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Gender in Thai

You may have noticed that there are two different ways of saying Hello! in Thai: สวัสดีครับ (sa`-wad`-dii khrab´!) and สวัสดีค่ะ (sa`-wad`-dii khaˆ!). This is because Thai marks gender, meaning that the sentence will change depending on who is speaking: a man or a woman.

If you are a male speaking, you will end your sentences in ครับ (khrab´) and if you are a female speaking, you will end your sentence in ค่ะ (khaˆ).

There are also different pronouns meaning I for men and for women: ผม (pho:mˇ) for men, and ดิฉัม (diˋ-chanˇ) for women.

ผมไม่เข้าใจครับ
ดิฉัมไม่เข้าใจค่ะ
pho:mˇ maiˆ khawˆ-jai khrab´ (m.)
diˋ-chanˇ maiˆ khawˆ-jai khaˆ (f.)
I don't understand.

Throughout this course, we will show both male and female versions of each phrase, even though you may only hear one or the other in the audio. In the first vocabulary flashcard section, you saw each phrase completely, but going forward, you will see the two options written like this: สวัสดีครับ/ค่ะ (sa`-wad`-dii khrab´/khaˆ!) and ผม/ดิฉัมไม่เข้าใจครับ/ค่ะ (pho:mˇ/diˋ-chanˇ maiˆ khawˆ-jai khrab´/khaˆ). Just keep in mind these gender distinctions and you should have no issues recognizing which one you should be saying.