is available at Thai-Notes: Reading Index

Also available on Thai-Notes…

Thai Typing Resources:

Thai Typing Trainer
Thai Steady Typer
Thai Typing Game

Thai Dictionaries:

Thai-English/English-Thai Dictionary
Thai Classifier Dictionary

Thai Flashcards:

Flashcard Game
Flashcard Editor

Miscellaneous tools for learning Thai:

IPA Typing Tool
Thai Typing Tool

Note: As this is a project in the making, please contact Mike if you have suggestions or feedback.

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

Francesco Alessandro Accomando

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can understand basic conversation, I can express myself.

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

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

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

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

Other advice:

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

Interview: Francesco is Getting By in Thai

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Thai Language Thai Culture: Breathing in Chiang Mai

Thai Language

Breathing in Chiang Mai…

If you live anywhere in or near northern Thailand you probably can’t get the smog out of your head – both physically and figuratively. I live about ½ kilometer from the base of Doi Pui – Doi Suthep National park. Today I can’t see the mountains less than 500 meters away. This week four airplanes were diverted from Chiang Mai International Airport because of limited visibility.

And now I’ve had my first head cold here in almost 10 years. Is it a co-inky-dink that it has happened just as the smog rolled in?

I don’t go into town much unless I have some business to take care of. Yesterday we did the paperwork to get our tax refund for the last three years. That’s the good news. The bad news is I was thinking too much about the bad visibility as I was driving that I missed my turn to the bank.

The air pollution is as bad as I have seen it in many years (three times beyond the safety limits in nearby Chiang rai). It has me almost thinking about a move to Beijing.

Thai Language

With all this going on we thought it might be a good time to work on Thai vocabulary to describe the current situation. After, we’ll construct Thai dialogs using the vocabulary, just in case you want to talk with a Thai friend and you are like me and it is the main topic on your mind.

Thai vocabulary for breathing (or not) in Chiang mai…

มลพิษ /mon-​lá-​pít/ (พิษ = poison)
มลภาวะเป็นพิษ /mon-​paa-​wá-​bpen-​pít/ (ภาวะ = a condition of being poisoned)

Air pollution
มลพิษทางอากาศ /mon-​pít taang aa-gàat/ (อากาศ = air)

Water pollution
มลพิษทางน้ำ /mon-​pít taang náam/ (น้ำ = water)

หมอกควัน /mòk-​kwan/ (หมอก = fog, mist; ควัน = smoke)
ควันพิษ /kwan-​pít/ (poison smoke)

The English word “smog” is a combination of “smoke” and “fog”. Thai does something similar.

Mask (nowadays ubiquitous)
หน้ากาก /nâa-​gàak/
หน้ากากอนามัย /nâa-​gàak à-​naa-​mai/ (อนามัย = hygiene)

ปอด /bpòt/

Lung disease
โรคปอด /rôhk bpòt/

โรคหอบหืด /rôhk-​hòp-​hèut/
หืด /hèut/

โรคภูมิแพ้ /rôhk-​poom-​páe/ (to have an allergy)
แพ้ /​páe/ (to be allergic to something)

ไอ /ai/

เสลด /sà-​lèet/
เสมหะ /săym-hà/

เผาผลาญ /păo-plăan/
เผา /păo/

ขยะ /kà-​yà/

To burn garbage
เผาขยะ /păo kà-​yà/

Fields (rice)
ทุ่งนา /tûng-​naa/

To burn the rice fields.
เผาทุ่งนา /păo tûng-​naa/

ป่า /bpàa/

To burn the forest.
เผาป่า /păo bpàa/

And here’s some phrases for burning in Chiang mai…

Let’s use what we have learned. At least it will be somewhat cathartic.

