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

Learn Thai Language & Thai Culture

Thai Style: Feeling Like a Thai: Be Happy

Thai Style

Feeling Like a Thai…

A month ago, Catherine asked how would I feel writing a post about a list of emotion/feeling words. She got the idea from a post at Mental Floss, Improve Your Vocabulary With the “Wheel of Feelings”.

I said to her ‘Great! I am willing to do it and I feel excited and enthusiastic to complete it.’

When I learnt English I used a similar system to help me understand English emotion/feeling words so I can see how it would benefit Thai learners as well. I was confident and determined to finish the post within a week or two, however, when I started the work I realised this is going to be a long project.

Not only do we, Thais, have our own perceptions about emotion and feeling, but the language we use to indicate emotions/feelings is also so different to English both grammatically and in meaning. Therefore I decided to create a series of posts called ‘Feeling like a Thai’. There are going to be six posts in total; ‘Be happy’, ‘Don’t be Sad’, ‘Oh no! A Thai is angry!’, ‘So scary!’, ‘I’m confused. What have I done wrong?’ and lastly, ‘Wheel of Feelings’.

These posts will help you to use correct words to indicate your feeling in Thai language as well as explanations on how and when to use them.

Today, I proudly present to you the first post ‘Be Happy’. I would love to hear how this post helps you. Please provide some feedback describing how you feel about the post. Are you happy with it? Do you feel encouraged to try it out with your Thai friends? Are you more confident to how to express feelings in Thai? I would be grateful if you could take a moment to write a comment below.

Now, I feel relieved and relaxed that my first post of this series is done as well as feeling gratified that this post is going to help Thai learners. I am so happy! :)

Note to beginners: Transliteration along with Thai script is in the explanation of the pdf download at the end of the post (tables are Thai only).

Feeling Like a Thai: Be Happy…

Before learning the emotion/feeling words, let’s learn about the grammar as it is very important for you to construct a sentence correctly in order to indicate your emotion/feeling in Thai language.

First of all, I would like us to understand the definitions of ‘emotion’ and ‘feeling’.

emotion
[definition] a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.

feeling
[definition]
1. an emotional state or reaction.
2. senses detecting what you feel through your 11 inputs; Hearing, Taste, Sight, Smell, Heat, Cool, Pain, Pleasure, Sense of balance (vestibular), Pressure, Motion (kinaesthetic).

As you can see, emotion and feeling, although different, have a very similar definition and are often interchangeable. In my series, I am writing about feelings as ‘an emotional state or reaction’ and I would like to explain in detail how to construct a sentence to indicate our feelings.

When indicating emotion or feeling in Thai the word ‘รู้สึก, to feel (mentally and physically)’, is used as a verb, yet the word ‘รู้สึก to feel’, is commonly omitted from a sentence if the explanation word that comes after is an emotion/feeling word.

In Thai, we view emotions as they happen in our heart, so the word ‘ใจ [Noun] heart [Noun] mind ; disposition ; spirit’ is used to make up many compound words to denote different types of emotions/feelings. For example, ดีใจ [feeling verb] feel delight / be delighted / be happy, is a compound word combined from the word ‘ดี means [quality modifier] be good, be nice’ and the word ‘ใจ’.

Some modifier (adjective/adverb) words can also be used after the word ‘รู้สึก, to feel’ to describe someone’s emotion or feeling. For example, กระชุ่มกระชวย is [modifier] be hale and hearty, be full of vitality, be energetic, and รู้สึกกระชุ่มกระชวย is feel energised.

Sentence structure:

Subject + (รู้สึก, to feel) + feeling word/explanation.

For example:

ผมรู้สึกดีใจ
I feel delight/happy.

ผมดีใจ
I am delighted/happy.

ผมรู้สึกดี
I feel good.

‘ดี means [quality modifier] be good, be nice’ which is not a feeling word therefore when you are not using the word ‘รู้สึก, to feel’ before the word ‘ดี’, without context the sentence ‘ผมดี would be interpreted as ‘I am nice.’

