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Book Review: Maid in Thailand

Book Review: Maid in Thailand

Maid in Thailand (tri-lingual guide: English-Thai-Burmese)…

When Kristen Rossi moved to Thailand she hired a Burmese housekeeper. I’ve never been brave enough – struggling with one Asian language is more than I can handle – so kudos to her!

Book Review: Maid in ThailandTo give instructions on how to cook western food Kristen would write out recipes in English and have her maid give the Burmese translation. Word by word.

This proved to be slow going so Kristen decided to make it into a full-blown project that’d help others in similar situations. Friends suggested making the book into an all around guide for working with household help. Then Thai translations were added. And after a lot of hard work, Maid in Thailand was born.

Kristen: I wrote the book to help increase the harmony between employer and employee, in the setting where your life should be the most harmonious, the home. Enjoy!

What attracted me to Maid in Thailand is how well it compliments my HouseTalk series. Both explain what is required of a maid working for a western employer; how we present the translations is where we differ. HouseTalk aims to teach select Thai phrases, whereas Maid in Thailand is written in same style as Thailand Fever, with chunks of instructions for both sides to read.

Here’s a sample of what you’ll find:

Chapter One: Hiring a Maid
Chapter Two: Post Hire
Chapter Three: Culture Chock
Chapter Four: Time Management
Chapter Five: Squeak Clean
Chapter Six: Laundry
Chapter Seven: In the kitchen
Chapter Eight: Party Time
Chapter Nine: Let’s Get Cooking

For the very reasonable price of US$5.50, Maid in Thailand can be downloaded in pdf format here: Maid in Thailand.

Here’s where you can find more of Kristen:
Web: Kristen Evelyn Rossi

Congrats to Kristen for an excellent product (it’s prodded me to get of my butt and finish the HouseTalk series).

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Learn Thai Through Stories, Grammar and Exercises

Learn Thai Through Stories, Grammar and Exercises

Learn Thai Through Stories, Grammar and Exercises…

I’m going to do something I rarely do, and that’s share a project I haven’t seen (yet). But the concept is so good, I just had to share asap.

Chickynet Interview – Karine from Kawee Publishing: For many years Karine searched, without success, for a language book which she could use to teach Thai to her young son. Two years ago she decided to write her own book. Instead of using standard phonetic symbols which is she found too difficult for young readers, she uses the Roman alphabet to teach Thai. The stories and exercises have been beautifully illustrated by Jessica Emmett. Fun to know is that Karine’s son Alec is one of the characters, Kawee.

Learn Thai Through Stories, Grammar and ExercisesIllustrator Jessica Emmett: I can’t believe! The book “Learn Thai – Through Stories, Grammar & Exercises – Book 1″ by Karine Jones has finally been printed and went on sell! It has been a great project. After months of throwing ourselves into finishing the book, my copy finally arrived in February 2013! =D As someone that has a been a long digital artist I had almost forgotten the feeling of holding an object in your hands.

Kawee Publishing: Learn Thai Through Stories, Grammar and Exercises – Book 1″ is a fun and educational book for complete beginners. Each lesson consists of an illustrated story with fun characters, simplified grammar notes and exercises and games. Thai script has been added for the Thai readers. Children easily associate with the characters of the book and love the fun games.

You can order your copy from Kawee Publishing (I’m off to do that right now).

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Review: Domnern Sathienpong Thai-English Dictionary

Domnern Sathienpong Thai-English Dictionary

Review: Domnern Sathienpong Thai-English Dictionary…

Title: Domnern Sathienpong Thai English Dictionary 4th Edition
Authors: G. Domnern, W. Sathienpong
ISBN: 9789742129200
Pages: 800
Price: 395baht (hardbound CD and larger font) 255 baht (paperback)
Availability: Just about anywhere which sells Thai books, Se-Ed, B2S, Asia Books, Kinokunia, Chula Books, etc.

I normally write reviews about Thai language schools and articles about my trials and tribulations in learning Thai. This is my first book review, so please bear with me.

I have several English-Thai dictionaries scattered around the house. Before I could really read Thai to any degree of proficiency I relied on them heavily. Problem is, looking up English words to find the Thai equivalent is often a hit or miss endeavor. True, you’ll get whatever the author of the dictionary thinks the appropriate Thai word or words for the English word, but what you won’t get is usage, example sentences, and compound words the word is tied to. And you often won’t get critical information about the word as far as if it is colloquial, formal, official, or used primarily in written Thai. And this is information a non-native speaker of Thai needs to use new vocabulary. These shortcomings had me giving away my English Thai dictionaries to Thai friends.

While browsing the dictionary section at B2S (the bookstore chain of Central Group) I happened across the bright blue cover of the Domnern Sathienpong Thai-English Dictionary. Now, at that time I could read Thai fairly well, meaning I could read something and mostly comprehend what it was saying. After I looked through the paperback edition I immediately bought it. Once I got it home I started reading it. I know, reading a dictionary doesn’t seem like an edge of your seat thing to do, but the way this dictionary presents information makes it quite an interesting read.

After a couple of days reading the paperback edition I realized that saving the 140 baht between the cost of the paperback and the hardback edition was short-sighted. The print in the paperback is noticeably smaller and often I couldn’t tell which vowel was which. A trip back to B2S to purchase the hardback edition solved and I was good to go.

The hardback version comes with a CD. I immediately installed it on my PC with disastrous results! It totally changed the entire desktop to the Windows default of giant icons, oversized printing, etc. An uninstall and system restore took care of the problem and I now use the CD as a coffee table coaster.

Some things I’ve found of interest in this dictionary are: the Thai word กระ, which can mean freckle, liver spot, or tortoise shell as a stand-alone word, is also the prefix for about 10 pages worth of words! Similarly the prefix ประ, which can mean to strike, touch, add, attack or pat on has nearly 9 pages worth of words.

What I like most about this dictionary is the use of example sentences in many of the definitions. I also like that the authors delineate slang from formal words, and seem to have no reticence in providing example sentences for some pretty coarse slang words. Now, granted, the slang is quite dated and not that much contemporary (ภาษาวัยรุ่น is included). Still, at 54 years old, it’s more age appropriate slang for me.

Another thing I really like is the incorporation of compound words related to a base word. I can’t begin to tell you the times I’ve looked up a word and then found myself reading the dictionary for 5 or 10 minutes. And all because there were so many compounds that can be made from the single word I was looking up. The dictionary has 71 listings for word compounds which start with ใจ and 36 for words which in which ใจ is used as a suffix.

In the back of the dictionary are appendices devoted to: birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, plants, aquatic life, geographical names, Thai dishes and ingredients, military and police ranks, Thai governmental, state, financial institutions, public universities and abbreviations. These are also very interesting to read thru, especially the section about police/military rank and the abbreviations. You can’t begin to read a Thai newspaper without a sizeable vocabulary in Thai abbreviations so this indeed is a helpful section.

