Monday, December 1, 2008


There are many ways in Thai language to pronounce what westerners may consider clear-cut consonant sounds. For instance, there is more than one sound that is close to but not exactly a “k.” Sometimes transliteration shows it as a “k,” sometimes a “g,” and differentiates between “kh” and “k.” Often, especially at the end of a word, it is not pronounced at all, what teachers refer to as “swallowing” the sound. Therefore it was not surprising, but yet amusing for me to see on a student’s paper, as one step in the procedure for a laboratory exercise: “Be sure to wear a lab goat.”

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