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Becker or Smyth?

Suggestions and references for self-study, including bookstores and libraries

Moderator: acloudmovingby

Becker or Smyth?

Postby Ruffian Dick » Thu May 25, 2017 7:14 pm

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!
Ruffian Dick
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 5:25 pm

Re: Becker or Smyth?

Postby David and Bui » Thu May 25, 2017 7:30 pm

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.
David in Phuket
David and Bui
 
Posts: 6036
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Becker or Smyth?

Postby Toffeeman » Fri May 26, 2017 7:50 am

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.
Toffeeman
 
Posts: 558
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 10:14 am
Location: Phuket

Re: Becker or Smyth?

Postby Ruffian Dick » Fri May 26, 2017 6:24 pm

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.
Ruffian Dick
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 5:25 pm

Re: Becker or Smyth?

Postby David and Bui » Sat May 27, 2017 12:40 am

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
David in Phuket
David and Bui
 
Posts: 6036
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Becker or Smyth?

Postby bifftastic » Sat May 27, 2017 11:32 pm

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.
bifftastic
 
Posts: 562
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:45 pm

Re: Becker or Smyth?

Postby Ruffian Dick » Wed May 31, 2017 8:48 pm

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
Ruffian Dick
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 5:25 pm

Re: Becker or Smyth?

Postby กินข้าว » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:21 am

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
กินข้าว
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 7:01 am

Re: Becker or Smyth?

Postby Ruffian Dick » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:08 pm

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.
Ruffian Dick
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 5:25 pm

Re: Becker or Smyth?

Postby Ruffian Dick » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:10 pm

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. ;)
Ruffian Dick
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 5:25 pm


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