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Mangkud

Common Thai Prefixes & Suffixes

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A little background story:

I learnt Thai grammar with my girlfriend the other day. There was this word คุณศัพท์ (koon sap) and my girlfriend didn't know what it means. We didn't look it up, yet, but I identified คุณ as a prefix, telling something about quality, since I already knew the words คุณค่า (value, worth) and คุณภาพ (quality), The second word ศัพท์ means 'a word'.

After looking up the word คุณศัพท์ (koon sap) which means 'adjective' it makes sense: A word telling something about the characteristics (of another word).

I reckon this kind of abstraction is useful when you learn new words and you can identify parts of them. At least you get the gist of the word.

Maybe it's not about pre- and suffixes in Thai, but rather about certain keywords derived from Pali.

So I thought it might be useful to collect some of these keywords

เอก

(n.) first ; one

(adj.) great ; excellent ; outstanding

(v.) important; main; principal; lead; leading

Examples: เอกราช (èk-gà-râat -> sovereignity, independence), พลเอก (pon èk-> General)

ราช

always in context with something royal

Ay caramba! It's kind of tricky to write down my idea here, since there is another language concept behind the Thai language.

What does บรี๊ mean? Can't get the connection between บริษัท and บริสุท.

What common prefixes & suffixes are there?

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After looking up the word คุณศัพท์ (koon sap) which means 'adjective' it makes sense: A word telling something about the characteristics (of another word).

But as it means 'quality word', with the elements in that order, you should expect a link syllable. And indeed, the RID on-line gives the pronunication as [M]khun [H]na [L]sap. (Strictly speaking, it says nothing about the final syllable.)

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What does บรี๊ mean? Can't get the connection between บริษัท and บริสุท.

บริ is a Pali/Sanskrit prefix meaning 'round, around, (figuratively) all round, completely, altogether'.

บริษัท literally means 'to sit arround', whence 'assembly, group' and thus 'company'.

Do you mean บริสุทธ์ 'innocent'. This is an intensive of the Sanskrit word çuddha 'cleansed, pure, bright', so the prefix here means 'completely'.

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บริษัท literally means 'to sit arround'

This is almost too easy to make a joke about, so I won't. :o

Excellent info though Richard, I never knew the makeup of those words before, cheers.

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"เอก

(n.) first ; one

(adj.) great ; excellent ; outstanding

(v.) important; main; principal; lead; leading

Examples: เอกราช (èk-gà-râat -> sovereignity, independence), พลเอก (pon èk-> General)"

Ek is a great word.... it's all over. But so too are other Pali words. In fact, I hear Ek is #1. Somebody was counting off to me the numbers all the way to ten a couple weeks ago and I was surprised how many numbers I had heard in Thai names or words before. Especially for two and three. But I don't know them really, and don't want to do them a disservice and try to recall any of them here. Anybody out there want to post the Pali numbers 1-10 ? And if you do know them, where do you get the book/ dictionary that teaches you them ? I'd love to learn more ancient word roots if I knew which book I needed. Eng-Pali or Thai-Pali is fine.

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I'd love to learn more ancient word roots if I knew which book I needed. Eng-Pali or Thai-Pali is fine.

For word roots there are a couple of on-line dictionaries for Sanskrit and Pali.

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Thanks for the บรี enlightenment!

The idea with the numbers is great! I googled them up and also checked www.thai2english.com

1 = เอก (èk)

2 = โท , ทวิ (toh, tá-wí)

3 = ตรี , ไตร (dtree, dtrai)

4 = จัตตุ , จตุ , จัตุ (jàt-dtù, jàt-dtù?, jàt-dtù?) ... check this out, I live in Jatuchak - 'four territories' I guess

5 = เบญจ (ben-jà)

6 = ฉอ , ฉ- (cho?)

7 = สัตต , สัต (sàt) ... another meaning of สัต is 'good'

8 = อัฏฐ (àdt-tho)

9 = นพ , นว (nóp, now)

10 = ทศ (tót)

Don't know why some numbers have more than one translation. I hope I got the transliteration right.

Here another word that might qualify as a prefix:

อนุ (à-nóo)

(adj.) small, minor, junior, sub

So many 'anoo' words!

อนุรักษ์ à-nóo rák * conserve ; preserve ; protect ; take care of ; guard

อนุภาค à-nóo pâak * particle ;

อนุบาล à-nóo-baan * kindergarten ;

... and Victory Monument as well อนุสาวรีย์ชัยสมรภูม

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Thanks for the บรี enlightenment!

