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Review and Draw: Win a Talking Thai-English-Thai Phrasebook iOS App!

Talking Thai-English-Thai Phrasebook

FREE Draw: Talking Thai-English-Thai Phrasebook iOS App…

If you weren’t one of the winners at Richard Barrow’s Talking Thai–English–Thai Phrasebook review and giveaway, then you have another chance to win the iOS version of this app. There will be four phrasebooks being given away on WLT this run, with another four gifted in the future.

As with previous draws, the rules are simple:

  • Leave comments below.
  • Comment(s) need to add to the conversation.

NOTE: Each relevant comment gets counted, so leave as many as you like.

The draw will run from this moment until the 22nd of April, 6am Thai time. As soon I’m awake(ish) I’ll throw the numbers into random.org, and then announce the four winners.

It’s a beaut of an app, so good luck!

Review: Talking Thai-English-Thai Phrasebook iOS App…

Talking Thai–English–Thai Phrasebook by Paiboon Publishing and Word in the Hand: This phrasebook + mini-dictionary app is in a league of its own, with full-text search access to more than 12,000 professionally edited words, phrases, and ready-to-use, customizable complete sentences organized into 250+ practical categories like “Language Difficulties,” “Hotel,” “Renting a Place,” “Food/Drink,” “Price Haggling,” “Transportation,” “Health,” “Shopping,” “Sightseeing,” “Love/Romance/Sex” and even “Swearing/Insults.”

The Talking Thai-English-Thai Phrasebook app has leapfrogged into the Smartphone market. Traditional Thai phrasebook apps have sentences and a smattering of vocabulary, leaving you searching in vain for an exact fit. The Talking Thai-Eng-Thai Phrasebook also gives you sentences and vocabulary but the real magic comes with sentence patterns.

To show you what I mean, let’s put off a detailed overview of the app for the moment and go straight to the Domestic Help section in the Categories. You might recognise some of the phrases from my HouseTalk series.

Categories >> Domestic Help >> Maid >>

Talking Thai-English-Thai PhrasebookTo select the phrase you need, scroll down the list by sliding your finger south along the face of your iPhone, or by using the see-through blue scroll button on the righthand side of the screen.

You’ll find three types of sentences: Complete sentences, sentences with placeholders where you can insert words and numbers from a list, and sentences with grammatical placeholders.

Complete sentences are obviously used as is. Clicking on placeholders in sentences with insertable words comes back with subjects such as: Currency conversions, numbers, dates and time, locations, colours, materials, and things you might want to buy.

Grammatical placeholders are complex creatures so will appear in a future update. Until then, clicking on the placeholder gives you the grammar rules for that particular pattern. But in the meantime it’s dead simple to work with the placeholders sans inserts. Some of the results won’t be exactly correct but you’ll be understood. Here you go.

  • Select the sentence pattern you want to work with.
  • Click the grey ‘add to favourites’ box (look for the plus).
  • Click the search icon at the bottom left nav to find the word you need.
  • Favourite that word as well by clicking the plus in the box.
  • Click on the favourites icon at the bottom right nav.
  • To hear both, check the box to the left of each selection.
  • Practice saying them in the correct sequence a few times and voila you have your new sentence!

Talking Thai-English-Thai Phrasebook

Talking Thai-English-Thai Phrasebook: Settings…

Before you go any further with the Talking Thai-English-Thai Phrasebook it’s a good idea to get your settings sorted.

  • First up, adjust the text size of both the English and Thai together or separately (for me, I’ve made the English small and the Thai script large).
  • Next set the volume for playback and keyboard clicks (my volume is turned on high and the keyboard clicks turned off).
  • Following is gender (I’m a female and like my ฉัน and ค่ะ/คะ’s thank you very much).
  • If you want to use transliteration there’s a whole slue to choose from: Paiboon (two types), Easy Thai, TLC (thai-language.com), Tiger, Haas, IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet), ALA-LC (American Library Ass), TYT (Teach Yourself Thai), LP (Lonely Planet), T2E (thai2english.com), and Thai Govt+.
  • And now comes the setting I’ve been waiting for. You can hide the pronunciation! Fabulous.
  • Here’s the rest of what you can do in settings: Keyboard selection, digits, currency, clocks (I went with 12 over 24 hour).

Talking Thai-English-Thai Phrasebook: Navigation…

The navigation abilities are all over this app. Across the top left is a home icon (takes you back to the home of the section you are in), an up arrow (takes you to the top of that the screen you are in). And across the top right are simple forward and backward arrows that navigate you to where you’ve recently been and back again. The arrows might be skinny little things but they are huge timesavers.

On the nav across the bottom of the app there’s Search, Categories, Help, Settings, and Favourites. We’ve already discussed Settings and Favourites, so here are the rest.

  • Search: You can search using English, via Thai sounds (transliteration), and Thai script. There’s also an extensive ‘how to’ that walks you through all the fiddly bits.
  • Categories: As there are over 250 categories I won’t list them individually, but along with over 12,000 words and phrases, they are tucked inside Essentials, Situations, Conversation, Glossary, and Places.
  • Help: The help is incredible. It not only shows you how to use the app, but includes a mini-course on the Thai language. The Speaking and Listening section teaches initial and final consonants, vowels (length and sounds), tones, similar sounds, syllable and stress, irregular sounds, parts of speech, verbs, objects, prepositions, questions and classifiers, word register, months, and the 12 year cycle. Wow.

I’m not exactly saving the best for last, but to me, the ability to suggest a word and/or phrase is a big deal. If a search comes back with “no matches” you can suggest it. What does that mean? By clicking on the proffered link that takes you to Paiboon Publishing, you can then suggest that your word or phrase gets added to the next update. How great is that? It’s like you are one of the team, helping to improve an already wonderful app.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In late 2015 the Talking Thai-English-Thai Phrasebook will be rolled into the Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary. If you don’t have the dictionary and you get the phrasebook now, via an in app purchase you can upgrade to the dictionary. But if you already have the dictionary and you don’t want to wait for the phrases, then by all means, go for it. It won’t break the bank and will help support the ongoing development of Paiboon apps (quality always costs more to build than is expected).

More about the Talking Thai–English–Thai Phrasebook iOS app…

Talking Thai–English–Thai PhrasebookPrice: 14.99
Seller: Paiboon Publishing and Word in the Hand
Released: 06 April 2015
Version: 1.9
Word count: 12,000+
Audio: Native speaker (female)
Thai script: Yes
Transliteration: Yes
Turn off Transliteration: Yes
Zoom/pinch: No need
Font control: Yes
Help: Yes (amazing)
Requires iOS: 5.1.1 or later
Optimised for: iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus
Compatible with: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Reminder: The draw will run from now until the 22nd of April, 6am Thai time. Good luck!

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Review: English Thai iOS App Dictionaries: iPhone and iPad

iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch Apps: English-Thai Dictionaries

Reviewing iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch Apps: Thai dictionaries…

The Thai Dictionary iOS app series is in four parts: English-Thai dictionaries specifically for the English market, English-Thai Dictionaries using the LEXiTRON dataset and/or databases created for Thais, Thai-English dictionaries, and special dictionaries using photos, sign language, etc.

At the time of this review there are around 70 Thai dictionary apps for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch). Only a few are for the English speaking market, the majority focus on the Thai market and advanced students of Thai.

