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Tag: Thai Songs

Thai Lyrics Translated: Live and Learn (อยู่ที่เรียนรู้)

เพลง : Live and Learn (อยู่ที่เรียนรู้)
ศิลปิน : กมลา สุขโกศล (Kamala Sukosol)

เมื่อวันที่ชีวิต เดินเข้ามาถึงจุดเปลี่ยน
On the day we arrive at a crossroad in life.

จนบางครั้งคนเราไม่ทันได้ตระเตรียมหัวใจ
We may not have time to prepare our hearts

ความสุขความทุกข์ ไม่มีใครรู้ว่าจะมาเมื่อไหร่ จะยอมรับความจริงที่เจอได้แค่ไหน
Happiness or suffering: nobody knows when we’ll encounter it and to what extent we’ll be willing to accept the truths that we discover.

เพราะชีวิตคือชีวิต เมื่อมีเข้ามาก็มีเลิกไป
Coz life is what it is. Just as something can begin, so too can it end.

มีสุขสมมีผิดหวัง หัวเราะหรือหวั่นไหว เกิดขึ้นได้ทุกวัน
To be happy or to be disappointed, to laugh or to worry, these can happen everyday.

อยู่ที่เรียนรู้ อยู่ที่ยอมรับมัน ตามความคิดสติเราให้ทัน
It’s down to consciously learning and accepting things in time.

อยู่กับสิ่งที่มีไม่ใช่สิ่งที่ฝัน และทำสิ่งนั้นให้ดีที่สุด
Live with things as they are, not as you dream they should be, and do all those things the best that you can.

สุขก็เตรียมไว้ ว่าความทุกข์คงตามมาอีกไม่ไกล
Even when you’re happy, prepare yourself for the suffering that’d probably follow not too far behind.

จะได้รับความจริงเมื่อต้องเจ็บปวดไหว
So you’ll be well prepared when you need to face the suffering.

Stamp’s version: Live and Learn
Sek’s version: Live and Learn
Noi and Sek duet: Live and Learn
Pod Moderndog’s version: Live and Learn

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Translating Thai Song Lyrics: How I Do It, and You Can Too!

Translating Thai Song Lyrics

Translating Thai Song Lyrics: How I Do It, and You Can Too!…

Hi, It’s Ann Norman of CarabaoinEnglish.com. I’ve made it a project to translate as many Carabao คาราบาว and Aed Carabao แอ๊ด คาราบาว songs into English as I can before I die or get bored, whichever comes first.

I’ve finished about 150 songs out 1,000+ existing songs (more are being written each week). I’m having lots of fun and I’ve decided to share my translating secrets with you, so you can have just as much fun translating your favorite Thai songs into English.

Step 1A: Google for lyrics and plug everything into Thai2English.com…

Note: please download the T2E Software (a wonderful resource) if you have Windows.

Goggle for lyrics using the song title and name of the band, which you have copied and pasted from a YouTube + “เนื้อเพลง” (lyrics). The band I follow is famous, and the lyrics are almost always online.

Next plug your lyrics into Thai2English. This word-by-word translation program is WONDERFUL and the only reason I can do any of this. It is also very glitchy.

Read the output and be prepared to mentally override half of what comes out, especially homonyms. For instance, my Thai2English guesses that each instance of ตา (“dtaa”) probably means “grandmother.” (In song lyrics, it almost always means “eye.”) The program is also easily confused by the word ได้ /dai/ when it does not mean “get or receive” but instead plays a grammatical role in the sentence–as it so often does.

So plug in your lyrics and read the Thai2English output with your brain in gear, combining their huge hints with your existing knowledge of the language.

Step 1B: Re-divide the words in the Thai2English box…

When output is nonsensical, help the program by breaking up the words yourself, and try again. Run the words through in different groups.

Words that sound alliterative probably go together. If you have a combined word that sounds like “bliap-blong” (a made-up example) it’s a good bet that the “blong” part just adds flavor to the meaning of “bliap,” and vice versa. The meaning of “bliap-blong” will be probably be similar to the meaning of the two one-syllable words separately. (The word เปรียบเทียบ /bpriap-tiap/ is a real life example. Each part means “compare” and so does the whole word.)

Unfortunately it can also work the other way. Two words you totally understand as separate words can go together to make a new word or meaning that you don’t know. Just recently, I discovered that ก็ /gor/ and ตาม /dtaam/ (“also” and “follow”) go together (ก็ตาม) to mean “no matter.” Thai2English will make wild guesses about which sets of words go together. Redivide the words into different sets and see if that gets you a more sensible answer from Thai2English.

And watch out for tricky divisions like “mai bliap mai blong” used to mean “mai bliapblong” (I am using my made-up word in this example). Below are some examples of this pattern from actual song lyrics:

สักวี่สักวัน /sak wee sak wan/ = สักวี่วัน sak weewan (even one day)
ตามเหตุตามผล /dtam hayt dtaam pon/ = ตามเหตุผล (dtaam hayt-pon) (according to the reasons)
ไม่อดไม่ทน /mai ot mai ton/ = ไม่อดทน (not bear up [under pressure])

Throughout, keep in mind this is POETRY; the songwriter will be playing with words—to make a joke, to be alliterative, to surprise.

Step 2: Google Translate…

Google translate is notoriously horrible at translating Thai sentences. However, it is actually REALLY good at translating individual words and sometimes phrases of up to 3 words. Take your problem words and phrases to google translate, and look at the suggestions there.

Step throughout: Decipher any English loanwords…

A long word that doesn’t sound very Thai probably isn’t. And it might be English. Close your eyes and relax; the answer might come to you. My favorite example: In a song titled “Santana Carabao” (referring to the bands Santana and Carabao): I had the mystery line:

ฮูสสต๊อกได้บอกเล่าเรื่องราว ถนนสายดนตรี ฮิปปี้ร๊อคแอนด์โรล
hoo satook dâai bòk lâo rêuang raao tà-nŏn săai don-dtree híp-bpêe rók aen rohn.

