Thai Months for the Lazy Man Posted by on Aug 23, 2010 in Beginner, Intermediate

I will assume by now you’ve learned, or at least tried to learn, the twelve months in Thai. If you’ve been studying for many years and still have trouble remembering, or still can’t spell them, then this method is for you. With all those syllables and a spelling hard to remember, I can’t blame you.

You probably know by now that all Thai months end in one of three possible syllables, kom, yon, or pan. You probably know by now that the last syllable is determined specifically by the number of days within that month. But alas, it takes you forever to remember which is which.

Thankfully, you don’t need to remember! It’s perfectly alright to not say the last syllable. Thais typically do this when they are feeling lazy, or feel it’s over redundant.

For example, you can refer to ตุาคม as simply ตุลาฯ.

I’d say 30% of the time they’ll simply leave out the last syllable in spoken Thai. They might sometimes get annoyed with you for leaving it out too often, but they’ll always understand what you’re saying.

Now for the lazy mans method of spelling the months – abbreviations! Yeap, the lazy man can abbrev. anything he pleases! Unfortunately, you’ll need to know the last syllable of the month to do it . . . yea, sucks I know . . .

For example, why write out all the crazy letters in กรกฎาคม when you can just write ก.ค.? Can you guess what month พ.ย. is?

Well, here are all the Thai months in its full and abbreviated forms below. Note that you must have a period after each consonant in the abbreviation.

January           มกราคม      ม.ค.       Ma ga raa kom

February        กุมภาพันธ์   ก.พ.       Gum paa pan

March              มีนาคม        มี.ค.       Mee naa kom

April                เมษายน      เม.ย.       May saa yon

May                  พฤษภาคม  พ.ค.       Pa ru sa paa kom

June                 มิถุนายน      มิ.ย.       Mi tu naa yon

July                  กรกฎาคม    ก.ค.       Ga ra ga daa kom

August            สิงหาคม       ส.ค.       Sing ha kom

September     กันยายน     ก.ย.       Gan yaa yon

October           ตุลาคม        ต.ค.       Dtu laa kom

November      พฤศจิกายน พ.ย.       Pa ru sa ji gaa yon

December       ธันวาคม      ธ.ค.       Tan waa kom

Looks hard? Well, if you are saying the month (without the spelling in front of you) and you can’t remember which syllable gets which tone, know that 75% of the syllables in the Thai months use the mid tone. The odds are in your favor!

Just one more note before I end this post . . . I don’t recommend beginners learning the spelling of the months, just pronunciations and abbreviations. The more advanced should sit down and finally learn the full spellings.

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  1. Kubilay Ertuna:

    Hi, just wanted to inform you that got June wrong. It is Mitunaayon. Miinaakhom is March.

    • palmisano:

      @Kubilay Ertuna oops. I actually spelled it right in Thai, but the transliteration had a typo . . . it’s now been fixed.

  2. Mike:

    January’s a bit wrong too, I think. Mo… not Ma…

    Useful stuff though, thanks.