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Thai Language

    Linguists classify Thai language as a Chinese-Thai branch belonging to the Sino-Tibetan family.

In Thailand, there is the standard Thai, which is taught in schools as well as used in everyday life, and there are different dialects of Thai which are spoken in the northern, northeastern and southern parts of Thailand.

Spoken Thai language is generally monosyllabic and tonal. Besides this, there are many imported words in Thai language from Pali and Sanskrit and these words can be rather complicated.

Written Thai language was introduced by King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai region and evidence points out that inscriptions in Thai language date back to 1283 A.D. There are forty four consonants and fifteen basic vowels in Thai alphabet. Thai language is written from left to right with no spaces to form syllables, words and sentences.

Vowels are written above, below, before and after consonants so that they modify the consonants. There is no upper case in Thai language and hardly any grammar. This means that there are no plurals or tenses. A past tense or future tense is easily identified by adding extra words in the sentence.

It is not at all difficult to learn Thai language though many might find it difficult to learn the Thai alphabet in the beginning. However, with practice you will realize that the language can be easily learned and you will be able to figure out when a word ends and a new word begins.

The main difficulty in learning Thai language is the tone. Meaning of a word can change depending on the tone used. If your tone is wrong, you will not be understood by anyone. That is why when learning the language you should pay special attention to the different tones. In Thai language there are five tones -- mid tone, high tone, low tone, rising tone and falling tone.



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