Another asset, this dictionary is captioned with icons to denote polite, formal, slang, royal, etc.

Some of the downsides to the dictionary…

There is no Thai pronunciation for words, so you’re left to your own devices on whether a particular word has a double functioning consonant (used as a final and then again as a stand-alone sound too). Even if they’d included the pronunciation Thais are used to reading, it would have been an improvement, especially for a non-native reader/speaker.

I’ll relate a pronunciation fox-paw (faux-pas) I had 6 or so months ago in Thai language class. Now I’d learned the word อวยพร by looking it up in the dictionary when I was reading a teen romance novel, but I’d never spoken it aloud. In the lesson at school during the read aloud part, I unfortunately got stuck with a passage that had the word อวยพร in it. I pronounced it as อะ-วะ-ยะ-พน. The teacher who was in the process of taking a drink from a bottle of water almost blew it out her nose at my horrific mangling of the word. Honestly, if there had been a Thai pronunciation in the dictionary when I first looked up the word, I’da never made a fool out of myself like that. Still, hardly anyone else in class knew I mispronounced it so badly, until the teacher (after composing herself) pointed it out to everyone. We had a good laugh and I took it in stride. But really, sometimes you just don’t know how to pronounce an unfamiliar Thai word and a pronunciation guide would be a valuable addition.

They also have the irritating penchant for listing a word, but instead of providing the definition saying “see such and such other word”. I mean come on, how hard would it have been to put the definition in two places?

As I said earlier, that CD is a disaster waiting to happen so DON’T load it into your PC. I did Google around for a fix but came up empty. Also, it won’t display Thai font correctly on Windows 7, so using it as a coaster to set drinks on is probably the best you’ll get out of it.

Those are minor shortcomings and certainly shouldn’t stop anyone who can even read Thai marginally from getting this dictionary. I’ve found I’m about as fast (sometimes faster) looking up words with it than some technophiles are using the Thai-English dictionary app on their smart phones. It certainly gets you dialed in to the order of the Thai alphabet (which I still can’t recite BTW), and the progression of Thai vowels in a dictionary format. While I can’t recite the Thai consonant alphabet in order, I can look at the dictionary and guess pretty accurately what letter is what by the thickness of the sections.

Who will get use out of the dictionary…

I’ve recommended this dictionary to foreigners learning Thai almost any time I run into one. Truth be told, I’ve even bought copies to give them out to people studying Thai. Recently I ran into one foreigner I’d given a copy to months before. He promptly took 400 baht out of his pocket and gave it to me, saying it was the best thing he’d come across to help build his Thai vocabulary. I mean, how cool is that?

Cat wanted me to include some of my favorite words and example sentences in this review. However, my version of spoken Thai is coarse, blunt, direct, littered with profanity and far from suitable for a website like this. I think readers should invest in the dictionary and find their own pearls of wisdom rather than me providing examples (which might not be viewer appropriate).

I hope this review was of interest. If I continue to review books I’m certain to get better…

Tod Daniels | toddaniels at gmail dot com

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Review: A Guide to Thai Grammar Books

A Guide to Thai Grammar Books

A Guide to Thai Grammar Books…

Presented here are short introductions to Thai grammar books, both in the English language for foreign learners and Thai language books for Thai school and university students which are also useful for foreign learners with a good Thai reading ability. As these are reference books, not tutorials, they are not intended to be read from cover-to-cover, but instead used to support continued studies.

Each book overview here covers the general structure and content together with comments about any specific, notable features. However, no opinion or rating is given about their suitability for any particular learning approach which is, of course, very subjective to each learner.

The books listed here are not the only books available. I welcome comments and further suggestions on this topic which would assist us all with our continued studies.

English Language Grammar Books…

The in-print books listed here can usually be found at all large book shops in Thailand which stock foreign language books. Many online shops (both Thai and foreign) sell them too. Google Books has free previews of some and, where relevant, a link is provided.

The Fundamentals of the Thai LanguageThe Fundamentals of the Thai Language (5th edition)
Author: Stuart Campbell and Chuan Shaweevongs
Format: out-of-print but available online (free)
Language: English with examples in Thai script and transliteration.
Website: Fundamentals of the Thai Language
 

While this is more of a language course than a grammar book, it does have a strong emphasis on basic grammar and outlines some key differences from English which is useful for beginners. Each topic is presented with basic vocabulary lists and example conversations. The first edition was printed in 1956 so some of the vocabulary is showing its age but the clear explanations and well structured content make this a useful book.

Thai: Essential GrammarThai: An Essential Grammar
Author: David Smyth
Formats: paperback, hardback, eBook (Kindle, PDF, ePub, Microsoft Reader)
ISBN: 978-0415226134 (paperback)
Language: English with examples in Thai script and transliteration.
 

Thai Reference Grammar: The Structure of Spoken ThaiThai Reference Grammar: The Structure of Spoken Thai
Authors: James Higbie and Snea Thinsan
Format: paperback
ISBN: 978-9748304960
Language: English with examples in Thai script and transliteration.
 

These two books are perhaps the most commonly available grammar books for foreign learners. They’re good introductions to Thai grammar and language patterns and useful for beginners as well as advanced learners. Both are written for general learners and only use basic grammatical terminology (eg. nouns, verbs, conjunctions etc) and therefore are straight forward to read and very approachable.

Different styles of transliteration are used in each book. Smyth’s system is not too different from that developed by Mary Haas and is easy to learn for readers familiar with Haas’ works or the system used in the Thai for Beginners book. Higbie’s transliteration style is unique, using under- and over-scoring representing tones, but after the initial “what is that?” reaction, it’s quick to learn and intuitive.

Given the rising popularity of eBook readers and tablet computers, Smyth’s publisher (Routledge) deserves praise for making his work available in digital formats. However, the Kindle and ePub editions use miniature graphics files for the Thai text and some transliteration symbols so resizing the layout doesn’t work properly on all readers (the graphic files don’t resize along with the normal text). The PDF version does not have this problem. (I’ve not seen the Microsoft Reader version so can’t comment about it.)

Thai Reference GrammarThai Reference Grammar
Author: Richard B. Noss
Formats: PDF (free online), paperback
ISBN: 978-1456503307 (paperback)
Language: English with transliteration (no Thai script)
Website: FSI: Thai Reference Grammar PDF download.

Obviously written at a time when people didn’t worry about the health effects of smoking, this book introduces the topic of classifiers with a demonstration of how to buy cigarettes as “the yellow pack”, “those five packs”, “the big pack” etc. – not something found in modern books! Printed in 1964, this is an updated version of the author’s PhD dissertation so academic linguistic terminology is heavily used throughout eg. nouns are defined as “any substantive which occurs as the head of an endocentric expression”, but there are plenty of examples which help if the lingo is hard to understand. It’s perhaps unfortunate that only transliteration is used – no Thai script at all – but this is a book about spoken Thai.