A: How’s the weather today in Chiang Mai?
wan née aa-gàat chiang-mài bpen yang ngai

B: The smog is really bad.
mòk kwan mâi dee jing jing

A: What causes all that smog?
mòk kwan mee săa-hàyt a-rai bâang

B: They are burning the fields, and garbage, and the forests.
พวกเขาเผาทุ่งนา เผาขยะ และ เผาป่า
pûak-kăo-păo-tûng-naa păo-kà-yà láe păo bpàa

A: Are people getting sick from the pollution?
mon-pít tam hâi kon mâi sà-baai rĕu

B: Yes, especially people with lung disease, asthma, and allergies.
ครับ โดยเฉพาะคนที่เป็น โรคปอด โรคหอบหืด และ โรคภูมิแพ้
kráp doi chà-pór kon têe bpen rôhk-bpòt rôhk hòp hèut láe rôhk poom páe

They will cough and have phlegm in their lungs. It’s best to wear a mask.
เขาจะไอ และ มี เสมหะ ในปอด ใส่หน้ากากดีกว่า
kăo jà ai láe mee săym-hà nai bpòt sài nâa gàak dee gwàa

There’s too much burning in Chiang mai!…

So here is my plan. I’m thinking of taking that tax return that we just got and buying two tickets to Bali and then taking one really, really deep breath. And pray for rain.

But before I go, here’s an iOS app by Thailand’s Pollution Control Department: Air4Thai. And if you are like me and don’t use apps, here’s a useful website: City Hall, Chiangmai Air Pollution: Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI).

Breathing in Chiang mai audo download: 1.2mg zip
Note: The audio files are for personal use only.

Hugh Leong
Retire 2 Thailand
Retire 2 Thailand: Blog
eBooks in Thailand
Thai Vocabulary in the News

Thai Language

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Thai Language Thai Culture: Lounge Lizard Foreign Language Speaking Exercises

Thai Language

Lounge Lizard foreign language speaking exercises…

It is probably because I am a bit obsessive compulsive that I still spend some time every day studying Thai. But that means that I have to constantly find new and interesting ways to work on my language studies. Writing these posts on WLT forces me to think about Thai, and a new blog I have been working on, Thai Vocabulary in the News, is also a great exercise for me. Now I think I have found a new learning method.

To the chagrin of my neighbors and my long suffering wife, I have been learning to play the piano and fantasize about becoming a lounge-lizard singer of popular songs. The other day, while banging away and belting out a new song I had one of those “Ah ha” moments. Why not try translating this song into Thai as a language learning exercise?

The more I thought about it the more I realized that every time we attempt to speak a foreign language we are usually translating into it. And usually when we are listening to a foreign language we are translating back.

Except for the advanced language learner most people don’t have that switch in our heads that allows us to start thinking in the target language until it just flows, without having to translate first. So learning all the ins and outs of translating into a foreign language would be great meaningful practice. And songs are fun to work with.

When I sat down to do my first song translation I realized how fascinating and multi-faceted translating into a foreign language can be. You don’t have to be an advanced student of Thai to try this method. Just choose a song that corresponds to your language level.

Songs are a really good challenge for a translator. They are quite often idiomatic. In our native language we often think idiomatically. This becomes a problem when we try to render what is in our heads in our native language into a target language since one thing we should never do is try to translate an idiom word-for-word.

Taking a song and trying to render it into a foreign language is great training for us because it forces us to break down our native language idioms into what they really mean in normal standardized language. If we are lucky sometimes there is even a corresponding idiom in the target language. This makes translating songs really good training for real world foreign language speaking.

Below I have some examples of songs I have attempted to translate, and the challenges we face when we try this.

Note to native Thai speakers: I’ll be trying my translations here. If you come up with something different please share it with us. It would be great to see how you would say it.

Let’s start with an easy song.

Mary Had a Little Lamb…

Mary Had a Little Lamb, little lamb, little lamb
Mary Had a Little Lamb
His fleece was white as snow.

First things first. Translate the title “Mary had a little lamb”.

Mary is “Mary”. That was easy.

