Thai translation help

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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Anagarika
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Re: Thai translation help

Post by Anagarika » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:18 am

Thanks, Bakmoon. I'm going to order the program that Samseva mentioned, and with your advice, I'll keep the Pimsleur course active as well. It's downloaded on a computer I use frequently, and it will be good to have as a resource. The more contacts one has with the language, I suppose, the better. Thanks for this!

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samseva
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Re: Thai translation help

Post by samseva » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:21 am

Bakmoon wrote:Not that I'm criticizing or anything but I'd just like to note for other readers who may not know, Pimsleur courses generally work by going through a basic dialogue word by word and explaining it. I agree, it's not a good way to learn if you are just looking to learn vocabulary and phrases, but I think the intention is that you are simultaneously learning vocab and grammar. Personally I like to combine Pimsleur with other materials because I think it rather nicely complements them in style.
From what I remember, it is basically rote memorization of words and phrases (at the beginning covering a single sentence for a whole lesson). There is no reading and writing. By the end of the course, you are able to speak a few sentences and have barely any knowledge of grammar. Also, it is very expensive.

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mikenz66
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Re: Thai translation help

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:49 am

Thai for Beginners is one of the best books I've found, but I also found Teach Yourself Thai to be very good. http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Thai-Two ... 0071750495
In both cases you'd want the CDs to go with the book.

Both cover writing quite well, which is handy when you are in Thailand...

Unfortunately my favourite online site http://www.learningthai.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; has closed down. That had some nice resources, including the grade 1 Manee primary school reading book, which gave a nice insight into Thai culture.
You can find the books here, but I have not explored that site:
http://ressources.learn2speakthai.net/
Since those books were used from the late 70s to the mid 90s you can find a lot of Thai people who used them :)

:anjali:
Mike

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Anagarika
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Re: Thai translation help

Post by Anagarika » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:36 am

Thanks, Mike. The Reviews for Complete Thai were very good; I'm adding this to my list.

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mikenz66
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Re: Thai translation help

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:39 pm

Yes, I think both are good,and both teach Thai script quite well, but the tone rules are quite tricky, so having a couple of different explanations is helpful.

Becker's series is more detailed, but Smyth has a wry, English, sense of humour. My favourite is a conversation where a taxi driver asks if the passenger speaks Thai so well because he has a Thai girlfriend... :)

:anjali:
Mike

Bakmoon
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Re: Thai translation help

Post by Bakmoon » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:41 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Yes, I think both are good,and both teach Thai script quite well, but the tone rules are quite tricky, so having a couple of different explanations is helpful.
Are there any sources that are especially good at the tone rules? That's the most frightening aspect of it for me, and ultimately why I decided to not learn Thai as a hobby.

Also, how effective would it be in the beginning to just memorize the spelling and tones of vocabulary without knowing how to sound out the tones according to the rules?
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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mikenz66
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Re: Thai translation help

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:55 pm

Bakmoon wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Yes, I think both are good,and both teach Thai script quite well, but the tone rules are quite tricky, so having a couple of different explanations is helpful.
Are there any sources that are especially good at the tone rules? That's the most frightening aspect of it for me, and ultimately why I decided to not learn Thai as a hobby.
Working through those two books made it reasonably understandable, along with conversations at this website: http://www.thailandqa.com/forum/forumdi ... rning-Thai" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Bakmoon wrote: Also, how effective would it be in the beginning to just memorize the spelling and tones of vocabulary without knowing how to sound out the tones according to the rules?
You need to work on how they sound, I think. Also, keep in mind that "tone" involves not just pitch, but also emphasis. Hard to explain without listening, but if you keep that in mind, I think it becomes clearer why it is possible to sing in tonal languages such as Thai :)

Just listening is very helpful, e.g. watching movies (with subtitles), karaoke disks, and so on...

Where I got discouraged was where I could do basic basic tourist-level things like talking about a price, but realised that to have a serious conversation was going to be really hard. Since then, my Thai has slipped a lot. Also, I got more interested in learning Dhamma than learning Thai :)

:anjali:
Mike

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samseva
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Re: Thai translation help

Post by samseva » Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:43 am

mikenz66 wrote:You can find the books here, but I have not explored that site:
http://ressources.learn2speakthai.net/
Since those books were used from the late 70s to the mid 90s you can find a lot of Thai people who used them :)
Mia's Maanii resource is very good. She has translated the first few books and there are audio recordings of every page, each sentence by sentence.

You have to sign up, but it is worth it. She doesn't bother anyone with newsletters.

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samseva
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Re: Thai translation help

Post by samseva » Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:49 am

Bakmoon wrote:Are there any sources that are especially good at the tone rules? That's the most frightening aspect of it for me, and ultimately why I decided to not learn Thai as a hobby.
The tone rules are much more intimidating than they are difficult. If you can learn lists of conjugations, you can learn the tone rules rather quickly. It takes time, like anything, but it isn't as difficult as it seems.

Benjawan Poomsan Becker's Thai for Beginners is good for learning the tone rules. Although it is possible to improve and simplify her structure, it is pretty good.

The most important thing you need to know is the following (simplified/improved version, which is not in the book):
Mid Live Mid
Mid Dead Low

High Live Rising
High Dead Low

Low Live Mid
Low Dead Short High
Low Dead Long Falling
Without the context/basics it is difficult to understand, but if you study the tone rules a bit, you will easily understand it.

Arthit Juyaso's Read Thai in 10 Days is also good and very thorough (and also good for understanding all of the Thai script). He describes every single rule, tone, consonant, vowel and exception there is in the Thai language. A valuable tool.
Bakmoon wrote:Also, how effective would it be in the beginning to just memorize the spelling and tones of vocabulary without knowing how to sound out the tones according to the rules?
Knowing the tone rules does help, but it is very doable—although you do need to rely on audio recordings.

Bakmoon
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Re: Thai translation help

Post by Bakmoon » Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:46 am

samseva wrote:...
Thank you very much. I once considered learning Thai, but after seeing the complex tone rules I ran away and never looked back. Perhaps one day I will finally get around to taking it up.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

Buckwheat
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Location: California USA

Re: Thai translation help

Post by Buckwheat » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:35 pm

Dhammanando wrote:I think Western music which has reached an international audience, or whose creator intends that it will do so, would be more naturally referred to as don-trii saakon than don-trii farang. Saakon is from the Sanskrit sākalya, meaning 'universal', but in Thai usage it tends to imply 'western'.
thank you. that is a wonderful suggestion.

:anjali:
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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