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About Thai

The exact origin of the Thai language is still debated by scholars, but most believes it to have been first spoken by people living in an area that is now the border between Vietnam and China. This area has historical evidence for being the origin of the original Thai people and their culture. Now, of course, Thai is the official language of the country of Thailand. In Thailand, approximately fifty million people speak Thai as their primary language. If you have any interest in becoming more knowledgeable regarding Eastern cultures and their languages, learning how to speak Thai is an excellent first step.

Thailand is located in South-East Asia. The Thai language is quite similar to the languages spoken in surrounding countries such as Vietnam, Myanmar (Burma), and Laos. Thai is often described as a monosyllabic, uninflected, tonal language. Neither the spoken or written Thai language has undergone many changes or evolutions since as far back as the 13th century, but there are different dialects of Thai spoken within Thailand. The dialects largely depend upon which region of the country you are in: Central, Southern, Northern, and North Eastern.

The most widely used and recognized dialect is the Central Thai dialect. This is the version of the Thai language that is generally taught in the school systems, and this is also the version of the language that you would see used in the media throughout Thailand. All of the dialects are still considered part of Thai; they just have slight variations. You will also find the language manipulated for social reasons, and different vocabulary or grammar used when speaking in formal situations or during a religious ceremony.

Thai letters are written left to right, without any spaces in between, to form words and sentences. The alphabet consists of 44 consonant sounds and 15 vowel sounds that are called graphemes. Thai is a phonemic language, and it is possible to pronounce a word correctly without knowing the definition. However, it is also a tonal language, and the pitch that you use when pronouncing a word can change the meaning.

Between the fact that the Thai language uses a different alphabet, different tones, and unconjugated Thai verbs, can make learning how to speak Thai quite difficult for foreign students. However, it is quite possible to learn Thai if you are willing to practice regularly and frequently. The best way to learn how to speak Thai is to find a reliable and easy to use language resource online that will allow you to fit language practice into your busy schedule.