Tag: Thai vocabulary

Do you know why we have ฃ and ฅ?

Do you know why we have ฃ and ฅ?

If you’d like to learn how to read and write Thai, normally you will start with alphabets, right?

In Thai language, there are 44 consonant letters. It’s funny because there are 2 characters which we don’t use anymore, but we still count them as part of our alphabets. Any ideas?

Right, I’m talking about ฃ and ฅ.

So, when did ฃ and ฅ be created and for what reason?

For the first question, we have got evidence from the King Ramkhamhaeng Insription, aka Ram Khamhaeng Stele (composed in 1292), that we did have these two letters starting from the beginning.

Referring to the inscription, you could find some examples of ฃ and ฅ, such as ฃึ้น, ฃุน, ฃาม, ฅำ, ฅู้ม, ฅวาม etc. and these two still be used until Rattanakosin Era (1782 – present).

ฃ and ฅ were left from the writing system firstly when the first Thai typewriter was developed by Edwin Hunter McFarland in 1892. Why? No space for all letters!

Although these two were still be used popularly in King Vajiravudh’s reign (1910 – 1925), their usage became less and less after that until there were only one word of each left: เฃตร and ฅอ.

When Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram, locally known as Chomphon Por; contemporarily known as Phibun in the West, served as the Prime Minister of Thailand (1948 – 1957), many consonant letters and vowels were eliminated from the writing system. Of course, ฃ and ฅ were included.

The others consonants have resumed their usage after Chomphon Por’s period of time but not these two consonants.

So, we are back to the second question. If they were not that important why did we have them?

From many of Thai specialists’ assumptions, they do believe that at the beginning, ฃ and ฅ must represent different sounds from ข and ค respectively but nobody really knows which sounds exactly.

Do you know all the Thai consonants which represent /k/ sound?

Do you know how many meanings of ใจ /jai/ in Thai?

Do you know how many meanings of ใจ /jai/ in Thai?

If you are studying Thai, you might notice that there are so many compound words consisted of ใจ /jai/.

When you say only ใจ /jai/, it means a heart.

For example:

เขาใจเต้นแรงเมื่อพูดต่อหน้าคนมากๆ /káo jai dtên raeng meûa pôod dtòr nâa kon mâag-mâag/ His heart is pounding when speaking in public.

We also use ใจ /jai/ to explain characteristics of people such as

– ใจดี /jai-dee/ = kind, nice

– ใจร้าย /jai-ráay/ = mean, unkind

– ใจดำ /jai-dam/ = pitiless, heartless

– ใจเย็น /jai-yen/ = temperate, calm

– ใจร้อน /jai-rórn/ = hot-tempered

– ใจแข็ง /jai-kăeng/ = adamant

– ใจอ่อน /jai-òrn/ = easy to change one’s mind (≠ adamant)

– ใจกว้าง /jai-gwâang/ = generous

– ใจแคบ /jai-kâeb/ = narrow minded

For example:

เธอเป็นคนใจเย็น /ter bpen kon jai-yen/ She is a calm person.

แม่เลี้ยงของซินเดอเรล่าใจร้ายมาก  /mâe-liáng kŏrng Cinderella jai-ráay mâag/ Cinderella’s step mother was very mean.

What’s more, we use ใจ /jai/ to narrate a negative feeling when someone faces a bad situation.

– ใจหาย /jai-hăay/ = shocked, stunned with fear

– ใจไม่ดี /jai-mâi-dee/ = alarmed, anxious

– ใจเสีย /jai-săi/ = frightened, disheartened

For example:

เขาใจเสียเมื่อรู้ว่าแม่ป่วย /káo jai-săi meâu róo wâa mâe bpùay/ He was frightened when he knew that his mother was sick.

เธอใจหายเพราะหากระเป๋าเงินไม่เจอ /ter jai-hăay prór hăa grà-bpăo ngern mâi jer/ She is shocked because she can’t find her wallet.

If something/someone causes or makes you feel in one way or another, you might hear words with ใจ /jai/ again.

– ดีใจ /dee-jai/ = glad

– เสียใจ /săi-jai/ = sad

– แน่ใจ /nâe-jai/ = sure

– มั่นใจ /mân-jai/ = certain, confident

– สบายใจ /sà-baay-jai/ = content, relexed

– หนักใจ /nàg-jai/ = worried

– พอใจ /por-jai/ = satisfied

– กลุ้มใจ /glum-jai/ = depressed

– โล่งใจ /lôeng-jai/ = relieved

– แปลกใจ /bpâeg-jai/ = surprised

– ตกใจ /dtôg-jai/ = scared, shocked

For example:

เธอแปลกใจที่เจอเขาที่กรุงเทพ /ter bpâeg-jai têe jer káo têe krùng-têb/ She was surprised to see him in Bangkok.

