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Thai grammar books
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  1. #1
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    Gor Gai

    I just bought a book today called "Thai: An Essential Grammar" by David Smyth. It looks quite a good book for people who want to further their understanding of their grammar. Someone was asking before for a book that deals with those particles at the end of sentences. Well, this has a chapter on it - 12 pages in fact! Seems to be quite comprehensive, though I haven't read through all of it yet.

  2. #2
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    Hi Jackie, I'd be interested to know what you think of it when you've had more a chance to look through it. I started learning Thai with David Smyth's 'Teach Yourself Thai' which I thought was excellent so I'm tempted to get this one too. Is it easy to get hold of in Bangkok ? Amazon UK don't seem to have it in stock

  3. #3
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    สวัสดีครับ

    I too have this book and I highly recommend it, it is newly published in softback and sells for around 14 in UK. It makes a useful reference for more advanced students of Thai language, and indeed the chapter on language particles is very comprehensive. I just looked on Amazon in USA and they asking $72 !!!!! (okie okie thats for hardback but still )

    If you are still in UK Mike, Waterstones Bookshops stock the book and if your local branch doesnt have it in stock they should be able to get for you within a few days

    ผมเป็นฝรั่ง (i am guava)

  4. #4
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    Cheers for that information guava, I am still in the UK and I'll go and make a visit to Waterstones this weekend to see if I can find it.

  5. #5
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    I think the paperback version has only just arrived here as I don't remember seeing this book before. I bought it in Asia Books so I guess all branches would have copies. It is fairly expensive - 895 baht - which might mean they won't re-stock often.

    I was reading through it last night. It is actually very good. It is the kind of book that you can dip in and out depending on your mood and what your needs are. I would think it is a good compliment to any "learning thai" course you might have bought.

    As both this book and "Teach Yourself Thai" is by the same author you would think they would use the same romanization system. But they don't. I find TYT far much easier to follow than this book. In the grammar book he uses a system based on Mary Haas and the international phonetic alphabet. His argument is that the former book is for the every day punter while the grammar book is more for linguists.

    An example of the confusion I found is using "c" for jor jan and "k" for gor gai. On the most part I didn't mind as I can read Thai. I didn't have to rely on reading his romanized version. But, and this is a big but, the title headings and the introductory paragraphs for each section only used the romanized version. I would suggest for the next edition that he would type more Thai.

  6. #6
    arsira Guest
    i went to check out this book at boarders , it sure provide very comprehensive info esp the classifiers section. and also very well explain,the author even explain word by word for eg.
    verb + nouns = he will type the thai meaning beside.

    but i find the romanization part confused but at least there are thai letter if not i would take time to understand
    for eg. vowel ไ - was translated as 'AY' instead of 'AI'
    so ไฟ -become fay instead of fai.
    another eg. เขา - translated as kaw instead of kao


    another good buy for this book also include words that are written in high tone but pronounce in rising tone and words written in rising tone pronounce in high
    this is very important.that why sometime i'm confused even when following the script written tone i still hear the thai pronounce differently.i guess if gor can have a section on this would be better.
    the author also make very detail on the 'ร' consonent .
    but for the price it a bit steep about $ 40+ sin dollars(us23.23,uk14.88,1000.2bht)

  7. #7
    pas29 Guest
    I also ordered this book from an online site in Belgium, i paid about 2000B for it.. but it is worth it completely !

    I never found such a thorough approach, it is really great if you want to extend your knowledge , and when you already know the basics

    some things explained here, i have never read anywhere else in the more popular books

  8. #8
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    I've got this now and would have to agree it's well worth getting, there's lot of information in it that I haven't found anywhere else. The romanisation is annoying though, I don't think I've ever seen romanised elswhere as anything else but 'jai', but here it's 'cay'. Some of the other phonetic symbols he uses are similar to the ones in the Benjawan Poomsan Becker books.

    It's good for information on colloquial speech patterns, lots of sections have first the gramatically correct information and then say that in colloquial speech it's often dropped or shortened to something else which is very helpful.

  9. #9
    vicblanco1 Guest
    Again I agree with Mike. David Smyth's grammar is thorough but the transliteration is very annoying. Why is it not the same as in Teach Yourself or not included at all? Long section on use of particles.

    "Thai : A Grammatical & Cultural Approach For English Speaking Learners" by T. Thampusana-Abold is also good - from Duang Kamol. Not as thorough, little transliteration but includes sections on section structure, letters & vocab.

  10. #10
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    There's another new grammar book that's just come out -

    Thai Reference Grammar: The Structure of Spoken Thai
    by James Higbie, Snea Thinsan

    Has anyone got it already and got any opinions on it ? Better / worse than the David Smyth one ?

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