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Tag: Learning Thai (page 1 of 6)

Introducing Tamago: PickUpThai’s E-Picture Book for Learning Thai

PickUpThai Podcast

It’s here! After putting in loads of time and having a heap of fun while she was at it, Yuki from PickUpThai released Tamago, a colourfully designed picture ebook for learning Thai.

Tamago comes with a LOT of stuff! The book comes in two formats, PDF and Kindle. There are cute books for each version (Thai, transliteration, and English), a plain pdf English with translations, plus three different sound sets (the story, extra sentences and vocabulary).

The Thai PDF version starts out with the story in Thai, then the vocabulary with English translations, followed by the story in English only, and ending with extra phrases to use the sentence patterns. The Kindle version is different in that the story is shown once and when you double click the Thai text the English translation for each paragraph appears in a pop-up text box. A sample is shown below.

PickUpThai

Who is it for: This picture book is particularly made for non-Thai adults learning the Thai language (beginner to intermediate), especially those who learn better visually with images. However, the story was written and the illustrations were deliberately created to also appeal to children. Since the book is bilingual, Thai children can learn English from it as easily as non-Thai speaking kids can use it to learn Thai.

Difficulty: The story is written at an intermediate level using mostly simple vocabulary and simple, short, sentences. The vocabulary is correspondingly basic, and drawn from everyday life situations. But learners will still find a few more complex sentences and complicated vocabulary words included to challenge them, maintain their interest, and help build their skills.

Prices:
Thai Script: $9.99
Transliteration: $9.99
Thai Script & Transliteration: $15.99

NOTE: Sample pages for each version (Thai script, Transliteration and English) with audio files can be downloaded from Tamago: E-Picture Book for Learning Thai.

Website: PickupThai
YouTube: PickupThai
Facebook: PickUpThai
twitter: @PickupThai

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Why Do Foreigners Quit Learning Thai?

This is a recurring problem that I hear from many learners of Thai. I put this clip together to hopefully help Thais who are working or living with foreigners know how to better handle some situations with foreigners to ensure that they will keep motivated with their learning.

If you live or work with any Thais, send this clip to them. I’m sure it will help!

Follow the conversation on FCLT: Why do foreigners quit learning Thai?

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Listening & Vocabulary Building using Hormones (Thai Drama): Final Season Episode 3 Part 2/6

Hormones 3, The Final Season Episode 3 Part 2/6…

Main characters: Ms. Pasarapa, Jane
Segment Time: 4:40—8:10

Background: In the last lesson, Jane and her classmates were studying English in Ms. Ying’s high school English class. Ms. Ying is a very traditional teacher and is overly strict with her students. In this clip, Jane and her classmates are meeting their music teacher, Ms. Pasarapa, on the first day of the semester. Kruu Pasapara is totally the opposite of Khruu Ying and tries to motivate her students by using informal language and humor.

Note 1: This clip is quite difficult. You shouldn’t expect to understand or learn everything. Just focus on the things that are easy enough for you at your level or which you find interesting. I promise the next lesson will be much easier.

Note 2: This clip has English subtitles, which you should turn off, at least for the first few viewings. I have put my own English translation at the end of the dialog below so that the exercise is not too easy. Try not to look at the English until you have tried to study the text on your own.

Answers: The answers to the exercise can be found at the very bottom of this page.

Transliteration: Download the pdf to get both Thai script and transliteration.

Procedure:

  1. Learn the vocabulary below.
  2. Watch the scene 2-3 times with subtitles covered.
  3. Read the script and try to fill in the missing words without using the video.
  4. Watch the video again to check your answers.
  5. Next, read the English translation towards the end of this post to help you.
  6. Check your answers (found at the bottom of this post).
  7. Try shadowing a few of the easy phrases and short sentences from the video. Shadowing is simply pausing the video after you hear a target phrase and then repeating it. For example, stop the video after you hear “นั่งลง (sit down)” and say it out loud.

Important Vocabulary:

ไง: What’s up?; Hi.
แนะนำตัว: introduce oneself
สั้นๆ: brief; short
ฝากเนื้อฝากตัว: entrust one to someone’s care; become dependent on someone
ทาย: guess; predict; forecast
คะแนน: point; grade (score)
คนละ: (to) each; each differently
เนี่ย: informal emphasis particle
ย่อมาจาก: short for (abbreviated)
ความเร็ว: speed
ป่ะ: shortened, informal form of ‘หรือเปล่า’, ‘rěubplàao’ (or not?)
เลขคู่: even number
ตบมือ: clap; applaud; give someone a hand
รู้สึกยังไงกับ…: How do you feel about…?

เสียง: sound
วิชาดนตรี: music class
เครื่องดนตรี: musical instrument
กลอง: drums
กีต้าร์: guitar
ฟัง: listen
ได้ยิน: hear
เพลง: song
ได้ยิน: hear
เพลง: song
จังหวะ: beat; rhythm
สามสิบ: 30
หนึ่งร้อย: 100
ร้อยยี่สิบ: 120
สี่ร้อย: 400

Conversation:

นักเรียน: นักเรียนเคารพ

นักเรียน: สวัสดีครับ/สวัสดีค่ะ

ครูภัสราภา: ไง กินข้าวกันมาอิ่มๆ จะหลับแล้วเหรอ
…แยกย้ายกันไปนอนป่ะ ครูว่าครูก็ง่วงๆเหมือนกันนะเนี่ย
…เฮ้ย ตื่นมาวัยรุ่น
…เดี๋ยวครูจะขอแนะนำตัวก่อนนะค่ะ
…ครูชื่อภัสราภาค่ะ
…เรียกครูสั้นๆว่าครูลูกตาลก็ได้
…ครูจะมาสอน ___ (1) สากล
…ถ้ายังไง ฝากเนื้อฝากตัวด้วยนะจ๊ะ

