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You are now in Bangkok, you will undoubtedly have heard one "Sawatdee" greeting somewhere in the airport as you were going to your taxi or limosine. The main language here is Thai, and every local here speaks that language. You could move around in English, however, you could be frustrated at times, as the level of English of proficiency is uneven, so do speak slowly when communicating with the locals.
You will find that being able to speak their language would help break the ice for you. The more you can speak, the better your fun in general. We thought of completing the entire section first before putting it up, but after some consideration, we figured what the heck, we will just put it up so that you can use what is here first and come back for more as more and more words are updated. Currently, no Thai script has been added but will be added shortly so that you can consult with your girl if in doubt.
Here are a couple of recommended books to get
you started. More information on Thai language will now be set up on another
site -- Thai
language online (have a look). Click here for the Thai
language phrase eBook (PDF format).
The Thai words can be transliterated in several ways, some have opted to use some International Phonetic Alphabets, some use their own systems and so forth. Our guess is that none of us are linguists or at least not the majority, so we have opted for our own style.
The "ph" representation should not be pronounced as "f" like in "photo". It represents an aspirated "p" sound. The plain "p" alone as in "pla" is to give it a pure "p" sound. We will upload a sound file for you to hear the difference soon. E.g. Phuket should be pronounced as "Poo-ket" rather than "Foo-ket".
Another aspirated letter is the is "k". Note the difference between "kh" and "k". The word "kai" is for chicken, whilst, "khai" is for "egg". Click on the sound bites to listen to the two words. Listen to the word Kai (chicken) and then Khai (egg) a few times until you can distinguish between the two of them. Notice the aspiration in Khai.
One possible difficult vowel is "ng" as in "ngoo" which means snake. You can practice the "ng" sound as in "singer".
A note on the "r" sound. You will hear Thais often pronouncing a word with the "r" substituted with the "l" instead. For example "Na rak" would sound like "Na lak" or "Thee Rak" sounds like "Thee Lak" (some times written as "tilac").
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