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Speaking Isaan

Aural and oral characteristics of the Thai language

Moderator: daฟาน

Speaking Isaan

Postby tody » Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:45 pm

Hey morning guys!

Where can i learn to speak Isaan on line!? Anybody Knows?

i hope they have one like this thai-languange website!

Thanks!
ToDy Loves Thailand!
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Speaking Isaan

Postby Thomas » Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:29 am

tody wrote:i hope they have one like this thai-languange website!

Unlikely.

My wife (and my family) derive from Isan. But nobody actually would expect that I shall learn Phasa Isan - rather, my relatives would consider this as very strange.

I would like to ask your first how "serious" your question is meant. In principle, you simply could learn Lao but Lao is already so similar to Thai that I think that is is very difficult to learn both Thai and Lao at once (as they are so similar). ... I suggest that most people of Isan will recommend to learn Thai (but not Lao or Isan) so that I do not really understand your question.

A minor suggestion:

RID contains several "loan words" from Isan labelled as "(ถิ่นอีสาน)" e.g. แซบ (ถิ่นอีสาน) . อร่อย or อีหลี [หฺลี] (ถิ่น-อีสาน) . จริงๆ , บางทีใช้ว่า ดีหลี.

Perhaps you may study some "(ถิ่นอีสาน)" terms which will be sufficient for amending your Thai by some Isans terms?!

A book concerning Isan is the Thai - Isan - Lao Phrasebook by Asger Mollerup.

However, and again, I consider it as highly unlikely to find a page, comparable to TL.com teaching Isan. For which means exactly??
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Speaking Isaan

Postby tody » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:38 pm

hey r2d2,

nah not that serious tho! just wanna know how to speak the basics, not so details!

just for my own general knowledege! :) hehehe! thanks anyway!

which part of Thailand do u stay with your wife? i doubt your local?
ToDy Loves Thailand!
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Speaking Isaan

Postby Thomas » Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:55 am

tody wrote:which part of Thailand do u stay with your wife?

My wife and me are staying in Germany, river Rhine region.

Our house in Thailand is near ยโสธร/Yasothon, in a small village on the road from ยโสธร/Yasothon to มุกดาหาร/Mukdahan (with Savannakhet, PR of Lao, on the other side of mea nam khong).

tody wrote:just wanna know how to speak the basics

Thai and Lao are highly related languages (and in major parts mutual intelligible). Isan is ... a western idiom of Laotian language, in principle the most frequently spoken Laotian.

The difference between Laotian and Isan language is that the latter (Isan) - if written - is written in Thai (akson Thai) but not Lao letters (tua Lao).

Some features of Lao (and therefore Isan) language which are different from Thai (but please note that the common features are rather more frequently):

1. Lao/Isan has no ro ruea (formerly the "lo rot" in tua Lao). Please note that /r/ actually does not exist in modern tua Lao/writing system.
2. ro ruea is replaced in Laotian by one of three consonants, these are b, h, or l. A sentence to remind in this phenomenon could be "hon thi lot bo", Thai: "ron thi rot ro".
3. With the exeption of ? (Richard was already mentioning these, as far as I remember it was kw and khw; please see also Image "Modern Lao does have two unligated and true initial clusters - /kw/, /khw/, so three spellings." ) Lao has no initial clusters. I recall this phenomenon always by pala (Thai plara/ปลาร้า) ;) .
4. What is in Thai the cho chang is in Lao the so sang (meaning elephant as well). Accordingly, terms written in Thai with cho chang are typically pronounced in Isan with /s/.

I think that Richard also explained somewhere in the long thread Image "ประมาท" that the tone system of Thai and Lao are very similar (if not identical).

Thus, the described phonetic and spelling differences are - besides some divergencies of the vocabulary as already outlined [saep ili = aroi ching] - that what renders Isan and Thai different. But both "languages" have much more in common so that it - my opinion - does not deserve to learn Isan.

Last remark: In a Website I'm building up currently I use for "my dictionary" (Thai-German), besides Sanskrit meaning, RTGS, Sattha Akson etc. also always the Lao term (if available). If interested, please check e.g. the current entries for

อักษร and ปัจจุบัน.

At least my Firefox does show also the text in tua Lao. If you can see tua Lao in your browser you can also see that Lao is very near to phonetic writing (sattha Akson) of Thai.
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Speaking Isaan

Postby Richard Wordingham » Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:09 pm

r2d2 wrote:2. ro ruea is replaced in Laotian by one of three consonants, these are b, h, or l. A sentence to remind in this phenomenon could be "hon thi lot bo", Thai: "ron thi rot ro".

Do you have any other examples of the correspondence of Thai /r/ and Lao /b/? Li makes no mention of it. Also, I'm not sure what the last word is. (I thought it was บ่อ / ร่อ, but that was before I realised that the meaning 'mine' of the Lao word referred to the hole in the ground, not the possessive pronoun.)

I think that Richard also explained somewhere in the long thread Image "ประมาท" that the tone system of Thai and Lao are very similar (if not identical).

At an abstract level. Thus mai tho with a mid consonant has the same tone as mai tho with a low consonant (a consistent Lao/Isaan feature), and for mai ek the consonant class is usually irrelevant (a few dialects make the distinction.) Also, whether live syllables with mid consonants and no tone mark are the same tone as high or as low or as neither is dialect-dependent. The phonetic realisations are different. NB: The tone marks are those used for Thai and Lao cognates - I am not sure how much there is an Isaan standard - I suspect the tone marks actually used nowadays are based on Siamese phonetics. Lao mai ti and mai catawa are only graphically related to Thai mai tri and mai chattawa - the gaps in the system that they cover are different.

At least my Firefox does show also the text in tua Lao.

That's because you've got a Lao font on your system, and I don't mean Arial Unicode.
If you can see tua Lao in your browser you can also see that Lao is very near to phonetic writing (sattha Akson) of Thai.

Except that, so far as I am aware, the only ambiguities come from deciding whether you have a k(h)w cluster or not. In particular, length is always shown.
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