นักเรียน: ครับ/ค่ะ

ครูภัสราภา: เอามา…
…เดี๋ยววันนี้นะครูจะเปิด ___ (2)ให้ฟัง
…แล้วให้ช่วยกันทายว่าเสียงดนตรีที่ ___ (3)
เนี่ยมันเกิดมาจาก ___ (4) ชนิดไหนบ้าง

นักเรียน: เจย็ด…วัยรุ่นว่ะ เพราะอะไร (ร้องเพลงอยู่)

ครูภัสราภา: ดูๆๆๆๆๆ เมื่อกี้อ่ะคือ ___ (5) อะไร

นักเรียน: ___ (6) คับ

ครูภัสราภา: ครึ่งคะแนน…เกือบแล้ว

นักเรียน: กีต้าร์โปร่งฮะ

ครูภัสราภา: ถูกต้อง แบ่งคะแนนคนละครึ่งนะจ๊ะ ___ (7) ต่อนะ
ได้ยินไหม ตุบๆ เสียงอะไร

นักเรียน: ___ (8) ละคับ เสียงกิกๆคือเสียง hi-hat เสียงตุบๆคือเสียงเบส
ดรัม เสียงแปะๆคือเสียงตบมือ
แต่น่าจะเป็นเสียงแซัมฮะ… เสียงกลองจากคอมคับ

ครูภัสราภา: โอ้โฮ นี้พวกเธอนี้มันเด็กเก่งเรื่องดนตรีเนี่ย เหอ รู้ละเนี่ย เชื่อได้
…มา งั้นครูขอยากขึ้นอีกนิดนึงนะ
…ใครเคย ___ (9) คำนี้บ้าง

…‘BPM’ย่อมาจากอะไร Beat Per Minute มันคือหน่วยวัด tempo หรือว่า
ความเร็วของ ___ (10) มันคือการนับว่าในเพลงเนี่ยมี ___ (11)
ทั้งสิ้นกี่จังหวะในหนึ่งนาที

…ลองนึกภาพตามนะ: หนึ่งสองสามสี่ห้าหกเจ็ดแปด
เก็ตป่ะ คำถามคือ ___ (12) เนี้ย BPM คือเท่าไหร่ เอ้าเร็ว!

นักเรียน: ___ (13) คับ

ครูภัสราภา: ช้าไป นิดนึง

นักเรียน: ___ (14) ค่ะ

ครูภัสราภา: ใกล้ละๆ

นักเรียน: ___ (15) คับ

ครูภัสราภา: บอกว่าใกล้แล้ว ใครตอบได้บ้าง

เจน: ___ (16) ค่ะ

ครูภัสราภา: เฮ้ย ถูกต้องเลยอ่ะ มั่วถูกป่ะเนี่ยเหอ

เจน: หนูลองนับหนึ่งสองสามสี่ตามที่ครูบอกค่ะ และเข็มวิ
มันก็ลงที่เลขคู่พอดี แปลว่าหนึ่งวิก็มีสอง ___ (17) หนึ่งนาทีก็เลย
___ (18) ค่ะ

ครูภัสราภา: โอ้โฮ ตบมือให้เพื่อนหน่อย เชื่อได้ละนะ ชื่ออะไรจ๊ะ

เจน: เจนค่ะ

ครูภัสราภา: เจนอ่ะ เก่งนะเนี่ย ไอ้พวกนั้นตอบไม่ได้สักคน
เอามามากลับมา… เรื่องของสุนทรีแห่งการฟังเพลง
ทุกคนหลับตา นี้ครูจะเปิดเพลงให้ ___ (19) นะจ๊ะ แล้วเดี๋ยวครูจะถามว่า
แต่ละคนเนี่ยรู้สึกยังไงกับ ___ (20) นี้บ้าง

English Translation:

Student: Students—show respect.

Students: Good afternoon. (Literally ‘Hello’)

Ms. Pasarapa: What’s up? Are you all full? Are you gonna fall asleep?
…You wanna go and get some sleep? I think I’m feeling a bit sleepy, too!
…Hey! Wake up kids! (Literally: teenagers)
…First, I’d like to introduce myself.
…My name’s Pasarapa.
…You can call me ‘Ms. Louktarn’ for short.
…I’ll be teaching you music.
…In any case…How do you do? (Literally: Entrust yourselves to me).

Students: Okay.

Ms. Pasarapa: Alright guys…
…Today I’m going to play a song for you.
…and have you guys guess what kind of musical instrument the sound you hear comes from.

Student: Whoa! She rocks! (Literally: Fuck! Teenager!) Why? (singing)

Ms. Pasarapa: Duu duu duu duu duu (that you heard) just then… what sound was that?

Student: A guitar.

Ms. Pasarapa: Half a point…almost!

Student: An acoustic guitar.

Ms. Pasarapa: That’s correct! Each person gets half a point. (Literally: shares half a point). Listen some more. Do you hear that? Dum dum—what’s that sound?

Student: The drums. The tick tick is the hi-hat.The dum dum is the bass drum. The clap clap is clapping. But they are probably digital drum samples.

Ms. Pasarapa: Wow!! Hey, are you guys musicians or what? You guys are good, I can tell.
…Okay, allow me to make it a bit harder (this time).
…Has anyone heard this word before?
…What does BPM stand for? Beats per Minute. It’s a unit of measurement for the tempo or speed of the song. It’s a count of, in a song, how many total beats there are in one minute.
…Try to visualize it: 12345678. Got it? The question is… what is the BPM of this song?
Come on! (Literally: Oh, hurry up!)

Student: Thirty.

Ms. Pasarapa: Too slow. A bit more.

Student: 100.

Ms. Pasarapa: Close! Close!

Student: 400.

Ms. Pasarapa: I said close! Can anyone guess?

Jane: 120.

Ms. Pasarapa: Wow! Exactly! Just a wild guess, huh?

Jane: I tried counting 1 2 3 4 like you told us to. Just then the second hand landed on an even number, which means in one second there are two beats. So in 1 minute there are 120.

Ms. Pasarapa: Wow! Give your friend a hand! That was good! What’s your name?

