Knowing Thai Is More Important Than You Thought
By: Rabia Tanveer
You might not know it, but you may already know a little Thai language. Remember all those delicious dishes from your favorite Thai restaurant around the corner? Well, their menu has a lot of Thai words that are essential for any person who is planning on visiting Thailand. When it comes to Thai translation, you need to know a lot more than the names of your favorite Thai dishes because things can get a little technical.
As this is a tonal language, many words are written in the same manner, but when they are spoken or read they get different meanings and different contexts. Similarly, Thai script is a little hard to learn because it has 42 consonants and 5 vowels (essentially).
ใครขายไข่ไก่ means “who sell egg chicken”. But in Thai it is a famous tongue twister because of its familiar looking words and sounds. In Thai, it will be spoken as “krai kǎi kài gài.”
Thai document translation can be a little tricky, especially if it has some humorous details or connotations because Thai language does not have many words related to humor, so a lot of it will fall back on the connotation. However, when you are translating Thai to English or vice-versa, you need to keep a few things in your mind. For example:
- The Thai language does not have any “l” sound. Although, many modern English words are added to the Thai language, they still are unique to Thai. For example, email is written as อีเมล (e-may).
- Also, in Thai language, “Sh” has no sound or distinction. In Thai, shopping is written and shopping is written as ช็อปปิ้ง and spoken as “chopping” which has a completely different meaning in English.
- Like many other languages, Thai languages use the same words as greeting. For example, สวัสดี is spoken to greet good morning, evening and night.
Writing, reading and speaking Thai is not similar. Sometimes, there are extra words added to the Thai documents to emphasize on something, whereas, when they are spoken, fewer words are used due to the tonal quality of the language. Document translation services from human translators becomes necessary because this language can be a little tricky. Time and experience have proved that Human Translation of Thai is much better (and less humorous) than machine translation.