Thai Reference Grammar: The Structure of Spoken Thai Paperback – 1 Jan 2001
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Top customer reviews
The authors consulted Thai speakers interested in passing on the language, to find out what makes it tick. The transliteration system is good: it gives you the length of vowels as they exist in spoken Thai.
This can be different from their value in written Thai, and in fact the authors change the Thai spelling of some words, given in their examples, to show the way the words are pronounced (kao, for he, has a high tone in spoken Thai but rising tone in written Thai) in cases where this differs from the written version!
The book does not confine itself to spoken Thai, however; for any given word ('so', for example, in the sense of consequently or therefore) it will give you the six or seven Thai words in use, and show you how they are deployed; and will tell you which are in every-day use and which you're likely to encounter mainly in writing ie the formal ones you can avoid.
The authors seem to know exactly what trips up or holds back a learner. You'll find an entire chapter here devoted to the order of events (before, after, in three days time), another to tenses, another one again to the use of 'gor', and yet another to end-sentence particles.
This book is a serious and comprehensive study of Thai. I know of none better, and have read plenty. It is accessible, though will take you a while to get through: I spent three hours with it today, and covered less than half a chapter!
Other reviewer complained that the thai script was too small, but I have 2008 version and it seems they have fixed that, as its written on normal sized fonts. Too bad they didn't change the tranliteration use also.
Other than that, its really must to have for anyone who is serious about learning Thai. It hast lots of staff that was missing in Smyths book, but also Smyth books have stuff that you cant find here, so its good to own both books. If there wasn't transliteration, or just on lesser amounts, I would give this 5 stars.
There is some interesting stuff inside but despite being fairly fluent I'm just not THAT interested.
Illustrations don't illustrate, it's hard if not impossible to reference from, examples in thai are too small to read and you need to put in a lot of effort getting to grips with the new romanisation format.
Needs a lot of re-work if it wants to compete with other contenders out there.
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