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Tag: transliteration

FREE Audio Files for Reading and Writing Thai by Somsonge Burusphat

Reading and Writing Thai audio files

Reading and Writing Thai…

For years I’ve been hearing raves about Somsonge Burusphat’s Reading And Writing Thai. It was created way back in 2006 and continues to gather an enthusiastic fanbase.

Reading And Writing Thai is a complete guide to reading and writing Thai at all levels. It is researched and designed by a Professor of Linguistics with extensive experience of teaching Thai to non-Thai speaking learners. A linguistic approach has been applied to the book so that the learners not only learn how to read and write the Thai language but also understand some aberrant linguistic phenomena.

The book is suitable for self-study or classroom use. It is organized in an easy way. The book gradually builds up reading and writing skills from the beginner level to advanced level. A beginner can begin the basics and then move on to intermediate lessons within the same book. The final lessons are for advanced students to increase their reading and writing skills.

Included: Common and rare consonants, consonant clusters and sequences, simple and complex vowels, tone markers, exceptions to writing rules, graded texts.

The price is quite reasonable. You can purchase Reading and Writing Thai for around 350 baht at Asia Books in Bangkok or Chiang mai. You can also get it online from DCO Books (they ship everywhere).

One of my main concerns about the book was the lack of audio files. So, on a wild hair day back in June, a Thai friend and I decided to make it our project. We’ve just finished.

The audio was recorded by a Thai teacher in Bangkok via an iPhone, and then sent to me in Chiang mai where I edited out the blips (but I still need to check for accuracy). Due to the extra materials in Chapter 17 (Reading Graded Texts) Veradej Wisetjarkhun pitched in to help. My thanks to them both!

You can download the free audio files from Box.com: Reading and Writing Thai Audio. If you don’t already have one you’ll need to get a box.com account you can access the files without an account. But no worries – the membership and downloading files is free.

As the book is for beginners, the audio has been recorded slow and sure, speeding up towards the end. For variety some lessons have both fast and slow audio. Please note that the recordings are not fancy. Some have rain in the background (we’ve been experiencing the rainy season) but they are clear and easy to understand.

Jamie McGregor completed the entire course so I asked for tips and insights:

Little Tip #1: There are now sound files to accompany this book (a huge thank you to Catherine Wentworth and her friend) which will be a huge boost to anyone learning from this book. Make sure you download them! However, when I studied with this resource there were no sound files to accompany the exercises, which made it extremely frustrating as a beginner to teach myself the Thai script. My way of overcoming this problem was to download the Thai-English Dictionary (with full pronunciation software) onto my iPhone. When learning new words I would type them into the dictionary to play back. For about two months, I did this one to two hours, three to four nights per week. This method really worked for me. It helped get me through the exercises by myself without using a teacher. So if you can’t get a hold of the sound files or a Thai teacher I suggest you download a dictionary with audio.

Little Tip #2: I’ve read comments where some people mention that they struggle to decipher the breaks between words, and that they couldn’t see where words began or ended. To get around this problem I drew little lines between each word. This gave me practice breaking up words. Some people may not want to do this, that’s fine, but for those who do have trouble with the breaks I highly recommend it. Here’s an example of what I did below: 

Reading and Writing Thai audio files

Somsonge does a good job with introducing Thai consonants in bite-sized chapters. This method helps students learn a little bit at a time without being overwhelmed by the large amount of characters. The short and long vowels are introduced and explained in a simple yet effective manner. When working through the exercises I had no problems understanding and learning vowels.

The book gives ample opportunity for writing practice. An amazing feature is that you translate small sentences from Thai script into English, from English into Thai script, and from transliteration to Thai and back. There are also sections throughout the book where you write and compose your own sentences by using what you learned in previous lessons.

Reading and Writing Thai audio files

By the time you reach the end of the book you should be well-equipped to complete and understand the final chapter of the book which consists mainly of “graded texts”. These texts are a great “icing on the cake” and are an awesome addition to the materials. You will be able to read things such as: The Thai National Anthem, food menus, travel advertisements, weather reports, recipes, comics, and interesting cultural notes and information about Thailand.

Thank you Jamie. It was your enthusium for Reading and Writing Thai on FCLT that brought it to my attention once again. Previously, I didn’t do much more than skim through the book before placing it back on the shelf.

