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Cat Cartoons Episode 101: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน กุฏิ
Narrator: Episode – ‘Gu-dti’.

สีสวาด: นานๆ มาเดินเล่นในวัดที รู้สึกสบายใจดีนะ
Si Sawat: It’s been quite a while since I’ve been here, so I feel happy and glad that I’m here now taking a leisurely walk around the temple.

วิเชียรมาศ: อื้ม ชั้น(ฉัน)ก็รู้สึกเหมือนกันเลย
Wi-chian maat: Yup, I feel the exact same way.

วิเชียรมาศ: พระท่านขยันจัง กวาดวัดสะอาดเชียว สีสวาดดูบ้านหลังเล็กๆ นี้สิ น่ารักดีน้า(นะ) เป็นบ้านของใครหลอ(หรือ) มีตั้งหลายหลังแน่ะ
Wi-chian maat: The monks are very hardworking, sweeping the temple so clean. Si Sawat, look at these little houses. There’re really quaint. Whose houses are they? There’re so many of them.

สีสวาด: อ๋อ เป็นที่อยู่ของพระภิกษุสามเณรน่ะ ที่อาศัยของพระเณรเค้า(เขา)ไม่เรียกว่าบ้านหรอก เค้า(เขา)เรียกว่า กุฏิ
Si Sawat: Ah! They’re the living quarters of the monks and novice monks. The place where monks and novice monks stay are not called houses but ‘Gu-dti’ instead.

ผู้บรรยาย: กุฏิ เขียน ก ไก่ สระอุ ฏ ปฏัก สระอิ คือ เรือนหรือตึกสำหรับพระภิกษุสามเณรอยู่ นิยมอ่านว่า กุ–ติ
Narrator: ‘Gu-dti’: spelled ‘Gor-gai’, ‘Sa-ra u’, ‘Dtor bpa-dtak’, and ‘Sa-ra i’, is a house or building for monks and novice monks to stay in, and the favored way of reading it is as ‘Gu-dti’.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode 101: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Andrew Biggs (Thai Memories): Expensive

Andrew Biggs

I needed a new door for my bathroom, so I walked down to the end of my soi where there is a giant wood factory.

Yes, I know; I choose the most salubrious of neighborhoods. Making my way through piles of woodchips and sleeping underpaid Cambodian labor, I met the owner who showed me a catalogue. I picked one door at a price of 2,500 Baht.

This is where the story should have ended, only to be filed away for eternity in that folder of life’s forgotten chores, except for one thing.

I opened my big mouth.

When I returned home, waiting outside my house was my old friend Daeng and his sour-faced wife.

“How much are you paying for the door?” he asked when I told him where I’d just been.

“2,500 Baht,” I answered.

Daeng’s eyes widened, then darkened. His face contorted.

Paenggggggg!” (แพง) he exclaimed.

“Kha” (ค่ะ), his wife reiterated. “Paenggggggg.

Thailand is one of the cheapest countries on earth. Food is cheap. Cabs are cheap.

Dental work? Cosmetic surgery? We’re a hub. On any given day the wards of Bamrungrat are littered with the world’s foreign princes and princesses desperate to reverse the onslaught of inbreeding.

We had a slight economic blip recently when the basic wage for Bangkok workers rose — rose — to the equivalent of just under 10 American dollars per 12 hours of work.

Despite all this, the locals remain convinced that every purchase they ever make is expensive.

Nothing gets a lower-middle class Thai more excited than hearing that something is expensive, and Daeng is definitely lower-middle class. I suspect that by marrying what’s-her-name, he managed to drag her up to that social rung as well.

The word for “expensive” in Thai is paeng, which rhymes with gang (or bang, come of think of it). Normally a Thai is very polite when speaking. The Chinese may spit and talk at decibel levels found around Suvarnabhumi, but the Thais are way more civilized.

Put a price tag in front of them, however, and watch them gasp. Wide-eyed. Open mouthed.

Paenggggggg!”

Daeng doesn’t get very excited over much, nor his wife whose mouth is a permanent upside-down U shape, except when hubby asks the price of something.

Daeng leant forward and tapped my knee. “My cousin has a wood factory,” he said. “He can sell you a cheaper door. We can go visit him. Just have a look. You don’t have to buy.”

“No really, it’s –“

“I’ll be around at 10 am tomorrow,” he said.

The next day he was on time, arriving at 11 am with his wife in sullen tow.

“We’ll take your car,” he announced, as if he had a say in it. Out on Srinakharin Road, Daeng said: “Take the expressway.”

“To … where?”

“Nonthaburi.”

“Nonthaburi!??!”

“It’s Saturday. The traffic won’t be that bad.”

Daeng’s life has been a series of serious miscalculations, starting with his betrothal, and passing through numerous odd jobs. He fixed air conditioners; then he had his own van for hire business. Each new enterprise lasted no more than a year – was it because his wife kept answering the phones?

