Let’s countdown to 2016!


Kháo daao // Count down

Kháo têr // Counter (Strike)

Kháo maew // เค้าแมว

Kháo mee faen láew // เค้ามีแฟนแล้ว

The sloth cries because: there is no sadder thing than the fact that she/he already has a boy/girlfriend.

Happy Birthday to you สุขสันต์วันเกิด

A couple of students have asked me about it and I have no idea what they were talking about. So I did some research and found this. In fact, one student showed me a clip of this song being sung by his friends. Towards the end, there was a nice transition into a standard birthday song, Happy Birthday to you. And actually, today is my cat’s birthday, or rather the day we first met.

So, Sundae, happy birthday to you, may you live long, have a lot of fish, a lot of snuggles, and a lot of love. ^_^

Hâi chôhk dee sù khĕe wan kèrd
May you have a good luck and a happy birthday.

Sìng pràsèrt dai wăng tâng jai
Whichever precious things that you have wished for,

Hâi sùk sŏm dang făn fài
May you be blessed with them.

Jìt jàem săi thúk wan thúk kheun
May you be joyful every day and every night.

Hâi râm ruai ngern thorng yót sàk
May you be wealthy and mighty

Hâi khon rák mâak mee dàad dèun
May you have many admirers.

Tham sìng dai jong lú lûang râab rêun
May your plans be smooth sailing.

Aa yú yeun plòrd rôhk plòrd phai
May you live long and stay healthy.

Fog, mist, smoke, haze… :(

I think it has been 4 weeks since I last mentioned about the situation of air quality in Singapore. Apparently things are still not improved. A Belgian student residing here told me that it looked like his hometown in February, where there would be fog everywhere and that made him crave for hot soups, hot stews, yummy. I don’t blame him – sometimes when I’m in my room (with air con set to 24 deg C – I’m cold easily!), I also feel like I need to bundle myself up before leaving my home.


Credit pic: here

Just to realize that all I need is:


Credit pic: here

And the atmosphere also makes me think of the song by Bird Thongchai McIntyre: หมอกหรือควัน//mòrk rěu khwan. Here is the song:

And here is the lyrics:

หมอกจางๆและควัน คล้ายกันจนบางทีไม่อาจรู้

Mòrk jaang jaang láe khwan, khlaái kan jon baang thee mâi àht róo

Fog and smoke are so similar that it is hard to distinguish.

อยากจะถามดู ว่าเธอเป็นอย่างหมอกหรือควัน

Yàhk jà thăam doo wâh ther pen yàhng mòrk rěu khwan

So I’d just like to ask if you are like fog or smoke.



Mòrk jà ngód ngaam láe tham hâi yeûak yen

Fog is beautiful and is chilling.


Săen jà yen sàbaai meûa yaam chaáo

It does give a cooling morning.

ถ้าเป็นควันไฟ ถึงจะบางจะเบา

Thâa pen khwan fai, theŭng jà baang bao

In case of smoke, no matter how thin it is,

หากเข้านัยน์ตาเรา ก็คงจะทำให้เสียน้ำตา

Hàak khâo nai taa rao, kôr khong jà tham hâi sĭa nám taa

Once it gets into our eyes, it probably makes you tear.



Ther pen yang ngai chăn yàhk róo

I wonder which one you are.

เพราะฉันดูเธอไม่ออก ยังคงไม่เข้าใจ

Phrór chăn doo ther mâi òrk, yang khong mâi khâo jai

As I cannot tell, I do not understand.


Baang thee ther pen chên mòrk khaăo

Sometimes you are just like cool mist


Láe baang khraao ther pen meŭan khwan

And sometimes you are like smoke


Chăn nán chák mâi mân jai

I’m starting to be unsure


Phrór thâ chăn tôrng sìang kàb khwan fai

If I have to risk being with smoke.


Jà triam tua láe triam jai

Then I will have to prepare myself.


Thórn tua phrór wâh klua jà sĭa nám taa

Prepare myself to be away from you – I wish not to waste my tears.

(If you notice, I think Bird was doing a sign language while singing! Can anyone confirm this?)


How to memorize Thai months?

It has always been almost impossible for Thai learners to try to remember Thai months. But hey, we Thai also have to remember them in English so we are sort of in the same situation. Let’s take a look:


January มกราคม//mákàraakhom ..
February กุมภาพันธ์//kumphaaphan ..
March มีนาคม//meenaakhom มี..
April เมษายน//mehsăayon เม..
May พฤษภาคม//phréutsàphaakhom ..
June มิถุนายน//míthùnaayon มิ..
July กรกฎาคม//kàrákàdaakhom ..
August สิงหาคม//sǐnghăakhom ..
September กันยายน//kanyaayon ..
October ตุลาคม//tùlaakhom ..
November พฤศจิกายน//phréutsàjìkaayon ..
December ธันวาคม//thanwaakhom ..

If your eyes are sharp, even without me underlining the suffix, you should be able to notice that each month ends with “khom”, “yon”, and “phan”. But why so? Hint: This is the reason we know the number of days in a month right after we finish saying the name.

Now, let me try to relate to what you should be familiar (or not?) – Zodiac in Western context:


Western Thai
Capricorn Dec 22 – Jan 20 มังกร//mangkorn 14 .. – 13 ..
Aquarius Jan 21 – Feb 18 กุมภ์//kum 14 .. – 13 มี..
Pisces Feb 19 – Mar 20 มีน//meen 14 มี.. – 14 เม..
Aries Mar 21 – Apr 20 เมษ//mêht 15 เม.. – 14 ..
Taurus Apr 21 – May 20 พฤษภ//phréut sòp 15 .. – 14 มิ..
Gemini May 21 – Jun 21 เมถุน//meh thǔn 15 มิ.. – 16 ..
Cancer Jun 22 – Jul 22 กรกฎ//kor rá kòt 17 .. – 16 ..
Leo Jul 23 – Aug 23 สิงห์//sǐng 17 .. – 15 ..
Virgo Aug 24 – Sep 23 กันย์//kan 16 .. – 16 ..
Libra Sep 24 – Oct 23 ตุลย์//tun 17 .. – 15 ..
Scorpio Oct 24 – Nov 22 พิจิก//phí jìk 16 .. – 14 ..
Sagittarius Nov 23 – Dec 21 ธนู//thá noo 15 .. – 13 ..

