1991. Thai is the language of education. [24] Illiteracy in Thai is particularly widespread in Thailand's three southernmost provinces as the Patani dialect of Malay is the mother tongue for the majority Malay community. Ethnic Thais use lexical tones when speaking, each of which represents a certain pitch characteristic. Statistics are from Ethnologue 2003-10-4. English is a mandatory school subject for all Thai students, but is particularly stressed in schools that lie within the borders of Bangkok and other large cities. The official stats put the English speaking percentage of the Thai population at around 27% or just over a quarter. While Thai is by far the most commonly spoken language in Thailand, it is not the only language one might hear when visiting this beautiful Southeast Asian nation. In Thailand’s most southern region, a dialect of the Malay language known as Yawi is the first language of the Malay Muslims, living in the country along the Thai/Malaysia border. Thailand also boasts a substantial population of ethnic Chinese. Two major dialects of Thai, the national language, are spoken in Thailand: Central Thai and Southern Thai. Thailand's population is relatively homogeneous. English-speakers visiting one of Thailand’s larger cities, particularly Bangkok, are almost sure to find some common linguistic ground, as the number of English-speaking, native Thai residents has risen exponentially over the last decade. Ethnolinguistic groups of Thailand with equal to or more than 400,000 speakers[3]:99. Percentage of the total population living in households in which Spanish is spoken. Varieties of the Chinese language are spoken throughout the nation—varieties that include Mandarin, Cantonese, and Teochew, the latter being the best represented Chinese dialect in Thailand. The most widely spoken languages in Africa are Arabic (in the north), Swahili and Hausa. (2007). Aheu The main language in Thailand is Thai.The main language in Myanmar is Burmese. The 2014 Ethnologue country report for Thailand, which uses the EGIDS language endangerment assessment scale,[15] lists one national language (Thai), one educational language, 27 developing languages, 18 vigorous languages, 17 threatened languages, and 7 dying languages.[16]. In addition, there are several village sign languages used among the hill tribes, though it is not clear whether these are independent languages, as only Ban Khor Sign Language has been fully described and recognized. Many of these languages are spoken by larger numbers outside of Thailand. The Position of Non-Thai Languages in Thailand. Other minority languages in Thailand include dialects from the Afro-Asiatic, Austronesian, and Sino-Tibetan families of language. Languages of Mainland South-East Asia. Varieties of Chinese are also spoken by the older Thai Chinese population, with the Teochew dialect being best represented. Thai signThere are also a number of indigenous, non Thai-related languages spoken within Thailand’s borders. Other minority languages in Thailand include dialects from the Afro-Asiatic, Austronesian, and Sino-Tibetan families of language. The Peranakan in Southern Thailand speak Southern Thai at home. Languages may have additional speakers outside the Northeast. Togo. The monolingual education system is generally seen as ineffective, with one-third of teenagers functionally illiterate. Central Thai is a Kra-Dai language closely related to Lao, Shan, and numerous indigenous languages of southern China and northern Vietnam. Thai textbookAccording to linguists, Thai is an “uninflected, primarily monosyllabic, tonal language” in the Tai-Kadai family of languages. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-languages-are-spoken-in-taiwan.html See language lists, maps, statistics, and more. Exploring the Prevalence of Languages Around The World. It is the principal language of education and government and is spoken throughout the country. [3]:99 and the Ethnolinguistic Maps of Thailand project. This is not surprising, but the figure showing that there are twice as many second-language Thai speakers than first-language Thai speakers is. Matisoff, J. As you move to the eastern half of Thailand, very near Cambodia, many of the native people speak Khmer, and the Mon-Khmer languages known as Suay, Guay, or Kuay. Luangthongkum, Theraphan. The position of all minority languages, including the largest, i.e., the Lao-based Isan in the Northeast and Kham muang in the North, is precarious given that they are not well supported in Thailand's language education policy. Expats who actually live there put this figure a little lower in their own personal experience – the figure of around 10-15% of the population comes out quite often – see here for example. This is not surprising, but the figure showing that there are twice as many second-language Thai speakers than first-language Thai speakers is. The written form of the Thai language was introduced in 1283 by the third king in the Sukhothai period, a man named Ramkhamhaeng. Thai, Central Thai (historically Siamese; Thai: ภาษาไทย), is the national language of Thailand and de facto official language; it is the first language of the Central Thai people and most Thai Chinese, depending on age. Languages in Thailand with more than 1 million speakers according to Ethnologue. Although Isan, Northern Thai and, to a lesser extent, Southern Thai are classified as separate languages by most linguists, the Thai government has historically treated them as dialects of one "Thai language" for political reasons of Thai national identity building. Other tribal languages also exist within Thailand, including those belonging to the Mon-Khmer family of languages, such as Viet, Mlabri and Orang Asli; the Austronesian family, such as Cham and Moken; the Sino-Tibetan family, such as Lawa and Akhan; and other Thai languages such as Nyaw, Phu Thai, and Saek. Statistics are from Ethnologue 2003-10-4. The Position of Non-Thai Languages in Thailand. 