Another of his serious miscalculations was the traffic to Nonthaburi that Saturday morning.

With half my gas tank spent we arrived at Bang Khu Rat, Nonthaburi, around 1 pm. Lunchtime, as Daeng’s wife kept reminding us, repeating “hew” (หิว) throughout the journey.

I foolishly asked what she wanted to eat, and she replied duck, so another half an hour was spent circling Nonthaburi looking for a duck restaurant.

Amazingly we found one, where Daeng’s wife ordered the most expensive duck on the menu while Daeng ordered a few bottles of Heineken. I was driving, I announced, so I ordered an orange juice, resting the glass on the chair beside me and my hip flask.

Not even a spiked orange juice could quell the resentment of having to spend an hour at Nonthaburi’s Most Expensive Duck Restaurant, the cuisine not even being able to upend the upside-down U on the wife’s face.

When the bill came, I paid for it, as a show of thanks for Daeng going out of his way to take me out of my way.

Then, in the restaurant carpark, an unforeseen event.

Blame it on the idiot carpark attendant with the whistle. Blame it on my short temper for being on the wrong side of Bangkok without dark glasses and a fake beard. As I reversed out of my space, I clipped the side of a pick-up truck parked next door.

“Oo-ee!” (โอ๊ย) cried Daeng’s wife from the back seat, as the upended U morphed into an O.

The dent was tiny and almost unrecognizable, and would probably cost about 2,000 Baht to fix according to the vehicle’s owner. I handed over 2,000 Baht to end it right there.

What a mistake that was.

Paeng,” hissed Daeng as we got back in the car.

“Kha!” his wife added. “Paenggggggg!

It was a small price to pay for the dent but I was howled down by Daeng while his wife gave me the evil eye. What hope did I have against a millennium-old culture that screeches paeng at the mere sight of a price tag?

Soon we arrived at Daeng’s cousin’s wood factory, way smaller than the one at the end of my soi.

Daeng’s cousin, Ko, showed me his scant collection of wooden doors – they were hideous, dear reader, all woodchip and plastic.

I stood there, flanked by eager Ko and Daeng, nodding and praising the beauty of a pink fake-wooden door resting in cobwebs against the back of his mini-factory, in some godforsaken soi in the backstreets of Nonthaburi.

“Special price for you,” Ko announced. “2,300 Baht!”

“How about a discount?” Daeng asked. “Andrew’s been my good friend for five years, ever since I got out of Bang Kwang.”

Ko rubbed his chin. “Okay! Two thousand baht!”

“Can you install it for me too?” I asked, and Ko said of course he could, for a small fee.

I said okay. There was no other way to answer without all of us losing face.

The next day some worker who spoke broken Thai turned up with a door, the type one would normally see in brothels and gas station bathrooms. He managed to get the door on some hinges and, if you lifted it slightly as you slammed it shut, it stayed closed.

Ko added an extra 300 Baht for the installation and travel costs. When I calculated everything, including my own gas and toll fees (300 Baht), the duck lunch (1,200 Baht) and the crash (2,000), that door cost me 5,800 Baht.

Paenggggggg.

Daeng disappeared after that, as lower-middle class friends do, and turned up the following year with a new business transporting Japanese tourists to golf courses.

He had ditched his wife, too. He had a new one now; a younger hairdresser who was much prettier than the first, though just as dour and perhaps more demanding.

“I remember that door,” said Daeng proudly as he settled into his second Heineken. He turned to his new wife. “I saved Andrew a lot of money on that door. At first he was going to buy one for way too much – three thousand? Four thousand?“

The new wife gasped.

Paenggggg,” she announced.

“But in the end I helped him out. Took him to my cousin who only charged him one or two thousand. Right Andrew?”

“Right,” I said.

Daeng peered at the door a little more closely. “It looks different. Did you paint it?”

Paenggggg,” repeated his wife, in case I didn’t hear her the first time.

I never told Daeng the truth; that the week after we visited Ko I walked down to the end of my soi and ordered a teak door from the local factory. It cost me 3,000 Baht, including installation, which means in the space of a month I’d outlayed 8,800 for a door.

But that is the price I paid for opening my big mouth.

I did learn a valuable lesson about living in Thailand; when a Thai asks you how much you paid for something, just halve what you really paid and tell them that.
It doesn’t have any effect. It’s still paengggg.

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Cat Cartoons Episode One Hundred: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน คำที่ใช้ ขิงก็ราข่าก็แรง
Narrator: Episode – ‘[]’

เก่ง: วันเนียะ(นี้อ่ะ)ข้างบ้านเค้า(เขา)ทะเลาะกัน พ่อบอกว่า พอกันทั้งคู่ ขิงก็ราข่าก็แรง
Geng: Today, our neighbors got into a fight. Dad said that both parties were the same: ‘King gor raa, kaa gor raeng’.