One feature that stands out is the focus on stress, rhythm and intonation in spoken Thai and the transliteration (also based on Mary Haas’ system) includes symbols to represent these features. Other grammar books generally give less focus on this topic so its inclusion here is welcome.

The PDF version at the above website is free and is a scan of the original print edition. It’s mostly of good quality although there are a few faint or illegible words to be found. There are “new” editions of this book being sold online, but they seem to be identical to this PDF except for the front cover.

A Reference Grammar of ThaiThai Reference Grammar A Reference Grammar of Thai
Authors: Shoichi Iwasaki and Preeya Ingkaphirom
Formats: paperback, hardback
ISBN: 978-0521108676 (paperback)
Language: English with examples in Thai script, transliteration and part-of-speech analysis.
Google Preview: A Reference Grammar of Thai

This book is also for a more academic audience. The terminology used is somewhat difficult at first if the reader is not familiar with technical linguistic terms (eg. chapter titles such as “Deontic Modal Auxiliaries”, “The Periphrastic Causative” etc), although each chapter has a short, less-technical introduction but not totally jargon free. Reading the chapter summaries first will give a clearer overview of the content and the terminology is arguably easier to understand than that used in Noss’ book.

The academic approach used to compile this book is clear from the conversational data: transcriptions of real conversations between teachers & parents, parents & children, business meetings etc. Even hesitations and repetition of words are transcribed, transliterated and analysed into parts of speech as spoken. Top marks for the analysis of real-life speech as this is something that’s not evident in the other books presented here.

The part-of-speech analysis is a feature not found in the other books in this article, although it’s common in many academic papers. For example:

นัดคงไม่มาแล้ว
nát khoŋ mây maa lɛ́ɛw
(name) may NEG come ASP
“Nat may not come any more.”

Lines 1, 2 and 4 are the Thai script, transliteration and translation respectively. Line 3 is the part-of-speech analysis showing how each word fits in the sentence: (name) denotes a persons name, NEG is a “negative marker” (“not”) and ASP is an “aspect auxiliary” (for time/tense).

However, there are a few mistakes: a few transliterations and translations are incomplete, and some incorrect spellings can be found too. But don’t let these minor negatives put you off though as this is otherwise a detailed, insightful (albeit expensive) book. The Smyth and Higbie books are great quick references for learning language structures but this one is more detailed and will often better answer the question “how does that word really work?”

Thai Language Grammar Books…

These grammar books are primarily for native Thai speakers so the focus is very different from those above. The foreign language books are about second language acquisition and understanding whereas books for native speakers explain the workings of the reader’s own native language which they already use fluently in daily life.

The first two books can be found in Thai university bookshops and larger general bookshops. The บรรทัดฐานภาษาไทย books are limited in availability and details are provided separately below.

หลักภาษาไทยหลักภาษาไทย [The Fundamentals of the Thai Language]
Author: กำชัย ทองหล่อ
Formats: paperback, hardback
ISBN: 978-9742466350
Language: Thai

Previews: Two chapters with partial translations can be found on the thai-language.com website:

Modifiers
Parts of Speech

This book is the standard reference book of the Thai language, first printed about 60 years ago. It’s a very detailed, academic tome (540 pages) covering the evolution of the Thai script, alphabet, tones, types of words, their use (including royal vocabulary or “ratchasap”), clauses, sentences, loan words (mainly Pali and Sanskrit with limited discussion of Khmer, Chinese and English), prose and poetry.

This book has no index but the table of contents is very detailed (spanning 11 pages) and lists all chapters, sections and subsections making it quick and easy to find the right page.

This reference manual is the definitive reference book for the Thai language.

ไวยากรณ์ไทยไวยากรณ์ไทย [Thai Grammar]
Author: นววรรณ พันธุเมธา
Formats: paperback, hardback
ISBN: 974-9993276
Language: Thai

This book covers all the essentials and isn’t overly technical. It’s less detailed than หลักภาษาไทย and perhaps easier to understand while being organised in a similar manner. It starts with chapters covering word types (verbs, nouns, conjunctions etc) and then phrase and sentence construction. The book only discusses the modern Thai language as used in normal daily life so there’s limited discussion of royal vocabulary, and nothing on the language history or traditional forms of verse that are covered in หลักภาษาไทย. Plenty of examples are given throughout and there are also exercises at the end of each chapter.

Unfortunately, finding information in this book can be slow as there’s no index and the table of contents is short (one page) which lists only the chapter titles, not subsections. Also, the page headers only contain the author’s name, book title and page numbers (no chapter or section titles) so the reader must scan the pages for section headings instead.

However, this book does have a logical organisation and its non-technical approach makes it useful as both a tutorial and reference guide.

บรรทัดฐานภาษาไทย เล่ม ๑-๖บรรทัดฐานภาษาไทย เล่ม ๑-๖ [Standard Thai, Books 1-6]
Author: Thai Language Institute, Office of Academic and Educational Standards, Office of the Basic Education Commission, Ministry of Education
Format: paperback
Language: Thai

Availability generally limited to ศึกษาภัณฑ์พาณิชย์ (Suksapan Phaanit) shops.
Branch locations can be found at suksapan.or.th and an online ordering service is available.

เล่ม ๑ ระบบเสียง อักษรไทย การอ่านคำและการเขียนสะกดคำ
Book 1 Phonology, Thai alphabet, Reading and Spelling Words

เล่ม ๒ คำ การสร้างคำและการยืมคำ
Book 2 Words, Word Construction and Loan Words

เล่ม ๓ ชนิดของคำ วลี ประโยคและสัมพันธสาร
Book 3 Types of Words, Clauses, Sentences and Discourse

เล่ม ๔ วัฒนธรรมการใช้ภาษาไทย
Book 4 Cultural use of the Thai Language

เล่ม ๕ กระบวนการคิดและการเขียนร้อยแก้ว
Book 5 The Art of Writing Prose

เล่ม ๖ ฉันทลักษณ์และขนบการเขียนร้อยกรอง
Book 6 Prosody and Patterns for Writing Verse

Notes:
1. Book 1 of the current print-run has sold out (as of November 2011)
2. Books 5 and 6 have not yet been published (as of November 2011)
3. This review is based on books 2, 3 and 4

These recent books, published in 2009 and 2010, present a modern approach to understanding Thai for “teachers of Thai, students at secondary school level or higher and anyone interested in the Thai language”. They are written by “contemporary academic researchers and experts in the Thai language” which is evident from the bibliographies referencing many modern academic papers (from both Thai and foreign universities). By using a modern, broad base of linguistic research, the authors have developed a series of books that explain the Thai language clearly and concisely.

The vocabulary in these books is relatively straightforward and good use is made of charts and tables where appropriate. Some technical terminology has come from English and translated into Thai (eg. “socio-cultural information” translated to “ข้อมูลด้านสังคมและวัฒนธรรม”) but the English terms/phrases are also given on first use, which is helpful for foreign readers.

