Known as an official language of Thailand, Thai language or “Pasa Thai” is spoken by over 20 million people. Although this is one of the most difficult languages in the World, the accents and meanings behind these tricky writing letters significantly demonstrate the Thai attitude and the way of living…
Pasa Thai is part of the Tai language family. Having been initially introduced by the third Sukhothai period in 1283; King Ramkamhaeng, the writing was based on Pali, Sanskrit, the Indian concepts, and many Mon and Khmer words entering the language. Consisted of 44 alphabets and 5 main tones, Pasa Thai can be something very interesting to discover. The tone of a word is used to distinguish its meaning, which means one word can have five completely different meanings. Even some Thais cannot explain the exact meaning of some phrases. It is just like that (!)
Every language has its own beauty. This is certainly a language with its own uniqueness. Many Thai words demonstrate the very Thai attitude and way of living; being polite, friendly, and easy-going. For instance, there exist “Krub” and “Ka” at the end of each sentence to show respect to the second and third person. Moreover, there are many levels of politeness; speaking to friends, speaking to older people, and speaking to the Royal Family. You will find different words and phrases used in each level.
Different accents and words are found in different regions of Thailand. As reflect the four main regions of Thailand including Central, North, Northeast, and South; each region represents different cultures. For instance, the Northern people tend to speak very slowly but the Southern always speak quite fast. The charm is that even a kind of fruit is called differently by regions.
Why should we learn Thai?
Firstly, to understand the Thai people and culture. Because English is not our national language and Thai is the only language spoken in the Kingdom of Thailand, living in Thailand can be difficult for foreigners in term of communication. Especially for those expatriates who live or travel to other provinces where people are not close to English-speaking communities, being able to speak—or even read Thai will be a plus. Not only you will have such opportunity to intensively get to know the real culture but you will also be able to make many new friends.
Secondly, to increase your chance of employment. Many Farang or foreigners come to Thailand to teach languages or work as an expat. Being able to speak the local language will significantly help you to adjust to the people and places. More importantly, this will decrease the chance of misunderstanding at work. Learning to speak Thai will be a massive advantage in any profession because it means you can be called upon to speak with other staff or clients who speak little English.
Lastly, to help to preserve this beautiful language. Even many Thai families living abroad tend to teach their kids to always speak Thai. The language itself is the world’s heritage. Let’s keep the beauty and encourage people to speak correct and good Thai.
Why don’t you take this opportunity as a challenge to discover Thai culture by learning Thai for everyday usage to have the most satisfying stay in Thailand?
Don’t be shy. Thais are always forgiving when foreigners try to speak their language, and once they understand what a Farang wants, they will teach them how to say the word correctly.