Do you know why we say โมง /moeng/ ทุ่ม /tûm/ and ตี /dtee/ for telling time?

Do you know why we say โมง /moeng/ ทุ่ม /tûm/ and ตี /dtee/ for telling time?

There are 2 different systems to tell time in Thai. The easiest one is the official way. We will use 0 to 24 following by a word นาฬิกา /naa-lí-gaa/. นาฬิกา /naa-lí-gaa/ means clock, watch or o’clock. It’s very simple but nobody uses it in spoken language. I mean, you can talk with people by using this system but please don’t expect anyone else who are Thai to refer to this system when talking about time.

So, how do Thai people tell time in general?

ฆ้องโหม่ง

 

In the ancient time when people didn’t have watches, clocks everywhere like now. A City Hall or a temple was responsible for telling time. During the daytime, they would hit a kong. People thought that its sounds was like ‘moeng’ (โหม่ง) so, they said ‘moeng’

 

 

At night, they changed the instruments. From 7 P.M. until midnight, they hit a drum instead. People heard its sound like ‘dtum’ (ตุ้ม) so they said ‘tum’. After midnight, it was not clear what exactly was the instrument for telling time. In the peaceful time, it might be possible that no one was awake the whole night to tell time. Anyway, they assumed that some kind of metal will be used to hit from 1 A.M. until 5 A.M. That’s why we use the word ตี /dtee/, meaning hit, slap, etc.

Official Time

(24-hour based system)

6-hour based system

(Originally)

6-hour based system

(Nowadays)

1 naa-lí-gaa dtee 1 dtee 1
2 naa-lí-gaa dtee 2 dtee 2
3 naa-lí-gaa dtee 3, 3 yaam dtee 3
4 naa-lí-gaa dtee 4 dtee 4
5 naa-lí-gaa dtee 5 dtee 5
6 naa-lí-gaa dtee 6, yâm-rûng 6 moeng-cháo
7 naa-lí-gaa 1 moeng-cháo 7 moeng-cháo
8 naa-lí-gaa 2 moeng-cháo 8 moeng-cháo
9 naa-lí-gaa 3 moeng-cháo 9 moeng-cháo
10 naa-lí-gaa 4 moeng-cháo 10 moeng
11 naa-lí-gaa 5 moeng-cháo, pen 11 moeng
12 naa-lí-gaa tîang, tîang-wan, yâm-tîang tîang, tîang-wan
13 naa-lí-gaa bàay 1 moeng bàay moeng
14 naa-lí-gaa bàay 2 moeng bàay 2, 2 moeng
15 naa-lí-gaa bàay 3 moeng bàay 3, 3 moeng
16 naa-lí-gaa bàay 4 moeng bàay 4 (moeng), 4 moeng-yen
17 naa-lí-gaa bàay 5 moeng 5 moeng-yen
18 naa-lí-gaa 6 moeng-yen, yâm-kâm 6 moeng-yen
19 naa-lí-gaa 1 dtûm 1 dtûm
20 naa-lí-gaa 2 dtûm 2 dtûm
21 naa-lí-gaa 3 dtûm, yaam 1 3 dtûm
22 naa-lí-gaa 4 dtûm 4 dtûm
23 naa-lí-gaa 5 dtûm 5 dtûm
24 naa-lí-gaa, 0 naa-lí-gaa tîang-keun, 6 dtûm, 2 yaam tîang-keun
Do you know why we have ศ ษ ส in Thai?

Do you know why we have ศ ษ ส in Thai?

In Thai language, there are 3 /s/ sounds in high class consonant. Students might wonder how to use them and why we have 3 different symbols just to represent only one sound.

Actually, we follow the origin of words in writing system although we might not pronounce them as the native speakers do. In Sanskrit language, there are ศ ษ and ส because they pronounce them differently.

If you know how to read and write Thai, you will notice that Pali language and Sanskrit language influence Thai language deeply. In Pali and Thai, there are only ส while the 3 consonants are used in Sanskrit. That means all words with ศ or ษ are originally from Sanskrit.

During 1940 – 1944, the government of Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram specified to use only ส; however, ศ and ษ resumed again after that. Nowadays we write ศ ษ or ส following the writing rules of Pali-Sanskrit.