The English loan words “hippie” and “rock and roll” were easy to hear, and I quickly got: “Hoo-satook” told the story of the path of music: Hippie, rock and roll.

But who or what is “hoo-satook”? The answer came to me days later as I watched a tribute to Carlos Santana on a music awards show. I learned that he had achieved stardom playing at the famous music festival … (I’ve written it here backwards): “kcotsdooW”.

Step 3: Use Google images…

Translating Thai Song LyricsThis is a really slick TRICK. Take your mystery words and phrases to google images and see hundreds of pictures of what your string of letters might mean. And prepare yourself for anything. Because maybe Thai2English hid the meaning of these words from you for a reason. I have unwittingly requested images of “shot in the head,” “trampled,” and “crotch itch” in the process of translating Carabao songs.

And yes, the word “crotch itch” (สังคัง /sang-kang/) appears in several Carabao songs, probably because it is alliterative with the word “society” (สังคม /sang-kom/). So these words can be paired to good effect in a protest song: “อนาถหนาสังคมสังคัง” “Pitiful diseased society!” (Or something . . . I am open to suggestions!)

Googling images is the only way to go when your song mentions an exotic tree, flower, or food that English speakers have no name for. Even if you can’t explain your findings to the next person, at least you will know that that tree in this song has bright orange flowers, or that the snacks Aed Carabao is singing about his mother making are those Chinese kanom with mung beans in the middle.

Google images is the only way to match proper names to faces or brand names to products.

My favorite google image translation story: I was translating the lyrics of a brand new, song—a gorgeous melody with just voice and piano, called “Yaak Daiyin” ([What Words Would You] Like to Hear?]:

The verse was falling out beautifully:

“We have mountains, rivers, and oceans. We have all kinds of animals sharing the habitat. There are humans, there is you and me. Here is paradise: the one and only world right here. They say that our world is equal to the tip of the mustache of a shelled slug . . . . “

YIKES! It seemed all the poetry had come to a screeching halt with the mention of the mustached slug. But, then I thought, “He says ‘They say . . .” so it’s a saying. There WILL be pictures.” I googled “tip of the mustache of a shelled slug”: ปลายหนวดหอยทาก.

AND TA DA!!!

LOOK AT THOSE little translucent balls on the tip of the antennae of the snail! And, no, they are not really antennae. A mouth is in the middle, so why not call it a mustache? And so, like magic, the rest of the verse falls out:

“They say that our world amounts to the tip of the antennae of a snail, that life is cheaply tossed away like a cigarette butt. We must learn about our hearts and minds; release the spirit to cross the bridge to freedom.”

Step 4: Google the meaning of a word IN THAI and read the answer in Thai..

Note: if necessary, use Thai2English.

Plug your word into google search. My untranslatable word is “แว่บ”. When I plug that into google search, the helpful search suggestions includes “แว่บ แปลว่า” (“’weip’ translates as”). Other suggestions may be “BLANK คืออะไร” (“What is BLANK?”) or “BLANK หมายถึงอะไร” (“What does BLANK mean?”) click on one of those.

In this case the Thai dictionary online says: “ปรากฏให้เห็นชั่วประเดี๋ยวหนึ่งก็หายไป เช่น แสงไฟจากรถดับเพลิงแวบเข้าตามาเดี๋ยวเดียวแว็บไปแล้ว. ว. อาการที่ปรากฏให้เห็นชั่วประเดี๋ยวหนึ่ง เช่น ไปแวบเดียวกลับมาแล้ว เพิ่งมาได้แว็บเดียวจะกลับแล้วหรือ.” Running that through Thai2English (and my brain), we get: “To appear for just a moment and then disappear, for instance the light from a fire engine ‘waep’s’ into the eye for just a moment and then ‘waep’s’ away.”

There! Aren’t you glad we did this like a Thai, and got the full definition? (And if you are really ambitious, search Thai Wikipedia for whole articles relating to your song or its theme.)

Step 5: Beg help from your friends…

Be humble. You are never going to get to the end of this foreign language learning. This is especially the case with proverbs and sayings. There is too much context and history that you are missing out on. There are random-sounding expressions that come to mean a thing for reasons no one can remember. Why does “putting on airs” mean “pretending to be higher class” in English? I don’t know and it’s my language. So go check your translation with the experts, and be prepared for the possibility that your best guess was wrong. And don’t feel bad. It is already very satisfying to just get 85% or 90% of the way to understanding the songwriter’s intentions.

Step 6: Your mystery word might not mean anything, and the odd metaphor is open to interpretation…

A Thai friend recently told me, “In your translating, you might see that many words you can’t find because they are just put in without meaning, but it makes a beautiful sentence!” This is music, this is poetry. There are pretty-sounding words thrown in. There are vocalizations: the ooo’s and ahh’s and la, la, la’s.

Ponder the metaphors but don’t get frustrated with not knowing. Neil Young was searching for a “Heart of Gold.” Aed Carabao famously loves that song. In a recent concert at Khun Aed’s home in Chaing Mai, in the patter between songs, he mentions that although he is a big admirer of Neil Young, he never got to meet him. And if he were to meet him, he’d love to ask him one question: “’Heart of Gold,’ is the meaning like a person is searching for the value of the heart, or something like this?”*

(No, I don’t think it is . . .)

Then he launches into a perfect cover of “Heart of Gold.” When I first watched the concert DVD, I was stunned: Did pondering this question provide Khun Aed inspiration for his even better song “ทะเลใจ” /Telay Jai/ (Ocean Heart), which IS about a person coming to terms with their own heart so they can be happy?!

At that moment I decided never again to apologize for only halfway understanding a song.

In turn, I’m not sure I completely understand Aed Carabao when he sings about the little bird drifting and bobbing, blown by the wind, till it unfortunately falls into the center of the ทะเลใจ.” But I LOVE IT!

Step 7: Stop fussing!…

You are close enough. Don’t overanalyze. Play the song. Listen closely, hum, bounce, and sing along, and let the movie play out inside you.

*The concert is “วันวานไม่มีเขา” /Waan Wan Mai Mi Kow/, the Exclusive Concert at Aed Carabao’s home in Chiang mai. You can listen for yourself at 1:16:4 of this video:

Ann Norman
CarabaoinEnglish.com

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Thai Language Thai Culture: Using a Patriotic Song for Thai Vocabulary Building

Thai Language

A patriotic song for vocabulary building…

This patriotic song that we hear on the radio and TV every day is said to have been written by General Prayuth. A translation in the subtitles on TV and an official translation can be found on the Internet. The people are used to patriotic songs after a coup, but being written by the coup leader himself, this one is a little different.

The song is written in very simple, everyday Thai. And whatever you think about patriotic songs, I thought it would be a good vocabulary learning tool.

The translations here are a little different from the official one, mainly for vocabulary learning purposes. The gist of it is the same though.

I have used the first person pronoun in the translation as these are the thoughts of the song writer. The translation isn’t perfect but the vocabulary should give a pretty good idea of what is going on.

The important vocabulary words have been underlined with dots and translated.

คืน ความสุข ให้ ประเทศไทย
Return happiness to Thailand

ความสุข – happiness
ประเทศไทย – Thailand

วันที่ ชาติ และ องค์ราชา มวลประชา อยู่มาพ้น ภัย
When the nation, the King, and the people are in danger.

ชาติ – nation
องค์ราชา – King
มวลประชา – people
ภัย – danger

ขอ ดูแล คุ้มครอง ด้วยใจ 
Let me take care and protect you with all my heart.

ดูแล – take care
คุ้มครอง – protect

นี่คือคำ สัญญา
This is my promise.

สัญญา – promise

วันนี้ ชาติ เผชิญ พาลภัย 
Today our nation faces danger.

เผชิญ – faces
พาลภัย – danger

ไฟ ลุก โชนขึ้นมา ทุกครา
A fire is spreading everywhere.

ไฟ – fire
โชนขึ้นมา – spreading
ทุกครา – everywhere

ขอเป็นคนที่ เดินเข้ามา ไม่อาจให้ สายไป
Let me be the one to walk up before it is too late.

เดินเข้ามา –  to walk up
สายไป – too late    

เพื่อ นำรักกลับมา ต้อง ใช้เวลาเท่าไร
How long will it take to bring love back?

นำรักกลับมา – bring love back
ใช้เวลาเท่าไร – How long

โปรด จงรอ ได้ไหม 
Can you wait

จงรอ – wait

จะ ข้ามผ่าน ความ บาดหมาง
for us to overcome our disagreements?

ข้ามผ่าน – overcome
บาดหมาง – disagreements

เราจะ ทำตาม สัญญา 
We will keep our promises.

ทำตาม – keep

ขอ เวลาอีกไม่นาน
Please give us a little time.

เวลาอีกไม่นาน – a little time

แล้ว แผ่นดิน ที่ งดงาม จะ คืนกลับมา
And our land will return to beauty.

แผ่นดิน – land
งดงาม – beauty
คืนกลับมา – return

เราจะทำอย่าง ซื่อตรง 
We’ll be honest.

ซื่อตรง – honest

ขอแค่เธอ จงไว้ใจ และ ศรัทธา
Just trust and have faith in us.

จงไว้ใจ – trust
ศรัทธา – have faith

แผ่นดิน จะดี ในไม่ช้า 
In no time the land will be good (again).

แผ่นดิน – land
ในไม่ช้า – In no time

ขอ คืน ความสุข ให้เธอ ประชาชน
We will return happiness to the people.

คืน – return
ความสุข – happiness
ประชาชน – the people

วันนี้ต้อง เหน็ดเหนื่อย ก็รู้ 
We know today we are wearyสู้ กับ อันตราย
But we will battle danger.

สู้ – battle
อันตราย – danger

ชาติ ทหาร ไม่ยอมแพ้พ่าย นี่คือคำสัญญา
Our nation’s soldiers will not surrender. This is a promise.

ทหาร – soldiers
ไม่ยอมแพ้พ่าย – surrender

วันนี้ชาติเผชิญพาลภัย 
Today our nation faces troubles

ไฟลุกโชนขึ้นมาทุกครา
A fire is spreading everywhere

ขอเป็นคนที่เดินเข้ามา ไม่อาจให้สายไป
Let me be the one to walk up before it is too late      
    
แผ่นดินจะดีในไม่ช้า 
In no time the land will be good (again)

ความสุขจะคืนมา..ประเทศไทย
Happiness will return to Thailand

Hugh Leong
Retire 2 Thailand
Retire 2 Thailand: Blog
eBooks in Thailand
Thai Vocabulary in the News

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The Farang Thai Song (aka The 5552)!

The Farang Thai Song

The Farang Thai Song (aka The 5552)!…

Back in March there was that really cute YouTube video by Maggie Rosenberg, I Don’t Speak Thai But I Try. And now we have the pleasure of … [drum roll] … The Farang Thai Song, by Shimona Kee.

From Shimona: “Missing Thailand. SO. I wrote a song about learning to SPEAK THAI!”

What talent! Wasn’t that great?

Thai vocabulary…

In order of appearance, here’s the Thai vocabulary from the lyrics:

spicy: เผ็ด /pèt/
cannot: ไม่ได้ /mâi dâai/
how much: เท่าไหร่ /tâo rài/
expensive: แพง /paeng/
reduce: ลด /lót/
can?: ได้ไหม /dâai măi/
it’s ok: ไม่เป็นไร /mâi bpen rai/
one: หนึ่ง /nèung/
two: สอง /sŏng/
three: สาม /săam/
four: สี่ /sèe/
five: ห้า /hâa/
take it easy: ใจเย็นเย็น /jai yen yen/
speak: พูด /pôot/
Thai: ไทย /tai/
little bit: นิดหน่อย /nít nòi/
no: ไม่ /mâi/
understand: เข้าใจ /kâo jai/
be happy: สบาย /sà-baai/
eat: กินข้าว /gin kâao/
or: หรือ /rĕu/
still, yet: ยัง /yang/
fun: สนุก /sà-nùk/
what: อะไร /a-rai/
why: ทำไม /tam-mai/
toilet: ห้องน้ำ /hông náam/
where is: ที่ไหน /têe năi/

Were you wondering why it’s called “The Farang Thai Song (aka The 5552)?” Well, 555 in Thai (ห้า ห้า ห้า) is /hâa hâa hâa/. And 2 in Thai (สอง), is pronounced /sŏng/, making it the “Ha Ha Ha Song”. Clever.

Shimona Kee on the internet…

The sweet Shimona can be found online at the following locations:

YouTube Channel: simplyshimona
Twitter: @simplyshimona
Facebook: shimonakee

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I Don’t Speak Thai But I Try

I Don't Speak Thai But I Try

Maggie doesn’t speak Thai (but she tries)…

So cute! This week Richard Barrow shared a YouTube video by the talented Maggie Rosenberg: ฉันไม่พูดภาษาไทย (I Don’t Speak Thai)

For more of the two girls from Brooklyn:

Twitter: @wesinghappysong
Facebook: HopeandMaggie1 (WeSingHappySongs)
YouTube Channel: Wesinghappysongs

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Six Beautiful Words in the Thai Language

Ten Beautiful Words in the Thai Language

What do you think of these beautiful Thai words?…

Several times a month I jump into a taxi to roam around Thailand with a Thai friend. There is usually a plan, but we always end up goodness knows where. And after I let go of my western penchant for sticking to the plan, “goodness knows where” became fun.

On trips around Thailand I take a special black Moleskin to jot down what interests me. Sometimes it’s the name of a Wat or town. Sometimes a Thai word or phrase. But oftentimes I’m taking down notes for future posts on WLT.

On one trip I asked Khun Phairo and KP (the taxi driver) what their most beautiful Thai words were. They were both dumbfounded at my question and couldn’t come up with a single one.

Going at it from another angle, I then asked which Thai words sounded good tripping off their tongues. Thai words (or word combos even) they enjoyed saying.

Bingo. We were then on a roll with words for lovers, words used with kids, and words for fun.

And excellent for us, all can be found on YouTube. And because the YouTube files take up loads of room, I’m posting this section separate from a coming post: The most beautiful words in the Thai language.

สบายๆ /sabai sabai/…

Everyone who knows Thai knows สบายๆ /sabai sabai/. Sabai Sabai means “happy, comfortable, feeling fine, take it easy”. When someone asks you “sabai dee mai?” then you reply “sabai sabai” or “mai sabai”. And if you are panicking, someone might comfort you by saying “sabai sabai”.

The song of the same name is by ธงไชย แมคอินไตย์ Thongchai “Bird” McIntyre. The original song came out in 1987 with later versions being cut by Bird and Sek Loso.

Btw: In Lao they say สบาย /sabai/ instead of สวัสดี /sà-wàt-dee/ or หวัดดี /wàt-dee/.

เป็นไปไม่ได้ /bpen bpai mâi dâai/…

เป็นไปไม่ได้ /bpen bpai mâi dâai/ means “it’s impossible” in Thai. Perry Como recorded the hit song It’s Impossible back in 1970 but this version is Thailand’s very own. It’s not a translation of the American song, but a love song of the same name. It’s sung by เศรษฐา (Sayt-Taa), who is wishing for the impossible: ten faces, ten hands, etc.

จิ๊บจ๊อย /jíp-jói/…

จิ๊บจ๊อย /jíp-jói/ means “it’s a little thing, not a big deal”. จิ๊บจ๊อย is similar to ไม่เป็นไร /mâi bpen rai/ “it’s nothing, never mind”. The Thai song จิ๊บจ๊อย /jíp-jói/ is by flamboyant Country singer ดาว มยุรีย์ (Dao Mayuree). The lyrics start off with: “It’s not a big deal if we break up…”

หน่อมแน้ม /nòm-náem/…

หน่อมแน้ม /nòm-náem/ is slang for being “childish, innocent, naïve”. The cute Thai song หน่อมแน้มไปหน่อย /nòm-náem bpai nòi/ is sang by บิลลี่ โอแกน /bin-lêe oh-gaen/ (Billy XOXO).

เรื่อยๆ /rêuay rêuay/…

เรื่อยๆ /rêuay rêuay/ means “let it go, chill out”. The gist of the song is, “we’ll keep going like this until we get old”. Love it (I’ve added this song to my Thai songsn to learn list).

จุ๊บๆ /júp júp/…

Thais use จุ๊บๆ /júp júp/ for the sound that a kiss makes. You can say “kiss kiss” to your cat, your mom, your lover, your baby or spouse. But not your boss.

รักนะจุ๊บๆ /rák ná júp júp/ is “I love you, kiss kiss!”

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America by Cham Chamaram: Thai-English Translation

America by Cham Chamaram

America by Cham Chamaram…

I’m a HUGE fan of กรุณาฟังให้จบ /gà-rú-naa fang hâi jòp/ by แช่ม แช่มรัมย์ /châem châe má-ram/. Did you notice the Kindly Listen in my top nav? That’s a protected practice page with กรุณาฟังให้จบ separated into more manageable (to me anyway) sound bites. Because one day, putting embarrassment to the side, I plan on belting it out on karaoke night. Someday… but not soon (have you heard how fast that song gets? Whooooh).

Knowing my interest in Cham Chamaram, a couple of weeks ago Will Yaryan (Religion, Sex & Politics) introduced me to another of Cham’s songs, America. Love it!

America is full of wonderful wordplay and idioms so I asked Thai friends to help. And to polish off my efforts, I called on Thai Skype Teacher Khun Narisa to answer outstanding questions. Thanks all!

Disclaimer: Any snafus in the final version below are all my doing. During the cobbling together of my notes this morning, I realised I didn’t have every question answered. And this is where you come in. If you notice anything that doesn’t seem quite right, please point it out in the comments and I’ll correct it on the translation. Ta!

YouTube video: อเมริกา – แช่ม แช่มรัมย์…

America: Thai-English translation…

Chorus: อยากขี่เครื่องบิน ไปกินแซนวิช หัดพูดอังกฤษ ฟุดฟิดฟอไฟ
yàak kèe krêuang-bin · bpai gin saen-wít · hàt pôot ang-grìt · fút-fít for fai
(I) want to get on (a) plane, go eat (a) sandwich, practice speaking English. Fot Fit Fo Fai.

Of interest:
ฟุดฟิดฟอไฟ /fút-fít for fai/: It’s how non-English speaking Thais mimic English (sort of like “ching chong” for Chinese or blahblahblahblah)

Sample sentence: พูดอังกฤษไม่เก่ง ได้แต่ฟุดฟิดฟอไฟ
pôot ang-grìt mâi gèng · dâai dtàe fút-fít for fai
(I’m) not good at speaking English. Only (know) Fot Fit Fo Fai.

Chorus: โอ่โอที่รัก พี่อยากไปหา แต่อเมริกาาาาา ไม่รู้หน้าตามันเป็นยังไง
òh oh têe rák · pêe yàak bpai hăa · dtàe a-may-rí-gaaa · mâi róo nâa dtaa man bpen yang ngai
Oh, Oh, darling. I want to come visit (you). But America, I don’t know.

Of interest:
หน้าตามันเป็นยังไง /nâa dtaa man bpen yang-ngai/: how it is

Verse: รักน้องข้างเดียว ยังแห้งยังเหี่ยว ไม่พอ น้องไม่รอ บินหนีพี่ไปซะไกล
rák nóng kâang dieow · yang hâeng yang hìeow · mâi por · nóng mâi ror · bin nĕe pêe bpai sá glai
(My) love for you is not returned. No hope. Not only that (but) you didn’t wait. You flew away from me so far.

Of interest:
ข้างเดียว /kâang-dieow/: one-sided
ยังแห้งยังเหี่ยว /yang hâeng yang hìeow/: lacking of hope

Verse: จะร่ำจะเรียน จะอ่าน จะเขียน ทำไมไม่เรียนเมืองไทย
jà râm jà rian · jà àan · jà kĭan · tam-mai mâi rian meuang-tai
If you want to study. To read. To write. Why not study in Thailand?

Of interest:
จะร่ำจะเรียน /jà râm jà rian/: to study

Verse: เมืองนอกเมืองนา เขาว่าฝรั่งก็เยอะ
meuang-nôk meuang naa · kăo wâa fà-ràng gôr yúh
Abroad, people say there are a lot of foreigners.

Verse cont: ถ้าน้องไปเจอ แล้วน้องไม่กลัวหรือไง
tâa nóng bpai jer · láew nóng mâi glua rĕu ngai
When you go and see, won’t you be scared?

Of interest:
เมืองนอกเมืองนา /meuang nôk meuang naa/: abroad

Verse: พี่อยู่ตั้งไกล ไม่ได้ไปด้วย แล้วใครจะช่วยเป็นเพื่อนใจ
pêe yòo dtâng glai · mâi dâai bpai dûay · láew krai jà chûay bpen pêuan jai
I am far away. I didn’t go with (you). Who will be your close friend? (who will watch out for you)

[ซ้ำ /sám/: repeat chorus]

Verse: เอบีซีถึงพี่จะไม่เข้าใจ จำขึ้นใจแค่คำว่า “I Love You”
ay bee see tĕung pêe jà mâi kâo jai · jam-kêun jai kâe kam wâa “I Love You”
ABC, I don’t even understand. I only memorised the words, “I Love You”.

Of interest:
จำขึ้นใจ /jam-kêun-jai/: learn by heart, memorise

Verse: จะส่งภาษาทำท่าทำทาง ฝาหรั่งก็คงไม่รู้
jà sòng paa-săa tam tâa tam taang · făa ràng gôr kong mâi róo
(When) I speak (or) gesture, foreigners probably won’t understand.

Of interest:
ทำท่าทำทาง /tam tâa tam taang/: action, gesture
ส่งภาษา /sòng paa-săa/: to speak

Verse: เคยเดินดิน เครื่องบินก็ได้แต่เห็น ขึ้นไม่เป็น คงยากคงเย็นน่าดู
koie dern din · krêuang-bin gôr dâai dtàe hĕn · kêun mâi bpen · kong yâak kong yen nâa doo
I only walk on the ground. I only see the plane. I can’t get on, it’s really difficult.
(I’m an ordinary person. It’s really impossible for me to travel overseas).

Of interest:
คนเดินดิน /kon-dern-din/: ordinary people
คงยากคงเย็น /kong yâak kong yen/: might be very difficult

Verse: กะเสือกกะสน ดิ้นรนไปหา มันจนปัญญาน้องก็รู้
gà sèuak gà sŏn · dîn ron bpai hăa · man jon bpan-yaa nóng gôr róo
I try hard. I try hard to go see you. It’s impossible, you know that.

