- Thai, Central Thai, or Siamese, is the sole official and national language of Thailand, and the first language of the Central Thai people and vast majority Thai of Chinese origin.
- It is a member of the Tai group of the Kra–Dai language family.
- Over half of its words are borrowed from Pali, Sanskrit, Mon, and Old Khmer.
- It is a tonal and analytic1 language.
- Thai also has a complex orthography and system of relational markers.
- Spoken Thai is mutually intelligible with Lao, the language of Laos; the two languages are written with slightly different scripts but are linguistically similar.
- The Wikipedia entry presupposes an intimate knowledge of linguistics for a full understanding.
- It's best to skim it on a first reading, and then focus on the bits you need to know.
- There are extensive links to explain the linguistic terms, but it would be easy to get in a complete muddle.
- There are further links at the end of the Wikipedia article, some of which no longer work or which are of dubious benefit. I've extracted those that look most useful.
- The same remarks apply to the "Wikipedia - Thai Alphabet" article as to this one - only more so! Just skim it and focus on the bits you need.
Other Useful Links
- An analytic language is a language that primarily conveys relationships between words in sentences by way of helper words (particles, prepositions, etc.) and word order, as opposed to utilizing inflections (changing the form of a word to convey its role in the sentence).
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)