Footnotes are used to highlight where deviations have been made from older books such as หลักภาษาไทย (above) and its predecessor, the almost century-old work of พระยาอุปกิตศิลปสาร (not included here because it’s out-of-print). Such deviations are primarily where different terminology is used eg. the new books use คำนามวิสามัญ (proper noun) instead of วิสามานยนาม as used in the older books.

The up-to-date nature of these texts can be clearly seen in the second book (Words, Word Construction and Loan Words). The loan words chapters in the older books focus on Pali, Sanskrit and Khmer with a little Chinese and English but these newer books have extensive chapters for Pali, Sanskrit, Khmer, Chinese, Java-Malaya, and English. Likewise, in book 4 (Cultural use of the Thai Language) there are chapters on regional dialects in Thailand and modern language use in business, advertising, media, legal, religion, ceremonies, and word play/humour too.

In summary, these are well-thought out, up-to-date books with clear explanations, ample examples and a broad scope. They are likely to satisfy the most inquisitive students of the Thai language.

The in-print books listed here can usually be found at all large book shops in Thailand which stock foreign language books. Many online shops (both Thai and foreign) sell them too. Google Books has free previews of some and, where relevant, a link is provided.

Mark Hollow

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James Higbie’s Essential Thai has Arrived!

James Higbies Essential Thai Has Arrived

James Higbie’s Essential Thai has arrived in Bangkok…

At long last, Jim’s Essential Thai has hit the bookshelves at Orchid’s Bookshop in Bangkok. You can purchase Essential Thai online from Orchid Press or stop by their bookstore on the 4th floor of the Silom Complex Shopping Plaza. Oh. And I asked at Kinokuniya’s too – it’s on order.

Orchid Press: Essential Thai is a complete learning package for those who want to acquire basic working skills in the Thai language, quickly and efficiently. Freshly updated and back by popular demand, Essential Thai includes a CD ROM with MP-3 audio files to introduce the student to Thai pronunciation and beginning phrases.

Focused completely on developing practical language skills, Essential Thai introduces conversation and grammar, commonly used vocabulary and how to read Thai script in a logical, graduated, manner.

Whether you are traveling or planning to live in Thailand, whether shopping, booking a hotel, ordering a meal or speaking on the phone or much more, this is the language tool for you.

Anyway, I picked up a copy of Essential Thai this week so a review is indeed in the works (as is an interview with Jim).

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Doraemon Comics in Thai + NED Comics on iPad

Doraemon Comics in Thai

Doraemon Comics in Thai…

In the last Successful Thai Language Learner’s interview, Rick Bradford’s mention of reading Doraemon Comics in Thai got me interested so I contacted him for more:

The Doraemon comics are a good way to get a first foot on the ladder of reading Thai.

They’re aimed at children, so the vocabulary is fairly basic. Equally important, the speech bubbles contain only a few words each, so you aren’t faced with a block of daunting impenetrable Thai script.

The stories are quite funny, as well.

In my rush to leave Thailand I briefly stopped by a few bookstores to see what Doraemon Comics I could source. Asia books was closed at the time but I did managed to pick up a Doraemon Thai language edition by Ned Comics. The books are large, the Thai script is a nice size, the covers are matt laminated, and the artwork is easy on the eye.

Then at Villa Market in Aree I found an English-Thai set, also by Ned Comics. Again, the covers are matt laminated (I like). Learning English is the focus so the English is in the speech bubbles with tiny Thai script translations across the top and bottom of the individual cartoons. The script might be too fiddly for beginners to suss some of the words.

Curious about the English-Thai versions, I went back to Rick:

The ones I bought are all in Thai, published by Nanmee Books.

The Thai script is very clear in these, and I started reading these from a basic level.

I think these may be a cut above some other versions given the price (90 baht) and some extra educational text (described as เสริมความรู้) which is added to some of the stories.

For example, a story called ผจญภัยในร่างกาย. there is extra text and diagrams about the circulatory and digestive systems which was probably added to turn the books into a semi-educational resource.

I bought mine at B2E, I think.

This week I’ll look for Nanmee’s version of the Doraemon Comics in Bangkok and leave an update in the comments. Asia books is a good bet. There’s also a Thai book fair at Queen Sirikit’s National Convention Center: Book Festival for Thai Youth: 13-17 July 2011. I absolutely plan on attending the book fair but I need to kick this cold first (oh, the joys of international travel).

NED Comics Application for iPad…

Everyone seems to be getting on the iPhone / iPad wagon. Excellent.

NED Comics Application for iPad NED Comics - NINENED Comics Application for iPad NED Comics Application for iPad
Price: Free
Author: Ned Comics
Date: 10 March 2011
Version: 1.1
Size: 400+ mgs

Classic Thai legends are now available in iPad from NED Comics, a subsidiary of Nation Multimedia Group Thailand.

NED Comics Free app comes with popular Thai manga.

Key features:
• The application comes with popular Thai manga.
• You can read the first chapter for free!
• You’ll have access to constantly growing library of brand new and exclusive titles.
• Once you delete the comics you have bought, you can download again from the server for free.

Note: I haven’t had time to review this app (it’s still downloading) so I’ll leave my comments until later. Ok? But if you do get a chance to play around with it please let me know what you think in the comments.

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James Higbie’s Essential Thai is Back!

James Higbie and Essential Thai

James Higbie and Essential Thai…

From the inception of the Successful Thai Language Learner series, I’ve had my eye on James Higbie. I was patiently tracking Jim down, but he found me first.

During our back and forth Jim mentioned that his highly prized Essential Thai is being tidied up for a reprint. And just this week he sent over the official announcement.

Essential Thai will be available late in 2010 or early in 2011.

Chris Frape, Publisher of Orchid Press, has announced that the Bangkok-based company will reissue Essential Thai, a popular beginning level Thai language book that has been out of print since the demise of the book division of Post Publishing almost ten years ago.

The book will be reissued in its original A4 format and will include standard sized CDs for pronunciation.

I was chuffed to hear his news as I’ve been trying to beg, borrow, or even steal a copy for ages. And I’m not alone in this (google to see what I mean).

And I promise that as soon as the book is ready, I will announce it here. Right after I get my very own copy.

Other books by James Higbie (published by Orchid Press) include: Thai Reference Grammar, Let’s Speak Thai, and Let’s Speak Lao.

Note: In the picture above is James Higbie, author. Standing to his right is Victor Titze, General Manager of Orchid Press. They are in front of the Orchid Bookstore, fourth floor Silom Complex, Bangkok.

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Thai Sex Talk for St Valentine’s

Sex Talk for Valentines

The down to earth Thai Sex Talk…

Before you think I’ve gone all Thai sex-crazed, please let me explain.

The well-crafted book, Thai Sex Talk, is not about the smutty side of Thai life. It is a collection of Thai words and expressions that focus on personal relationships. And they are (a given) relationships that include sex and love.

