Spelling Mistake at a Thai Restaurant

Spelling Mistake at a Thai Restaurant


When it comes to learning Thai, sometimes it’s not a good idea to “repeat after teacher”. We may think that Thai words are hard to pronounce, but there are quite a few Thais that have trouble with certain letters. For example, “ror reua” (ร). Many words starting with an “r” sound more like it is an “l”.  For example, for a while I thought that the Thai word for a “shop” was “laan”. It wasn’t until I started to learn how to read that I realized that it should start with the letter “r” – ráan/ ร้าน. So, in theory, it is better to learn how to read if you want to pronounce Thai words more correctly. Unfortunately, that is not always true as some shop owners cannot spell too. For example this picture tweeted by @Thai_Talk of a Thai restaurant in Melbourne. The name of the shop is “aloi na”. The word “aloi” is meant to be the word “delicious” except it should be pronounced with an “r” and not an “l”. The correct spelling is “à-ròi / อร่อย”.

RT @Thai_Talk: ร้านอาหารไทยชื่อ ‘aloi na’ ในเมลเบิร์น -ไม่ได้ลองกิน ไม่รู้ว่ารสชาติอาหารจะสลับเหมือนตัว ร ล รึเปล่า http://t.co/dubLhuKp

5 thoughts on “Spelling Mistake at a Thai Restaurant

  1. I get the feeling that they knew it was technically incorrect and went for the way the word is often pronounced. Especially as the restaurant name is followed by an exclamation mark. Gives me the impression it is supposed to sound like someone is saying it outloud after eating their food.

  2. I thought Thai people have a problem in pronouncing the letter ‘r’. For instance, the next time you hear Thai pronouce Oriental Hotel, please take note that they always pronouce it as Oliental Hotel!

  3. This is one of those things where the written language doesn’t keep pace with the changes in the spoken language. ‘ร’ hasn’t been spoken “correctly’ by the majority of Thais in common speech for a couple generations. Another couple and it will be obsolete or more likely replaced by an English sounding ‘r’ (and no they are not the same sound, so to all those falang out there pointing out how well they pronounce Thai with the ‘r’ sound…stop, you’re making a fool of yourself) so in truth that spelling is the more accurate representation of how the word is prounonced by Thais but an inaccurate transliteration according to most systems. Which are usually wildly inaccurate anyway as Roman script is hopelessly inadequate.

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