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Tag: Learn Thai on your iOS (page 1 of 2)

Teach Pablo … Thai! – FREE iOS and Android Language Learning App

I just have to share this exciting new app for learning Thai. Any language, actually. Early this month Gabriel Morin contacted me about Pablo, an app he’s been working on.

There are a gazillion apps available now for learning languages but Pablo grabbed me because of its simplicity. I’m now a fan.

Do you feel like you’ve spent more time setting up flashcards and lists than you have studying? I sure have. Well, Pablo does away with that. All I do when I get a new word or list is type them into Pablo and start studying. Then, throughout the day, I grab my iPhone to flip through words, quitting when I reach words I already know. I do as much studying as I want, when I want.

I’ve yet to get into sharing/requesting words, phrases, and audio with my StudyBuddy but there’s plenty of time for that later. I’m happy keeping it simple for now.

UPDATE: You will need to log via Facebook but it’s painless (I promise) and if you lose your phone it’s just a matter of signing in to regain the lists you’ve created. You can now login via an email address.

UPDATE: Each time you practice your vocabulary, try to remember the translation of the word. Check the translation, and take the opportunity to tell Pablo if you had the right answer or not. After seven correct answers the word is noted as validated and increases your overall progress. Remember to reverse the language and repeat the test to really know your vocabulary in both directions. Just shake your phone a little bit and languages are reversed :-).

TIPS: When adding words/phrases, make sure you start off with the correct language or you’ll end up with a wonkey list (Thai and English on one side). To edit, with your finger on the entry slide to the left to see an edit menu on the right – then select ‘edit’ or ‘delete’.

Pablo comes in both iOS and Android … and … it’s FREE.

iOS: Teach Pablo: No more flashcards
Android: Pablo: No more flashcards

For more: The story behind Pablo
Facebook: Teach Pablo
Twitter: @_gabriel_morin

Thanks Gabriel! This app is a keeper.

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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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Learn Thai with HelloTalk: Android & iOS Language Exchange

Learn Thai with HelloTalk

HelloTalk: Language Exchange App…

To learn Thai, there are a growing number of iOS and Android apps available. If you haven’t seen it yet, just check out my GINORMOUS List of iOS Apps: iPhone, iPad and iPod.

Subject by subject, I’m working my way through the reviews but it’ll take some time. As it’s an immediate concern, Zackery from HelloTalk asked if I could please bump the review in order to help out their Thai members (and in turn, help others to learn Thai).

Zackery: So far we have 7,300 native Thai registered users, versus 1,915 users learning Thai. That means more than 5,000 Thai users might not find a language exchange partner. Your article about HelloTalk might help thousands of Thai users trying to learn foreign languages for a better future.

5,000+ – that’s a lot of Thai speakers going without language exchange partners. And it doesn’t matter if your native tongue is English, French, Italian, Russian, Japanese, whatever. They are waiting for you.

How HelloTalk works…

  1. To use the HelloTalk app to learn Thai, you first sign up. And while I object to sharing my age, country and location, there’s extensive privacy and control features in place.
  2. Next up is a tutorial of HelloTalk complete with video (you can choose to skip it).
  3. After that, it’s time to search for a suitable partner and then send them a message.
  4. Once connected with your new partner you can chat via text or send voice messages.
  5. Other options available are sketches, the ease of translating on the go, and the ability for language exchange partners to correct each other’s mistakes.
  6. You can even save messages in a notepad for later study.

Btw: Did you notice that no money is required? That’s right, this is a free app.

These two reviews go into a fair bit of detail about the HelloTalk app:

Nik’s QuickShout: HelloTalk – A language learning community on your mobile
BLCU: HelloTalk Chinese Language Exchange App (iOS/Android)

Short on time? Watch these quick overview videos instead:

Where to find HelloTalk…

HelloTalkSpeak Thai Slang - Nagaraja Rivers
Author: HelloTalk
Facebook: Hellotalk
Twitter: hellotalkapp
Google Play: HelloTalk

Price: Free
Updated: Oct 20, 2014
Compatible with: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. Requires iOS 6.0 or later.

Remember: 5,000+ Thai speakers are going without language exchange partners. See you there?

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Smart Language Apps: PhrasePack iOS and Android

L-Lingo's PhrasePack

Smart Language Apps: PhrasePack for iOS and Android …

For a short time only the PhrasePack app for iOS and Android is now on sale for US$0.99. A bargain, as it’s normally priced at $4.99!

The PhrasePack iPhone and Android app (created by the hardworking people from L-Lingo) operates on an interesting concept. In a nutshell, this beautifully designed app allows you to build sentences from a high frequency vocabulary list.

Highlights of the app:L-Lingo's PhrasePack

  • FREE Version already contains than 1800 phrases!
  • Upgrade to access 3500+ Thai phrases.
  • High quality recordings from native speakers.
  • Choose between male and female voices.
  • Switch between formal and informal language.
  • Add commonly used phrases to your favorites.
  • Select Thai script, transliteration or both.
  • Test yourself with a quiz (a plus!)
  • Search for specific words.

Settings: The app-wide settings are in the settings section (the icon on the top left of the home screen). Select male or female voice; your native language: English (UK), English (US), German, or Italian; and if you want to display Thai script, transliteration, or both. Clicking again on the settings icon takes you back to the home screen.

Inside any of the categories (the six icons on the main screen) click on the top right icon to select: formal setting, informal setting, target language, native language, and phonetics. If you can’t read Thai, being able to switch from transliteration to Thai script comes in handy if you want to show a phrase to a Thai speaker (and it’s too loud for them to hear the sound files).

Phrases: To build sentences tailor-made to your needs, select a category from the main screen, then a subject or conversation. Most phrases give you a choice of vocabulary to slot in, while others are complete.

Search: Once in search, the round icon to the top left lets you search for words in your target language (at this time it’s Thai transliteration only) or your native language. Relevant phrases with sound files appear in the space below.

Quiz: In the quiz you are given the choice to view by transliteration or Thai script. This is a great option for those just learning how to read Thai – you can peek! At the moment the light green icon underneath the English phrase toggles between the two.

Favourites: This section is self-explanatory. As you work through the phrases select the star next to your favourites. Your favs can then be easily accessed from this section.

More about the PhrasePack iOS app…

PhrasePackPhrasePackEasy Learn Thai Alphabet
Price: $0.99 (regularly $4.99)
Free version: Yes
Author: Smart Language Apps Limited
Date: 19 Jun 2013
Version: 2.0.3
Internet connection required: No
Word count: Over 3500 Thai Words and Phrases
Thai script: Yes
Tone tips: Yes
Zoom: Not needed
Sound: Yes
Quiz: Yes
Improvements: Ability to select Thai script or transliteration
Compatible with: iPhone 3GS. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Designed for: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad.

Here’s where you can also purchase the Android app.

Note: PhrasePack is a new app so it’s still being tweaked. Don’t be shy, they’d love to get your input!

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The Speak Thai Slang iOS App

The Speak Thai Slang App

The Speak Thai Slang iOS app…

The idea for the Speak Thai Slang app came from my own growing interest in learning more “street Thai” and efforts to approach the way regular Thai people actually talk, and not sound so much like a walking textbook. I especially started to get more interested in slang when I realized that I could barely understand half of what my Thai friends were posting on Facebook, despite having studied Thai in the classroom for several years.

The one thing you won’t find anywhere in the Speak Thai Slang app are the polite endings ครับ /khráp/ and ค่ะ /khâ/. The easiest way to make something in Thai sound less uptight or formal would be to drop these endings and replace them with something like จ้ะ /jâ/ for statements or จ๊ะ /já/ for questions. These are the ending particles of choice to use if you are flirting with someone. On the other hand, if you are trying to sound cool or tough, then you need to use ว่ะ /wâ/ for statements or วะ /wá/ for questions. Your Thai friends will of course be shocked, possibly offended, and quickly point out to you how rude you sound if they catch you using วะ /wá/ despite the fact that they might use it often themselves and probably hear it on TV dozens of times per day.