2007. Luangthongkum, Theraphan. Because of this, speaking Thai in the correct manner creates a variety of fluid, pleasing and melodic patterns—patterns which have resulted in the language being referred to as a “sing song” language by outsiders. Thai itself is not a monolith. Moreover, as Thailand never faced any kind of foreign incursion, Thai language has dominated the linguistic map of the country since ages. The following table employs 2000 census data and includes international languages. Lao is spoken along the borders with the Laos PDR, Karen languages are spoken along the border with Myanmar, Khmer is spoken near Cambodia and Malay is spoken in the south near Malaysia. Similar to L'Academie Française in France, Thailand boasts a governing body for the Thai language, known as the Royal Institute. Bradley, D. 2007. This page was last edited on 1 December 2020, at 15:46. The Isan region in which this dialect is spoken is historically a component of the Lao kingdom of Lan Xang, once a Thai province. 2004. A. The Thai language comes in 22 nd in the highest number speakers (Figure 1), depending on the rendering. "Using GIS For Displaying An Ethnolinguistic Map of Thailand." It is a tonal and analytic language, similar to Chinese and Vietnamese. Thailand - Thailand - Tai: The national language of Thailand, known as Standard Thai, is based on the language spoken in central Thailand. Thai, or more specifically, Siamese Thai, is the lone official language of Thailand, spoken by over eighty percent of the country’s sixty million people. It’s important to remember that the four primary dialects of the Thai language are not the same as the different language “registers”—forms of the language used in various social contexts and for different circumstances in Thailand. Malta is a picturesque and scenic small Island off the south coast of Italy, with one of the best climates in all … The latter are arranged into roughly 32 vowel combinations. The following table shows all the language families of Northeast Thailand, as recognized in the report which is the source for the national breakdown. Tempe, Arizona, 599-617. This varied ethnic and cultural makeup adds to the linguistic diversity in Thailand, a newly industrialized country that traditionally attracts thousands of expatriates each year from various developed countries. Owing to the huge percentage of Thai population in the city, Thai Language is the most widely spoken of all major languages and also forms the official language of the place. From a business standpoint, mergers, associations and takeovers are increasingly common and English is used as the primary means to communicate, negotiate and execute these types of transactions. The spoken variety of Thai is thought to have originated in the region which now comprises the border between Vietnam and China, an idea which provides clues to the origin of the Thai people, an area of continued scholarly debate. Aheu The other languages with more than 100 million native speakers are Spanish, English, Bengali/Bangla, Hindi/Urdu, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian and Japanese. Two related deaf-community sign languages developed in Chiangmai and Bangkok; the national Thai Sign Language developed from these under the influence of American Sign Language. I want emails from Lonely Planet with travel and product information, promotions, advertisements, third-party offers, and surveys. * Thai Dam, spoken by about 20,000 (1991) in Isan and Saraburi province. Many linguists believe that the language spoken in Sukhothai resembled Proto-Tai in tonal structure. Here is a complete list of all 74 languages spoken in Thailand: 1. The organization Ethnologue has a peculiar statistic in its 2015 report on Thailand. The vowel graphemes (and a few consonants) can be combined in a variety of ways to manufacture numerous compound vowels, known as diphthongs and triphthongs. * Thai Dam, spoken by about 20,000 (1991) in Isan and Saraburi province. More than 85 percent speak a dialect of Thai and share a common culture. In O. Miyaoka, O. Sakiyama, and M. E. Krauss (eds.). It is a member of the Tai group of the Kra–Dai language family, and one of over 60 languages of Thailand. Hill tribes and other ethnic groups have their own languages; for instance there are villages of Chinese settlers in Thailand where little Thai is spoken, or on the islands where sea gypsies have settled. Unlock this profile