Thai six-hour clock

The six-hour clock is a traditional timekeeping system used in the Thai and formerly the Lao language and the Khmer language, alongside the official 24-hour clock. Like other common systems, it counts twenty-four hours in a day, but divides the day into four quarters, counting six hours in each. The hours in each quarter (with the exception of the sixth hour in each quarter) are told with period-designating words or phrases, which are:[1]

  • ... mong chao (Thai: ...โมงเช้า,  [mōːŋ tɕʰáːw]) for the first half of daytime (07:00 to 12:59)
  • Bai ... mong (บ่าย...โมง, [bàːj mōːŋ]) for the latter half of daytime (13:00 to 18:59)
  • ... thum (...ทุ่ม, [tʰûm]) for the first half of nighttime (19:00 to 00:59)
  • Ti ... (ตี..., [tīː]) for the latter half of nighttime (01:00 to 06:59)

These terms are thought to have originated from the sounds of traditional timekeeping devices. The gong was used to announce the hours in daytime, and the drum at night. Hence the terms mong, an onomatopoeia of the sound of the gong, and thum, that of the sound of the drum. Ti is a verb meaning to hit or strike, and is presumed to have originated from the act of striking the timekeeping device itself.[2] Chao and bai translate as morning and afternoon respectively, and help to differentiate the two daytime quarters.

The sixth hours of each quarter are told by a different set of terms. The sixth hour at dawn is called yam rung (ย่ำรุ่ง, [jâm rûŋ]), and the sixth hour at dusk is called yam kham (ย่ำค่ำ, [jâm kʰâm]), both references to the act of striking the gong or drum in succession to announce the turning of day (yam), where rung and kham, meaning dawn and dusk, denote the time of these occurrences. The midday and midnight hours are respectively known as thiang (เที่ยง, [tʰîaːŋ], or thiang wan, เที่ยงวัน, [tʰîaːŋ wān]) and thiang khuen (เที่ยงคืน, [tʰîaːŋ kʰɯ̄ːn]), both of which literally translate as midday and midnight.[1]

Midnight is also called song yam (สองยาม, [sɔ̌ːŋ jāːm]; note that yam is a different word), a reference to the end of the second three-hour period of the night watch (song translates as the number two). In addition, hok (6) thum and ti hok may also be used to refer to the hours of midnight and dawn, following general usage for the other hours, although more rarely; and the fourth to sixth hours of the second daytime half may also be told as ...mong yen (...โมงเย็น, [mōːŋ jēn]), yen meaning evening.

The system has been used in some form since the days of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, but was codified similarly to its present form only in 1901 by King Chulalongkorn in Royal Gazette 17:206.[3] Nowadays, it is used only in colloquial speech. However, a corrupted form of the six-hour clock is more frequently encountered,[2] where usually the first half of daytime (including the sixth hour of the preceding quarter) is counted as in the twelve-hour clock, i.e. hok (6) mong chao, chet (7) mong, etc., up to sip et (11) mong.

The six-hour clock system was abolished in Laos and Cambodia during the French protectorate, and the French 24-hour clock system (for example, 3h00) has been used since.

A comparison of the systems is as follows:

Meaning 6-hour Modified 6-hour 24-hour 12-hour
1 early morning ตีหนึ่ง ti nueng ตีหนึ่ง ti nueng 01:00 1:00 am
2 early morning ตีสอง ti song ตีสอง ti song 02:00 2:00 am
3 early morning ตีสาม ti sam ตีสาม ti sam 03:00 3:00 am
4 early morning ตีสี่ ti si ตีสี่ ti si 04:00 4:00 am
5 early morning ตีห้า ti ha ตีห้า ti ha 05:00 5:00 am
6 in the morning ตีหก,
ti hok,
yam rung
หกโมงเช้า hok mong chao 06:00 6:00 am
1 in the morning โมงเช้า mong chao เจ็ดโมง (เช้า)* chet mong (chao)* 07:00 7:00 am
2 in the morning สองโมงเช้า song mong chao แปดโมง (เช้า)* paet mong (chao)* 08:00 8:00 am
3 in the morning สามโมงเช้า sam mong chao เก้าโมง (เช้า)* kao mong (chao)* 09:00 9:00 am
4 in the morning สีโมงเช้า si mong chao สิบโมง (เช้า)* sip mong (chao)* 10:00 10:00 am
5 in the morning ห้าโมงเช้า ha mong chao สิบเอ็ดโมง (เช้า)* sip et mong (chao)* 11:00 11:00 am
midday เที่ยงวัน thiang wan เที่ยงวัน thiang wan 12:00 12:00 pm
1 in the afternoon บ่ายโมง bai mong บ่ายโมง bai mong 13:00 1:00 pm
2 in the afternoon บ่ายสองโมง bai song mong บ่ายสองโมง bai song mong 14:00 2:00 pm
3 in the afternoon บ่ายสามโมง bai sam mong บ่ายสามโมง bai sam mong 15:00 3:00 pm
4 in the afternoon บ่ายสี่โมง bai si mong บ่ายสี่โมง** bai si mong** 16:00 4:00 pm
5 in the afternoon บ่ายห้าโมง bai ha mong บ่ายห้าโมง** bai ha mong** 17:00 5:00 pm
6 in the evening หกโมงเย็น,
hok mong yen,
yam kham
หกโมงเย็น hok mong yen 18:00 6:00 pm
1 at night หนึ่งทุ่ม nueng thum หนึ่งทุ่ม nueng thum 19:00 7:00 pm
2 at night สองทุ่ม song thum สองทุ่ม song thum 20:00 8:00 pm
3 at night สามทุ่ม sam thum สามทุ่ม sam thum 21:00 9:00 pm
4 at night สี่ทุ่ม si thum สี่ทุ่ม si thum 22:00 10:00 pm
5 at night ห้าทุ่ม ha thum ห้าทุ่ม ha thum 23:00 11:00 pm
midnight เที่ยงคืน,
thiang khuen,
hok thum,
song yam
thiang khuen,
hok thum
12:00 am
* The word chao (เช้า) is optional here since the numbers 7 to 11 are not used elsewhere
** Conversationally, si mong yen (สี่โมงเย็น) and ha mong yen (ห้าโมงเย็น) are also spoken if considered as evening