Jane: Jane.

Ms. Pasarapa: Jane? That was good! Not even one of those guys (musicians) could answer!
Alright guys… now it’s time for music appreciation. Everyone close your eyes. I’m going to play another song for you. And then I’ll ask each person how they feel about the song.

Additional Notes:

1. เจย็ด: this is a vulgar word which derives from ‘เย็ด’, meaning ‘fuck’. He most likely adds the ‘J’ sound for emphasis.
2. ถ้ายังไง: “If any case; Anyway…”
3. เชื่อได้: seems to be some kind of slang which means “That was good!”
4. เก็ตป่ะ: “Got it?” Get comes from the English ‘get’.
5. วิชาดนตรีสากล: (music class) is the full formal name for this subject.

Answers:

1. วิชาดนตรี 2. เพลง 3. ได้ยิน 4. เครื่องดนตรี 5. เสียง 6. กีต้าร์ 7. ฟัง 8. กลอง 9. ได้ยิน 10. เพลง 11. จังหวะ 12. เพลง 13. สามสิบ 14. หนึ่งร้อย 15. สี่ร้อย 16. ร้อยยี่สิบ 17. จังหวะ 18. ร้อยยี่สิบ 19. ฟัง 20. เพลง

REMINDER: Download the pdf to get both Thai script and transliteration.

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Listening & Vocabulary Building using Hormones (Thai Drama): Final Season Episode 2 Part 1/6


Hormones 3, The Final Season Episode 2 Part 1/6
…

EDIT: This video has already been taken offline – if you find it on Youtube, please contact me.

Main characters: Jane, Ms. Ying

Segment Time: 9:34—12:20

Background: Jane, a high school student, has recently returned to Bangkok after having studied abroad (in New York) for two years. This scene takes place in her English class.

Note: This clip has English subtitles, which you should turn off, at least for the first few viewings. I have put my own English translation at the end of the dialog below so that the exercise is not too easy. Try not to look at the English until you have tried to study the text on your own.

Answers: The answers can be found at the very bottom of this page.
Transliteration: Download the pdf to get both Thai script and transliteration.

Procedure:

  1. Learn the vocabulary below.
  2. Watch the scene 2-3 times with subtitles covered.
  3. Read the script and try to fill in the missing words without using the video.
  4. Watch the video again to check your answers.
  5. Next, read the English translation towards the end of this post to help you.
  6. Check your answers (found at the bottom of this post).
  7. Try shadowing a few of the easy phrases and short sentences from the video. Shadowing is simply pausing the video after you hear a target phrase and then repeating it. For example, stop the video after you hear “นั่งลง (sit down)” and say it out loud.

Important Vocabulary:

แบบฝึกหัด: exercise (homework or in-class assignment)
แปล: translate; mean (something)
ตัวอย่าง: an example; a model
สัมภาษณ์(งาน): (job) interview
เสนอตำแหน่ง: offer a position/job
โมโหร้าย: hot-tempered
อนุญาต: permit; allow; excuse
เมืองนอก: abroad; foreign country
พิจารณา: consider; take into account
บริบท: context
ใหญ่หลวง: huge; enormous; big; big time
กิริยามารยาท: manners; etiquette; politeness; decorum
สัมมาคารวะ: respect; esteem; politeness (to one’s elders)


Conversation:

ครูหญิง: แบบฝึกหัดที่ครูเพิ่งจะแจกพวกเธอไป
ครูต้องการ ____ (1) เธอแปลประโยคสั้นๆจำนวนห้าสิบ
ประโยค ครูจะแปลข้อหนึ่งเป็นตัวอย่าง จด ____ (2)
 ทัน ถ้าพวกเธออยากมีงานทำน้อยลงหนึ่งข้อ
(reads out #1 in English first)

ริชาร์ดไปสัมภาษณ์งานเพราะบริษัทบอก ____ (3) จะสามารถเสนอตำแหน่งดีๆ ____ (4) กับเขาได้ แต่ระหว่างสัมภาษณ์งานเขารู้ตัว ____ (5) มีโอกาสไม่มากนัก 
ผู้จัดการ…ผู้จัดการ…full of hot air…ผู้จัดการเป็นพวกโมโหร้าย

เจน: ขออนุญาตค่ะ

ครูหญิง: มีอะไรนางสาวเจน ลุกขึ้นพูด


เจน: หนู ____ (6) ครูแปล ____ (7) นะค่ะ


ครูหญิง: ฉันเป็นครูสอนภาษาอังกฤษมายี่สิบปี
เธอน่ะยังเกิดมา ____ (8) นานเท่านั้นเลย อย่าคิด ____ (9) เรียนเมืองนอก
มาแล้วจะมาทำฉลาดกว่าคนที่นี่

เจน: หนู ____ (10) บอกว่าตัวเองฉลาดค่ะ หนูแค่บอก ____ (11) ครูแปล ____ (12) ถ้าครูแปลผิดแล้วปล่อยไปแบบนี้เนี่ยคนอื่นก็ต้องจำผิดสิค่ะ

ครูหญิง: ในการแปลประโยคจะต้องพิจารณาจากบริบท ‘hot air’ ในที่นี่หมายถึง
การโมโหร้าย

เจน: หนูเซิร์ชแล้วค่ะ ‘full of hot air’ เป็นสำนวน แปล ____ (13) ‘talking nonsense’ ค่ะ

ครูหญิง: ยังไงก็แล้วแต่ ปัญหาอันใหญ่หลวงของเธอก็คือเรื่องกิริยามารยาท ถ้าจะ ____ (14) มีสัมมาคารวะแบบนี้เธอก็คงอยู่ที่นี่ ____ (15) หรอก กลับเมืองนอก 
(?can’t catch this word) ของเธอไปเถอะ นั่งลง คุยอะไรกัน ทำงานไป

English Translation:

Ms. Ying: The assignment (exercise) I just passed out to you — I’d like you to translate fifty short paragraphs (sentences). I’ll translate #1 for you as an example. If you want one less to do, (keep up with me and) write this (one) down.