And after reading Thai Sex Talk from cover to cover, I can confirm that the author, Kaewmla, has sweetened the mix with a fair amount of Thai history and culture. Just like I like.

Language and Love, Romance and Sexuality: Language, in the from of words and expressions, reflects the way people think, act and relate to one another in that culture. Language reveals the culture’s history, how the society has changed over time, and what internal and external influences have shaped and changed that society. People’s choices of words and how they express them also inform about their attitude and worldview.

I started chatting with Kaewmla after Dan from Absolutely Bangkok (no longer online) interviewed her in his post, Thai Love Talk (when it comes to the new bits in Thai town, Dan is often the man).

Just like in her book, Kaewmla is highly intelligent and clever. And I do hope she stops by to say ‘hi’!

I purposely waited until right before Valentine’s Day to post my review of Thai Sex Talk. I believe the why should be obvious. But if not…

Whether you are in love or seeking love with a Thai… or simply curious about how Thais think and talk about sex… Thai Sex Talk is your indispensable guide.

Forget that Thais don’t traditionally celebrate St Valentine’s Day, we do! And as today is the 12th of February, and Valentine’s Day is on the 14th, my post has been timed to remind you to acquire your very own copy of Thai Sex Talk too.

A chapter to chapter review of Thai Sex Talk…

Thai Sex Talk is loaded with relationship expressions. Some have Western equivalents, but I mostly picked through those sporting the flavour of Thailand. What I have not included are well-known Thai terms, such as: Walking ATM, major wife, and minor wife.

Note: In this post the transliteration is hidden. If you cannot read Thai script, then scroll over the Thai to see the transliteration. As before, the transliteration comes from T2E (as is).

Chapter One: Sexually speaking…

The first chapter is a brief explanation and overview of the book. In a nutshell:

This book is intended primarily for those who are, or expect to be, in a cross-cultural romance with a Thai.

Chapter Two: The Thai sexual jungle…

Partly due to the subject of animal metaphors, this is a chapter that I am most fond of.

หมาเห่าเครื่องบิน

Dog barking at an airplane: Just like a soi dog, a man of limited means and education should keep to his place in Thai society. When he does not, he is known as a ‘dog barking at an airplane’.

ดอกฟ้ากับหมาวัด

Heavenly flower and temple dog: Again, the description is about relationships between the have’s (hi-so = heavenly flower) and the have-nots (low-so = temple dog).

หนูตกถังข้าวสาร

Lucky mouse falling into a rice bin: In a twist of good luck, a poor man (mouse / low-so / temple dog) marries a rich women (rice bin / hi-so / heavenly flower).

Chapter Three: The battle between love and lust…

This chapter covers: Sexual attraction, falling in love, being in love, sexual free thinkers, and how it all affects the heart.

ใจหวั่นไหว

Melting heart: This one is Western too, but I just had to include this lovely ใจ (jai – heart) expression.

พบไม้งามเมื่อขวานบิ่น

Finding love when already a dull old ax: Dull axes are self-explanatory. Yes? Many of us (I’m sure) would like to think that we are still sharp enough ;-)

Chapter Four: Looking for love…

Nudge, nudge… Kaewmla offers an excellent selling point for Thai Sex Talk:

Looking for love without an adequate vocabulary is like going on a treasure hunt without a good treasure map. A set of basic vocabulary can make navigating the wild love jungle a much more fun and satisfying experience.

30 ยังแจ๋ว, 40 กะรัต

Still hot at 30, 40 carats: Although the bar has been raised in the West (for both men and women), Thailand has their ‘still hot at 30′, and ’40 carats’ (carats = the addition of wisdom).

เตะปี๊บดัง

To kick a can loudly: Kicking tin cans in Thailand is all about the sexual virility of old(er) men. I equate can kicking with youth, so I have questions. Hopefully Kaewmla will clear up the mystery.

ไม้ป่าเดียวกัน

Trees from the same forest: While no longer a popular term with the present gay community (even the most pleasant of words can be turned), ‘trees from the same forest’ reads quite fine to my years.

Chapter Five: The art of flirting…

This chapter is chock-full of Thai flirting expressions, as well as insights into how Thais flirt. What fun!

ก้างขวางคอ

Bone in the throat: This is when someone gets in the way of the romance. An old fling or a MIL-to-be are common culprits in any culture.

ระริกระรี้เป็นกระดี่ได้น้ำ

Being dancing-fish excited: This expression is strictly for females. Apparently women should not act overly excited, so are at risk at being compared to fish getting fresh water poured into their tank (giggling, jumping around, etc). But neither are they supposed to be too standoffish. Sigh…

Chapter Six: Traditional courtship rituals…

I found this an absorbing chapter because it discusses history and the Thai classics (I have a fondness for both). In places, it is exactly like Merry ‘Ole England. In others, quaintly Thai (but I won’t ruin it for you).

เข้าตามตรอก ออกตามประตู

Enter through the proper alley way, exit through the door: In Thailand (more so than in the US or the UK), there is a right way to court: Respect the parents, respect the girl, not too many late nights, etc. The West is similar, but does not take the respect for the parents to such great heights.

หัวกระไดไม่แห้ง

Wet the top of the staircase: Keeping a large water jar at the foot of the stairs for guests to wash their feet is an old Thai custom. And if there is a beautiful daughter in the house, the stairs stay wet.

Chapter Seven: Modern courtship and dating…

Chapter seven is where expats make their entrance into the Thai dating scheme of things.

A new kind of romance has also emerged in Thai sexual culture. Thai-foreign relationships, especially between Thai women and Western men, have become a trend. So, I also cover these relationships, which beg much cultural and historical discussion.

ตกกระไดพลอยโจน

Jump along as one falls down the staircase: This is the equivalent of a shotgun wedding in the West.

ก้นหม้อไม่ทันดำ

Before the pot becomes black: In the old days, rice was cooked over a charcoal fire. ‘Before the pot becomes black’ describes a relationship that is over before the bottom of the clay pot turns black.

Chapter Eight: Lovers and bed mates…

Here we move on from courtship to more. And what Thai word dominates? รัก (rák = love), of course.

รักข้ามขอบฟ้า

Love over the skyline: With expats in the picture, long distance relationships become a part of Thai society. Kaewmla mentions an old Thai song of the same name. If anyone has any information about the song, please drop me a line in the comments.

ดอกไม้ริมทาง

Flower by the roadside: This is a sad expression used for a women who has been played with, and then lightly discarded by a wealthy man.

นำ้พริกถ้วยเก่า

Old bowl of chili paste: When the spice in a relationship wanes, couples (usually the man) are sometimes left with a tasteless romance.

Chapter Nine: In the eye of the (Thai) beholder…

If you are considering a relationship with a Thai and would like to get some insight into their preferences for a mate, then go straight to page 227. No surprises, looks do come into it.

หล่อลากดิน

Dragging the ground handsome: Kaewmla has a theory that this phrase is about the weight of the handsomeness. Would anyone else clued into Thailand care to share their thoughts?