Now, I’m not a fan of transliteration (as you well know) but after going through this book I can understand why transliteration has been included – it was designed to be used without audio. To help get the Thai alphabet and tones into your head, and to reinforce what you know, Somsonge has students bouncing back and forth between Thai script and transliteration. And when you think about it, it’s a logical solution.

So while I’m not hooked on transliteration, I see this book as catering to those who prefer using that method to learn the Thai alphabet. And really, that’s why I’ve taken the time to create recordings. That, and the fact that Reading and Writing Thai has proper lessons throughout, and as far as I’m concerned, the lessons alone makes it a valuable resource for learning to read Thai (and audio only makes it better).

If you somehow missed it, here are the audio files from Box.com:
Reading and Writing Thai audio files via Folder and by Single Files (note: inside the folder there’s an option to download all files at once).

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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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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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    YouTube: Thai Tylenol Ad and Tones

    Thai Language Phrase Books

    YouTube: Thai Tylenol Ad…

    While I am waiting for the Myke Hawke’s Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast files to be checked over, I thought that I would share a hilarious Tylenol ad that touches on tones.

    The importance of tones…

    Some of us (most of us?) who are learning Thai are afraid of saying the wrong word. It’s a tonal thing.

    Many a time, when taking a stab at a word, I’ve made a sweet Thai’s face and neck burn absolutely red. And when I ask, they never tell me exactly what I’ve said!

    It must have been bad.

    Thai Tylenol ad on adintrend.com…

    When the subject of tones and YouTube came up during class, My Thai teacher mentioned a commercial. I twittered, received an answer, and there it was.

    Thai Tylenol Ad

    Isn’t technology just grand?

    Only, the ad is not at YouTube, it is at ADintrend. And when I tried to submit it to YouTube, the video got kicked out of the system. Meaning, I’m not too sure of the legalities of embedding it here so if you do want to watch it, you’ll have to watch it over there.

    And to do that, you’ll need to click on your button of choice: Low Speed 56k or High Speed 512k. Low speed worked for me.

    What he said…

    ขอ ยาแก้ปวดลดๆๆไข่เป้งหนึงครับนี่มันไม่ใช่ Tylenol นะ

    kŏr yaa gâe bpùat lót lót lót kài bpêng nĕung kráp. nêe man mâi châi Tylenol ná
    May I have a pain release medicine to reduce reduce reduce egg? This is not Tylenol, yes?

    What he should have said…

    ขอยาเเก้ปวดลดไข้เเผงหนึ่งครับนี่มันไม่ใช่ Tylenol นะ

    kŏr yaa gâe bpùat lót kâi păeng nèung kráp. nêe man mâi châi Tylenol ná
    May I have a pack of medicine to reduce fever and pain? This is not Tylenol, yes?

    The ending…

    อยาก ได้ Tylenol, นะ

    yàak dâai Tylenol, ná
    I want Tylenol, ok?

    Why the wrong tones are just… wrong…

    From what I was told… in Thai-style, ลดไข่ (reduce egg) is slang for reducing a man’s endowment. So although the expat meant to ask for medicine to reduce pain and fever, by using the wrong tones, he ended up asking for a reduction in his endowment.

    And if that is so, then I feel for him.

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    Thai Commercial on YouTube: Tissue Ad

    Free Thai Lessons

    Monday morning Thai lessons…

    Today, along with my giddy attempt at Thai typing, I sidetracked my Thai teacher with a hilarious commercial all in Thai.

    My Thai teacher, now resigned to my habit of derailing her well laid lesson plans, quite enjoyed this morning’s detour into not quite cultured Thai humour.

    I know because she kept interrupting my attempts on getting the transcript correct by whispering, “did you hear that?”, “did you hear that sound?”, followed by chuckles and hoots.

    And she put forward the suggestion to translate the sounds too. In Thai. Sigh…

    And does he ever need a tissue…

    Man: ม่าขอทิชชู่ห่อหนึ่งคฺรับ

    Transliteration: mâa kŏr tít-chôo hòr nèung kráp
    Word for word: Grandmother (elderly Chinese women), ask for tissue pack one (polite particle)
    Translation: Grandmother, can I have a pack of tissue?

    Women: ห้าบาท

    Transliteration: hâa bàat
    Word for word: five baht
    Translation: Five baht

    Man: ห้าบาท

    Transliteration: hâa bàat
    Word for word: five baht
    Translation: Five baht

    Women: หนึ่งพัน

    Transliteration: nèung pan
    Word for word: one thousand baht
    Translation: One thousand baht

    Women: ทอนเท่าไร

    Transliteration: ton tâo-rai
    Word for word: change how much.
    Translation: How much change?

    Man: เก้าร้อยเก้าสิบห้าคฺรับ

    Transliteration: gâo rói gâo sìp hâa kráp
    Word for word: nine hundred ninety five (polite particle)
    Translation: Nine hundred and ninety five.

    Man: โทษที่นะคฺรับ ผม ผม ผม ช่วยนะคฺรับ

    Transliteration: tôht têe ná kráp pŏm pŏm pŏm chûay ná kráp
    Word for word: excuse me a time I, I, I, help ok (polite particle)
    Translation: Excuse me, I, I, I, can I help?

    Women: ไม่ออก

    Transliteration: mâi òk
    Word for word: no out
    Translation: Doesn’t work.

    Man: เก้าร้อยเก้าสิบห้าคฺรับอาม่า

    Transliteration: gâo rói gâo sìp hâa kráp aa-mâa
    Word for word: Nine hundred ninety five, Grandmother
    Translation: Nine hundred and ninety five, Grandmother.

    Women: เท่าไรนะ

    Transliteration: tâo-rai ná
    Word for word: how much
    Translation: How much is that?

    Man: เก้าร้อยเก้าสิบห้าบาทคฺรับ

    Transliteration: gâo rói gâo sìp hâa bàat kráp
    Word for word: nine hundred ninety five baht (polite particle)
    Translation: Nine hundred and ninety five baht.

    Women: เก้าร้อยเก้าสิบห้า

    Transliteration: gâo rói gâo sìp hâa
    Word for word: nine hundred ninety five
    Translation: Nine hundred and ninety five.

    Man: เก้าร้อยห้าสิบ

    Transliteration: gâo rói hâa sìp
    Word for word: nine hundred fifty
    Translation: Nine hundred and fifty.

    Women: แปด

    Transliteration: bpàet
    Word for word: eight
    Translation: Eight.

    Man: ไม่ต้องเเล้วคฺรับ อามาไม่เอาทิชชู่เเล้วคฺรับ

    Transliteration: mâi dtông láew kráp aa-mâa mâi ao tít-chôo láew kráp
    Word for word: No must already (polite particle) Grandmother, no want tissue already (polite particle)
    Translation: It’s all right Grandmother, I don’t need tissue anymore.

    Man: ผม ผม เปลี่ยนเป็นกางเกงในคฺรับ

    Transliteration: pŏm pŏm bplìan bpen gaang-geng nai kráp
    Word for word: I, I, to change to be pants in (polite particle)
    Translation: I, I, want to change (tissue) to underwear instead.

    So, how’d I do?…

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    The Thai Alphabet Poem

    Recording Niwat

    And I thought this was going to be easy…

    When I started on the Thai Alphabet poem, I (wrongly) assumed it was going to be an quick post to write for WLT.

    With one exception (when the Common Koel started serenading us from beyond the patio), recording with Niwat was the easy part. Sorting out what everything meant, not so easy.

    But first, let’s get to the alphabet read by the wonderful (and patient) Niwat.

    Note: If you find the script too small when reading along, adjust your browser by clicking on Command + to enlarge (Mac) and Control + (PC). Using the – key in place of the + takes it back down.

    The Thai Alphabet poem in full…


    Niwat เอ๋ย ก ไก่ ไข่ ใน เล้า ขวด ของ เรา ควาย เข้า นา ฅน ขึงขัง ระฆัง ข้าง ฝา งู ใจ กล้า จาน ใช้ ดี ฉิ่ง ตี ดัง ช้าง วิ่ง หนี โซ่ ล่าม ที กะ เฌอ คู่ กัน หญิง โส ภา ชะฎา สวม พลัน ปะ ฏัก หุน หัน ฐาน เข้า มา รอง มน โฑ หน้า ขาว ผู้ เฒ่า เดิน ย่อง เณร ไม่ มอง เด็ก ต้อง นิมนต์ เต่า หลัง ตุง ถุง แบก ขน หทาร อด ทน ธง คน นิยม หนู ขวัก ไขว่ ใบ ไม ทับ ถม ปลา ตา กลม ผึ้ง ทำ รัง ฝา ทน ทาน พาน วาง ตั้ง ฟัน สะอาด จัง สำเภา กาง ใบ ม้า คึก คัก ยัก ษ์เขี้ยว ใหญ่ เรือ พาย ไป ลิง ไต่ ราว แหวน ลง ยา ศาลา เงียบ เหงา ฤา ษี หนวด ยาว เสือ ดาว คะ นอง หีบ ใส่ ผ้า จุฬา ท่า ผยอง อ่าง เนือง นอง นกฮูก ตา โต

    Gor er-ee gor gài. Kor kài nai láo. Kor kuat kŏng rao. Kor kwaai kâo naa. Kor kon kĕung kăng. Kor rá-kang kâang făa. Nor ngoo jai glâa. Jor jaan chái dee. Chor chìng dtee dang. Chor cháang wîng nĕe. Sor sôh lâam tee. Chor gà cher kôo gan. Yor yĭng soh paa. Dor chá-daa sŭam plan. Dtor bpà tak hŏon hăn. Thor tăan kâo maa rong. Thor mon-tho náa kăao. Thor pôo tâo dern yông. Nor nen mâi mong. Dor dèk dtông ni-mon. Dtor dtào lăng dtoong. Tor tŏong bàek kŏn. Tor ta-haan òt ton. Tor tong kon ní-yom. Nor nŏo kwuk kwài. Bor bai máai táp tŏm. Bor bplaa dtaa glom. Por peung tam rang. For făa ton taan. Por paan waang dtâng. For fan sà-àat jang. Por săm-pao gaang bai. Mor máa kéuk-kuk. Yor yák kîeow yài. Ror reua paai bpai. Lor ling dtài raao. Wor wăen long yaa. Sor săa-laa ngîap ngăo. Sor reu see nùat yaao. Sor sĕua daao ká nong. Hor hèep sài pâa. Lor jòo-laa tâa pà-yŏng. Or àang neuang nong. Hor nók hôok dtaa dtoh.

    The Thai Alphabet poem (script, transliteration and translation)…

    So, why did this part take the longest to suss? First off, some letters are now obsolete. Second, when using thai2english.com and available translations, some of the meanings were not my friends.

    But, by persevering, then calling in my Thai teacher after I felt comfortable with my version, I believe I have a workable translation. A translation I can get into my head along with the Thai Alphabet Poem (my next trick).

    What say you?

    เอ๋ย ก ไก่
    gor er-ee gor gài
    A chicken.


    ไข่ ใน เล้า
    kor kài nai láo
    The eggs are in the coop.


    ขวด ของ เรา
    kor kuat kŏng rao
    The bottles belong to us.


    ควาย เข้า นา
    kor kwaai kâo naa
    The buffalo goes to the field.


    ฅน ขึงขัง
    kor kon kĕung kăng
    A serious person.


    ระฆัง ข้าง ฝา
    kor rá-kang kâang făa
    A bell beside a wall.


    งู ใจ กล้า
    nor ngoo jai glâa
    A brave snake.


    จาน ใช้ ดี
    jor jaan chái dee
    A good plate to use.


    ฉิ่ง ตี ดัง
    chor chìng dtee dang
    The handbells ring loud.


    ช้าง วิ่ง หนี
    chor cháang wîng nĕe
    The elephant runs away.


    โซ่ ล่าม ที
    sor sôh lâam tee
    The chain ties.


    กะ เฌอ คู่ กัน
    chor gà cher kôo gan
    A pair of trees.


    หญิง โส ภา
    yor yĭng soh paa
    A pretty girl.


    ชะฎา สวม พลัน
    dor chá-daa sŭam plan
    Put on the dancer’s crown.


    ปะ ฏัก หุน หัน
    dtor bpà tak hŏon hăn
    The rapid spear.


    ฐาน เข้า มา รอง
    thor tăan kâo maa rong
    The base supports.


    มณ โฑ หน้า ขาว
    thor mon-tho náa kăao
    Mrs. Montho has a white face.


    ผู้ เฒ่า เดิน ย่อง
    thor pôo tâo dern yông
    The old person walks hunched over.


    เณร ไม่ มอง
    nor nen mâi mong
    The novice does not look.


    เด็ก ต้อง นิมนต์
    dor dèk dtông ni-mon
    The children must invite.


    เต่า หลัง ตุง
    dtor dtào lăng dtoong
    The turtle has a humped back.


    ถุง แบก ขน
    tor tŏong bàek kŏn
    The bag carries.


    หทาร อด ทน
    tor ta-haan òt ton
    The soldier is patient.