“Richard went on (sic=to) the job interview because the company said they would be able to offer him a good position. But during the interview, he realized there is not much opportunity. The manager was just full of hot air.”

Jane: Excuse me.

Ms. Ying: What is it Jane? Stand up and speak.

Jane: I think you translated it incorrectly.

Ms. Ying: I’ve been an English teacher for 20 years. You weren’t even born yet (when I started teaching). Don’t think that (just) because you studied abroad, you can come here and act like you are smarter than people here.

Jane: I didn’t say that I’m smart. I just said that you translated (it) wrong. If you translate it wrong, and then just let it go, then others will remember what’s incorrect.

Ms. Ying: When translating a sentence, you must take into account (consider) the context. In this context, ‘hot air’ means being ‘hot-tempered’.

Jane: I googled it already. ’Full of hot air’ is an idiom which means ‘talk nonsense’.

Ms. Ying: In any event, your huge problem is your manners. If you show no respect like this, you surely can’t fit in here. Go back to your country. Sit down. What are you talking about?! Do your work!

Answers: 1. ให้ 2. ให้ 3. ว่า 4. ให้ 5. ว่า 6. ว่า 7. ผิด 8. ไม่ 9. ว่า 10. ไม่ได้ 11. ว่า 12. ผิด 13. ว่า 14. ไม่ 15. ไม่ได้

REMINDER: Download the pdf to get both Thai script and transliteration.

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Approach Learning Thai by First Understanding its Diversity

Approach Learning Thai by Understanding its Diversity

Understand the diversity in the Thai language…

I’ve always been a big believer that there is hardly ever a “best way” to do anything. Simply put, humanity has never progressed by following strict rules or being dogmatic in approaches to learning. When we limit our experiences by claiming that one method stands out above others, we deny our inherent nature to be experimental.

More and more people choose to submit to a more orthodox and nearly dogmatic view on how things should be done. I often see this in the Thai language learning community. Both learners and native speakers of Thai often will say that there is a “best way” to convey a certain feeling or pronounce a word as if the multitude of human emotions that we experience individually can be shoved into a static microcosm of ideas that can be used generally to express ourselves. We get caught up in the concept that language usage is right or wrong instead of being a tool to communicate. We create what I consider to be useless standards on our level of language acquisition. I call it useless because every standard presented can not always be met by a native speaker.

Foreigners constantly talk about having a Thai accent as if all Thais speak the same way. They talk about correct pronunciation as if there is only one way to say something and like all Thais speak formally all day. We set the standard of Thai language to emulate a government propagated language. Thailand is very much a multilingual society regardless of what Phibun tried to accomplish with the cultural mandates in the 1930s stating all Thais must only speak Thai. When you say “I speak Thai”, do you know what Thai you are speaking? Are you speaking the Thai that is taught in school? Are you speaking one of the regional dialects? Do you speak a combination?

I find these standards to be pointless because they are trying to make a static average out of something that is inherently fluid. Words like “fluency” and “level of competence” have absolutely no meaning to me. Language tests might give a person a boost to their ego or be good to put on a job resume, but at the end of the day language is a tool to be used. You might speak a language, but have you lived in the culture and integrated? Have you used your skills to create relationships and become invested in a community? Does it help you in your work life?

A few months ago I was visiting my wife’s family in a village outside of Chiang Rai. It was a normal evening in Northern Thailand. My mother-in-law had cooked a feast, my wife’s uncle brought over a bottle of lao-kao that a friend had brewed, and we sat around the table with my in-laws and aunts and uncles. While eating and drinking multiple languages were being spoken. My father-in-law and his brother and sister spoke Yong and the rest of the family answered in Northern Thai. Once in a while, they would switch to Central Thai to address me. At one point, my wife told my mother-in-law to speak to me in the Chiang Mai dialect instead of the Chiang Rai dialect because it’s easier for me to understand. We were all speaking different languages and dialects and understanding each other (though I did have to constantly ask my wife’s uncle to translate what he said in Yong). They broke every “grammar rule” that people are taught not to say and their pronunciation differed from person to person. The usage of language was the least important aspect of the night. The real meaning came as a result of our communication. My wife’s aunt and uncle recalled vivid stories from their youth where they encountered spirits and saw a person possessed by a spirit. They reminisced on how they used to have to travel almost 24 hours by taking a bus to Lampang and hopping on a train to Chiang Mai when today the whole trip takes 3 hours. We all connected with each other and shared our stories.

If there is so much diversity in one family’s conversation, how is it possible to try to create a standard for a whole country of people? When a Thai friend from Bangkok visited my wife’s village with us last year, everybody was making fun of him for his funny Bangkok accent and for not being able to understand Northern Thai well. We create our standards based on our own personal standing. I personally find the concept of “not knowing everything” to be exciting and invigorating. I have never had a goal to become “fluent”. My goal for speaking Thai has been to connect and interact with people. I want to experience a different way of life and learn their stories. Instead of trying to create a standard of competency that has to do with useless hurdles, why not judge your language skills on what it helps you accomplish? How has your studies of Thai language enhanced your life? What relationships have you built as a result? Anybody can learn a language, it’s what you do with your knowledge that counts.

Next time somebody tells you there is a best way to say something, take it as “this is my favorite way to say something” and move on. Do what works for you and keep on interacting with more people. The beauty of the Thai language and culture is in its diversity.

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Thai Language Connectors: Filler Connectors

Thai Language Connectors

Filler Connectors for Thai learners…

Welcome to Filler Connectors, the third post in the Thai Language Connectors series. The previous posts in the series were: The Starter Pack (Anthony Lauder’s original 100 connectors that has a sample from each subject), and Opening Connectors (connectors that give you breathing time before answering questions).

Anthony Lauder: Filler Connectors are throw-away phrases you can insert when you need a little more thinking time. They give the illusion of deep pondering, or sharing something personal, which is exactly what you want while you think of what you are going to say next.

