Thai, or more precisely Siamese, or Central Thai, is the national and official language of Thailand and the native language of the Thai people and Thai Chinese. Thai is a member of the Tai group of the Tai–Kadai language family. Over half of the words in Thai are borrowed from Pali, Sanskrit and Old Khmer. It is a tonal and analytic language.
Thai is closely related to Lao, and northern dialects of Thai are more or less mutually intelligible with Lao, particularly the Lao spoken in northern Thailand. Thai vocabulary includes many words from Pali, Sanskrit and Old Khmer.
Interesting Facts About Thailand and the Thai Language
- Outside Thailand, the largest concentration of Thai speakers is in Los Angeles, California, where there are an estimated 80,000 Thai immigrants.
- Thailand is a constitutional monarchy under the king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has reigned since 1946. King Bhumibol is the world’s longest-serving head of state.
- Thai has a unique alphabet derived from the Khmer script, which is itself descended from the Brahmic Indian writing system.
- Written Thai first appeared around 1292 A.D.
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Where Is Thai Spoken?
Thai is a Tai-Kadai language spoken by about 65 million people mainly in Thailand, and also in the Midway Islands, Singapore, the UAE and the USA