Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Southwestern Tai "yes" and Polite Particle.

   If you have studied Thai, you might know that to be polite one must add khráp/khâ at the end of a sentence: if you are a man, you use khráp, and if you are a woman, you use khâ. The words have changed quite a bit in the past. For instance, khráp is from khɔ ráp "request to receive," and khâ is from khâa which is an old term for "slave, servant" from which derives the now out of use "formal I/me." Moreover, what many Thai beginners do not know is that these are not the only ones people use (check your dictionary for more). In general, khráp and khâ  are used by inferior to superior.  Thus, it is unnecessary to employ them when speaking to close friends. Additionally, these words are not used in Royal Thai (since it has its own system). Interestingly, these two words can also be used in other context. In particular, they can be used  to say "yes."

Other Southwestern Tai languages also have a similar system of expressing politeness and saying "yes." According to Hartmann, many Tai languages tend to use words for formal "I/me" or "you" at the end of a sentence to indicate politeness, or they can also mean "yes."

In Lao, khanɔɔy " formal I/me" and câw "formal you" or "lord/master" can also mean "yes." In a very formal speech such as when speaking to a king,  khanɔɔy can even be used at the end of a sentence--just like Thai--to indicate politeness.

     In Northern Thai, what is equivalent to Thai  khráp and khâ  are  kháp and câw respectively, but the latter is used only by females. In this language, the equivalents can be used exactly the same as in Thai. Interestingly, historically câw was used by both genders, which suggests that kháp is probably borrowed from Thai khráp since most Northern Thai people are bilingual in Northern Thai and Thai.

     In Shan, khâa "formal I/me" or "slave" can also be used to indicate politeness when added at the end of a sentence. Unlike Modern Thai, khâa can be used by both genders. Interesting, to say "yes" khâa is often used with ʔɤ  as in ʔɤ khâa.

     And finally, in Tai Lue, according to Hartmann, khɔy³ "formal I/me" can mean "yes," but it cannot be placed at the end of a sentence to indicate politeness.

     Thus, from what we have seen, in all Southwestern Tai languages discussed here, formal first or second personal pronouns can be used in many contexts. In particular, the "formal I/me" or "formal you" can either or both mean "yes", and they can be used to indicate politeness. The main difference among these Tai languages is that in Lao and Tai Lue, it is not common to use these formal pronouns at the end of a sentence like in Thai and Shan to indicate politeness.


What I really want to know from Lao and Tai Lue speakers is: if I start to use khanɔɔy (or khɔy³ in Tai Lue) at the end of every sentence, would I sound weird? If you know the answer please respond to this blog.

Also please, if you speak another Tai language such as Tai Dam etc., please tell us about how politeness works in your language! We are desperate to know!


Updates --1/11/2013

I have just heard khɔy³ being used in Tai Lue epic films.

Hartmann, John F. "Linguistic and Memory Structures in Tai-Lue Oral Narratives." SEAsite - SE Asian  Languages and Cultures. Web. 07 Dec. 2010. http://www.seasite.niu.edu/tai/TaiLue/dissertation/page001.htm.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Proto-Southwest-Tai Consonants

     Proto-Southwest-Tai language (Ancient Thai/Old Thai)  is an unattested, reconstructed common ancestor (proto-language) of all the Southwest Tai languages such as modern Thai, Lao, Shan, Northern Thai, Lue, Tai Dam, and many others. The script is based on an early form of the Thai language spoken and written by the Tais and their descendants in parts of what are now Thailand, Laos, Yunnan(China), and Shan State(Burma) during the Sukhothai period (around 1238–1583). 
  • Unlike modern Thai and Lao, there are only two tone markers: -่ low and -้ falling.
  • Pali and Sanskrit letters are omitted in this script.
  • Unlike modern Thai and Lao, there are only one class of consonants.
Some examples:
  • หมา mǎa and มา maa in Modern Thai have different tone registers but the same consonant, m sound, whereas in Proto-Tai since there is only one class of consonants and two tone markers, หมา and มา, having no tone markers, both have the same mid tone register, but different consonant sounds: หมา hmaa and มา maa.
  • ท่า thâa and ถ้า thâa in Modern Thai are pronounced exactly the same, in Proto-Tai ท่า and ถ้า are pronouced dàa and thâa respectively.
Brown, James M. From Ancient Thai to Modern Dialects and Other Writings on Historical Thai Linguistics. Bangkok: White Lotus, 1985. Print.

Friday, November 19, 2010

English Consonants that Do Not Exist in Thai

To understand this article better, please familiarize yourself with IPA symbols.

Many English consonant sounds are hard for monolingual Thai speakers. These are those that do not exist in Thai. Most of these sounds are voiced (e.g. the z sound which is the voiced version of the s sound). To reduce the "Thai accent", or what is known in Thai as samniang thai, when speaking English, these Thai speakers have to learn how to pronounce these English consonant sounds.