We can translate the verb “had” as มี /mee/ or for the past tense เคยมี /koie-​mee/. A lamb is a baby sheep. Sheep is แกะ ​/gàe/; lamb ลูกแกะ /lôok-​gàe/. One word for “little” is น้อย /nói/ but since this is an animal we can use ตัวน้อย /dtua nói/.

“Mary had a little lamb” = Mary เคยมีลูกแกะตัวน้อย

But there is something missing here. Really the English word “had” in this case has a little more meaning behind it. It really means that Mary was “raising” the little fella. She was feeding him and taking care of him.

Let’s translate “had” to contain these subtleties. I think it should be เลี้ยง /líang/ “to raise”. A “domesticated animal”, or a “pet” of which this little lamb is one, is สัตว์เลี้ยง /sàt líang/ “animal that we raise”. Note: it sounds better without the past indicator of เคย /koie/, so we’ll just drop the past tense which isn’t required in Thai.

Putting all that together the title becomes Mary เลี้ยงลูกแกะตัวน้อย “Mary raised a little lamb”.

The rest of the song repeats the title and then adds:

“His fleece was white as snow.”

“Fleece” is ขนแกะ /kŏn-gàe/, or the hair or fur of a sheep. Since we know we are talking about a sheep let’s just drop แกะ /gàe/ and just keep ขน /kŏn/. “White” is ขาว /kăao/. “Snow” is หิมะ /hì-​má/. “As” really means “to be like” or “the same as” which in Thai would be เหมือน /mĕuan/.

“His fleece was white as snow” = ขนขาวเหมือนหิมะ

But this sort of lacks a certain flow. Let’s add a few words to make it flow better.

Instead of “his” fleece, Thai needs to use “its” fleece. That would be ขนมัน /kŏn man/. And although it isn’t required we really could use a “be” verb somewhere, like คือ /keu/.

And since the term “white as snow” means “really white”, and the term “as snow” is an English intensifier of the word white, we can use the Thai intensifier จ๊วก juak (specific for the word ขาว /kăao/) as in ขาวจวก /kăao jùak/ “really white”. This puts a little more emphasis on the word “white”. That gives us ขนมันคือขาวจวกเหมือนหิมะ “Its fleece was very white, like snow” which flows much better.

Here is my translation of “Mary had a Little Lamb”:

Mary เลี้ยงลูกแกะตัวน้อย

Mary เลี้ยงลูกแกะตัวน้อย ตัวน้อย ตัวน้อย
Mary เลี้ยงลูกแกะตัวน้อย

Now for the song that I was belting away when I had the “Ah ha” moment. It’s one of the shortest, and one of my favorite Beatles’ songs.

I Will…

Who knows how long I’ve loved you
You know I love you still.
Will I wait a lonely lifetime
If you want me to I will.

The title “I Will”.

If we translate this we get ฉันจะ /chăn jà/. But you can’t do that in Thai. The word จะ /jà/, which translates to “will” or “shall” isn’t a stand-alone word. It is simply a future indicator. It needs to be followed by a verb. So we need to think about what Paul is going to do.

And from the song it is obvious that he is going to “wait for” the person he is singing to. We can then add the words คอย /koi/ “wait for” and คุณ /kun/ “you”. And “I Will” becomes ฉันจะ(คอย คุณ) “I will (Wait for You)”, parentheses added to keep the original in mind.

“Who knows how long I’ve loved you”

“Who” would be ใคร /krai/ but I don’t really feel that in the song this is a question. I think it is more like “No one knows” so I came up with ไม่มีใครรู้ /mâi mee krai róo/. “How long” = นานแค่ไหน /naan kâe năi/. “I’ve love you” = ฉันรักคุณ /chăn rák kun/. No need for the present perfect to be translated. Giving us ไม่มีใครรู้ฉันรักคุณนานแค่ไหน “No one knows how long I have loved you”.

You know I love you still.