See also


  1. ^ a b Royal Institute (2003), พจนานุกรม ฉบับราชบัณฑิตยสถาน พ.ศ. ๒๕๔๒ (Royal Institute Dictionary, BE 2542) (in Thai), Bangkok: Nanmee Books Publications, ISBN 974-9588-04-5.
  2. ^ a b Thongprasert, Chamnong (1985), "ทุ่ม-โมง-นาฬิกา (Thum-Mong-Nalika)", ภาษาไทยไขขาน (Thai Unlocked), Bangkok: Prae Pitaya Press, pp. 229–237, archived from the original on 2009-07-26. (in Thai)
  3. ^ "ประกาศใช้ทุ่มโมงยาม" (PDF), Royal Gazette (17), p. 206, 29 July 1901, retrieved 2008-10-18. (in Thai)
12-hour clock

The 12-hour clock is a time convention in which the 24 hours of the day are divided into two periods: a.m. (from Latin ante meridiem, translates to, before midday) and p.m. (from Latin post meridiem translates to, past midday). Each period consists of 12 hours numbered: 12 (acting as zero), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. The 24 hour/day cycle starts at 12 midnight (may be indicated as 12 a.m.), runs through 12 noon (may be indicated as 12 p.m.), and continues to the midnight at the end of the day. The 12-hour clock has been developed from the middle of the second millennium BC to the 16th century AD.

The 12-hour time convention is common in several English-speaking nations and former British colonies, as well as a few other countries.

24-hour clock

The 24-hour clock is the convention of time keeping in which the day runs from midnight to midnight and is divided into 24 hours, indicated by the hours passed since midnight, from 0 to 23. This system is the most commonly used time notation in the world today, and is used by international standard ISO 8601.A limited number of countries, particularly English-speaking, use the 12-hour clock, or a mixture of the 24- and 12-hour time systems. In countries where the 12-hour clock is still dominant, some professions prefer to use the 24-hour clock. For example, in the practice of medicine the 24-hour clock is generally used in documentation of care as it prevents any ambiguity as to when events occurred in a patient's medical history. In the United States and a handful of other countries, it is popularly referred to as military time.

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Italian six-hour clock

The six-hour clock (Italian: sistema orario a 6 ore), also called the Roman (alla romana) or the Italian (all'italiana) system, is a timekeeping system used in Italy. In this system, the day starts at the evening Ave Maria at the end of twilight, approximately half an hour after sunset, and the following 24 hours are divided into four cycles of six hours each.

Introduced by the Catholic Church in the 13th century, it remained in use in Italy until superseded by the 12-hour clock following the Napoleonic invasion of Italy.

Six-hour clock

Six-hour clock may refer to:

Thai six-hour clock

Italian six-hour clock

Thai language

Thai, Central Thai (historically Siamese; Thai: ภาษาไทย), is the sole official and national language of Thailand and the first language of the Central Thai people and vast majority of Thai Chinese. It is a member of the Tai group of the Kra–Dai language family. Over half of Thai vocabulary is derived from or borrowed from Pali, Sanskrit, Mon and Old Khmer. It is a tonal and analytic language, similar to Chinese and Vietnamese.

Thai has a complex orthography and system of relational markers. Spoken Thai is mutually intelligible with Lao and Isan, fellow Southwestern Tai languages, to a significantly high degree where its speakers are able to effectively communicate each speaking their respective language. These languages are written with slightly different scripts but are linguistically similar and effectively form a dialect continuum.

Thai numerals

Thai numerals (Thai: เลขไทย, RTGS: lek thai, pronounced [lêːk tʰāj]) are a set of numerals traditionally used in Thailand, although the Arabic numerals are more common due to pervasive westernization of Thailand in the modern Rattanakosin Era. Thai numerals follow the Hindu-Arabic numeral system commonly used in the rest of the world. In Thai language, numerals often follow the modified noun and precede a measure word, although variations to this pattern occur.

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