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No matter what language you’re studying, one of the first lessons you’ll go through as a beginner is learning the days of the week and the months. After learning these, you can work on things such as making plans, scheduling appointments, or booking travel. We’ve all got to start small, though. While the days of the week and the months can appear to be a bit difficult in Thai, they really aren’t so tricky after all.
In Thai, the days of the week are:
Before you get freaked out by the Thai letters and the especially long name for Thursday, let’s take a minute to break it down. You’ll notice that every single day of the week includes วัน (wan) – the Thai word for day – at the beginning of the name. Start off by memorizing that word, which will come in handy in your future studies. You know what else is great? The days of the week in Thai derive their name in the same way that they do in English! The Greeks named the seven days of the week after the sun, moon, and the five known planets at the time, and that is the same way they’re named in Thai:
Simply remember those words and then tack on the word วัน at the beginning and you’re good to go with the days of the week. If Thursday is too much for you, that’s fine – it’s too much for Thai people as well! Thankfully you can abbreviate Thursday as วันพฤหัส (wan pá-réu-hàt). There’s more to the days of the week in Thai than just words, though…
In Thailand, each day is also represented by a particular color. The color of each day is based on the God that protects that specific day. We might as well learn those as well!
Your color depends on which day of the week you were born. If you’ve ever been in Thailand on the King’s birthday and wondered why the whole country seemed to be decorated in yellow, now you know – King Bhumibol was born on a Monday.
Unfortunately, things get a bit more difficult when it comes to the months of the year. The Thai names for the months sound nothing like their English equivalent, and they are all quite long and tough to pronounce. Let’s give it a shot anyways, shall we?
If you look closely, you’ll notice that a few months end with –คม (kom) – January, March, May, July, August, October, and December. These months also all have 31 days. Other months end in –ยน (yon) – those are months with 30 days. February is all alone ending with –พันธ์ (pan) because it is an outcast that only has 28 or 29 days. Thankfully, the suffix is often dropped in spoken Thai, so that makes your job a little easier. Although they’re a bit difficult to say, at least there’s a shortcut when it comes to writing. Thankfully Thai employs abbreviations for the months, just like English:
Although Thai and English both get the days of the week from the same source, they differ when it comes to the months. The English names come from Roman deities, emperors, and numbers, while in Thai the months are named after the signs of the Zodiac. I doubt these will ever be of any use to you, but just in case you were interested:
There you go – now you know the days of the week and the months of the year in Thailand along with a bit of added culture. If you’re interested in improving your language skills even more, we’ve got plenty of resources here to help you learn Thai.