สวยลากไส้

Pulling the intestines gorgeous: This is the female version of Thailand’s ground dragging men. But it makes more sense to me as I’ve had my insides tugged by painfully handsome men. And the physical affects are felt in the stomach.

Chapter Ten: Sexy (or not) Thai style…

This chapter is all about body style: Tall, skinny, fat, short. Most of the shared descriptions refer to women.

ดำตับเป็ด

Dark like a duck’s liver: A sexy, dark-skinned women.

เนื้อนมไข่

Beef, milk, and eggs: A voluptuous body raised on a Western diet.

มะขามข้อเดียว

Jointless tamarind: Short and stocky (usually a man).

The end…

So there you have it. A quick review of the ten chapters of Thai Sex Talk: Understanding Thai Love, Romance & Sexuality. If you are a student of Thai, you are certain to enjoy adding these and more phrases into your language stash.

Suggestion: If you are in the market for books with a Thai relationship twist, along with Kaewmla’s Thai Sex Talk, why not grab a copy of Christopher Moore’s Heart Talk too.

Kinokuniya presently has a Valentine’s promotion going for both Thai Sex Talk and Heart Talk. Thai Sex Talk is now 20% off = 316 baht. Heart Talk also gets 20% off = 495 baht.

In addition, Thai Sex Talk is available as print on demand on Amazon and eBook.

Btw: you can read my review of Heart Talk here: Heart Talk by Christopher G Moore.

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Quick & Dirty Thai Language Learning with Myke Hawke

Thai Days with Myke Hawke

The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast…

A little over a week after launching Women Learn Thai, I wrote my first book review: The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast.

But I didn’t just review A. G. Hawke’s book, I followed his instructions (up to a point).

Getting help from my Thai teacher and Thai friends, I spent hours collecting top verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, numbers, word phrases, past, present and future tenses.

As you can imagine, it was a lot of work.

With it partly complete, I decided to share my efforts here at Women Learning Thai.

And as I needed permission from the author, I did what I always do: I googled.

Nothing solid came of my search, so I shelved the idea.

Then yesterday, getting a wildhair (as I’m known to do), I googled again and bingo, A. G. Hawke on Wikipidia.

Only, he isn’t really A. G. Hawke; he is Myke Hawke (now corrected in my review).

And he is gorgeous.

Myke Hawke makes women happy on YouTube…

And while Myke is all over YouTube with Paris Hilton and others of note, the video below is a good introduction to a part of what he does. Suggestion: If you are in a hurry, skip the condoms and go straight to the gals.

Myke Hawke: TV personality, professional soldier, linguist and author…

I found it difficult to extract brief notes on a busy man’s life, so Myke, apologies if I’ve missed a few.

TV personality: Featured on two of the final episodes of E’s THE SIMPLE LIFE with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. Appeared in the BBC’s CASTAWAY EXPOSED and the Living Channel’s LIVING WITH KIMBERLEY. In the DISCOVERY CHANNEL’S acclaimed series SCIENCE OF SURVIVAL, I SHOULDN’T BE ALIVE, Hawke taught survival in the Amazon jungle. Hawke also appeared as himself in the movie DIRTY SANCHEZ. Prior media projects included MTV’s ROAD RULES, Fox TV’s FOREVER EDEN, LOVE CRUISE and BOOT CAMP, ABC TV’s THE DATING EXPERIMENT, NBC’s FEAR FACTOR, The History Channel’s Tactical to Practical, and Britain’s Worst Boss. In addition to appearances, hosting and acting roles, he has worked as consultant, expert advisor, writer, and producer.

Professional soldier: Myke Hawke is an experienced survival instructor in jungle, desert, arctic, sea, and urban environments. Hawke has over 20 years of combined military, civilian, and government experience. He has served as a senior enlisted member of the U.S. Army’s Special Forces, and as a Commissioned Officer and Team Commander. He has been a U.S. Government Contractor and Country Project Manager abroad. Hawke has training and experience in telecommunications, intelligence operations, remote medical management, combat search and rescue, guerrilla warfare, counter terrorism, security tactics and languages. He has deployed to hotspots throughout Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, South America, South East Asia and Africa.

Author: The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast, Myke Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual and In the Dark of the Sun.

Languages: Russian, Spanish, French, Italian, Serbo-Croation, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, and others.

Yes, there really is a reason for this post…

When I finally made contact with Myke, he said ‘yes’.

‘Yes’ to my request to share the Thai compiled from his book.

Or rather, in true Myke speak: ‘info request granted!’

So stay tuned for the series: Quick & Dirty Thai Language Learning with Myke Hawke.

If you aim to follow the series, be sure to purchase The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, or your favourite book store.

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Google Books: Thai Learning Resources

Google Books

Thai resources on Google Books…

As what usually happens when blogging, one subject leads to another. For instance, this week I posted about Mary Haas Thai-English Student’s Dictionary in Bangkok. And then, after a suggestion made in the comments (thanks Aksara Anwa Akson Thai – no longer live), I was led to create a post on Thai learning resources found at Google Books.

Google Books opens up Thai reading resources for those who prefer to dig into the contents before purchasing. And if you do a little research, it’ll open up even more.

Please take note of the dates listed, as some books, while still relevant, are grandparents already.

Learning Thai on Google Books…

An Elementary Hand-book of the Siamese Language
Author: Basil Osborn Cartwright
Date: 1906 (out of copyright)

Contents: The Low Class Consonants, The Middle Class Consonants, The Tones, Deep and Dropped Tones, Haw Num Recapitulation, Double Initial Consonants,The Simple Sentence, The Noun, Some Miscellaneous Siamese, Letter Writing, Some Points of Siamese, Miscellaneous Exercises, Easy Passages for Translation into, Newspaper Cuttings, Siamese Letters, Harder Passages Siamese.

AUA Language Center Thai Course: Book One
Author: J. Marvin Brown, A.U.A. Language Center
Date: 1991

Includes extensive grammar, dialogue, and conversations, as well as tone distinction, manipulation, and identification.

A.U.A. Language Center Thai Course: Book Two
Author: J. Marvin Brown, A.U.A. Language Center
Date: 1992

Includes extensive grammar, dialogue, and conversations, as well as tone distinction, manipulation, and identification.

A.U.A. Language Center Thai Course: Book Three
Author: J. Marvin Brown, A.U.A. Language Center
Date: 1992

Includes extensive grammar, dialogue, and conversations, as well as tone distinction, manipulation, and identification.

AUA Language Center Thai Course Reading and Writing: Mostly Reading
Author: J. Marvin Brown, A.U.A. Language Center
Date: 1979

The reading section contains appendices on the history of the language while the writing section contains many practice problems and exercises. The books are comprehensive both in form and method–a necessity for any beginning student.

