October 9, 2017

Let’s learn Thai! – part 3: sounds like “cow”

Filed under: thailand — Tags: — cohn17 @ 2:42 pm

khâaw – rice
khǎaw – white
khàaw – news
khaaw – the bad smell that comes from rotten fish or blood (seriously)
khâw – enter
khǎw – mountain
kháw – he or she
khàw – knee

There’s also, with more of a “gk” sound,

kǎw – slang term for skilled
kàw – old
kaw – to scratch

This reminds me of the Ogden Nash poem:

The one-l lama,
He’s a priest.
The two-l llama,
He’s a beast.
And I will bet
A silk pajama
There isn’t any
Three-l lllama.

September 29, 2017

Let’s learn Thai! (part 2)

Filed under: thailand — Tags: — cohn17 @ 10:36 am

I had an eye-opening (or ear-opening) language lesson today with one of the teachers whom I normally don’t have. She explained that Thai has a spoken rhythm that is pretty much unvarying across speakers (as well as the rules about tones), unlike in English where rhythm and intonation are more idiosyncratic to the speaker. English speakers aren’t used to these rhythms, so it is hard for us to pick out the important words in a sentence. We also have difficulties understanding spoken Thai because we/learn/to/say/each/Thai/word/in·di·vid·u·al·ly/and/pre·cise·ly insteaddalearningthemthuhwaytheyrackshallypronounstinnasentence.

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