Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Michael: How are sentences structured in Thai?
Nantanee: And are the rules rigid?
Michael: At ThaiPod101.com, we hear these questions often. In the following situation, Ben Lee, a foreign-exchange student, thinks he sees a famous Thai actor as he's walking with a friend at Bangkok City's international airport. He gestures to his friend, Nipaporn Niyom, and says
"I know him! He's Nadech Kugimiya!"
Ben Lee: ฉันรู้จักเขา เขาคือณเดชน์ คูกิมิยะ (chăn rúu jàk khăo khăo khuue ná-dèet khuu-gì-mí-yá)
Dialogue
Ben Lee: ฉันรู้จักเขา เขาคือณเดชน์ คูกิมิยะ (chăn rúu jàk khăo khăo khuue ná-dèet khuu-gì-mí-yá)
Nipaporn Niyom: ฉันก็รู้จักเขาเหมือนกัน (chăn gâaw rúu jàk khăo mǔuean gan)
Michael: Once more with the English translation.
Ben Lee: ฉันรู้จักเขา เขาคือณเดชน์ คูกิมิยะ (chăn rúu jàk khăo khăo khuue ná-dèet khuu-gì-mí-yá)
Michael: "I know him! He's Nadech Kugimiya!"
Nipaporn Niyom: ฉันก็รู้จักเขาเหมือนกัน (chăn gâaw rúu jàk khăo mǔuean gan)
Michael: "I know him, too!"