Slang is kind of a broad category. So I included in the app stuff like expressions you’d make when you stub your toe, or what you’d say if something really cool and trendy caught your eye. Then there are lots of insults and fighting words that are just fun to know, but hopefully you’d never find yourself in a situation where you need to use them. Far more useful and practical are some of the phrases that can be said in dating situations. And then, of course, no slang app would be complete without a colorful list of terms for certain parts of the human anatomy.

My first version of the Speak Thai Slang app was actually too raunchy for the iPhone, and so specific references to the “dirty deed” have been left out of the current version. But I can share a few with your readers here in the interest of language learning. Thai has quite a few different ways to refer to doing “it”. Probably the most common is the verb เอา (ao), which also means “to take” in general use. Other, more potent verbs, in increasing order of vulgarity, are: ปี้ (bpîi), เย้ด /yét/, and ซี่ /sîi/. A much safer euphemism, often used by married couples, is ทำการบ้าน /tham gaan-bâan/, which translates as “doing the homework”.

Ryan Zander,
Nagaraja Rivers
Two Minute Thai

Speak Thai Slang…

Speak Thai SlangSpeak Thai Slang - Nagaraja Rivers
Price: $2.99
Updated: Aug 30, 2012
Compatible with: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.

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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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Chris Pirazzi: How Thai Language iPad Apps are Designed

Chris Pirazzi: How iPad Apps are Designed

Learning Thai via the iPad…

Like a gazillion other people I bought an iPad 2 as soon as they reached Thailand. Since my purchase I haven’t had a whole lot of time to play with my new toy. Apologies Scott! But I seriously intend to. Just as soon as I can clear room (which will be right about the time you are reading this).

In preparation for my review of all things learning Thai on the iPad 2 I loaded it down with every Thai language app made for both the iPad and the iPhone. Poking around I noticed that some of the Thai learning apps sit tiny in the middle of the screen and others, like Benjawan and Chris’ fabulous Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary fit beautifully. The tiny apps can be enlarged but they look awful. Tacky even.

Whenever I want to know something technical that has to do with the learning Thai industry I ask programmer Chris Pirazzi. If Chris has time free he explains what’s happening. And when he has more time he shares the details in a post such as his Backstage View into the Process of Creating a Thai Dictionary. So just like before, I contacted Chris when I noticed the iPad weirdness and he obliged. Thanks Chris!

Now over to Chris…

Chris Pirazzi: How iPad Apps are Designed…

Apple’s mobile devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) use an operating system called iOS. When iOS developers write an app for iPhone and iPod Touch, they tell the operating system where to position the buttons, text, images, and other objects used by their app, always assuming that the screen resolution is 320×480 pixels as it is on those devices.

But the iPad screen resolution is 768×1024 pixels. So when the iPad came out, Apple had a bit of a dilemma. It isn’t possible for Apple’s iOS to magically guess how to move the developer’s objects around on the screen and still maintain a usable UI on the iPad, because iOS knows nothing about the specifics of each app. So instead, Apple punted on the problem and just made it so that when you run an iPhone-only app on iPad, iOS simply turns your iPad into a giant iPhone with blown-up (fuzzy) pixels.

Apple could not do anything to “sharpen” those pixels because many iPhone apps (such as games) rely on having exact control over every pixel on the screen. If iOS attempted to “sharpen” the pixels, it would make many games and other apps unusable. So the best Apple could do was to make every 1 pixel on the iPhone into a 2×2 square of pixels on the iPad. This makes the fuzziness.

When developers write or re-write their app to support iPad natively, as we did from the very beginning with our Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, they use some special functionality that Apple added in iOS 3.2 to check the current resolution of the device and lay out all their application objects appropriately, using the full resolution of the device (320×480 or 768×1024) and with the full crispness allowed by the device. iOS then recognizes that the app supports iPad natively and doesn’t play the fuzzy games described above.

Paiboon Publishing has developed a native iPad version of the Thai for Beginners software as well, allowing crisper text and full use of the iPad screen.

Chris Pirazzi,
Slice-of-Thai.com | Word in the Hand

Chris Pirazzi on WLT:
Backstage View into the Process of Creating a Thai Dictionary
Successful Thai Language Learner: Chris Pirazzi
Chris Pirazzi at Slice-of-thai.com
Chris Pirazzi Updates Slice-of-Thai.com

Thai for Beginners on iPad…

Thai for BeginnersThai for Beginners - Paiboon Publishing
Price: US$24.99
Author: Dominique Mayrand ©2010 Benjawan Poomsan
Date: June 20, 2011
Version: 1.5
Internet connection required: No
Word count: 3,000+ words and phrases
Thai script: Yes
Tone tips: Yes
Zoom: Not needed
Sound: Yes, male and female
Quiz: Yes

Description: Paiboon Publishing’s new iPhone app makes is easy to study your Thai lessons wherever you go with your iPhone or iPod Touch. The lessons follow the format of Benjawan Becker’s best selling Thai for Beginners book but also includes hundreds of commonly used phrases. And a real Thai person speaks each of the over 3,000 words or phrases. Test your ability to hear and understand Thai or test your knowledge of written Thai with the built in exercises. Hearing the spoken Thai will help you increase the speed of learning the language that no book alone can do.

I absolutely love the iPhone version of Thai for Beginners so I expected to feel the same about the iPad. And I do. And like I said, I’ll be reviewing all iPad 2 apps for learning Thai but as I already like what I see – two thumbs up (I’ll explain what I mean later) – the Thai for Beginners iPad app will be at the top of my review. Guaranteed.

Btw: If you’ve already purchased the iPhone app version of Thai for Beginners, or if you were one of four lucky winners, then you own the iPad version too.

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Increase Your Thai Vocabulary: Word Brain & ClickThai Vocabulary Trainer

Word Brain & ClickThai Vocabulary Trainer

Word Brain & ClickThai Vocabulary Trainer…

I just can’t get enough of free stuff. There’s a lot out there but not all free stuff is good stuff (if you know what I mean). I also have an addiction for the ‘how to learn languages’ type of stuff. Sure, sure, as far as advice goes, there really isn’t anything new so you’d think that after all this time I’d be ho hum on the subject.

But, if written with just the right twist, I can get re-energised into tackling my studies in a slightly different way. And if you are in the long-haul for learning Thai, then you know that fresh injections of energy are needed.

In my collection of actual books (hard copy) I have: The Quick and Dirty Guide to Language Learning, Lingo – How to Learn any Language, Fast Language Learning for Adults, The Complete Guide to Learning a Language, The Art of Teaching a Foreign Language, The Learning Revolution, Second Language Acquisition, Learn Any Language, Speak Like a Native, The Whole World Guide to Language Learning, Learning Vocabulary in Another Language, and Learning Foreign Languages (there might be more filed away in the wrong bookshelf). My pdf collection is too numerous to list (also, I’m too lazy to type them out).

Boiled down, the good ones pretty much say the same thing – to learn a new language you need to do the time. And if the books differ at all, it’s all down to how to tackle that time.

On Saturday I didn’t feel like doing anything productive – like get out of PJ’s even – so I started looking for free stuff. A couple of hours into my search I found Bernd’s free ebook, The Word Brain.

The Word Brain describes the steps to metamorphose yourself from a perfect illiterate to a person who has fluent hearing and reading abilities in another language. To develop these abilities, you will ideally study on a daily basis. Depending on a number of variables that I will discuss, the time estimated to accomplish your task is between one and five years.

From what he’s saying, if it’s an easy language (high number of similar words) then you can get away with learning 5000 new words while fudging on the rest. But if it’s a language such as Thai (not much of a crossover with your native language) then to become fluent you are looking at learning 15,000 new words. From scratch.

At a conservative estimate of 10 words per hour, it will take you 500 hours to learn 5,000 words (French/Spanish) and 1,500 hours to learn 15,000 words (European/Arabic). Based on the number of hours you are prepared to invest on a daily basis, your total study time can be predicted with fairly good accuracy.