Knowing which dictionaries target the English speaking market is important. Beginner to intermediate students do struggle with dictionaries using datasets created for Thais and advanced students still continue to use English-Thai dictionaries. So there is a need to know.

To explain: Thai focused datasets have lists of Thai words without English explanations. And if you can’t find the most common translation or correct nuance of a word, there’s a good chance you’ll choose the wrong one.

For instance, in some Thai-English dictionaries a search for the English translation of ฟอง comes back with spume instead of foam. Who goes around talking about the spume on their beer?

It’s noticeable that many of these dictionaries have not been checked by fluent Thai and English speakers, so please take care when using datasets created for Thais.

To address the English speaking market specifically, for this review I’ve taken out all dictionaries using straight out of the box LEXiTRON datasets and/or datasets created for Thais. I’ve also extracted dictionaries with audio, word of the day, and flashcards for those learning English but not Thai.

After going through all 70 to find dictionaries for English students of Thai, I was left with a mere seven. Out of those only three dictionaries are worth spending serious time with.

And while I’m surprised at the low number, all I can say is “thank goodness”. Less dictionaries to review in one post means that I can go into more detail with each app.

Disclaimer: There is a slim chance that a dictionary for the English market has slipped through. On a last whip-round I discovered two Thai-English dictionaries that barely squeaked in, so it does happen. If I do find more I’ll add them to this review. But it won’t change my mind about my top choice of Thai dictionary iOS apps, because, well, you’ll soon see.

iOS devices used for the review:

iPhone models 4S (GSM model China) and 5 (GSM and CDMA model)
iPad model 2 Wi-Fi +3G (GSM model)

Thai Dictionaries for the English market…

To save you from having to slog through the entire post, my top three choices appear first and the remaining four follow. Please let me know of any experiences you’ve had with these dictionaries – I seriously want to hear your thoughts.

For the visual persons, here’s a Google Docs spreedsheet with the complete list of attributes used to compare the dictionaries: Comparing iOS English-Thai dictionary apps for the English market.

BTW: Some apps have two names. There’s the long one we see in the iTunes store, and a shorter one that appears on your iPhone. For those who have a zillion apps and need to do a search (like I do) I’ve added the iOS name in parenthesis.

#1) Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary (TalkingThai)

Talking Thai–English–Thai DictionaryTalking Thai–English–Thai DictionaryEnglish English Thai Dictionary
Price: $24.99
Seller: Word in the Hand
Updated: Oct 23, 2014
Version: 1.8
Word count: 150,000+ entries
Audio: 100% native speaker
Thai script: Yes
Transliteration: Yes
Zoom/pinch: Yes
Font control: Yes
Help: Yes (extensive)
Requires iOS: 6.0 or later
Optimised for: iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus
Compatible with: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

RANK: This is my first choice out of all 70 paid/free English-Thai Thai-English iOS dictionary apps.

Target market: Thais and English speakers studying the Thai language.

Overview: This is a highly customised dictionary. Since its inception, Chris and Benjawan have clocked in an insane number of hours with updates and improvements. When I searched for an Italian dictionary for the iOS I was disappointed to find that not even one came close! Designed with the student of Thai in mind, this dictionary is extremely powerful. Version 2.0 (coming soon) is going to be crazy fantastic.

Top navigation: The search box is the control centre of the app. To the right of the search are forward and back arrows that take you to screens you’ve seen recently (history).

Bottom navigation: Here we have an English (search), Thai Script (search), Thai Sound (search) that uses the transliteration style you’ve chosen in the settings, Help, and More.

Bottom nav >> Help: First up is Help Home (links to: 30 Second Tour, Using the Dictionary, Speaking and Listening, Pronunciation Guide Systems, Reading and Writing, Useful Word Groups, Suggest a Word), followed by Speaking and Listening, then Parts of Speech. This is great stuff. No other dictionary walks you through the details of the Thai language like this one does.

Bottom nav >> More: Settings (Sound Control, select transliteration style, control text size, select English font, select Thai font, separate syllables, turn playback on or off, put translations on separate lines, space out definitions, select in-app keyboard or Apple keyboard for Thai script and Thai sound search), History, Real Fonts (too see what your selection looks like in the modern, quirky even, often difficult to read fonts), Inside Words (Thai words are often word combos and knowing what they are can be helpful), and Spelling (breaks words into syllables and explains tone rules and spelling).

Using the dictionary: In this dictionary you are only two clicks away from finding the translation of your target word (some dictionaries have three).

Typing a word into the search box with English, Thai Script, or Thai Sound selected takes you to a list of words. The most common translations are at the top (scroll down for related words). Clicking on the sound icon next to the Thai script or Thai transliteration gives native recorded audio. If applicable, next to the sound icons are icons that specify what type of word it is (used by monks, for royalty, obsolete, poetic, technical, formal, spoken/slang, impolite, and obscene). If you’ve read through that list I don’t have to tell you how important this is to know. Tapping on the icons takes you to Help, with a detailed list of explanations of the type of words used in social context. There’s also classifiers for nouns (again, important).

When you click on the translation of a word a black bar pops up with the option of playing the audio, going to a screen dedicated to the word, or copying the word. When you click on the blue arrow at the end of the bar you can see the word in Real World Fonts, discover the Words Inside, get an explanation of the spelling and tones, and google the word.

Choosing a translation of a word and selecting Go from the black bar takes you to a screen of possible meanings of the word, with the most common translations on top. Obtaining the most common translation of a word should be one of the most important tasks of a dictionary – or we’d all be licking spume off our beer!

Tip: To make the keyboard go away, click the blue Done button on the keyboard, or anywhere but the search box or links. Click inside the search box to bring the keyboard back up.

Worth highlighting: All sound files have been recorded with an actual Thai person (Benjawan Becker). Benjawan Becker, fluent in both Thai and English (and other languages), continuously updates the database by hand.

My personal wish-list: I’ve been asking for sample sentences and the ability to use the dictionary as an interactive learning tool – both are coming in the next update (ya!). Also on my wish-list are WOTD, bulk translate, Favourites and Flashcards (to quiz selected words from a list of Favourites). And … being able to turn off the transliteration.

Downside: Already mentioned, it’d be great if we could turn off the transliteration. For now, the best I can do is change the settings to Easy Thai with Irregular Tones Only turned on.

For more about this iOS app dictionary please go to their website at Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch.

Note: In iTunes the dictionary is called the Thai-English English-Thai Dictionary but for Android it’s the Talking Thai <> Eng Dictionary. Regardless, if you don’t have the above links just search for Paiboon.

Another fav iOS app from Paiboon: Thai for Beginners

#2) Thai-English Dictionary from thai-language.com (Thai-English)

Thai-English DictionaryThai-English Dictionary from thai-language.comThai-English Dictionary from thai-language.com
Price: Free
Seller: Christian Rishoj
Updated: Nov 06, 2014
Version: 1.7
Word count: 60,000+ entries
Audio: TTS (Text To Speech)
Thai script: Yes
Transliteration: Yes (+ you can turn it off)
Zoom/pinch: Not needed
Help: No
Requires iOS: 7.0 or later
Optimised for: iPhone 5
Compatible with: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
 

RANK: This app gets second place out of the top three.

Target market: English students of the Thai language.

Overview: This is the newest Thai dictionary for the English market. Many of us use the online dictionary at thai-language.com, created by their community (form members). Having it as an app is convenient. Christian packed an abundance of useful goodies into this app and there’s plenty more to come.