    ธง คน นิยม
    tor tong kon ní-yom
    The people’s favourite flag.


    หนู ขวัก ไขว่
    nor nŏo kwuk kwài
    The rats run around.


    ใบ ไม ้ทับ ถม
    bor bai máai táp tŏm
    The leaves pile on each other.


    ปลา ตา กลม
    bor bplaa dtaa glom
    The fish has round eyes.


    ผึ้ง ทำ รัง
    por peung tam rang
    The bees make their hive.


    ฝา ทน ทาน
    for făa ton taan
    The lid is strong.


    พาน วาง ตั้ง
    por paan waang dtâng
    The tray is placed.


    ฟัน สะอาด จัง
    for fan sà-àat jang
    The teeth are very clean.


    สำเภา กาง ใบ
    por săm-pao gaang bai
    The junk spreads its sails.


    ม้า คึก คัก
    mor máa kéuk-kuk
    The horse chomps at the bit.

    ยัก ษ์เขี้ยว ใหญ่
    yor yák kîeow yài
    The giant has big fangs.

    เรือ พาย ไป
    ror reua paai bpai
    The boat rows past.

    ลิง ไต่ ราว
    lor ling dtài raao
    The monkey climbs the railing.

    แหวน ลง ยา
    wor wăen long yaa
    The ring is in lacquer.

    ศาลา เงียบ เหงา
    sor săa-laa ngîap ngăo
    The pavilion is lonely and quiet.

    ฤา ษี หนวด ยาว
    sor reu see nùat yaao
    The forest hermit has a long mustache.

    เเสือ ดาว คะ นอง
    sor sĕua daao ká nong
    A tiger leopard.

    หีบ ใส่ ผ้า
    hor hèep sài pâa
    A trunk of clothes.

    จุฬา ท่า ผยอง
    lor jòo-laa tâa pà-yŏng
    The chula kite poised to attack.

    อ่าง เนือง นอง
    or àang neuang nong
    A full basin.

    นกฮูก ตา โต
    hor nók hôok dtaa dtoh
    The owl has big eyes.

    And now for my notes on the Thai Alphabet Poem…

    First off, เอ๋ย was an unknown, so I started googling.

    เอ๋ย eeuy [a sound expressing affection or politeness, used after a vocative by a man or woman]

    So we need to think of it as expressing fondness and affection towards a chicken? Hmmm…

    I kept on and this one is good for now, but this one is getting even closer. And this conversation is interesting (I loved the comment about petting the chicken).

    Finally, when I asked my teacher, she cleared it up by saying that it means nothing. That they put it in to make the song. Ok.

    Next up, the obsolete words. When searching around the response was, ‘if we took them out of the song, then we’d have to write a new one!’ Again, ok.

    ฃ [ฃวด [kor kuat] is obsolete, now replaced by ข [ไข่ [kho khai].

    ฅ [คน [kho khon], now spelt คน [kon]

    And then (as mentioned above), when I went to find out the meanings, I felt driven to come up with my own. Ditto on the ok.

    Go ahead and add your opinions as this continues to be a learning process (for me).

    Thai Alphabet Poem resources…

    Learningthai.com/gorgai_poem: Thai Alphabet Song (offline for now)
    Sound, script, transliteration and translation.

    Paknam Web Thailand Forum: Thai Alphabet Song
    Thai script only.

    Paknam Web Thailand Forum: The Thai Alphabet Song
    Interesting conversation.

    Thai-language.org: เอ๋ย
    An explanation.

    YouTube: Thai Alphabet ( ก เอ๋ย ก ไก่ )
    Not for children.

    Resources of interest…

    An Alternative Presentation of the Thai Consonants
    The ordering of the Thai letters comes from how they are articulated by your speech organs.

    In Search of Kaw Kay, by Anake Nawigamune (ISBN 974-8211-09-6)
    A guide to the history of the alphabet song (in Thai). If anyone knows where to source this book, I’d be awfully chuffed…

    www.sarakadee.com: Ancient Thai Alphabet flash cards.

    Wikipedia: Thai Alphabet

    And remember, if you want to view the Thai script larger or smaller: on a Mac Command + to increase Command – to decrease. On a PC it’s Control + to increase Command – to decrease.

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    Recording the Thai National Anthem with Niwat

    Recording Khun Niwat

    Everyone should have a Niwat…

    My dear Canadian friend, Lynn, works with a wonderful guy here in Bangkok. Khun Niwat. And when a request is within his power, Khun Niwat delivers.