Talking ballpark figures, if you learn 10 new Thai words per hour, 5 days a week, then the time it’ll take you to learn 15,000 new Thai words is…

0.5 hours per day = 150 months = 12.5 years
1.0 hours per day = 75 months = 6.25 years
1.5 hours per day = 50 months = 4.16 years
2.0 hours per day = 37 months = 3 years
3.0 hours per day = 25 months = 2 years
4.0 hours per day = 19 months = 1.58 years

That’s right. Going by his reckoning, if you have been wobbling along with a half hour of vocabulary study a day, then you could very well be limping along 12 years later.

So now do you see what I mean by getting re-energised?

Bernd goes on to give advice on listening, speaking, reading, grammar, teachers, etc. But, for this post I’m interested in his ideas for increasing Thai vocabulary so I’m going to extract what fits and leave you to read the rest of your own.

To go through the process of language acquisition, you will:

  • learn 15,000 words in about 1,500 study hours.
  • train your ear and associated brain regions to perform real-time speech processing.
  • train your eyes and associated brain regions to perform fast reading.
  • train your vocal tract and associated brain regions to produce intelligible speech.

There are a lot of Thai courses that will teach you a vocabulary of around 500 words but we are aiming at 15,000, remember? And to get your eyes, ears, mouth, and brain involved, not just words are needed, but their sound files too.

The highly recommended beginners course, Teach Yourself Thai only has a vocab count of around 400 words. Ditto on Pimsleur Thai at roughly 500 words (but it’s sans visuals). Whereas Learn Thai Podcast has a huge vocabulary straddling beginners, intermediate, and advanced, all with visuals and sound files. And that’s one of the reasons why I recommend LTP – it’s a honker of a language course!

The ClickThai Vocabulary Trainer…

ClickThai (known for their extensive ClickThai Dictionary with sound) has a new product, the ClickThai Vocabulary Trainer. And for learning new Thai vocabulary, it’s quite handy. No, it does not have the full 15,000 recommended words but if you are a relative newbie at learning Thai, then their 5854 word count is a decent start.

Thai for BeginnersCT VocTrain EN - ClickThai
Price: £8.99 | US$14.99
Author: ClickThai, Theodor Pitsch
Date: March 19, 2011
Version: 1
Internet connection required: No
Word count: 5854
Thai script: Yes
Tone tips: Yes
Zoom: Not needed
Sound: Yes, Male
Quiz: Yes

ClickThai has a decent tutorial on their site but I’m going to mix it up. From what I’ve been able to suss, the majority of those reading WLT already have a bit of Thai so I feel a different arrangement of instructions are needed. And here’s why:

The ClickThai Vocabulary Trainer gives you 100 words per session. When you’ve successfully recognised a Thai word 12 times it disappears and a new word takes its place. So even with a beginner’s vocabulary, you could be clicking for awhile before you start getting to the words you don’t know. So here’s my suggestion:

  1. Create a user name.
  2. Click on that name to start your session.
  3. From the top blue nav, click on ‘learning’.
  4. Delete (DEL) until you get words you don’t know.

Don’t worry, the words will not be deleted permanently, they go to your review list.

Also across the main blue nav you are given a choice of:

  • Thai: A Thai word across the top with three English definitions to choose from below.
  • English: An English definition across the top with three Thai words to choose from below.
  • Audio: Sound (nothing across the top) with three English definitions to choose from below.

In the secondary (orange) nav: sound, auto sound, and transcript – they are all pretty much self-explanatory so I’ll leave it at that. Across the bottom (blue) nav: back and forth arrows (scrolls you through the vocabulary), show (let’s you peek at word), and a sound icon. Then at the very bottom (black) nav: user (to create up to 5 users), exercises, review (this is where your deleted words await), help, and a Thai-English dictionary (the entire 5854 Thai words with longer descriptions).

Word Brain & ClickThai Vocabulary Trainer

Word Brain & ClickThai Vocabulary Trainer

Word Brain & ClickThai Vocabulary Trainer

My only complaints so far have to do with transliteration. Review words have the Thai words in Thai script on the left and the transliteration to the right. I realise the need (saves space) so it’s not that big of a deal but it could be presented differently: Thai script, transliteration, one word description.

Anyway, just like Benjawan Becker’s Thai for Beginners iPhone App, ClickThai’s Vocabulary Trainer for the iPhone is also great for long hours of study as well as those ten minute taxi moments.

EDIT: Theodor says there’s a new version of ClickThai Vocabulary Trainer, due to go live in iTunes next week sometime. Instead of the 12 repetitions, you can choose a number suitable for your learning style. Also, it’ll be compatible down to iOS 3.1.

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HandBreak Thai Language Videos for the iPhone

Convert Thai language videos to watch on the iPhone

Download AUA Thai language videos…

In my last post, AUA Thai Videos on YouTube, I shared where to view the over one hundred FREE AUA Thai videos. And while that’s all well and good, there is a slow loading problem if you live in a country that has a naff Internet speed, such as Thailand.

But if you download the videos from YouTube, they can be played on your computer with no lag time at all.

I was discussing this very subject with David Long (director of AUA) this weekend.

There is a a Firefox plug-in that I always use for videos called flashgot. It places a small icon in the lower right hand corner of your browser and when you get to a video or something, clicking on the icon will automatically download it – this allows me to browse on for a bit while the video downloads and then watch it easily without the breaks.

I tried the plugin on my Mac and it works fine.

UPDATE: The best downloader these days (for me anyway) is ClipConverter.

After I spent a day or two downloading all 100+ AUA videos, I copied them to an external and promptly forgot (busy, busy).

So, what’s a busy gal to do? What’s a busy gal who just happens to have an iPhone to do?

Entre: HandBrake (thanks Scott :-)

Using HandBreak to convert AUA YouTube videos for the iPhone…

What’s a HandBreak?

HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows.

In plain English, HandBreak converts video (movies, YouTube) into a format that is easier for regular people to use. People like me.

And while HandBrake does offer a number of clever conversions and presets – thanks again Scott :-) – I didn’t have the time to figure everything out. Instead, here are the bare basics of how I got AUA’s YouTube videos into my iPhone.

  1. Start HandBreak.
  2. Select video to convert.
  3. Wait for HandBreak to scan.
  4. Set constant quality to 60%.
  5. Under presets, select iPhone & Apple Touch.
  6. Change destination and title.
  7. Click the start button.
  8. Wait for the HandBrake alert.
  9. Suck the file into iTunes.
  10. Transfer the file to an iPhone.

And for the basics of converting AUA YouTube videos to iPhone, that’s pretty much it.

Thank you David Long, for being so generous with AUA’s fabulous Thai videos. And a thanks again to Scott, for introducing me to HandBreak.

But WAIT! You can do even more with HandBreak…

When you start looking around at the available resources to convert with HandBreak, the choices are limitless. Maybe not so much for Thai language videos, but enough.

Andrej Nitsche (Thai Recordings) had several posts on Thai VCD’s: APS Intermusic – educational videos for kids and misbook.com. On his advice, I purchased some of those as well.

Another option is The Adventures of TINTIN 80th Anniversary Boxset, in Thai. I have the TINTIN set but I’m having problems converting 1 gig files. Suggestions?

And remember the Thai version of Sesame Street? That’s right. You can covert those for your iPhone too. And btw: Villa Market in Ari (Bangkok) has Thai Sesame Street videos (but not all). Rush, or they will be gone. And when a product is gone it Thailand, it sometimes never ever returns. A second btw: If you contact Sesame Street to purchase their Thai versions, they won’t know what you are on about. Yeah.

For a megga list, Josh from Sweet and Coolbeans is compiling Thai TV shows (and other videos). Besides YouTube, he mentions fukduk.tv (offline for now).

There are a few sites selling Thai movies and soaps. ThaiCDexpress and ethaicd.com have hundreds of products to choose from.

And if you want to know what’s going on with Thai movies before you buy or download, visit Wise Kwai’s Thai Film Journal and Enjoy Thai Movies. For Lakorn’s, start with Anothaidara.com (no longer online but read the interview on WLT) and work out from there.

Note: Before you rip, check for copyrights.

