Send me a character and a letter and I’ll draw them:
B) Semi Formal
C) Street Fashion
E) Punk or Goth
G) Vintage (specify decade/year)
M) Clothes Swap or Redesigned Original
P) Fall Fashion
Q) Summer Fashion
R) Night Out/Date Night
T) School Uniform
U) Animal Inspired
V) Winter Fashion
W) Profession Inspired
Z) Spring Fashion
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this yet on the blog, but since two-thirds of my degree is currently devoted to languages, I’ve been taking a lot of language classes in the past few days. For those of you interested, taking Arabic and Farsi at the same time is both helpful, in that both have very similar writing systems and lots of mutual loanwords, and very confusing because sometimes you forget which is which. I’m having a great time anyway.
Speaking of writing systems, part of the reason I chose Thai for this week’s language breakdown is because like my new frenemies Arabic and Persian, it technically does not have an alphabet. More on that in a sec, but first, some history.
Thai is part of the Tai-Kadai language family, which is believed to have originated in Southern China. (Note that the name of this family is somewhat controversial, but I was unable to find any variants, so I’m going with it.) The Tai-Kadai languages spread throughout Southern China and into most of Southeast Asia, and include not only Thai, but also its neighbor Lao, which is mutually intelligible with spoken Thai. (They use slightly different scripts, so the written form cannot always be understood.) Thai has been heavily influenced by Sanskrit and Pali, containing several hundred loanwords from both languages. Central Thai is the official national language, but most regions have their own variants. Linguists often define these as seperate languages, but Thai speakers usually consider them dialects, as they are mutually intelligible.
Thai has several different registers, or levels, indicating different levels of formality. Street Thai is normal spoken Thai, while Elegant Thai is used for more formal occasions. The other three registers are used for specific situations: Rhetorical Thai is for formal speeches, Religious Thai for ceremony, and Royal Thai when speaking to or about the royal family.
Because I want to talk about the writing system, we’re going to skip over my trying to explain sounds I don’t fully understand and move onto the abugida portion of the program. An abugida is a writing system similar to an alphabet in most respects, with the exception of its treatment of vowels. (Here’s where it gets technical, because there are differing definitions of an abugida.) However, Thai fits into even the narrowest of these definitions, so it’s not really a problem. In an abugida, every consonant has an implied vowel that comes after it and is not written. If the vowel sound that needs to come after the consonant is not the implied one, it is written with marks above or below the consonants, rather than its own letter.
(This is just an example of the Thai script, which I think looks beautiful. That being said, I have no idea what this says.)
The Thai abugida is also unique in that it has two different letters for each consonant. Rather than indicating an actual difference in sound, these letters denote tone. This is different from systems like Chinese Pinyin, which uses marks above and below letters to indicate tone. Speaking of pinyin, there is no uniform method of transliterating Thai, and transliterations can vary wildly. Like many East Asian languages, Thai does not have gendered nouns, nor does it change the endings of nouns and verbs to indicate tense or number. All of these are indicated by particles, single syllables with no meaning of their own whose job it is to mark a verb as past tense or a noun as plural.
Thai names are so interesting and unique that I think I will give them their own post sometime later and wrap this one up here. I hope you enjoyed this language breakdown, and as always, please let me know if you have any comments, corrections, or suggestions!
Here’s the third fic for day three of the Jason Todd Birthday Week!! I couldn’t find any requests that went well with the ‘Parental Figure’ theme, so I just wrote this instead. Enjoy!
Warning: None that I can think of, maybe slight angst???
Dangling your feet over the edge of the of the fire escape, you silently counted the money you had left. Most of it was stolen from the unsuspecting citizens of Star City who happened to be passing you while walking somewhere. You only took their cash, but people don’t carry much of it nowadays. Cursing when you finished counting, you realized you only had nineteen dollars left. You knew you should have ignored the jacket you saw in the store, but of course you had to buy it. The weather started to get colder, so you had to get something to keep warm. Now you had barely enough money to get through the rest of the month. If you’d last that long, you scoffed in your head.