Thai Months

Thai Months

How to remember the Thai Months.

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:

Month Hint
January Macaroni
February Oom Paa Paa
March Meaner
April Messiah
May Pretty Party
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 MACARAA- or MOCARAA- COM มกราคม

January is MOCKARAA-COM

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.)

You can pronounce January either as “macaraa” (มกร all fused together as a single consonant + า) or as “mocaraa” (มก + รา with the “spacer” vowel to jump from the first to the second syllable).

Okay, 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…

If you prefer to pronounce it as “mocaraa-com”, you want 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). 

attention!

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”).


January

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
(mocaraa maa doo … cwan-wiyang … free!)

3 Jan come look … cwan-wiyang …  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).

Nice name…! 

February is KOOMPAA-PUN กุมภาพันธ์

February

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”.

February with Peter Corb Dyrendal 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.

กุมภาพันธ์
ปีเตอร์ คอร์ป ไดเรนดัล

Peter was in a Thai TV series and became a popular singer for a short while. “February” was the theme song.

March is MEENA-COM มีนาคม

meaner.jpg

St Patrick’s Day is in March. The story of his life is fascinating. He had a pretty mean life, captured by pirates and enslaved for six years. He was also a bit of a mean fighting man, railing against druids, idols and kings. Many fellow Christians were quite hostile towards him also. But he baptised thousands of people and ordained priests and introduced the shamrock (three-leafed plant) to describe the concept of the Holy Trinity… not to mention banishing all snakes from Ireland.

ฤกษ์ดึ มีนาคม ฤกษ์ดี วันดี
เดือน มีนาคม

Auspicious days and times in March.

April is MESAA-YON เมษายน 

This is an easy one! It’s the month of the Messiah of course!
We celebrate Passover (the last supper of Jesus) and Easter (the resurrection) in April. 
last-suppersm.jpg

easter-luck.jpg โชคดี อีสเตอร์นี้
500 รับ ฟรี

Good luck this Easter
Get 500 free!

easter-patch.jpg อัพเดท แพทช์
ต้อนรับ เทศกาล อืสเตอร์

Update patch
receive (on) Easter festival

May is PREUTSAPAA-COM พฤษภาคม 

May is a bit difficult to read and remember. The first part sounds a bit like “preuss”, a prissy little girl. the second part is the start of “party”. 

So in May, there is lots of time off starting with labor day and it’s the start of summer, so a good time to go out an have picnics in your bikinis – a pretty party amongst the flowers and eye candy (for the guys as well as the girls: the girls should be stripping down to their bikinis or flimsy underwear and the guys should all be shirtless at the very least, coz it’s so hot).

pretty_party_hetero.jpg

maywide.jpg
 

พฤษภาคม.jpg เนื้อคู่คนเกิด
เดือนพฤษภาคม

[Your] soulmate [for] people born in May…

เนื้อคู่ (“flesh/body pair/couple”, or soulmate)
คน (person, people)
เกิด (born)
เดือน (month)

[a horoscope reading] 


mayday1.jpg สุขสันต์วันแรงงาน

Happy Labour Day

สุขสันต์ to be happy/content/joyful

แรงงาน labor
แรง power/strength
งาน work

Note: ค่าแรง is “cost of labor”

June is MI-TUNA-YON มิถุนายน 

It’s a long, hot summer and after the initial partying (in May), we have many picnics in June eating nothing but meat-tuna sandwiches.

June is a meat-tune sandwich

 

grand summer sale สินค้าคุณภาพ
ลดสูงสุด 70%

quality goods
highest reduction 70%

(Please email me if you’d like the handout on how to recognize modern fonts.)
 

July is KARAKADAA-COM กรกฎาคม 

Americans celebrate the 4th of July in a big way with huge fireworks.
The biggest firecracker yet is the Krakatoa volcano!

In Thai July is fire Crackers In Thai, July is Krakatoa
(Note. All four consonants กรกฎ K-R-K-D are fused together and are completely unpronouncable. So just add in the spacer “a” sound in-between each one.)
 

