Learn how to speak Thai the way Thai parents do in LivingHour.org’s 3rd installment of our Easy Thai Top 40™ series: Family Talk: Speaking to Thai Children. In this edition you’ll find 40 common and easy Thai sentences which parents speak to their children – sentences that cover situations in the living room, bedroom, bathroom, and dining room; upstairs and downstairs; inside the house and outside the home.
These are the kind of sentences left out from other Thai phrasebooks, language books, and online learning lists, which spend most of their time dealing with the needs of tourists and not those of expats with Thai families. At LivingHour.org we are dedicated to fulfilling all those language needs which other Thai language publishers don’t cover, from helping expats and professionals better manage their long term stays in Thailand to assisting tourists get off the beaten track to discover authentic travel experiences in “the real” Thailand.
Each English sentence in Family Talk: Speaking to Thai Children is followed by a colloquial Thai translation in the Thai script; followed by an easy to read phonetic spelling (with tones) in English; followed then by a word for word translation of the Thai in English, so that you know exactly which English word corresponds to the Thai word.
Keep checking back with us at LivingHour.org for more Easy Thai Top 40 and Easy Isaan Top 40 mini-ebooks, as well as forthcoming audio books to accompany the series. At LivingHour.org we minimize the time you spend learning Thai and maximize the benefits!
The following are three sample entries from the book:
Get up! It’s time for school.
ตื่น นอน เถอะ ได้เวลา ไป โรงเรียน แล้ว ตอนนี้
Dtèun nawn thùh. Dâi-way-lah bpai rohng-rian láeo dtawn-née.
lit. wake up sleep (urge), time to go school already now.
Sweetheart, wash your hands. Breakfast is ready.
ลูกรัก ล้าง หมือ ซะ อาหารเช้า เรียบร้อย แล้ว
Lôok-rák* láhng meu sá*. Ah-hăhn cháo rîap-rói láeo.
lit. sweetheart, wash hands (urge), food morning ready already
*The meaning of the particle sá (ซะ) is more than simply adding encouragement to your command or request; it implies that you want something done completely and/or quickly.
Wake up your Mom. Grandma is here.
ปลุก แม่ สิ ยาย มา แล้ว
Bplùk mâe sì. Yai mah láeo.
lit. awaken mom (urge), grandma come already
Or pick up the eBook edition for your iPad, Palm Pilot, Kindle, Sony Reader, Nook, iPhone, or other portable device by clicking on the following link:
*All proceeds from book sales go to the development of lessons and course materials at the Ysaan Institute.
When it comes to learning easy Thai, the biggest obstacle is how to speak Thai. That is, how to speak the Thai language without sounding like a Thai phrasebook, how to speak Thai more naturally like a native speaker. One of the problems with many Thai language books is that the Thai editors or co-writers are Thai academics who feel compelled to teach the student more formal Thai, even if they claim that the language is “colloquial Thai“. The sample sentences tend to be too wordy, lack common Thai particles, and use word choices that the average Thai on the street would not use.
On the other side of the coin, we have young Western authors who have spent a few years in Thailand as English teachers or Peace Corps volunteers publishing Thai language books that include outrageous epithets, vulgar slang, and bad advice about Thai personal pronouns under the pretense of sounding cool. Well let us set the record straight. There is nothing cool about insulting Thais and getting your ass kicked (or worse) in Thailand. What is cool is having a laugh with your Thai friends, often at your own expense,
One of the benefits of using our Original Thai-English Language Cognate Dictionary & Learning Tool is that the hundreds of sample sentences we include are truly colloquial Thai (i.e. street Thai) and will help you joke with Thais without insulting them. And the book includes all of the particles that Thais so often pepper their speech with. The following is a brief excerpt from the introduction of this easy Thai language book and eBook where we offer a few tips on speaking easy Thai:
We would like to share a few things that we’ve learned over the past ten years speaking with rural Thais who rarely have heard foreigners trying to speak their mother tongue. Firstly, do not get discouraged if you have trouble with the tones of the Thai language. What is most important to being understood by Thais is not proper tones (though that surely helps) but getting your words in the right order.
Unlike English, where foreigners can mix up words and still be understood, Thais will (more often than not) look at you with confusion unless all the words are correctly situated in your sentence. This is true even if you are speaking with correct tones. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the exact order of the words in the sample sentences of this book. Speaking proper tones will come naturally as you increasingly talk and listen to Thais.
That being said, for those who don’t find speaking Thai tones an overwhelming obstacle, do try to learn them as best you can. But don’t get discouraged if mastery doesn’t happen quickly (it won’t); nor get so hung up on tones that it causes you to hesitate and stumble when speaking. In the beginning, the most important tone to recognize and speak is the falling tone, which can be mastered even by those who consider themselves tone deaf. The other tones will fall in place around it…
Add 100s of easy Thai words to your working vocabulary in only a week’s time with the Original Thai-English Language Cognate Dictionary & Learning Tool .
Or pick up the multi-platform eBook edition for your iPad, Palm Pilot, Sony Reader, Nook, iPhone, or other portable device by clicking on the following link: