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  1. #1
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    How to work out consonant class from sound only?????

    Hi guys,
    How to work out consonant class from sound only? I dont mean someone spelling it out to me as i would then know,

    its just sometimes i try to work it out in my head, sometimes correct some times miles off!

    Is there a way or is it more about remembering how certain words are spelt,

    for example the k sound is a nightmare, as a low consonant live is mid tone but if it was a high consonant with a live tone it would be rising, and high and low tone if dead tone and so on same with others you can be miles off,

    Ive tried to notice but not sure if correct are most T sounds from low tone and most S sounds from high tones?
    Any examples of most common words or types of sounds which normally go with each sound would be most welcome.
    cheers ian

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    Re: How to work out consonant class from sound only?????

    I think what you mean, is not working out Consonant Classes only but if you just hear a Word how to figure out how it is written.

    This could be a long explanation but I try to give you some so that you may have a little insight what I mean.

    First of all there are simple Thai Words which most of the time only have 1 Syllable.

    Then if you hear more Syllables it could be a Combined-Thai-Word or more likely a Word which has it's Origin in Pali/Sanskrit or even is a Loan Word from another Language, mostly English.

    Most 1-Syllabe Thai Words are really simple to figure out how to write them, if you follow some simple Rules.

    For Pali/Sankrit Words they might be kind of tricky, but mostly these might be Religious Words which you seldom use anyway and therefore I don't see much a big deal to really know all of them how to write.

    So for a Start:

    All the Tonal Rules are cemented in my Head that if I read a Word I can immediately tell you with what Tone it must be spoken and can read it out loud also, even if I don't know this Word.
    I don't have to think: Consonant Class - Long or Short Vowel - Live or Dead Ending - Tone Mark.

    I see the Word as a "Picture" and know the Tone without recalling all those Tonal Rules.

    Also I have a very good Ear, so only by hearing the Word, and maybe telling again to speak it slowly/clearly with the right Tone, I can say with which Tone it was spoken, even when I don't know the Word.

    So when it comes to simple 1-Syllable Thai Words, when I hear with which Tone they are spoken I am able to write them correctly in about 90% (probably even more) even if I don't know the Word.

    So here are some Rules how to do so:

    If you hear as Final Consonant a "K"-Sound in 90% of the cases it is a , for example ѡ or ҡ

    An often used exception is the Word Ҥ = Area, Region

    So you really only have to remember often used Exceptions and then I think about 99% of the other Words it's a .

    If you hear as Final Consonant a "T"-Sound again in 90% it's probably a , for example Ѵ or Ѵ.

    Be careful also "S"-Sounds turn to "T"-Sounds as Final Consonant, so again you just have to memorize commonly used Words.

    If you hear as Final Consonant an "N"-Sound it mostly is a very seldom a or , for example ҳ or or .

    If there is a 2-Syllable-Word were the first Syllable ends with an "N" and the second Syllable starts with a "J" or "H" it's most likely the Combination

    or , for example ѭ or ѭ.

    If you hear as a Final Consonant a "P"-Sound in 90% it's a , for example Ѻ, Ѻ or Һ.

    Very seldom it's a or , for example Ҿ or ٻ - again just memorize the exceptions.

    If a Words Starting Consonant is an "S"-Sound and it's spoken with a Rising Tone it can only be one of the 3 "S": , or , mostly a , the other 2 are more used for Pali/Sanskrit Words (again memorize those exceptions).

    If a Words Starting Consonant is an "L"-Sound in 99% it's .

    If a Words Starting Consonant is a "D"-Sound in 99% it's .

    If a Words Starting Consonant is a "T"-Sound with Mid Tone I think in 100% it's a , for example ʹ or , the exception where you use is the Word (but it's the Second Syllable).

    If a Words Starting Consonant is a "T"-Sound with Rising Tone in 99% it's a , for example ا or .

    If you hear a Word with the Vowel "Ai" (spoken not long) in 99% it's the - there are only 20 Words which use the , the most 5 common are , , , ˭ and , if you memorize them you almost have it, the others are not used that often.

    Then there are many Prefixes, if you remember them you can write many Words, like

    = , ҳ

    = ԡ , ѷ

    ѡ = ѡ¹ , ѡ¹

    = Ңͧ , ˹ҷ


    That should do it firstly, there are many other Rules how you can minimize the possibility how a Word is written.

