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Becker or Smyth?

PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 7:14 pm
by Ruffian Dick
Hi all, I am teaching myself to learn Thai at home.
I went through the Pimsleur beginners CDs. Seems okay, but I really need to have some written material to go alongside this and some grammar theory (knowing how I learn).

Also I am afraid I don't have any patience for learning the Thai script, at least not yet.

I'm looking for one author that has a CD set and also publishes a grammar (and dictionary too if possible).

Right now I am combing through the forum to find what everyone thinks, but I am open to suggestion. I hear good things about both David Smyth and Benjawan Poomsan Becker.

Thanks!

Re: Becker or Smyth?

PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 7:30 pm
by David and Bui
Welcome, Ruffian, to Thai-language.com.

I hope that those of us on this forum who have gone through the rigors of learning Thai can convince you of the benefits of learning and using Thai script, rather than some form of Romanization. You will see many discussions in these and other forums on this subject, but the primary argument is that no system of Romanization adequately reflects Thai sounds and tones, there is no standard Romanization system accepted widely, and, finally, Romanization fails as a communications medium with native Thai speakers.

We wish you the best of luck in your studies.

Re: Becker or Smyth?

PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 7:50 am
by Toffeeman
I'm not an expert on what grammar book is best but the best bit of advice I got when starting to learn was: 'Learn the alphabet'
I wasted a year before starting the alphabet after having learned it I wished I had learned it from the start.
So as David has said in the above post I would encourage you get started on it. It looks a lot harder than it actually is. Patience will be required as you say but it is definitely worth the effort.

Re: Becker or Smyth?

PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 6:24 pm
by Ruffian Dick
Thanks, I will check out resources for learning the script. It seems to be an unnecessarily complicated system.

If I may ask, some of the characters seem redundant, and I am told that this is because some of the characters are used only for words derived from Pali or Sanskrit, which use different sounds. Is that true? It seems similar to Japanese's use of katakana vs hiragana.

Re: Becker or Smyth?

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 12:40 am
by David and Bui
For a broad discussion of the Thai language, see http://www.thai-language.com/ref/overview

For more discussions about specific aspects of Thai, see http://www.thai-language.com/ref

Re: Becker or Smyth?

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 11:32 pm
by bifftastic
I would recommend the Poomsan Becker series of books.

I would also recommend that you reserve judgement on the Thai script's 'unnecessary complication' until after you have learned it.
As a tonal language it is necessary to include the tone of a word in it's spelling. The best way to do that is by using the Thai script as it was specifically designed to do just that.

The example of how a romanised transliteration can guide you down the wrong path that I always use is this;
The phrase HE MA could either be หิมะ or หีหมา

Please look them up and decide for yourself if you would like to use the wrong one in a conversation :)

Good luck with your studies, I'm sure you'll see the value of learning the script.

Re: Becker or Smyth?

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 8:48 pm
by Ruffian Dick
Thank you! I know that I will end up reading Thai sooner or later, but I also know I resist doing chores. Perhaps I'll find an enjoyable way to learn these snakey letters. :D

Re: Becker or Smyth?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:21 am
by กินข้าว
Ruffian Dick wrote:Thank you! I know that I will end up reading Thai sooner or later, but I also know I resist doing chores. Perhaps I'll find an enjoyable way to learn these snakey letters. :D


Just a friendly challenge, I dare you to memorize just/only the high class consonants. There's only 10 of them.
No one needs to know your doing it , not even me . :D

Re: Becker or Smyth?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:08 pm
by Ruffian Dick
bifftastic wrote:I would recommend the Poomsan Becker series of books.

I've ordered her Thai for Beginners, her CD and the new (2009) dictionary.

Re: Becker or Smyth?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:10 pm
by Ruffian Dick
กินข้าว wrote:
Ruffian Dick wrote:Thank you! I know that I will end up reading Thai sooner or later, but I also know I resist doing chores. Perhaps I'll find an enjoyable way to learn these snakey letters. :D


Just a friendly challenge, I dare you to memorize just/only the high class consonants. There's only 10 of them.
No one needs to know your doing it , not even me . :D

Thanks, I will eat that up. ;)

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