Notes: 1) The target audience is educated Thais (for the most part), with the materials being slightly formal in scope. And 2) an * before the phrase means there is no equivalent expression in Thai but it sounds more or less ok anyway. And 3) please don’t freak out, there’s a pdf with transliteration.

Filler Connectors for Thai learners…

It is good to know that…
ดีใจที่ได้รู้ว่า…


Well, to put it briefly…
อืม จะให้พูดสั้นๆก็คือ…


It is worth mentioning that…
อีกเรื่องหนึ่งที่บอกไว้ไม่เสียหายก็คือ…


*I think that I should point out that…
ผม/ฉันว่าผม/ฉันควรจะชี้ให้คุณเห็นว่า…


I should mention that…
แล้วผม/ฉันก็อยากบอกด้วยว่า…


Now that you mention it, I really do think that…
พอตอนนี้คุณพูดมา ผม/ฉันก็คิดจริงๆว่า…


It is remarkable that…
น่าไม่เชื่อเลยว่า…


I am amazed that…
ผม/ฉันรู้สึกทึ่งที่…


I must admit that…
ผม/ฉันต้องยอมรับว่า…


I grant that…
ผม/ฉันยอมรับว่า…


I must grant that…
ผม/ฉันต้องยอมรับว่า…


On the one hand… on the other…
แง่นึง… แต่อีกแง่นึง…


After all…
สุดท้ายแล้ว…


I should say that…
ผม/ฉันจะบอกคุณว่า…


Oddly enough…
แปลกแต่จริง…


I would like to tell you that…
ผม/ฉันอยากจะบอกคุณว่า…


I would like to know whether…
ผม/ฉันอยากรู้ว่า…


It is unbelievable how…
ไม่น่าเชื่อว่า…


*I think that I should point out to you that…
ผม/ฉันว่าผม/ฉันควรจะชี้ให้คุณเห็นว่า…


If you ask me…
ถ้าคุณถามผม/ฉัน…


I’d like to say something about…
ผม/ฉันอยากจะพูดอะไรบางอย่างเกี่ยวกับเรื่องนี้…


I’d like to say a couple of words about this…
ผม/ฉันอยากจะพูดอะไรเล็กน้อยเกี่ยวกับเรื่องนี้…


Downloads: Thai Language Filler Connectors…

Thai Language Filler Connectors (with transliteration): Pdf 328kb
Thai Language Filler Connectors (without transliteration): Pdf 328kb
Thai Language Filler Connectors: Audio (Male) 1.3mg
Thai Language Filler Connectors: Audio (Female) 1.2mg
Thai Language Filler Connectors: Audio (Female-singles) 1mg

Note: These files are for personal use only (please do not place them on other websites).

More Thai Language Connectors…

Following will be: Apologising Connectors, Qualifying Connectors, Agreeing and Disagreeing Connectors, Elaborating Connectors, Quoting Connectors, Switching Connectors, Closing Connectors and Passing Connectors (in that order).

Cheers! Catherine & Yuki

Yuki Tachaya, Web: PickupThai | YouTube: PickupThai | twitter: @PickupThai

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Picnicly: These Foreigners Love Thai (Language)

Picnicly

These foreigners love Thai…

After studying languages on and off for the majority of my life, I’ve started to develop some theories as to what works and what doesn’t work. Thing is, I’m not an education expect, so it’s really all just guesses as to what’s best. A sample size of one doesn’t make a full research project.

Last week I got together three friends who all speak Thai fluently and asked them about their own tricks and techniques. It really interested me to find out that they all have different approaches, different ways to get to the same destination. The only thing I really found in common was an initial total immersion period of around a year where they didn’t socialize with people from their own country. Where they forced themselves to speak only Thai.

One other common factor is that everyone was motivated to learn Thai, they all really wanted to understand their adoptive homes through its language as much as possible.

After watching, I’d love to hear what you all think. My “research” still has a very small sample size, so let me know what works for you and what doesn’t.

Thanks!
Luke Cassady-Dorion
Picnicly

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Thai Language Connectors: Opening Connectors

Thai Language Connectors

Opening Connectors for Thai learners…

As mentioned in the first post of the series, Thai Language Connectors: Starter Pack, Opening Connectors are responses to questions – they give you breathing time to mentally form answers.

Anthony Lauder: When you are asked a question, it can put you on the spot. Your mind can go blank, and soon you don’t know how to even start answering. Opening connectors are really useful for getting the first few words out of your mouth (“breaking the silence”) while you settle down to give the real answer to the question

Included in Anthony’s 100 Language Connectors mentioned in his Starter Pack there were four Opening Connectors: “Thank you heartily”, “That is such a good question”, “That is a difficult question”, and “Once upon a time, long ago…”. In this post we’ll complete the set from his spreadsheet.

Notes: 1) The target audience is educated Thais (for the most part), with the materials being slightly formal in scope. And 2) an * before the phrase means there is no equivalent expression in Thai but it sounds more or less ok anyway. And 3) please don’t freak out, there’s a pdf with transliteration.

Opening Connectors for Thai learners…

I must first say that…
ก่อนอื่น ผม/ฉันต้องบอกก่อนว่า…


I will be talking for about ten minutes.
ผม/ฉันจะใช้เวลาพูดประมาณสิบนาที


I’ll start with… and afterwards move on to…
ผม/ฉันจะเริ่มจาก… จากนั้นก็จะพูดถึง…


The reason why I am here is…
เหตุผลที่ผม/ฉันมาพูดให้คุณฟังวันนี้ก็คือ…

Note: Literal meaning: “The reason why I came to speak to you today is…”


Today we shall look at…
วันนี้ เราจะมาดูเรื่อง…


Today’s topic is…
หัวข้อที่เราจะคุยกันวันนี้คือ…


Today I will be talking about…
วันนี้ ผม/ฉันจะมาพูดเกี่ยวกับ…


I know that there isn’t time to spare, so I’d better make a start.
ผม/ฉันรู้ว่าเรามีเวลาไม่มาก เพราะฉะนั้นผม/ฉันขอเริ่มเลยก็แล้วกัน


I’d like to start with a general overview and after focus on…
ขอเริ่มพูดถึงภาพรวมคร่าวๆก่อนแล้วค่อยเจาะลึกรายละเอียด…

Note: Literal meaning: “Let me start with an rough overview and then, go into the details later.”


