Speak Thai: Thai pronunciation – Thai Tones

By March 20, 2009Speak Thai

Thai pronunciation – Thai Tones

At the Thai Language Hut School, most of the students from America and Europe almost said the same thing the first time they learned how to speak Thai. The students of Thai said they couldn’t tell the difference between gai (ไก่or gài) means chicken and (ไข่ or khài) kai means egg and they said these two words sounded the same to them. Most problems come from pronunciation.

For example:

You pronounce ใกล้ or glâi (near) and ไกล or glai (far) with the same tone because you are not familiar with mark tones.

Or you pronounce ไม่ or mâi (no) and ไม้or mái (wood) the same because you do not know that these two words have different meanings.

Or you pronounce ก ไก่(gor gài)ข ไข่(khŏrr khài) and ค ควาย(khorr kwaai) all the same because you think they are the same sound, such as “Who sells eggs? ใครขายไข่ไก่(krai-khăai-khài-gài?)”, “Enjoy talking about funny things. พูดขบขันกันครื้นเครง

(phôod-khòhb-khăn-gan-kruén-kreng)”, etc.

Please remember that different tones make differences ….get it right or you will be misunderstood!


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