Let’s learn Thai – part 8, in which I almost get a social disease

I decided to go back to language lessons after a six-week hiatus, since I began forgetting everything I’d learned. I’m enjoying the new school, although it is a bit like drinking from a firehose. Every day is something new.

Today, my teacher explained the structure “nʉ̀ng nai” (หนึ่งใน), which means “one of”, as in “one of the things I hate about Thai is how difficult it is.” The “ʉ” is pronounced like you would pronounce “uhh” while grinning from ear to ear (which is why Thailand is called the Land of Smiles; you have to stretch your mouth to pronounce some of the vowels).

I kept pronouncing it “nɔɔ̌ng nai (หนองใน) – the “ɔɔ” sounds like the “o” in “chop” – which made my teacher laugh. “nɔɔ̌ng nai” means “gonorrhea.”