Thai Word of the Day?

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Korkenzieher
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Post by Korkenzieher » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:18 pm

@Carol

Just to add to that ( I would have edited but can't see a button for it) -

When starting to learn Thai, it really helps if you make the effort to become familiar with the alphabet. Not only does it help comprehension with things you hear on CD in isolation, but it also helps with making sensible transliteration - kher / keu being a good example of that. Transliteration in Thai is notoriously difficult and variable. Several systems exist, and not all of them are useful! Plus, it is hard to distinguish, say a long vowel from a short vowel, if you don't know that the difference exists!

That is why I pointed you at a couple of character set introductions. It may seem daunting, especially if all you really want to do is learn to ask for a beer in the local language maybe once or twice a year, but really pays massive dividends down the road if learning the language (rather than getting by) is what you want.

The MinOfEd site also has a lot of vocab and bits of grammar. It is a very good effort from them, and is available on CD. I can't honestly tell you where to get it from, because I was given a copy with a windows installer, and have it installed on my laptop. It is about 11M, so too big to email, but it would easily fit on a USB memory strip when you get here, if there is no other place you can find it.

The phonemic page on Thai Language really is just about how to sensibly organise the characters for learning. The thai character set can be very daunting at first, and the stuff I am suggesting to you really sounds very academic but when you see the organisation, how common sounds are organised over the consonant classes and how those relate to sounds; why certain characters are rare or redundant then the comparatively elegant simplicity of the system will just make so many things more easy to tackle.

I still don't know which CD's you are using, but the Pimsleur ones are the ones I started with. In truth, I didn't really get much from them until I had had some lessons and for a non-IndoEuropean language, I'm not sure it is the right place to start at all. That may be personal preference though, as much as anything.

On top of that, when you get here, consider lessons. Private instruction is very cheap really, and will get you a long way. There's also a new class of language schools springing up, servicing the Education Visa option, and although more expensive, they are generally MinOfEd regulated and provide good service.
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Post by Roel » Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:27 am

Khun Korkenzieher,

On the subject of transliteration I can send you a PDF-file of an interesting article if you want:

Romanization, Transliteration, and Transcription for the Globalization of the Thai Language by Dr. Nitaya Kanchanawan (July-September 2006)
Published in The Journal of the Royal Institute of Thailand

And this link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Thai ... nscription
(I put it on here somewhere before) shows the official transliteration but begins with a well-chosen remark: "It is used in road signs and government publications, and is the closest thing to a standard of transcription for Thai, though its use by even the government is inconsistent." (Key words: closest and inconsistent)
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Post by Korkenzieher » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:59 am

Thanks Roel, by all means send it to me. I'll PM my email address.

The Royal Thai system has its critics, and it is easy to see why, but I chose to follow the advice of Becker, which was in essence to shun transliteration where possible and learn the Thai alphabet directly. Obviously, having some standard is necessary for international guests and so on, but I pretty much make it up as I go along, depending on what I think the word sounds like.

By the way, what do you call the Thai 'Alphabet'. Alphabet sounds, well, so Roman... :P
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Post by Roel » Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:23 pm

Good question about the alphabet. Could be there is a specific word for it but as far as I know mosly it is referred to as akson Thai อักษร meaning Thai letter(s).

Often it is even simply referred to as gor gai. You might have heard Thais note that you have knowledge of the Thai alphabet by saying: khun roojak gor gai คุณรู้จักกอไก่

Received your email per pm; article has been sent.
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Post by Korkenzieher » Sat Sep 19, 2009 1:31 pm

Thanks for the document.

Currently this is the most
popular system since it is used
in Karaoke singing. :mrgreen:

You have to love that bit!
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Post by carol » Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:24 pm

Thank you so much, I have been using..teach yourself thai, David Smythe, PDQ and Linguaphone, I also use the internet learn to speak thai, I realy try ha ha, but till we sell up we are only over for 2 weeks 3 times a year.. I will have to find out if I can get a teacher for each time I come over to help me. Till then this has been a great help, thank you again.

