(helping the medicine go down)
ยาสระผม and ยาสีฟัน
ยา means drug, medicine, cream, ointment, medical substance, or even product (e.g. for washing up liquid or mosquito coils)
สระ has two meanings, depending on how you pronounce it.
If you say สะ (dropping the ร) then it's to rinse (and in the context of hair, it's to wash the hair). It also refers to a pool of body of water like a swimming pool or lake.
ผม literally means "hair", but is also used as a masculine "I" (probably because people of lower status would always keep their heads lower than people of higher status)
If you pronounce สระ as สะ-ระ (by adding in the bridge/spacer vowel) then it means "vowel". So สะ-ระ อา means the า vowel.
ยาสระผม is shampoo, but everyone says simply: แชมพู (you'll see this on shampoo bottles too)!
สี has two meanings also:
1. colour (on its own it's just colour, but if you specify a colour like สีดำ then it is the colour itself: not "black colour" but just "black")
By association, its also means to paint (a colour) onto something. สีบ้าน "to paint the house"
2. When it's part of a compound word, it means to rub or scrape, so the most obvious one would be โรงสี which is a structure that rubs things (a mill).
Together with ขัด ("go against something"), it means to scour or scrub (ขัดสี)
And of course ยาสีฟัน is a substance [to aid in the] rubbing of teeth (toothpaste).
A แปรงสีฟัน is a brush for rubbing teeth (toothbrush).
Now, here are some interesting idiomatic expressions:
เสียดสี is to pierce/scrape (เสียด is to pierce or thrust into something, like a needle into your skin) - and the idiomatic meaning is to
be sarcastic or satirical (more the latter than the former).
ป้ายสี literally means to scrape a sign, but it's used idiomatically to slander someone.
Finally สีลม means a windmill, and I can't figure out why (scrape the wind?)
This is part of a series of how to remember essential vocabulary "in Thai".
The months are particularly difficult, primarily because they are not really Thai words - they usually have something to do with the Zodiac or originating from Sanskrit.
Nevertheless, at some point, it is worth learning the names of the months. Start by learning the current month and the one following, so that you can at least talk about today's date and a date in the next month.
Or you could cheat and simply say เดือนนี้ (for this month) and เดือนหน้า (for next month).
Here's how to remember the months in Thai:
|February||Oom Paa Paa|
|June||Meat 'n Tuna sandwiches|
|July||4th of July fireworks|
|August||Leo the Singer|
|September||Hunting season, get out yer guns|
|October||OktoberFest Too Laa Laa|
|November||Dance a Pretty Jig|
|December||A Ton of Xmas presents|
January is MOCKARAA-COM มกราคม
After the expensive month of Christmas presents and New Year partying, all one can usually afford to eat in January is MACARONI.
(The -com or -yon endings refer to whether the month as 31 or 30 days respectively, so it's not something one needs to put any effort into remembering.)
Okay, so this mnemonic is a bit imprecise I admit. But I chose this to illustrate a point: even a convoluted suggestion is usually enough to help you remember something... if it's bizarre enough!
See if you still remember this tomorrow and next week...
As I said, you might not get "mockaraa-com" precisely. It might have been better to try a mnemonic involving "mocha" (e.g. my New Year's Resolution is to reduce my caffeine intake by drinking mocha instead of coffee).
Important: Pronounce "ck" the same way as the "k" in "sky" - the air is kept inside your mouth, not expelled as a puff.
The word for January consists of two syllables: มก and รา. The first syllable has the invisible vowel "o" ("mock"). It's difficult for Thais to run these two syllables together, so they add the spacer sound "a" as a bridge. That's why you get "mock-a-raa" (and not "mokraa").
Can you read the modern fonts? I cover these in the workshop, but I can also send you a handout that shows you how to do it easily.
3 มกรา มาดู proud ขวัญเวียง ... ฟรี
(mockaraa maa doo ... khwan wiyang ... free!)
3 Jan come look ... khwanwiyang ... free!
ขวัญเวียง is just the name of the moobaan, but it's an interesting name.
ขวัญ means "the spirit inside you" (possibly the same as "soul"?). So ของขวัญ is a (nice) thing for your soul, or a "gift".
เวียง means a walled city, like the old city in Chiang Mai. And a moobaan is, after all, a private, protected area for your soul (or peace-of-mind).
February is KOOMPAA-PUN กุมภาพันธ์
For the guys: Why not take your beautiful, delicate new Thai girlfriend to a romantic Valentine Day's meal at the German Sausage & Beer Restaurant, where you will find an Oom Pa Paa band!?
For the girls: The ideal place to take your fellow on Valentine's Day is to the German Sausage & Beer Restaurant with the jolly Oom Pa Paa band!
(กุมภา "koompaa" is February, the พันธ์ "-pun" ending = obligation/to unite/to connect, probably refers to the fact that it's a non-standard 28-day month.)
You might not remember the word "koompa-pun" itself all that accurately at first. That's okay. Thinking of Valentine's Day, which is in February, and the Oom Pa Paa band will be enough of a trigger. After a few attempts, you'll easily be able to get from "oom pa paa" to "koompaa-pun".