    Like I said, for simple 1-Syllable-Thai-Words, if you follow these Rules you are able to write a Word correctly in 90% chances, even if you don't know the Word.

    The Key is: Minimization of the Possibilities.

    Then, if you are still not sure about the Word, let the Speaker spell the Word to you with Tone Marks - at least then you should be able to speak the Word with the right Tone.
    Last edited by djaidee; 05-05-12 at 09:21 PM.
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    Re: How to work out consonant class from sound only?????

    Post #4 by Tod in this Thread might be of help as well:

    http://www.thailandqa.com/forum/show...ning-the-tones
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    Re: How to work out consonant class from sound only?????

    Quote Originally Posted by djaidee View Post
    If a Words Starting Consonant is a "T"-Sound with Mid Tone I think in 100% it's a , for example ʹ or
    I was writing so much that my head was spinning, of course the Examples I gave where wrong in the sense that those Words don't have a Mid Tone.

    Here are some Examples with Mid Tone , or ҹ.
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    Re: How to work out consonant class from sound only?????

    I apologize if this is off-topic;

    I dunno about "guessing" the spelling from just hearing a word unless you know it. I mean if you don't know the word, at all, as in have no meaning in your heard thai'd err tied to the sound you're hearing you're just guessing in the dark. I dunno how you'd possibly guess it correctly. "djaidee" posted some interesting things to narrow down the possibilities but honestly it can still be pretty hit or miss.

    It can be especially tricky on word ending protocols. There are eight "word ending protocols" or "rules which govern final consonant sounds in Thai” and that means there are nine possible ways a Thai syllable or single syllable word can end; 8 ending sounds and 1 category for "live" or "open" ended words.

    I will agree with "djaidee" especially insofar as words which end in 衡 have only 4 Thai consonants which can make that ending sound . Now as a foreigner when you read words in transliteration or karaoke Thai you can call that ending sound what ever consonant in English you think fits best (“K” usually). Still, in Thai it's called words that end with a sound. A great percentage of these words DO end in but there're a LOT of frequently spoken words which don't and use or sometimes .

    The words which end with 衴 (often mistakenly called a "T" sound in karaoke Thai) are a LOT tougher. Again as you can see, it isn't a "T" consonant at all, but a . That's just karaoke Thai from authors and the RID's penchant for thinkin' they know how to write Thai words in English. This one is really hard because of the 37 Thai consonants which can end a syllable 18 of them fall into the 衴 ending category. My own guess is that and are right up there in frequency; although I have no proof and actually only scanned a page in a Thai novel I'm readin' to look at the ending consonants of that group.

    Words which end with an "N" sound called 衹 have 6 Thai consonants which make this sound when ending a syllable. Of the 6 I'd guess and are really popular.

    Words which end in the 衺 or "b" (again often called a 'p' in karaoke) aren't too bad as there're just 5 Thai consonants in this one.

    The rest of the groups are single Thai consonant groups, meaning ONLY a single Thai consonant can make this ending sound, so they're not too bad..

    The BIG problem is, Thai is a total hodge-podge of "original Thai words" which were spelled pretty simply and pretty straightforward, and then TONZ of Cambodia, Pali and Sanskrit words that were "borrowed" (which should really be read as "stolen") from those languages. A LOT of these words sounded TOO close to "real Thai words" to delineate clearly. This is the reason why Thai has 6-"T's", 5-"K's", 4-"S's" to begin with.

    Now for you to begin to wonder how a word is spelled, you've gotta have a pretty solid grasp of Thai. My hat's off to you in that regard. You're leaps and bounds ahead of most foreigners here who can barely pronounce a Thai word correctly, not to mention think about how it might be spelled in Thai. It's my experience that there are far more "white" foreigners living here who DON'T read, write or speak Thai then there are ones who do.

    Good Luck, hope I didn't add further confusion to this thread. ..

    Oh, here're the word ending protocols for you;
    • - live endings
    • 衡 - - G ending
    • 衧 - - Ng endings
    • 衴 - - D ending
    • 衹 - - N ending
    • 衺 - - B ending
    • - - M ending
    • - - Y ending
    • - - W ending

    Again, sorry as it seemed my post turned into being more about how words end than guessing the consonant class of how words begin. .