When you want to connect the emotion/feeling with the causes, you should use the link word ‘ที่, [relative pronoun] … that …’

Sentence structure:

Subject 1 + (รู้สึก, to feel) + Feeling word/Explanation + ที่ + (Subject 1) or Subject 2 + Explanation.

For example:

ผม(รู้สึก)ดีใจที่(ผม)ได้รับรางวัล
I feel delight/happy that I receive the reward. / I feel delight/happy to have received the reward.

ผม(รู้สึก)ดีใจที่แม่มาหาผม
I feel delight/happy that mum comes to see me.

When someone makes or causes someone to feel something, we use the word ‘ทำให้’.

Sentence structure:

Subject 1 + ทำให้ + Subject 2 + (รู้สึก to feel) + Feeling word/Explanation.

For example:

แม่ทำให้ผม(รู้สึก)ดีใจ
Mum makes me feel happy.

The prefix ‘ความ’ is an element placed at the beginning of a verb or adjective to adjust or qualify the verb’s or adjective’s function and meaning to an abstract noun.

Examples: ดี [quality modifier] be good/nice, ความดี [noun] goodness, รัก [feeling verb] to love, ความรัก [noun] love, จริง [quality modifier] true, real, ความจริง [noun] truth, สบาย [feeling verb/modifier] be comfortable, be relax, be cozy, ความสบาย [noun] comfortableness.

Example sentences:

ฉันรักเขาจริงๆ
I truly love him.

ฉันอยากรู้ความจริง
I would like to know the truth.

เขานั่งสบาย
He is comfortably sitting (the place, space and time is comfortable for him).

เขาชอบความสบาย
He likes comfortableness.

The prefix ‘อย่าง+’ is an element placed in front of a modifier (adverb or adjective) or a noun to adjust or qualify the modifier’s function to an adverb and the meaning to ‘having a particular quality’, ‘… in that type of quality’, ‘… in the way of …’. It is similar to the use of the suffix -ly in English e.g. brotherly, quickly.

Examples: ดี [quality modifier] be good/nice, อย่างดี [adverb] nicely, สบาย [feeling verb/modifier] be comfortable, be relax, be cozy, ความสบาย [adverb] comfortably, เร็ว [speed modifier] be quick, อย่างเร็ว = [adverb] quickly.

Example sentences:

ฉันทำงานอย่างดี
I do the work nicely.

เขานั่งลงอย่างสบาย
He is comfortably sitting down (he bends down and sits in a comfortable way).

เขานั่งลงอย่างเร็ว
He is quickly sitting down (he bends down and sits quickly).

Note:

  1. Words in brackets can be omitted.
  2. The level of intensity of the English feeling words is copied from a research article. I tried my best to explain the intensity of Thai feeling words within the descriptions however I still feel every feeling is unique and words cannot describe our feelings exactly as well as the intensity can be subjective.

Downloads: Feeling Like a Thai: Be Happy…

As this resource is enormous (20+ pages filled with examples and tables, plus audio files to boot) we’ve created downloads for you. Enjoy!

Pdf: Feeling Like a Thai: Be Happy: 269kb
Audio: Feeling Like a Thai: Be Happy: 5.2mg

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

By ครูเจี๊ยบ: Kru Jiab
Thai Style

Share Button
The following two tabs change content below.
Kruu Jiab is a Thai language teacher, an author and translator. She is known for her detailed and clear explanations that leave no questions unanswered. Jiab believes in self improvement, thinking outside the box and contemplates her students needs. She has written nine books on learning Thai language and trained over 800 Thai language teachers

7 Comments

  1. I really love this post because it give detailled explanations.
    I was glad to learn the use of ที่ and was wondering if I shall use it also with the next step:
    แม่ทำให้ผม(รู้สึก)ดีใจ Mum makes me feel happy.
    Mum makes me happy because she comes to see me often : shall I use ที่ ? Instinctively I would use เพราะว่า… Which is right?

    Loved also learning about อย่าง but not so confortable yet… อย่างเร็ว is quickly but เร็วๆ is quickly too, isn’t it?