Of interest:
กะเสือกกะสน /gà sèuak gà-sŏn/: to try hard
ดิ้นรน /dîn-ron/: to try hard
จนปัญญา: impossible

Verse: จะเป็นผู้ดีต้องมีสตางค์ ไปเมืองฝาหรั่งคงใช้สตางค์เยอะเลย
jà bpen-pôo-dee dtông mee sà-dtaang · bpai meuang făa ràng kong chái sà-dtaang yúh loie
To be hi-so one must have money. To go to the west (America), (one) must have a lot of money.

Of interest:
เป็นผู้ดี /bpen-pôo-dee/: upperclass / hi-so (?)
เมืองฝาหรั่ง /meuang făa ràng/: Farangland

Verse: อเมริกา อเมริไกล จะไปยังไง ไอ้พี่ก็ยังไม่เคย
a-may-rí-gaa a-may-rí-glai · jà bpai yang-ngai · âi pêe gôr yang mâi koie
America is far. How to go? I haven’t been.

Of interest:
อเมริไกล /a-may-rí glai/: America + far

[ซ้ำ /sám/: repeat chorus]

Verse: แต่อเมริกา ไม่รู้หน้าตามันเป็นยังไง
dtàe a-may-rí-gaa · mâi róo nâa dtaa man bpen yang-ngai
But America, I haven’t experienced.

Isn’t that a snappy song? And with America’s President Obama recently in Thailand, timely, I’d say.

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ดึงดูดใจ: Thai Lyrics and Translations

Thai Lyrics and Translations

Thai Lyrics and Translation blog…

After falling for the catchy tune by Cham Cham Ramis, กรุณาฟังให้จบ /gà-rú-naa fang hâi jòp/, I found the Thai-English translation on a new (to me) Thai Lyrics and Translation blog, ดึงดูดใจ /deung-dòot jai/. Excellent! Translation sites for Thai songs are few and far between – many more are needed.

Aiming to feature ดึงดูดใจ on WLT, I shot off an email to Tahmnong, the creator of the site. The about page was a good start for a post but I wanted more (I always want more, yes?)

But, silly me, I assumed Tahmnong was a guy so added a tidbit so’s not to scare him off: The site name is tongue in cheek… not many women learn Thai ;-)

Seems I overlooked ขอบคุณค่ะ on the about page. Ooops. No ครับ – ค่ะ is a female polite particle.

Sending a laughing email back, Tahmnong (Melodie) was thrilled to answer a few questions about herself and the origins of her Thai Lyrics and Translation blog.

Melodie and ดึงดูดใจ…

You know, you are right. I know so many men learning Thai but only a handful of women. We’re a rare breed! ;)

Hmm, what else about me can I share? I am a girl, haha, in my mid 20s. An American-born Puerto Rican/Romanian who spent so much time in Thailand while growing up, I feel more comfortable there than anywhere else in the world.

My dad was in the air force stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam War. He fell in love with the place so we were constantly going on vacations to Thailand whenever possible.

I also went my first year of college to Rangsit University before deciding a degree from an American university would probably do me better in the long run.

When I was younger, my Thai friends gave me the ชื่อเล่น /chêu-lên/ (nickname) Tahmnong (ทำนอง) since it’s the direct translation of my American name, Melodie (Spanish name Melodía), and it’s stuck ever since.

As a kid, I missed Thailand so much whenever I was back in America that I loved listening to music and watching movies and lakorns; they reminded me of the country.

Because of my love for Thailand, my desire to spend more time there in the future, as well as the lack of subtitles/translations for most Thai media, I started comprehensively studying Thai on my own in high school. I learned from books and practiced by subtitling interviews and movies and translating songs for fun.

With Thai music getting more world-wide attention, I decided to create Deungdutjai to share my many translations with the world. And in case anyone was like me, using song lyrics as a learning aid, the translations are line-by-line with romanization as well.

I love anything and everything to do with translation, the study and teaching of languages, and understanding of foreign cultures, especially Thai, so I’m always happy to contribute however I can with any kindred spirits.

Someday I’d like to expand my blog to song and album reviews as well, so more people can comment and share opinions and interactions. But, as my plate is rather full right now, I’m afraid of biting off more than I can chew. To at least keep my song translations updated daily, any sort of expansion will have to wait for the time being.

I’m currently living in California finishing school for one more year before I move to South Korea with my Korean boyfriend for a while. But there will definitely be plenty more vacations back to the Land of Smiles!

Tahmnong (Melodie)
ดึงดูดใจ: Thai Lyrics and Translation blog

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Interviewing Anothai Dara: Lakorn Fansubber

AnothaiDara Lakorn Fansubber

Learning Thai with translated lakorn videos..

If you are serious about learning Thai, you probably search out every available avenue for getting the rhythm of the language into your heart, your head, down to the tapping of your fingers even. To assist, Thai songs are a great way to go, as are lakorn’s.

Dedicated, professional, and driven, Anothai Dara is one of the most popular lakorn fansubbers I know.

Wantagan (Chompoo) returns home to Thailand from America after her father passes away. She knows that her father was swindled, slandered, and murdered. She just needs to prove it. Her twin sister, Tienwan (Chompoo), also suspects the same, but is too afraid to vindicate herself. She is Natin’s (Chai) long time girlfriend and does not believe he or his family would betray them. Wantagan, on the other hand, is determined to uncover the truth at all costs and leaves no one out as a possible suspect…

If soap operas are not your thing, Anothai Dara also has a growing collection of translated songs that include Thai script, transliteration, and English. Here’s the latest one: Bodyslam – Naliga Tai [Dead Watch].

