As many of you know already that Thai language is a tonal language. When the tone change, the meaning of the word will be changed. There are many groups of words that have exactly the same phonemic sounds, and yet because of different tones express very different meanings. So, today I would like to show you common words that you can see or hear everyday.
5 Tones (Introduction)
เสื่อ sua (low tone) = mat
เสื้อ sua (falling) = shirt
เสือ sua (rising tone) = tiger
/sŭea sài sûa nâng yùu bon sùa/
A tiger wearing a shirt is sitting on a mat.
คาว kaao (middle tone) = fishy
ข่าว kaao (low tone) = news
ข้าว kaao (falling tone) = rice
ขาว kaao (rising tone) = white
/kăo gin kâao kăao léaw-gâw duu kàao/
He eats white rice and watches news.
เข่า kao (low tone) = knees
เข้า kao (falling tone) = to enter
เค้า kao (high tone) = he/she, him/her (spoken language)
เขา kao (rising tone) = mountain or he/she, him/her (written language)
/káo kûen kăo léaw kào dtàek gâw-loei kâo clinic/
He went up the mountain and broke his knees, so (he) entered the clinic.
* in Thai spoken language, to be admitted to the hospital or clinic, we use the verb ‘to enter’
I hope you had fun:)
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