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iPhone apps: English Thai Dictionaries

iPhone Thai English Dictionaries

Reviewing iPhone apps for the Thai learning market…

UPDATE: Review: English Thai iOS App Dictionaries: iPhone and iPad

NOTE: An updated series, compiled from my GINORMOUS List of iOS Apps to Learn Thai: iPhone, iPad and iPod, is coming soon. Please stay tuned.

In this series, so far I’ve reviewed Thai Language Phrase Books and Thai Alphabet and Vocabulary apps. So unless you’ve downloaded a Thai dictionary already, this review is for you.

You might notice that I included all dictionaries listed as English Thai. And the reason I did this is so that others can avoid buying/downloading a dictionary that won’t fit their needs. On the flip side, Thai students of the English language might be able to find what they need too.

The criteria I used for the iPhone English Thai dictionary review…

Many of these dictionaries are for Thais learning English, or those able to read Thai script, with the Thai script being very tiny as well. But other considerations were equally as important:

  • Help: Is there a help or tutorial section?
  • Thai script: Is the Thai script too small to read?
  • Zoom: Is a zoom to read small Thai script needed?
  • Internet connection: Do you need to be connected?
  • Design style: Does it add or subtract to the experience?
  • Tone tips: Are you given transliteration, or nothing at all?
  • Type of Dictionary: Do you get an explanation of the word, or a translation?
  • Target market: Does the app target the English market, or is it for Thais?
  • Sound: Are Thai voice files available, or are they English only?

A few more things about this review…

I realise that this is a mother of a review. And I can only imagine that it will be as tedious for some of you to read as it was cumbersome for me to write. With that in mind, here is a quick breakdown:

Dictionaries with transliteration: ClickThai Dictionary Thai-English, Dr Wit’s Library Edition, Dr Wit’s Desk Edition, Dr Wit’s Pocket Edition, English Thai Dictionary, The Thai Translator, The Thai Translator Lite, YourWords English Thai English (on some, not all).

Dictionaries with Thai sound files: ClickThai Dictionary Thai-English, The Thai Translator, The Thai Translator Lite.

Help files: ClickThai Dictionary Thai-English, English Thai English Dictionary, Thai Fast Dictionary.

Some of these dictionaries were a real bugger to get around because they were lacking in help files. And a few even stated in the iTunes store that they were easy to navigate. I wish.

Tip: If you are stumped to find that there is no Thai section, just turn on the Thai keyboard and viola! voilà! sometimes there it is.

And mystery of mysteries, the iPhone apps listed as dictionaries are all over the place.

Dictionary.com gives this definition of dictionary:

dic·tion·ar·y [dik-shuh-ner-ee] Show IPA
–noun, plural -ar·ies.
1.
a book containing a selection of the words of a language, usually arranged alphabetically, giving information about their meanings, pronunciations, etymologies, inflected forms, etc., expressed in either the same or another language; lexicon; glossary: a dictionary of English; a Japanese-English dictionary.

To explain what I mean: Search results give anything from one to a scrolling list of Thai words to choose from, and some dictionaries offer detailed definitions while others are somewhere between slim and nothing. But as the variations are many, I’ve passed on noting which dictionaries do what. Btw – only one dictionary consistently gives a single word translation: The English Thai Dictionary.

Now on to the iPhone English-Thai dictionary review…

If you have questions about any of the dictionaries, feel free to ask. Also, I will continue to add new iPhone apps to this post so if you know of any not listed, please drop me a line.

One more thing… putting together a Thai dictionary iPhone app can’t be an easy project to pull off, so I’d like to thank the programmers here. And while I do touch on some negative elements, they are merely meant to reflect an honest review.

Tip: If the Thai dictionary below has sound files in English but not in Thai, the target market is mostly Thai.

ClickThai Dictionary Thai-English

Thai English DictionaryClickThai Dictionary Thai/EnglishClickThai Dictionary Thai-EnglishClickThai Dictionary Thai-English
Price: £23.99 | $39.99
Author: ClickThai
Released: 11 Mar 2010
Version: 1.0
Size: 157 Mb
Sound: Thai
Internet connection required: No
Transliteration: Yes
Zoom: No (not needed)
Rating: 12+
Help: Yes
Other dictionaries: Thai-German
Target market: English readers

  • English-Thai: 874,000 entries.
  • Thai-English: 331,000 entries.
  • Thai-Thai: 466,000 entries.

This is the top Thai dictionary with sounds in Thai (most have English). Some of the sounds are tinny (but not too bad). Regardless, the sounds are loud and clear enough to hear over workmen hammering, sawing, and drilling (my neighbour next door is renovating their condo). And while there aren’t sound files for all words/phrases, a fair bit are covered.

There are three main navigation options in this app: ‘English’, ‘transcript’, and ‘Thai’. The transcript is hit and miss as you need to learn their system (logical). The English and Thai search works fine. As with all of these apps using Thai script, in order to type in Thai you need to turn on the Thai keyboard. If you don’t know how, their instructions will walk you through the process.

When you do a search, you often get a long scrolling list of the same word (help has 28 listed). I found it time-consuming to find the word I was looking for as I would select one word, read the description, not find it, then go back to the list working my way down. When I contacted the company I was informed that in the next update the nav problem with be addressed.

Except for having to scroll through long lists of words, ClickThai is my favourite iPhone English Thai dictionary presently on the market.

Dictionary with Voice

Dictionary with VoiceDictionary with VoiceDictionary with VoiceNo longer online
Price: $0.99 | £0.59
Author: Alterme Inc
Updated: 15 Dec 2009
Version: 3.0
Size: 2.5 MB
Sound: No Thai
Help: No
Internet connection required: Sometimes
Transliteration: No
Zoom: No
Rated: 4+
Languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Target market: This apps does have Thai, but it is for the English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, or Spanish market instead.

  • Provides many dictionaries in one.
  • Read input text and the output text. (voice support)
  • Give a suggested word if there is typo.
  • Allow the change of the input language.
  • Provide web definition of the word.
  • Change voice and adjust speaker volume.
  • Parental Control provided.
  • Network is required for the dictionary but voice is built in.

This is a basic dictionary. ‘Input language’ is the language you are translating from. ‘Target language’ is the language you want the words translated to. Computer generated sound files are available if you select English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, or Spanish in your input and/or target language. But there are no sound files for Thai.

This version of the dictionary does not work with the latest iPhone update (4).

Dict Thai Plus

Thai English DictionaryThana TassanasteinkitDict ThaiDict Thai
Price: £1.19 | $1.99
Author: Thana Tassanasteinkit
Updated: 22 June 2010
Version: 1.3
Size: 7.8 MB
Sound: No
Help: No
Internet connection required: No
Transliteration: No
Zoom: No
Target market: Thais, those who read Thai script

  • English to Thai and Thai to English word search.
  • Has a Bookmarks page to help you remember words.
  • Very fast for loading and searching.
  • Support grouping. You can categorize words in your own custom groups. This helps you easier to review and remember words.
  • Support email, you can email list of words and print out the list on your PC.
  • Add statistic views, so you can track your learning vocabularies progress.
  • Add more words.
  • Improve translation.
  • And more added/adding features.
  • Based in LEXITRON dictionary database developed by NECTEC.

Along the bottom nav there is ‘search’, ‘bookmark’, ‘groups’, and ‘settings’. In settings you turn on and off ‘quick search’, ‘auto bookmark’, ‘show description’, and ‘random words’. ‘Quick search’ gives a smaller return. ‘Auto bookmark’ collects all of your searches (turning it off allows you choose to which ones to save).

To use groups, create a category (I chose fruit). Then I went in search of different fruits. As the app was set to auto bookmark, I gathered in a selection and went to bookmarks, clicked on the name of each fruit (not the arrow next to the name), and then clicked on the folder to the bottom right of the screen, which allowed me to chose the fruit category.

To take a word out of bookmarks, select the word. At the bottom of the screen there are two boxes. One has ‘new’ and the other has ‘familiar’. Clicking ‘familiar’ deletes it from your bookmarks but not your groups.