ก้อย: เค้า(เขา)ทะเลาะเรื่องอะไรล่ะ
Goi: What were they fighting about?

เก่ง: ก็แค่กิ่งไม้บ้านนึง(หนึ่ง)ล้ำเข้าไปอีกบ้านนึง(หนึ่ง)
Geng: It was about the tree branch of one house encroaching onto the land of another house.

ก้อย: แล้วยังไงล่ะ
Goi: So what of it?

เก่ง: บ้านที่กิ่งไม้ล้ำเข้าไปบอกว่า ถ้าไม่ตัด เดี๋ยวเค้า(เขา)จะตัดเอง เจ้าของต้นไม้เค้า(เขา)บอกว่า ก็ลองตัดซี่(สิ) มีเรื่องแน่
Geng: The owner of the land that the branch encroached on, said that if it is not cut, then he will cut it himself. The owner of the tree said to go ahead and try and cut it. There’ll be hell to pay!

ก้อย: ต้นไม้ของเค้า(เขา) เค้า(เขา)ก็ต้องตัดไม่ให้ไปรกบ้านคนอื่นสิ
Goi: It’s his tree. He must cut it (the branch) and not let it mess up other people’s houses.

เก่ง: เออ เฮอะๆ (เสียงหัวเราะ) ใช่ ต่างฝ่ายต่างไม่ยอมพูดกันดีๆ จะต่อยกัน เห็นคนแถวเนียะ(นี้อ่ะ)ออกมาดูกันเต็มเลย แต่ไม่เห็นใครห้ามซัก(สัก)คน
Geng: Tee hee (sound of laughter)! Indeed! Both parties were not willing to talk nicely and wanted to get into a fist fight. The people around here came out and formed a big crowd to watch but I didn’t see anyone trying to stop or beak up the fight.

ก้อย: มิน่าหล่ะ พ่อถึงบอกว่า ขิงก็ราข่าก็แรง
Goi: It’s no wonder that Dad said, ‘King gor raa, kaa gor raeng’.

เก่ง: ก็นั่นน่ะซี(สิ) อารมณ์ร้อนทั้งคู่ แย่จัง โลกร้อน ผู้ใหญ่ก็เลยใจร้อน
Geng: That’s just it! There were heated emotions on both sides. It was terrible! The world is heating up (global warming), so grown-ups are getting really heated up (angry).

ก้อย: พี่เก่ง อย่าว่าผู้ใหญ่ ไม่ดีนะ
Goi: Pee Geng. Don’t criticize grown-ups! It’s not good, OK?!

ผู้บรรยาย: ขิงก็ราข่าก็แรง เป็นสำนวนหมายถึง ร้ายพอกัน หรือต่างฝ่ายต่างไม่ยอมลดละให้กัน
Narrator: ‘King gor raa, kaa gor raeng’ is a saying which means that both parties are equally belligerent or neither party is willing to back down nor give way.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode One Hundred: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Andrew Biggs (Thai Memories): Adjectives

Andrew Biggs

Wendy’s gaze was steely and determined.

“You need to cut down on your use of adjectives,” she said, looking in this direction with eyebrows arched. “It’s lazy writing.”

Surely, she’s not referring to …? Oh God. She is.

Last weekend your columnist attended a writer’s workshop in Bangkok where my overuse of adjectives was laid bare before a group of aspiring writers. Now it’s understood how it feels to walk naked down Silom Road.

“Not only that, when you write in first person as you do, Andrew, try writing without using the words ‘I’ and ‘me’,” Wendy continued, unabashed. “It makes you a much better writer.”

A much better writer? The humiliation of it all.

Such criticism may be a little hard for you to believe, considering the grammatically-faultless second-to-none writing style found here on an unrelenting weekly basis. But the fact so many adjectives and adjectival phrases can be crammed into a single sentence like the one you just read – “grammatically-faultless”, “second-to-none”, “unrelenting” – does show my writing is in desperate need of a tune-up.

Thus your faithful and diligent correspondent spent an enjoyable weekend at the chic inner-city Siam@Siam Hotel … no, no, wait a minute, stop right there. Can I start that again without all the adjectives?

Thus your correspondent spent a weekend at a hotel being told he needed to cut down on his flagrant use of adjectives. Not completely annihilate them, mind you (an occasional “flagrant” is fine) but cut them down all the same.

Such were the sage words from Wendy, a New York Times bestselling author, whose advice was as valuable as it was cutting — at least when it came to adjectives. It was an exhilarating weekend, in which ten aspiring writers undertook various writing exercises. All the while, Wendy hovered like the Angel of Semantic Death, ready to cut a swathe through any adjectives that thought to cluster in her path.

How dare she! Imagine a world without adjectives … but indeed, this is the world where the best writers exist.

There was a time, a few decades ago, when my writing was indeed slim and dry. Over the years something changed, and the blame must be placed squarely on Thailand’s shoulders.