Downloads: Thai Language Opening Connectors…

Thai Language Opening Connectors (with transliteration): Pdf 395kb
Thai Language Opening Connectors (without transliteration): Pdf 395kb
Thai Language Opening Connectors: Audio (Male) 848kb
Thai Language Opening Connectors: Audio (Female) 686kb
Thai Language Opening Connectors: Audio (Female-singles) 603kb

Note: These files are for personal use only (please do not place them on other websites).

More Thai Language Connectors…

Following will be: Filler Connectors, Apologising Connectors, Qualifying Connectors, Agreeing and Disagreeing Connectors, Elaborating Connectors, Quoting Connectors, Switching Connectors, Closing Connectors and Passing Connectors (in that order).

Cheers! Catherine & Yuki

Yuki Tachaya, Web: PickupThai | YouTube: PickupThai | twitter: @PickupThai

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Thai Time: Relearn Thai Tense the Thai Way (Part 2)

Bingo Lingo

Relearn Thai tense the Thai way (Part 2)…

In the previous post, we’ve talked about some of the most common time markers in Thai. Actually, I forgot the experience particle เคย /koei/ which is also a VERY important time marker! So before we move on to the next step of our advanced time manipulation like I promised, let’s take a look at this word for a second…

เคย /koei/ – experience particle…

เคย /koei/ is used to describe past experience. This past experience can be a one-off thing that you’ve ‘ever’ done, or it can be something you used to do habitually. Just like มา /maa/, /koei/ is another true tense marker because it only describes events of the past. Experience can only be a thing of the past, right?

ฉันเคยไปเกาหลี
chán koei bpai gaolĭi
I’ve been to Korea.


The speaker has been to Korea; she has the experience of travelling there. In this case /koei/ refers to the speaker’s one-off experience that she has ‘EVER’ been to Korea (unless she adds “twice”, “three times”, etc.)

ฉันเคยอยู่เกาหลี
chán koei yùu gaolĭi
I used to live in Korea.


The speaker in this sentence has an experience in Korea too, but in her case she has the experience of living there. Notice how /koei/ translates to different tenses in English depending on the context of the event. In this case, it is not a one-off experience. She used to live there for an extended period of time. It was constant.

ผมเคยซื้อของที่ร้านนั้นบ่อย
pǒm koei súe kǒrng tîi ráan nán bòi
I used to buy stuff from that shop all the time.


The /koei/ in this case doesn’t describe a one-off experience, nor a continual state of being, but the habituality of the speaker.

If you speak any Romance language, the last 2 usages are an equivalent of the “imperfect tense” like the Italian “Io parlavo”, Spanish “Yo hablaba”, or Portuguese “Eu falava”.

It’s about time – putting the building blocks of time together…

We have learnt what these 8 time markers actually mean and how to use them individually, now it’s time for more complex stuff. By combining these time markers you can create a multitude of expressions of time. Imagine that these time markers are like building blocks. Each individual word has its own primary attribute, and when you put them together they create compound references of time.

However, I am not going to spoon-feed you. As a believer in active learning, I am going to present you with sentences containing multiple time markers. You’re going to read each sentence, consult translation for the words you don’t know, going over the meaning of the particles in part one if necessary. Guess what the sentence might mean in terms of temporal reference, then you can read my explanation. It’s important you try to do it yourself, as long-term knowledge sticks better if you rattle your brain trying to come up with your own answer first. You may forget what you remember, but you will never forget what you understand.

Ready? Scroll carefully or you might accidentally see the answer!

เค้ากำลังไปแล้ว
káo gamlang bpai láeo


เค้า /káo/ – he/she, ไป /bpai/ – to go

(Stop scrolling here!)

Answer: “He’s on the way now.”

/gamlang/ and /láeo/ create the meaning of ‘an ongoing action that has already been set in motion’. He has fulfilled the requirement for ‘going’ by perhaps actually having already left the place, or packing up and getting ready to leave. Either way something is being done in order to go to the destination, but that something is still in process so you won’t be seeing him at point B just yet because he’s still actively working on getting there.

พ่อยังนอนอยู่
pôr yang norn yùu


พ่อ /pôr/ – father, นอน /norn/ – to sleep

(Stop scrolling here!)

Answer: “Dad’s still sleeping.”

/yang/ and /yùu/ create the meaning of ‘an ongoing state that is still unfinished or pending’. The father’s state of ‘sleeping’ is not complete because he hasn’t woken up yet. The sleeping state /norn yùu/ will be complete once the father wakes up or is woken up by someone.

ทุกคนกำลังจะไป
túkkon gamlang jà bpai


ทุกคน /túkkon/ – everyone

(Stop scrolling here!)

Answer: “Everyone’s about to leave.”

/gamlang/ and /jà/ create a meaning of ‘an ongoing action intended to happen’, i.e. “to be about to”. Everyone is still not ready to leave yet, but they are now planning to do so. This is different from #1 กำลัง…แล้ว /gamlang…láeo/ because in #1 the subject is already ‘in the process’ of doing the action, whilst in #3 the subject is only planning to do the action in the near future.

ลูกค้ายังไม่ได้จ่ายเงิน
lûukkáa yang mâi dâi jàai ngern


ลูกค้า /lûukkáa/ – customer, จ่ายเงิน /jàai ngern/ – to pay (money)

(Stop scrolling here!)

Answer: The customer still hasn’t paid yet.

