Word Study

 

 

Equivalent translation

Literal translation

phǒm duu hěn dii
ผมดูเห็นดี

I can see fine.

I looking see well.
phǒm duu mây hěn
ผมดูไม่เห็น

I can't see.

I looking do not see.
phǒm faŋ dâyyin dii
ผมฟังได้ยินดี

I can hear fine.

I listening hear well.
phǒm faŋ mây dâyyin
ผมฟังไม่ได้ยิน

I can't hear.

I listening do not hear.

In English our words can and can't cover a wide variety of notions that are carefully distinguished in Thai. You have already become familiar with some of these distinctions (Unit 14, Section B.1, Point 4), and the examples quoted immediately above illustarte still another distinction. The literal translations show what this distinction is while the English equivalents show the normal way of saying the same thing in English.

 

Point2. The words sǔay and phrɔ́ʔ

 

Equivalent translation

faysǐi sǔay mâak
ไฟสีสวยมาก

The colored lights are very pretty.

dontrii khǎw phrɔ́ʔ ciŋ
ดนตรีเขาเพราะจริง

Their music's awfully pretty.

Note carefully that sǔay is used only of things which can be seen, while phrɔ́ʔ is used of things which can be heard. You will need to make a special effort to remember this due to the fact that in English we use the word 'pretty' of both sights and sounds.

 

Point 3. The use of naa with units of time

khraaw nâa
คราวหน้า
next time (lit., 'the time ahead')
ʔaathít nâa
อาทิตย์หน้า
next week (lit., 'the week ahead')
dyan nâa
เดือนหน้า
next month
pii nâa
ปีหน้า
next year

Memorize these phrases and contrast them with the ones made with kn (e.g., ma aathit kn 'last week') which you have already memorized.

 

Point 4. More about the use of waa

khǎw pìt fayfáa mòt
เขาปิดไฟฟ้าหมด
They turned out all the lights.
phǒm càay ŋən mòt lɛ́ɛw.
ผมจ่ายเงินหมดแล้ว
I've spent all my money.

The word mòt meaning 'to be all, to be used up, to be exhausted (in supply)' is usually employed as a secondary verb, as in the examples above. However, it is also occasionally used alone, particularly in certain set expressions, such as:

mòt lɛ́ɛw
หมดแล้ว
That's all (in the sense of 'that's all there is').

The important thing to remember about all the examples quoted here is that while mòt is a verb in Thai it is usually not translated as such in English, because of the different modes of expression employed in the two languages.

Point 5. The use of còp

khǎw rɔ́ɔŋ phleeŋchâat còp lɛ́ɛw.
เขาร้องเพลงชาติจบแล้ว
They've finished singing the national anthem (i.e., have sung the national anthem to the end).
khun ʔàan nǎŋsʉ̌ʉ còp lɛ́ɛw rʉ̌ʉ.
คุณอ่านหนังสือจบแล้วหรือ
Have you finished reading the book? (in the sense of  'Have you read the book to the end?')

The word còp meaning 'to be ended' is, like mòt in the preceding point, genearlly used as a secondary verb, as in the examples given. The important things to remember about the use of this word are:
(1) It is generally best translated 'to finish' in idiomatic English, but it means 'to finish' only in the sense of 'to come to the end.'
(2) If it is used with another verb it is secondary to that verb and therefore comes after it. In English, on the other hand, the word 'finish' precedes the verb with which it is used. 

Point 6. The distinction between còp and sèt.

phǒm ʔàan nǎŋsʉ̌ʉ sèt lɛ́ɛw.
ผมอ่านหนังสือเสร็จแล้ว
I've finished reading.
phǒm ʔàan nǎŋsʉ̌ʉ còp lɛ́ɛw.
ผมอ่านหนังสือจบแล้ว
I've finished reading the book or I've read the book through.

The examples above neatly illustrate the distinction between còp and sèt, both of which are frequently translated 'finish' in English. Memorize the examples and their meanings.

Point 7. Making new words with nák.

Without nák Meaning With nák Meaning
rɔ́ɔŋphleeŋ
ร้องเพลง
to sing nákrɔ́ɔŋphleeŋ
นักร้องเพลง
singer
sàtɛɛŋ lákhɔɔn
แสดงละคร
to act náksàdɛɛŋlákhɔɔn
นักแสดงละคร
actor, actress
lên lákhɔɔn
เล่นละคร
to act náklênlákhɔɔn
นักเล่นละคร
actor, actress
tênram
เต้นรำ
to dance náktênram
นักเต้นรำ
dancer
thɔ̂ŋthîaw
ท่องเที่ยว
to tour nákthɔ̂ŋthîaw
นักท่องเที่ยว
tourist
rian
เรียน
to study nákrian
นักเรียน
student

The word nák means 'person' but it is never used by itself. Its only function is in the formation of certain agentive nouns from verbs (compare the words made with khon, discussed in Unit 16, Section B.1, Point 9). As a general rule nák denotes one who is expert or specially trained in doing a certain thing, as may be noticed in most of the examples above.

