Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Mysteries Of Thai Language

My friend, or technically my friends daughter, just had a baby. He's a great little thing, not even four months old and he turns over like he means it and can almost make forward progress in his furious efforts to motivate. Handsome as can be, and quite the little charmer. His name is Nachapon, which means something like "very smart man."

The surprise is in the spelling: there are no vowels in the name. You will have noticed, I'm sure, that there are three vowel SOUNDS in his name. None appear on the page though. It's the equivalent of N-ch-p-n, four letters, all consonants.

This happens in Thai. It's like my name was spelled Frdrk ("Frederick"). I asked someone if it was a very old name, that happens in Thai, some names are from Sanskrit, on the way back. But no, it's just a Thai name.

Most names include the vowels, which seems sensible to me.


Anonymous said...

Tell me about it. And I'm not Thai.

fred c said...

Ed, your family are the poster children for this phenomenon in the Farang languages.

I guess it's finally safe; I'm glad you're back.