I’ve always been interested about the process of subbing YouTube videos, so I contacted Anothai Dara for an interview…

Interviewing Anothai Dara, a lakorn fansubber…

Could you please tell us a little bit about your background?

I was born and raised in the U.S. and English is actually my primary language. I learned Thai mostly through my grandmother, so I understand it better than I can speak it. That’s also why I’m able to translate from Thai to English just fine, but translating from English to Thai is a bit more difficult for me. I have a BS degree in Mathematics and Chemistry.

What is a lakorn?

A lakorn is a Thai play or drama series, which usually consists of the pra’nangs (hero and heroine) and the nang’raai (female antagonist). There’s usually a birth secret or some sort of inheritance revelation, but usually end happily with our pra’nangs confessing their love for each other on a beach. Of course, those are just lakorn clichés, and there are plenty more, but listing them all would probably require its own article. LOL.

How did you get into translating YouTube videos?

Initially, I’d wanted to translate/sub Thai music because I thought it’d be a great way to share some of my favorite Thai songs with everyone. Then naively, I thought, “How hard could translating lakorns be?” You see, I’d always admired and have been impressed with fansubbers of other countries (i.e. Korea) and especially of Chobling and wishboniko (Thai fansubbers), who I think started the whole lakorn subbing. However, you’ll see how wrong I was about the whole subbing process as I explain it below.

What is the process? How long does it take?

Subbing dramas/movies consists of 5 steps; translating, timing, editing, spot translating and hardsubbing/encoding. (The last step is actually optional, but a must for me since I post my work on YouTube.) Also, before I can even start the subbing process, I have to rip and convert the DVD files into individual episodes.

Translation & Timing: Here’s where the fun begins. I go through what I call a rough draft of translations and timing. It’s basically what it sounds like. I run through a “quick” translation and save unclear spots for later. Timing is where the subtitles are timed to display in sync with the actually spoken dialogue in the video. This takes about 2 to 4 hours for a 1 hour episode.

Editing: Here, I check for any grammatical or translation errors and check that the translations themselves make sense. I also make sure that the timing has been set correctly and that everything runs fluidly. This part can take another 2 to 4 hours.

Spot Translations: Even post editing doesn’t mean that I’m done. Sometimes, there are spots in the video that are either hard to hear, discern or refer to something I am unfamiliar with. Here is where I fill them in to the best of my ability. This part can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. It really depends on how many spots there are to fill and how difficult each one is. This can end up being more painful and strenuous than the initial translations itself.

Hardsubbing/Encoding: Hardsubbing is where the subs are encoded into the video so that they’re permanently embedded into the video.

All in all, subbing a 1 hour episode takes an average of 6 to 8 hours, but has taken longer. Subbing songs isn’t nearly as arduous, but still requires the same care. In Thai (and in many other languages), pronouns are often always unstated and even when they are stated explicitly, they can be rather vague. Take for instance; the third person reference “kao”, which means “he”, “she”, or “they”. This is the reason why I emphasize that my translations aren’t direct translations, but rather, interpretations.

You are teamed up with another fansubber. How is the work shared out?

I’ve been blessed in having a wonderful subbing partner, Chobling. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to work alongside someone whose flawless work I’ve always admired. Since there are only two of us in our joint projects, we don’t feel the need to explicitly credit each other for the individual work we put forth. Having a partner is great and alleviates much of subbing angst that can build up. Also, it allows us both extra personal time, which is the icing on the cake.

How do you choose which video or song to do next?

Ever since I started subbing, I haven’t listened to Thai music the same way. I have a (bad?) habit of translating songs in my head while listening to them. The reasons behind my subbing selection vary tremendously. At times, it could just be a line that strikes a chord, while at other times, the song holds personal meaning. About 25% of the songs I’ve subbed were requests, so they might not have had anything to do with me at all.

How do you handle critics?

I’ve had my share of criticism. I realize that putting my work on the internet poses vulnerability to judgment. Some people dislike my non-literal style of translating while others think I’m too literal. I know, I can’t please everyone. I can only try my best and be content in that. On a different note, I do appreciate constructive criticism; not the ones that attack just to be hurtful. I’m always up for learning and improving because there’s always room for that.

What advice do you have for someone wanting to try their hand at translating Thai songs or movies?

While subbing songs doesn’t require any form of commitment, I’d say translate each one with a bit of passion. Here’s your opportunity to express yourself through your song interpretation. Make it your own, but respect the artist’s intentions.

As for subbing lakorns, make sure you’re ready to eat, sleep, and breathe it for the next few months. Well, at least love it enough to be motivated and inspired to sub it to the very end. There’s a sense of responsibility to bear in mind.

The demands and pressure may get overwhelming at times, but the reward is well worth it.

Good luck.

Anothai Dara,
Anothai Dara | Twitter: @AnothaiDara

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YouTube: Rak Bpon Bpon

Rak Bpon Bpon

Sloppy love overcomes the rain…

Rak Bpon Bpon is a sweet love song about a guy living on the street. He dreams of finding love, but from experience he knows that pretty women will not give him the time of day. Finally, he finds someone closer to his heart. A woman just like him.

Note: This is not a translation, but an interpretation I worked on during my Thai lessons (thanks for the heads up Hugh!) And as before, I am going with T2E’s transliteration scheme. It is not perfect, so do not depend on it 100% (get thee butts to reading the Thai script instead ;-)

รัก ปอน ปอน
rák bpon bpon
Love, sloppy sloppy

ตัว ฉัน คน อย่าง ตัว ฉัน ใคร จะ มา สน ใจ
dtua chăn kon yàang dtua chăn krai jà maa sŏnjai
Who would be interested in a person like me.