“Know” is รู้ /rúu/ or ทราบ /sâap/. ทราบ seems more formal so I’ll stick with รู้. But คุณรู้ /kun róo/ by itself sounds a little hard so I like คุณรู้แล้ว /kun róo láew/ which means “you already know” and doesn’t change the meaning but softens it a bit. “I love you still” in normal speak is “I still love you” which would be ฉันยังรักคุณ /chăn yang rák kun/. “You know I love you still” becomes คุณรู้แล้วฉันยังรักคุณ “You already know that I still love you”

“Will I wait a lonely lifetime”

“Will”. From my thinking about this song I don’t think this is a simple future tense word. It seems to have the meaning that he is asking if she is going to make him wait for a lifetime before she responds to him. That would be something like “Are you going to make me …?” which would be คุณจะทำให้ฉันต้อง… /Kun jà tam hâi chăn dtông …/

“Wait is รอ /ror/ or คอย /koi/ even better to use the Thai double verb of รอคอย /ror-​koi/. “Lifetime” is made up of “life” ชีวิต /chee-wít/ and “all of” ตลอด /dtà-lòt/ as in “all of my life” ตลอดชีวิต /dtà-lòt chee-wít/

“Lonely” is เหงา /ngăo/ And instead of describing “lifetime” as being lonely we describe our “waiting” as being lonely. So we need to put this after the verb รอคอย /ror-​koi/ as in รอคอยเหงา /ror-​koi /ngăo/ “wait alone”. And this is a question so we tag on the question word หรือ /rĕu/ at the end. Giving us “Will I wait a lonely lifetime” = คุณจะทำให้ฉันต้องรอคอยเหงาตลอดชีวิตหรือ “Are you going to make me wait lonely for my whole life?”

“If you want me to I will”

If = หาก /hàak/
“Want me to”, “Want” = ต้องการ /dtông-​gaan/. When you are using this in the case of she wanting me to do something you get ต้องการให้ฉัน /dtông-​gaan hâi chăn/. The song just says “want me to …” and leaves the verb unspoken. But in the translation into Thai we kind of need to say it. What is it she wants him to do? “Wait”. So we get คุณต้องการให้ฉันรอคอย. And then we are back to “I will” but that would be repetitive. How about we say something like “Well. If you want me to wait I’ll go along with that.” So we can say something like ฉันก็ยอม /chăn gôr yom/. The word ยอม /yom/ meaning “to be compliant”.

“If you want me to I will” becomes หากคุณต้องการให้ฉันรอคอยฉันก็ยอม “If you want me to wait then I’ll go along with that.”

And my complete translation of the first verse is:

ฉันจะ(คอย คุณ)


You can see that when translating a song we first have to think about what the song means, what all the idioms and left-out-words are trying to say. Then we can render it into the target language. This is why I like the term “interpret” rather than “translate” since we really can’t do a word-for-word code switch. The mental exercise becomes more like Step 1, “native language words”; Step 2, “meaning of the native language words”; Step 3, “target language words”.

And in fact, these are the same steps we need to take whenever we attempt communicating in a foreign language – that is until we get to the level where we can eliminate the first 2 steps and simply think in the target language.

Hopefully, we are all on the road to getting there.

Try interpreting your own favorite song. You can just start with song titles. How about this one from Jackson Browne for a starter, “Running on Empty”? or how about this from the Eagles, “I’m going down the road trying to loosen my load I got seven women on my mind.” I have my answers and will share them with you but want to hear what you come up with first. Drop us a comment with your answers. I’m looking forward to reading them. I’ll bet we get lots of different ones.

Download Lounge Lizard: 1.5mg zip

Hugh Leong
Retire 2 Thailand
Retire 2 Thailand: Blog
eBooks in Thailand
Thai Vocabulary in the News

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FREE Downloads: Gla and Geo (there is life after Manee)


Download FREE Gla and Geo ebooks…

The most famous (and cherished) Ministry of Education coursebooks for kids learning how to read Thai is the Manee series. But that was many updates ago.

