An Overview of the Thai Language
Thai is also known as Siamese or Central Thai. It is recognised as the official language of Thailand. Thai belongs to the “Tai” language family, which is an offshoot of Kadai or Kam-Tai. Some prominent linguists currently regard Kam-Tai as a branch of Austro-Tai, but this idea is somewhat controversial and unproven.
There are varying regional dialects of the Thai language, but all stem from the same place. Most areas that speak a different variant are also able to speak standard Central Thai. In Thailand, it is estimated that over 80% of residents speak a version of Thai, making it by far the most popular language in a country of over 60 million inhabitants.
The History of Thai
Modern Thai is said to have originated in the region around Vietnam and China because the language is closely connected to some other languages spoken in Northern Vietnam. Over the centuries, Thai adopted some words from Indian (Sanskrit & Pali) dialects as well as some Chinese, due to a large amount of immigration in the area. It is said that these languages had a similar role in the evolution of Thai as Latin did for the development of the English language over time.
Interesting Thai Language Facts:
The Thai state was established in 1238 in Sukhothai, which is now a city and province.
The Indonesian language was greatly influenced by other languages which resulted in a significant number of loanwords. There were estimated 750 Sanskrit, 1000 Arabic, 125 Portuguese, 10000 Dutch and some English, Persian, Hebrew, Spanish, Italian and Chinese loanwords.
There has been an increase in people across the world wishing to learn Thai.
Later in the 13th Century, Buddhist King Ramkhamhaeng embarked upon a mission to expand Thai institutions, and he also initiated standardisation of the modern Thai alphabet.
A booming tourism industry and the attraction of Thailand as a travel destination has ensured that the Thai language is becoming more and more popular.
Everybody has different methods of learning a new language, but the best way is to really immerse yourself in what you learn. If you get the chance to speak, read, and write in your new language, take the opportunity when you can.
Learning Thai with Overpass Apps
At Overpass we wish to make learning languages as fun as possible, so we have created a number of applications that will hopefully let you learn Thai in a way that suits you. They are all challenging games, but they also provide you with the added entertainment value, helping you to progress with your Thai quickly.