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I'm a young Thai, I finally find Thai hard to be explained!!

Tell us about yourself, your interest in the Thai language, or just say 'Hello!'

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I'm a young Thai, I finally find Thai hard to be explained!!

Postby jaykita.lin » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:21 am

Hello, I've JUST signed up an account and registered. (approximately 2 mins ago :lol: )
I've gotta introduce myself first, I am a young Thai whose age is around 18, in senior of high school level.

Motive that brings me here is that I have an American friend, David, he needs to improve his Thai skill. We've known each other on Facebook, Yay I'm a Facebookaholic xD. It's kinda easy to explain him with my own style explanation since his Thai is in intermediate level. At the very least, he doesn't need to cling to roman alphabets and romanized intonation/pronunciation marks like many other 'Farangs' or foreigner.

He can know pretty well how to pronounce a word without English caption. So I can use Thai with him quite freely. :D

I myself, am designing a schedule or /INDIVIDUAL/ curriculum for David.
I set schedule to be:
Mon: Learn from media such as MV, Trailer, Song, part of Movie, TVC
Tue: Colloquial sentences (in daily life of Thai people)
Wed: Middle-length passage.
Thu: Errors Identification
Fri: TEST

COUNTLESS TIMES I couldn't explain him clearly why we Thai use this-that-these-those words. And what is the precise meaning of each word. Well, I'd like to exemplify many words I, a native Thai since born, even DON'T KNOW exactly.

ซะ, เสียที, ซิ, ดิ, นะ, ว่ะ, ก็, ที่, อ่ะ, ก็คง, ไหมล่ะ?, นะๆๆๆ

I know with all my heart that these words are street Thai that we tend to use every single day. Yet, we can't grasp their true meaning perfectly how to use a word. That's why I get freaked out at once he asked me...

Ah... I consider I myself an inert student. Honestly, though it sounds unpatriotic, I dare confess that Thai language subject is always in the list of my most hated subjects OTL. I try to avoid learning it, any semester without Thai in schedule is my paradise xD You know? I have to look up many words my friends said in Thai-Thai or ราชบัณฑิตยสถาน dictionary first, I don't know what do they said really mean. So as to avoid cracking my own face, I sneakily looked it up later. My incapability of national or first language profound comprehension directly affects me when it comes to necessity of explaining foreigner how to use Thai language properly. Because I can't use Thai and arrange word order properly.

This problem should be cured urgently, but I despair to detect my own flaws by myself.
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Re: I'm a young Thai, I finally find Thai hard to be explained!!

Postby Rick Bradford » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:04 am

ซะ, เสียที, ซิ, ดิ, นะ, ว่ะ, ก็, ที่, อ่ะ, ก็คง, ไหมล่ะ?, นะๆๆๆ

I wouldn't worry -- these are all words which add meaning and emotion to a sentence -- 'particles' is what we know them as. Because they don't occur so much in English, it would be hard to explain them to an English speaker.

Plus, we have many ways of speaking English that are hard to explain to a Thai speaker -- such as the different stresses and tones we add to words and phrases in a sentence to convey emotion.

I come from a part of the English-speaking world where 80% of sentences end with the particle 'ay'. It doesn't really mean anything -- or it can mean many things which are not important.

"Maroons are gonna win tonight, ay" (ay=Do you agree with me?")
"Aw, he's from Europe, ay." (ay=Take notice of what I said)
"I'm going 'ome, ay" (Are you listening to me?)
"Gee, that's pricey, ay " (What do you think?)

You can teach somebody 80% of your language with 20% of the effort -- but teaching the last 20% will take 80% of your effort.
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Re: I'm a young Thai, I finally find Thai hard to be explained!!

Postby pensive » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 am

jaykita.lin wrote:This problem should be cured urgently, but I despair to detect my own flaws by myself.

Wow. You may not know much Thai but you sure know a lot of English! :D
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Re: I'm a young Thai, I finally find Thai hard to be explained!!

Postby jaykita.lin » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:44 am

Aww, ;;;w;;; I see right now C:

It's 'particle', right?

Perhaps, my English is still limited, it becomes confusing to use a word in English to replace a Thai word perfectly. Well, I think I ought to borrow some Thai teaching/learning books which written in English from library so as to know how to call a word in English. (Darn, my library is really lack of foreign language books, even if there really are, most English books are shockingly old :cry:)

If I'm not totally mistaken, I guess the term 'Ay' might be from Australia? (My intuition may be wrong somehow)

Today I assigned him a homework to translate colloquial sentences I took from Facebook, Twitter or any ubiquitous sites on the net. I was finally at my wit's end to render each sentence to be easily understandable, let's see:-

(*caution* some sentences/words can be very inappropriate... not my fault, I didn't type it by myself :P)

1.เฮ้ย จารย์มา! เก็บไพ่เร็ว!
2.ทำไงดีเนี่ย การบ้านยังทำไม่เสร็จเลย...
3.เออ แก วันนี้กลางวันจะไปกินข้าวที่ไหนดีวะ?
4.ดูรูปนี้ดิ แม่ง วาดซะสวยเว่อร์อ่ะ
5.เพลงนี้คนร้องโคตรกากอ่ะ
6.เออๆๆ แค่นี้ก่อนนะ ต้องวางสายแล้ว แบตกำลังจะหมด
7.หนูเปล่านะ หนูไม่ได้ทำแก้วแตก
8.กับข้าวร้านนั้น แม่งจืด ห่วยแบบหมาไม่แดก
9.ตอนนี้กูถังแตก ขอยืมตังค์กินข้าวหน่อยดิ
10.นะ พ่อนะ นะๆๆๆๆ ขอตังค์ซื้อบีบีหน่อยนะพ่อ นะๆๆๆ

I fail to explain him 'ซะ', อ่ะ, นะ, เออ, , แล้ว, ดิ

Any Thai can do me a favor? D: /Thx in advance *winks*/
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Re: I'm a young Thai, I finally find Thai hard to be explained!!

