เปลี่ยน สลับ แลก// to change, to swap, to exchange??

All these mean ‘to change (something into something else)’ but how exactly are we supposed to use them?


เปลี่ยน//plìan : to alter/change/exchange/switch/transition/convert

พี่สาวซื้อเสื้อให้ฉัน แต่ขนาดใหญ่เกินไป ฉันต้องเอาไปเปลี่ยนที่ร้าน

Phêe saǎo séu seûa hâi chǎn tàe khànàad yài kern pai, chǎn tôrng ao pai plìan thêe ráhn.

(My) elder sister bought me a blouse, but it was too big, and I had to bring it to the shop to exchange.

เปลี่ยนเสื้อผ้า//plìan seûa phâa

Change of clothes

เปลี่ยนใจ//plìan jai

Change of mind

เปลี่ยนไป//plìan pai

This is used as an intransitive verb, to indicate a state of change (from before).

เขาเปลี่ยนไป

Khǎo plìan pai

He has changed.

Or you can simple use:

เขาไม่เหมือนเดิม

Khǎo mâi meǔan dern

He is not like what he used to be (before, previously).


สลับ//sàlàb : to alternate

กระเป๋าของเพื่อนเหมือนกับกระเป๋าของฉัน ถ้าวางไว้ด้วยกัน เวลาหยิบต้องระวังไม่หยิบสลับกัน

Kràpǎo khŏrng pheûan meǔan kàb kràpǎo khŏrng chǎn; thâa waang wái duûi kan, wehlah yìb tôrng ráwang mâi yìb sàlàb kan

My friend’s bag is the same as mine; if they are put together, we have to be careful not to take the other one.

เขามีกางเกงยีนส์สองตัว ใส่สลับกันทุกวัน

Khǎo mee kaang kehng yeen sŏrng tua, sài sàlàb kan thúk wan

He has two pairs of jeans and he takes turn wearing each one everyday.

ไฟฟ้ากระแสสลับ//fai fáh kràsǎe sàlàb

Alternating (electrical) current

สลับกัน//sàlàb kan + Action

To take turns + doing the action


แลก//lâek : to exchange/swap

อาทิตย์หน้าฉันจะไปเที่ยวญี่ปุ่น วันนี้ฉันก็เลยต้องไปแลกเงิน

Ahthíd nâh chăn jà pai thîao yêepùn, wannée chǎn kôr loei tôrng pai lâek ngern

Next week I’m going to Japan for holiday, so I have to go to the money changer today.

แลกของขวัญวันปีใหม่//lâek khŏrng khwǎn wan pee mài

New year gift exchange

*Cultural point: in Thailand, we typically do gift exchange for New Year, not for Christmas. I remember when I was young, we would do it like a lucky draw (or จับฉลาก//jàb chàlàak) but there are some precautions, as seen in this video:

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Christmas vs New Year

Do you know that 31 December is a public holiday in Thailand?

And also, we don’t exactly celebrate Christmas for an obvious reason – majority (>85%) of us are buddhists and Christmas has nothing to do with us. However, being commercialized it slowly becomes, coupled with it being close to the year end, we take it as a cause for celebration. The meaning? No. The fun? Yes.

I am not here to write another history on Christmas, I am just here to say that the Thai don’t exchange Christmas presents. In fact, we do exchange New Year presents. I remember that when I was in secondary school, some years we had a gift exchange, or a lucky draw. It’s always fun to guess what is inside the box:

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(Credit photo: https://www.facebook.com/tudtorcadcad)

On top of that, some schools could be holding a Sports Day (วันกีฬาสี) – the day that most people were looking forward to. Sports, parades, stand decoration, and of course, cheerleaders. I was not very active then, so I couldn’t participate in any sports. I wasn’t very art-inclined, so I couldn’t help with the decoration of stand. I wasn’t pretty, so of course I didn’t think about being a cheerleader. Only in my final year, secondary 6, some people saw something in me – a face with a potential to make people part with their money = business manager (Singapore’s university equivalent). Frankly speaking, I don’t remember doing much for sports day. I did some fund raising for my batch’s yearbook, though.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACheerleaders

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Drum Majors (or Majorettes? — a new term coined by me)

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Very pretty 🙂

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Also pretty!

(Credit photos: http://www.dek-d.com/board/view/1518803/)

Ok I seem to digress – a lot – let’s get back to the new year topic!

Here is for you to practise:

สวัสดีปีใหม่

Sàwàtdee pee mài

Hello New Year!

I’ll be back with the Thai new year song for you! Stay tuned!