Voiceless sounds (no buzzing sound in the throat)
  1. /θ/ as in thing. Many Thais will either substitute ต /t/ or ซ /s/ for this sound.
  2. /ʃ / as in fashion (/ˈfæʃən/). Many Thais will substitute ช /tɕʰ/ (sounds close to the ch in chin) for this sound.
Voiced sounds (buzzing sound in the throat)
  1. /ɡ/ as in God. Many Thais will confuse this sound with ก /k/ (unaspirated) as in skit.
  2. /dʒ/ as in Jason (/ˈdʒeɪsən/). Many Thais will substitute จ /tɕ/ for this sound.
  3. /v/ as in very. Many Thais who cannot produce this will use ว /w/ instead.
  4. /z/ as in zone. Many Thais will use the voiceless counterpart ซ /s/ instead.
  5. /ʒ/ as in vision (/ˈvɪʒən/). Many Thais substitute ช /tɕʰ/ for this sound.
  6. /ð/ as in this (/ðɪs/). Many Thais substitute ด /d/ for this sound.
Other sounds:
  1. /ɹ/ as in rabbit. Many Thais will either substitute ร /r/ (trilled r like the Spanish r) or ล /l/ for this sound.
  2. /ɾ/ as in the American English pronunciation of better (/ˈbɛɾɚ/). Many Thais will either substitute /d/, /t/, or /r/ for this sound.
  1. /ʍ/ as in what. (Think of Stewie Griffin's cool whip) Many Thais will substitute /w/ for this sound. I do not count this as a difficult sound since many English speakers themselves substitute /w/ for this sound.
Based on this, there are about 10-11 sounds that Thai people have to work on, along with many other areas such as grammar, vocabulary, intonation etc, to reduce the "Thai accent" when speaking English.

Brief summary of each pair (and a triplet) which many Thais do not make a distinction.

  1. voiceless th (thigh) and voiced th (thy)
  2. w (wane) and v (vain)
  3. sh (sheep) vs ch (cheap) vs "zh" (vision)
  4. r (row) vs l (low)
  5. s (sit) vs z (zit)

Follow my blog for more.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thai Excercise: Aspects

John writes a letter to his best friend, James, to ask him of his trip at his girlfriend's house. Complete the sentences using the right words.
กำลัง = "-ing"
อยู่ = denoting still in the process
ยัง = still
จะ = will
ได้ = before verb: "got to", after verb: can
แล้ว = already
ควร = should
เคย = denoting experience; "used to..."
อยาก = to want
ขอ = to ask for
กำลังจะ = about to
ต้อง = must
เป็น = denoting "to know how to..."
เก่ง = denoting "to be good at..."

Hello James,
1) ตอนนี้ฉัน_____อยู่บ้านแฟนฉัน
Right now, I'm staying at my girlfriend's house.
2) นาย_____พูดกับพี่สาวนายหรือเปล่า?
Did you get the chance to speak to your sister?
3) ในที่สุดฉันก็_____พบเจอกับแม่ของแฟนฉัน
Finally, I got to meet my girlfriend's mother.
4) พรุ่งนี้ นาย_____ไปเรียนหรือ
Tomorrow, will you go studying?
5) เมื่อเรียนเสร็จ_____ นายโทรมาฉันนะ
When you're done studying, call me, okay?
6) ฉัน_____เล่าเรื่องราวที่ผ่านมาที่บ้านแฟนฉัน
I want to tell you all about the things that have happened at my girlfriend's house.
7) แม่แฟนฉันเธอพูดภาษาอังกฤษ_____มาก
My girlfriend's mother is really good at speaking English.
8) แม่นายพูดภาษาอังกฤษ_____ไหม?
Does your mother know how to speak English?
9) เธอบอกว่าเธอพูดภาษาจีน_____ด้วย
She also said she could speak Chinese.
10) นายใช้เบอร์โทรศัพท์เดิม_____หรือเปล่า
You still use the same number?
11) อย่าลืมนะว่านาย_____โทรมาหาฉัน
Don't forget that you have to call me.
I'm about to go to sleep.
13) นายไม่_____บอกฉันเรื่องการเรียนนายเลย
You've never told me about your studies.
14) นาย_____ทำการบ้านนะ
You should do your homework now.


เรียนคำไทใหญ่ สำหรับคนไทย บทที่ ๗ หางเสียง

บทที่ ๗ หางเสียง
ครับ, ค่ะ = ข้า
เพคะ = ตี้ข้า, ตี้ข้าหน้อ
หางเสียงแบบไม่สุภาพ = อื้อ

เรียนคำไทใหญ่ สำหรับคนไทย บทที่ ๖ คำกริยา และคำวิเศษณ์

บทที่ ๖ คำกริยา

ข้ากว่า "ฉันไป"
ข้ากว่าอยู่ "ฉันไปอยู่"
ข้าตึ้กกว่าอยู่ "ฉันกำลังไปอยู่"
ข้าไหล้กว่า "ฉันได้ไป"
ข้ากว่าเย้า "ฉันไปแล้ว"
ข้าเต๋กว่า "ฉันจะไป"

ไป = กว่า
ได้ = ไหล้
แล้ว = เย้า
จะ = เต๋
ไม่ = อ่ำ
กำลัง = ตึ๊ก
ไปอยู่ = กว่าอยู่
ได้ไป = ไหล้กว่า
ได้ไปแล้ว = ไหล้กว่าเย้า
จะไป = เต๋กว่า
จะไปแล้ว = เต๋กว่าเย้า
ไปได้ = กว่าไหล้
ไม่ไป = อ่ำกว่า
ต้อง = ตั๊กไหล้
กำลังไป = ตึ๊กกว่า
เป็น = หมอ เช่น เจ้าหมอลาดกวามไทหา "คุณพูดคำไทยเป็นไหม"
เก่ง = จ้าง เช่น ข้าจ้างลาดกวามไท "ผมพูดคำไทยเก่ง"
คงไป = เคกว่า
อยากไป = ใค่กว่า
กำลังจะไป = จ๋ำเต๋กว่า
ยังไม่ได้ไป = อ่ำไป่กว่า
ยังไปอยู่ = ยังกว่าอยู่
อีก = ลูก่อน
ไปอีก = ซ้ำกว่า
ให้ไป = ปั๋นกว่า
สามารถไปได้ = กว่าเป็น