Top navigation: The top nav has two levels. First up is the search box with Cancel next to it (Cancel clears the screen and gets rid of the search). The three boxes below control your search: Literal (English and Thai), Transliterated (transliteration), and Bulk (for sentences and/or a bunch of text).

Bottom navigation: Dictionary (search), Categories (to discover vocabulary relavant to set subjects), Bookmarks (History and Favourites), Settings (turn History off or on, instructions to set Text Size in your iOS settings, Speech Rate, turn Transcriptions off or choose from a list: thai-language.com Phonemic, Phonemic Thai script, IPA, Paiboon, Royal Thai, AUA, Bua Luang, ALA, ISO).

Using the dictionary: When you do a search in English or Thai (Literal) you are given a choice of words and phrases. Selecting a word or phrase takes you to another screen with the type of word at the top (noun, verb, etc, formal, casual and more) and the translation (in large, legible script) below. In English search there’s Definition, Components (if any), Synonyms (if any), Antonyms (if any), Related words (if any), Examples and Sample Sentences (with Definitions and Components). If available, at the very bottom there’s Other Senses (swipe sideways to flip through more). Clicking on any word or phrase brings up a new screen. Seriously, you could click through this dictionary for hours.

Within dictionary definitions (not the main home search) at the top right there’s a square icon with an arrow pointing up. Clicking that icon activates a number of options: Send the information via Airdrop or a Message or Email, Bookmark, View Online (takes you to that exact page on thai-language.com) and Suggest Corrections. There’s a More section but mine don’t do anything (clicking on the icons didn’t work). What’s really great is if you do go to the online thai-language.com dictionary via View Online you can get back to the app quite easily. Not all apps have this option – they force to you restart the app and start the process of searching for a translation all over again.

When checking out a word or phrase tilt your iOS to see your selection, in large Thai script, featured on top of a fuchsia coloured screen. Clicking anywhere takes you back to your original screen. This function comes in handy when you need to show a Thai word or phrase.

To turn off transliteration: Go to Settings >> Thai Transcriptions >> Click on the red circle with the minus sign in the middle, and then select Delete. Now you’ll have a green circle with a plus sign in the middle, with Add Thai Transcription next to it.

Tip: To make the keyboard go away, click Cancel next to search box, or the blue Search button on the keyboard. Clicking inside the search box brings it back.

Worth highlighting: Important (to me) is the option to turn off the transliteration. Also important are sentences and the ability to translate more than one word at a time. Another huge plus is the established forum behind the dictionary. For students, having a community where you can ask all those pesky questions is a comfort.

A sidenote: It wouldn’t load via iTunes on my clunky iPhone 4S or my iPad 2 (both running version 7.1.2). Christian suggested loading the app direct via Safari and it worked. Thanks Christian! Seriously, if a quirk is even remotely possible, it’s going to happen to me.

My personal wish-list: Obviously, I’d like native audio. There is recorded audio on the site but going back and forth between online and app would be a chore. When I mentioned it to Christian he said audio will be coming in a future update, but as an optional download (to keep the installation size small). He also mentioned adding the ability to see entries in modern typeface. Going through the checklist I’d also like an overview of the Thai language, WOTD and Flashcards.

Downside: As mentioned, the audio is TTS, not audio of native speakers.

#3) ClickThai Dictionary (ClickThai)

ClickThai Dictionary Thai/EnglishClickThai DictionaryClickThai Dictionary
Price: $19.99
Seller: Theodor Pitsch
Updated: Apr 01, 2014
Version: 3.03
Word count: 70,000+ entries
Audio: Native and TTS (Text To Speech)
Thai script: Yes
Transliteration: Yes
Zoom/pinch: No need (Thai script is a decent size)
Font control: No
Help: Yes
Requires iOS: 4.3 or later
Optimised for: iPhone 5
Compatible with: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
 

APP UPDATE Dec 17 2014:

What’s New in Version 4.0:
Increased Vocabulary: Now 88,000 Thai words.
Export training lists for ClickThai Vocabulary Trainer.
Optimised sorting of search results.
Show classificator for nouns.

Please stay tuned for a dedicated post on the changes. I’ve been looking forward to the ClickThai export abilities especially. Thanks Theo!

RANK: This app gets third place out of the top three.

Target market: English speakers studying Thai.

Overview: ClickThai is an uncomplicated dictionary with clear audio files, multiple results per search (sorted by frequency), word-by-word translation of sentences, and the ability to save words for later. It hasn’t had a major update in awhile but there’s more to come (see below).

Top navigation: Across the top nav there’s a search bar with English, Transcript (search via transliteration), and Thai.

Bottom navigation: The bottom nav takes you to the search page for EN-TH, TH Text (Word-by-Word translation for Thai), Memo (saved favourites), and Help (EN-TH, TH Text, Memo).

Bottom nav >> Help: EN-TH (Introduction, Search English, Search Thai, Search Transcription, Word Class), TH Text (Word-by-Word translation), Memo help topics.

Using the dictionary: As with the other dictionaries reviewed so far, doing a search gives you to the most common translations at the top. Searching for a word with English chosen brings up a list of English words. Selecting one takes you to a dedicated page with large, legible Thai script at the top of the screen. When you click and hold down on a Thai word you are given the choice to Copy, Define, or Speak (hear audio files). Underneath is the transliteration of that word (transcript) followed by the different meanings and type of word (noun, verb, etc). The audio icon on the bottom right of the screen speaks with a male voice. Also on the bottom nav are forward and back arrows that take you to related words shown in the original search (if any). This saves you from going all the way back to the beginning to search through similar words all over again. At the top right of the screen is an icon that looks like stacked pages. Clicking saves words for later (and incase you’ve hit it by accident it beeps at you).

Tip: To make the keyboard go away, click the blue Search button on the keyboard, or the keyboard icon to the right of the search box. Clicking inside the search box brings it back.

Worth highlighting: The simplicity of this app makes it a breeze to operate.

My personal wish-list: In my chat with Leo we discussed the next update, most of which just happens to be on my wish-list. To make both VocTrain (one of my favourite apps) and ClickThai more powerful, Leo is adding the ability to export custom lists (with sound files) from ClickThai to VocTrain. Also mentioned were sample sentences and classifiers for nouns.

Downside: I’d like to see the Word-by-Word translation work (but I don’t know if it’s me or the app). As already mentioned, this app needs a major update, but as I know it’s coming, no worries.

Another fav app from Leo: VocTrain

Audio Collins Mini Gem Th-Eng & Eng-Thai Dictionary (Audio TH-EN)

Audio Collins Mini GemAudio Collins Mini GemCollins Gem Thai Dictionary
Price: $9.99
Seller: Mobile Systems
Updated: Oct 08, 2010
Version: 3.03
Word count: 20,000 entries
Audio: native English and Thai
Thai script: Yes
Transliteration: No
Zoom/pinch: No
Font control: No
Help: No
Requires iOS: 3.0 or later
Optimised for: Unknown
Compatible with: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

RANK: Top of the bottom four.

Target Market: Mostly for Thais and English speakers who can read Thai.

Overview: The app starts off in Thai mode so you’ll need to switch it to English if that’s what you want. A search takes you to a list of English words. Selecting a word takes you to an English and Thai translation with audio for both. Clicking on one of the Thai words takes you to another screen. Some of the screens have just the Thai and English word with audio, others have a list of English words. Each of the English words have audio (Thais learning English is a main focus).

