Unveiling the Mystery of the Hidden Character in Thai Language
The Thai language is known for its complex system of characters, but what about the hidden characters that are not commonly used or taught? These hidden characters, known as ‘sara am’ or ‘aek ae’ in Thai, exist in the Thai alphabet but are not typically included in standard Thai language courses or textbooks. In this article, we will explore the mystery of these hidden characters and their place in the Thai language.
Firstly, it is important to understand the structure of the Thai language. Thai is a tonal language, meaning the pitch or tone of a word can change its meaning. Additionally, Thai uses an alphabet consisting of 44 consonants, 15 vowel symbols, and 4 tone markers. However, within this system, there are also hidden characters – the sara am or aek ae.
The sara am are a group of Thai vowel symbols that are not typically taught in standard Thai language courses or used in everyday written or spoken Thai. These hidden symbols originated from the Khmer language and were adopted into the Thai alphabet during the Sukhothai period (13th-14th century). While these symbols aren’t commonly used, they still exist in the Thai alphabet and have unique sounds and meanings.
One example of a sara am symbol is อำ (am). This symbol represents a nasalized ‘a’ sound, similar to the ‘ñ’ sound in Spanish. Another example is อึ (ue). This symbol represents a high front unrounded vowel sound, similar to the ‘i’ sound in the English word ‘bit’. These hidden symbols may not be commonly used, but they serve a valuable purpose in certain dialects of the Thai language.
Another hidden character in the Thai language is the aek ae, also known as a ‘combining character’. This character looks like a small horizontal line and is placed above a character to indicate a different sound or tone. For example, the character ไ (ai) can be combined with aek ae to form ใ (ai mai muan), which represents a falling tone.
The use of aek ae is rare in daily Thai communication and is not a critical part of learning the language. However, it can sometimes be seen in certain Thai publications, such as textbooks, literature, and poetry. The use of aek ae in literature can add complexity and depth to a sentence or phrase, as well as add an artistic element to the writing.
It is worth noting that even native Thai speakers may not be familiar with these hidden characters, as their usage is limited to certain dialects and styles of writing. However, for those interested in delving deeper into the Thai language, understanding these hidden characters can offer a more comprehensive understanding of the language and its origins.
In conclusion, the sara am and aek ae characters in the Thai language may not be commonly used, but they offer a glimpse into the complexity and richness of the language. These hidden characters may not be necessary to learn for basic communication in Thai, but they serve a valuable purpose in certain dialects and styles of writing. By exploring the mystery of the hidden characters in Thai, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of this fascinating language.