Tywais

Thai Months & Days

34 posts in this topic

Learned something interesting today about the names of Thai months. I was counting how many days until the end of the month and for some reason thought this month had 30 days. I use a little trick of using the knuckles to determine it. A thai friend mentioned that the name of the month (ending syllable) indicates how many days and you know right away. All months with 31 days have คม at the end, 30 days have ยน at the end and february is special with พันธ์ at the end.

Another item is the days of the week, it appears they are all from the Zodiac and are names of planets. One thing I brought up is that Sunday is wahnatit, which is also Thai for Sun Day and wondered how the Thai calendar names originated, would seem with Sunday as an example, it derives from either Western calendar or from the Roman calendar. Another example is Saturday, วันเสาร์ , which is Saturn Day - I assume the Sat in Saturday in the western calendar means the same. Just curious where the Thai months and days originated from or how.

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Great treatise from both of you! Just having been here for so many years that I just find out about this relationship and found it very interesting.

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Excellent post Rikker! It should be pinned to the board, mod please take note.

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The days are indeed from the planets which can be seen from Earth with the bare eye, just as you surmised.

Moonday วันจันทร์, Marsday วันอังคาร (♂), Mercuryday วันพุธ (☿), Jupiterday วันพฤหัสบดี (♃), Venusday วันศุกร์ (♀), Saturnday วันเสาร์ (♄), Sunday วันอาทิตย์.

They follow the same pattern as in the Roman calendar, now whether this is because they were influenced by it, or because the Roman calendar follows an older Indo-European tradition which means the Thais got their calendar with Indic influences, I do not know. Good question.

Checked this out further. It appears that the spread of the 7 day week started with Babylonia. The number 7 was sacred to them, and there are also 7 celestial bodies that can be seen with the naked eye. This Babylonian concept spread with the Jews and onto Christianity and then on with Roman culture - in 321, a Roman emperor decreed the 7 day week as law.

It became known to China and Japan around 600 AD.

So you have not heard about the forthcoming European Community legislation which will decimalise the week and the year? 10 days in the week with a 3 day weekend (sadly not until 2009); All months are to have 30 days and only 10 months in the year. They are working on the finer details now - eg. how old you have to be to drink and drive (n.b. not simultaneously) and at what age one qualifies for a state pension. It will make us all get older quicker which is a good reason to be in Thailand. On second thoughts, we are already more than 500 years older here - better to go to China where they do not intend to adopt this system for another 600 years (its not clear whether that means years under the present system or the new one). I guess that's pretty academic anyway.

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The days are indeed from the planets which can be seen from Earth with the bare eye, just as you surmised.

Moonday วันจันทร์, Marsday วันอังคาร (♂), Mercuryday วันพุธ (☿), Jupiterday วันพฤหัสบดี (♃), Venusday วันศุกร์ (♀), Saturnday วันเสาร์ (♄), Sunday วันอาทิตย์.

They follow the same pattern as in the Roman calendar, now whether this is because they were influenced by it, or because the Roman calendar follows an older Indo-European tradition which means the Thais got their calendar with Indic influences, I do not know. Good question.

Checked this out further. It appears that the spread of the 7 day week started with Babylonia. The number 7 was sacred to them, and there are also 7 celestial bodies that can be seen with the naked eye. This Babylonian concept spread with the Jews and onto Christianity and then on with Roman culture - in 321, a Roman emperor decreed the 7 day week as law.

It became known to China and Japan around 600 AD.

So you have not heard about the forthcoming European Community legislation which will decimalise the week and the year? 10 days in the week with a 3 day weekend (sadly not until 2009); All months are to have 30 days and only 10 months in the year. They are working on the finer details now - eg. how old you have to be to drink and drive (n.b. not simultaneously) and at what age one qualifies for a state pension. It will make us all get older quicker which is a good reason to be in Thailand. On second thoughts, we are already more than 500 years older here - better to go to China where they do not intend to adopt this system for another 600 years (its not clear whether that means years under the present system or the new one). I guess that's pretty academic anyway.

Alf are you sure you are not getting it a little bit confused with the UK legislation to rid everthing non - metric which comes in to place in 2009? feet to metres etc....

It sounds a little strange to me. Have heard nothing of it.

Cheers

In The RaI!

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Seriously, that sounds like a bad joke. I googled it and there are such things as both decimal time and metric time, but if it hasn't even made the world news yet, can anyone really call such an insanely drastic change "forthcoming"? Sounds more like "proposed" or "crackpot" would be better descriptors to me.