Top navigation: When you open the app there’s two options on the nav across the top: Switch (between Thai and English) and a search box. Clicking inside the search box switches the search to: Keyword, Fuzzy, Wildcard, and adds a blue Done button to the end of the search. The Done button gets rid of the keyboard.

Bottom navigation: When you first start this app the nav across the bottom has a page icon (history) and an icon that goes to Random Word and Word of the Day (overkill?), as well as an information icon (tells you about the company but doesn’t help with the app). Random Word comes up with the word in Thai and English, with sound for both. Ditto for Word of the Day. Once you choose a word to define, the nav then has forward and back arrows, a page icon (history), a + icon (add bookmark), and an arrow icon with Random Word (and they do mean random) and Word of the Day.

Using the dictionary: Other than the navigation that I’ve already explained, there’s not much to this app. Getting to your translated word of choice gives you the word in English (with audio), one or more Thai words (with audio), and occasionally a Thai phrase (with audio). Also noted are the type of words (nouns, verbs, etc). Clicking on the + symbol bookmarks the screen.

Worth highlighting: If you want dead simple, this app has it in spades.

Downside: I haven’t discovered much (if any) benefit to using Keyword, Fuzzy, or Wildcard. Those who don’t read Thai are stuck with audio only.

Collins Thai<->English Phrasebook and Dictionary (Audio TH-EN)

Collins Thai English Phrasebook and DictionaryCollins Thai English Phrasebook and DictionaryCollins Thai English Phrasebook and Dictionary
Price: $12.99
Author: Mobile Systems
Updated: Apr 01, 2011
Version: 4.02
Word count: 10,000 entries
Audio: Native
Thai script: Yes
Transliteration: No
Zoom/pinch: No
Help: No
Requires iOS: 3.0 or later
Optimised for: Unknown
Compatible with: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

RANK: None

Target market: For Thais and English speakers who can read Thai.

Overview: This is mostly a Thai phrasebook. But, as dictionaries with translations in English for all Thai words are lacking, I’ve added it to the review.

Top navigation: Very simple, the only choice is to Switch between Thai and English.

Bottom navigation: The nav across the bottom has a star icon (favourites), magnifying glass icon (search for phrases), arrow icon (Random Phrase and Phrase of the Day), and an info icon (about the company not about the app). Random Phrase and Phrase of the Day has both English and Thai, with audio. But if you click on those you find yourself in the phrase section of the app, not the dictionary section. In that case, you must click all the way back to the home screen and start again.

Using the dictionary: The first screen of the app is in Thai. If you need to do so, click the top right button to Switch to English, and then select the Dictionary icon on the far left of the screen. Typing in the search box brings up a selection of words. The words are noted as noun, verb, etc. Selecting a word brings up a simple screen with English and Thai, audio is included for both. On that screen you can use the forward and black arrows, and click the + symbol to add to the word to your favourites.

Worth highlighting: A simple English / Thai dictionary with phrasebook.

Tip: Clicking on the blue Done button at the top right hand side of the screen removes the keyboard.

Downside: Without transliteration, unless you are learning how to read, it’s useless for those who cannot read Thai. Words in the dictionary are limited and there are mistakes. I briefly checked sentences in the phrase section and found ฉัน (the female particle) for I.

Collins Gem Thai Dictionary

Collins Gem Thai DictionaryCollins Gem Thai DictionaryCollins Gem Thai Dictionary
Price: $9.99
Seller: Mobile Systems
Updated: Dec 04, 2012
Version: 5.0.19
Word count: Unknown
Audio: No
Thai script: Yes
Transliteration: Yes
Zoom/pinch: Yes
Help: No
Requires iOS: 4.3 or later
Optimised for: iPhone 5
Compatible with: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

RANK: None

Target market: English and Thai speakers (but mostly for Thais).

Overview: I’m sure this app started out as a good idea, but in my opinion, it needs a serious upgrade. The lack of audio (transliteration only), and activities that do not cover both English speakers and Thais, leaves it lacking.

Top navigation: The top nav has a search box with Cancel next to it (Cancel clears the keyboard). Underneath are buttons to switch between English-Thai and Thai-English. Further to the right is an icon that doesn’t work on my iPhone (only switches away from English-Thai and Thai-English to mysterious icons).

With English-Thai selected, typing a word into the search box comes back with a single English word. Clicking on that word goes to another screen with the English word and some sort of transliteration, what type of word it is (noun, verb, etc), and then the Thai word (Thai script) with transliteration next to it. There is no sound. Icons on the top right increase and decrease the font size. The star icon bookmarks the selection.

Bottom navigation: The nav across the bottom has a Search, Contents (cheat sheets for Abbreviations, Thai and English pronunciation, and Numbers), Favourites (bookmarks), History (everywhere you’ve been), and More.

Bottom navigation >> More: In More there are six activities. Word scramble, Hangman and Anagrams are for students of English. Flashcards and Word of Day are for both students of English and Thai.

Downside: There is no Thai or English audio, only English text, Thai script, and Thai transliteration. Many of the searches don’t work (“no results found for …”). Do not use this app to memorise Thai words (using the iffy transliteration alone will muff you up).

English Thai Dictionary (English/Thai)

English Thai dictionaryEnglish Thai DictionaryEnglish Thai Dictionary
Price: $5.99
Author: Aanthai
Updated: Jan 05, 2009
Version: 1.1
Word count: 7,000 entries
Audio: No
Thai script: Yes
Transliteration: Yes
Zoom/pinch: No
Help: Yes
Requires iOS: 2.2 or later
Optimised for: iPhone
Compatible with: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

RANK: Bottom.

Target market: English speakers.

Overview: It’s just long list of alphabetised words. The nav consists of clicking on one of the letters of the alphabet on the right side of the screen.

Downside: This app has not been updated since 2009. Selecting the nav crashes the app on both iPhones (4S and 5) and the iPad 2. This app either needs to be upgraded or taken out of the app store.

Learn Thai on Your iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod): What’s next…

Coming next will be a review of Thai-English Dictionaries for the Thai market. This does not mean that some of the dictionaries aren’t for English students learning Thai as well, so please do stay tuned.

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The Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary Update

Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary 2.0

The Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary Update…

I’ve been known to bug Chris Pirazzi about this and that software and lately it’s been about his progress with a brand spanking new TalkingThai phrasebook, as well as the update to Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary. Only just yesterday I received a positive reply to both. Excellent.

I’ll go into detail about the TalkingThai phrasebook in a later post, but for now, in the hands of the Apple gods is the latest update to the Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary.

Chris Pirazzi: Apple’s iOS 8.x “upgrades” came as a nasty surprise that broke many apps (not to mention making phone calls!). No wonder why, after an initial rush to upgrade, customer adoption of iOS 8 is slower than any recent iOS version.

In the case of the Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary from Paiboon Publishing and Word in the Hand, iOS 8 bugs took away access to key functionality that we have now restored in a free 1.8 app update just submitted to Apple. The features affected include “Find Words Inside,” “Real-World Fonts,” “Explain Spelling,” “Google Thai Word,” and “Clear History,” as well as the Paiboon Thai Script and Thai Sound custom keyboards. This app update also sports a new iOS 7/8 visual style, adds full-screen support on iPhone 5/6/6+, and fixes some rare reported app hangs. Now we are all waiting for Apple to approve our app update (a rather arbitrary process that can take days to weeks) and then you will see an update show in the App Store app on your device.

