Postscript 

Thai has words that are similar to collective nouns in English, but they involve more precise rules of usage, they exist for more commonplace words, and they apply to singular as well as plural nouns. You might never need to refer to a pride of lions, but – depending on the context – you do have to refer to a lăŋ of bâan (one house or two-plus houses), and I couldn’t tell you what a “lăŋ” actually is, except in reference to “house,” just as I couldn’t define a pride without referring to “lions.” “Phaasăa Thai yâak kwàa (Thai language is…

Let’s learn Thai!

I’ve taken a few days of Thai lessons now, and I’m already using it to get around town. When I was studying Greek, I complained about how difficult the grammar was, particularly the declensions and conjugations: that the word for “dog,” for example, was either “σκύλος”, “σκύλο”, or “σκύλου” depending on whether I meant “the dog” as a subject, “the dog” as an object, or “the dog” as a possessive noun; and “work” was “δουλεύω,” “δουλεύεις,” “δουλεύει” and so on, depending on whether I work, you work, or he works. Thai has none of those problems: regardless of who is…