Like so many other elite Bangkok Post columnists, (“Ditch the ‘elite’!” Wendy would surely chastise upon hearing that) it was assumed my writing was perfect with no possible room for improvement. Hemingway, Salinger, Biggs … these names roll off the tongue with frightening ease.

Just kidding … there’s no delusional thought going on here. It’s like mentioning Gershwin, Bacharach and Billy Ray Cyrus in the same breath. The writing in this column is far removed from Ernest or J.D. since they knew the magic rule of “showing” rather than “telling”.

That was common knowledge to a former newspaper reporter like myself. So what happened? Where did those wheelbarrows of descriptive words that litter the construction site of my literary output come from?

There was never an opportunity to explain to Wendy that it’s a cultural thing, a direct result of living in the Land Of Smiles for two decades.

The Thai language is far more ingratiating than English. Translation work falls onto my desk regularly, such as invitations to events or advertising copy. Take this gold-embossed invitation card that had to be translated into English exactly three days before going to Wendy’s writer’s retreat, which in Thai went something like this:

“It would be the greatest honor bestowed upon us, and indeed would increase the dignity of our prestigious event, if you could graciously sacrifice your precious time to attend the auspicious grand opening of our new branch on Asoke Road this Monday, January 30th, 2011, the Year of the Rabbit. If you assent, which would be our greatest happiness, please inform Khun Art on the following telephone number (cell phone)” 08-xxx-xxxx.”

Tears well up in both eyes just reading this. It works beautifully in Thai; it is majestic and deferential and gives the recipient a warm tingle in his loins. This is the way the Thai language is; over-polite and unashamedly setting out to flatter the recipient.

The Thai culture, too, is all about prostrating yourself before those in a higher place than you, whether it be because of age, knowledge, or in the case of politicians, how much public money they’ve siphoned off into their private bank accounts to fund their gold Mercedes and Khao Yai holiday home.

The language reflects this. And adjectives are like strong kneecaps – helping you get into the prostrate position with ease.

This is evident in newspaper ads for condo complexes, the likes of which we discussed last week in this column. “Experience the pristine tranquility of idyllic living beside a peaceful sky-blue lake as you awaken joyously in your glamorous, fashionable condo.” It works fine in the Thai translation but in English that sentence needs to go on Atkins, and fast.

Back when Siam Paragon first opened its doors this shopping mall described itself on ubiquitous billboards as “The Glorious Phenomenon!” Besides being a great lesson in tautology, describing a shopping mall in such a way is just a leeeetle over the top, wouldn’t you say? It is indeed a lovely place, and phenomena do exist there from time to time, like the idiots who stood in line for hours to buy doughnuts.

My first visit there ended up with getting lost and having to ask a toothy security guard for the exit; he flashed those teeth with his Isan smile, shrugged his shoulders and said “Mai roo” (ไม่รู้). There’s nothing glorious about that situation (unless you’re a dentist looking for new patients) and the only phenomenon was the absence of exit signs.

Despite all this, “The Glorious Phenomenon!” does work within the context of Thai. It’s beyond imagining how many kittens Wendy would give birth to if she were fluent in the language, but she is right. Good writing in English requires adjectival sacrifice. Thus when faced with a paragraph so plump with padding it reminds me of seating at a Weight Watchers Anonymous meeting, out comes the axe.

“You are invited to attend the grand opening of our new branch on Asoke Road this Monday, January 30th. RSVP 08-xxx-xxxx.” Such was the translation sent back to Khun Art.

Khun Art’s mouth dropped to the floor. “This is a joke, right?” she said, letting out a nervous giggle over the phone. “You can’t write like that in Thailand!” It took 15 minutes to explain that it wasn’t a joke, and that while in Thai such language as in the original is fine, in English it was richer than a slice of banoffi pie at Anna’s Café.

So you can see that the “kill the adjective” stance taken by Wendy is still inherent and deep down within your columnist. But Wendy … dear, dear Wendy … this is Thailand! We love adjectives! Local copy writers are not aspiring to literary greatness – they just want to sell condos!

Oh, nearly forgot … this first person narrative business.

Wendy claims that dispensing with “I” and “me” in first-person narratives such as this column makes the reader feel closer to the action, and closer to the writer himself.

It’s not evident how close you wish to get, dear reader, but did you notice? For the first time ever, this entire column was written without my using a single “I” or “me”.

I am very proud of myself. Damn! Foiled by this final paragraph!

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Cat Cartoons Episode Ninety Nine: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน โป๊ะไฟ – โป๊ะดักปลาทะเล
Narrator: Episode – ‘Bpo fai’ – ‘Bpo dak bplaa ta-lay’.

สีสวาด: เก้าแต้ม! ลงมาจากโต๊ะเดี่ยว(เดี๋ยว)นี้นะ ระวังจะทำโป๊ะแตกล่ะ
Si Sawat: Kao Team! Get down from the table this instant! And be careful not to break the ‘Bpo’.