We’d also like everyone to know that we are nearing completion of a massive 2.0 upgrade to your dictionary app that has been more than two years in the making. This upcoming free 2.0 upgrade will include thousands of new Thai words suggested by users, thousands of complete, ready-to-use customizable phrases divided into 200+ practical categories like “Hotel,” “Ordering Food,” “Renting a Place,” and “Price Haggling,” a “Favorites” feature that lets you save and organize words and phrases you are learning, full-text search that lets you find words in the middle of phrases, and a complete rewrite of the internals of the app that will allow us to issue more frequent cross-platform upgrades in the future. Our first step will be to release a standalone phrasebook-only app, then fold all of its features and vocabulary into your dictionary app as a free 2.0 upgrade.

Thanks Chris. So to clarify, first out will be the Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary 1.8 update, followed by the Talking Thai Phrasebook 1.0. And finally, the Thai–English–Thai Dictionary 2.0 super update which will include the Talking Thai Phrasebook. If you feel you can’t wait, go ahead and purchase the phrasebook (we can always use the support).

The Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary just keeps on getting better. Students of the Thai language are extremely lucky in that they have access to such a top-notch dictionary. When I went to source an iOS app dictionary for Italian, none I found came even close in quality. We are indeed spoilt.

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Sample Sentences in Thai Dictionaries

Sample Sentences in Thai Dictionaries

Sample Sentences in Thai Dictionaries…

While reviewing Thai dictionary apps for my series, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch Apps, I came across a subject that needed clarification: sample sentences in dictionaries.

As 
Chris Pirazzi already answered my question about the LEXiTRON dictionary database (developed by NECTEC) in a previous post, Backstage View into the Process of Creating a Thai Dictionary, I knew he was the person to ask.

So before I post my review, please take the time to read Chris’ valuable insights into sentence samples found in Thai dictionaries.

Chris Pirazzi on Sample Sentences in Thai Dictionaries…

I’m really glad you mentioned sample sentences. We may indeed add sample sentences at some point, but sample sentences are an area where there is a LOT of misunderstanding and mis-set customer expectations, and you could really help a lot of people in your review by helping to head off these mis-set expectations before the customer gets disappointed.

First of all, customers should be aware that the quality of sample sentences varies wildly between apps, so customers should be sure to look at more than just quantity. Most apps actually get their sample sentences by having a computer program crawl through huge, freely available, error-ridden bilingual datasets available on the internet with no human intervention or editing. In many cases, the sample sentences contain errors, or even more often, they do not even demonstrate the meaning of the word being defined at all. For example, an entry for “หก” with the English translation “The number 6” may contain many sample sentences for the other meaning of หก, “to spill (a liquid).” The sample sentences in these cases are at best confusing and possibly misleading. With some apps (and I never could figure out why) you will even see sample sentences for a Thai word that don’t even contain the Thai word! Typically, if an app boasts a huge number of sample sentences (like, tens of thousands or more), that is a major red flag that the sentences are crap. Doing sample sentences properly requires humans to edit the sentences of each entry for relevance, and that takes almost as much work as creating the dictionary dataset in the first place. Almost no vendor is willing to take this time for editing.

Secondly, and even more importantly, challenge your reader to ask why they want sample sentences.  There may be other ways of getting what they want that are simpler and more direct. Let me explain.

Sample sentences are a little like transcription: at first, when looking for Thai learning materials, Thai learners always ask for a transcription system that is as “English-Like” as possible, and they may even choose their app by that criterion. It isn’t until much later that they realize that due to the unavoidable reality of Thai language and how its sounds differ from English, the goal of being “English-like” is not only impossible but it may actually damage their ability to learn Thai sounds properly (e.g., transcription systems which over-simplify Thai sounds so that ส้ม and ซ่อม are written the same way, or เป็ด and เผ็ด are written the same way), or at the very least the goal of being “English-Like” may actually make the transcription system more complicated and make it more hard for them to learn Thai than they could with other systems. I talk about that at length in Slice of Thai: Pronunciation Guide Systems for Thai.

At first, customers also ask for sample sentences, but sample sentences can lead the customer to a similar dilemma. When we were beginning our multi-year dictionary production process, we asked ourselves why it is that people ask for sample sentences. The answer is that it helps give more information about a given translation, for example:

  • for a given translation from language 1 to language 2, which SENSE of the word is being translated?  For example, if there is an English entry for “glass” that shows a Thai word, then is that the Thai word for “drinking glass” or the word for “pane of glass?”
  • what prepositions and other linking words need to be used along with a given word?  For example, when I want to say “wait for him”, I can see that there is a Thai word “รอ,” but what (if any) preposition should I put in in place of “for”?
  • what level of formality (e.g. slang, formal) does the word have?
  • what are the word’s classifiers, if it is a noun?

Typically, bilingual dictionaries will try to answer these questions by providing sample sentences. 

But even if the sample sentences are carefully hand-crafted and hand-edited by humans (and so far I have never seen an iOS/Android app where they are), sample sentences are a very poor way to answer the questions above, because the reader has to read the sentence, understand its parts, and then think backwards to get the answer to the original question they really wanted answered.

We decided that it’s much better to spend our effort answering the important questions for the user directly. We are the only Thai-English English-Thai dictionary that we are aware of that was designed from the ground up to help English speakers who are learning Thai in this way.

When giving definitions, we provide glosses to clarify shades of meaning (e.g. “glass (drinking)” vs. “glass (pane)”), as shown on our website at Designed for English Speakers.

We have specifically designed our headwords to solve the preposition/extra word problem. For example, we include a transitive verb entry “wait for” that translates to “รอ,” and this is a specific, explicit cue to the user that they do not need to insert a Thai word corresponding to “for” when using the Thai verb รอ. We talk more about how this works in our application Help under “Speaking and Listening” then “Verbs, Objects, and Prepositions.”

We specifically notate the register (slang, formal, …) of each word using symbols, rather than trying to make the user guess from sample sentences. You can click on “Word Register” in our app Help to get the details.

And of course we explicitly notate classifiers too.

There are still cases where sample sentences can be handy, but we feel we’ve delivered a much, much greater bang for the buck by spending our finite development time by going right for the information that Thai learners need.  We may still add sample sentences as well. No matter what, we will continue to listen to our customers’ requests for what information they want in each entry and provide that in the most direct and useful form we can.

Chris Pirazzi,
Word in the Hand: Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary | Slice of Thai | Thailand Fever

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2012: The Fourth Google Translate Challenge

Google Translate

Google Translate, the challenge…

Welcome to the fourth Google Translate Challenge! To recap: In 2009 I ran two sets of Thai phrases through Google Translate. I shared one list online and the other I kept to myself. Here’s the first set: 2009: The First Google Translate Challenge.

In 2010 I reran both sets of Thai phrases through Google Translate. I also created another set to keep to myself. The two sets can be found here: 2010: The Second Google Translate Challenge.

In 2011 I reran everything through Google Translate yet again: 2011: The Third Google Translate Challenge.

As you’ll see below, a few of the sentences have settled into some sort of consistency, while the rest are still evolving. Also apparent is how question marks are not always being addressed.

The results of the fourth Google Translate Challenge…

Be careful! There is swine flu!
2009: ระวัง! มีไข้สุกร!
2010: โปรดระวัง มีสุกรไข้หวัดใหญ่เป็น!
2011: โปรดใช้ความระมัดระวัง! มีไข้หวัดหมูเป็น!
2012: ระวัง! มีไข้หวัดหมูเป็น!