Dict Thai

Thai English DictionaryThana TassanasteinkitDict ThaiDict Thai
Price: $0.99 | (but it says free on my iPhone)
Author: Thana Tassanasteinkit
Updated: 22 June 2010
Version: 3.0
Size: 7.7 Mb
Sound: No
Help: No
Internet connection required: No
Transliteration: No
Zoom: No
Target market: Thais, those who read Thai script

  • English to Thai and Thai to English word search.
  • Has a Bookmarks page to help you remember words easily.
  • Very fast for loading and searching.
  • No banner.
  • More than 100,000 entries.
  • Based in LEXITRON dictionary database developed by NECTEC.

From what I could tell, the main difference between Thai Dic and the Plus version is the lack of groups. In the settings you are limited to quick search and auto bookmark.

Dr Wit’s Library Edition

Thai English DictionaryDr. Wit's Library Edition (Thai-English, English-Thai and Thai-Thai Dictionary) - C&N Solution Co., Ltd.Dr Wit's Desk EditionDr Wit's Library Edition
Author: C&N Solution Co. Ltd
Price: £10.99 | $17.99
Date: 25 April 2009
Updated: 9 Mar 2010
Version: 1.3.1
Size: 9.1 MB
Sound: No
Help: No
Internet connection required: No
Transliteration: Only in the Thai-English section
Help page: No
Zoom: No
Target market: Thais, those who read Thai script

  • English-Thai More 4,000,000 entries.
  • Thai-English More 855,000 entries.
  • Thai-Thai More 855,000 entries.
  • Concise, Easy-to-understand Presentation of Information.
  • New Words survey.
  • Comprehensive, Easy-to-understand Presentation of Information.
  • Easy to Read Word Meanings with Smart Layouts.

There are two options along the bottom of the app: ‘More’ and ‘recent’. Recent shows you the words you searched for last. More has a list of three dictionaries: Eng-Thai, Thai-Eng, Thai-Thai.

There is no help page (and it is needed). But I figured out two ways to get to the options (more and recent). 1) Click the cancel button and the keyboard slides away. And 2) click Dr Wit’s head, and then click his head again.

To use the Thai-English and Thai-Thai parts of the dictionary, you need to turn on your Thai keyboard or cut and paste Thai script into the search. Typing a Thai word in Thai script gives you the word in transcription in brackets (no tone marks). Following is the definition of the word in English. Below that is an explanation in Thai script.

If you click on a Thai word from a scrolling selection, there is no transliteration for English.

When you do a search for a Thai word using the English keyboard (in the Eng-Thai section), in brackets you are given the transliteration for the English word in tiny Thai script. So tiny, the needed little bits fall off (and there is no zoom either).

Besides larger Thai script or a zoom, what would improve this dictionary would be the ability to type a word in English and get the explanation in English like is given in the Thai section. Because right now, when you type the word using the English keyboard, you are given everything in Thai.

Talen made the point that if you have a Thai other you can do a search using English and then show them the Thai script. But as I don’t have a Thai other by my side, acquiring one would turn this into a very expensive app. But what you can do instead is copy the Thai script in question and past it into the search bar. The downside is that it doesn’t always work, and when it does you can only get one definition at a time.

It is a basic dictionary. You get word searches (not phrases), and a record of the words you’ve seen recently.

Dr Wit’s Desk Edition

Dr Wit's Desk EditionDr Wit's Desk Edition (Thai-English, English-Thai and Thai-Thai Dictionary) - C&N Solution Co., Ltd.
Dr Wit's Desk EditionDr Wit's Desk Edition
Price: £3.49 | $5.99
Author: C&N Solution Co. Ltd
Date: 25 April 2009
Updated: 9 Mar 2010
Version: 1.3.1
Size: 5.2 MB
Sound: No
Help: No
Internet connection required: No
Transliteration English: Yes (no tone marks)
Transliteration Thai: Yes
Zoom: No
Target market: Thais, those who read Thai script

  • English-Thai,Thai-English,Thai-Thai.
  • English-Thai More 874,000 entries.
  • Thai-English More 331,000 entries.
  • Thai-Thai More 466,000 entries.
  • New Words survey.

Just like the Library Edition, this app includes the English-Thai, Thai-English, Thai-Thai dictionaries. Instead of around 4,000,000 entries for English-Thai, you get in the 874,000 range. But the Thai-English and Thai-Thai dictionaries are the same.

Dr Wit’s Pocket Edition

Thai English DictionaryDr Wit's Pocket Edition (Thai-English, English-Thai and Thai-Thai Dictionary) - C&N Solution Co., Ltd.Dr Wit's Pocket EditionDr Wit's Pocket Edition
Author: C&N Solution Co. Ltd
Price: £2.39 | $3.99
Date: 20 May 2009
Updated: 20 Mar 2010
Version: 1.3.1
Size: 2.0 Mb
Sound: No
Help: No
Internet connection required: No
Transliteration: No
Zoom: No
Rated: 4+
Target market: Thais, those who read Thai script

  • English-Thai: 182,000 entries.
  • Thai-English: 120,000 entries.
  • Thai-Thai: 140,000 entries.

Dr Wit’s Pocket Edition is the slimmest version of the dictionary. As with the other two, except for the word count everything is the same.

Dr. Wit’s Dictionary of Thai Laws

Thai English DictionaryDr. Wit's Dictionary of Thai Laws - C&N Solution Co., Ltd.Dr. Wit's Dictionary of Thai LawsDr. Wit's Dictionary of Thai Laws
Author: C&N Solution Co. Ltd
Price: £11.99 | $19.99
Updated: 9 March 2010
Version: 1.3.1
Size: 1.5 MB
Sound: No
Help: No
Internet connection required: No
Transliteration: I’m not sure
Zoom: I’m not sure
Rated: 4+
Target market: I’m not sure

This is the only English Thai dictionary listed here that I don’t own. For me, £11.99 was too steep to just get a peek, so I passed. Someone else just might need it (desperately even), so here you go.

2 in 1 Dictionaries by Professor Dr. Wit Thiengburanathum, author of the world’s most trusted dictionaries with Thai language, world’s most definitions and most entries bilingual English-Thai, Thai-English dictionary of vocabularies in Thai laws.

  • English-Thai 177, 290 entries.
  • Thai-English 252, 900 entries.
  • Used by Microsoft for over a decade.
  • Rapid-access format.
  • Concise, easy-to-understand presentation of information.
  • New words survey.
  • Comprehensive, easy-to-understand presentation of information.
  • Built-in full functions.
  • Real time and quick lookup words.
  • Easy to read word meanings with smart layouts.

English Thai English Dictionary

Thai English DictionaryEnglish Thai English Dictionary - Clickgamer.comEnglish Thai English DictionaryEnglish Thai English Dictionary
Price: £2.39 | $3.99
Author: Clickgamer.com
Date: 12 Aug 2009
Updated: 10 Dec 2009
Version: 3.0
Size: 25.3 MB
Sound: No Thai
Help: Yes
Internet connection required: No
Transliteration: No
Zoom: Yes
Target market: Thais (mostly), those who read Thai script

  • Wordlist and test module for GRE, SAT, TOEFL.
  • Thesaurus with 20,000 entries.
  • Full WordNet 3.0.
  • Google translation support.
  • Online dictionaries: Google dictionary, MobileAnswer, MobileWikipedia, WordReference.
  • English to Thai dictionary with 52,567 entries.
  • Thai to English dictionary with 35,138 entries.

This app has a help file so go there first instead of messing around like I did. Right away it was confusing because I didn’t realise you have to select the English-Thai dictionary to get Thai. Without it, all you get is English.

To access the English-Thai dictionary (and a lot of other goodies, most not needed by those of us learning Thai), click on the blue icon located on the top bar. What you’ll get is a screen with a selection of options to choose from: Wordnet (English only), Thesaurus (English only), English – Thai (bingo), GRE Vocabulary (English only), SAT Vocabulary (English only), TOEFL Vocabulary (English only), Mobil Answers (English only), Mobil Wikipedia (English only), WordReference (English only), Google English-Thai (bingo), More Google (other languages).