The idea with the numbers is great! I googled them up and also checked www.thai2english.com

7 = สัตต , สัต (sàt) ... another meaning of สัต is 'good'

Actually there are two more common words that begin with "สัต"

สัตย์ [ADJ] honest; faithful; truthful; loyal

สัตว์ [N] animal; creature; beast; brute

Examples include:

สัตว์ป่า [N] wild animals

สัตว์น้ำ [N] aquatic animals

สัตว์เลี้ยง [N] domesticated animals

สัตว์สี่เท้า [N] quadruped

ซื่อสัตย์ [ADJ] honest; faithful; truthful; loyal

ถือสัตย์ - to keep one's word

เสียสัตย์ - to be disloyal or unfaithful

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Thanks for the บรี enlightenment!

The idea with the numbers is great! I googled them up and also checked www.thai2english.com

7 = สัตต , สัต (sàt) ... another meaning of สัต is 'good'

Actually there are two more common words that begin with "สัต"

สัตย์ [ADJ] honest; faithful; truthful; loyal

สัตว์ [N] animal; creature; beast; brute

Examples include:

สัตว์ป่า [N] wild animals

สัตว์น้ำ [N] aquatic animals

สัตว์เลี้ยง [N] domesticated animals

สัตว์สี่เท้า [N] quadruped

ซื่อสัตย์ [ADJ] honest; faithful; truthful; loyal

ถือสัตย์ - to keep one's word

เสียสัตย์ - to be disloyal or unfaithful

ok, adding one of each:

prefix: อะ

this creates opposites.

กตัญญู : grateful

อกตัญญู : ungrateful

มิตร :friendly

อมิตร: unfriendly

มนุษย์: human

อมนุษย์: inhuman

suffix: ศาสตร์

this indicates a field of study

เภสัชศาสตร์: pharmacology

คณิตศาสตร์: mathematics

นิติเวชศาสตร์: forensic medicine

all the best.

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There is a wonderful Thai book entitled "หลักภาษาไทย" by กำชัย ทองหล่อ ("The Principles of Thai Language" by Kumchai Thonglaw) which contains all the Thai grammar you could ever want to know or need to know, and then much more. On page 268 begins a fairly lengthy section on prefixes in Thai, as well as in Sanskrit and Pali. Here are the relevant terms of grammatical art:

อัพยยศัพท์ - the total of word prefixes and suffixes

อุปสรรค - prefix (yes, this is the same word for "barrier" or "difficulty".)

ปัจจัย - suffix (and, yes, this is the same word as "factor")

The book then goes on for many pages describing major prefixes in Thai and providing the meaning of the combined word. Once the author gets to suffixes on page 306, he has one sentence to say, "Suffixes are not used in the Thai lanugage; therefore, I will not attempt to explain them. I will explain other types of word endings which are discussed above." (My translation; I may be wrong.)

The next section of the book goes on to explain "word combinations" or คำสมาส.

I highly recommend this book for any serious student of the language, once you attain some mastery of the spoken and written language. The paperback book is only 345 baht and can be found at many Thai bookstores in Bangkok and elsewhere.

Have a great time!

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1 = เอก (èk) One

2 = โท , ทวิ (toh, tá-wí) Two

3 = ตรี , ไตร (dtree, dtrai) Three

4 = จัตตุ , จตุ , จัตุ (jàt-dtù, jàt-dtù?, jàt-dtù?) ... Quatro (quarter)

5 = เบญจ (ben-jà) Penta

Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro......wooly bully...... Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs

And that is one reason it is called the Indo-European language family.

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There is a wonderful Thai book entitled "หลักภาษาไทย" by กำชัย ทองหล่อ ("The Principles of Thai Language" by Kumchai Thonglaw) which contains all the Thai grammar you could ever want to know or need to know, and then much more. On page 268 begins a fairly lengthy section on prefixes in Thai, as well as in Sanskrit and Pali. Here are the relevant terms of grammatical art:

อัพยยศัพท์ - the total of word prefixes and suffixes

อุปสรรค - prefix (yes, this is the same word for "barrier" or "difficulty".)

ปัจจัย - suffix (and, yes, this is the same word as "factor")

The book then goes on for many pages describing major prefixes in Thai and providing the meaning of the combined word. Once the author gets to suffixes on page 306, he has one sentence to say, "Suffixes are not used in the Thai lanugage; therefore, I will not attempt to explain them. I will explain other types of word endings which are discussed above." (My translation; I may be wrong.)

The next section of the book goes on to explain "word combinations" or คำสมาส

I highly recommend this book for any serious student of the language, once you attain some mastery of the spoken and written language. The paperback book is only 345 baht and can be found at many Thai bookstores in Bangkok and elsewhere.

Have a great time!

Sounds like a good read. I looked online for the author and book and came up empty.

Perhaps I'll look next time we get to Bkk next year.

Thx for the head's up.

dave

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BANGKOK 18 November 2017 21:14
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