Thai Language Blog

Going Home Posted by on Sep 14, 2010 in Intermediate

Not too long ago I finished my most recent 6-month vacation here and Thailand, returning home (กลับบ้าน) to my beloved US of A. It’s not the first time I’ve spent such a long time here in the Land of Smiles, but I think this time I’ll miss it (คิดถึง) more than ever.

So this post will be about vocabulary for taking a holiday.

Now if you take off just a day or two, its called วันหยุด. วัน means day, and หยุด means stop. It refers to taking a break off from work. Now if you take a long period off from work, its called พักงาน, where พัก means ‘take a break’, and งาน of course means work. So when I took 6 months off from work, I was พักงานอยู่. Adding อยู่ at the end is almost like adding ‘ing’ to a verb, meaning in the state of doing it.

If you were going to go traveling, you’d say ไปเที่ยว. Now in Thai, it doesn’t exactly mean the same as in English. If I was to ask a girl out for a date, perhaps go to a restaurant followed by a walk in a park, I would ask her something like ไปเที่ยวกันมั้ย? She’d of course inquire ‘เที่ยวไหน?’ or ‘ ไปไหน?’, and then it’d become clear if I meant out to lunch, or a week in Japan . . .

To get home, I need to take several forms of transportation. Getting onto each requires various verbs to describe the action. For example, I will นั่งแทกซี่ (get in the Taxi) and ขื้นเครื่องบิน (get in the plane). If there was a boat I needed to ride, I would ลงเรือ. So why would you ขื้น (go up to) the plane but ลง (go down to) the boat? Well, back in the day, you had to go up a staircase to get in the plane, and go down a ladder to get in a boat. Now we have simple loading ramps making the language so unintuitive for us to learn . . .

vocabulary (คำศัพท์):

กลับบ้าน   return home

คิดถึง                 to miss, or think off

หยุด                   stop

วันหยุด              short holiday break

พัก                     rest, take a break

พักงาน              long break period from work

อยู่                     added after verbs like an ‘ing’ in English

ไปเที่ยว            go traveling (or go on a date)

นั่งแทกซี่          sit in a Taxi

ขื้นเครื่องบิน     get into a plane

ลงเรือ                get into a boat

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