The navigation to the left of top nav changes to whatever you selected last from the list I just shared. But those to the right stay as is: Sound icon (English only), star icon (to save your search to favourites, or delete a favourite), speech bubble (to jot down notes on your search).

If you need to get rid of the keyboard without typing, click on the back arrow (if available) or ‘done’.

This dictionary has nice attributes. All Thai words are linked to more vocabulary. Also, you can zoom in if the Thai script is too small. Another plus are the related words and sample sentences (all in Thai). It does have transliteration in English, but it is for the English vocabulary only.

A minus is that you cannot copy and paste the Thai into your email. Well, you can, but you get garbage. This is because the standard copy iPhone bubble selection does not work in this app. For output, you get a screen with open, copy, cancel. And when you copy, you get file:/mobile/Applications… instead. I’m clueless.

The same as the Dr Wit dictionary trio above, this app is targeted at Thais learning English and intermediate to advanced students of the Thai language. With the resources heavy on the English side, Thais will get more out of this dictionary than their English counterparts. A beginner of the Thai language would need another dictionary or a Thai mate glued to their side.

English English Thai Dictionary

English English Thai DictionaryEnglish English Thai DictionaryEnglish English Thai DictionaryNo longer online
Price: £2.99 | $4.99
Author: McHahm Inc
Date: 2 July 2009
Updated: 18 Sep 2009
Version: 2.5
Size: 54.6 MB
Sound: No Thai
Help: No
Internet connection required: No
Transliteration: No
Zoom:
Target market: Thais (but others can use it as well)
Rated: 4+

Kernerman English English Thai Dictionary is a semi-bilingual English learner’s dictionary for speakers of Thai. It consists of a full English-English dictionary core including a precise translation of each sense of the entry to Thai.The user is thus encouraged to immerse in the English language, while being actively supported by the Thai translation.

  • Human voice audio pronunciation for English headwords.
  • Today’s quiz & quiz results history.
  • Bookmark.
  • Search history.
  • Headwords: 25,000 / Sample sentences: 30,000.

When you start this dictionary you get a screen with the search bar across the top. Across the bottom there is: Search, bookmark, quiz, and info. The first two are logical, the quiz is for those aiming ti increase their English vocabulary, and the info gives information about the company. There is no help file. The search results comes up with the targe word in English, definition in English, the translation in Thai, and sample sentence in English. Also included is sound for the English word.

Thais aiming to learn English might do well out of this dictionary. Although this is targeting Thais learning English, I found the sentence samples useful.

English Thai Dictionary

English Thai DictionaryEnglish Thai dictionary - AanthaiAanthai English Thai DictionaryAanthai English Thai Dictionary
Price: £5.99 | $9.99
Author: Aanthai
Date: 8 Dec 2008
Updated: 5 Jan 2009
Version: 1.1
Size: .4 MB
Sound: No
Help: No
Internet connection required:
Transliteration: Yes
Zoom: No
Target market: English readers

  • 7,000 individual words.
    • In addition to English, the dictionary consists of Thai and phonetics.
    • The dictionary has search feature that makes it easy to find just the words you are missing.
    • The Phonetics standard is the same used in ‘Thai for beginners’ and other Paiboon publishing books.
    • Phonetics takes advantage of the markings of vowels to indicate tones.
  • This app opens at a scrolling list of words in English, with tiny Thai script below. You cannot zoom in to the script. On the far right of the screen is an alphabet nav. This is where you can jump to the beginning letter of the alphabet to start your scrolling search there. Clicking on a word takes you to the word in English (large) with translation in small Thai script below, and below that is a transliteration of the word in English. On each page you get instructions on how to use the phonetics.

    There are two ways to access the keyboard to conduct a word search in English. Scroll to the top of the list, or click on the question mark above the alphabet nav in the grey band. You cannot search using Thai script.

    This is a simple app that would be easy to improve: Increase the Thai script.

    EnThai Dictionary

    Thai English DictionaryEnThai Dictionary - Chitrlada ChanbaiEnThai DictionaryEnThai Dictionary
    Price: £2.99 | $4.99
    Author: AtiSoft LLC
    Date: 11 Sept 2008
    Updated: 22 2008
    Version: 1.1.0
    Size: 3.1 mg
    Sound: No
    Help: No
    Internet connection required: No
    Transliteration: No
    Zoom: Yes
    Target market: Thais, those who read Thai script

    EnThai is an English to Thai dictionary with more than eighty thousand words and phases. It is simple and easy to use and based on the popular LEXiTRON dictionary database developed by NECTEC.

    • EnThai contains more than 80000 words and phases.
    • Support wildcard search.
    • Display Thai vowels position correctly based on contextual.
    • Index view shows every word in the dictionary for browsing.
    • Remember last search in Recents view.
    • Easily navigate to the next word using up/down button.

    The nav is across the bottom of the app: Search, index, recents, info. Search brings up the keyboard (Thai keyboard is not utilized). Index gives you a scrolling list with the alphabet nav on the right (similar to one above). Recents shows the latest searches. Info is information about the company. There is no help page.

    Select a word or phrase and a page comes up with the word in English, Thai script below (no English transliteration, just Thai), and depending what the word is (noun, verb, etc, and if there are any synonym’s or antonym’s included), additional information after that. At the top of the definition page there are three nav options: Index (obvious), and up and down arrows that take you to the next or the previous word on the list.

    The Thai script is small but you can zoom in to your heart’s content. You cannot tilt the phone on its side to get the wide screen.

    English-Thai Talking Dictionary

    iDictEnglish-Thai Talking Dictionary - LingvoSoftEnglish-Thai Talking DictionaryEnglish-Thai Talking Dictionary
    Price: $7.99 | £4.99
    Author: LingvoSoft
    Released: 16 Feb 2010
    Version: 1.2
    Size: 25 Mb
    Sound: No Thai
    Help: No
    Internet connection required: No
    Transliteration: No
    Zoom: No
    Rated: 4+
    Target market: Thais, those who read Thai script

    A talking bidirectional dictionary that features advanced functionality and up to 1,000,000 entries.

    The Dictionary contains an extensive vocabulary, a choice of 5 display languages, advanced TTS (text-to-speech) voice capabilities, and unique User’s Dictionaries.

    • Advanced TTS (text-to-speech) functionality.
    • Customizable interface (toolbars, font settings, colors, etc.)
    • English, French, German, Spanish and Russian display language options.
    • Convenient Virtual Keyboard helps you to enter special and language specific symbols.
    • Quick paste and translate (translates a selected word in other application with just one click).
    • Personalized User Dictionaries (create, add, and edit you own personal dictionaries).
    • Input Line search finds any word matching the sequence of symbols you enter.
    • History function to view and select previously entered words.

    When you open this nav you get a search bar across the top, scrolling list of words below, and a bottom nav. The nav consists of: Arrows which toggles the word list between English and Thai, a magnifying glass that brings up a search bar, a book icon that gives you a history of your last searches, a round icon where you set your preferences. In the preferences you can play with: Language (English, French, German, Spanish and Russian), explanations (turn them on and off), search mode (fragment or word), and a company page is tagged on the far end.

    The sound is English only, so the main target of this app is the Thai market, but readers of Thai can use it as well. The ability to chose French, German, Spanish or Russian only applies to the display language, not the dictionary words and phrases.

    It’s quite a well linked app as clicking on words will take you to another set of words in the opposing language: English to Thai / Thai to English.

    There is no transliteration and no zoom, so that totally nixes out those who cannot read tiny Thai script, or any script at all. If for students of the Thai language, I would put this at the intermediate level.

    It mentions the ability to personalise your own dictionary, but I cannot find that option. I contacted the company and they said that it is a typo.

    iDict

    iDictiDictiDictNo longer online
    Price: Free
    Author: labs.thomaskiesl.de
    Date: 3 May 2009
    Updated: 18 Dec 2009
    Version: 1.4
    Size: 2.5 Mb
    Sound: No
    Help: No
    Internet connection required: Yes
    Transliteration: No
    Zoom: No
    Rated: 4+
    Target market: Thais, those who read Thai script

    • Translate between 51 different languages.
    • Translate words, complete sentences, and complete web pages.
    • Keeps a history of last translations and translated web pages.
    • Capabilities to send the translated text via email.
    • Flip easily between languages.

