Episode 39 : Thai personal promouns part 1

Thai grammar
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This is the first lesson of  the new series on “Thai personal pronouns”, many more pronouns are used in Thai than in English. Therefore, this subject is very complicated because it depends on age, gender, social status, the relationship between speaker and formality of situations.

Some pronouns can be used in a variety of ways depending on the context. And they don’t change with part of speech, you will find that some words are both “I/me” or “He/him”

In Thai, pronouns are often omitted in informal conversation, especially “I” and “You”, but also “she/he/they” if understood in context whom you are referring to.


Personal pronoun for male speakers

ผม/ pǒm

I/me

ผม/phǒm is the most convenient word for men and can be used on any occasion and with almost everybody. It’s neither too formal nor informal.

For example

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 ผมชอบไปเที่ยว

phǒm chôb bpai tîew

I like to go out, I like to travel.

(ผม/phǒm is being used as “I”)

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เขาชอบผม

Khǒo chôb phǒm

She likes me.

(ผม/phǒm is being used as “ME”)


Personal pronoun for female speakers

 ดิฉัน/dì-chăn

Most commonly used in written Thai. It’s more formal , could be used, for example, in a meeting you don’t know the people well. Too formal for everyday conversation. In a spoken Thai is changed to ดิชั้น/dì-chán.

In everyday conversation women prefer to use ฉัน/chăn or ชั้น/chán instead. It’s more informal and intimate when used by men.

For example

how to speak Thai

(Formal situation )

คุณพูดอะไร? ดิชั้นไม่เข้าใจค่ะ

Khun pôod à-rai? dì-chán mâi kâo jai kâ

What did you say? I don’t understand.

(Informal situation)

อะไรนะ ? ชั้นไม่เข้าใจ

à-rai ná? chán mâi kâo jai

What ? I don’t understand.

If you want to learn more about the use of อะไร/à-rai  please click here


Personal pronoun for young children or girls

หนู

nǒo

I/me

It can be used as the 1st or the 2nd person pronoun and it is mostly used by young children or young girls when speaking to their elders.

Note : หนู/nǒo  literally means mouse

Example

how to speak Thai

คุณครูคะ หนูมีคำถามค่ะ

khun kru ká, nǒo mee kamtǎam kâ.

Teacher, I have a question.

(หนู/noo is being used as “I”)

หนูมีคำถามอะไรครับ

nǒo mee kamtǎam a-rai krub?

What is your question?

หนู/noo is being used as “YOU”)

Did you know that มี/mee is not only have the meaning as to have or to has?  มี/mee can be used as verb to be in Thai language as well.


Personal pronoun for similar age

เรา

rao

I/me

it’s can be used by women or men in informal or intimate conversation.

For example

how to speak Thai

เราชอบกินขนม

rao chôb gin kâ-nôm

I like to eat snack.

เราก็ชอบกินขนม

rao gôr chôb gin kâ-nôm

I like to eat snack too.

(เรา is being used as “I”)

Vocabulary

ก็ /gôr /also, too

ขนม / kâ-nôm /snack

Now, let’s see how “เรา” works as “me” in a Thai sentence.

how to speak Thai

เค้ามาหาใคร?

káo ma hǎa krai

Who is she looking for?

 เค้ามาหาเรา

 káo maa hǎa rao

She is looking for me.

Vocabulary

มาหา /maa hǎa/ to come, to visit, to look for

ใคร/ krai / who


First name or nick name as a personal pronoun

Thai people call each other by first names. Therefore when you ask someone’s name, only the first name is usually given. Thai people normally will not give their last names, unless asked specifically.

Most Thais have nicknames or ชื่อเล่น /chêu lên. Nicknames are used in informal situations or among friends and family.

Thais nicknames are usually have one syllable, for example

เมย์/may

เอ๋/

ดา/daa

จ๋า/jǎa

They are often nonsense words and seldom related to the registered name.

If someone has a first name as เจนจิรา/Jenjira  she maybe has the nickname as เจน/Jen

Below are an example of nonsense Thai nickname :

how to speak Thai

แพนเค้ก/pancake

 

 

 

 


 

how to speak Thai

แตงกวา/dtaeng-gwaa/cucumber

 

 

 


 

 

how to speak Thai

มิ้วค์/milk

 

 

 

 

 


 

Read an interesting article about weird Thai nickname written by Kaewmala

 

Example

how to speak Thai

A : คุณชื่ออะไร

kun chêu à-rai?

What is your name?

B: ชื่อ พัชราวลัย

chêu Patcharawalai

I am Patcharawalai

A : มีชื่อเล่นมั้ย

mee chêu lên mái?

Do you have any nick name?

Learn more about question word มั้ย/mái

B : เมย์/ May

A: เราชื่อฟู

rao chêu  Foo

I am Foo.

how to speak Thai

 B :  เมย์เบื่อ

May bùa

I am bored

(Nickname is used as  “I”)

B : ให้เมย์เหรอ?

hâi May rěu ?

(is this) for me?

(Nickname is used as  “ME”)

B : ขอบใจนะ

kòb jai ná

Thanks

ขอบใจนะ/kòb jai means thank you but mostly the speaker will use this word with younger people, subordinates or friends. When ขอบคุณ/kòb kun is more commonly used with everybody and every occasion.

Don’t miss  my podcast on the subject of “Thai word of appreciation


Impolite/cursing personal pronoun in Thai language

 Well, in Thai, there are not only the formal or informal words for the personal pronouns but there are also some vulgar words used. Which we call คำหยาบคาย/kaam yaab kaii in Thai.