I have swine flu already, thanks!
2009: ฉันมีสุกรไข้หวัดใหญ่แล้วขอบคุณ!
2010: ฉันมีไข้หวัดหมูแล้ว, thanks!
2011: ฉันมีไข้หวัดหมูแล้ว, ขอบคุณ!
2012: ฉันมีไข้หวัดหมูแล้วครับ

I don’t know! Why do you ask?
2009: ฉันไม่ทราบ!ทำไมเจ้าถาม?
2010: ไม่ทราบ! ทำไมคุณถาม?
2011: ผมไม่ทราบ! ทำไมคุณถาม?
2012: ผมไม่ทราบ! ทำไมคุณถาม?

Did you eat yet?
2009: คุณกินยัง?
2010: คุณไม่กินหรือยัง
2011: คุณไม่ได้กินหรือยัง
2012: คุณกินหรือยัง

Oh no! You’re a liar!
2009: แย่ละ!คุณเป็นคนพูดเท็จ!
2010: Oh no! คุณโกหก!
2011: Oh No! คุณโกหก!
2012: โอ้ไม่! คุณโกหก!

I don’t want to see your face again.
2009: ฉันไม่ต้องการดูหน้าของคุณอีกครั้ง
2010: ฉันไม่อยากเห็นหน้าคุณอีกครั้ง
2011: ฉันไม่ต้องการที่จะเห็นใบหน้าของคุณอีกครั้ง
2012: ฉันไม่ต้องการที่จะเห็นหน้าคุณอีกครั้ง

He is busy lighting a mosquito coil.
2009: พระองค์คือยุ่งแสงสว่างที่ยุงม้วน
2010: เขาเป็นไฟม้วนยุ่งยุง
2011: พระองค์ทรงเป็นแสงยุ่งขดลวดยุง
2012: เขาเป็นแสงสว่างว่างม้วนยุง

Don’t put any fish sauce on the rice. It stinks!
2009: โปรดอย่าวางใดน้ำปลาใน ข้าว. มัน stinks!
2010: ไม่ใส่น้ำปลาบนข้าว It stinks!
2011: ไม่ใส่น้ำปลาใด ๆ บนข้าว มัน stinks!
2012: ไม่ใส่น้ำปลาใด ๆ บนข้าว มันเหม็น!

The first Google Challenge control group…

I first ran these sentences through Google Translate in 2009 and 2010, but I didn’t post them until 2010.

He tells me that he loves me with all his heart.
2009: เขาบอกผมว่าเขารักฉันกับหัวใจของเขาทั้งหมด
2010: เขาบอกว่าเขารักฉันด้วยหัวใจทั้งหมดของเขา
2011: เขาบอกผมว่าเขารักฉันด้วยหัวใจของเขา
2012: เขาบอกฉันว่าเขารักฉันด้วยหัวใจทั้งหมดของเขา

Do you speak English?
2009: คุณพูดภาษาอังกฤษ?
2010: คุณพูดภาษาอังกฤษ
2011: คุณพูดภาษาอังกฤษ?
2012: คุณพูดภาษาอังกฤษ? /kun pôot paa-săa ang-grìt/

What did the nurse say?
2009: อะไรได้พยาบาลกล่าว?
2010: พยาบาลพูดว่าอะไร?
2011: พยาบาลพูดว่าอะไร?
2012: พยาบาลพูดว่าอะไร?

That water buffalo meat comes from the north.
2009: นั่นควายเนื้อมาจากทางเหนือ
2010: ที่เนื้อควายมาจากภาคเหนือ
2011: ว่าเนื้อควายมาจากทางทิศเหนือ
2012: ว่าเนื้อควายมาจากทางทิศเหนือ

Please give me a glass of orange juice.
2009: กรุณาให้ฉันหนึ่งแก้วน้ำส้ม
2010: กรุณาให้แก้วน้ำสีส้ม
2011: กรุณาให้ฉันแก้วน้ำสีส้ม
2012: กรุณาให้ฉันแก้วน้ำส้ม

The turtle reaches the finish line before the rabbit.
2009: เต่าที่ครบตามเส้นชัยก่อนกระต่าย
2010: เต่าถึงเส้นชัยก่อนกระต่าย
2011: เต่าถึงเส้นชัยก่อนกระต่าย
2012: เต่าถึงเส้นชัยก่อนกระต่าย

The 2010 Google Challenge control group…

These sentences were created in 2010 but kept under wraps until 2011.

How was last night?
2010: เมื่อคืนนี้นี้เป็นยังไงบ้างคะ
2011: วิธีการคืนสุดท้ายคืออะไร
2012: วิธีการคืนสุดท้ายคือ?

Did anything exciting happen last night?
2010: เมื่อคืนนี้มีอะไรเกิดขึ้นบ้างตอนที่ฉันไม่อยู่
2011: สิ่งที่น่าตื่นเต้นเกิดขึ้นเมื่อคืน?
2012: ทำอะไรที่น่าตื่นเต้นเกิดขึ้นเมื่อคืน?

Sleep comfortably?
2010: หลับสบายไหมคะ
2011: นอนหลับสบาย?
2012: นอนหลับสบาย?

So very tired today.
2010: วันนี้เหนื่อยมากเลย
2011: ดังนั้นวันนี้เหนื่อยมาก
2012: ดังนั้นวันนี้เหนื่อยมาก

Because last night you snored.
2010: เพราะ(ว่า)เมื่อคืนคุณกรน
2011: เพราะคืนสุดท้ายที่คุณ snored
2012: เพราะคืนสุดท้ายที่คุณ snored

Google translate does have กรน /gron/ for snore and การกรน /gaa-rók ron/ for snoring/snore. Curious.

More Google Translate…

I haven’t been keeping up with everything Google Translate this past year but I did delve into a few of the improvements. Noticeable (to me anyway) is Google Translate’s New Look. And being able to listen to translations is a great addition: Google Translate, Now With Voice Input. The Google Translate App for iPhone and Conversation Mode in Google Translate for Android are well worth looking into (I’ll do just that in my coming apps review). On the broken side (for Thai anyway), Alternate Translations didn’t happen, and when I tried Usage Examples it came back with “no examples found”. But hey, two negatives out of all those positives isn’t too shabby. I’ll take it.

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App Winners: ITS4Thai + iPhone and iPad

ITS4Thai iOS Winners: iPhone + iPad

Winners: ITS4Thai iPhone + iPad apps…

Drum roll… the four winners of the ITS4Thai iPhone and iPad apps are: Bernard, Tom, MV and Meg. The grand prize winner is Meg. Congrats all! If you four would please send me a message via my contact form I’ll give you the app codes asap.

Stuart (ITS4Thai), thank you for making this draw possible, and Talen (Thailand Land of Smiles – no longer online) thank you for sending your readers my way!

Before I sign off I’d like to announce that Stuart is busy getting a new ITS4Thai product ready for launch – a Reading and Writing app. As I’m an advocate of learning how to read Thai, I’m especially looking forward to reviewing the app.

For those who didn’t win the ITS4Thai iPhone + iPad app…

ITS4Thai - Learn Thai Language Conversation and Vocabulary LessonsITS4Thai - Learn Thai Language Conversation and Vocabulary Lessons - I.T.S. 4 KnowledgeIf you didn’t win the ITS4Thai iPhone + iPad app you can do so direct from iTunes. And if you want to top up your lessons, or if you just want to nose around the site, go to ITS4Thai.