จะไปอีก = เต๋กว่าลูก่อน
ไปสิ! = กว่าเส้!
อย่าไป = อย่าเป๋กว่า

เรียนคำไทใหญ่ บทที่ ๕ คน อัน ตัว

 บทที่ ๕ คน อัน ตัว
คน = ก้อ เช่น กนสี่ก้อ "คนสี่คน"
อัน = อัน
ตัว = โต๋ เช่น งูสามโต๋ "งูสามตัว"
คำ = ข้อ เช่น ความห้าข้อ "คำห้าคำ"
วง = ข่อย เช่น ลากจ้อบสี่ข่อย "แหวนสี่วง"
คู่ = กู้
ข้าง = ขอน
องค์ = สู
ไร่ = ติก, ปั้น
ผืน = ผืน
เล่ม = มัก เช่น เข็มห้ามัก "เข็มห้าเล่ม"
ใบ = ใหม
สาย = เส้ เช่น น้ำเจ็ดเส้ "น้ำเจ็ดสาย"
ชั้น = ฮั้น

เรียนคำไทใหญ่ สำหรับคนไทย - บทที่ ๔ นี้ นั้น ทุก

บทที่ ๔ นี้ นั้น ทุก
นี้ = ไน้ เช่น เฮินไน้ "เรือนนี้"
นั้น = นั้น
ทุก = กู้ เช้น กู้เฮิน "ทุกเรือน"
ก็ได้ = อ่ำว่า เช่น ใผอ่ำว่า "ใครก็ได้"
แต่ละ = เย่ เช่น เย่ก้อ "แต่ละคน"
อื่น = ต่าง เช่น ต่างเมิง "เมืองอื่น"

เรียนคำไทใหญ่ สำหรับคนไทย - บทที่ ๓ การเปรียบเทียบ

บทที่ ๓ การเปรียบเทียบ
กว่า = เส เช่น เฮินไน้หลีเสเฮินนั้น "เรือนนี้ดีกว่าเรือนนั้น"
ที่สุด = เสเปิ้น เช่น เฮินไน้หลีเสเปิ้น "เรือนนี้ดีที่สุด"

เรียนคำไทใหญ่ สำหรับคนไทย - บทที่ ๒ คำถาม

ผมคิดว่า ก่อนที่เราจะเรียนการเขียนภาษาไทใหญ่ เราควรเรียนรู้ภาษาพูดก่อน เปรียบดั่งเด็กไทยก่อนที่เข้าโรงเรียน ผมคิดว่า เด็กเขาเรียนการอ่านอักษรไทยได้ดี เพราะเขาคุ้นเคยกับคำพูดมาก่อนแล้ว เพราะฉะนั้น ผมจะใช้ตัวอักษรไทยเขียนภาษาไทใหญ่ เพื่อให้ผู้อ่านสะดวกเรียน

บทที่ ๒ คำถาม
สระ ใ อ่านควบ อ-อือ(เปรียบกับ สระ ไ ที่อ่านควบ อ-อิ)
ใคร = ใผ, ผู้ใด๋
ใด = ใด๋
อะไร = สัง, ก้าสัง, อีสัง
เท่าไร = หนำใด๋, ก้าหือ
หรือ, ไหม = หา เช่น เจ้ากิ๋นเข้าหา "คุณกินเข้าหรือ"
ทำไม = ก๊อบสัง, ย้อนสัง, เฮ็ดสัง
อย่างไร = เป๋นหือ

เรียนคำไทใหญ่ สำหรับคนไทย - บทที่ ๑ คำสรรพนาม

ผมคิดว่า ก่อนที่เราจะเรียนการเขียนภาษาไทใหญ่ เราควรเรียนรู้ภาษาพูดก่อน เปรียบดั่งเด็กไทยก่อนที่เข้าโรงเรียน ผมคิดว่า เด็กเขาเรียนการอ่านอักษรไทยได้ดี เพราะเขาคุ้นเคยกับคำพูดมาก่อนแล้ว เพราะฉะนั้น ผมจะใช้ตัวอักษรไทยเขียนภาษาไทใหญ่ เพื่อให้ผู้อ่านสะดวกเรียน

บทที่ ๑ คำสรรพนาม
ฉัน = เก่า(ตรงกับคำว่า กู ของไทย), ตู
ผม หรือ ดิฉัน(สุภาพ) =(ใช่ได้ ๒ เพศ) ข้า, ข้าเจ้า, เก่าข้า, ตูข้า, ข้าเจ้าเฮา
พวกเรา = เฮา, เฮาข้า(สุภาพ), ข้าทังหลาย
เธอ = ใม(ตรงกับคำว่า มึง ของไทย)
คุณ(สุภาพ) = ใมเจ้า, สู, สูเจ้า, เจ้า
พวกคุณ = สู, เจ้าทังหลาย
บุคคลที่ ๓
เขา = มัน
มัน = มัน
พวกเขา = เขา, เขาเจ้า(สุภาพ)