AUA Language Center Thai Course Reading and Writing: Mostly Writing
Date: 1979
Author: J. Marvin Brown, A.U.A. Language Center

The reading section contains appendices on the history of the language while the writing section contains many practice problems and exercises. The books are comprehensive both in form and method–a necessity for any beginning student.

Colloquial Thai
Authors: John Moore, Saowalak Rodchue
Date: 2005

Specially developed by experienced teachers for self-study or class use, this course offers a step-by-step approach to written and spoken Thai. No prior knowledge of the language is required.

Easy Thai
Author: Gordon H. Allison
Date: 1989

Easy Thai is the perfect introduction to learning the spoken language of Thailand. This basic and simple approach uses lessons which incorporate review lists and exercises with answer keys.

Instant Thai: How to express 1,000 different ideas with just 100 key words and phrases
Authors: Stuart Robson, Prateep Changchit
Date: 2007

Instant Thai contains 100 key words and over 500 basic sentences necessary for getting around in Thailand. It also has an English-Thai wordlist, arranged alphabetically. At the end of the book are useful appendices for telling the time, kinship terms, some Thai proverbs, and emergency expressions.

Sanuk Sanuk
By: National Thai Curriculum Project (Australia), Curriculum Corporation (Australia), National Thai Curriculum Project
Date: 1995

Ideal for: Grades 7-12. Introducing authentic Thai language in interesting situations, these extensively illustrated materials convey cultural information and encourage the acquisition of practical language for beginners at the secondary school level. Sanuk Sanuk (“Have Fun”) provides teachers with a complete framework and supporting resources for organizing and implementing an accelerated Thai language program.

Thai at Your Fingertips
Authors: Allison Weir, Manat Chitakasem, David Smyth, Lexus (Firm)
Date: 1988

Key words and phrases: pom chun, baht, glai, bpai, norn, krup, choo-ay, bpen, tahng, lair-o, gahn, dtorng, kreu-ung, mahk, gorn, Thai, nung, sorm, noun, choot.

Thai Cultural Reader
Authors: Robert B. Jones, Craig J. Reynolds, Ruchira C. Mendiones
Date: 1994

This reader has been designed to provide intermediate level students with readings on a wide range of topics concerning Thai culture and history written in various styles.

The Thai Writing System
Author: Nanthanā Dānwiwat
Date: 1987

Key words and phrases: Thai language, Khmer script, Khmer alphabet, Thailand, vocalic symbol, Bangkok, Thai alphabet, Sukhothai city, Thai numerals, King Rama VI, George Coedes, triphthongs, stop consonant, glottal stop, syllabic consonant, sound symbols, diphthongs, tonal marker, loanwords, Sukhothai script.

Tai-Kadai on Google Books…

The Tai-Kadai Languages
Authors: Anthony Diller, Jerold A. Edmondson, Yongxian Luo
Date: 2008

The Tai-Kadai Languages provides the clear, grammatical descriptions needed in the area. A one-of-a-kind resource, it presents a particularly important overview of Thai that includes extensive cross-referencing to other sections of the volume, sign-posting to sources in the bibliography, and can be seen as an abridged reference grammar in itself. A parallel grammatical study of Lao is also included, as are discussions of the ‘nationality languages’, surveys of further languages in the family with smaller numbers of speakers, and sections dealing with topics of comparative interest.

Thai dictionaries on Google Books…

Mary Haas Thai-English Student’s Dictionary
Compiled by: Mary R. Haas
Date: 1964

Both English-speaking students of Thai and Thai students of all disciplines will be hard put to find a more comprehensive and satisfying answer to their general vocabulary needs. Professional translators, researchers, and even specialists whose only concern is problems of transliteration, will all benefit from this remarkable publication.

Pocket Thai Dictionary
Authors: Benjawan Golding, Michael Golding, Benjawan Jai-Ua, Mike Golding
Date: 2004

Designed by academics, translators, and native speakers with today’s globetrotter in mind, the Periplus Pocket Dictionary Series is ideal for beginning students and travelers. Each volume contains 3,000 commonly used words, presented in an accessible format of both romanized and authentic script.

Robertson’s Practical English-Thai Dictionary
Authors: Richard G. Robertson, Michael Golding, Mike Golding, Benjawan Jai-Ua
Date: 2004

A new edition of this popular dictionary. The content has been thoroughly updated and expanded, and is now presented in a clear double-column layout. The rendering of each word and phrase in the familiar roman alphabet has been completely revised, and tones are clearly indicated throughout. Thai script is also shown in a font that can be read without difficulty both by learners and by Thai natives.

Thai-English Dictionary
Author: George Bradley McFarland
Date: 1944

This book contains a large number of words not found in the present Government dictionary and therefore will lead to a better knowledge and use of the Thai language.

Thai grammar on Google Books…

A Reference Grammar of Thai
Authors: Shōichi Iwasaki, Preeya Ingkaphirom, Inkapiromu Puriyā Horie
Date: 2005

Unlike any other book on Thai grammar, it draws on data from everyday spoken discourses such as informal conversation, group discussions, interviews and narratives, as well as non-technical written texts such as folk tales, short stories and newspaper articles, to discuss grammatical phenomena at both sentence and discourse level. An extensive index is provided and examples are given in both Thai orthography and IPA symbols, making this an invaluable resource for linguists as well as students and teachers of Thai.

Thai: An Essential Grammar
Author: David Smyth
Date: 2002

…the ideal guide to the basic structures of the language for both students on taught courses and independent learners. Grammatical forms are explained in clear, jargon-free style and illustrated by examples, given in both Thai script and romanization. As well as grammar, it includes guidance on pronunciation, speech conventions and the beautiful Thai writing system.

Thai phrase books on Google Books…

Essential Thai phrase book
Authors: Benjawan Golding, Michael Golding, Benjawan Jai-Ua, Mike Golding
Date: 2004

Periplus Essential Phrase Books take you beyond the traditional “Hello. How are you? My name is …”

Lonely Planet Thai Phrasebook
Authors: Lonely Planet Publications Staff, Bruce Evans
Date: 2004

Thailand is the Land of Smiles. A grin shows companionship. A laugh shows forgiveness. But what if you need a second-class train ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai? Keep smiling – this phrasebook will show you the way.

Rough Guide Thai
Authors: Rough Guides Staff, David Smyth, Rough Guides, Somsong Smyth, Lexus Firm Staff, Lexus, Lexus (Firm)
Date: 1999

Includes clear grammar and phonetic pronunciation guidelines, etiquette and cultural tips and a menu reader. The most user-friendly phrasebooks on the market.

Msc Thai learning on Google Books…

Webster’s Thai to English Crossword Puzzles: Level 2
Author: Icon Group International, Inc.
Date: 2007

This edition is for Level 2 vocabulary, where the higher the level number, the more complicated the vocabulary. Though highly entertaining, if not addictive, this crossword puzzle book covers some 3000 translations. In this book, hints are in Thai, answers are in English. This format is especially fun (or easiest) for people learning Thai; the format is most instructive, however, for people learning English (i.e. the puzzles are a good challenge). Within each level, the puzzles are organized to expose players to shorter and more common words first.