Again, congrats to the winners!

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ITS4Thai DRAW + iPhone and iPad Review

ITS4Thai iOS Review: iPhone + iPad

Free ITS4Thai iPhone + iPad apps!…

Excellent! You now have a chance to win one of four free ITS4Thai apps, as well as a grand prize of all of the ITS4Thai Conversation Courses. To be eligible, leave a relevant comment below. Yes, relevant ;-)

I’ve been following Stuart Towns’ ITS4Thai online learning Thai site since 2008. As early as February 2008, ITS4Thai signed up its first customer. As of 2012, over 23,000 registrations have been created. Wow. And now that the course can be accessed via an iOS app, I expect that number to explode!

From Stuart at ITS4Thai…

ITS4Thai iOS Review: iPhone + iPadThe ITS4Thai app is very unique. We have focused on great content, interactivity, and personalization at a reasonable price. So here are a few features that make it the best way to learn Thai:

  • Everyone learns at a different pace with different vocabulary, so the app and website both track the learner’s progress and gives them personalized word lists to study such as words they haven’t seen in a long time, or words that they are having trouble with.
  • The Thai learner’s progress and all game scores will sync between the website, iPhone, and iPad.
  • The app comes with two courses with six lessons each. This will teach 120 words and 15 sentence patterns that use these words.
  • Additional courses can be bought with in-app purchases for US$2.99 for Conversation Courses (vocab and sentences) and US$1.99 Vocabulary Courses (vocab only)
  • These are the same courses that are available on the ITS4Thai website. So purchases on the website, the iPhone, or the iPad will automatically sync between all devices.

At the moment the app needs an Internet connection because it’s always communicating with the ITS4Thai server to deliver the synced personalized content. We are looking into ways to enable this feature this on a future release, but for now, it’s still a great time killer in the taxi on the way to the airport :)

Here’s how the iPad version works:

For more, go to the iTunes store: ITS4Thai – Learn Thai Language Conversation and Vocabulary Lessons

Stuart G Towns,
ITS4Thai Language Conversation and Vocabulary Lessons

The ITS4Thai iPhone + iPad apps review…

ITS4Thai - Learn Thai Language Conversation and Vocabulary LessonsITS4Thai - Learn Thai Language Conversation and Vocabulary Lessons - I.T.S. 4 KnowledgeThai for Beginners
Price: US$0.99
Author: I.T.S. 4 Knowledge Co., Ltd.
Date: July 22, 2012
Version: 2.1
Internet connection required: Yes
Word count: 120
Thai script: Yes
Tone tips: Yes
Zoom: Not needed
Size: 76.8 mg
Sound: Yes, male and female
Quiz: Yes

As Stuart has already given an overview of the app I’ll focus on my experiences so far.

When I first loaded the ITS4Thai iOS app I switched the controls to Thai script. At the moment there’s still transliteration in the instructions but Stuart says it’ll be fixed on the next update (a couple of days from now).

I’ve had access to ITS4Thai since 2008 (2009?) so another change I made was to reset the course to the beginning. Some Thai learners (such as myself) often study in starts and stops so having a clean slate might be of interest. To do so, contact Stuart through the ITS4Thai website.

The basic Introductory Course includes Introductory Conversation and Introductory Vocabulary. Each course has a lesson list, and at the very bottom is a review section. When you start a lesson you’ll see two main listings: Vocabulary and Conversation. Under Vocabulary there is: Word List, Word Practice, and Listening. Under Conversation: Grammar, Sentences, and Sentence Builder.

Word List is where you listen while reading each word (Thai script or transliteration). Flag any words for a later review. Grammar and Sentences are read only.

Word Practice, Listening, and Sentences Builder are where the games begin and the scoring starts. Getting an answer right or wrong will be reflected in your score with a percentage. If you need more practice in any of the games, select Word Practice, Listening, or Sentences Builder straight away (without leaving the lesson you are working on). Clicking the buttons ‘try all again’ and ‘try missed again’ will not change a bad score; they are there to give you more practice. If you want the chance to get a better score, you need to back out of the lesson (not just the game) and then return. Replaying the game will change your score.

The questions in the review are potluck. You don’t get the same questions each time, which is great and (I imagine) can be scary at the same time. Your score is a way to see how far you’ve come in each course (not just individual lessons).

The entire ITS4Thai course is designed to put Thai vocabulary and phrases into your long-term memory. It does that by remembering the strengths and weaknesses you’ve shown when playing the games. So think of the Dashboard as your long-term memory quickstart. In Dashboard you get direct access to what you’ve accomplished so far, as well as what you still need to work on: xx seen words, xx mastered words, xx flagged words, xx almost mastered words, xx words older than two weeks, and xx struggling words. In flagged, almost mastered, older words, and struggling words, you need to have at least 8 words in each group before you can start practicing them.

I’m still playing around with ITS4Thai’s iOS app on both the iPad and the iPhone but I can tell it’s a winner. My weaknesses (that I’ll admit to anyway) are reading the higher numbers and there’s already a marked improvement in my scores. Yeah!

The free ITS4Thai iPhone + iPad apps draw…

As with previous draws, the contest will stay open until Sunday evening, 8pm Thai time. On Monday morning I’ll announce the winners. Leave as many comments as you like – each relevant comment will be entered into the draw.

Good luck everyone! The ITS4Thai iPhone + iPad app is a grand app to have.

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WINNERS of 3 Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary Apps

WINNERS of the Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary Apps

The WINNERS of the Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary Apps…

Finally, the three winners of Chris and Benjawan’s Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary. Yeah!

In order: Rob, Lawrence and Mike. If you three could please send a message via my contact form I’ll get you the app codes asap (or later – life is full of weirdness lately).

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the creators of the dictionary, Chris Pirazzi (Word in the Hand) and Benjawan Becker (Paiboon Publishing), for working their butts off to give the Thai language community such a wonderful dictionary. Everyone is raving about the dictionary, and for good reason. It’s fabulous.

Another thanks goes to Snap (Learning Thai in Chiang mai). Without her help, the Android part of the review wouldn’t have happened: Android and iPhone: Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary Review. Ta!

And there’s one more to thank. Talen (Thailand Land of Smiles – no longer online) took the time to send people my way, even though he was mired in a crisis. Thanks buddy :-)

If you didn’t win the Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary iPhone App…

Talking Thai–English–Thai DictionaryTalking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary - Paiboon Publishing and Word in the Hand
Apologies if you didn’t win this fabulous iPhone app. If you are looking to purchase a copy of the app you can do so direct from iTunes or stop by Word in the Hand. If you prefer a hardcopy version of the dictionary instead, then order from Paiboon Publishing.

Again, congrats everyone!

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WIN! 3 Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary iPhone iPad iPod Apps

WIN: Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary iPhone iPad iPod App

WIN! Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary iPhone, iPad, iPod App…

Did you win a Three Way Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary app at Talen’s Thailand, Land of Smiles? No? Well, no need to give up yet because I also have three fabulous dictionary apps give away.

Chris Pirazzi (Word in the Hand): We are very happy to have completed the grueling 6-month process of development and testing on the amazing variety of different Android devices, from tiny sub-mobile phones to huge 10″ tablets.

