Cool Stuff Outside of Textbooks

Did you know that in Thai we also have a word that has a similar usage to that of the filler word “like” in English? That’s the word “แบบ” [bàep]. The formal meaning of “แบบ” [bàep] is model, style, way, form or pattern. But it’s also used in the same way as the word “like” in English when used as a filler word, that is, it does not carry any meaning but it’s simply used to mark a pause or hesitation in speech.…

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When you are obsessed with something you have just obtained or something new in your life, in Thai we use the verb เห่อ “hèr” to describe the obsession. It can be used with either an object, an animal or a person, as long as they are new. Let’s take a look at the examples below.…

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“ก็ต่อเมื่อ [gâw tàw mêua]” is a conjunction quite commonly used by the Thais to express that something will not happen unless something else happens or something else is true. It can be translated as “only if,” “on the condition that,” “unless” or “when,” depending on how you structure the sentence. It’s often used together with the word “เท่านั้น” [tâo nán], which is placed at the end of the sentence to emphasize the meaning.…

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“สุดท้าย” [sùd táai] as an adjective means “the last,” for example, “คนสุดท้าย” [kon sùd táai] the last person, “วันสุดท้าย” [wan sùd táai] the last day, or “ครั้งสุดท้าย” [kráng sùd táai] the last time. But it can also function as a conjunction connecting words, phrases, and clauses in a sentence. In that case, the meaning of the word can be translated as “in the end” or “to end up doing something” depending on the context.…

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เกรงใจ [greeng jai] is one of the Thai words that are difficult to translate into English. When someone feels “เกรงใจ [greeng jai],” they feel shy or uncomfortable to ask for/get help or things from others, especially because they don’t want to cause others trouble or difficulty, or feel afraid to do something that might make someone feel bad, disrespected or offended.…

Continue reading ไม่ต้องเกรงใจ “mâi tâwng greeng jai”

The word “ล้วนๆ” [lúan lúan] is hardly ever taught to Thai learners but it’s quite common in the spoken language. While the word could be translated as “all” or “only” depending on the context, it’s a bit tricky to translate the word “all” or “only” to “ล้วนๆ” [lúan lúan]. This is because the situation where the word “ล้วนๆ” [lúan lúan] can be used in is somewhat restricted.…

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“มีอย่างที่ไหน… [mii yàang tîi nǎi]” is a colloquial expression used to criticize someone’s action or behavior. อย่าง [yàang] comes from the word ตัวอย่าง [tua yàang] which means “example.” The literal meaning of this expression is “Where is an example of such and such action or behavior?” which implies that no one else does or has ever done that action before.…

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“ไม่เห็น(จะ)…เลย” (mâi hěn (jà)…loei) is a very common colloquial expression Thai people use in everyday life, to express disagreement or argue against what someone else said. The literal meaning of เห็น “hěn” is “to see.” So by using this expression to express that you disagree with someone, it’s as if you’re saying “I don’t see it (what you see).” or “I don’t see how (it is like what you said).” The word “เลย” [loei] at the end is used to emphasize the meaning.…

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“เรื่อง [reûang]” as a noun means “story, matter, affair.” “อะไร [arai]” is a question word meaning “what.” The literal meaning of “เรื่องอะไร [reûang arai]” is “what story” or “what matter.”

However, in colloquial Thai, it means “Why should I?” implying that there is no reason for you to do something or that there is no way you’re going to do something (because you don’t see a reason why you should do it).…

Continue reading เรื่องอะไร “reûang arai”

One word that might still sound unfamiliar even to advanced learners is the word “กะ” [gà], which is an informal counterpart of the verb “ตั้งใจ” [tâng jai]. Thai learners are often taught to use “ตั้งใจ” [tâng jai] for “To plan/to intend to do something”, but in an informal spoken language, most of the time, we use “กะ” [gà].…

Continue reading กะ(ว่า)(จะ)… “gà (wâa)(jà)…”

In colloquial Thai language, we use the expression “อย่าง .. หรือ .. อะไรแบบนี้” [yàang .. rěu .. arai bàep níi] when we want to list examples of things that belong to the same unofficial category.

“อย่าง” [yàang] in this context means “like” as a preposition or “for example” and “อะไรแบบนี้” [arai bàep níi] translates to “something like that.”

For example,

ฉันไม่ชอบพวกสีแป๊ดๆอย่าง สีแดง หรือ สีส้ม อะไรแบบนี้
[chán mâi chôrb pûak sĭi páed páed yàang sĭi daeng rěu sĭi sôm, arai bàep níi]
I don’t like guady colors like red or orange, for example.…

Continue reading อย่าง .. หรือ .. อะไรแบบนี้ “yàang .. rěu .. arai bàep níi”

“ไหนๆก็ [năi năi gâw] A, B” means since it is A, it would be better to do B. You can sometimes translate it as “might as well”. For example, “ไหนๆเขาก็ขอโทษแล้ว ก็ให้อภัยเขาเถอะ” [năi năi káo gâw kăw tôde léaw, gâw hâi apai káo tèr] “Since he has already apologized, you might as well forgive him”.…

Continue reading ไหนๆก็ “năi năi gâw”