/yang/ and /mâi dâi/ create the meaning of ‘an action that has not been achieved yet and is incomplete’. You can just say ลูกค้ายังไม่จ่ายเงิน /lûukkáa yang mâi jàai ngern/ without the word /dâi/ as well, but keeping the word /dâi/ there makes it seem less deliberate and may imply that the customer ‘hasn’t got around to doing it yet, not because he’s not going to’.

ผมจะกลับบ้านแล้ว
pǒm jà glàp bâan láeo


ผม /pǒm/ – I (male), กลับบ้าน /glàp bâan/ – to go home

(Stop scrolling here!)

Answer: I’m going home right now.

/jà/ and /láeo/, going back to the initial question I posed in part 1, create the meaning of ‘an action intended to be set in motion any time soon’. In this example, the speaker hasn’t started going home yet, but he is so close to doing that, perhaps in a matter of minutes or even seconds. This structure shows how imminent the action is.

ชั้นจะยังไม่ซื้อรถ
chán jà yang mâi súe rót


ชั้น /chán/ – I (mostly female), ซื้อ /súe/ – to buy, รถ /rót/ – car

(Stop scrolling here!)

Answer: I won’t buy a car just yet.

/jà/ and /yang mâi/ create the meaning of ‘an action that is intentionally prevented from being fulfilled’. You can just say ชั้นยังไม่ซื้อรถ /chán yang mâi súe rót/ without the word /jà/ as well, but keeping the word /jà/ there makes it clear that the speaker has made a conscious decision NOT to buy a car. That conscious decision or intention is implied just by the word /jà/.

นักเรียนเคยได้เรียนบทนี้แล้ว
nákrian koei dâi rian bòt níi láeo


นักเรียน /nákrian/ – student, เรียน /rian/ – to study, บท /bòt/ – lesson, นี้ /níi/ – this

(Stop scrolling here!)

Answer: The students have already studied this lesson.

Here comes a combination of 3 particles! /koei/, /dâi/ and /láeo/ create the meaning of ‘an experience that the subject has achieved and has already completed’. The students, in this case, have been taught this lesson and have completed it in its entirety. The past experience has been completely achieved.

จอห์นได้เป็นหัวหน้ามาสามเดือนแล้ว
John dâi bpen hǔanâa maa sǎam duean láeo


เป็น /bpen/ – to be, หัวหน้า /hǔanâa/ – boss, สาม /sǎam/ – three, เดือน /duean/ – month

(Stop scrolling here!)

Answer: John has been the boss for 3 months already.

/dâi/, /maa/ and /láeo/ create a meaning of ‘an achievement that has been continuing from the past up until the present and has completed a certain milestone’. John has been promoted in the past (which is an achievement). That achievement has been in effect up until now (past progressive), and he has just completed a period of 3 months as the boss.

How did you do? Don’t fret if your answers are not quite the same as mine. The accuracy in deeper meaning comes from getting a lot of input from native speakers and repeated use. I hope you take away something from my posts and use it to improve your understanding of Thai. Remember, the most important thing is stop comparing Thai time to your native language and try to construct your understanding from the ground up. Good luck and happy learning!

(Bingo) Arthit Juyaso
Principal of Duke Language School
My book on reading Thai fast: Read Thai in 10 Days

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Thai Language Connectors: Starter Pack

Thai Language Connectors

Language Connectors for Thai learners…

Anthony Lauder (Fluent Czech on YouTube) is the Mr Rogers of language learning. In part due to his dry wit, his knowledgeable videos are a doddle to watch.

Also a fan of How to Improve Your Foreign Language Immediately, Anthony put together an invaluable list of intermediate level phrases described on his site: Conversational Intimacy Connectors and the Connectors Starter Pack.

Conversational Intimacy Connectors: Conversations need to flow. Conversational intimacy connectors help establish and maintains that relationship (so the listener feels better connected to you) as well as getting over the “urm” moments that make people uncomfortable.

When I came across Anthony’s list of connectors I just KNEW I had to have it for Thai. Problem is, not many would be capable of successfully translating the connectors from English into Thai. I’m certainly not! Actually, out of my circle of Thai speakers (native and not), only a few would feel comfortable translating at that level.

Carefully looking around (and asking opinions to be doubly sure) I approached Yuki from PickupThai. Yuki has wonderful English skills (she’s more switched on than I am and her grammar rocks). She also teaches real Thai (not Thai teacher Thai).

I can’t tell you how chuffed I was when Yuki agreed to spend the huge chunk of time needed to not only translate the entire list, but to record it as well. I owe… I owe…

Disclaimer: There are almost 500 connectors (448 at last count) that have been translated from English to Thai. And with some being difficult to translate there are sure to be a couple that people won’t 100% agree with. It’s just the way interpretation goes. So if you have differing opinions, do please let us know. We are open for consideration (but no promises).

1) The target audience is educated Thais (for the most part), with the materials being slightly formal in scope. And 2) an * before the phrase means there is no equivalent expression in Thai but it sounds more or less ok anyway. And 3) please don’t freak out, there’s a pdf with transliteration.

And now to the Thai Language Connectors Starter Pack…

Anthony’s Connectors Starter Pack has 100 connectors (a sample from each subject). And being manageable, that’s the one we’ll start with. Later posts in the series will be one subject per post.

A few tips from Anthony: I practiced these phrases dozens (maybe even hundreds) of times until I could say them automatically, without having to put any effort into thinking about them. Then I studied each one in depth, and thought hard about it to think of real-life situations when it would be used. At first, I used imaginary situations, until I felt that I associated a given connector automatically with those situations.

Connectors help smooth the way without resorting to stuttering and stumbling. Some are there to give you thinking space, so’s you can come up with something appropriate (or not) to say. For the descriptions below I’ve pared down Anthony’s, but if you need longer explanations you know where to find them.

NOTE: The audio files below are for females but the downloads are both male and female.

Opening Connectors…

Opening Connectors are responses to questions. They give you needed time to mentally form your actual answers.

Thank you heartily.
ขอบคุณจากใจ

Note: Literal meaning: “I thank you from the heart.”