Thanks to Sasathorn on the FCLT FB Group, I now know about a later version called Gla and Geo. This series is also out of print but you can get pdfs online for free at e-bookfreeload or DataStudent.net.

Both sites are a pain to access (beware of porn popups) so I’ve uploaded the series to app.box.com. While I was there I also uploaded Manee.

Gla and Geo: Thai Coursebooks Grades 1-6
Manee and Friends: Thai Coursebooks Grades 1-6

Hardcopy of the latest Ministry of Education coursebooks for learning how to read Thai can be purchased online at suksapanpanit.com (ศึกษาภัณฑ์พาณิชย์) or in bookstores around Thailand (thanks Kris).

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Thai Language Thai Culture: Learning Thai Medical Terms: Breaking Down and Building Up

Thai Language

Learning Thai medical terms: Breaking down and building up…

As a follow up to our previous post here on WLT, a reader has asked us to translate a list of medical terms that are important to her. But instead of simply giving a one-to-one English/Thai translation I thought it would be better to show how we can go about breaking down the English term and seeing if we can build a Thai term that can be used to discuss these medical conditions.

Many Thai technical terms and vocabulary that describe complicated ideas are made up of a compound of simpler Thai words. The list we have here contains terms in English but they are basically concepts. We start with breaking down the concept first, then finding the Thai word for each constituent part, and then reconstructing the concept in Thai. This technique can be used with most complex concepts to understand, read, and finally produce Thai compound words.

Note that the terms we come up with will be polite, and/or technical terms that would be appropriate to discuss with a doctor or professional but would be understood by any Thai speaker.

List of medical terms: Abdominal pain, stomach ache, gastritis
 bleeding from the digestive tract,
 cancers of the stomach or esophagus
, chronic heartburn, acid reflux and indigestion
, diagnosis and removal of stomach polyps, 
dilatation of esophageal strictures, 
trouble swallowing, 
ulcers of the esophagus, stomach duodenum, unexplained chest pain.

Note: Many of these conditions in Thai can be prefixed with โรค /rôhk/ = disease, or อาการ /aa-​gaan/ = symptom. We’ll drop most of these for brevity.

Abdominal pain (stomach ache, gastritis)…

Ache, Pain: ปวด /bpùat/

The following words can be used to refer to the stomach and abdomen:

กระเพาะ /grà-pór/ (stomach, abdomen)
กระเพาะอาหาร /grà-pór aa-hăan/ (กระเพาะ = stomach, abdomen; อาหาร = food)
ท้อง /tóng/ (stomach, abdomen)
พุง /pung/ (this is more like “belly”; พุงใหญ่ = big belly, beer belly)
ช่องท้อง /chông-​tóng/ (usually referring to the abdomen); ช่อง = cavity


Abdominal pain: ปวดช่องท้อง, ปวดกระเพาะ

Stomach ache: ปวดท้อง

Gastritis: โรคกระเพาะ

Bleeding of the digestive tract…

To digest: ย่อยอาหาร /yôi aa-hăan/ (ย่อย = digest, อาหาร = food)
Tube: ท่อ /tôr/; หลอด /lòt/
Track, walkway: ทางเดิน /taang-​dern/
Esophagus (digestive tract, pathway of the food): ท่อทางเดินอาหาร /tôr taang dern aa-hăan/; หลอดอาหาร /lòt aa-hăan/
To bleed: เลือดไหล /lêuat-lăi/; เลือดออก /lêuat-​òk/ (เลือด = blood, ไหล = to flow, ออก = come out)


Bleeding in the esophagus.
เลือดไหล (เลือดออก) ใน ท่อทางเดินอาหาร
เลือดไหล (เลือดออก) ใน หลอดอาหาร

Bleeding in the digestive tract (includes the stomach).
เลือดไหล (เลือดออก) ใน ท่อทางเดินย่อยอาหาร

Cancer of the stomach or esophagus…

Cancer: มะเร็ง /má-reng/; โรคมะเร็ง /rôhk má-reng/


Cancer of the stomach.

