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Arai means What(?) Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 in Beginner

There is a joke students like to play on their Thai speaking teachers, one similar to the ‘who’s on first base’ joke.

Student: What does อะไร mean?
Teacher: What
Student: What does อะไร mean?
Teacher: What
Student: What does อะไร mean?
Teacher: What!!!!!

The joke is that อะไร means ‘what’ . . .

During class the other week a student of mine pointed out that the word aMraiMอะไร is confusing due to the many ways it can be used. It has two other meanings, roughly translating to ‘something’ and ‘anything’. But in some cases it doesn’t directly translate over very well, so the best way to learn the word would be using the below examples.


It is something that I don’t want.

manM bpenM aMraiM teeF pomR maiF owM



What is it?

manM kueM aMraiM



Are [you] ok?

bpenM aMraiM maiR



What’s up?

Something you want to say?

Do [you] have anything?

meeM aMraiM maiR



I don’t want anything.

aMraiM aMraiM gawF maiF owM



What am I looking for?

pomR haaR aMraiM



I’m looking for something to read.

pomR haaR aMraiM aanL yuuL



Is there something [you] want to eat?

meeM aMraiM teeF yaakL ginM maiR



There wasn’t anything.

maiF meeM aMraiM loyM



I don’t need anything.

maiF dtawngFgaanM aMraiM kaF



What is it?

aMraiM laawR



What are [you] doing?

tumM aMraiM yuuL



What color is it?

seeR aMraiM



What does ‘what’ mean?

aMraiM blaeeM waaF aMraiM


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