    Please note: The application is based on the ‘Google Translate API’ therefor Google is responsible for the quality of the translations.

    This application is labeled ‘dictionary’ but it should be in the translation section at iTunes instead.

    When you first get into the app you need to set your two languages of choice. I of course selected English and Thai. Sometimes it remembers your settings when you next open the app, but not always. Across the top you’ll see country flags with you input country on the left and your target country on the right. There is a flip button to switch the direction of translation. So all you do is type in your word, click ‘translate’, and the translation appears in the box on the bottom in the script of the country (no transliteration). If you like what you see, click on the email icon (bottom left) to send an email.

    On the bottom nav there is: ‘Translation’, ‘webpage’, ‘languages’, and ‘history’. Translation is the landing page I just described. On ‘webpage’ you type in a url of choice and it connects to google translate (you can flip the screen to get a wider view). It will translate the webpage to whatever you have set. And as it’s a slow bugger in Thailand, be sure to remember that before you head out. ‘Languages’ is where you set your target language by spinning the cylinder or clicking on flags. ‘History’ not only saves what words you’ve seen lately, but the webpages as well.

    The app is free, but if you pay a teensy amount to upgrade, the ad comes off the bottom of the app.

    Longdo Dict

    Longdo DictLongdo Dict - Metamedia Technology Co., Ltd.Longdo DictLongdo Dict
    Price: Free
    Author: Longdo Dictionary
    Date: 31 Aug 2009
    Updated: 25 Mar 2010
    Version: 1.1.0
    Size: 91.1 MB
    Sound: No
    Help: No
    Internet connection required: Yes
    Transliteration: No
    Zoom: No
    Rated: 4+
    Target market: Thais, those who read Thai script

    Longdo Dict is an iPhone client to Longdo online dictionary service at http://dict.longdo.com/. It provides access to multiple bilingual dictionaries between Thai and non-Thai (English/Japanese/French/Chinese/etc) languages.

    Longdo Dict client on iPhone features a fast full-text head word suggestion, with search history and random word of the day.

    On Longdo nav you get: ‘Search’, ‘news’, ‘settings’, and ‘about’. ‘Search’ is obvious (you type using the keyboard that pops up), news covers what Longdo is up to. ‘Settings’ is where you can clear history and news, and turn ‘show random word’ on and off. ‘About’ is a page detailing what makes Longdo tick (what dictionaries it uses, etc).

    When you search for a word, a long scrolling list comes up with samples from all of the dictionaries. Some of the words are linked, taking you to more words. There is the ability to copy and paste results into your email for afters. It does not zoom in and the Thai script is tiny, but the Thai script is clear enough for those with decent eyesight and already have an idea of the words.

    Truthfully, I’m not the one to review this dictionary as I’ve always found it difficult to make sense of. If you live in your left brain, then you might have better luck.

    Multilingual Dictionary SE Asia

    Thai English DictionaryMultilingual Dictionary SE AsiaMultilingual Dictionary SE AsiaNo longer online
    Price: £7.49 | $12.99
    Author: McHahm Inc
    Date: 20 Aug 2009
    Version: 1.0
    Size: 56.2
    Sound: No Thai
    Help: No
    Internet connection required: No
    Transliteration: No
    Zoom: Yes
    Target market: Those learning English

    The dictionary consists of an English-English core with translations in the eight major languages used in South East Asia: Hindi, Urdu, Thai, Vietnamese, Malay, Indonesian, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. Each sense of the entry has a short and clear definition in English, and translation equivalents in the eight languages.

    The application offers human voice pronunciation for the 24,000 English headwords and expressions, and includes lists of bookmarked words and of recently searched words. It is a particularly helpful learning tool for intermediate-level users.

    This dictionary is for those learning English, so I won’t describe it further here. Also, it does not work the way explained (only English shows on the screen).

    QuickDic Thai-English Dictionary

    QuickDic Thai-English DictionaryQuickDictQuickDic Thai-English DictionaryQuickDic Thai-English Dictionary
    Price: £1.19 | $1.99
    Author: QuickDict KK Studio
    Date: 10 July 2010
    Version: 1.0
    Size: 6.0 MB
    Sound: No
    Help: Yes
    Internet connection required: No
    Transliteration: No
    Zoom: Yes (you can enlarge the font size)
    Target market: Thais, those who read Thai script

    • High-quality Thai-English and English-Thai dicts
    • No need for internet connection
    • Very handy, very fast
    • Spell checking for both languages, very useful!
    • Fuzzy search using “?” for any single character or “@” for any number of characters
    • Infinite-level inverse search
    • Bookmark and history
    • Adjustable font size
    • Landscape support

    I quite like this simple little dictionary. It does not have sound, but it does have extras (read the list above). It starts up with the keyboard (your choice, English or Thai script). As soon as you start typing, an alphabetized list appears in either English or Thai. If you have poor eyesight, you can set the results font to be larger (but it does not affect the search list). The nav is logical. Within the search list the nav includes: Home, search, history, bookmark and help. Once you select a name, spell check is added. Yes, it has a spell check for both English and Thai.

    Quick Dic Thai Dictionary

    Thai English DictionaryQuick Dic Thai DictionaryQuick Dic Thai DictionaryNo longer online
    Price: £1.79 | $2.99
    Author: quetouch.com
    Date: 24 April 2009
    Updated: 11 Aug 2009
    Version: 1.3
    Size: 17.2 mb
    Sound: No
    Help: No
    Internet connection required: No
    Transliteration: No
    Zoom: No
    Target market: Thais, those who read Thai script

    Quik Dict is an bilingual dictionaries integrated English-Thai and Thai-English dictionary. It real time fast lookup and easy to use. Using first few letter for real time fast lookup word. Build-in full function Thai input for search Thai word.

    • English-Thai, more than 80,000 Words and phase include relate, examples, and synonyms.
    • Thai-English, more than 50,000 Words and phase.
    • Real time and quick lookup word.
    • Support Thai input by build in fully function thai keyboard. (iPhone OS 2.x)
    • Support International Thai Keyboard on iPhone OS 3.0.
    • Easy to read word meaning with smart layout.

    The fun part of this dictionary is that it starts off with ‘er indoors’.

    Nav: ‘More’ only shows you the dictionaries they use. ‘Recents’ shows the search history. Inside the dictionary you get ‘previous’ and ‘next’ word.

    You can search by English, or by Thai script (to do the Thai search, switch keyboard to Thai). This dictionary uses LEXiTRON 2.0 and WordNet 3.0. LEXiTRON give (mostly) Thai and WordNet the English explanation, stacked.

    Glitches: When I started using the Thai keyboard, the next word arrow changed the Thai word on the top banner but not in the search. With the keyboard visible and a word in search, the words I click on are not the words appearing in the next screen. The scroll in both English and Thai sticks sometimes.

    There is no transliteration, so the target is for those who read Thai. There are no instructions. The Thai script is small, but legible (some of the bits fall out, but not as bad as other dictionaries).

    Thai Dict Version

    Thai English DictionaryThai Dict - True Move Company LimitedThai Dict VersionThai Dict Version
    Price: Free
    Author: True Corp Co., Ltd
    Date:15 Jan 2009
    Updated: 19 Mar 2010
    Version: 3.2
    Size: 9 MB
    Sound: No
    Help: No
    Internet connection required: No
    Transliteration: No
    Zoom: No
    Target market: Thais, those who read Thai script

    English-Thai Dictionary is well designed English to Thai dictionary and Thai to English dictionary based on popular LEXITRON dictionary database developed by NECTEC.

    • English to Thai dictionary and Thai to English dictionary.
    • Over 80,000 words.
    • Keep search history.

    This is True Move’s dictionary application.

    Nav: ‘i’ has information about the company, not information on how to use the app. The search bar is the typical typing area. The magnifying glass brings up the top search bar. ‘History’ shows recent English and Thai words and gives you the ability to delete history items.