พวก- = ทังหลาย, -จือ เช่น ข้าทังหลาย(พวกข้า) มันจือ(พวกมัน)

ไม่ = อ่ำ
ไป = กว่า
ได้ = ไหล้
พูด = ลาด, ปาก
จะ = เต๋
ให้ = ปั๋น
ครับ, ค่ะ = ข้า
ขอ = ย้อน
ต้องการ, ใคร่ = ใค่
ถ้า = ปอ
อย่า = อย่าเป๋
ภาษา, คำ = กวาม(ความ)
กำลัง = ตึ๊ก

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thai and Lao Lesson: Describing Body Parts

This structure is a little bit different from English.

subject + body part + stative verb (or some call it adjective)

ฉัน = I/me
ตา = eye(s)
ใหญ่ = to be big, big

My eyes are big; I have big eyes

เขา = he/she, him/her
แขน = arm(s)
ยาว = to be long, long

Their arms are long; they have long arms.

เรา = we/us
ตัว = body
ดำ = to be dark/black, dark/black

We are dark; Our bodies are dark

For Lao, the same formula can be used.

ຂ້ອຍ = I/me
ຜິວ = skin
ງາມ = to be beautiful, beautiful

My skin is beautiful; I have beautiful skin

One more thing you need to know
In addition to body parts, you can also use the Thai and Lao word for "name" to introduce yourself

ฉัน = I/me
ชื่อ = name
อลิฟ = "Alif" a name

My name is Alif

ຂ້ອຍ = I/me
ຊື່ = name
ອລິຟ = "Alif" a name

My name is Alif

Thai and Lao Lesson: Basic Sentence Structure

Thai and Lao verbs do not inflect. There are no articles (a/an or the).

Typical Word Order
(Subject) (Adverb-auxiliary) Verb (Object) (Secondary Verb) (Particle)
or in short:
(S) (AA) V (O) (SV) (P)

note = "( )" = optional


ผม = I/me (male speaker)
พูด = V to speak

I speak

ภาษาไทย = Thai language

I speak Thai

ได้ = AA get to, got to, did
       = SV to be able to, can

I can speak Thai

I got to speak Thai, or I did speak Thai

จะ = AA will

I will speak Thai

เคย = AA used to

I used to speak Thai

แล้ว = SV already

I already spoke Thai

กำลัง = AA to be in the process of, -ing

I'm speaking Thai

อยู่ = SV still

I'm (still) speaking Thai (right now)

ครับ = P for male sir, madam; at your service. Particle used to make sentence polite.

I speak Thai, sir

ຂ້ານ້ອຍ = I/me
ເວົ້າ = to speak

I speak

ພາສາລາວ = Lao language

I speak Lao

ໄດ້ = AA get to, got to, did
     = SV to be able to, can

I can speak Lao

I got to speak Lao, or I did speak Lao

ຈະ = AA will

I will speak Lao

ເຄີຍ = AA used to

I used to speak Lao

ແລ້ວ = SV already

I already spoke already

ກຳລັງ = AA to be in the process of, -ing

I'm speaking Lao

ຢູ່ = SV still

I'm (still) speaking Lao(right now)

ຂະນ້ອຍ= P sir, madam; at your service. Particle used to make sentence polite.
I speak Lao, sir

Other useful secondary verbs

เป็น = to know how to do something

I know how to speak Thai

เก่ง = to be skillful at doing something

I'm good at speaking Thai

Friday, October 1, 2010

Old Thai Personal Pronouns

Today, many of these are considered archaic in Thai, but some are still used in Lao and Shan. I think we need to revive some of these back.

singular            กู            (kuu)             I/me
polite singular   ข้า         (khaa2)          I/me(polite)         literally "slave"
dual                 รา            (raa)            we two/ us two
plural               เรา, ตู     (rao, tuu)       we/us

singular            มึง          (myng)            thou/thee
polite singular   เจ้า         (cao3)            thou/thee             literally "master"
plural               สู             (suu4)           ye/you
                                                            you guys, y'all, you lot

singular            มัน          (man)             he/him, it
dual                 ขา           (khaa4)          they two/them two
plural               เขา          (khao4)         they/them

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thai "Paradigm"

ข้า (khâa) n., 1. slave, servant, 2. I/me

Case                                                     Meaning                       
Nominative*  ข้า                              the slave(subject)           
Genitive**       -ข้า, ของข้า               the slave's                    
Dative                ให้ข้า, เพื่อข้า             to the slave, for the slave
Accusative***  ข้า                           the slave(object)            
Ablative              จากข้า                     from the slave
Locative             ที่ข้า, ในข้า etc.      at the slave, in the slave
Vocative             ข้า                             O slave!

* subject when it's placed before verb
** possessor when succeeds noun
*** subject when it's placed after verb
ข้า ส่ง  แหวน    ข้า  ให้   เจ้า
  I        send       (a/the)ring  of mine  to/for      you
"I send my ring to you."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thai poem: tuacai ตัวใจ

Mawng nâatàang láeo khâa hèín tônmáai yài
Yùu khâangnai mii tuajai wîng lên yùu
Khâa dœn pai yàak cà càb phûakman duu
Tàe láeo nguu kâw àwk maa kàd man taai

"Looked through the window I see a big tree
Inside there're beings running and playing
I approach wanting to pet them
But then a snake appears and kill them all."


De-Indicization: phaasàá (ภาษา), pràthêit (ประเทศ)

De-Indicization is a process in which words of Indic origins are removed.

