It’s Raining It’s Pouring

6 08 2010

I was inspired this morning to do another post on the rain.  Maybe it’s because we are well and truly in the wet season, perhaps because I’m British (and we love nothing more than to talk about the weather), or maybe it’s just because the rain in Bangkok over the past couple of days has been pretty spectacular.  Whatever it was, I thought I’d have a look at the different ways rain can be described.

Every day at about บ่ายสี่โมงครึ่ง this week the heavens have opened and poured gallons of heavenly H20 all over the City of Angels until well into the evening.  It has been such that visibility is reduced to next to nothing, roads become instantly jammed with traffic and Mòo Bâans contribute to the inevitable flooding by pumping the run-off back into the streets.  During the day, however, things tend to be a bit more sedate, with light drizzle flecking the skies and the occasional cloud burst that catches you out on the lunch run.  So how do we describe the ways in which the rains manifest?

The Basics

ฝน fŏn: rain

น้ำฝน náam fŏn: rainwater

ฝนตก fŏn-dtòk: it’s raining

ฤดูฝน réu-doo fŏn: rainy season

How many ways can it rain? (In ascending order of strength)

ละอองฝน lá-awng fŏn: fine mist or the steam left in the air after a really good bucketing

โปรยปราย bproy bpraay: very light rain, drizzle

กะปริดกะปรอย gà-bprìd gà-bproy: light, trickling rain

พรำๆ pram pram: light shower

ผนตกเชยๆ fŏn dtòk cheuy cheuy: ‘normal’ rain

ฝนตกหนัก fŏn dtòk nàk: heavy rain

มรสุม maw-rá-sum: monsoon

พายุ paa-yú: storm

วาตภัย waa-dtà-pai: hurricane

อุทกภัย ù-tók-à-pai: inundation/flooding/deluge

Idiomatic phrases

ฝนตกเหมือนฟ้ารั่ว  fŏn dtòk mǔuean fáa rûa: raining as if the sky is leaking

ฝนตกฟ้าถล่ม fŏn dtòk fáa tà-lôm: raining as if the sky has collapsed

Related vocab

ฟ้ารอ้ง fáa róng: thunder

ฟ้าแลบ fáa lâep: lightning

ฟ้าผ่า fáa pàa: lightning bolt

น้ำท่วม náam tûam: flood

Here’s a bit of reading:

I’m experimenting with roll-over translations.  Hover over the readings with your mouse to see an English translation.  Some have been split into clauses for clarity.

Never one to pass up the opportunity to end on a song, the music video is for that last is here 😉

If you know of any more rain words, especially idiomatic ones (and thanks to @thai_talk for the ones herein) you are most welcome to drop them into the comments box.

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9 responses

6 08 2010

Thanks, AjarnPhasa.

Check out more ฝนตก and ฝน phrases on Longdo Dictionary website:

I’ve wanted to learn how to do the “roll-over translations/transliterations” but never bothered to learn. Would appreciate if you’d give me some pointers.

6 08 2010

Thanks Kaewmala

My favourite from the Longdo selection has to be ฝนชะช่อมะม่วง to describe the rain we get between January and March when the mango trees are blooming. How much more in tune with nature could an idiom be?

10 08 2010

Hello AjarnPhasa
How about “it rains cats and dogs”? Does it mean just heavy rain? and may I ask if that phrase is too old-fashioned to use. Thanks

10 08 2010

Hi Jessi

Yes it’s ‘raining cats and dogs’ is similar to the Thai idiom ฝนตกเหมือนฟ้ารั่ว It means it’s raining really hard. No, it’s not too old-fashioned to use. You could also say “It’s chucking it down,” “It’s bucketing,” or that “the heavens have opened” (which I guess literally is more similar to the Thai idiom above).

10 08 2010

Ha ha. It’s absolutely chucking it down at the moment and my wife, stuck in traffic, has just tweeted this: แม่เจ้า!!! ฝนตกหยั่งกะวันสิ้นโลก…แรงส์! My god!!! It’s raining like it’s the end of the world…force!

11 08 2010

Thank you AjarnPasa…

What about “rain check” in Thai? “ผลัดไปก่อน” “ไว้วันหลัง”? correct?

You blog is very helpful, and I’m waiting for your next post, rain or shine. 😀

11 08 2010

Now … rain check is an Americanism, which is not really my area of expertise. However, if I remember correctly, Bill Bryson in his fabulous book ‘Mother Tongue‘ said that a rain check was a coupon given to spectators at baseball matches that had been stopped mid-game due to rain. The check or coupon could then be used to gain entry to the stadium for the rescheduled conclusion of that game. To take a rain check therefore means to postpone something till another time. So I guess that ไว้วันหลัง works well in this case.

11 08 2010

ok…thanks a lot Ajarn Pasa.

18 08 2010
Tropic Thunder « Tweet Yourself Thai

[…] It reminded me of a couple of the idioms in an earlier post […]

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