Learn thai language

Full Thai audio course for download

Cours de langue thaï à télécharger

Thai is the national and official language of Thailand (53 million inhabitants). It is also the main language of a much larger group of languages. In fact, it is the native language in the center of the country (20 million speakers), but all the rest of the country, another 20 million speakers, also speak it as a second language. Thai belongs to the Tai Kadai language family.


Thai is a language with five tones: high, low, middle, falling and rising. Adjectives and adverbs have no morphological difference. Verbs have no endings for person, voice, mode, and number. Names do not have gender or number endings and there are no articles. The syntactic order is Subject-Verb-Object; however, the subject pronoun is often omitted. The writing system is clean, inspired by the Khmer alphabet. The first literary works in this language appeared in the 13th century AD.

Languages ​​close to Thai are "kampti, khmer, lao, lü, môn, nhang, shan and zhuang".

Thai language grammar


Here are some grammatical elements that may help students learning the Thai language. These are the main aspects of the language.


Word order in Thai : Like most tonal languages, the grammar remains simple and the word order is the one that prevails in French with the SUBJECT - VERB - OBJET.


Thai Articles : the Thai language has no article preceding the name.


Agreement and conjugation : the Thai language does not require any agreement in gender or number. In addition, verbs do not have any conjugation per se. This means that they do not change depending on the subject of the sentence.


Adjective - noun order : in Thai, adjectives always come after the noun they qualify. Thus, we will say "beautiful country" to express the idea of ​​"beautiful country" or "great temple" to say "great temple" .

Interrogative form   : interrogative sentences have the same structure as affirmative sentences. In the case of interrogative sentences, the addition of "maï" is often done at the end of the question. The word "maï" means "no". The question "do you speak Thai?" Will be expressed this way: "you speak Thai, don't you? ". In the case where an interrogative pronoun (why, when, how, etc.) begins the sentence, no interrogative word is required at the end of the sentence. Negative questions are rather rare in Thai.

Form of address to people : In Thailand, it is customary to call others by their first names, but unless you are speaking to a maid, it is rude not to add a title such as “sir, madam, etc.”.


Expression of time in Thai : We use two ways to express the time in Thailand. The official way uses the 24-hour system that we know from here. The other way is more complex and divides the day into 4 periods of 6 hours, each of them having a particular word.


Creation of the past tense : The tense spent in Thai is usually done by using the verb in the present tense and accompanying it with an adverb of tense “eg yesterday, two hours ago, last year, etc.”. Thus, to say "Yesterday, I went to a restaurant", the Thais will say "yesterday, I am going to a restaurant".


Gender (male vs. female) in Thai : Inanimate objects have no gender mark. For people or animals, the gender is indicated by the addition of a word. The personal pronoun “I” changes depending on whether the speaker is a male “prŏm” or a female “dì-chăn”. On the other hand, in this downloadable Thai course that we offer you, we have instead opted for the word "chăn" which can be used as much by men or by women.


Thai alphabet : the Thai alphabet is made up of 44 consonants classified into 3 categories according to the types of vowels with which they are associated. Vowels are represented by symbols or by combinations of symbols. These can be placed before, after, below, above, or even around the consonant it accompanies.


Thai comparisons : There is an easy way to create Thai language comparisons. It suffices to put the word “kwàa - plus” after the adjective. So to say "the room gets hotter" we literally say "room gets hotter".


The names : common names like "garden" are always the same. It is therefore not necessary to introduce them by articles.


Conjugations of verbs in Thai : there is no conjugation in Thai. These therefore mean that they remain invariable whatever the person (I, you he, etc.) or the time. To indicate the past or future character of an action, it is necessary to insert in the sentence a circumstantial complement of time (yesterday, tomorrow, in a week, the day before yesterday, etc…).


Classifiers : in Thai, it is important to use a classifier when you want to talk about the quantity of a certain category of object. In French, we use the same process by saying "three pairs of glasses".


Localization : as in French, the Thai language has words (called prepositions) to locate things. So we have the words “beside - tìt kàp”, “around - rôrp”, “at - trîi”, “at the edge of - rim kàp”, “from - tyàak”, “in - nai”, “at l 'interior - prai nai', 'sous - tai', 'with - kàp'.


Interrogative words at the end of a sentence : when no interrogative pronoun (when, why, how, etc.) is at the beginning of the sentence, it is usual in Thai to end the question with an interrogative word. The word used very often is "măi" meaning "no". Word for word, we will therefore ask the question "you - speak - language - Thai - no?" ". The word "rŷy" is another word that can be placed at the end of the question and implies the notion of "verification". It is used in the question: khun sabaajdii rŷy? - Are you okay?


"Yes" and "no" : in Thai, to answer questions with "yes" or "no", you will have to repeat the verb in affirmative answers. So to answer the question "do you speak Thai?" "The answer will be" speak "if yes. To say "no", just answer "măi" meaning "no".


Negation of Thai sentences : in Thai, the creation of negative sentences is facilitated by the word "măi" which is placed just before the verb.