Word: phaasàá (ภาษา) "language"
Origin: Sanskrit bhāṣā "language"
Thai replacement: kham (คำ)

Ex: rao phûud khamThai.
"we speak Thai."

Word: pràthêit (ประเทศ) "country"
Origin: Sanskrit pradeśa country"
Thai replacement: mueang (เมือง)

Ex: thœ maa càak mueangLao.
"She's from Laos."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thai, Lao, Shan Important Prefixes III: nák-, phûu-, khon-

If you master this, you'll immensely expand your vocabulary. These prefixes are often used with verbs. So, it is important that you know as many verbs as possible. They're ones of the verb nominalizers.

Thai and Lao use nák- (นัก), phûu- (ผู้), and khon-(คน) to convert a verb to the verb in question's doer. Shan however only uses the last two prefixes.
In Thai and Lao, the diference between nák- and the other two is that nák- when combined with a verb is often used to indicate the doer's profession. In other words we can also tell that the doer does the action as a profession.
In Shan, phûu- unlike Thai and Lao is used pretty much like nák-, and khon-(kon-) is used more or less like the Thai and Lao khon-.

Formula: nák-, phûu-, or khon- + verb

Thai and Lao:
khìían "to write"
nákkhìían "writer" (profession)
phûukhìían, khonkhìían "writer" (general)
hian "to study"
nákhian "student"
phûukhian, khonhian "learner"

lîk "to write"
phûlîk "writer" (profession)
konlîk "writer"

NOTE: In many cases ALL of these prefixes are used interchangeably! Some people don't use nák- to indicate a profession.

Now can you covert read, walk, and run into reader, walker, and runner in these three languages?

Thai, Lao, Shan Important Prefixes II: khwaam- (ความ-)

If you master this, you'll immensely expand your vocabulary. The following prefixes are often used with adjectives or adverbs. So, it is important that you know as many adjectives and adverbs (stative verbs) as possible. It's one of the adjective nominalizers.

Thai and Lao use khwaam-(or khuam-), and Shan uses taang-.
Thai and Lao formula: khwaam- + adjective or adverb (stative verb)
Shan formula: taang- + adjective or adverb(stative verb)

sùk (สุข) "happy"
khwaamsùk (ความสุข) "happiness"
háwn "hot"
khuamháwn "heat" "hotness"
sûe "true"
taangsûe "truth"

Now you try! Can you now tell me how to say readiness, sweetness, and loneliness in these three languages? Well if you know how to say ready, sweet, and lonely then you won't have any problems!

Thai, Lao, Shan Important Prefixes I: kaan- การ-

If you master this, you'll immensely expand your vocabulary. The following prefixes are often used with verbs. So, it is important that you know as many verbs as possible. It's one of the verb nominalizers.

Thai and Lao use kaan- as the prefix (some people call it bound stem)

kaan- "process" "process of..."
formula: kaan- + verb

Let's use the verbs rian (เรียน) "to learn" and wâo (ເວົ້າ) "to speak" as examples.

ex I: kaanrian (การเรียน) "process of learning" "learning" n.
ex II: kaanwâo (ການເວົ້າ) "process of speaking" "speaking" n. "speech"

Shan prefix however is different, but the same formula can be used. The prefix is instead lâwng-

lâat "to talk"
Ex: lâwnglâat "process of talking" "talking" n.

Now it's your turn to nominalize your Tai verbs! Can you tell me how do you say colonization, sensation, and cancellation in these three languages? Well if you already know how to say colonize, sense, and cancel then you've got nothing to worry about!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vocabulary: Thaification

Has Scout Taylor been "Thaified"?
(September 25, 2009 - Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images AsiaPac)

I've come across the word, "Thaification" n. on Wikipedia. A possible verbal form of this noun would be "Thaify" which means " to make or become Thai in outlook,attitude, form, etc." Example: Because Mr Anderson has been living in Thailand for 30 years, he decided to have his name Thaified.

Though this sounds artificial to me, I am in favor of using this word.

The suffix -ify(-ification) derives from French -ifier, from Latin -ificere, from linking vowel i + verb ficere, "make" or "do", combining form of facere.(wiktionary)  Ex: simplify("to make simple"), solidify("to make solid") etc.

I can see why one would add the suffix -ify to Thai- because "Thai" doesn't end with an n or an m(like the word americanize whose roots are from american- and -ize*.) Nor does it end with -ic(like anglicize*) etc.

If this word isn't legit, then does anybody know of one that translates the same meaning? I mean I could think of some possibilities: Thaicize, Thailandicize, Siamize etc. 

If "thaify" is indeed a word, its romance equivalents would be: thaïfier (French), taificar (Spanish and Portuguese), and thaificare(Italian).  

*note: -ize is an American spelling of -ise.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thai-English Visual Dictionary: Pad Thai

Thai-English Visual Dictionary: Crockery and Cutlery

Four-Tai-language Visual Dictionary (Advance): Face

Thai-English-Lao-Shan Visual Dictionary

Thai-English Visual Dictionary: Seafood

Follow my blog for more.