Please note : it’s not recommend to use

กู goo

(as I/me)

 “กู” is the 1st personal pronoun. It is considered a very impolite way to address oneself. Most of the time it will be used in informal situations, such as showing anger. But, it is also used among close friends when they talk to each other or in the family when the elderly people talk to the younger one. However, foreigners should not use this word.

Example.

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กูบอกว่า กูจะรออยู่ที่นี่ มาหากูที่นี่

goo bòk wâa, goo jà ror yòo tîi nîi, maa hǎa goo tîi nîi.

I said, I’ll wait here. Come to see me here!!

Vocabulary

บอก – Bok – to describe

จะ – ja –  will

ที่นี่ – tee nee – here


Now, it’s your turn to answer my question

คุณมีชื่อเล่นว่าอะไร?

kun mii chêu lên wâa à-rai?

what is your nickname?

For those of you who don’t have a nickname or would like to have a Thai nickname please leave your name, thing that you like or tell me about yourself. I will give you a Thai nickname and, of course, it will have a good meaning


 

43 thoughts on “Episode 39 : Thai personal promouns part 1

  1. Well, my name is Patrick and I ‘go by’ Pat, usually. this sounds like goat in Thai. When people ask my name and I say Pat I get some strange looks. What does this mean to Thais , is it an unfortunate name or something?

    • Pat,
      páe with high tone sounds like a goat in Thai and if you make it low tone as pàt, it means stir-fried.
      pát with high tone if pronounced as pád means a fan but it’s not a common nickname in Thai.

      The strange look maybe came from stir-fried meaning or it’s doesn’t mean a thing.

      Try this, if you want to stay with “goat” meaning, it should sound like the English word “pair” and make it high tone and shorten the sound. Trick to make high tone, it must sound like shocking, surprising or questioning tone.

      Or, I have a suggestion. First say the word “chat” in English 5 times. Then, replace “C” with “P” that is the sounds you should try to master. Phat/แพท is a nickname for a Thai Celebrity. Google him ” แพท พัสสน “

      • thanks, very informative, what a good teacher. I’ll go with แพท. In fact, I have seen the name transliterated as แพทริก , I think.

  2. ผมมีชื่อเล่น ” Gordo” ( spanish word for อ้วน ). Now I’m thin, but the nickname remains. (is ok ผม ผอม บัดนี้ แต่ ชื่อเล่น ยังคง ?)

    • อ้วน is a common Thai nickname even with thin person.
      ผอม on the other hand, it is not common nickname and it sounds unhealthy.
      I think you should stay with อ้วน because when its contradict with your body, it’s bring an attention and could work as an ice breaker.

  3. The nickname I usually use is pronounced somewhere between เมะซี่ and แมซี่. In English, it often gets cut down to “Mez.” I’m guessing in Thai that would be pronounced closer to เม็ด (could I spell it เม็ซ ?) Hopefully that doesn’t mean anything bad. :)

  4. doline stephanie says:

    my first name is doline i like singing and i will like to have a thai nickname because i have to study here.thanks

  5. My name is Tyler, I’m 17 years old. Currently learning Thai, because I think it’s a beautiful language. I like to dance, read, and sing. I also love love love watermelon! :)

  6. Mukhamad zacky says:

    Hi! My name is zacky. I think i have a nickname. I like number 10 and my nickname is สิบ, it’s given from my close friend but not thais. How do you think?

    • Hi Zacky,

      I never heard of anybody named as สิบ. From your first name ” Zacky” I have 3 Thai names for you to consider :

      -ศักดิ์/sàk means prestige ; power ; honour. It’s has a great meaning and very common name for male.
      -สัก/sàk means teak (wood), teak is a very valuable and most expensive wood to built a house, as teak house is very popular in Thailand.However, it’s can also mean tattoo.
      -สักขี/sàk-kĕe means witness. It’s has a closest sound to your name but not very a common among Thais.
      What do you think?

      • Mukhamad zacky says:

        Some People already call me สิบ, krab. Some called me P’ sib and nong sib. But i like สัก that you recomended. Is it common in thai people have 2 nicknames?

  7. Alain SORMAIN says:

    Sa wat dii Khrap,
    Phom Chûu Alain (phaasaa Thai = อาแลง)
    ขอ ชื้อเล่น ดี ได้มัย ครับ
    โชคดี ครับ…

  8. ตามปกติคนเรียกผมว่า คีธ แต่บางคนสะกดเป็น คีท แทนครับ มีเพื่อนคนนึงชื่อ Cornell ที่มีชื่อเล่น ข้าวเหนียว ยาวนิดหน่อยแต่ตลกดีนะครับ :-)

  9. สวัสดีค่ะ!
    My name is Ekaterina. It’s a Russian name and is pronounced as Уekaterina with the stress on on i-letter. All Ekaterinas in Russian language have a short version of the name which is Katya. It’s not a nickname, though. I love Thailand and visit it very often and now I started to learn Thai language because I want to understand people better and be able to read and speak something some simple everyday life things. My name is a little bit tricky for many not-russian speakers, also in Thailand people can’t really pronounce my name. So what could be my Thai nickname?
    ขอบคุณค่ะ

  10. Hello,
    My Thai teacher gave me JARIYA as my Thai name.
    My Chinese name named Jiazhen, and English name is Claire.
    I would like to have a nickname.
    Would you please give me a nice nickname?
    Thank you.

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