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    Re: How to work out consonant class from sound only?????

    Hi Tod and djaidee, i really appreciate the help, im gonna play with djaidee tips for the moment they made more sense and a little easier to remember, sorry tod some of yours started my brain hurting!!! ha ha

    Tone markers? are these just remembered? as for example the words for 5 (would be rising) and 9(would be mid tone) would totally different without the tone markers but are both falling with tone markers.

    The word endings is very interesting, at the end for example i would of been probably using , for my attempt at the spelling, cheers for that, for me i no lots of words from memory and i try to put the tone rules into practice, for the correct pronunciation, this is how i became interested in learning word spellings, i hope this sort of cleared up my reason for the topic/post.

    = ԡ , ѷ
    These confused me, as were spoken more like bon on my spoken thai english dictionary. not as i though bor ri?

    I've had a few busy weeks watching the World snooker championships, now im in Cambodia and off to phuket next, When i've been up at the pool i've been practicing my memory skills on the Alphabet and the number/dictionary order,been practicing my writing skills on the consonants, which is pretty good as i can write out the Alphabet from memory on any scrap of papper in Thai script,

    also got a friend to Write the way they write the Alphabet???? some shockers there for me, but a great learning tool. as i realized my attempt at was a little to close to and the many letters with type letter could be a little smaller mouth, i also noticed, many of the circles for and were not really circles like mine, but not a problem as only kor la kang and the stuff under Tor tan were a little but of a problem for them to read,,, he he

    its a slow progress but i keep it fun and im improving all the time, i remember the day thinking i need to get a base then this pyramid will become more easy and i believe learning the Alphabet and the tone rules is that way, short compound vowels are still a problem but ill get there, no rush. this site has been a great help for my learning.
    cheers ian

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    Re: How to work out consonant class from sound only?????

    Well, there's a LOT of variance in how each Thai "write" Thai. It's different than how each person has different handwritten script when they write English.

    Thai is sorta like "printed" English versus handwritten because the letters don't connect to each other. It's learning how to write Thai faster and that is clear enough so most Thais can read which takes practice. Almost any foreigner can learn to write Thai in that painstakingly slow way like Thai children do. Few can really "belt out" the Thai when writing.

    I found a book which shows how to increase the speed of your handwritten Thai while keeping the "important characteristics" of the letters which Thais look for as far as character identification.
    Here is a link to another forum where I posted the first three pages of the book about it;
    How to write Thai faster
    If you scroll down to the bottom of the linked page you can see the pages I included.

    As for myself, I've eliminated almost all the heads when I hand write Thai , except ones where the head is necessary to delineate it from another character or from for example.

    Good Luck, I knew some of the stuff I wrote was gonna give you a headache, it did and still does to me too.

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    Re: How to work out consonant class from sound only?????

    Cheers for the link tod,
    i would love the book name or where i could get a copy or message me any copy's of the pages you tried scanning before, looks very interesting, as nothing more frustrating than relearning something you already know!!!!!! but when the handwriting is so different its like learning a whole new thing????
    cheers ian

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    Re: How to work out consonant class from sound only?????

    The way I got better at reading handwritten Thai was to look at anything and everything as far as advertising. In Thai adverts they take the most “creative license” with their lettering as far as different font styles. I mean how did the letter become an “S”?

    While not related to the topic I thought I’d share this with you all.

    An American friend of mine has been here 9 years, has had a Thai wife for 8 of those years. His Thai is non-existent and his wife’s engrish isn’t anything to brag about either.

    Be that as it may, I was talking to him about clothes washing detergent. He said he ALWAYS buys “USA” brand soap powder.

    I was flabbergasted, as I’ve never seen “USA” brand. I ran into him at the grocery store and he pointed out the package which turned out to be (BREEZE). Due to the stylized font on the packaging his brain saw the English letters U-S-A, lol…
    Just thought I’d share that. Here’s a pic of it;


    It does kinda look like a "U" an "S" and a lower case "a" doesn't it?

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    Re: How to work out consonant class from sound only?????

    That's really funny Tod - yes those stylish Fonts can be quite complicated sometimes but I managed to recognize them by now.
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