Thai-English Visual Dictionary: Poultry

Thai-English Visual Dictionary: Restaurant

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tai Tham (Lanna) Unicode font ver 1.0

Hi guys, I'm finally done with the Tai Tham unicode font that I've been working on! It's called Lanna Alif Go download now! here


Monday, January 11, 2010

Just for fun: my full name

Let's start with the etymology of my full name.
My first name, Alif, comes from the first letter of the Arabic alphabet(or Proto-Canaanite alphabet). Other variants are Aleph(Hebrew), Alef, Alaph, Alap and many more.
My last name, Silpachai, is from Sanskrit śilpa jaya, literally victorious art(variants: victory of art, triumph in art, conquering art etc.)

Hmmm I wonder how many ways can my names be translated into different languages(which I'm not actually going to do in real life.). :)
English: Alif Silpact
French: Alif Silpait
Italian: Alifo Silpatto
Latin: Alifus(Aliphus) Silpactus
Portuguese: Alifo Silpeito
Romanian: Alifu Silpacu
Sanskrit: Alifa Silpajaya
Spanish: Alifo Silpecho

Or if I want my last name to be even longer:
English: Silpactay
French: Silpaitai
Italian: Silpattaggio
Latin: Silpactaius
Portuguese: Silpeitaio
Romanian: Silpacai
Spanish: Silpechayo

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thalivish: -z, -zh, -v, and -sh

read here.

Thalivish colors


Thalivish numbers

saungsh phan
neungz lanv

Thalivish basic phrases

Hello. (informal)
How are you?
Yangrai kheu tha? formal; Yangrai penst thoe? informal
Fine, thank you.
Di, khaubz than.
What is your name?
Arai pens thine cheu?
What is your name?
("informal") Arai pens thy cheu?
My name is ______ .
Chy cheu pens______ .
Nice to meet you.
Di to joe than.
Thank you.
Khaubz than.
You're welcome.
Tha kheu dima.
Excuse me.
Aphai chan.
(I am) Sorry.
(Cha pen) khauthot.
What's the time?
Arai pens ai wela?
I can't speak Thalivish[well].
Cha samat maizh phut Thalivish [di].
Do you speak English?
Phut tha Anglish?
Is there someone here who speaks English?
Pens thinan bangkhon thini khrai phuts Anglish?
Look out!
Good Day
Di wan
Good morning.
Di chaov.
Good evening.
Di yen.
Good night.
Di kheun.
I don't understand.
Cha khaojai maizh.
Where is the toilet?
Naish pens ai haungnam?
How do you say _____?
Yangrai phut tha_____ ?
What is this/that called?
Arai pens nizh/nanzh riaked?

Thalivish consonants and vowels

As far as I'm concerned, many Thalivish consonants are anglicized. For example, the th is pronounced /θ/ as in the English word bath. In Thai, the th and the t have different sound values, though many English speakers will perceive the two as allophones. For this reason, in Thalivish the th should be kept distinct from the t. Moreover, the ph sound should also be kept distinct from the p sound(or the f sound). Many English speakers will automatically read the ph sound as an f. In Thai, the p is pronounced like p as in the English word speak or simply the Spanish p, and the ph is pronounced as in the English word pay. Since many English speakers cannot say the p as in speak, I'm thinking of creating a new sound value for either the p or the ph consonants.

Here are the current consonants:
b = /b/
ch = /tʃ/
d = /d/
f = /f/
h = /h/
j = /dʒ/
k = /g/
kh = /k/
l = /l/
m = /m/
n = /n/
ng = /ŋ/
p = /p/
ph = to be determined
r = /ɹ/
s = /s/
sh = /ʃ/
t = /t/
th = /θ/
v = /v/
w = /w/
x = /ks/
y = /j/
z = /z/
zh = /ʒ/

Current vowels:
a = /a/
e = /e/
i = /i/
o = /o/
u = /u/
oe = /ʌ/
ae = /æ/
eu = /y/
au = /ɔ/

Thalivish sample text -revised-

First edition


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)


Thangmod manuts kheu koeded isara lae thaokan nai saxi lae sits. Khao kheu maubzhed kab hetphon lae manotham lae khuan patibat paithang neungz ikneung nai a jai khaungsh phinaung.


(Literally)ทั้งหมดมนุษย์คือเกิดอิสระและเท่ากันในศักดิ์ศรีและ สิทธิ เขาคือมอบกับเหตุผลและมโนธรรมและควรปฏิบัติไปทางหนึ่งอีกหนึ่งในใจของพี่น้อง

Subjects, Verbs, and Prepositional phrases

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Thangmod manuts kheu koeded isara lae thaokan nai saxi lae sits. Khao kheu maubzhed kab hetphon lae manotham lae khuan patibat paithang neungz ikneung nai a jai khaungsh phinaung.

Thalivish: Spelling reform? -continued-

Please read Spelling reform part 1.
Perhaps we could use some English consonant sounds that are rarely used in Thai as the compensations of tonal indicators in Thalivish. Such consonant sounds are /z/, /ʒ/, /v/) and /ʃ/(hence we could use z, zh, v, and sh) .
1. na(rice field), naz, nazh(face), nav(aunt), and nash(thick).
/na/ /naz/ /naʒ/ /nav/ /naʃ/
2. fan(tooth), fansh(dream) ety. ฟัน, ฝัน
/fan/ /fanʃ/
3. nam(v. to lead, n. name), namv(water), namsh(thorn) ety. นำ/นาม, น้ำ, หนาม
/nam/ /namv/ /namʃ/

I think that with these Thalivish would so much more European! :)

Thalivish: nouns

Thalivish nouns are infected for grammatical number(singular or plural) just like in English. The way to pluralize a singular noun is to simply add the suffix -s to the noun. The suffix -es is rarely used since Thai loanwords does not often end with an s.
1. Cha mi saungsh nongsaos lae neungz phichai.
I have two younger sisters and one older brother.
2. Ai phuyings kheued saozh phrauwa khao samated maizh phanz khy khausaubs.
The girls were sad because they could not pass their exams.