If you don’t have any clues about Pali-Sanskrit, I’d like to suggest you to remember words by heart. If not, feel free to learn both before coming back to learn Thai. LOL  Have fun!!!

Some example words of ศ

ประกาศ              (n/v)         announce; announcement

พฤศจิกายน         (n)            November

พิศ                    (v)            look, watch

เลิศ                   (adj/adv)   excellent

ศรัทธา               (v)            believe in

ศัตรู                   (n)            enemy

ศาล                   (n)            court; shrine

ศาสนา               (n)            religion

 

Some example words of ษ

กษัตริย์               (n)            king

พฤษภาคม          (n)            May

พิษ                    (n)            poison

ภาษา                 (n)            language

ภาษี                  (n)            tax

รักษา                 (v)            medical treat, cure

 

Some example words of ส

ทาส                  (n)            slave

พฤหัสบดี           (n)            Thursday

วาสนา               (n)            fortune, destiny

สงฆ์                  (n)            monk

สวรรค์                (n)            heaven

สัตย์                   (n/adj)      honest

สัตว์                   (n)            animal

สาร                    (n)            text, message

สูตร                   (n)            formula

หงส์                   (n)            swan

โอกาส               (n)            opportunity

Do you know how many meaning of ถึง /tŭeng/?

Do you know how many meaning of ถึง /tŭeng/?

There are so many different usages of this word as a verb, a conjunction or a preposition. Do you know how to use them all?

ถึง /tŭeng/ = [V] reach, arrive

  • เมื่อคืนถึงบ้านกี่โมง
  • meûa-keun tŭeng bâan gèe moeng?
  • Last night what time did (you) arrive home?

 

  • ฉัน/ผมถึงร้านอาหารแล้ว คุณอยู่ตรงไหน?
  • chán/pŏm tŭeng ráan-aa-hăan láew kun yòo dtrong-năi?
  • I’ve arrived the restaurant. Where are you exactly?

 

ถึง /tŭeng/ = [PREP] to, until

  • โรงเรียนเปิดตั้งแต่วันจันทร์ถึงวันศุกร์
  • roeng-rian bpèrd dtâng-dtâe wan-jan tŭeng wan-sùg.
  • The school opens from Monday to Friday.

 

  • เมื่อวานเขาทำงานถึงเที่ยงคืน
  • meûa-waan káo tam-ngaan tŭeng tiâng-keun
  • Yesterday he/she worked until midnight.

 

  • จากบางนาถึงสีลม ใช้เวลาเท่าไหร่?
  • jàag Bangna tŭeng Silom chái we-laa tâo-rài?
  • How long does it take from Bangna to Silom?

 

ถึง /tŭeng/ = [CONJ] though, although

  • ถึงเขาจะทำงานหนัก เขาก็ยังแข็งแรง
  • tŭeng káo jà tam-ngaan nàg káo gôr yang kăeng-raeng
  • Although he/she works hard, he/she is still healthy.

  • ถึงเขาจะไม่ไป ผม/ฉันก็จะไปภูเก็ต
  • tŭeng káo jà mâi bpai chán/pŏm gôr jà bpai Phuket.
  • Although he will not go, I’ll go to Phuket.

 

 ถึง /tŭeng/ = [V] be skillful enough

  • ฉัน/ผมตาไม่ถึง เลยดูไม่ออกว่านี่เป็นพลอยเก๊
  • chán/pŏm dtaa mâi tŭeng lery doo mâi òrg wâa nêe bpen ploy gé
  • I’m not skillful enough, so I can’t see that it’s a fake gemstone.

 

  • งานนี้ยากมาก พนักงานใหม่อาจจะมือไม่ถึง
  • ngaan née yâag mâag pá-nág-ngaan mài àag-jà meu mâi tŭeng
  • This job is very difficult. The new staff might not be skillful enough.

You might notice that in this sense of meaning, we will not use ถึง /tŭeng/ alone. We often use it in a negative sense with some body parts, such as:

  • dtaa mâi tŭeng = (eyes) not skillful enough to see/appreciate something
  • meu mâi tŭeng = (hands) not skillful enough to do something
  • lín mâi tŭeng = (tongue) not skillful enough to taste something
  • hŏo mâi tŭeng = (ears) not skillful enough to hear/appreciate something

 

ถึง /tŭeng/ = [V] be … this much

  • ทำไมถึงมาสาย?
  • tam-mai tŭeng maa săay?
  • Why do you come this late?