    Nav on results screen: ‘Back’, ’email’, ‘search’, and ‘history’. Across the bottom of each page is a flashing ad.

    If you type using the English keyboard, an English word with Thai explanation, next to it English comes up. If you type using the Thai keyboard, a Thai word with the English explanation, next to it Thai comes up. Clicking on words on search results pages does not take you further into the dictionary. No sound. No transliteration. No zooming.

    With no transliteration, this app is target to Thais and intermediate-advanced readers of Thai.

    Thai English Dictionary

    Thai English DictionaryThai English DictionaryThai English DictionaryNo longer online
    Price: £0.59 | $0.99
    Author: Alterme Inc
    Date: 22 May 2009
    Updated: 22 Dec 2009
    Version: 3.4
    Size: 2.5
    Sound: Sound did not work
    Help: No
    Internet connection required: Sometimes
    Transliteration: No
    Zoom: No
    Target market: Thais with good eyesight?

    • English Thai, Thai English Dictionary, English English Dictionary.
    • Build-in English Text to Speech.
    • Word suggestion.

    It is a dictionary between English and Thai. It can read any text in English. However, Thai text to speech is not supported.

    This dictionary is the same as Dictionary with Voice (reviewed above).

    Nav: ‘VK’ is the virtual keyboard. ‘Look up’ is for after you type in your target word. The round icon to the right is where you select your input language.

    The virtual keyboard must be a left over from when we couldn’t access the iPhone keyboards, so it is no longer needed.

    When you do a search, the screen that comes up has the English or Thai, but not your target word.

    There is tiny Thai script and the app does not zoom. The sound did not work for me. And there are is no transliteration. This app needs work.

    Thai Fast Dictionary

    Thai Fast DictionaryThai Fast DictionaryThai English DictionaryThai English Dictionary
    Price: Free
    Author: Tanut Apiwong
    Date: 10 June 2010
    Updated: 18 Jun 2010
    Version: 1.0
    Size: 3.9 mb
    Sound: No
    Help: Yes
    Internet connection required: No
    Transliteration: No
    Zoom: No
    Target market: Thais, those who read Thai script

    • Fast application startup.
    • Fast word lookup.
    • History and Favorite mode.
    • Long list words scrollable table.

    This product is created by the adaptation of LEXiTRON developed by NECTEC (http://www.nectec.or.th/).

    A free app, there is an ad across the bottom. The nav has: ‘Search’, ‘favourite’, ‘search history favourite’.

    The Thai script is legible (to me). The English keyboard brings up Thai translation. The Thai keyboard brings up English translation. There is no zoom. No sound. No transliteration. This is a simple app but you need to be able to read Thai.

    The Thai Translator

    The Thai TranslatorThe Thai TranslatorThe Thai TranslatorNo longer online
    Price: £5.99 | $9.99
    Author: Ncephalon Corp Pte Ltd
    Updated: 22 Feb 2010
    Version: 1.2
    Size: 77.6 MB
    Sound: Thai
    Help: No
    Internet connection required: No
    Transliteration: Yes
    Zoom: No
    Rated: 4+
    Target market: Beginning students of Thai and up, Thais

    The Thai Translator is an essential Thai dictionary or translator tool for both English speaking and Thai speaking users. TTT translates from both English to Thai and Thai to English. It even allows you to search by the transliterations!

    You will find many practical features in TTT that are not found in other translators or dictionaries, namely; Transliteration, Audio and Multiple Word Search.

    • Thai Audio and English Audio.
    • Transliteration.
    • Thai Keyboard Support.
    • Search by English, Thai or Transliteration.
    • Multiple Word Search.
    • Partial Word Search.
    • Simple phrases eg. What time?, How are you?, I am fine.

    This is another mislabeled app as it leans more towards the dictionary side than translation. Translation gives you the ability to drop in any word, while dictionaries have set words.

    After the slow loading splash screen there is a page to register. It’s annoying, but it is supposed to be gone in the next revision. After, you get a page to choose English-Thai and Thai-English.

    Selecting English-Thai, you get a search screen with ‘back’, ‘by English’, ‘by translation’, and a back button. The translation results gives you English with a sound icon. Next down is ‘pronunciation’ where the transliteration for the Thai script further below is shown. The Translation in Thai script sometimes has a sound icon. The Thai script is small. There is no zoom. Some of the sounds are distorted (especially the English). And not all words have sound.

    The Thai Translator Lite

    The Thai Translator LiteThe Thai TranslatorThe Thai TranslatorNo longer online
    Price: Free
    Author: Ncephalon Corp Pte Ltd
    Updated: 17 Feb 2010
    Version: 1.1
    Size: 45.2 MB

    Full access to alphabets A – I

    The Thai Translator Lite is a lite version of the popular TTT.

    The Thai Translator is an essential Thai dictionary or translator tool for both English speaking and Thai speaking users. TTT translates from both English to Thai and Thai to English. It even allows you to search by the transliterations!

    You will find many practical features in TTT that are not found in other translators or dictionaries, namely; Transliteration, Audio and Multiple Word Search.

    YourWords English Thai English travel and learning dictionary…

    YourWords English Thai English travel and learning dictionaryThe Thai TranslatorThe Thai TranslatorNo longer online
    Price: $2.99 | £1.79
    Author: Ncephalon Corp Pte Ltd
    Updated: 30 Apr 2010
    Version: 1.0
    Size: 1 MB
    Sound: No
    Help: No
    Internet connection required: No
    Transliteration: On some, not all
    Zoom: No
    Rated: 4+
    Target market: Thais, those who can read Thai

    Over 11500 definitions. No internet connection required (ideal when traveling). History and Quizzes to help your remember new words. As you type suggestions for quick searching.

    Everyone who has ever studied a second language knows the challenge involved in trying to increase “word power”.
    “Your words” is here to help you overcome this challenge as well as to provide an easy to use dictionary for your travels.

    • Contains more than 11500 Words.
    • It provides real time suggestions for easier and faster searches.
    • You can dig into an Archive section for an easy access to previously searched words.
    • You can challenge yourself by taking Quizzes.

    Nav: Across the top you get the search bar. Along the bottom you get ‘En search’, ‘Th search’, ‘archive’, and ‘quiz’.

    As with the majority of the apps, to search in Thai, turn on your Thai keyboard. Ditto for ‘En search’. The quiz is created from your searches.

    This dictionary has promise, but there are missing important words and odd errors. But he plans on adding 3000 more words, so hopefully the glitches will be addressed then.

    iPhone Three-Way Talking Thai Dictionary…

    All through this review I’ve been writing, ‘too small’, ‘too quirky’, ‘not enough’, etc. It is early days in the iPhone app market, sure, so I haven’t really been that fussed. I know that programmers need time to get their heads around what is needed, and taking on Thai dictionaries is not a dawdle.

    I’m going to end this review with the promise of a fabulous dictionary coming this year, the iPhone version of Chris Pirazzi and Benjawan Poomsan Becker’s software dictionary. If you haven’t read my thoughts, please do: Review: Three-Way Talking Thai Dictionary: Mac and PC

    The iPhone version:

    • It will be a three-way dictionary with three sections, as the Windows product is.
    • It will have the same high-quality Thai sound recordings of a native Thai (Kun Benjawan!) as the Windows product, and it will be possible for users to store those sounds on the iPhone itself, so that the user can play any sound even if he or she is not currently connected to the Internet.
    • It will support multiple pronunciation guide systems, just as the Windows product does.
    • It will feature the same dataset (vocabulary, entry details, classifiers, stress, etc.) as the Windows product.
    • When we double the size of our dataset in 2010, we will offer that as a free upgrade to iPhone users just as we do for Windows-based users.

    Their coming iPhone dictionary app sounds great, yes?

    EDIT: It’s here and it’s clearly the top Thai dictionary for iPhone so be sure to get a copy too!

    Learn Thai on Your iPhone: What’s next…

    What’s next? Following will be an exciting range of flash card apps for the iPhone.

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