Thalivish: spelling reform?

To be clear, Thalivish is not a tonal language. Its vocabulary however is derived from one(Thai is a tonal language). So many words--especially the ones with one syllable-- need something to indicate different tones to indicate different meanings. I don't want to use diacritics to differentiate words that have the same spelling because they can confuse readers, and they may also give the readers the wrong impression that Thalivish is tonal language. Ex: "na" could have several meanings: face, rice field, thick, or aunt. Though different diacritic marks could be used on top of the vowel -a in na to indicate those meanings, I instead am thinking of using silent letters from many English words such as gnome, exhibit, know, psalm etc. instead of using diacritic marks. Keep in mind that these tonal indicators are not needed all the time because not every Thai word with the same spelling has different tones. Perhaps na could be written like this: na(without tonal indicator), gna, hna, kna, and pna.
Other possibilities:

  1. fan(tooth), pfan(dream) ety. ฟัน, ฝัน
  2. nam(v. to lead, n. name), knam(water), pnam(thorn) ety. นำ/นาม, น้ำ, หนาม

Sadly, these tonal indicators will not differentiate words in a speech because speakers will not hear the difference. You probably want to make a distinction between tooth and dream. Perhaps we might need to do a reform in pronunciation. :/

Naming issue: Thalifish or Thalivish?

I'm having trouble deciding which one to choose, or should I even create a new one. "Thalifish" is derived from Thai + alif + -ish. I don't really like it because it sounds so fishy, so I've been thinking of changing the f to a v.
Other considerations that have crossed my mind is the translations of it in different languages. Perhaps it could be translated as "thalivais" in French, "talivés" in Spanish(though it sounds too close to tal vez), and "thalivisch" in German.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thalivish: The Climb

Cha samat keuab hen man
Nan fansh cha pen fanshing
Tae thinan's a siangsh khangnai chy hua phuting
"Thoe ja mailoei paitheung man"

Thukv khanzh ch'an aoing
Thukv khleuanwai cha tham ruseuks
Longsh kab maizh thitthang
Chy sathra pens khayaoing

Tae cha taungv to damnoen phayayaming
Taungv to damnoen chy hua theued sung

Thinan's talaud paing to pen ikneung phukhao
Ch'an talaud paing to tongkan to tham man khayab
Talaud paing to pen a kheunnoen tausu
Bangkhrangs ch'an paing to mi to phaev

Pen maizh kiawkab yangrai rew cha theung thinan
Pen maizh kiawkab arai's rauing bon ai eun khangzh
Ma'ns ai pin

Ai fadfans ch'an joeing
Ai okats ch'an aoing
Bangkhrangs at khlon chan long
Tae maizh, ch'an maizh taeking

Cha at maizh ruv man
Tae nis kheu ai khanas nan
Ch'an paing to jam thisud, chys
Khae paing a damnoen paing

Lae cha, cha taung to pen khemkhaeng
Khae damnoen danzhing bon

'Phrau thinan's talaud paing to pen ikneung phukhao
Ch'an talaud paing to taungkan to tham man khayab
Talaud paing to pen a kheunnoen tausu
Bangkhrangs ch'an paing to mi to phaev

Pen maizh kiawkab yangrai rew cha theung thinan
Pen maizh kiawkab arai's rauing bon ai eun khangzh
Ma'ns ai pin, chys!

Thinan's talaud paing to pen ikneung phukhao
Ch'an talaud paing to taungkan to tham man khayab
Talaud paing to pen a kheunnoen tausu
Bangkhrangs ch'an paing to mi to phaev

Pen maizh kiawkab yangrai rew cha theung thinan
Pen maizh kiawkab arai's rauing bon ai eun khangzh
Ma'ns ai pin, chys!

Damnoen bon khleuaning, damnoen pining
Damnoen ai sathra, baby
Ma'ns thangmod kiawkab, Ma'ns thangmod kiawkab ai pin
Damnoen ai sathra, Damnoen ai sathra, whoa

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa

Thalifish: Silent Night


Ngiab ratri, saxit ratri
Thangmod pens sangob, Thangmod pens sawang
Raub thinon Baurisut Manda lae But
Saxit Tharok so aunyon lae lamun
Banthom nai sawanshly santi
Banthom nai sawanshly santi

Ngiab ratri, saxit ratri!
Laikaeters satheuan thi ai saita
Kiatisaks laish jak sawansh aklai
Sawanshly patikhoms raungv Alleluia!
Yesu, ai Thaibapter pens koed
Yesu, ai Thaibapter pens koed

Ngiab ratri, saxit ratri
But khaungsh Prajao, rak's baurisut saeng
Sawang lamsaengs jak Thy saxit nazh
Kab ai arun khaungsh aokheuning laxmi
Yesu, Prajao, thizh Thy kamnoed
Yesu, Prajao, thizh Thy kamnoed"


Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "

Thalifish: Shakespeare's Sonnet 20: A Woman's Face With Nature's Own Hand Painted