 

  • ทำไมคุณถึงไม่บอกฉัน/ผม?
  • tam-mai kun tŭeng mâi bòrg chán/pŏm?
  • Why didn’t you tell me?

It’s very common to hear ถึง /tŭeng/ when asking questions ‘why’ in Thai. Actually, it doesn’t matter whether we put it or omit it, but it’s can make the message stronger.

These are some examples how to use ถึง /tŭeng/ in different ways in Thai language. Let’s check whether you get it by reading the following text. Do you understand it?

ฉันก็อธิบายไม่ถูกทำไมถึงรักการสอนภาษาไทยมาก ถึงมันจะไม่ใช่งานง่ายๆ บางครั้งต้องสอนนักเรียนถึง 3 ทุ่ม คำถามจากนักเรียนบางคำถาม ถึงจะคิดหาคำตอบจนถึงเช้าก็ยังหาคำอธิบายดีๆไม่ได้ดั่งใจ แต่ฉันก็ยังรักที่จะเป็นครูสอนภาษาไทยอยู่ดี

chán gôr à-tí-baay mâi tòog tam-mai tŭeng rág gaan-sŏrn paa-săa Thai mâag    tŭeng man jà mâi-châi ngaan ngâay-ngâay  baang-kráng dtôrng sŏrn nág-rian tŭeng 3 tûm   kam-tâam jàag nág-rian baang-kam-tâam  tŭeng jà kíd hăa kam-dtôrb jon tŭeng cháo   gôr yang hăa kam-à-tí-baay dee-dee mâi dâi   dtàe chán gôr yang rág têe jà bpen kroo sŏrn paa-săa Thai yòo-dee

Do you know ขนมจีน /kà-nŏm-jeen/ didn’t come from China?

Do you know ขนมจีน /kà-nŏm-jeen/ didn’t come from China?

ขนมจีน /kà-nŏm-jeen/ is one kind of noodles, made from rice flour, in Thailand. In the northern part, it is called ‘ขนมเส้น’ /kà-nŏm-sên/. Esan people call it ‘ข้าวปุ้น’ /kâaw-bpûn/ and it is known as ‘โหน้มจีน’ /nóm-jeen/ in the southern part.

ขนมจีน /kà-nŏm-jee/ has a ridiculous name because it’s totally not ขนม /kà-nŏm/ in Thai people’s eyes and it’s not from China if you must know.

What is ขนม /kà-nŏm/?

If you look it up, you will see meanings such as sweets, dessert, candy, etc. Actually, the definition of ขนม /kà-nŏm/ is a lot wider than that. We count snacks, such as potato chips, French fried, biscuits, dried fruits, nuts & seeds, etc. as ขนม /kà-nŏm/. With this range, ขนม /kà-nŏm/ can be sweet, sour, salty, even spicy. Thai people especially girls love having it any time.

When a student asks me what ขนม /kà-nŏm/ is, I always answer simply “It’s something that you enjoy eating. Normally it’s not healthy. It can’t really make your stomach full but it tastes soooooo good!” LOL

If ขนมจีน /kà-nŏm-jee/ didn’t come from China, where was it from?

It was originally Mon food from Burma. The word ‘ขนมจีน’ /kà-nŏm-jeen/ was from ‘ขฺนํจินฺ’, คะนอมจีน /ká-nom-jeen/,  ‘คะนอม’/ká-nom/ means noodles and  ‘จีน’/jeen/ means be cooked.

Thai people love having ขนมจีน /kà-nŏm-jee/ with various soup or curry. They like to eat fresh vegetables together with it. Some people like me also love having it with ส้มตำ /sôm-dtam/, aka Thai green papaya salad.

noodle-2402592_960_720

Surprisingly, ขนมจีน /kà-nŏm-jee/ provides less calories than other rice noodles and glass noodles. So, let’s eat ขนมจีน /kà-nŏm-jee/ if you are on a diat. LOL

Do you know the differences between ครู /kroo/ and อาจารย์ /aa-jaan/?