with an Essentials plan.. See the details on every language spoken in Thailand, plus: Profiles for every other country in the world; 7,464 profiles covering every language in use today Yawi is the primary spoken language of the Thai Malay ethnic group, but it is also used as the lingua franca by many of the native Thai people living in rural areas, and by the samsan people, a mostly Thai-speaking population of mixed Malay and Thai heritage. A., S. P. Baron, and J. Thailand is home to 71 living languages, with the majority of people speaking languages of the Southwestern Tai family, and the national language being Thai. New technologies, along with the adoption of, and growing access to the Internet have resulted in a major transition in terms of business, education, science, and technological progress, all of which demand a high proficiency in English. The following table shows ethnolinguistic groups in Thailand with equal to or more than 400,000 speakers according to the Royal Thai Government's 2011 Country Report to the Committee Responsible for the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). French (official, the language of commerce), Ewe and Mina (the two major African languages in the south), Kabye (sometimes spelled Kabiye) and Dagomba (the two major African languages in the north) Tonga The organization Ethnologue has a peculiar statistic in its 2015 report on Thailand. A constitutional monarchy, Thailand is currently headed up by King Rama IX, the 9 king of the House of Chakri. Spoken Lao is similar to the Thai language and speakers of the two languages can easily communicate with each other. Matisoff, J. The script of Lao is known as the Lao script or Akson Lao. B. Lowe. Lebar, F. M., G. C. Hickey, and J. K. Musgrave. In fact, over 99% of the nation’s households will be able to respond to the once-a-decade population count online or by phone in the language they speak at home. French (official, the language of commerce), Ewe and Mina (the two major African languages in the south), Kabye (sometimes spelled Kabiye) and Dagomba (the two major African languages in the north) Tonga There are different dialects spoken throughout the country, with large enough variation t… Similar to about half of the world’s languages, Thai is a tonal language. For instance, self-reporting as Lao has been prohibited, due to the prohibition of the Lao ethnonym in the context of describing Thai citizens, for approximately one hundred years. From a linguistic standpoint, Thai is related closely to the languages of Vietnam and Yunnan, in addition to those of Myanmar and Laos. Different parts of Thailand have different dialects and different ways of speaking, so it can be quite difficult to understand Thai speakers from another part of the country. [2], The following table comprises all 62 ethnolinguistic groups recognized by the Royal Thai Government in the 2011 Country Report to the UN Committee responsible for the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, available from the Department of Rights and Liberties Promotion of the Thai Ministry of Justice.[3]:3. In C. Moseley (ed.). The sole official language of Thailand is Central Thai, a native language in Central (including the Bangkok Metropolitan Region), Southwestern and Eastern Thailand. With the recent economic downturn that continues to bog down Thailand (and other nations around the globe), a significant number of Thai companies have embraced the idea of regional and international cooperation. The standard is written in the Thai alphabet, an abugida that evolved from the Khmer script. The capital and largest city in Thailand is Bangkok, which is also the country’s political, commercial, industrial and cultural hub. More on … Scope: population of Nevada, selected other states in the United States, and entities that contain Nevada 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% Count # Texas California New Mexico Nevada Florida Arizona New Jersey New York Illinois Stats in Thailand. Endangered languages of Mainland Southeast Asia. Unlock this profile with an Essentials plan.. See the details on every language spoken in Thailand, plus: Profiles for every other country in the world; 7,464 profiles covering every language in use today International programs and schools which teach, for example, English or Chinese alongside Thai exist, as do a small number of pilot projects to teach ethnic minority languages alongside Thai in Thai schools.[14]. The Siamese Thai dialect is used in most schools throughout Thailand, used for media and entertainment broadcasts, and is widely understood by a sizable majority of the population. [4] Note that the degree to which language speakers will have shifted in their idiolects towards Central Thai will depend on standard sociolinguistic factors, like age, education, gender, and proximity to an urban center. 