Are you a language learner or looking for languages similar to Thai? If yes, then you are at the right place.
What will I learn?
Learning Thai allows you to understand the culture and the business world. Then have you ever thought about how the knowledge of languages similar to Thai can be beneficial? If not yet, then let us proceed to learn.
Languages Similar To Thai- 9 Options To Choose
Here is a brief description of 9 languages that are similar to Thai. Let us read to explore more!
1. Chinese Is Among The Languages Similar To Thai:
Chinese is a set of Sino-Tibetan languages that belong to the Sinitic branch. Both of these languages use monosyllabic words.
They have the same Subject-Verb-Object pattern. These languages also do not conjugate verbs or nouns. As a result, the Thai and Chinese languages are very similar.
They are mainly in terms of pluralisation and spelling patterns. According to studies, those who speak Thai can learn Chinese language faster than others.
They share many sounds and modal auxiliaries, vocabulary, and grammatical rules. That is because they come from the same language family.
Thai and Mandarin are different languages. Thai has absorbed many Teochew nouns (Chinese dialect).
– Chair = kao-yee
– Cabinet = too
– Table = toh
2. Vietnamese Language:
The Austroasiatic language family includes Vietnamese. Its origin is also traced back to Vietnam. That is now both the official and national language there.
Vietnamese has a population of almost 90 million speakers. The languages Thai and Vietnamese are both analytic.
Helper words are to show the relationship between non-natives. That is the most common reason why people believe they are similar.
The fact that these sound similar is the most common reason people believe they are identical. The vowels of the two languages can sound similar.
More than half of the Vietnamese lexicon is from Chinese. Thai has also borrowed certain words from China’s official language. That is why the vocabularies of the two languages are also similar.
3. Is Khmer One Of The Languages Similar To Thai?
The Khmer language is challenging to master for Westerners. It resembles Thai and Chinese in appearance. However, it is more challenging to read than either.
The spelling of certain words differs across different languages. The term “khmer” has the same pronunciation in both languages.
They have similar vocabularies and grammatical structures. These languages utilise an SVO word order in their sentences. But the inquiry word is not inverted.
The pronunciation and syntax of the two languages are very similar. Both languages use a phonological scheme.
That is a list of a language’s various sounds. The International Phonetic Alphabet represent these sounds.
That is a characteristic shared by Cambodians and Laotians. It’s also the more often used of the two.
4. Lao Language:
Lao is the official language of Laos, a country bordering Thailand. Laos has roughly 25 million native speakers. The majority of whom live in Laos and Isan.
In Thailand and Cambodia, it is also recognised as a minority language. The two languages, Lao and Thai, have many similarities.
They are both Tai-Kadai languages. Thailand and Laos share a border. There has been a lot of language contact between the two countries. That is due to international trade.
Lao and Thai share over 70% of each other’s vocabulary when it comes to vocabulary. Many vocabularies in both languages are from Sanskrit and Pali. That is one of the reasons for their similarity.
The syntax of these languages is almost equal on a grammatical level. Comparatives, tenses, cases, and conjugations all are the same.
5. Sanskrit – One Of The Languages Similar To Thai:
Hinduism’s sacred language, Sanskrit, is also the language of classical Hindu philosophy. Sanskrit is a term that refers to many Old Indo-Aryan languages.
Now an interesting question arises how Thai and Sanskrit languages are similar? The religious impact is a significant factor.
While Thailand is Buddhist, the monarchs maintain a high level of Hinduism syncretism. Hindu priests serve the Royal Family.
The local community also visits Hindu temples. Almost all meanings have two words, one formal and the other informal.
It appears that the formal words are Sanskrit in origin. Original Tai terms are also used in casual language. Thai and Sanskrit share 20–30% of their vocabulary.
6. Pali Language:
The Indian languages of Pali and Sanskrit have had the most significant influence on Thai. That is on the roots of Thai terms.
Both languages are “dead,” analogous to Latin. Pali is nonetheless spoken daily. Because it is the language of Buddhist texts and chanting.
The fact that so many Thai terms have Pali and Sanskrit roots can aid this. We can get a jump start on figuring out a word’s meaning and even remembering it if we study its roots.
Pali has open syllables, long and short vowels are contrastive. Whereas in closed syllables, all vowels are always short.
The Thai language has roots in Sanskrit and Pali languages. That is why Pali has some similarities with the Thai language.
7. Cantonese Language:
Cantonese is a Sino-Tibetan language. The language also originated in the city of Guangzhou and Southeastern China.
Cantonese is an analytic language. It means that the order of words in a phrase affects its meaning.
Listening to Thai is amusing to Cantonese. Because their sound design for characters is comparable to them.
The two languages, share many consonants except for /d/, /b/, and /r/. These are only used in Thai but are not in Cantonese.
Cantonese has a Tai linguistic substrate, so this could be a source of similarity. It includes Thai and Zhuang as current members.
Many Cantonese and Hokkien terms sound highly similar to Thai. For example:
– The numbers 1 to 10
– The names of everyday things like a chair (Gao Ee), visitor (Khaek/khek), table (Tou), etc.
8. Shan Language:
Shan is also connected to Thai and belongs to the Tai–Kadai family. It has five tones that do not perfectly correspond to Thai tones and a “sixth tone”, which is for emphasis.
In other Thai languages, it’s known as Tai Yai or Tai Long. Many Shan speak both their own dialect and that of their trading partners.
Shan and Thai use the same basic sentence structure as English. The structure is SVO, Subject-Verb-Object. Because of their common ancestors, Shan and Thai have a lot of basic terminologies.
That allows for some mutual intelligibility. It also allows the capacity to understand one another when conversing. That implies Shan and Thai can communicate with little difficulty.
9. Zhuang Language:
The Zhuang in China and the Thai are members of the Zhuang-Dai Sino-Tibetan family. Rice farming has played an essential role in their life.
Zhuang is a Tai-speaking people who speak a variety of Tai languages that are all connected. One of the Tai languages is Thai.
Proto-Tai originated in southern China. Where Zhuang and other Tai peoples still live today. Some modern Zhuang languages can be understandable by modern Thai speakers.
Essentially, the Zhuang and Thai peoples share a common ancestor. They are linguistically and culturally related.
The study of foreign languages creates an interrelationship between language and human nature.
It teaches and encourages respect for others. It also makes one more adaptable and accepting. Foreign languages help to broaden:
– One’s worldview
– One’s experiences
Moreover, learning similar languages helps to interact with people. It gives you the confidence of speech or to express yourself.
Learning languages similar to Thai can be beneficial as it enhances their communication. It is an excellent practice for language learners or Thai native speakers.
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