If you have or know another website that would be good for this page, please let me know.thai-language.com hosts a stunning array of helpful pages:
TLC allows you to choose your preferred pronunciation guide for Thai words, just like we do.blog by Catherine Wentworth with links to cheat sheets, anthems and poems decoded, interviews with successful Thai learners, cultiral blog entries, and a good summary of other Thai-language sites and resources.
Most interestingly, includes:Thai 101 blog, which has lots of fun tidbits about the Thai language, including explanations of Thai Puns and other wordgames, reviews of Thai movies, more serious posts about the Royal Institute dictionary and its (lack of) progress on the web, as well as posts on advanced linguistic topics such as historical Thai.
These courses have taken on new life by the efforts of a fearless volunteer Glen D. Fellows, who digitized them onto fsi-language-courses.com in 2006, and then, when that website fell away, continued by another group of fearless volunteers including Rikker Dockum of Thai 101 and Catherine Wentworth of Women Learning Thai at:
After that work was published, there began a collaborative volunteer effort to add real Thai script to the materials (which currently only use romanized Thai), and to separate out the sound recordings into the individual dialogs and lessons that they go with. Rikker and Catherine are looking for volunteers to "help type out some of the Thai, proofread some of the English, or format some wiki pages." For the latest fruits of that labor, see:Thai Language Forum on the venerable thaivisa.com expat forum, including some long, helpful pinned threads at the top with learning resources.Paknam Web Network, a gigantic, interlinked network of "family-friendly websites about Thailand" created by Richard Barrow, includes several sites useful to language learners:
You can access the dictionary online at the LEXiTRON website, but if you're going to be looking up more than a few words, it's a whole lot quicker and more pleasant to download the free, Java-based application that LEXiTRON offers.
Now we get to the catch: throughout most of 2007-2009, LEXiTRON's website (both the word lookup part and the downloadable app part) were hopelessly, irritatingly broken such that you sign up via an elaborate, unfriendly process and then fail to get any download link. As of February 2009, NECTEC has finally pulled the entire website and claims an improved version 3.0 of both website and software will be available in Feb 2009. I'm not holding my breath.
In the meantime, you can download a useful version of the dictionary application (version 2.6) from the Bangkok Library Archive. Many thanks to them for helping us bypass hopeless NECTEC bureau-jam.
Because LEXiTRON offers their data for free, many of the other Thai learning websites are partially or entirely based on the LEXiTRON data. That's why you tend to see the same errors and typos on different sites :)
The LEXiTRON data is very detailed but it was created by Thai-natives for Thai-natives. There is enough English that English-natives can also make use of the dictionary, but there is no pronunication guide for us English natives, and you will often find errors that relate to the designers' non-native understanding of English.thai2english.com hosts a friendly online Thai-English-Thai dictionary which, like our website, lets you choose which pronunciation guide system you want to use for Thai words. The dictionary hosted at least up to February 2009 was based on LEXiTRON, but as of March 2010 seems to be based on a larger dataset, with pronunciation guides added.
More amazing is their USD $40 downloadable commercial Windows software dictionary, which was "coming in a month" for most of 2008 but finally got released in December 2008. This dictionary truly breaks new ground in terms of Thai learning software. The author clearly has a lot of good taste when it comes to laying out the data in a way that is useful and pleasing. He's implemented a word segmentation/dictionary lookup screen where you just paste a big blob of Thai text and it does its best to segment and then allow you to mouse-over any word to get definitions. The segmentation is pretty good, though not perfect of course. Then there is the other screen where you type whole sentences of free-from transliteration in English, and it looks up in its database to find all possible Thai words to match your English karaoke text. At each point in your text it presents the list of possible Thai words, with what it thinks are the most "likely" sorted first, along with the definitions. It works surprisingly well, especially given that he accepts a wide range of fuzzily-defined transliterations (e.g. no tones at all, "pat" and "put" for sara a, "p/ph" for phaw phaan, paw plaa, etc.). It too is not perfect by any means, but it really is something new that advances the field. The software claims to have 110,000 Thai entries and 90,000 English entries, and is not (entirely) based on LEXiTRON, but most of the words seem to be laundry-list cities, amphoes, dtambons, plants with latin/technical names, etc. While it's nice to have a high count, I actually found the obscure words that kept popping up were more of a distraction because they were rarely relevant to my search.
It looks like the dataset is (as of April 2010) the same for the website and the downloadable app. The dataset seems to have been scraped together from various (possibly free) sources meant for Thai natives learning English, because it has a fair number of errors and does not generally clarify which sense of English words are being defined (for example "glass" as a drinking glass vs. a pane of glass are two different words in Thai, but this dictionary doesn't tell you which one you're getting). But they do add (machine-generated) pronunciation guides to help non-Thai-native learners.english-thai-dictionary.com has an online, 83,000-word Thai-English dictionary that shows a Paiboon-like pronunciation guide for single words (not sample sentences). Not clear whether the data is based on LEXiTRON or something else.
There is also a medium-activity online forum inviting discussions about Thai language and culture, as well as chat rooms and a cool Virtual Thai Keyboard for those who don't want to figure out Thai on their computer keyboard.SEAsite from Northern Illinois University contains resources for many south-east asian languages including Thai. SEAsite was one of the first online resources; some of the technology and pages are showing their age but they're still useful for study.
To access the Thai resources, you click on the mysterious Left Door (why not the right?) and get a long list resources such as the famous maanii reader, flashcards, a picture dictionary, recently added cultural information on business Thai, and even an online dictionary independently developed by SEAsite.RID website where you can access the data online too.
When you visit this site, you will probably need to configure your browser for the obsolete, 20th-century Thai character encoding that RID uses in order to make the Thai letters come out right. In Firefox this is under "View...Character Encoding...Thai (TIS-620)." In IE this is under "View...Encoding...More...Thai (Windows)." Good luck!
Normally stuff associated with royalty in Thailand is really nicely done. It is shocking and shameful how bad a job they did of the website. In addition to the fact that it fails to use modern Unicode or encoding tags, giant swaths of hundreds of entries of the dictionary are simply missing from the online version, and many, many words contain egregious typos. It is clear that they hired someone to re-type the paper dictionary rather than just import their data, and did no editing whatsoever. Hopefully this will be addressed sometime soon. Rikker Dockum addresses some of the shortcomings in his blog post from Feb 2008.thai-software.com has spent years creating an online multilingual dictionary including not only lots of English and Thai, but even some words in Lao, Isaan, Burmese, and some minority languages.
More recetly he produced the commercial SpeakEasy Thai CD-ROM with more than 5,000 images and 5,000 sound clips of Thai words.Longdo Thai-English-Japanese-German-French dictionary is an ambitious project still under active development, with an online web interface and even some browser plugins you can use to look up words you see on web pages.
In particular, in the SEAlang archives you can read the full-text of some very old PhD theses about Thai grammar (Noss and Gedney) that are probably still to this day the most detailed and in-depth analyses of Thai.
There is also a set of extremely cool technical papers including an amazing paper about how Thais tell their letters apart in different fonts. (Feb 2009 update: the CRCL papers site http://seasrc.th.net/paper/paper.htm is down, but Richard Wordingham has hosted a backup copy of the font paper).
The SEAlang Lab hosts several online language learning tools which CRCL has been developing over the last few years.
Some interesting papers:
Paper about Thai keyboard standards and how they came about. Thai politicians cannot resist interfering, not even in something as trivial as this!
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