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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Ryan: Pronunciation, Lesson 5 - Don’t stress about learning Thai intonation. [sà-wàt-dii kráp]
Rawinporn: [sà-wàt-dii khâ]
Ryan: And welcome to the last chapter of the Pronunciation Series. What will we be covering in this lesson?
Rawinporn: In this lesson we’ll be talking about intonation in Thai.
Ryan: Well, this might be a nightmare for you, but I'm sure that if you practice, it’s not difficult at all.
Rawinporn: Yes, give yourself some time to practice Thai intonation. I'm sure everyone can do it.
Ryan: Well, shall we?

Lesson focus

Rawinporn: Sure. Unlike English, there is no stress on Thai words.
Ryan: On the contrary, Thai is a tonal language. There are five tones: mid, low, falling, high and rising.
Rawinporn: For example, [khaa khàa khâa kháa khăa].
Ryan: Right. Again, [khaa khàa khâa kháa khăa].
Rawinporn: Can you hear any difference?
Ryan: Ok, let’s go one by one.
Rawinporn: The first one is the middle tone - [khaa].
Ryan: [khaa] means “to be stuck to”.
Rawinporn: Next is the low tone - [khàa].
Ryan: [khàa] means “galangal”.
Rawinporn: Next is the falling tone - [khâa]. The falling tone starts as a high pitch and then quickly drops.
Ryan: [khâa] means “to kill”.
Rawinporn: That’s scary. Next is the high tone - [kháa].
Ryan: [kháa] means “to sell”.
Rawinporn: The last one is the rising tone -[khăa].
Ryan: [khăa] means “leg”. The rising tone actually deeps down slightly before rising sharply. [khăa]
Rawinporn: Again, [khaa khàa khâa kháa khăa].
Ryan: Let’s move on to another example.
Rawinporn: Sure, that is…
Ryan: [maa màa mâa máa măa]
Rawinporn: Let’s do it one by one again.
Ryan: Sure. The first one is the mid tone [maa].
Rawinporn: This means “to come”.
Ryan: Next is the low tone - [màa].
Rawinporn: Only [màa] has no meaning, but if you add [bprà] in front, it becomes [bprà-màa] which means “bashful”.
Ryan: The next one is the falling tone. [mâa]
Rawinporn: [mâa] For example, [maa-mâa]. It’s a brand of instant noodle. Since it is very famous, some Thais would say [gin maa-mâa], which means they eat instant noodles. Just like you say, Kleenex instead of facial tissue paper.
Ryan: Oh ok, I got it. And in some Thai-Chinese families, they call grandma [aa-mâa], isn’t that right?
Rawinporn: Exactly, because there are a lot of Thai-Chinese people in Bangkok, therefore the word [aa-mâa] is very common.
Ryan: Ok. The next one is the high tone - [máa]
Rawinporn: [máa] means “horse”.
Ryan: I heard that horse racing in Thailand is quite popular.
Rawinporn: Yeah, I guess so. It’s a kind of legal gambling game.
Ryan: I see. And the last one is the rising tone - [măa].
Rawinporn: [măa] means “dog”.
Ryan: Please be careful, [máa] and [măa] are quite close in pronunciation, but there’s a big difference in meaning.
Rawinporn: Yeah, there is.

Outro

Ryan: Well, that does it for the Pronunciation Series.
Rawinporn: Now you’re on your way to having great Thai pronunciation.
Ryan: Don’t forget to keep repeating and practicing. And see you next time.
Rawinporn: [sà-wàt-dii khâ]
Ryan: [sà-wàt-dii kráp]

7 Comments

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ThaiPod101.comVerified
Tuesday at 6:30 pm
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Vincent Deng
Monday at 2:03 am
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Ryan:

[khăa] means “leg”. The rising tone actually deeps down slightly before rising sharply. [khăa]


I think what Ryan meant was dips down instead of deeps down, right?

ThaiPod101.comVerified
Saturday at 4:46 pm
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Hello Claire,


Thank you very much for your comment and question. I'm not quite sure, we did show how to pronounce 5 tones in Thai within this lesson. This are tone mark that we written above vowel in every words "khaa khàa khâa kháa khăa" , it show all five tones. Do you mean we not written in Thai script? Please let me know if you need future help. I will be glad to help you.


Have a nice day.


Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

Claire
Monday at 10:15 pm
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Why doesn't this lesson show the Thai tones' accent marks as written?

ThaiPod101.comVerified
Monday at 10:51 pm
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Hello Jing,


Thank you very much for your comment. We glad you like our Thai lessons. For your question, if your name is a middle tone then it should be "จิง" J sound. for 4 others tone "จิ่ง","จิ้ง","จิ๊ง" and "จิ๋ง" depend on whicth tones you say your name. Your welcome for any future questions.


Have a good day. :)

Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

Jing (Kaede)
Friday at 7:08 pm
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The intonation is what I love about Thai~

I am Chinese in Malaysia. I am Hakka (Dialect).

Most people who can speak Hakka will feel that Thai sounds like Hakka!!

And I think that Chinese who speak Mandarin will pick up Thai very fast as they are similar in some occasion such as numbering.

I am happy to be here!

This is a very good site for me to learn Thai!

Thanks to Rawinporn and Ryan!!~~~

I will keep on learning!


ps: May I know to write Ching in Thai? (My name 'Jing' sounds more like in between ch- and J- in Thai, it is ch- but without air blowing out from mouth.... So how should it be?)


khàawp-khun mâak khâ

Matthew
Tuesday at 10:29 am
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It should be titled Thai tones instead of Thai intonation. Intonation is used to describe when somebody changes his pitch to indicate change in emotion or to change a statement to a question. Tone indicates when a pitch is changed to distinguish words.