Webster’s Thai to English Crossword Puzzles Level 4
Author: Icon Group International, Inc.
Date: 2007

Webster’s Crossword Puzzles are edited for three audiences. The first audience consists of students who are actively building their vocabularies in either Thai or English in order to take foreign service, translation certification, Advanced Placement® (AP®) or similar examinations. By enjoying crossword puzzles, the reader can enrich their vocabulary in anticipation of an examination in either Thai or English. The second includes Thai-speaking students enrolled in an English Language Program (ELP), an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) program, an English as a Second Language Program (ESL), or in a TOEFL® or TOEIC® preparation program. The third audience includes English-speaking students enrolled in bilingual education programs or Thai speakers enrolled in English speaking schools.

700 Thai Words Taken From English
Author: Ken Albertsen
Date: ?

Key words and phrases: Thai alphabet, MILAREPA, Thailand, PASSAGE Novel, Thai language, glai, farang, sawm, hip slang, squash vegetable, nung, uwan, transliteration, suway, Thai spelling, orange drink, rawang, glua, masticate.

Linguistics on Google Books…

Concise Compendium of the World’s Languages
Author: George L. Campbell
Date: 1995

In this single volume, George Campbell describes over 100 languages. The emphasis is on the world’s major languages–those with over one million speakers. Throughout the book the treatment is simple and factual; technical terminology is used only where necessary, making this the ideal reference for the non-specialist.

Handbook of Scripts and Alphabets
Author: George L. Campbell
Date: 1997

This is a handy reference to the main scripts and alphabets of the world. Forty alphabets are presented and discussed, with entries ranging from the mainstream, such as Amharic, Chinese and Thai; to the more obscure, Buginese and Cree.

Linguistic Diversity and National Unity
Author: William Allen Smalley
Date: 1994

Unlike other multi-ethnic nations, such as Myanmar and India, where official language policy has sparked bloody clashes, Thailand has maintained relative stability despite its eighty languages. In this study of the relations among politics, geography, and language, William A. Smalley shows how Thailand has maintained national unity through an elaborate social and linguistic hierarchy.

Routledge Dictionary of Language and Linguistics
Authors: Hadumod Bussmann, Gregory Trauth, Kerstin Kazzazi
Date: 1998

In over 2,000 entries, the Dictionary provides a comprehensive survey of the subdisciplines of linguistics and covers many of the world’s languages. It is alphabetically organized, with each entry providing clear and concise definitions of key linguistic terminology, concepts, and themes.

The Translator’s Handbook
Author: Morry Sofer
Date: 2006

Since 1997, this translator’s guide has been the worldwide leader in its field and has elicited high praise from some of the world’s best translators. It has been fully updated in the 2006 edition.

Thai culture/language on Google Books…

Culture and Customs of Thailand
Author: Arne Kislenko
Date: 2004

Evocative photos, a country map, a timeline, and a chronology complete the coverage. This reference is the best source for students and general readers to gain substantial, sweeping insight into the Thais and their “land of smiles.”

Language and National Identity in Asia
Author: Andrew Simpson
Date: 2007

Language and National Identity in Asia is a comprehensive introduction to the role of language in the construction and development of nations and national identities in Asia. Illustrated with maps and accessibly written this book will interest all those concerned to understand the dynamics of social change in some of the most important countries in the world. It will appeal to all those studying, researching, or teaching issues in Asian society, language, and politics from a comparative perspective.

Language, Culture, and History
Authors: Mary Rosamond Haas, Anwar S. Dil
Date: 1978

Key words and phrases: Hitchiti, Muskogean languages, Koasati, Algonkian, protolanguage, Hupa, Penutian, Karok, Edward Sapir, Apalachee, Lake Miwok, Choctaw, Ojibwa, Athapaskan languages, Harry Hoijer, Algonquian, Siouan language, Kroeber, Leonard Bloomfield, reduplication.

Thailand: A Global Studies Handbook
Author: Timothy D. Hoare
Date: 2004

The definitive guide to Thailand, providing a comprehensive, beyond-the-basics overview of the country, its history, economy, society, culture, and language.

Learning languages on Google Books…

How People Learn
Authors: John Bransford, Ann L. Brown, National Research Council (U.S.)
Date: 2003

Expanded to show how the theories and insights from the original hardcover edition can be translated into actions and practice, readers can now make valuable connections between classroom activities and learning behavior. This book offers exciting — and useful — information about the mind and the brain that provides some answers on how people actually learn.

How the Brain Learns
Author: David A. Sousa
Date: 2005

This updated edition of the powerful bestseller examines new research on brain functioning and translates this information into effective classroom strategies and activities.

How to Study
Authors: Allan Mundsack, James Deese, Ellin K. Deese, Clifford Thomas Morgan
Date: 2002

A perennial bestseller since its first publication in 1954, How to Study covers the nuts and bolts of successful studying, including the importance of setting priorities. This strategic guide also introduces readers to the art of studying and the indispensability of being a self-starter–and how to become one.

How Google Books works…

There are several offical views on offer when reading books via Google Books: Full view, limited preview, snippet view, no preview available.

Each book includes an ‘About this book’ page with basic bibliographic data like title, author, publication date, length and subject. For some books you may also see additional information like key terms and phrases, references to the book from scholarly publications or other books, chapter titles and a list of related books. For every book, you’ll see links directing you to bookstores where you can buy the book and libraries where you can borrow it.

Each book in limited preview is roughly 60-65% accessible, with Google keeping track of how many pages you’ve read.

Once you log in, however, to enforce limits on user page views, we do connect some information — your Google Account name — with the books and pages that you’ve viewed.

And once you’ve gone over that limit, you’ll get an alert: You have either reached a page that is unavailable for viewing or reached your viewing limit for this book.

Note: There are more than a few ways to download Google Books offered in full.

Suggestions for learning Thai with Google Books…

One thing I noticed when I was in the UK was the total absence of books for the Thai language learner. And while I’m no expert on which books have the best translation (you’ll need to ask Rikker at Thai101.net), Google Books might help in a pinch.

  1. Go to Google Books.
  2. Type Thai language edition’ in the search box, then select ‘Limited preview and full view’ from the drop down menu.
  3. Scroll through and click on the book of your liking.
  4. Open a new Google Books browser window.
  5. Cut and paste the title into the search box with ‘Limited preview and full view’ selected in the drop down.
  6. Select the English version of the Thai version you’ve chosen.
  7. With browsers side by side, start reading and scrolling.

At the moment the Thai selection is quite limited, but it should grow. And grow.

Shopping via Google Books…

I love a good book. And while pdfs and reading online are fine, there is nothing that beats reading from a real book. A book you can hold in your hands. A book that smells of… book!

Limiting myself, I’ve picked out a few books to add to my constantly growing wish list:

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