เขาแน่ใจว่าวันนี้ฝนจะตก /káo nâe-jai wâa wan-née fŏn jà dtòg/ He is sure that it’ll rain today.

With all these examples, you might think that “ใจ” /jai/ words are always adjectives. Actually, some verbs are composed of ใจ /jai/ too.

– เข้าใจ /kâo-jai/ = understand

– หายใจ /hăay-jai/ = breath

– ตั้งใจ /dtâng-jai/ = try hard; plan

– ตัดสินใจ /dtàd-sĭn-jai/ = decide, make up one’s mind

– เปลี่ยนใจ /bpliàn-jai/ = change one’s mind

– ไว้ใจ /wái-jai/ = trust

For example:

ฉันไว้ใจคุณ /chán wái-jai kun/ I trust you.

เธอไม่เข้าใจ /ter mâi kâo-jai/ She doesn’t understand.

These are some examples of words with ใจ /jai/. Do you know more?

Noodles /gŭay-dtiăw/ & Pad Thai

ผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ ผัดไทย

ก๋วยเตี๋ยว /gŭay-dtiăw/ is a loanword from a Chinese dialect. ก๋วย /gŭay/ means flour or fruit/part of fruit. เตี๋ยว /dtiăw/ means lines. When we combine them together, it means lines made from flour. Normally, ก๋วยเตี๋ยว /gŭay-dtiăw/ is made from rice flour.

We believe that ก๋วยเตี๋ยว /gŭay-dtiăw/ came to Thailand in the reign of King Narai the Great; the king of Ayutthaya from 1656 to 1688. After the World War II, rice was in short supply and its price was higher. Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhra, the leader at that time, tried to promote ก๋วยเตี๋ยว /gŭay-dtiăw/ as a lunch meal. Eating and selling noodles at that time was a strategy to drive the economy of the country. It has become so popular in Thailand since then.

Considering from the size of noodles, you can find 3 common kinds of rice noodles: เส้นใหญ่ /sên-yài/: the biggest size (around 1 inch wide), เส้นเล็ก /sên-lég/ the smaller size (a few millimeters wide) and เส้นหมี่ /sên-mèe/ slightly lighter than anglehair pasta.

Due to the nationalistic campaign at that time, the leader did not want ก๋วยเตี๋ยว /gŭay-dtiăw/ to have an image of China. That’s why, Pad Thai was born. In order to differentiate Pad Thai from Chinese noodles, the authentic Pad Thai must not have pork as an ingredient. They believed that pork was the food for Chinese people. The noodles used in Pad Thai must be stickier than the common rice noodles. Adding sprout beans in ก๋วยเตี๋ยว /gŭay-dtiăw/ and Pad Thai is also firstly recommended at that time.

Nowadays Pad Thai becomes one of the icons of Thai food even if it is made of noodles.

ระหว่าง/rá-wàang/ is not ระวัง /rá-wāng/!

Do you know ระหว่าง/rá-wàang/?

Foreign students often confuse this word with ระวัง /rá-wāng/. Please note that ระวัง /rá-wāng/ mean ‘be careful’ but ระหว่าง/rá-wàang/ is nothing about careful.

If ระหว่าง/rá-wàang/ is a preposition, it means ‘between’.

For example:

  • สุขุมวิทซอย 51 อยู่ระหว่างซอย 49 กับ ซอย 53
  • Sukhumvit Soi 51 yòo rá-wàang Soi 49 gàb  Soi 53
  • Sukhumvit Soi 51 is between Soi 49 and Soi 53.
  • ระหว่างสีแดงกับสีน้ำเงิน เธอชอบสีไหน
  • rá-wàang sĕe-dāeng gàb sĕe-nám-ngērn tēr chôrb sĕe-năi?
  • Between red and blue, which color do you like?


If ระหว่าง/rá-wàang/ is a adverb. It means ‘during’.

For example:

  • ฝนมักจะตกระหว่างเดือนเมษา
  • fŏn mág-jà dtòg rá-wàang dēuan mē-săa
  • It often rains during April.
  • อย่าเล่นมือถือระหว่างประชุม
  • yàa lên mēu-tĕu rá-wàang bprà-chūm
  • Don’t play the cell phone during the meeting.

So, I hope this article helps you to understand this word better! ระหว่าง