เก้าแต้ม: โป๊ะอะไรอ่ะ ไม่เห็นมีซัก(สัก)หน่อย
Kao Taem: What ‘Bpo’ are you talking about?! I don’t see any ‘Bpo’ anywhere around here.

สีสวาด: ก็เป้าไฟที่ตั้งอยู่บนโต๊ะนั่นไง
Si Sawat: It’s the light covering that’s on the table!

เก้าแต้ม: เนี่ยะ(นี่อ่ะ)หลอ(หรือ)โป๊ะ ไม่เห็นเหมือนโป๊ะที่เค้า(เขา)เอาไว้ดักปลาในทะเลเลย
Kao Taem: You call this a ‘Bpo’? It doesn’t look like the ‘Bpo’ that people use to trap fish in the sea at all.

วิเชียรมาศ: แหม ทำเป็นเก่ง ของง่ายๆ ใกล้ตัวไม่รู้จัก ไปรู้จักของที่อยู่ไกลตัวที่ทะเลโน่น
Wi-chian maat: Wow! What a show-off! You don’t know the simple things that are around us but you know the thing that’s far away in yonder sea.

เก้าแต้ม: สีสวาด ช่วยบอกหน่อยซี่(สิ) ไหนๆ โป๊ะไฟอยู่ไหน
Kao Taem: Si Sawat! Pray tell! Where is this ‘Bpo fai’ you’ve been talking about?

สีสวาด: ที่ครอบหลอดไฟนี่แหละ เค้า(เขา)เอาไว้บังแสงไฟไม่ให้กระจายออกไป
Si Sawat: It’s the covering for the light bulb. People use it to shade light and not let it diffuse.

เก้าแต้ม: โธ่เอ๊ย เห็นอยู่ทุกวันไม่ยักกะรู้จัก
Kao Taem: Sheesh! I see it everyday and I don’t even know what it is.

วิเชียรมาศ: แล้วที่รู้ว่ารู้จักล่ะ มันคืออะไร
Wi-chian maat: Well, what about the thing that you DO know?! What is it?

เก้าแต้ม: ชั้น(ฉัน)รู้จักแต่โป๊ะดักปลาในทะเล เค้า(เขา)เอาเสาไม้มาปักๆ เพื่อดักจับปลาที่ว่ายเข้าไป
Kao Taem: I only know the ‘Bpo dak bplaa’ in the sea. People drive stakes into the seabed to form a trap to catch the fish that swim into it.

วิเชียรมาศ: โอ้ย อธิบายอะไรก็ไม่รู้ ไม่เข้าใจเลย โป๊ะดักปลามันมีรูปร่างหน้าตายังไง(อย่างไร)
Wi-chian maat: Geesh! What kind of explanation is that? I don’t get it at all! What does a ‘Bpo dak bplaa’ look like?

ผู้บรรยาย: โป๊ะดักปลา ทำด้วยเสาไม้ปักเป็นวง มีประตูตรงกลาง สองข้างทางเข้าใช้ไม้ปักเรียงกันออกไปเพื่อให้ปลาว่ายเข้ามาในโป๊ะ โป๊ะไฟ คือ ที่ครอบตะเกียงหรือหลอดไฟเพื่อบังลมหรือบังคับแสงไฟ
Narrator: A ‘Bpo dak bplaa’ is formed by using wooden stakes to form a circle, with a doorway in the middle. Stakes are driven in in rows along both sides of the entrance to force the fish to swim into the ‘Bpo’. A ‘Bpo fai’ is a covering for a lantern or light bulb to shade or channel the light.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

Comments…

A ‘Bpo dak bplaa’ (โป๊ะดักปลา) is basically a stake trap used for fishing.

A ‘Bpo fai’ (โป๊ะไฟ) is basically a lampshade.

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Ninety Nine: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Aakanee.com’s Thai Recordings and Illustrations on Youtube

Aakanee.com

Thai Recordings and Illustrations on Youtube…

Exciting news! If you are a fan of aakanee.com, which hosts Andrej’s classy illustrations and recording for learning Thai (and Khmer), then you’ll be thrilled to know that Pablo Román is compiling the Thai recordings with their matching illustrations on YouTube.

You can find Pablo Román’s YouTube Channel here: Thai Recordings

And here’s a list of what’s live so far:

Thai Recording: Chili fish dip
Thai Recordings: Going to the Movies
Thai Recordings: Food Poisoning
Thai Recordings: Taking an Airplane
Thai Recordings: Tuk-tuk
Thai Recordings: Laundry
Thai Recordings: Pickpocket
Thai Recordings: Fried Rice
Thai Recordings: Cold Season
Thai Recordings: Getting Up
Thai Recordings: Thai New Year (Songkran)
Thai Recordings: Going To The ATM
Thai Recordings: Coffee And Soft Drink
Thai Recordings: Grilled Fish
Thai Recordings: Cutting One’s Finger
Thai Recordings: Motorcycle Taxi
Thai Recordings: Going To Bed
Thai Recordings: The Rainy Season
Thai Recordings: Shopping For A T-shirt
Thai Recordings: Alms Round
Thai Recordings: Noodle Soup

Background: Introducing aakanee.com: Thai and Khmer Picture Supported Learning.