    Can’t find a back street in Bangkok? Khun Niwat can source it right quick. Need a complicated form sussed out? Khun Niwat’s your man. Head shaking over the mysteries of living in Thailand? Khun Niwat is sure to know, or know someone who knows.

    Niwat singsBeing gifted with a musical nature, Khun Niwat will often entertain Lynn with songs from his childhood, or popular tunes and short ballads. Week after week, she never knows what to expect. And when I’m along for the ride, me neither.

    For instance, last week, during a drive to Ayutthaya, we were serenaded with the sweet Săao Pàk Hai สาว ผัก ไห่ (an Ayutthaya love song).

    But as Lynn is making her way back home, there are not many Thai weeks left for her. That’s right, she’s going home to the cold country (she’ll be sorely missed).

    I’m sure they’ll be many last requests before she’s on that plane (and maybe even after she’s gone). But here’s one I was pleased to help fulfil.

    Yeah, you’ve surely guessed. Right? It’s a recording of Khun Niwat proudly singing the Thai National Anthem. The very same rousing song that gives us pause twice a day, at 8 and 6.

    Thai National Anthem

    Now, does that bring a smile to your face, or what?

    Ok. For painfully slow readers (like me) let’s pull the reins in bit…
    (…and for expats going for your Thai paper, it might not hurt to give it a go)

    Thai National Anthem with script, transliteration and translation…

    ประเทศ ไทย รวม เลือดเนื้อ ชาติ เชื้อ ไทย
    Bprà-têt tai ruam lêuat-néua châat chéua Tai.
    Thailand unites flesh and blood of Thais

    เป็น ประชา รัฐ ไผท ของ ไทย ทุก ส่วน
    Bpen bprà-chaa rát pà-tai kŏng Tai tóok sùan.
    Nation of the people; belonging to the Thais in every respect.

    อยู่ ดำรง คงไว้ไ ด้ ทั้ง มวล
    Yòo dam-rong kong wái dâai táng muan…
    Long maintained [has been] the independence…

    ด้วย ไทย ล้วน หมาย รัก สามัคคี
    …dûay Tai lúan măai rák săa-mák-kee.
    …because the Thais seek, and love, unity.

    ไทย นี้ รัก สงบ แต่ ถึง รบ ไม่ ขลาด
    Tai née rák sà-ngòp dtàe tĕung róp mâi klàat.
    Thais are peace-loving; but at war we’re no cowards.

    เอกราช จะ ไม่ ให้ ใคร ข่ม ขี่
    Ek-gà-râat jà mâi hâi krai kòm kèe,
    Sovereignty will not be threatened,

    สละ เลือด ทุก หยาด เป็น ชาติ พลี
    sà-là lêuat tóok yàat bpen châat phali.
    sacrificing every drop of blood for the nation.


    เถลิง ประเท ศชาติ ไทย ทวี มี ชัย ชโย
    Thaloeng bprà-têt châat Tai tá-wee mee chai cha-yo!
    Hail the nation of Thailand, long last the victory, hurrah!


    What you might not know about the Thai National Anthem…

    • The music was composed by Phra Jenduriyang (Peter Feit), the son of a German immigrant.
    • The words were written by Colonel Luang Saranuprapan.
    • It’s said to be similar to the French National Anthem, La Marseillaise (but I prefer the Thai).
    • Where the French anthem was used during the French Revolution, the Thai came along during the coup of 1932.
    • When the national flag is raised, the Thai anthem is played in public offices and radio and tv stations at 8.00 every morning and 6.00 in the evening. Be prepared to show honour by standing still.
    • Along with a Thai Royal Anthem, the Thais show respect to their King and Queen during the Thai National Anthem.
    • To qualify to even apply for Thai citizenship, the applicant must be able to sing the Thai National Anthem.

    More about the Thai National Anthem…

    A warm thanks goes to Khun Niwat, for sharing his voice. And another thanks goes to Wikipedia’s translation of the Thai National Anthem, as well as Thai2English.com for their transliteration assistance. And I’d better not forget Lynn. Thanks girl! Thanks for being quiet yesterday, while we fiddled with computers and mics and cats and recordings… and all without a noisy ac (I’m still dripping).

    Note: If you are wondering what Khun Niwat is doing with a white ball and script for the Thai Alphabet, please stay tuned while we figure out how to get fuzz-free entertainment from a Snowball.

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