Cancer of the esophagus

Chronic heartburn…

Burning sensation: แสบร้อน /sàep rón/ (แสบ = to sting, burn; ร้อน = hot)
Breast: ทรวง /suang/
Chest: อก /òk/
Chronic illness: โรคเรื้อรัง /rôhk réua-rang/


Heart burn

Chronic heartburn
โรคเรื้อรัง แสบร้อนในทรวงอก
โรคเรื้อรัง จุกเสียดท้อง

Acid reflux…

Acid: กรด /gròt/
Flow: ไหล /lăi/
To return: ย้อน /yón/
Reflux (meaning to flow back or return): ไหลย้อน /lăi yón/


Acid reflux


Inability to digest food: อาหารไม่ย่อย /aa hăan mâi yôi/

Diagnosis and removal of stomach polyps:


To diagnose: วินิจฉัย ​/wí-nít-chăi/
To remove: ลบ ออก /lóp-​òk/
Polyp: โพลิป /poh-​líp/ (English loan word); ติ่ง /dtìng/


Diagnosis stomach polyps

Remove stomach polyps

Dilatation of esophageal strictures…

To dilate (enlarge): ขยาย /kà-yăai/; ทำให้ กว้างขึ้น /tam-​hâi ​yài-​kêun/
Strictures (a narrowing or constriction): แคบ /kâep/


Dilatation of esophageal strictures
ทำให้ หลอดอาหารแคบ กว้างขึ้น

Trouble swallowing…

Trouble: ปัญหา /bpan-hăa/
To swallow: กลืน /gleun/


Trouble swallowing

Ulcers of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum…

Ulcer: แผลเปื่อย /plăe-bpèuay/ (แผล = wound; เปื่อย – decayed)
Bowel, intestine: ลำไส้ /lam-​sâi/
Small: เล็ก /lék/
Part: ส่วน /sùan/
Beginning (part): ต้น /dtôn/
Duodenum: ลำไส้เล็กส่วนต้น /lam sâi lék sùan dtôn/ (literally: beginning of the small intestines)


Ulcers of the esophagus

Ulcers of the stomach

Ulcers of the duodenum

Unexplained chest pain…

Pain: เจ็บ /jèp/; (ปวด /bpùat/ is more like an ache)
Chest: หน้าอก /nâa-​òk/ (Aside: อกหัก /òk-​hàk/ literally means broken chest but it is the translation of the English “heartbroken” or “broken heart”)
Unknown: ไม่รู้ /mâi-​róo/
Cause: สาเหตุ /săa-hàyt/


Unexplained chest pain

The secret to learning Thai complex vocabulary…

Whether technical or not, Thai complex vocabulary very often tells the story of exactly what it is. If you know the individual words that make up the story you are pretty much on your way to knowing the meaning of a complex word that you have never seen before. This is not so easy in English.

Example: The English sentence “She had plastic surgery” tells us that a woman had an operation but unless we had heard the term before we really don’t know what kind. The Thai term is ศัลยกรรมตกแต่ง. It’s a big word, made of ศัลยกรรม = “surgery” and ตกแต่ง = “to beautify” or “to embellish”.

So the English word is “surgery using plastic”; not very descriptive and in fact misleading. The Thai word is “surgery to beautify or embellish”. If you know the constituent Thai words then you will know the meaning of the complex word without ever having seen it before.

Hugh Leong
Retire 2 Thailand
Retire 2 Thailand: Blog
eBooks in Thailand
Thai Vocabulary in the News

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Kru CAN: Going Beyond Basic Thai

Kru Can

Kru CAN: For those who want to go beyond the basics…

Kru CAN is a Thai Skype teacher with three years experience under his belt. And while I do promote Thai teachers on WLT (one-on-one and Skype) that’s not why I’m sharing his site. I’m doing so because of his growing collection of posts to help students learn how to read Thai.