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Seriously, that sounds like a bad joke. I googled it and there are such things as both decimal time and metric time, but if it hasn't even made the world news yet, can anyone really call such an insanely drastic change "forthcoming"? Sounds more like "proposed" or "crackpot" would be better descriptors to me.

I think he is just trying to invoke a response. The world wide logistics and complexities for part of the world to change to that system would be mind boggling.

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I think he is just trying to invoke a response. The world wide logistics and complexities for part of the world to change to that system would be mind boggling.

Yeah, that was my first reaction, but then again you never know what kind of crackpots you'll meet on the internet. It's so hard to tell when people are joking or being ironic sometimes. Tends to start a lot of flamewars on the net, nome sane? :o

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ID: 12   Posted (edited)

WoW.... you guys know so much information about Thai language by digging deep down to the root of it which is very useful.... WoW nubb teu, nubb teu ! :D The first time I learnt about the roots of the Thai months. Thank you :D

Khaa noi khor ka-ra-wa taan ! :o

Edited by baennaenae

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Sorry, not about the topic i'm going to say but about the new calendar for Europeans. I think it's unlikely to be because how can you communicate with the rest of the world? well, Europeans can hold 2 types of calendar in daily life but it's not practical i think. However, if UK will go for matrix system, that sounds possible.

about the calendar, i think 10 days a week with 3 days weekend sounds not exciting...seem that Europeans just decrease a few working hours. I don't understand why they want to change.

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If there actually is an active movement toward changing the system, I'm sure it's a miniscule minority. So it's not that Europeans want to change it, but perhaps some people who happen to be in Europe want to change it. This would be in the mainstream press if there were anything to it.

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As for the months, they are named after the signs of the zodiac. Etymologically speaking, each month name consists of a zodiac sign + either อาคม and อายน. The words อาคม and อายน both mean 'coming' or 'arrival,' so when you combine the zodiac name plus อาคม and it translates to "the coming of zodiac sign __." February is slightly different because it is กุมภ์ + อาพันธ์, where อาพันธ์ means "bind" or "tie."

The pronunciation of each month's name is according to the rules of Thai word sandhi (สนธิ), a process of word compounding which melds more than one root word into a single phonological word.

มกราคม = มกร [มะ-กอน] + อาคม "The arrival of Capricorn"

The word มกร is a variant of มังกร, which also means 'dragon' but in this case refers to the symbol of capricorn, the sea-goat.

กุมภาพันธ์ = กุมภ์ + อาพันธ์ "The binding of Aquarius"

The word กุมภ์ means 'pot' or 'container,' the vessel of the water carrier.

มีนาคม = มีน + อาคม"The arrival of Pisces"

The word มีน means 'fish,' the symbol of Pisces. You might recognize this word from the district มีนบุรี in Bangkok, which would mean "village of fish."

เมษายน = เมษ [เมด] + อายน "The arrival of Aries"

The word เมษ means 'sheep,' and usually a ram is the symbol of Aries. A random example of where else one finds the word เมษ is in some Thai translations of the bible, when it refers to Christ as "the Lamb of God" it is translated พระเมษโปดก [พระ-เมด-สะ-โป-ดก] = holy + sheep + offspring.

พฤษภาคม = พฤษภ [พรึ-สบ or พรึด-สบ] + อาคม "The arrival of Taurus"

As one might guess, พฤษภ means 'cow' or 'bull.'

มิถุนายน = เมถุน/มิถุน + อายน "The arrival of Gemini"

The word เมถุน means 'couple' or 'twins' or also 'copulate.'

กรกฎาคม = กรกฎ [กอ-ระ-กด] + อาคม "The arrival of Cancer"

The word กรกฎ means 'crab.'

สิงหาคม = สิงห์ + อาคม "The arrival of Leo."

The word สิงห์ means 'lion.'

กันยายน = กันย์ + อายน "The arrival of Virgo."

The word กันย์ means 'virgin,' or 'young woman.'

ตุลาคม = ตุล/ตุลย์ + อาคม "The arrival of Libra"

The word ตุล means 'scales,' and appears with the meaning 'judge' (i.e. one who weighs a situation) in the word ตุลาการ, or in ฝ่ายตุลาการ 'judicial branch (of the government).'

พฤศจิกายน = พฤศจิก [พรึด-สะ-จิก] + อายน "The arrival of Scorpio"

The word พฤศจิก means 'scorpion.'

ธันวาคม = ธนู + อาคม "The arrival of Sagittarius"

The word ธนู means 'bow.'

great post I had not realised that but love to learn and I did

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Is there a colour for each day of the week?