We were able to include pretty much every feature from the iOS version of our app and even add handy speaker icons to play sounds with one touch (and we also ported this back to the latest iOS version). Plus we added 50,000+ new everyday entries (making the current total more than 150,000 bold entries). Plus, over and above the 150,000 figure, we now include more than 28,000 place name entries which help you to pinpoint geographical locations in Thailand.

If you’d like to learn more about this topnotch Thai-English-Thai dictionary read all about it at Word in the Hand or WLT’s double review here: Android and iPhone: Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary Review.

As before, the contest rules are simple:

  • Leave comments below.
  • Comment(s) need to add to the conversation.

NOTE: Each relevant comment gets counted, so leave as many as you like.

The draw will run from this very second until Wednesday, the 14th of March, 6am BKK time. As soon as I wake up I’ll throw the numbers at Talen who will then throw them into random.org. And ASAP, I’ll announce the three winners.

Psssst… the giveaway is only for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch. Not the Android.

Good luck everyone. The Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary is an exceptional app to win.

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Android and iPhone: Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary Review

Android and iPhone App Review

The Three Way Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary…

Benjawan Poomsan Becker & Chris Pirazzi have been working around the clock (seriously) to give us the best Talking Thai-English-Thai dictionary on the market. And it doesn’t matter if you are into actual books, smart phones, or computers, Benjawan and Chris have it covered.

I’ve been using a version of the Three-Way Talking Thai Dictionary for years. I started with the small dictionary in paperback form and then purchased the Three-Way Thai–English, English–Thai Pocket Dictionary when it came out.

I love actual books but I do spend a lot of time on my computer, so when the PC version was available (the Three-Way Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary), I was all over it.

Following fast came the iPhone Dictionary app which morphed into the Three-Way Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch app. What more could you ask for?

Well, not only did all the dictionaries get a heavy update, but the Android version of the Thai-English-Thai dictionary launched this week as well. Finally, the rest of the smart phone world can see what all the shouting has been about.

I don’t have an Android phone so Snap from Learn Thai in Chiang mai offered to review it for us. Thanks Snap!

Snap’s Android App Review: Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary…

Let me first say, that I was tickled pink to be included in the testing of Paiboon’s Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary app for Android phones, tickled pink, but perhaps not worthy, as a now lagging learner of Thai.

After, I’m sure, an incredible amount of work and tweaking by it’s creators, I was more than happy to purchase the finished product. The T-E-T Dictionary is one of three Thai dictionaries I have on my Android phone, the other two I haven’t consulted since.

Already very familiar with the basic layout and functions, having used the PC version for about a year now, I found it very easy to navigate through it’s various ‘sections’ of the menu: English, Thai, Sound (English transliteration), Configure Thai sound and Help…although as yet I’ve found no need to consult the latter.

Once you’ve located whichever word you’re looking for, you have several choices:

  • Play Sound: which is, in my humble opinion, essential for anyone learning a new language…especially one that is tonal. And, because this app is pocket portable, could save one from avoiding those grinding (heart sunken) halts, when we realise that we’ve been pronouncing a word embarrassingly wrong. If all else fails, at least you have the option of clicking play and letting it do the talking for you.
  • Go: well, is just that, ‘Go’, which will take you from one section to another. Look up a word in English and select the Thai word and ‘Go’ will plonk you in the appropriate Thai – English part of the dictionary etc.
  • See Real World Fonts: As someone who’s sat staring for tens of minutes at signs on Thai streets, this function also is a blessing. I remember my first encounter trying to figure out which Thai letter could possibly have been morphed into a backwards ‘S’!!!!
  • Find Words Inside: For me, this is the piece de resistance! As someone who loves to dissect things…like Thai words, this function is a dream come true. Not only does it find words inside, but it finds words inside the words inside. Now, if I cling to the notion (possible myth) that there are only about 3000 individual words in the Thai language and all others are compounds of those words, and I just learn those, I’ll be set, right?
  • Explain Spelling: A function that students would love. ‘Explain Spelling’ addresses why the word is the tone that it is, breaks the words down into syllables/consonant and vowel clusters, and feeds you the sounds bit by bit. Want to know more? Select any of those sounds to find out more about ‘vowels and syllables’ or ‘consonants’, which are two of the many subjects in the ‘Reading and Writing’ chapter of the app.
    It seems the more you dig, the deeper you go with this dictionary.
  • Google Search: Self explanatory, but handy. Particularly if you want to test (where possible) the accuracy or appropriateness of a word using Google’s ‘Image’ search.

Even if you’re not serious about learning Thai and just heading to the LOS for a vacation, this app is worth every penny and more. Just imagine ordering food and actually getting what you thought you ordered, not what you actually ordered! Or, getting unlost instead of continuing on a wild goose chase around town…or simply making pidgin Thai conversation and enjoying interacting with the locals.

Now if I could only find an app half as good as this one, in Khmer!

Snap,
Learning Thai In Chiang Mai – My Journal!

Note: To see how to install and use the Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary, check out a video of the features of the Talking Thai English Dictionary Android App.

iPhone App Review: Paiboon’s Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary…

As Snap covered the basic features I’ll mainly share the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch/PC update.

The PC version of the Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary (reviewed on Hugh Leong’s site) started out with 42,000 entries, high-quality sound recordings, English to Thai, Thai to English, sound to Thai, multiple pronunciation systems, instant search, and typing in Thai.

That was in 2010 and it was considered smoking hot back then. And 2011 brought us even more entries.

Then a few months ago, when Chris Pirazzi contacted previous beta testers to check out the 1.6 iPhone/iPad/iPod update, he wowed us even more:

What’s new in 1.6:

This release delivers another massive increase in the number of dictionary entries, from more than 100,000 entries to more than 150,000 entries (from 134,000 translations to more than 220,000 translations), plus another 28,000 entries (not counted above) containing the names of cities, subdistricts, districts, and provinces of Thailand.

As always, there is a high-quality sound recording of a native Thai speaker for every single Thai word in the dictionary.

In addition to the huge increase in entries, this release also adds:

  • A new setting on the iOS platform called “Show Playback Buttons” that lets you turn on the display of little speaker icons right inline with each Thai word on-screen, so that you can hear any word with just one touch, as you can also do on the Windows and Android platforms.
  • A handy new unified Quick Click Chart in our Help section on Reading and Writing which shows all Thai consonants and vowels at once on your screen, allowing you to click to hear each one or to go to its details in the relevant section.
  • A large number of small improvements to the Help including a lot more sound recordings for sample phrases, more sample words, and playback icons in our charts of Thai vowels.

An no. They are not done yet. In fact, Benjawan Poomsan Becker wants to hear from you:

We will continue to add words to future updates of the app that I come across or that are suggested by our customers. Therefore, we want to reassure readers that if they do happen to come across a word that they feel needs to be added to our dictionary it can be included in future updates. I look forward to seeing suggestions.

To submit new words email: support@word-in-the-hand

For a detailed list of goodies, read the overview at Word in the Hand.

Using the various Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionaries…

I bounce between three electronic versions of the Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary. The dictionary app is on both my iPhone and iPad, and the PC version on my Mac with an emulator.

When I’m running around town, logically, the iPhone is the one I use. And when I’m at home or traveling, I prefer the iPad because the screen is larger. But when I’m compiling Thai vocabulary lists and need to cut and paste into excel files, the PC version is invaluable.

It’s not expensive to run all three versions. My original copy was for the iPhone but it sucks into my iPad without an additional charge. And the massive upgrade for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch as well as the PC is free. Totally free.

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