We've had this discussion before, but I never mentioned that to my ears, when my students say Sawasdee krub, I hear Sawadee kap.
To my ears, the "b" sound has little voice (the technical term), so it sounds more like a "p" than a "b." This also happens in Korean; my students tell me their name is "Park," but they pronounce it "Bok."
And Thai, like Cantonese and Japanese, is well known not to accept "consonant clusters," i.e., more than one constant sound together. English, on the other hand, allows several consonants in a row. The classic example is "strengths," which has three consonant sounds in a row at the beginning and four at the end.
Finally, many some restaurants here in San Francisco use "sawadee" instead of "sawasdee."
Anyway, I'm just curious. Maybe one day I could learn Thai, but I think it's very difficult--doesn't it have 44 letters in the alphabet??? And something like over 30 vowel sounds? And seven tones??? [:o)] ?
Sawasdee ka, Erin
Glad to hear you are interested in Thai language. Thai is easy for foriegners especially for you who have high ability in language. (we call caucasian 'Farang') Many Farangs in Thailand can speak Thai very well though some can only speak, can not write and read.
We have many alphabets, vowels and tones (Thai has 5 tones) which make Thai as the Language of music. In my idea, the first step to practise speaking Thai is to singing. Do you know, I have many foreign friends such as Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese and Farang, who can sing Thai songs smoothly without understanding their meaning and having talking ability.[|)]
Sawasdee Krub/ka is translated directly alphabet-by-alphabet from Thai to English. So, Sawadee is not correct but we understand it.
I know you learn Thai. Thai is easy, is not it?
I just want to know others point of view.
In our language (Telugu, one of the many languages spoken in India), the choice of words depends on the (gender of) person we are talking/refering to, rather than what we are. No difference exists when we refer to ourselves.
* Rama vachhadu = Rama(male) has come.
* Sita Vachhindi = Sita(female) has come.
* Nenu vachhanu = I(male/female) have come.
On the other hand, in Hindi (our national language), the (gender of) object (if i can say that) determines the choice of words.
* Rama aaya = Rama(male) has come.
* Sita aayi = Sita(female) has come.
* Main aaya = I(male) have come.
* Main aayi = I(female) have come.
So, It seems even exact word-to-word translations from one language to another may not convey the entire sense contained in the original sentence.
Noon--now I understand! The spelling you use is based on the Thai alphabet. Cool! Thanks! I love learning about other languages!
Thai writing system is really cool. There are no spaces between words, and no punctuation marks whatsoever, not even fullstops(periods).
The terminal consonants of a syllable can have a limited range of sounds they can take. The s changes to a cross between a t and a d at the end. The b changes to a p.
Thai people are notorious for not pronouncing the r sound correctly. If it follows another consonant, often they drop it altogether. Other wise they pronounce it as L. Only in formal situations do the pronounce it correctly, like on TV and Radio news bulletins.
Coming back to the greeting that has raised so much controversy, the first word consists of three syllables. sa was
but was become wa[t/d] following the rule I mentioned earler.
dee is dee.
Khrub (with u as in abut) becomes khap (a sounds like the u in abut there).
So "Sawasdee khrub" miraculously (it is a bloody miracle if I've spelt that right) turns to "sawadee khap".
The Kh indicates that the k sound is and aspirant. That doesn't mean it's aspiring to be anything in particular. It just means that the sound should be followed with a puff of breath. Get someone to slap you on the back just as you are saying "k" and you'll see what I mean. But, anyway, English "k" is aspirated most of the times. It is not aspirated when you say "skii", but I am not going into the gory details of aspiration in fricatives.