The other day I was speaking to 'P', an
It was written something like this. อิมพอส'ซะเบิล
This made sense to me, because I'm not that advanced and haven't learnt all of the final consonant rules...where ล says 'L' as an initial and 'N' as a final. No wonder words like Hotel are pronounced Hoten. It's obvious that the book was using initial consonant sounds only, but it must be really hard for a Thai person to throw those rules out the window. Anyway it got me thinking, how does the transliteration system for Thais learning English work...or not work?
I rummaged around and found this website, W3 Dictionary and took a look at how this effected other words and their transliteration...ignoring any cluster rules...of which I only know a few.
Witch - transliterates to วิทชฺ becomes Wit
If - transliterates to อิฟ becomes Ip
Dress - transliterates to เดรส becomes Dret (I peeked, there's no such consonant cluster as ดร)
The hardest sounds in Thai for me are words beginning with ง. If I don't think about it too much I can manage to say it, otherwise it sounds like the back of my tongue is glued to the roof of my mouth for a second or so, before I stuff the remainder of the word up. But, at least it can be written with English letters, as NG. And, the other would be ื, which has been described as the 'oo' in good, but said while smiling. That's not a pretty picture. Clearly no English equivalent for that one.
So, what about sounds and consonant clusters, that don't even exist in Thai?
St - Stop transliterated to สทอพ ...so would that become Satop?
Sh - Ship transliterated to ชิพ becomes Chip
Sk - Skip transliterated to สคิพ becomes Sakip?
V - Villa transliterated to วิล'ละ becomes Willa and would explain this sign.
Z - Zebra transliterated ซี'บระ becoming Seebra, that's with an American accent obviously.
I don't have enough Thai language yet to know if I've analysed this correctly, but it was an interesting exercise none the less...and I've learnt a couple of new rules along the way. I'm glad I'm an English speaker learning Thai and not the other way around...well, right now I am, anyway.
See what else we're up to at Cooee!