1964. Nearly every person in the country is able to speak and write Standard Thai, having learned the language from government schools and through its use in print and broadcast media. Linguists consider it an “uninflected, primarily monosyllabic, tonal language” in the “Tai-Kadai family.” The writing borrowed elements of Pali, Sanskrit and Indian concepts, as well as a number of words from the Mon and Khmer. Two related deaf-community sign languages developed in the cities of Chiangmai and Bangkok, while the national Thai Sign Language is based on principles of American Sign Language. Thai is closely related to Lao, the official language of Laos; Shan, which is spoken in Burma; and a number of less significant languages associated with southern China and northern Vietnam. These tones must be used when speaking for the listener to properly understand what is being conveyed. Thailand is home to 71 living languages,[1] with the majority of people speaking languages of the Southwestern Tai family, and the national language being Thai. Thai is the country's official language and is spoken by the majority of these individuals.The Thai language, sometimes referred to as the Siamese language, belongs to the Tai-Kadai language family. Business and government leaders in Thailand have led the push to make English-education compulsory for secondary and tertiary-level students. Sixty-two 'domestic' languages are officially recognized, and international languages spoken in Thailand, primarily by international workers, expatriates and business people, include Burmese, Karen, English, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese, among others. In Papers from the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society, edited by Somsonge Burusphat. The Thai census of 1904: Translation and analysis. Only 34 percent of Thai speakers in Thailand speak it as a native language. MARCH 9, 2020 – As invitations to respond to the 2020 Census begin hitting mailboxes this week, the U.S. Census Bureau wants you to know you can respond in more languages than ever before. Percentage of the total population living in households in which Spanish is spoken. Its standard is founded on the dialect of Bangkok, and it is written in the Thai alphabet, an abugida that evolved from the Khmer script. Thailand has a population size of approximately 66 million, which consists of a number of diverse ethnic groups. In Thai censuses, the four largest Tai-Kadai languages of Thailand (in order, Central Thai, Isan (majority Lao),[17] Kam Mueang, Pak Tai) are not provided as options for language or ethnic group. Lao is spoken along the borders with the Laos PDR, Karen languages are spoken along the border with Myanmar, Khmer is spoken near Cambodia and Malayis spoken in the south near Malaysia. Sukhothai, which was initially established in central Thailand in the early and mid-thirteenth century, represents the first major kingdom of the Thai. The dialect spoken in Bangkok and surrounding areas is called Central Thai. Togo. Regional language data is limited. The Thai language comes in 22 nd in the highest number speakers (Figure 1), depending on the rendering. Percentage of the total population living in households in which Spanish is spoken. Thai is used in all official capacities in Thailand, including education, government and the media. Caution should be exercised with Thai census data on first language. MARCH 9, 2020 – As invitations to respond to the 2020 Census begin hitting mailboxes this week, the U.S. Census Bureau wants you to know you can respond in more languages than ever before. Within Thailand there are four major regional dialects, including Southern Thai, spoken in the southern provinces; Northern Thai or “Yuan,” spoken in the northern provinces that were once part of the independent kingdom of Lannathai; Northeastern Thai, which is very similar in nature to the Lao language; and Siamese Thai, the national language of the country, which is also referred to as Central Thai or Bangkok Thai. Owing to the huge percentage of Thai population in the city, Thai Language is the most widely spoken of all major languages and also forms the official language of the place. Statistics on education, language spoken and literacy are compiled by the Ministry of Education, Singapore Department of Statistics and the various institutions of higher learning. In R. H. Robins and E. M. Uhlenbeck (eds.). Syllables ending in a vowel are called “open syllables,’ while syllables ending in a consonant are called “closed syllables.”  Every syllable in the language is pronounced using one of five lexical tones: mid, high, low, rising, or falling. The 1 and only official language of Thailand is Thai, spoken by most of the population.There are also many minority languages. [14] In the far south, Yawi, a dialect of Malay, is the primary community language of the Malay Muslims. People stating such a language as a first language, including Lao, are allocated to 'Thai'. Bradley, D. 2007. Moreover, as Thailand never faced any kind of foreign incursion, Thai language has dominated the linguistic map of the country since ages. Thailand is located in Southeast Asia, in the central region of the Indochinese peninsula. (1996). East and Southeast Asia. Certain words, for instance, are used only by Thai royalty, thus creating a separate, but mutually understandable “royal language.”  