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Etymology of Thai words & names

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Etymology of Thai words & names

Postby zackxx » Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:12 am

Etymology of Thai words & names: does anybody know of any good websites out there?

I'm particularly interested in the meaning of given names and surnames, whether a word derives from Sanskrit, Pali, Khmer or other.

For example: Thanapatana [dhanapadhana]. What does this name mean?
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Etymology of Thai words & names

Postby David and Bui » Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:53 am

ฐานะ and พัฒนา
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Etymology of Thai words & names

Postby Nan » Tue Sep 09, 2008 4:13 am

If this is a name, then it should be spelled ธนพัฒน์

ธน means treasure, wealth, property, money

พัฒน์ means prosperity, progress, increase, development.
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Etymology of Thai words & names

Postby zackxx » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:21 am

Hey thanks guys. WOW! I didn't expect such amazing responses and so soon!

r2d2 thanks for those online references- great help!

Yes my example is someone's first name. He spells it in Roman script as 'Thanapatana'. I do not know how he spells it in Thai but guess that Nan below is correct: ธนพัฒน์ (which presumably is derived from the two words that D & B mention).

Its interesting then that this name would be pronounced 'Thanapat' in Thai but when transliterating into Roman script it reverts first back to its Pali-Sanskrit root ทะนะพัดทะนะ (thanks r2d2) before being spitted out as 'Thanapatana'.

I don't want to get into the whole murky topic of Thai transliteration on this thread suffice to say that what this means of cause is that non-Thai readers will always pronounce this name differently from a Thai language speaker with resultant confusion.

Example: ถนนศรีนครินทร์
I'm sure you have driven out to the airport and seen the expressway road signs indicating Sri Nagarindra Road the roman transliteration of which is pronounced nothing like the Thai. Tell a Thai taxi driver you want to go to "Thanon Sri Nagarindra" and...well...good luck!

But I digress! Thanks again to you all.
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Etymology of Thai words & names

Postby zackxx » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:11 am

Yes it may be simplistic for those who have learnt the 'correct' or 'official' or even a consistant transliteration system from Thai to Roman script but for most Thais and farang alike there is a lot of guesswork and inconsistencies involved.

For example I have seen Thais spell the name ธนพัฒน์ as Tanapat, Thanapat or Dhanapat. Others use the letter 'X' to represent '' (Xiang Mai?) similiar to how we see Chinese Romanized. The letter 'V' or 'W' seems to be used at will to represent ''(Sukhumvit or Sukhumwit?). These are but a few examples of how murky and muddled transliteration has become(note: that the official version seems to get ignored or is not well known).

Interesting to compare this to the rather consistent system devised by French colonists when transliterating Vietnamese script including markers to represent Vietnamese tones.

But hey I digress again. Maybe we should continue this discussion in another thread...
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Etymology of Thai words & names

Postby Nan » Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:14 pm

Khun r2d2,

ธนพัฒน์ is pronounced Tha-na-phat, not Tha-na-phat-ta.
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Etymology of Thai words & names

Postby zackxx » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:30 am

I stand corrected on the difference between transliteration and transcription.

An interesting paper on the topic:

http://www.royin.go.th/upload/276/FileUpload/758_6484.pdf

Just to throw a spanner in the works I see that the name ธนพัฒนา is often used as a place name (หมู่บ้านธนพัฒนา) or as part of a surname (ธนพัฒนาภรณ์,ธนพัฒนากุล,พิบูลธนพัฒนา,ธนพัฒนาชัย) but I see no examples as a given name.

Is this then how Nan surmised that my example 'Thanapatana', as has been transcribed from Thai, can only be ธนพัฒน์ as ธนพัฒนา does not exist as a Thai given name? And how would one know for sure that it does not exist?

Furthermore, supposing ธนพัฒน์ is the correct Thai spelling why then the attempt by the owner of this name when transcribing to revert to its Sanskrit root [ทะนะพัดทะ(นะ)] before the Roman conversion? Similar to the ศรีนครินทร์/Srinagaindra example or worse: สุวรรณภูมิ/Suwannabhumi. Is this an attempt at transliterating to enable reversibility? And if used for just road signage or addressing people and not in a wholly scholarly capacity then whats the point?
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Etymology of Thai words & names

Postby David and Bui » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:35 am

r2d2 wrote:@Khun David na khrap

= ठ = th = th.

If interested in those issues, see Tabelle Thai / Devanagari / IAST .

To be used appropriately, please replace do dek by to tao, and bo baimai by po pla. And use it only for transliteration in a strict sense. The table was made by a German linguist - and uses therefore IAST but not Harvard-Kyoto.

IAST uses diacrits and is therefore not used for"representing" Thai names.

Sorry, I'm lost. Are you addressing me with this comment? To what posting are your referring?
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Etymology of Thai words & names

Postby Nan » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:51 am

... I just wanted to ask you how to transcribe the name of this journal (into sat akson thai):

Although there are rules to transcribe the name in Thai to English, most people don't know it. And it's just rules not laws, even though they know, they might ignore it. No one can force them to transcribe it follow by the rules.

So, to discuss how particular Thai words should be transcribed to English would get us nothing but arguing.

You would see the word "ศรีนครินทร์" transcribed to at least five different English words. :D

Is this then how Nan surmised that my example 'Thanapatana', as has been transcribed from Thai, can only be ธนพัฒน์ as ธนพัฒนา does not exist as a Thai given name? And how would one know for sure that it does not exist?

In the past, we were convinced not to have a given name which have more than three syllables. It's not a law, though.

Talking about the name ธนพัฒน์, why not ธนพัฒนา ? The answer is if both have the same meaning, people would choose the one which has less syllables. It would sound strange to have ธนพัฒนา as a given name, but there is nothing wrong with it.

Why it's transcribed to "Thanapatana"? Some might want a transcription which reflect the spelling which it works in this name. I would hardly tell you the meaning of this name if you just tell me how to pronounce it, like "Tanapat". It could be any names, such as ทนพัฒน์, ทนภัทร, ธนพัฒน์ or ธนภัทร. But narrow it to ""Thanapatana" make it easier.
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Etymology of Thai words & names

Postby zackxx » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:56 am

สุวรรณภูมิ

The 'official' transcription as seen on the AOT site seems to be 'Suvarnabhumi' and the most widely used (Thai Airways, King Power etc.)and at wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suvarnabhumi_Airport

but then on this other Thai government website we see it transcribed as 'Suwannaphum'

i.e BOI
http://www.boi.go.th/english/how/airports.asp

Interesting post to that blog r2d2. thanks
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