VCT Day 1 July 1 กรกฎาคม
วันดรวจเอชไอวี

1 July HIV Examination Day

Click on the image
to watch an infomercial in Thai.

ฟรี
สายด่วนปรึกษาเอดส์
ทุกวัน 10.00-20.00 น.

Free AIDS Advice Hotline
Every day 10H00 – 20H00

(น. = นาฬิกา) clock, watch, “H00” military hour

Institute for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

August is SING-HAA-COM  สิงหาคม 

The Lion King is a great musical. The Lion King is a great singer. Leos are born in August (mostly)!

 Leo the Lion King

If that doesn’t work for you, how about…
Pavarotti was such a great singer that he always sang in distinguished and august company!

Pavarotti in Concert

hoksingha1.jpg หกสิงหา
6 August

Click on the image to watch the teaser music video in Thai.

เพราะรักแท้มีจริง
แต่อายุไม่แน่นอน
กอดแน่นแค่ไหน
ถึงเวลาก็ต้องปล่อย

Because true love has but an uncertain age…
Hug so tightly til the time I have to let you go.

September is กันยายน GUN (rhymes with “gun”) – YAA – YON   

This means “the maiden (Virgo)” and comes from the Sanskrit word aṅganā, meaning woman or female animal.

 Virgo

I’m afraid the way to remember this month is a bit contrived, but it’s the best I could come up with after months of thinking about it. And it kind of works for me:

It’s autumn/fall, the start of a new season, in fact it’s hunting season! So you can get out your gun – yaah! – and start shootin’…

September

 

Buengkaan postmark เปิดที่ทำการไปรษณีย์
จังหวัดบึงกาฬ
1 กันยายน 2554

Opening of Buengkan Post office 9 Sep 2010
(postmark)

ที่ทำการ – office (place of doing work or operations)
ไปรษณีย์ – post/postal
บึงกาฬ – black/dark swamp

Buengkan is a brand new province, in the most far-flung corner of Isaan, established in 2010.

It’s claim to fame is an isolated sandstone temple (Wat Phu Tok) and a marshy lake where aquatic birds breed.

BTW, please let me know if you’d like my handout on how to decipher the Thai numbers… 

October is ตุลาคม TULAA – COM   

ตุลา means “justice” or “Libra” in the zodiac.

At the OktoberFest, everyone sings “Too La Laa, Too La Laa” while enjoying (lots of) mugs of beer. 

october-colour.jpg

 

October ฤกษ์ดี  จัดงานแต่งงาน เดือนตุลาคม ๒๕๕๗ 

Auspicious wedding planner for October 2558

ฤกษ์ – auspicious
จัด – arrange, prepare
งานแต่งงาน – wedding

Please let me know if you’d like my handout on how to decipher the Thai numbers… 

November is พฤศจิกายน PREUTS-A-CHIKAA – YON 

พฤศจิก means “Scorpio” in the zodiac. (แมงป่อง is a “scorpion”,  bug-protrusion.

It’s getting on for the (relatively) cold season in Thailand. So the scantily-dressed whores in the beer bars and the girls in the street dance a pretty jig to keep warm. 

october-colour.jpg

 

October

เปิดเรือนเยือนจุฬาฯ
15-17 พฤศจิกายน 2558
ข้อมูลเพิ่มเติม

Open Visit-House Chula
(University of Chulalongkorn)
15-17 November 2015

(For) additional information…

December is ธันวาคม TON WAA – COM

It’s Christmas and we usually get a ton of presents, wow! 

December

 

October

วันพ่อแห่งชาติ

วันที่ ๕ ธันวาคม

National Father’s Day
Date: 5 December

 

ทรงพระเจริญ

May the King Prosper
(Long Live the King)

ทรงพระ king (royal monk)

Remember that ทร is “steam train”.

เจริญ prosper

Note that จร is fused, with the “dirty” vowel combination…

Also don’t forget that ญ is “yacht at night”