Lesson focus

Michael: In this conversation, we hear
Nantanee: เบน ลี (ben lii)
Michael: say,
Nantanee: ฉันรู้จักเขา เขาคือณเดชน์ คูกิมิยะ (chăn rúu jàk khăo khăo khuue ná-dèet khuu-gì-mí-yá),
Michael: which in English means, "I know him! He's Nadech Kugimiya!" In response,
Nantanee: นิภาพร นิยม (ní-phaa-phaawn ní-yom)
Michael: says,
Nantanee: ฉันก็รู้จักเขาเหมือนกัน. (chăn gâaw rúu jàk khăo mǔuean gan),
Michael: which means, "I know him, too!"
Michael: In this lesson, we’ll talk more about the sentence structure used in Thai. In Thai, the typical sentence word order is Subject, Verb, Object, which is very similar to English. However, the subject in the Thai language is often excluded.
Michael: In our dialogue, for example, we hear
Nantanee: นิภาพร นิยม (ní-phaa-phaawn ní-yom)
Michael: say,
Nantanee: ฉันก็รู้จักเขาเหมือนกัน. (chăn gâaw rúu jàk khăo mǔuean gan),
Michael: which means, "I know him, too!"
[Recall 1]
Michael: Let's take a closer look at the dialogue.
Do you remember how Ben Lee says "I know him! He's Nadech Kugimiya?"
(pause 4 seconds)
Nantanee as Ben Lee: ฉันรู้จักเขา เขาคือณเดชน์ คูกิมิยะ (chăn rúu jàk khăo khăo khuue ná-dèet khuu-gì-mí-yá)
Michael: In this dialogue, the two sentences are structured with subject, verb, and object, similar to English. The first part:
Nantanee: ฉันรู้จักเขา(chăn rúu jàk khăo),
Michael: which means, "I know him." consists of the subject
Nantanee: ฉัน (chăn),
Michael: which means, "I," then the verb
Nantanee: รู้จัก (rúu-jàk),
Michael: meaning "know," and finally the object
Nantanee: เขา (khăo),
Michael: which means "him"—then comes the second part:
Nantanee: เขาคือณเดชน์ คูกิมิยะ (khăo khuue ná-dèet khuu-gì-mí-yá),
Michael: which means "He's Nadech Kugimiya!" Let's break it down. The first word may already be familiar
Nantanee: เขา (khăo),
Michael: the subject "he"—then comes the verb
Nantanee: คือ (khuue)
Michael: "is" and finally the object
Nantanee: ณเดชน์ คูกิมิยะ (ná-dèet khuu-gì-mí-yá),
Michael: the name "Nadech Kugimiya."
[Recall 2]
Michael: Now, let's take a look at our second sentence.
Do you remember how Nipaporn Niyom says "I know him, too!" ?
(pause 4 seconds)
Nantanee as Nipaporn Niyom: ฉันก็รู้จักเขาเหมือนกัน (chăn gâaw rúu jàk khăo mǔuean gan).
Michael: In this case, the sentence structure is also similar to English with the structure of subject, verb, and object. However, the word "too" in this sentence has been split into two parts in the Thai language. The first part is
Nantanee: ก็ (gâaw),
Michael: which is placed after the subject, and the second part,
Nantanee: เหมือนกัน (mǔuean gan),
Michael: which is placed after the object. These two parts are often used together in a sentence structure to emphasize the language tone of "too" or "also." Let's hear the difference. Do you remember how Ben Lee said "I know him?"
Nantanee: ฉันรู้จักเขา (chăn rúu jàk khăo).
Michael: Then, if we add the word "too" to say "I know him, too!" the sentence becomes
Nantanee: ฉันก็รู้จักเขาเหมือนกัน (chăn gâaw rúu jàk khăo mǔuean gan)
[Summary]
Michael: So far, we have learned that the typical sentence word order in Thai is Subject, Verb, Object, which is very similar to English.
Expansion/Contrast
Michael: In the Thai language, the subject can sometimes be excluded if the context of the conversation is obvious, especially when referring to the first-person or the second-person in the conversation. The following sentence is complete without having a subject in the sentence structure:
Nantanee: อยากไปโรงเรียนด้วยกันไหม (yàak bpai roong-riian dûuai-gan mǎi),
Michael: which means, "Do you want to go to school together?"
Nantanee: อยากไป (yàak bpai),
Michael: which means "want to go."
Nantanee: โรงเรียน (roong-riian),
Michael: which means "school."
Nantanee: ด้วยกัน (dûuai-gan),
Michael: which means "together."
Nantanee: ไหม (mǎi)
Michael: is the ending sound indicating that the sentence is a question.
Practice Section
Michael: Let's review. Respond to the prompts by speaking aloud. Then, repeat after the native speaker focusing on pronunciation.
Do you remember how Ben Lee says "I know him! He's Nadech Kugimiya?"
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Nantanee as Ben Lee: ฉันรู้จักเขา เขาคือณเดชน์ คูกิมิยะ (chăn rúu jàk khăo khăo khuue ná-dèet khuu-gì-mí-yá)
Michael: Listen again and repeat.
Nantanee as Ben Lee: ฉันรู้จักเขา เขาคือณเดชน์ คูกิมิยะ (chăn rúu jàk khăo khăo khuue ná-dèet khuu-gì-mí-yá)
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Nantanee as Ben Lee: ฉันรู้จักเขา เขาคือณเดชน์ คูกิมิยะ (chăn rúu jàk khăo khăo khuue ná-dèet khuu-gì-mí-yá)
Michael: And do you remember how Nipaporn Niyom says "I know him, too?"
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Nantanee as Nipaporn Niyom: ฉันก็รู้จักเขาเหมือนกัน (chăn gâaw rúu jàk khăo mǔuean gan)
Michael: Listen again and repeat.
Nantanee as Nipaporn Niyom: ฉันก็รู้จักเขาเหมือนกัน (chăn gâaw rúu jàk khăo mǔuean gan)
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Nantanee as Nipaporn Niyom: ฉันก็รู้จักเขาเหมือนกัน (chăn gâaw rúu jàk khăo mǔuean gan)
Cultural Insight/Expansion
Michael: Even though the subject, verb, and object is used similarly to English, the adjective is the exact opposite. The adjectives in the Thai language are placed after the describing nouns. Let's look at some examples.
Nantanee: ดอกไม้สีขาว (dàawk-mái sǐi-khǎao),
Michael: which means "white flower." In the example, there are two words that are
Nantanee: ดอกไม้ (dàawk-mái),
Michael: which means "flower," and
Nantanee: สีขาว (sǐi-khǎao),
Michael: which means "white."
Michael: You can hear that the speaker places a noun in front of the adjective, which would be the direct opposite in English, by saying "white flower."
Michael: Another example would be
Nantanee: บ้านสวย (bâan sǔuai),
Michael: which means "beautiful house." As you might have already guessed,
Nantanee: บ้าน (bâan)
Michael: means "house" and
Nantanee: สวย (sǔuai)
Michael: means "beautiful."
Michael: By understanding this adjective rule, and applying the understanding of sentence structure in the Thai language, it will be much easier for you to form sentences in Thai.
Michael: In addition, in the Thai language, there is no need to switch sentences to the past or future tense by using a specific verb form. Instead, there is an additional word in the sentence that indicates time. Let's hear an example:
Nantanee: เขาดูหนังเมื่อวาน (khǎo dtuu-nǎng mûuea-waan),
Michael: which means "He watched a movie yesterday."
Nantanee: เขา (khǎo),
Michael: which means "he."
Nantanee: ดูหนัง (dtuu-nǎng),
Michael: which means "watch a movie,"
Nantanee: เมื่อวาน (mûuea-waan),
Michael: which means "yesterday." This is the only word that indicates the timing of the event. Without this word, the whole sentence would mean "He watches a movie."
Even though forming sentences like these is relatively simple in the Thai language, it is very important to remember the time indicative words, since these will be used quite often.

Outro

Michael: Do you have any more questions? We are here to answer them!
Nantanee: แล้วพบกันใหม่เร็วๆนี้ค่ะ (láaeo-phóp-gan-mài reo-reo-níi khà)
Michael: See you soon!

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