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The art and science of translation to or from Thai, with examples

Moderator: acloudmovingby

Re: proverb

Postby Tgeezer » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:03 am

tod-daniels wrote:Actually the thaiz have an idiom which directly equates price with quality.
"ของถูกไม่ดี, ของดีไม่ถูก"; "Cheap things ain't good, Good things ain't cheap" <-MY translation! :lol:

This would lead me to believe that selling a thai on an idiomatic expression which says "price is no indication of quality" might be hard for them to wrap their heads around. Especially as every single thai I've met here, ALWAYS asks how much something cost.

It's right up there tryin' to tell a thai that just because you're older doesn't make you smarter or "age doesn't equal intelligence". I routinely meet old people who are as dumb as a box of rockz :shock:, so stupid in fact I wonder how they managed to live as long as they did as stupid as they are :? . This totally befuddles my thai friends, because here AGE is 100% equated with intelligence :oops: . I always see old people afforded respect simply because they managed to live a long time. :o

Now, please believe; I don't mean to take away from any of the offerings by more learned posters on this thread. It's just that I've never heard anything close to what the O/P is wanting to say, spoken by a native speaker of Thai.

In briefly perusing the book ,๐๐๐ สำนวนไทย (นับแต่อดีตจวบจนปัจจุบัน) I was unable to find any that started with ยิ่ง or แพง and fit what the O/P wanted. That's not saying there's not one out there, just that I couldn't find it paging thru that book.

FWIW: That book is one I heartily recommend ANY learner of this language pick up ASAP :) ! Hands down it's the best 90 baht I've EVER spent on a book here!!

An idiom is something where the meaning is not clear from the words used; over the moon, see the light, are examples. "ของถูกไม่ดี, ของดีไม่ถูก" is self explanatory and might be called a สำนาน because in a situation it is all you need to say to sum up your view of the situation. If you are a shopkeeper and the customer says that he can buy a cheaper version elsewhere you simply say "ของถูกไมดี ของดีไม่ถูก and hope it provides him justification for his extravagance.
ยิ่งแก่ยิ่งโง, The older, the more stupid, is equally clear, something a cuckolded husband may say about his marrying a young wife. No reason to include these it in a book of riddles neither does pairing words with ยิ่ง which is very common likely to be included. ยิ่งแพงยิ่งดี The more expensive the better, I am reasonably sure is OK, what I don't know is, can it be negated simply or would a completely different form be needed.

Re: proverb

Postby tod-daniels » Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:20 am

I stand humbly erected :o , errr I mean corrected ;) with the wrong usage of the words "idiom/idiomatic", and what you called a สำนาน. I didn't know this word, and this site shows it as; เสียง, เสียงพูด (which still doesn't shed a lot of light on what it means actually, but that could just be me :oops: ).

To me the thais take a lot of liberties with the meanings of สุภาษิต's & สำนวน's; although your answer of "the meaning of an idiom is not clear from the words used" and your examples do have a ring of truth to it :) .

While totally off topic the thais do have sayings for "too frickin' expensive" and "cheap as chips" because I use them quite a lot here. Those would be แพงหูฉี่ or literally "ear-sizzlingly expensive" and ถูกอย่างขี้, or sometimes ถูกเหมือนขี้ "cheap as shit".. :lol:
"Whoever said `Money can`t buy you love or joy` obviously was not making enough money." <- quote by Gene $immon$ of the rock group KISS
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