Written Thai has no spaces between the words (what were they thinking?) and no capital letters.
There are 44 consonants, thirty-two vowel combinations, and five tones although a reliable source says thai as actually spoken has six tones. Don’t ask me, I can’t tell from nothing’ unless maybe they are talking about the very high, almost falsetto, tone I hear with certain words like “loerie”. When said, which is often, it harkens me back to the days of rooting for the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Oooooo, pig, souiiiiiiiii cheer.
Not sounding a vowel properly (how long you hold the vowel) seems to be more confusing to Thais than if you use an incorrect tone. Well, except for the people in Moo 6 where I live. Most of them are from Isaan (northeast Thailand) with Lao roots. They don’t understand me no matter what.
Unlike in English >), it isn’t funny when Thai words are spelled and pronounced the same but mean different things.
Thais often leave out the subject of a sentence if they think is will be understood from the context. They understand “drink water” if you mean you want to drink but might be confused if you mean ‘do they want to drink some water’. Nothing confuses them more, though, than forgetting to say the verbs or question words.
“No, I’m not a house. I might be going to the house though, is that what you meant?”
Thai is a tonal language but there are songs in Thai. Really? How do they manage that? So, is the melody determined by the tones, or is the lyric determined by the melody or what? My thai teacher says “we just know what they are talking about”. Again I say – Really?
The word for boyfriend/girlfriend is also the common word for husband/wife. so, if they say “I have a faan” (like the a in sad but held longer) you still have no idea if you should ask if they have any children.
People speaking louder doesn’t help your understanding but it usually also makes them speak slower which does help. And, it’s fun to watch.
Thai people (any people for that matter) don’t think they speak fast. They’re wrong.
On a similar vein, did you know that there is no pause between words when people speak (english included)? We hear the spaces because we know the words and our brains parse them each as discrete entities. Hahahaha. Parse, discrete. Hahahaha.
Thai dogs don’t understand English