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โดเมนภาษาไทย ยินดีต้อนรับเพื่อนๆทุกท่านสู่เฟอรั่มโดเมนภาษาไทย มีอะไรแลกเปลี่ยนหรือชี้แนะก็ขอเชิญแนะนำนะครับ

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Old 13th June 2011, 05:37 PM
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number of Thai speakers

Can someone explain what's the actual number of people speaking Thai/using thai script. Wikipedia has it at 20 million native speakers but I've always thought it was closer to 50-60 perhaps even 70-80 millions.

thanks
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Old 13th June 2011, 07:49 PM
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Re: number of Thai speakers

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Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
Can someone explain what's the actual number of people speaking Thai/using thai script. Wikipedia has it at 20 million native speakers but I've always thought it was closer to 50-60 perhaps even 70-80 millions.

thanks
About 70 million, give or take, certainly not take 50 million though ....

Wiki is wholly wrong on this one. They just seem to count people in Central Thailand for some reason.

Even in other parts of Thailand such as Isan (north east of Thailand) where there are many local dialects (one or more per province in some provinces), they all learn Thai at school, just speak Isan when they get home!
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Old 13th June 2011, 08:43 PM
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Re: number of Thai speakers

ok, thanks I get it - never quite understood why wikipedia was so off. One more question, do most of these local dialects use the same script as "standard" Thai or do some use Lao script or something else ?
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Old 13th June 2011, 09:16 PM
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Re: number of Thai speakers

There are a few spoken dialects in Thailand and some even argue that they are distinctive languages but they are all variants of the "Tai" language family. There are certain words that are totally different but for the most part Central, Northern, Northeastern and Southern Thais can understand each other even with different spoken dialects/ slightly different variants. The only small exception is in the deep South where people speak Malay and some refuse to send their kids to schools as they want to teach their kids the Malay language. But the number is quite negligible.

I believe Wikepedia may have used the number of Thai speakers being 20 million because they might have considered that central Thais are the only true native speakers where the standard Thai is spoken at home and consider other Thais as being native speakers of variants of the "Tai" language. However, Central Thai script is the only written Thai script used in school and the official language so most people are bilingual with their native dialect/language and central/standard Thai. So something around 67-70 million Thai speakers should be correct.

More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_language

Last edited by TrafficDomainer; 13th June 2011 at 09:24 PM..
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Old 13th June 2011, 09:20 PM
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Re: number of Thai speakers

ok thanks TD
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Old 13th June 2011, 09:34 PM
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Re: number of Thai speakers

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Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
ok, thanks I get it - never quite understood why wikipedia was so off. One more question, do most of these local dialects use the same script as "standard" Thai or do some use Lao script or something else ?
Historically, people in Isan (Northeastern Thailand) used the Lao script as their spoken language is almost identical to the Lao language but for decades now they have been using the Thai script as the Thai government basically disallowed other scripts in the name of national unity. Similar story with the Northern Thais who used to use a different script. Many Chinese who immigrated to Thailand don't speak Chinese for the same reason, ie it was banned from being used in any school.

Only in recent years did the Thai government relax their language restriction policy and are allowing other languages to be used in schools legally, but these are mostly private schools with high fees and mainly attended by expat/more well off kids. Public schools are still taught in standard Thai as the primary language.

Last edited by TrafficDomainer; 13th June 2011 at 10:08 PM..
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Old 13th June 2011, 09:59 PM
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Re: number of Thai speakers

Yep, like I said ......
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Old 13th June 2011, 10:13 PM
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Re: number of Thai speakers

....with the reason/rationality explained further

Last edited by TrafficDomainer; 13th June 2011 at 10:14 PM..
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