    Merci beaucoup!

  2. Wow, wow, wow, the PDF is great! I love the tables! Also loved that there is no transliteration on the post. At this level we don’t need them has we have learned how to read!
    I read the post on my Ipad and have the Ipad read the Thai text out loud if I have a doubt about the pronounciation of a particular word.

    Thank you again, great job!

  3. Very comprehensive pdfs. Thanks for your hard work.

  4. A detailed post on a topic I have wondered about for awhile as feelings & emotions are important part of learning any language. The tables are very well structured and I think people can take a lot from this. I’ll be sure to look over it often and I look forward to the next parts in the series. Thanks very much for sharing this :)

  5. Hi Michel, Thanks for your comments!

    Regarding your questions;

    Question 1:
    แม่ทำให้ผม(รู้สึก)ดีใจ Mum makes me feel happy.
    Mum makes me happy because she comes to see me often : shall I use ที่ ? Instinctively I would use เพราะว่า… Which is right?

    Answer:
    You can use either ที่ or เพราะว่า.

    เพราะว่า [conjunction] is used to introduce a sentence expressing a reason or to link two sentences indicating that the event in the prior sentence happens because of the reason in the preceding sentence e.g. I phone you because I would like to talk to you.

    ที่ [conjunction] is used to introduce a subordinate clause expressing a statement or hypothesis as a reason or cause e.g. he seemed pleased that I wanted to continue.
    Note: ที่ [relative pronoun] has a different use and meaning.

    For example,
    เขาไม่มาทำงานเพราะว่าเขาไม่สบาย
    = He/she doesn’t come to work because he/she is unwell.
    (The reason he doesn’t come to work is he/she is unwell)

    (แม่ทำให้)ผม(รู้สึก)ดีใจเพราะว่าเขามาหาผม
    = Mum makes me feel delighted/happy because she came to see me.
    (แม่ทำให้)ผม(รู้สึก)ดีใจที่เขามาหาผม
    = Mum makes me feel delighted/happy that she came to see me.
    (Mum makes me feel delighted/happy and the reason is she came to see me)

    Question 2:
    Loved also learning about อย่าง but not so comfortable yet… อย่างเร็ว is quickly but เร็วๆ is quickly too, isn’t it?

    Answer:
    As explained in the article, the prefix ‘อย่าง+’ is an element placed in front of a modifier (adverb or adjective) or a noun to adjust or qualify the modifier’s function to an adverb and the meaning to ‘having a particular quality’, ‘… in that type of quality’, ‘… in the way of …’. It is similar to the use of the suffix -ly in English e.g. brotherly, quickly.

    Thai grammar of repeating a word.
    Repeating a modifier emphasises or exaggerates the quality of the modifier as ‘really’ [ as submodifier ] very; thoroughly
    For example, เร็วๆ = be really quick, มากๆ = really much, สวยๆ = be really beautiful, เล็กๆ = be really small

    Example sentences
    เร็ว รถไฟกำลังจะออกแล้ว = Be quick! The train is about to depart.
    เร็วๆ รถไฟกำลังจะออกแล้ว = Be really quick! The train is about to depart.
    เดินเร็วๆ รถไฟกำลังจะออกแล้ว = Walk (really) quickly! The train is about to depart. (as you can see when ‘quick’ is used as an adverb in English grammar, it is changed to ‘quickly’ that is why English speakers get confused about ‘the repeating word function’ in Thai.

    There are more functions/meanings regarding ‘repeating a word or a clause’ in Thai language e.g. repeating a noun to indicate plural, repeating a classifier/unit word to indicate singularity, repeating an action verb to describe the impression image, etc. When I have time I will write more about this on my blog.

    I hope this helps.

  6. It gives me great pleasure knowing that someone has given so much of their time, thought and consideration in writing a series such as this. That you have shared it with us and have been so helpful in answering questions is truly deserving of praise.
    Thank you.

  7. And I thought English was complicated! This will be a good read for me, and a chance to try out some new phrases in conversation. Thank you again Kruu Jiab!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*