Postby jaykita.lin » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:54 am

One more word I'm confused:

'แบบ'

เธอสวยแบบว่าเธอกำลังจะไปประกวด Miss Thailand Word
กับข้าวรสชาติแย่แบบน้ำล้างเท้า
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Re: I'm a young Thai, I finally find Thai hard to be explained!!

Postby Rick Bradford » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:09 pm

If I'm not totally mistaken, I guess the term 'Ay' might be from Australia?

Yes, FNQ in Australia is the home of this kind of talk, although Canadians are noted for a similar speech pattern.

To put it another way, how could I explain to a Thai that the phrase....

"Well, thank you very much!"

... can mean two completely opposite things depending solely on the stress and tones in the sentence (one genuine, one sarcastic).

Teach your friend the basics and regard the particles as the Advanced Course. Not only is it difficult to explain what the particles mean, and how they should be used, but with him being non-Thai, maybe his use of particles will not be accepted in the same way as when you use them.

EDIT: กับข้าวรสชาติแย่แบบน้ำล้างเท้า - The food tasted terrible, like boot polish.
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Re: I'm a young Thai, I finally find Thai hard to be explained!!

Postby keith » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:32 pm

jaykita.lin wrote:Aww, ;;;w;;; I see right now C:
10.นะ พ่อนะ นะๆๆๆๆ ขอตังค์ซื้อบีบีหน่อยนะพ่อ นะๆๆๆ

I fail to explain him 'ซะ', อ่ะ, นะ, เออ, , แล้ว, ดิ

Any Thai can do me a favor? D: /Thx in advance *winks*/


As relatively new learner of Thai, I always hesitate before offering a translation, but this one really made me chuckle. I can see the person saying it :lol:

"Dad, please can I have a little bit of money to buy an app - please please Dad pretty please.."

it's a loose translation. To answer your question about explaining to your friend

as I see it in this sentence - นะ is a particle to soften the sound of a request while still being insistent, This is emphasised by its frequent repetition and use of polte terms/words - ขอ - and then at the end of the main sentence หน่อย The symbol means, of course, repeat the last word

I have tried to express this with repeated use of please
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Re: I'm a young Thai, I finally find Thai hard to be explained!!

Postby simonbournemouth » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:59 am

jaykita.lin wrote:ซะ, เสียที, ซิ, ดิ, นะ, ว่ะ, ก็, ที่, อ่ะ, ก็คง, ไหมล่ะ?, นะๆๆๆ


jaykita.lin,

This webpage gives good explanations and examples of many "particles":

http://siamsmile.webs.com/thaiparticles ... icles.html

keith wrote:"Dad, please can I have a little bit of money to buy an app - please please Dad pretty please.."


Keith, I think more than "a little bit of money" will be needed to buy a BlackBerry. :)
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Re: I'm a young Thai, I finally find Thai hard to be explained!!

Postby keith » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:17 am

simonbournemouth wrote:
jaykita.lin wrote:ซะ, เสียที, ซิ, ดิ, นะ, ว่ะ, ก็, ที่, อ่ะ, ก็คง, ไหมล่ะ?, นะๆๆๆ


jaykita.lin,

This webpage gives good explanations and examples of many "particles":

http://siamsmile.webs.com/thaiparticles ... icles.html

keith wrote:"Dad, please can I have a little bit of money to buy an app - please please Dad pretty please.."


Keith, I think more than "a little bit of money" will be needed to buy a BlackBerry. :)


You are ofcourse right! I read it, wrongly I realise, as a Blackberry app. :oops: What I find depressing is that if a native Thai speaker has trouble explaining particle use, what hope is there for an ancient Brit like me! ;)
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Re: I'm a young Thai, I finally find Thai hard to be explained!!

Postby David and Bui » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:03 pm

Shoichi Iwasaki and Preeya Ingkaphirom in "A Reference Grammar of Thai", Cambridge University Press, 2005, page 188ff has this:

1. นะ หนะ อะ – common ground
2. ซิ ซี่ สี่ – authoritative confirmation
3. เลย - emphasis
4. เชียว – emphasis, surprise
5. เซี้ย ซะ (เสีย) – mild encouragement
6. ล่า หล่า อะ (เล่า)– elaboration request
7. แหล่ อะ (แล้ว)– focus
8. หละ ละ อะ (แล้ว) – conclusion
9. หรอก หลอก – counterargument
10. นี้ หนี่ (นี้)- discovery
11. ไง – directing attention
12. แน่ะ แหน่ะ – directing attention; notable amount
13. มั้ง ละมั้ง (กระมัง) - guess
14. เธอ แห่ะ - suggestion

Subsequent pages contain a number of explanations. This excellent text is available via Amazon.
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