Thai Recordings: Audio and transcript downloads
Thai: Thai Illustrations
Khmer: Khmer Illustrations
Guest posts on WLT: Andrej

Pablo Román:
Website: Dreaming Languages
Twitter: @langdreamer
YouTube: Pablo Román

Nicely done Andrej and Pablo!

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Cat Cartoons Episode Ninety Eight: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน แกะ – แกละ
Narrator: Episode – ‘Gae’ – ‘Glae’.

สีสวาด: นี่พวกเรา มาเล่นตบแผละต่อคำกันมั้ย(ไหม) เอ้าฟังนะ ตบแผละ ตบแผละ ตบแผละ เสียงดังเปาะแปะ เปาะแปะ เรามาเล่นทายกัน เรามาเล่นทายกัน เด็กชายคนนั้นชอบไว้ผม…
Si Sawat: Hey you guys! Shall we play ‘Dtop plae’ and complete the sentence? Right, listen up! “‘Dtop plae’. ‘Dtop plae’. ‘Dtop plae’. The sound ‘Bpor-bpae’, ‘Bpor-bpae’ rings out. Let’s play a guessing game. Let’s play a guessing game. That boy loves wearing a ‘Pom…’”

วิเชียรมาศ: ผมแกละ
Wi-chian maat: ‘Pom glae’.

สีสวาด: เธอเก่งมาก คิดได้เร็วจัง
Si Sawat: You’re brilliant! You answered very quickly.

เก้าแต้ม: ชั้น(ฉัน)ก็จะตอบหยั่งงั้น(อย่างนั้น)เหมือนกัน แต่วิเชียรมาศชิงตอบเซี้ยะ(เสีย)ก่อน เลยตอบไม่ทัน
Kao Taem: I was about to give the same answer, but Wi-chian maat beat me to it by answering first. I couldn’t respond in time.

สีสวาด: อ้าว แก้ตัวใหม่ก็แล้วกัน ตบแผละ ตบแผละ ตบแผละ เสียงดังเปาะแปะ เปาะแปะ เรามาเล่นทายกัน เรามาเล่นทายกัน เด็กชายคนนั้นเค้า(เขา)ชอบเลี้ยง…
Si Sawat: Alrighty then! Here’s your chance to redeem yourself. “‘Dtop plae’. ‘Dtop plae’. ‘Dtop plae’. The sound ‘Bpor-bpae’, ‘Bpor-bpae’ rings out. Let’s play a guessing game. Let’s play a guessing game. That boy loves taking care of…’”

เก้าแต้ม: แกะ! ไชโย! ชั้น(ฉัน)ตอบได้แล้ว เด็กเลี้ยงแกะไง
Kao Taem: Gae! Hooray! I’ve answered it! It’s ‘Dek liang gae’, of course.

สีสวาด: นั่นสิ เก้าแต้มเป็นเด็กเลี้ยงแกะรึเปล่า
Si Sawat: That’s it! Kao Taem is a ‘Dek liang gae’, right?

วิเชียรมาศ: ใช่ เก้าแต้มเป็นเด็กเลี้ยงแกะ
Wi-chian maat: Right! Kao Team IS a ‘Dek liang gae’!

เก้าแต้ม: เปล่านี่ ชั้น(ฉัน)ไม่เคยเลี้ยงแกะเลยซัก(สัก)ตัวเดียว
Kao Taem: No, I’m not! I’ve never taken care of sheep before, not even one!

สีสวาด: เด็กเลี้ยงแกะนั่นหมายถึง คนที่พูดโกหก และไม่มีคนเชื่อ เป็นสำนวนเปรียบเทียบ
Si Sawat: ‘Dek liang gae’ means ‘(a) person who lies and no one believes a word he / she says’. It’s an idiom of comparison.

เก้าแต้ม: โอ๊ย ชั้น(ฉัน)ไม่เป็นหรอก เด็กเลี้ยงแกะอะไรนั่นน่ะ
Kao Taem: Hey! I’m NOT one of those whatchamacallit ‘Dek liang gae’, OK?!