Yes, every day has it's own color, and it's own Buddha image as well.

You can read some more about it on this website for instance.

In Thailand your day of birth determines what your own color and Buddha image is.

The King was born on a monday for instance, so that's why everyone is wearing the yellow shirts, since the color for monday is yellow.

Same goes for the Queen, she was born on a friday, that's why you'll see a lot of people wearing blue shirts as well.

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Along with the คม and ยน endings helping with the number of days, all of the months except April use short vowels at the beginning of the word and long vowels at the end. That's always helped me with the spelling. Us old heads need all the help we can get.

I get the impression from my teacher that shortcuts like i before e except after c aren't part of the training here. They always worked for me, even the really stupid ones like sep a rat e ...... a rat, not e rat

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Thais do use memory aids, but not the same ones of course. The words associated with each consonant were introduced in the 19th century (and standardized in the 20th) as memory aids to help students differentiate the words, and to disambiguate letters when spelling aloud.

Thais also have mnemonics for the consonant classes:

High class:

ฉันฝากขวดขี้ผึ้งใส่ถุงให้เศรษฐี (not in alphabetical order, but all present, if you count the ษ in เศรษฐี)

Middle class:

ไก่จิกเด็กตายบนปากโอ่ง = ก จ ด ต บ ป อ (alphabetical order, but leaves out ฎ and ฏ)

I'm sure there's one for low class, too, but I don't know it.

And there are several poems to remember the twenty ไม้ม้วน words. The one I've heard:

ผู้ใหญ่หาผ้าใหม่ให้สะใภ้ใช้คล้องคอ

ใฝ่ใจเอาใส่ห่อ มิหลงใหลใครขอดู

จะใคร่ลงเรือใบดูน้ำใสและปลาปู

สิ่งใดอยู่ในตู้ มิใช่อยู่ใต้ตั่งเตียง

บ้าใบ้ถือใยบัวหูตามัวมาใกล้เคียง

เล่าท่องอย่าละเลี่ยง ยี่สิบม้วนจำจงดี

Is that the kind of thing you had in mind?

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that's really diffcult!! how long do you normally need to be able to read a newspaper??? i guess at least 10 years, right??

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sometimes you find things funny that you have been going through all your life.

I didin't notice it either before.

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that's really diffcult!! how long do you normally need to be able to read a newspaper??? i guess at least 10 years, right??

That depends on the newspaper! I can read Mathichon or Post Today, but after 20 years I still cannot read Thai Rath.

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ID: 24   Posted (edited)

I was planning to come for thailand .

And i was very worried i dont know language and all

I was searching for some other forum but i got this And i Register in this forum ....

And Really i am very glad this forum information Helping me lot and special thanks for Rikker

Thanks Rikker

Regards

Punuruthan

Edited by punuruthan

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ID: 25   Posted (edited)

I'm a little late to this forum. A newbie! I'd like to add my two cents regarding days and months in Thai.

Like many Thai loanwords from other languages, Mithuna (มิถุนายน) and other months of the year are in fact Sanskrit. (Thais have learned that Thai words, especially proper nouns with fancy spellings, are either Pali or Sanskrit. But every Thai seems to forget that.)

Sanskrit is the language of Veda (เวท or เวทศาสตร์), the sacred knowledge, upon which Thai language and culture is based. Month names in Thai are inherently the Sideral zodiac signs (rasi ราศี) in Hindu's Vedic astrology, which is quite different from the Tropical astrology that most Westerners are familiar with. (But that's another topic all together in a future forum, if anyone is interested. Or Ayurveda or อายุรเวท that Thai yoga and massage derives from. lol).

Meṣa = April

Vṛṣabha = May Mithuna = June

Karkaṭa = July

Siṃha = August Kanyā = September Tulā = October Vṛścika = November Dhanus = Decembrer Makara = January Kumbha = February Mīna = March (Sorry, cannot fix the spacing here!)

You also guess correctly that days of the week in Thai are also the names of planets in Sanskrit (and in the Vedic system).

Surya = Sunday

Chandra = Monday

Mangala = Tuesday (in Thai, it's Ung-kaan)

Budha = Wednesday (Budha means intelligence in Sanskrit, not to be confused with the similarly written word "Buddha" as in Buddhism)

Brishaspati = Thursday (in Thai, it's P'-rue-hud-s'-b-aww-dee)

Shukra = Friday

Shani = Saturday (in Thai, it's Sa-ao)

Finally, Namaskar, a Sanskrit word that Thais use to greet only Buddhist monks.

Edited by Polsci
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BANGKOK 25 March 2017 02:55
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