Below is a brief look at the different language registers in the Siamese Thai language and the situations in which each is used: Thai alphabetThe Thai language is based on a phonetic alphabet consisting of 44 consonants and fifteen basic vowel forms. Nearly 94 percent of the people speak Tai-Kadai (Daic) languages, with Thai (in various dialects) being predominant and the national and official language. Not to be confused with the languages of China, the Thai language, like English, features an alphabetic or phonemic alphabet, meaning that the pronunciation of a given word is independent of its meaning. In addition to the four major regional dialects, there are also within Thailand a few minor dialects, such as the Phuan and Lue variations of the language, spoken only by very small pockets of the population. This early system consisted of three tones on syllables ending in a long vowel or a semi-vowel. Education, Language Spoken and Literacy. Over half of Thai vocabulary is derived from or borrowed from Pali, Sanskrit, Mon and Old Khmer. In, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, "UNdata | record view | Population by language, sex and urban/rural residence", http://web.nso.go.th/pop2000/finalrep/chanburifn.pdf, http://web.nso.go.th/pop2000/finalrep/roietfn.pdf, "Sakaeo: Key indicators of the population and households, Population and Housing Census 1990 and 2000", "Si Sa Ket: Key indicators of the population and households, Population and Housing Census 1990 and 2000", "Surin: Key indicators of the population and households, Population and Housing Census 1990 and 2000", http://web.nso.go.th/pop2000/finalrep/tratfn.pdf, "Ubon Ratchathani: Key indicators of the population and households, Population and Housing Census 1990 and 2000", "Assessing endangerment: Expanding Fishman's GIDS", Population by language, sex and urban/rural residence, "Thailand Economic Monitor – June 2015: Quality Education for All", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Languages_of_Thailand&oldid=991737442, Pages with non-numeric formatnum arguments, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. What are the percentages of languages spoken in Luxembourg? The figures in the following table are for first language speakers, following Ethnologue. In the written form of Thai, the characters are placed horizontally, left to right, with no intervening space, to form syllables, words and sentences. In Lee Hock Guan & L. Suryadinata (Eds.). In the northern section of the country, near Laos and Burma (Myanmar), the ethnic minority hill tribe people can be heard speaking Hmong-Mien, also known as Yao; as well as Lisu, Karen and others. Consequently, it is entirely possible to pronounce a word without knowing its definition. Here is a complete list of all 74 languages spoken in Thailand: 1. All syllables within the Thai language must contain a vowel, but they may begin or end with a consonant sound. Thai, also historically known as Siamese, is part of the larger Tai language family, and the “official” version spoken in Thailand is based on the dialect local to the Bangkok region. [16] Note that Ethnologue describes 'Isan' as 'Northeastern Thai', following Thai government practice until the 2011 Country Report. The spoken variety of Thai is thought to have originated in the region which now comprises the border between Vietnam and China, an idea which provides clues to the origin of the Thai people, an area of continued scholarly debate. English, Japanese, and Vietnamese are spoken by a tiny percentage of the population as a first language. Owing to the huge percentage of Thai population in the city, Thai Language is the most widely spoken of all major languages and also forms the official language of the place. Suwilai Premsrirat. Thailand’s official language is standard Thai, formerly known as Siamese, which is spoken by about 40 percent of the population. Approximately three-quarters of the population are ethnically Thai, 14 percent Thai Chinese, and 3 percent is ethnically Malay. -Thai belongs to the Tai language family, a group of related languages spoken in Thailand, Laos, Burma (by the Shan ethnic group), and northern Vietnam and southern China (by minority ethnic groups). Thai (official) only 90.7%, Thai and other languages 6.4%, only other languages 2.9% (includes Malay, Burmese) (2010 est.) The role of the English language in Thailand is growing in both scope and importance, much as it is in other developing nations. The dialect spoken in Bangkok and surrounding areas is called Central Thai. The Institute publishes an official Thai dictionary every few years, adding new words to the language as needed, often drawing on elements of Pali, Sanskrit and Mon.

Africa is the most linguistically diverse continent, with over 2,000 languages. Note that numbers of speakers are for the Northeast region only. A profile of the languages in Thailand. The country shares borders with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Malaysia. The Thai system of writing has undergone few changes since its introduction, a fact that allows modern Thai scholars to study inscriptions from the Sukothai era. Northern Thai is spoken in the northern provinces that were formerly part of the independent kingdom of Lan Na while Isan, a Lao dialect, is the native language of the northeast.

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