The posts on Kru CAN’s site teaches Thai from Level 1 (beginner) to Level 5 (advanced). The subject matter is: Thai Vocabulary, Grammar Usage, Easy Story in Thai, Easy-to-read Articles in Thai, Easy-to-read Articles in Thai with Audio, Easy-to-read News in Thai, Thai Language Exercises, and Conversations in Thai.

Note: All posts have pdf downloads but only the audio post has audio. Some posts have keywords/vocabulary to learn, and most posts have transliteration.

Thai Vocabulary: A list of words with Thai script, transliteration, and English translation. Each lesson has an animated banner to help you learn the words. Each word has three cards: Thai script, Thai script + transliteration, Thai script + transliteration + English translation.

Grammar Usage: Grammar samples with Thai script, transliteration, translation, and a vocabulary list.

Easy Story in Thai: Short lessons with three or four sentences. Each lesson has Thai script with spaces between words and English translation. There is no transliteration.

Easy-to-read Articles in Thai: Thai script with no spaces between words, transliteration (IPA I believe), English translation, and a vocabulary list to learn.

Easy-to-read Articles in Thai with Audio: Audio spoken in an easygoing manner, Thai script (separated by word for lower levels only), transliteration and translation.

Easy-to-read News in Thai: Consists of paragraphs with Thai script and English translation. Some have transliteration and vocabulary lists.

Thai Language Exercises: A selection of sentences in Thai script with missing words. Answers appear in the comments several days after the post goes live.

Conversations in Thai: Some have Thai script with English translation, while others also have transliteration.

Personally, I’d love to see audio in all posts. If you too would like to hear Thai spoken, perhaps this will help: Does your computer speak Thai.

Where you can find Kru CAN:

Web: Kru CAN
Facebook: Kru CAN
YouTube: Kru CAN

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Discount: Learn Thai Style’s Speak, Read & Write Thai Course

Thai Style

Discount: Learn Thai Style…

Before Xmas, Tom Lane from Learn Thai Style and I got into a discussion about LTS offering specials to the Farang Can Learn Thai Facebook group and readers of WLT.

The below offer is just one of several to come. Enjoy!

Get 50% off the Speak, Read & Write Thai Course at Learn Thai Style. You’ll receive lifetime access to over 700 trained teachers, structured, written, audio, video and self study learning materials and learner support.

To get the discount, use this promo code: I will learn thai 2015

Web: Learn Thai Style
YouTube: Learn Thai Style
Twitter: @LearnThaiStyle

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Thai Language Thai Culture: Helpful Thai Medical Vocabulary for Men

Thai Language

Medical vocabulary for men, and some women…

Some of you may know that besides contributing to Women Learn Thai I also write a blog on retiring to Thailand. My latest post is one about increasing awareness of a problem many older men have; problems with our prostate.

I wrote that post because I thought that awareness of this problem is quite important for men, and women who have men in their lives. This post on WLT is a companion piece to What We Men Don’t Like to Think About. If you have time, take a look at my post. It is full of info and web links about this condition that most of us men find difficult to talk about even in our own native language.

Since I needed to go to the hospital for certain procedures I came into contact with lots of doctors and nurses. My doctors’ English was usually quite good but the nurses’ English was limited. Luckily I could ask and answer their questions in Thai. It made everything flow quite smoothly and I was treated very well. I am sure that my knowledge of Thai contributed to this positive experience.

Because many men may have to go through exactly what I did I thought maybe I might help with a listing of the Thai words I used during my hospital visit. Here are some useful Thai vocabulary words that may come in handy.

My Visit to the Hospital…

As many men in their 60s, I have been having trouble with my prostate.

Prostate: ต่อมลูกหมาก /dtòm-​lôok-​màak/
– ต่อม /dtòm/ gland
– ลูกหมาก /lôok-​màak/ betel nut, a walnut sized nut that used to be used throughout SE Asia staining the user’s teeth red.

For many years I have been taking medication for an enlarged prostate.

