About the book
(3rd ed.) by Christopher G.
Moore (Heaven Lake Press, 2006, 384 pp.)
is a unique study of the emotional range of
Thai language, mastering the use of the word
or ‘heart’ in many different contexts.
It provides an insight into how Thai speakers
express their feelings in ways understood by
Thais in different situations.
was first published in 1992 and the second edition
came out in 1998. This third edition of hearttalk
is substantially revised and reorganized, including
over 200 more phrases. It also features 25 new
fun and informative illustrations, as well as
a new chapter on heart proverbs. The
Phonetic Guide is expanded and improved.
Thai language has the Thai word for heart in hundreds
of different phrases. There is no single source
in Thai or English where the heart phrases have
been collected, organized and defined. Many Thai
language books have been written that prepare
you to buy a cup of coffee or ask for directions
to the train station. This book has a different
purpose. Through lighthearted translation of Thai
heart words and phrases into English, hearttalk
gives a short tour of the heart vocabulary, which,
in the Thai language, explains some of the reasons
Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles.
provides an introduction to the source of those
famous smiles; and explains, in part, the cultural
difference when someone from the West meets and
interacts with a Thai speaker. The way we talk
(or don’t talk) about matters of the heart
exposes something about what we feel is important,
true, or possible about ourselves.
readers have found the previous editions of
“invaluable,” and “indispensable,”
providing an “interesting glimpse into
the Thai psyche.” See Praise
the first edition of this book contained approximately
330 heart phrases, and 532 in the second edition, this
third edition features 743. The jai
vocabulary in hearttalk
includes commonly used words and phrases, idioms and
proverbs, as well as a selection of 40 sign language
that contain the word jai.
expressions are descriptive of the nature of a person.
For example, a person with an impatient nature is jai
rÓOn (hot heart) and a person with a
sensitive, touchy nature is jai
nÓOy (touchy heart). Other times a phrase
is connected with an emotional state and not necessarily
the nature of the person experiencing the emotion. Thus
a feeling of panic translates as jai túm
túm tÒOm tÒOm (panic heart).
Another feature is the reversal of order in certain
expressions. Thus jai
dii (good heart) refers to the nature of a
good-hearted person while dii
jai (glad heart) refers to the emotional state
of gladness. In a number of cases, the switch can turn
a negative feeling into a good personality trait. For
jai (worn-out heart) means weary-minded, while
jai ÒOn (soft heart) refers to someone
who goes out of their way to help others.
sample jai phrases.
you have knowledge of Thai, you can test your knowledge
of the Thai heart vocabulary by taking a series of mini
is an essential language survival kit as you explore
the Thai language, culture and people.
It opens the door to the private realm of the Thai language—the
linguistic heartscape where ideas take shape,
feelings are formed, moods floated, and relationships
started or mended when broken.
about the book | about
the author | table of contents
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