ผู้บรรยาย: ผมแกละ หมายถึง ผมของเด็กผู้ชายที่มัดไว้เป็นกระจุกตรงแง่ศีรษะ เด็กเลี้ยงแกะเป็นสำนวน หมายถึง คนที่พูดโกหกหลอกลวงจนไม่มีคนเชื่อ
Narrator: ‘Pom glae’ means ‘(the) hair of a boy worn as a topknot, the type with twin tufts on both sides of the forehead’. ‘Dek liang gae’ is an idiom, meaning ‘(a) person who lies and deceives so much so that no one believes a word he / she says’.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

Comments…

‘Dtop plae’ (ตบแผละ) is a type of children’s game with two children using their hands to pat each other’s hands and knees (see: จ๊ะทิงจา Ja Ting Ja).

‘Topknots’, or ‘Juk’ (จุก), as they are called in Thai, are basically little tufts of hair grown in the middle of the otherwise completely shaven head of Thai children. There is a centuries-old belief which still persists today, especially in the provinces, that a young child who is often feverish or chronically sick, or even accident-prone, can be cured by growing a topknot. There are various styles of topknot.

Thai Cat Cartoons

(Sources: Thai Ways by Denis Segaller and พิธีโกนจุก)

‘Dek liang gae’ (เด็กเลี้ยงแกะ) literally means ‘(a) shepherd’. ‘Dek liang gae’ (เด็กเลี้ยงแกะ) also refers to a comparative idiom, based on ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’, one of Aesop’s Fables.

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Ninety Eight: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Thai Language School Review: Payap University: Thai Level Two

Payap University

AUA: Payap University…

Website: Payap University
Tele: (+66) 53 241 255

Address: Super-highway Chiang Mai – Lumpang Road, Amphur Muang Chiang Mai, 50000

Payap University Language Enhancement Center is located at the Mae Khao campus, which is the one further away from the city. I live near Chiang Mai hospital and it took me 20 minutes to get there on a motorbike every morning.

You’re being taught at a university and either because of that or regardless of that, the facilities were basic. There were a few small shops and cafes there, but for example, there wasn’t a water dispenser in the building (which I have come across of in other schools) nor was there toilet paper, which I regard as a necessity.

This is the most expensive Thai school in Chiang Mai; sixty hours costs 8000 baht. Classes are Monday-Thursday 9am-12pm, with half an hour break after the first 1.5 hours.

There were 12 people in the class and since everyone had paid a lot of money to study there, most of us turned up every day. The majority of us were farang, contrary to the scene at AUA.

What really surprised me though, was that all reviews and articles I had read about Payap said that this is the place to learn to speak Thai, the best school in Chiang Mai, with really fast pace, a lot of pressure to study and lots of homework. I was unfortunately disappointed with it. I loved our teacher, who was super energetic, bubbly and explained everything really well, but already after the 2nd day I realised that I preferred AUA. I can’t say it’s the teacher’s fault, I think this was Payap in general and their teaching style.

At Payap, the pace of presenting new material was as fast as at AUA (new topic approximately every 2nd -3rd day), however, the pace at which we went through the material was slower because we were side-tracked often and a lot more English was spoken than one would expect and in my case, prefer. I asked around how Level Two was at AUA and apparently, they were expected to only speak Thai and the teacher only spoke Thai to them and quite fast in fact. At Payap, the teacher doesn’t try to get people to stop using English. The speed at which our teacher spoke with us in Thai was the same as at AUA Level One, plus she also spoke a lot of English herself. A bit too slow for Level Two at the allegedly, strongest Thai school in town.

The level of students was also very varied, some were still at the complete beginner’s level, while some felt that they were in a sixty hour Thai review class. This made group work difficult, that and the fact that usually very little Thai was spoken in groups, so at times when we had to practice dialogues and new words with each other, we just had a chat in English about something very different.

Grammar wise they teach you really well, we covered a new topic every 2-3 days, and there was a lot to take in and that’s the part I cannot fault. But I often felt that progress would have been faster, if we didn’t get off topic so much, and we would have cemented everything better.

We didn’t have a book, only handouts. Each handout covered a topic and started with 1-2 pages of words, question words relevant to the topic and dialogues we had to translate and speak out. Much too often our time was consumed by writing down lots of additional words and phrases (not always on topic), which people asked the teacher to translate. But since we didn’t practice dialogues with these words enough, I feel that I didn’t cement neither all the new words nor the grammar. But I have a huge stack of papers with all the information and can always refer to it.

Homework was very light. I remember four times when we had homework, and a couple of times it wasn’t checked or not everyone’s was checked, so I wonder whether some people felt a bit unhappy with that, putting in the effort and not getting feedback.

I can’t say that I didn’t learn anything, I had an interview at AUA to go back and they put me on Level Three, which means I’ve developed at least to their next level. But I really expected to learn a lot more and speak a lot better Thai by now. And while one’s personal ability and motivation are important factors, studying 60 hours over five weeks at a top school, and paying a lot of money for that, should leave a much bigger mark than it did.

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Cat Cartoons Episode Ninety Seven: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน สระแปลงรูป
Narrator: Episode – Vowels that Change Form.

