The official language of
The Thai name for the language is ภาษาไทย (phasa thay), which translates
literally as "the language of Thai".
Thai is part of the Tai languages group of the Tai-Kadai language family.
The Tai-Kadai languages are thought to have originated in southern China,
and some linguists have speculated links to the Austroasiatic,
Austronesian, or Sino-Tibetan language families.
It is a tonal and analytic language.
Standard Thai, also known as Central Thai or Siamese, is the official
language of Thailand, spoken by about 25 million people (1990). Bangkok
Thai can be included in Standard Thai or considered as a separate dialect.
Khorat Thai is a recognized dialect of Thai, spoken by about 400,000
(1984) in Nakhon Ratchasima.
In addition to Standard Thai, Thailand is home to several other related
The Thai alphabet is probably derived from the Old Khmer (อักขระเขมร)
script, which is a southern Brahmic script of the Indic family.
From the perspective of linguistic typology, Thai can be considered to be
an analytic language. As in many Asian languages, the Thai pronominal
system varies according to the sex and relative status of speaker and
Nouns are uninflected, and there are no plural forms. Plurals are
expressed by adding "nouns of multitude" (ลักษณนาม) or classifiers in the
form of noun-number-classifier, e.g. "teacher five person" for "five
Thais use two systems for telling the time: the 24-hour clock and the
traditional Thai six-hour clock. The latter system has been used in some
form since the days of the Ayutthaya kingdom, but was codified in its
present form in 1901 by King Chulalongkorn (in Royal Gazette 17:206) and
is widely used in colloquial speech. It works by dividing the day into
four equal parts, then counting the hours within each part. However most
commonly used nowadays is a combination of the traditional six hour
counting with a twelve hour counting, thus the numbering of the hours of
the second and fourth quarter starts from 7 instead from 1.