Learning the Thai language can be intimidating. Especially when learning there are 44 consonants, 32 vowels, 5 tones, various other symbols, and weird sounds. But now that I’ve been studying it for about three months and starting to get an understanding of the basics, I’m realizing that Thai really isn’t that hard to learn. But every now and then I come across something that makes me think this language has it out for me. For example:
- ใกล้ = near
- ไกล = far
These words mean opposite things but sound exactly the same! Well, except for the tone. ใกล้ is pronounced “glai” with a falling tone. ไกล is pronounced “glai” with a mid tone. Also interesting is that ใกล้ has the vowel ‘ใ’ ai mái-múan which I’m told only 20 words in the Thai language have. ไกล has the vowel ‘ไ’ ai mái-má-lai which many words have. Both vowels make the same “ai” sound.