เก่ง: วันเนี้ยะ(นี้อ่ะ) ที่ห้องเรียนของพี่เค้า(เขา)เล่นทายปัญหาเสียงสระกัน น้องก้อยอยากเล่นมั้ย(ไหม)
Geng: Today, my classmates and I played a vowel sound problem solving game in our class. Do you want to play one too?

ก้อย: ไม่รู้ว่าน้องจะตอบได้มั้ย(ไหม) เอ้า ลองก็ได้
Goi: I don’t know if I’ll be any good at it. All right! Let’s give it a try!

เก่ง: เด็กดี มาซิ(สิ)มาซี(สิ) มาทายสระกัน คำว่า ‘เด็ก’ ออกเสียงสระอะไร คำว่า ‘เด็ก’ ออกเสียงสระอะไร ถ้าใครตอบได้ ยกมือตอบเลย
Geng: Good kid! Come! Come! Let’s guess which vowel it is! What is the vowel sound in the word ‘Dek’? What is the vowel sound in the word ‘Dek’? If anyone can answer this question, raise your hand and answer it.

ก้อย: ก็ สระเอะ ไง ก้อยเรียนมาแล้วว่า สระเอะ ถ้ามีตัวสะกด สระอะ จะเปลี่ยนรูปกระโดดขึ้นไปอยู่ข้างบนเป็น ไม้ไต่คู้ ไง
Goi: Well, it’s the vowel ‘e’, of course. I’ve learned that if there is a final consonant, then the vowel ‘e’ changes form: it’ll jump and stay up on top as a ‘Mai dtai koo’.

เก่ง: ถูกต้อง ฟังปัญหาต่อไปนะ เด็กดี มาซิ(สิ)มาซี(สิ) มาทายสระกัน คำว่า ‘แข็ง’ ออกเสียงสระอะไร คำว่า ‘แข็ง’ ออกเสียงสระอะไร ถ้าใครตอบได้ ยกมือตอบเลย
Geng: Correct! Listen to the next question, OK?! Good kid! Come! Come! Let’s guess which vowel it is! What is the vowel sound in the word ‘Kaeng’? What is the vowel sound in the word ‘Kaeng’? If anyone can answer this question, raise your hand and answer it.

ก้อย: อ๋อ ง่ายนิดเดียว ก็ สระแอะ ไง เจ้า สระอะ แผลงฤทธิ์กระโดดขึ้นไปอยู่ข้างบนเป็น ไม้ไต่คู้ เหมือน สระเอะ นั่นแหละ
Goi: Ah! That’s very easy! That’d be the vowel ‘ae’. The vowel ‘a’ transforms: it’ll jump and stay up on top as a ‘Mai dtai koo’, in the same way as in the case of the vowel ‘e’.

เก่ง: เฮอะ เฮ่ออ(เสียงหัวเราะ) น้องของพี่เก่งจริงจริ๊ง
Geng: Heh! Heh! My little sister is brilliant!

ผู้บรรยาย: คำที่ใช้ สระเอะ และ สระแอะ เมื่อมีตัวสะกด รูป สระอะ จะเปลี่ยนเป็น ไม้ไต่คู้
Narrator: In words with the vowel ‘e’ or ‘ae’, when there is a final consonant, the vowel ‘a’ will change its form and become a ‘Mai dtai koo’.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Ninety Seven: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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FREE Thai Course in Suk: Learn to Read and Write Thai

FREE Thai Course in Suk: Learn to Read and Write

Learn to read and write for free…

EDIT: The offer is over – thanks for joining in!

Good news for Thai beginners currently living near Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok who do not know how to read and write Thai but who are interested in and want to start learning how to read and write Thai.

One of my regular contributors, a native Thai speaker, is looking for a few beginners to be her guinea pig students in a face-to-face foundational introduction to learning how to read and write Thai course.

A total of five morning group sessions [two sessions a week] are planned, with each session lasting at least fifty minutes (half of the time for learning how to write and the other half for learning how to read).

My contributor wishes to emphasize the fact that she is not a professionally trained teacher and that the main reason she is doing this is because she has been sharing her knowledge of Thai with people interested in learning the language for a number of years now and many of those who have enjoyed the interesting and humorous way that she has gone about so, have always asked her to share insights into learning how to read and write Thai. She thinks that it is now time that she does so and hence her wanting to test the waters so to speak this way.

She’s hoping that her observations and feedback from the students during these sessions will inform and prepare her for beginning to share with Thai beginners insights into learning how to read and write Thai.

I can personally vouch for her and I personally find her to be a wonderful and naturally gifted teacher though she stubbornly refuses to be called a teacher.

I think that this is a fantastic opportunity for Thai beginners currently living near Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok who want to learn how to read and write Thai.

Places are limited so please hurry up and send your details via WLT’s contact form and tell us a little bit about your current level. Successful applicants will be notified via e-mail.

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