If you’re thinking about learning Thai it’s always good to know a little about the origins and history of the language you are learning. Here, Cactus Language offers up our most interesting Thai language facts:
Thai is a Tai language and is sometimes referred to as Siamese. Thai is considered to have emerged in the area between China and Vietnam. The written Thai language developed itself in the 13th century and has undergone minor changes since then.
Thai is spoken by around 40 million speakers across the world, including 20 million native Thai speakers. The Thai language is mainly spoken in Thailand, where it is an official language.
The first occurrence of written Thai language is traditionally assumed to be a stone inscription date 1292 AD in Sukhothai, the former capital of the ancient Sukhothai Kingdom. King Ramkhamhaeng mentions the social, economic and political organisation of his kingdom and the creation of the Thai script.
Like other Asian languages such as Chinese, Laotian, and Vietnamese, Thai is a tonal language with five different tones. It is using an alphabet of 32 vowels and 44 consonants. Thai also has its own numerals, although Arabic numerals are also used.
Thai is mutually intelligible with Laotian, another Tai language. Despite using slightly different writing systems, the two language share strong similarities.