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Post by Korkenzieher » Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:31 pm

I tried to get Linguaphone PDQ from the Hull local library, but it was too expensive for them, given that they already had the Pimsleur course. It is OK, I guess, but they (both) kind of expect you to learn by parrot fashion repetition. It can be done - obviously people have some success with it. Apologies to those who are big fans of the method, but I feel it is kind of like lending someone a rope or a ladder, because building a staircase takes too long. Fine for 'once over easy' but not much more than that.

By that, I certainly don't mean to dissuade you from listening to the CD's but if you can get a book like Poomsan-Becker 'Beginners', and take a once over on the ministry site, you should much make more solid progress. I'm not great with the language by any means, but every little helps (sorry, Tesco...).

If i could offer one piece of advice on learning Thai (or anything really), it is to try to understand the scope of the task first (it may seem overwhelming and most approaches try to avoid scaring you off by being less than candid about the scale of the job). But then break it down into bite sized problems to solve - numbers, alphabet, classes of consonants, vowels, tones, grammar constructs for present, future, past, colours, verbs, days of the week, months, time - whatever turns you on. Don't feel that you have to have (say) the tone rules 'down pat' before you can move onto the next bit, but just be aware of which bit of the language problem you are trying to solve, so that it doesn't become one huge jumbled mass. For me, this kind of organisation is quite important where I can't actually read, and therefore have a stab at pronunciation from day one, like I would be able to in a European language.

If you take lessons, Thai teachers will probably try to sell you a package of hours for something between oh, say 6000 and 10000 baht - 170 to 200 pounds - maybe averaging out at 200-250 baht an hour. A friend of mine made very quick progress with speaking by basically going in prepared saying 'I want to learn this & this today / next time' and not allowing himself to be led too easily down the paths the Thais think are important (a good example is family relationships - very important to Thais, but something you can put off a long time; and formal wordings like 'preposition', which you are just not going to need in Thai, like, forever!)

Pleased to be able to help. Feel free to PM me if you think there's anything specific I can help with in the future.
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Re: Thai Word of the Day?

Post by PeteC » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:37 pm

Appropriate for these days we're coming into: Roung kien nam (transliteration probably off as usual).

Meaning :Rainbow. Some people just use the word Roung. Also a popular nickname for a girl. Pete :cheers:
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Re: Thai Word of the Day?

Post by Roel » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:35 pm

But you were close, rung gin naam (รุ้งกินน้ำ)
Literally: rainbow - eats/drinks - water.
My intuition says that 'rung' refers more to the rainbow seen as some kind of an 'object' whereas 'rung gin naam' refers to the phenomenon, the manifestation of a rainbow.
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Re: Thai Word of the Day?

Post by Roel » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:57 am

Word of the Day is of course: Loi Gratong (ลอยกระทง)

The Gratong (กระทง) is the name of the floating device originally made out of banana and/or lotus leaves decorated with flowers and a candle as well as a few incense sticks.
Gratong cannot be translated as we do not have these kind of things.

Loi (ลอย) = to float, to drift

Happy Loi Gratong everybody. Leave your worries and problems on the gratong and let it float away.
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Re: Thai Word of the Day?

Post by PeteC » Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:32 pm

PBbeacher wrote:Ginseng capsules are sold in any pharmacy (pronounced like 'sohm' in thai)
Interesting word "sohm". I know it to be orange juice with the word nahm preceding, vinegar, and now ginseng. Are there more uses, and I'm sure there are tones involved to distinguish the various meanings. Pete :cheers:
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Re: Thai Word of the Day?

Post by hhinner » Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:08 pm

Two different words. The word meaning orange (ส้ม), as in your examples orange juice and vinegar, is a short vowel sound (o as in Tom) with falling tone. The word meaning ginseng (โสม) is a long vowel sound (o as in dome) and a rising tone.

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Re: Thai Word of the Day?

Post by PeteC » Fri May 08, 2015 7:37 pm

Mr. Farage, ....Farange. Not bad. Perhaps I would rather be called a farangee. Kind of has a native, tribal jungle ring to it, no? Although, the sound "e" has a derogatory meaning to it when used like ...." e Peter.." e Noy..." etc... I will now refer to myself as a Farangee! :D :duck:

EDIT: Maybe meaning a retiree expat, and differentiating from other foreigner types? :idea:
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