A phuying's na kab thamachat's khraunged meu thasied,
Mist thoe, ai jaonai jainang khaung chy khwamchob;
A phuying's aunyon huajai, tae mai khunkhoeyed
Kab khleuaning plian, khanathi pen plaum phuying's fashion:
A ta mak sawang kwa khines, noikwa plaum nai muning,
thaunging ai khaung bonthi ma mongs;
A phuchai nai si thangmod sis nai my khuabkhubing,
Anthi khamois phuchai's tas lae phuying's winyans taleungphreungphroeds.
And samrab a phuying pened thoe thiraek sanged;
Jontheung Thamachat, khanathi na sanged thee, toked a-longlaing,
Lae doi kanbuak chan khaung thee kamjated,
Doi buaking neung sing theung chy jetana maising.
Tae jakmeua na prataked thee auk samrab phuying's anan,
Chine pen thy rak lae thy rak's chai khy sombat.

A woman's face with nature's own hand painted,
Hast thou, the master mistress of my passion;
A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted
With shifting change, as is false women's fashion:
An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,
Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;
A man in hue all hues in his controlling,

Which steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth.
And for a woman wert thou first created;
Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting,
And by addition me of thee defeated,
By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
But since she prick'd thee out for women's pleasure,
Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure.

The Tower of Babel in Thalifish

The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11: 1-9)
Thalifish Version:
  1. Taunni ai thangv lok mied neungz phasa lae ai meuan khams.
  2. Lae khanathi phukhon ophayobed jak ai tawanauk, khao joed a thirab nai ai meuang khaungsh Shinar lae asaished thinan.
  3. Lae khao bauked neungz ikneung, "Ma, haizh ran tham its, lae phaosh khan thithuanly." Lae khao mied it samrab hin, lae nammandin samrab pun.
  4. Jaknan khao bauked, "Ma, haizh ran sang ryengs a meaung lae a haush kab my danbon nai ai sawanshes, lae haizh ran tham a nam samrab ryengs, michanan rao pen krajaied neuash ai nazh khaungsh ai thangmod lok."
  5. Lae ai Prajao maed long to du ai meaung lae ai haush, anthi ai dek khaungsh khon mied sanged.
  6. Lae ai Prajao phuted, "Dusi, khao kheu neungz phukhon, lae khao mi thangmod neungz phasa, lae ni pen neungly ai roemtoning khaungsh arai khao ja tham. Lae maikhaung nan khao tangjai to tham ja taunni pen insamatable sarab ran.
  7. Ma, haizh ran pai long lae thinan sabson khy phasa, dangnan nan khao at maizh khaojai neungz ikneung's waja."
  8. Dangnan ai Prajao krajaied khan jak thinan neuash ai nazh khaungsh thangmod ai lok, lae khao jakpaied sanging ai meaung.
  9. Dangnan my nam pened riaked Babel, phrauwa thinan ai Prajao sabsoned ai phasa khaung sh thangmod ai lok. Lae jak thinan ai Prajao krajaied khan neuash ai nazh khaungsh thangmod ai lok.

English Standard Version (2002):

  1. Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.
  2. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
  3. And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
  4. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth."
  5. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built.
  6. And the Lord said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.
  7. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech."
  8. So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.
  9. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

Thalifish sample text

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Thangmod manuts kheu koeded isara lae thaokan nai saxi lae sits. Khao kheu maubed kab hetphon lae manotham lae khuan patibat paithang neung ikneung nai a jai khaung phinaung.
(Literally)ทั้งหมดมนุษย์คือเกิดอิสระและเท่ากันในศักดิ์ศรีและ สิทธิ เขาคือมอบกับเหตุผลและมโนธรรมและควรปฏิบัติไปทางหนึ่งอีกหนึ่งในใจของพี่น้อง

Thalifish Verbs

To pen(ety. Thai: เป็น) means "to be."

Infinitiveto pen(to be)
Present participlepening(being)
Past participlepened(been)

First-person singularpen(am)pened(was)
Second-person singularpenst(art)pened(wart)
Third-person singularpens(is)pened(was)
First-person pluralkheu(are)kheued(were)
Second-person pluralkheu(are)kheued(were)
Third-person pluralkheu(are)kheued(were)

To kin(ety. Thai: กิน) means "to eat."

First-person singularkin(eat)kined(ate)
Second-person singularkinst(eat'st)kined(atest)
Third-person singularkins(eats)kined(ate)
First-person pluralkin(eat)kined(ate)
Second-person pluralkin(eat)kined(ate)
Third-person pluralkin(eat)kined(ate)

Examples: Cha pen kining khaozh. I am eating rice.
Cha pened kining khaozh. I was eating rice.
Cha kined khaozh kab than. I ate rice with you.
Ma phuts theung chan thukwan. He talks to me everyday.
Cha mi pened duing ni phaphyon. I have been watching this movie.

Thalivish Language

Thalivish is a constructed language that was created by me, Alif Silpachai. It was created based on English grammatical structure and Thai vocabulary. Thalivish is anglicized therefore it is not a tonal language. My goal of this creation is to help English speakers and Thai speakers connect. Thalivish is written with a modified version of the Latin alphabet.

Basic Personal Pronouns


ety. ฉัน
ety. ฉันเอง
ety. เธอ
ety. เธอเอง
ety. มัน
ety. มันเอง
ety. นาง
ety. นางเอง


ety. เรา
ety. เราเอง
ety. ท่าน
ety. ท่านเอง
ety. เขา
ety. เขาเอง