คน สวย คน ที่ ดี พร้อม เขา ก็ มอง ข้าม ไป
konsŭay kon têe dee próm kăo gôr mong kâam bpai
Pretty women ignore me…

เพราะ ฉัน มัน เป็น คน เเบบ ปอน ปอน ทั่ว ไป
prór chăn man bpen kon bàep bpon bpon tûa bpai
…because I am a slob.

ไม่ เห็น จะ มี ดี ที่ใด ชีวิต ไป วัน วัน
mâi hĕn jà mee dee têe dai chee-wít bpai wan wan
I am barely making it. I don’t see any good in myself.

ได้ แต่ ฝัน จะ มี ใคร อยู่ ข้างเคียง
dâi dtàe făn jà mee krai yòo kâang kiang
I only dream of having someone beside me.

ยาม เหงา ได้ แต่ ทน เอา เรา เกิด เป็น ผู้ชาย
yaam ngăo dâi dtàe ton ao rao gèrt bpen pôo chaai
Being born male, I can only keep my loneliness inside…

เจียม ไว้ ได้ แต่ เจียม หัวใจ ได้ แต่ คอย สักวัน
jiam wái dâi dtàe jiam hŭa-jai dâi dtàe koi sàk wan
…keeping my desires humble. Waiting.

และ แล้ว มา เจอ คน เเบบ ปอน ปอน เหมือนกัน
láe láew maa jer kon bàep bpon bpon mĕuangan
I have now met a girl as hopeless as myself.

ตัว ฉัน จึง มี คน รู้ใจ ไป ไหน ก็ ไป กัน
dtua chăn jeung mee kon róo jai bpai năi gôr bpai gan
She understands me. Wherever we go, we go together.

ต่าง ก็ รู้ ใน ใจ กัน เรา มั่นใจ เรา จะ ฝ่า ฝัน
dtàang gôr róo nai jai gan rao mân-jai rao jà fàa făn
We know each other’s heart. We are sure of each other. Together, we will make it.

เรา รู้ เรา มี กัน และ กัน เรา จะ แบ่ง ปัน
rao róo rao mee gan láe·gan rao jà bàeng bpan
We know we have each other. We share.

จะ บวก ใจ ให้ เป็น หนึ่ง เดียว
jà bùak jai hâi bpen nèung dieow
Our hearts are one.

บาง ครั้ง ถ้า หาก เจอ ฝน เรา จะ ทน ด้วยกัน
baang kráng tâa hàak jer fŏn rao jà ton dûay gan
When we get rained on, we share our suffering.

เรา หนาว เรา เปียกปอน เท่าใด เดิน ต่อไป ใม่ หวั่น
rao năao rao bpìak bpon tâo dai dern dtòr bpai mâi wàn
No matter how cold or wet we are, we walk without fear…

เพราะ รู้ ว่า เรา เป็น เเบบ ปอน ปอน เหมือนกัน
prór róo wâa rao bpen bàep bpon bpon mĕuangan
…because we are kindred spirits.

มี ร่ม เพียง คัน เดียว ก็ พอ เท่า นั้น ก็ พอใจ
mee rôm piang kan dieow gôr por tâo nán gôr por jai
One umbrella is enough for us.

หาก ลมฝน จะ แรง ไป เรา ไม่ กลัว
hàak lom fŏn jà raeng bpai rao mâi glua
Even if the wind and rain are strong, we will not be afraid.

และ แล้ว มา เจอ คน เเบบ ปอน ปอน เหมือนกัน
láe láew maa jer kon bàep bpon bpon mĕuangan
I have now met a girl as hopeless as myself.

ตัว ฉัน จึง มี คน รู้ใจ ไป ไหน ก็ ไป กัน
dtua chăn jeung mee kon róo jai bpai năi gôr bpai gan
She understands me. Wherever we go, we go together.

ต่าง ก็ รู้ ใน ใจ กัน เรา มั่นใจ เรา จะ ฝ่า ฝัน
dtàang gôr róo nai jai gan rao mân-jai rao jà fàa făn
We know each other’s heart. We are sure of each other. Together, we will make it.

หาก เรา รู้กัน ในใจ อย่างนี้ บาง ครั้ง ถ้า หาก เจอ ฝน
hàak rao róo gan nai jai yàang née baang kráng tâa hàak jer fŏn
We understand each other’s heart, so when we get rained on…

เรา จะ ทน ด้วยกัน
rao jà ton dûay gan
…we will suffer together.

เรา หนาว เรา เปียกปอน เท่าใด เดิน ต่อไป ใม่ หวั่น
rao năao rao bpìak bpon tâo dai dern dtòr bpai mâi wàn
No matter how cold or wet we are, we will continue without fear.

และ แล้ว มา เจอ คน เเบบ ปอน ปอน เหมือนกัน
láe láew maa jer kon bàep bpon bpon mĕuangan
I have now met a girl as hopeless as myself.

ตัว ฉัน จึง มี คน รู้ใจ ไป ไหน ก็ ไป กัน
dtua chăn jeung mee kon róo jai bpai năi gôr bpai gan
She understands me. Wherever we go, we go together.

ต่าง ก็ รู้ ใน ใจ กัน เรา มั่นใจ เรา จะ ฝ่า ฝัน
dtàang gôr róo nai jai gan rao mân-jai rao jà fàa făn
We know each other’s heart. We are sure of each other. Together, we will make it.

Do you remember Hugh’s wonderful post about the rhyming words in Thai songs?: Thai Language Thai Culture: Looking for Rhymes in all the Wrong Places

When I sent my interpretation to Hugh, he sent back the below:

Now can you see the rhymes in this song? ปอน in the first line rhymes with คน in the second line. ใจ in the second line rhymes with ไป in the third line. ไป in the third line rhymes with ไป in the fourth line. And ไป in the fourth line rhymes with ไม่ in the fifth, etc.

I sure do, and I’m headed back for more :-)

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