Many agentive nouns made with nák have alternative shortened forms. Note the following examples:

Full form Shortened form
náksàdɛɛŋlákhɔɔn ( náklênlákhɔɔn )
นักแสดงละคร (นักเล่นละคร)
náklákhɔɔn
นักละคร
actor, actress
náklêndontrii
นักเล่นดนตรี
nákdontrii
นักดนตรี
musician
náklênfútbɔɔn
นักเล่นฟุตบอล
nákfútbɔɔn
นักฟุตบอล
football- player

 


Point 8. The use of
tâŋ with number-words

Without châaŋ Meaning With châaŋ Meaning
tàt phǒm
ตัดผม
to cut hair châaŋtàtphǒm
ช่างตัดผม
barber
tàt sʉ̂a
ตัดเสื้อ
to cut out coats châaŋtàtsʉ̂a
ช่างตัดเสื้อ
tailor
tham rɔɔŋtháaw
ทำรองเท้า
to make shoes châaŋthamrɔɔŋtháaw
ช่างตัดรองเท้า
shoemaker
sák phâa
ซักผ้า
to launder châaŋsákphâa
ช่างซักเสื้อผ้า
launderer

The word châaŋ, like nák discussed under the previous point, is never used by itself. Its function is to form agentive nouns from verbs, as illustrated above. It cannot be used interchangeably with nák , however, because agentive nouns formed with châaŋ generally refer to craftsmen while a large number of those made with nák refer to artists or highly skilled persons.

One more point to be observed about châaŋ is that khon may sometimes alternate with it; for example, châaŋ sákphâa and khonsákphâa both mean 'launderer' and may be used interchangeably. However, while it is possible to replace châaŋ with khon, the reverse is not true. The reason for this is that there are many agentives made with khon which od not refer to craftsmen.

Point 9. Making new words with rooŋ

Without rooŋ Meaning With rooŋ Meaning
rian
เรียน
to study rooŋrian
โรงเรียน
school (school - house)
tênram
เต้นรำ
to dance rooŋtênram
โรงเต้นรำ
dance - hall
sák phâa
ซักผ้า
to launder rooŋsákphâa
โรงซักผ้า
laundry (place)
lákhɔɔn
ละคร
play, drama rooŋlákhɔɔn
โรงละคร
play - house (theater)
phâappháyon
ภาพยนตร์
moving-picture rooŋphâappháyon
โรงภาพยนตร์
moving - picture theater
nǎŋ
หนัง
movie rooŋnǎŋ
โรงหนัง
movie theater

The word rooŋ, which may be translated 'house' (as the term is used in words like 'school - house'), is placed before verbs or nouns to form new nouns which indicate the place where certain activities take place. Note that rooŋ is rarely used alone except as a classifier or as an abbreviation for a compound noun (such as those above) which have rooŋ as their first member. See Sentence No. 9 in the Basic Sentences of this unit.

Point 10. The use of nán with descriptive clauses.

 

khon thîi yùu thaaŋ sáay sùt nán pen naaŋ ʔèek.
คนที่อยู่ทางซ้ายสุดนั้นเป็นนางเอก
The ('that') one who is on the extreme left is the heroine.
phûuyǐŋ khon thîi lên tennít kàp khun mʉ̌a waan nán pen khray khráp.
ผู้หญิงคนที่เล่นเทนนิสกับคุณเมื่อวานเป็นใครครับ
Who is the ('that') woman who played tennis with you yesterday?

Note carefully that the combination khon thîi ... nán means 'the one who ...' and that the proper position for nán is after the descriptive clause introduced by thîi. The word khon in both examples above is a classifier and ofcourse similar sentences containing other classifiers are also widely used, e.g.

nǎŋsʉ̌ʉ lêm thîi phǒm sʉ́ʉ mʉ̂a waan nán
หนังสือเล่มที่ผมซื้อเมื่อวานนั้น
The ('that') book which I bought yesterday.

The broad formula taking in all types of such phrases, then, is:
Noun + Classifier + thi
̂i + Clause introduced by thîi + nán

Point 11. Some classifiers

a. nâa
หน้า
is used as the classifier for pages of books and newspapers, as in sɔ̌ɔŋrɔ́ɔy nâa 'two hundred pages'; nâa lǎŋlǎŋ 'the back pages'.
b. thîi
ที่
is used as the classifier for quite a few nouns whose first member is also thîi. One of these nouns is thîinâŋ, as in thîinâŋ hâa thîi   'five seats'.

Point 12. Some special phrases

 

hàt ŋâay
หันหน้า
to be easily trained or to train easily
mây chây lên
ไม่ใช่เล่น
quite or rather
pə̀ət fayfáa (or) pə̀ət fay
เปิดไฟฟ้า (หรือ) เปิดไฟ
to turn on the lights
pèt chàak
เปิดฉาก
to raise the curtain (speaking of plays)
pìt fayfáa (or) pìt fay
ปิดไฟฟ้า (หรือ) ปิดไฟ
to turn out the lights
pìt chàak
ปิดฉาก
to lower the curtain
rúu rʉ̂aŋ
รู้เรื่อง
to know what it's about or to understand
tham sǐaŋ daŋ
ทำเสียงดัง
to make noise or to be noisy
thaaŋ sáay sùt
ทางซ้ายสุด
at the extreme left