(Thai zodiac calendar follows Sidereal zodiac and the western one follows Tropical zodiac.)

Still not able to get it? Ok, here, let me add some images:


Credit image: here


Credit image: here

Apparently, the only difference is how Western perceives Capricorn and Thai มังกร//mangkorn. The explanation is probably simple: we transform the word from มกร//mákorn to มังกร//mangkorn (easier pronunciation?) to refer to a dragon or 龍 (龙) in Chinese. Or some said they looked alike, think 2 horns?

In any case, the easiest one to learn should be August, no?


Beer Sing (not Singha beer), anyone?

Credit image: here

Weather has not been so good here in Singapore.

Haze has hit Singapore these past couple of weeks. I find myself fortunate that I do not suffer from any chronic respiratory problems. Some of my friends told me that they were not even able to open their eyes due to sensitivity to haze. Nonetheless, I have invested in a small air purifier and put it in the bedroom. I still remember that 2 years ago, when I was travelling to France, the haze was so bad that many people had to buy face masks. And they went out of stock. But right now, I think these essentials are well stocked, so we don’t have such problems this time round, hopefully.


Credit pic: here

Residents cycle through the haze-blanketed town of Sampit, in Indonesia's Central Kalimantan province September 28, 2012. The haze that blanketed Sampit is believed to have originated from forest fires and land clearing for plantation use by residents, local media reported. REUTERS/Sigit Pamungkas (INDONESIA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY) - RTR38J1I

Credit pic: here

indonesia-haze (1)

Credit pic: here


Credit pic: here

Here are some words/expressions that can be used to discussed about this topic:

Hazy: Fáh lǔa//ฟ้าหลัว

Haze: Mòrk khwan fai pàh//หมอกควันไฟป่า (The fact that Thailand does not really experience haze, we use the term to describe such phenomenon as fog and smoke that are caused by wild fire.)

Fog: Mòrk//หมอก

Smoke: Khwan//ควัน

Air purifier: Khreûang fôrk ahkàad//เครื่องฟอกอากาศ

Face mask: Nâh kàak//หน้ากาก

Unable to breath: Haăi jai mâi òrk//หายใจไม่ออก

Thai Slang – ป่วยการเมือง//puày kaan meuang


Let’s look at something light and short today:

ป่วยการเมือง//puày kaan meuang


Credit pic: here

This means ‘pretending to be ill’ or ‘malingering’ to avoid doing something. Thai people believe that politics are all excuses and full of fallacies and phonies. This leads to the usage of the word การเมือง//kaan meuang (which means politics) in a meaning of ‘fake’.

วันนี้เขาไม่มาทำงาน เขาบอกคนอื่นว่าไม่สบาย แต่ทุกคนก็รู้ว่าเขาป่วยการเมือง จริงๆแล้วสบายดี แค่ขี้เกียจมาทำงาน

Wannée khăo mâi mah tham ngaan, khăo bòrk khon èun wâh mâi sàbaai, tàe thúk khon kôr róo wâh khăo puài kaan meuang, jing jing láew khăo sàbaai dee, khâe khêe kìat mah tham ngaan

Today he doesn’t come to work. He told others that he was not feeling well; but everyone knows that he pretends to be ill. He is actually well; only that he is lazy to come to work.

Lesson 25 = Bòt Thêe Yêe Sìb Hâa = บทที่ ๒๕

Since this lesson discusses dress code, let’s take a break from many grammar points. This post I will be talking about how to dress like a Thai in many occasions.

School/University – A rule of thumb is that no bottom shorter than knee length should be worn when entering the campus. Some of you may say that, hey, what about that girl in her uniform with skirt exposing half her thighs? I would say, let her be. That is not the appropriate uniform that she should be dressing in. For ladies, sleeveless tops are fine, but no singlet, spaghetti strap, tube top. For guys, sleeveless tops are NOT ok. T-shirts, polo shirts, or anything with sleeves are acceptable. For both genders, denim jeans are ok too.


Credit pic: here

Government office – Similar to what you would wear when entering a school. But you might want to avoid loud pattern – Stay with neutral colours.


Credit pic: here

Wedding – Unless there is a specific theme set by the couple, here are the colours that should be avoided: white or cream (it resembles the bride’s gown, you surely do not want people to mistake you for the bride?), black (it resembles the colour preferred for the funeral), red (imagine yourself standing next to the bride in white, which one of you will be more outstanding?), purple (some Thai believe that the colour is for widowers). The best colours are anything pastel, maybe except pastel purple but the rest should work. For guys, avoid wearing only black & white. Try adding some colours to your necktie or get a pastel colour shirt.


Credit pic: here

Going to the temple – Sleeveless blouses are acceptable but spaghetti straps are not. Also, nothing above knee should be worn especially for ladies. We all know that once a woman sits down in her short skirt, it will become shorter. Loose fitting clothes are preferred.


Credit pic: here

Funeral – Most of funerals are held at temples (due to the fact that majority of Thai are buddhists). As a result, dress code for the funeral is identical to the one for going to the temple. Only that it has to be in black.


Credit pic: here

Wearing the appropriate clothes for the occasion is considered respectful. You respect the place, the people you are visiting, or even other people whom you might be walking by.