Take Medication: กินยา /gin-​yaa/

Enlarged prostate: ต่อมลูกหมากโต /dtòm-​lôok-​màak dtoh/
– โต /dtoh/ large

I had been to the emergency room a number of times because of not being able to urinate (a symptom of an enlarged prostate).

Emergency Room (ER): ห้องฉุกเฉิน /hông chùk-chĕrn/
– ห้อง /hông/ room
– ฉุกเฉิน ​/chùk-chĕrn/ emergency

Urinate: ถ่ายปัสสาวะ /tàai bpàt-săa-wá/
– ปัสสาวะ /bpàt-săa-wá/ urine; This is the polite word used with doctors and nurses.

Symptom: อาการ /aa-​gaan/

I also had a number of infections in my urethra, called urinary tract infections or UTI.

Infection: อักเสบ /àk-​sàyp/

Urethra: ท่อปัสสาวะ /tôr bpàt-săa-wá/
– ท่อ /tôr/ tube

Urinary Tract: ทางเดินปัสสาวะ /taang dern bpàt-săa-wá/
– ทางเดิน /taang-​dern/ path

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): อักเสบทางเดินปัสสาวะ /àk-sàyp taang dern bpàt-săa-wá/

We did a blood test to check my PSA levels.

Blood Test: การตรวจเลือด /gaan-​dtrùat-​lêuat/
– ตรวจ ​/dtrùat/ examine, test
– เลือด /lêuat/ blood

Since my PSA levels were quite high my doctor, a urologist, was concerned about cancer.

Urologist: แพทย์ที่เชี่ยวชาญด้านระบบปัสสาวะ /pâet têe chîeow-chaan dâan rá-bòp bpàt-săa-wá/
– แพทย์ /pâet/ doctor
– เชี่ยวชาญ /​​chîeow-​chaan/ expert
– ระบบ ​/rá~​bòp/ system

U-ro: We also use the English loan word หมอ U-ro /mŏr URO/

Cancer: มะเร็ง /má-reng/

First we did an ultrasound of the prostate.

Ultrasound: อุลตราซาวด์ /un-​dtrâa-​saao/ (English loanword)

Then my doctor recommended a biopsy.

Biopsy: การตัดเนื้อเยื่อไปตรวจ /gaan-​dtàt-​néua-​yêua-​bpai-​dtrùat/
– ตัด /dtàt/ cut
– เนื้อเยื่อ /néua-​yêua/ tissue)
– They also use the loanword “bi-op-sy”

Since I would be under general anesthesia, before the biopsy I needed to fast.

Anesthesia: ยาสลบ /yaa-​sà-lòp/
– ยา /yaa/ medicine
– สลบ /​sà-lòp/ unconscious

Fast: อดอาหาร /òt aa-hăan/
– อด /òt/ abstain from
– อาหาร ​/aa-hăan/ food

For the procedure I needed to have an IV inserted.

(IV) Intravenous: การฉีดเข้าเส้นเลือด /gaan-​chèet-​kâo-​sên-​lêuat/
– ฉีด ​/chèet/ inject medicine
– เส้นเลือด /sên-​lêuat/ blood vessel

Later I woke up in the recovery room.

Recovery Room: ห้องพักฟื้น /hông-​pák féun/
– ห้อง /hông/ room
– พัก /pák/ rest
– ฟื้น /féun/ regain consciousness

I’ll have to take antibiotics for a few days.

Antibiotics: ยาฆ่าเชื้อ /yaa-​kâa-​chéua/
– ยา /yaa/ medicine
– ฆ่า /kâa/ kill
– เชื้อ /chéua/ germ

The doctor gave me the good news that I am cancer free.

Cancer free: ไร้มะเร็ง /rái má~​reng/
– ไร้ /rái/ without

May you all be healthy and happy during this holiday season.

Hugh Leong
Retire 2 Thailand
Retire 2 Thailand: Blog
eBooks in Thailand
Thai Vocabulary in the News

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