Do you know the differences between ครู /kroo/ and อาจารย์ /aa-jaan/?

If you are looking for a free Thai lessons online, you will hear teachers call themselves ‘ครู’ /kroo/

ครู /kroo/ is originally from a Pali ครุ /kru/ or Sanskrit คุรุ /kuru/. It means heavy; someone with respectful behaviors and a teacher.

Normally people use it to call teachers in kindergartens and schools. It can be a noun and a pronoun. That means students will call their teacher ‘ครู’ /kroo/. It’s pretty common to hear teachers call themselves ‘ครู’ /kroo/ when they talk with their students, too.

What’s about อาจารย์ /aa-jaan/?

Do you know ‘www.ajarn.com’? It is a famous job-listing website for foreign teachers in Thailand. I think that you can guess by now how the word ‘อาจารย์’ /aa-jaan/ relates to teaching job.

อาจารย์ /aa-jaan/ is from Sanskrit meaning a role model; a teacher and an instructor.

Normally, we use this word to call lecturers or professors in colleges and universities. We also use it to address someone as a master of any kinds of knowledge although that person might not teach for a living.

I hope that you enjoy learning Thai with your present ‘ครู’ /kroo/ or ‘อาจารย์’ /aa-jaan/. J

P.S. Since there is no official, mandatory standard of Thai Romanization, not like Pinyin for Mandarin. That’s why, you might see various ways of romanizations. Some very academic schools might prefer to use phonetic symbols. Other schools prefer different romanizations. I also prefer to use the romanization but my version might not be exactly the same as any others.

Anyway, if you are certain that you will live here and you prefer to blend in the society or at least understand them from the eyes of local people, learning the language is the first door for you. Being able to read Thai is also very important in order to improve your comprehension in language and culture in a long run.

I wish you luck! LOL

Do you know what พอ /por/ means?

Do you know what พอ /por/ means?

First of all, please don’t mix between พอ /por/, middle tone and พ่อ /pôr/, falling tone. When we talk about dad, we say ‘พ่อ’ /pôr/. It’s falling tone!

  1. พอ /por/ = enough
  • เขามีเงินไม่พอซื้อบ้าน /káo mee ngern mâi por séu bâan/
  • He doesn’t have enough money to buy a house.
  • “เอาข้าวอีกไหมคะ” “พอแล้วครับ” /ao kâaw èeg mái ká/ /por láew kráb/
  • “Some more rice?” “(I’m) enough.”
  1. พอ /por/ = As soon as; when
  • พอเขามาถึง ฝนก็ตก /por káo maa teŭng fŏn gôr dtòg/
  • As soon as she/he arrived, it rained.
  • พอเขาเรียนจบ เขาก็ไปทำงานที่ต่างประเทศ / por káo rian jòb káo gôr bpai tam-ngaan têe dtàang-bprà-têd/
  • When she/he graduated, she/he went to work abroad.

There are some other compound words and expressions with ‘พอ’ /por/, such as

  1. พอใจ /por-jai/ = satisfy
  • เขาพอใจกับบริการของเรา /káo por-jai gàb bor-ri-gaan kŏrng rao/
  • She/he is satisfied with our service.
  1. พอดี /por-dee/ = fit, just right
  • รองเท้าคู่นี้ใส่พอดี /rorng-táo kôo née sâi por-dee/
  • This pair of shoes is fit.
  1. พอใช้(ได้) /por-chái(dâi)/ = fairly (well)
  • พนักงานคนใหม่ทำงานพอใช้ได้ /pa-nág-ngaan kon mâi tam-ngaan por-chái-dâi/
  • The new employee work fairly well.
  1. พอ(ๆ)กัน /por(por)-gan/ = equal
  • ฉันกับน้องสาวสูงพอ ๆ กัน /chán gàb nŏrng-săaw sŏong por-por-gan/
  • My sister and I have equal height.
  1. พอกันที /por-gan-tee/ = I’ve had enough!, I’ve had it (up to here)!
  • เขาไม่เคยมีเวลาให้ฉันเลย  พอกันที /káo mâi kery mee we-laa hâi chán lery   por-gan-tee/
  • He never has time for me. I’ve had it!

I hope that you enjoy reading my articles and learning Thai. Don’t have had it up to here with Thai lessons! LOL