That is such a good question.
นั่นเป็นคำถามที่ดี

That is a difficult question.
นั่นเป็นคำถามที่ตอบลำบาก

Once upon a time, long ago…
กาลครั้งหนึ่งนานมาแล้ว…

Note: Only used in tales and stories.

Filler Connectors…

Filler Connectors also give you time to come up with something to say (and are far better than stuttering your way to results).

*Understandably…
อย่างที่ทุกคนเข้าใจได้

Frankly speaking…
พูดตามตรงนะ…

Between you and me…
บอกแล้วอย่าไปเล่าต่อให้ใครฟังนะ ฉัน/ผม…

Anyway…
อย่างไรก็ดี…

Well then…
อืม ถ้าอย่างนั้น…

Apologising Connectors…

Mistakes in our target language are a given. I can name more than a few gaffs, and that was before I moved to Thailand! When that happens, just insert an Apologising Connector, then change the subject right quick.

Don’t be upset, but…
อย่าโกรธนะ ผม/ฉัน…

Note: “But” in this sense is not commonly used in the Thai language. You can just start saying what you need to say without saying “but.”

It was a slip of the tongue.
ผม/ฉันเผลอพูดผิดไปเท่านั้น

I said it that way by mistake.
ผม/ฉันไม่ได้ตั้งใจพูดแบบนั้น

ผม/ฉันขอโทษที่
I am sorry that…

Qualifying Connectors…

Some Qualifying Connectors soften statements, and apparently help to avoid coming off as an arrogant know-all.

To tell the truth…
เอาจริงๆแล้ว…

I presume that…
ผม/ฉันเดาว่า…

I hope that…
ผม/ฉันหวังว่า…

In my opinion…
ตามความคิดผม/ฉัน…

If that is true…
ถ้าเป็นเรื่องจริง…

Agreeing and Disagreeing Connectors…

The Agreeing and Disagreeing Connectors take you beyond the often erroneous ใช่ /châi/ and ไม่ใช่ /mâi châi/ (yes/no) answers beginners respond with.

One hundred percent.
แน่นอน(ร้อยเปอร์เซนต์)

Without question.
แน่นอน

Exactly / Exactly right.
นั่นแหละ / ใช่เลย

Most certainly.
ถูกที่สุด

Without a doubt.
อย่างไม่ต้องสงสัย

Elaborating Connectors…

Elaborating Connectors work similar to the Agreeing and Disagreeing Connectors in that they expand short replies.

*To be more precise…
ถ้าจะให้พูดแบบเฉพาะเจาะจงก็คือ…

And what’s more…
แล้วอะไรอีก…

*While I am already talking about it…
ขณะที่ผม/ฉันกำลังพูดเรื่องนี้…

I would like to emphasise that…
ผม/ฉันขอเน้นว่า…

Should I explain in greater detail?
ให้ผม/ฉันอธิบายให้ฟังละเอียดกว่านี้ไหม

Quoting Connectors…

Quoting Connectors are there to feed our gossip gene. I’m kidding. But I’m sure you know what I mean.

She said something like…
เขาพูดอะไรประมาณว่า…

Recently, I heard that…
เมื่อไม่นานมานี้ ผม/ฉันได้ยินมาว่า…

Switching Connectors…

Switching Connectors are wonderful because you can use them to change subjects to ones you have enough vocabulary for.

*Now it occurs to me that…
ตอนนี้ผม/ฉันนึกได้ว่า…

By the way…
อย่างไรก็ดี…

I have an interesting story about it.
ผม/ฉันมีเรื่องราวที่น่าสนใจ(มาเล่าให้ฟัง)เกี่ยวกับเรื่องนี้

And besides that…
นอกจากนั้น …

Oh, I nearly forgot…
โอ้ ผม/ฉันเกือบลืมไป…

Closing Connectors…

Closing Connectors are just that – phrases to help you close out a conversation.

That is all there is to say (with that, that is everything said).
นอกจากนั้น ผม/ฉันก็ไม่มีอะไรจะพูดแล้ว

That is all for now.
วันนี้เท่านี้ก่อนแล้วกัน

Note: Literal meaning: “That’s all for today.”

To sum up.
ขอสรุปที่พูดมาทั้งหมด

Note: Literal meaning: “Let me summarize everything I’ve said.”

*And there (in that) is the problem.
นั่นไงปัญหามาแล้ว

Note: Literal meaning: “And there comes a problem.” A response used after someone says something that you think is or will be a problem. Note that it’s not very common.

I hope it is only a question of time.
ผม/ฉันหวังว่าจะเป็นเรื่องของเวลา

Passing Connectors…

This is another Connector I’m sure you’ll use often. When your head is threatening to explode from speaking in a foreign language, or you just want to give someone else a chance to share their views, use Passing Connectors.

Can you tell me please…
คุณบอกผม/ฉันได้ไหมว่า…

*Would you be interested in us talking about something else?
คุณอยากให้เราพูดถึงเรื่องอื่นไหม

And what do you think?
แล้วคุณคิดว่ายังไง

Downloads: Thai Language Connectors Starter Pack…

Files updated: 27/3/15

Thai Language Connectors Starter Pack (with transliteration): Pdf 395kb
Thai Language Connectors Starter Pack (without transliteration): Pdf 395kb
Thai Language Connectors Starter Pack: Audio (Male) 4.9mg
Thai Language Connectors Starter Pack: Audio (Female) 4.8mg
Thai Language Connectors Starter Pack: Audio (Female-singles) 4.1mg

Note: These files are for personal use only (please do not place them on other websites).

More Thai Language Connectors…

Coming up in this series will be the rest of: Opening Connectors, Filler Connectors, Apologising Connectors, Qualifying Connectors, Agreeing and Disagreeing Connectors, Elaborating Connectors, Quoting Connectors, Switching Connectors, Closing Connectors and Passing Connectors (in that order).

Cheers! Catherine & Yuki

Yuki Tachaya, Web: PickupThai | YouTube: PickupThai | twitter: @PickupThai

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