Category Archives: Language Learning

Kamus Dwibahasa Melayu Thai

Pertama kali saya hendak mempelajari bahasa Thai, saya dapati memang terlalu banyak buku berbahasa Inggeris di persada awam yang sememangnya mudah dibeli di mana-mana toko boko. Namun, bilangan buku berbahasa Melayu terlalu sedikit; memang daif sekali jika hendak dibandingkan.

Dalam pada itu, terdapat juga satu dua naskhah di luar sana yang saya syorkan kepada sesiapa sahaja yang serius untuk mendalami bahasa, iaitu kamus Melayu-Thai.  Dua buah kamus yang memang masih berada di dalam pasaran ini adalah Kamus Thai-Melayu Dewan, terbitan Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka serta Kamus Bahasa Melayu-Thai, terbitan Penerbit Universiti Malaya.

Kiri: Terbitan DBP, kanan: Terbitan UM

Kiri: Terbitan DBP, kanan: Terbitan UM

Kamus Thai-Melayu Dewan

Saya suka kamus terbitan DBP ini kerana ia mengandungi ayat-ayat contoh bagi sesetengah entri yang memudahkan pemahaman sesebuah kosakata itu.

IMG_0754

Kamus Thai-Melayu Dewan ISBN: 9789836298058

Namun, yang ketara ialah kebolehan membaca Thai itu perlu untuk menggunakan kamus ini, kerana susunan entri kesemuanya adalah menggunakan abjad Thai, bermakna pengguna perlu tahu sesebuah perkataan Thai itu untuk mencari makna di dalam bahasa Melayu. Sebagai contoh yang di atas, perkataan Thai “พูด” bermakna bercakap atau berkata.  Secara jujur, saya berpendapat kamus ini lebih mudah bagi orang Thai yang mula mempelajari bahasa Melayu berbanding orang Melayu yang ingin mempelajari bahasa Thai. Walau apapun, ia juga masih sesuai untuk kita yang berbahasa ibunda Melayu, yang mempelajari bahasa Thai di peringkat pertengahan. Pada peringkat ini kita seharusnya sudah boleh membaca huruf Thai.

Harga kamus setebal 428 mukasurat ini ialah RM40, tetapi selalunya Dawama akan memberi diskaun 10%.  Kamus ini adalah hasil kerjasama Dewan Bahasa Pustaka dan Universiti Prince of Songhkla serta Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris.  Ia masih di dalam cetakan pertama, tahun 2008.

Kompleks Dawama,
Lot 1037, Jalan AU3/1,
54200 Ampang/Hulu Kelang,
Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Tel: 03 – 4107 4233/4286
Faks: 03 – 4108 4235
E-mel: dawamasb@gmail.com

 

Kamus Bahasa Melayu-Thai

Saudara dan saudari yang baru sahaja berjinak-jinak dengan bahasa Thai akan memerlukan kamus yang entri asal itu sendiri adalah dalam bahasa Melayu. Saya dapati kamus ini amat mudah digunakan. Cuba lihat sendiri.

Kamus Bahasa Melayu-Thai ISBN: 983-100-063-3

Perkataan Melayu “borak” bermakna พูดคุย, disebut phuut (nada jatuh,vokal panjang) khui (nada biasa, vokal pendek). พูด/phuut it sendiri bermakna cakap, manakala คุย/khui bermaksud sembang. Di sini pula kita dapati yang kamus ini memberi penjelasan bagaimana hendak menyuarakan nada yang betul bagi sesebuah perkataan Thai itu. Ini penting kerana nada yang salah akan memberi makna yang berlainan, langsung akan kedengaran sebagai mengelirukan, pelik atau lucu.

Kamus yang dikarang oleh Siti Asiah Kancana ini mempunyai 481 mukasurat dan berharga RM20. Kamus UM ini diterbitkan terlebih dahulu daripada kamus DBP, iaitu pada tahun 1998, dan masih lagi di dalam cetakan pertama.

University of Malaya Press, Pantai Valley, 50603, Kuala Lumpur Tel: 603-7957 4361/ 603-7967 5906 Fax: 603-7957 4473 E-mail: terbit[a]um.edu.my

Saya telah ke UM dan Dawama sendiri untuk membeli naskhah kepunyaan saya. Bagi mereka yang di luar KL atau Lembah Kelang, kedua-dua pencetak ini menyediakan perkhidmatan belian online dan kiriman melalui pos ,jadi masih senanglah untuk saudara dan saudari berurusniaga.

Sedikit sebanyak saya berharap  sumbangan ini dapat membantu sesiapa sahaja yang sedang mencari sumber pembelajaran bahasa Thai di dalam bahasa Melayu. Selamat belajar! สู้ สู้

Thai ‘กู’ and Malay ‘Aku’

One of the websites that I visit from time to time is Catherine’s excellent womenlearnthai.com (which she has very nicely said can be used  by men too ;)). A while back there was a conversation which discussed the appropriate use of pronoun used to describe one’s self.

I play it safe and use ผม, and wouldn’t naturally be able or would want to use the cruder กู. I hear guys  use กู much more frequently than is suggested by the language books. This is my take on it – it’s very similar to the usage of ‘saya’ and ‘aku’. The Thai กู (‘kuu’)  and the Malay ‘Aku’ are not really rude, but they are certainly crude, informal and unrefined.

You wouldn’t teach a foreigner to refer themselves as ‘aku’, would you? Perhaps some would, I dunno, teenagers with their penpals internet chat friends of the same age perhaps, but certainly, in a more civil and polite society, to have a foreigner use ‘aku’ word would be frowned upon, if not objectionable. I would argue that for a well-intentioned foreigner who would want to learn Malay in order to get access to certain functions of the state (for example routinely  conversing with government staff at the various public departments for form-filling matters and such)  it would be highly inappropriate and counterproductive to use ‘aku’.’ Saya’ would be perfect. It’s not overly polite nor does it come across as too stiff – it’s just right. There are now few people apart from those I have already known from school/university days that I would address myself as ‘aku’ naturally.

Going back to comparing Thai and Malay, it’s also easy to relate to how Thais use the word เรา (we/us) as we do this as well – ‘kita’. The last time I used it was when I was about 12 though. It’s somewhat too ‘cute’ to be used a personal pronoun after that.

Finally, dropping the pronouns entirely, too, isn’t all that uncommon. The context of the sentence would make it fairly obvious at most times to whom it refers to.

Tahan – ทหาร

This is ‘tor tahan’ – a low class Thai consonant. It was only when going through the Thai alphabets for the umpteenth time that something clicked at the back of my mind…

‘Tahan or ทหาร’ means soldier in Thai,  whilst in Malay ‘tahan’ means to refrain/endure/hold back. The corresponding Malay word for soldier is ‘askar’. The root word is taken from Arabic, عسكري

However, there still appears to be some similarity between Thai and Malay with regards to the usage of  ‘tahan’ in terms of military meaning. The Malay term for defence is  ‘pertahanan’, which literally means ‘of defence’ – our Ministry of Defence is called Kementerian Pertahanan.

Interesting.

Khun Benjawan in San Francisco

I was recently in California visiting a cousin to whom I had promised a visit over the the last ten years. Given my imminent relocation to southeast Asia, and with the free time that’s available, it was a good time to visit if there ever was one. I just had to, I was quite close to getting disowned as family!

I took the opportunity to meet up with Khun Benjawan Becker, who is the author of Paiboon Publishing’s Thai language book series. Anyone who is serious about learning Thai would know of her books, which I think have been instrumental over the last decade in making Thai language learning more accessible to the masses. I would certainly recommend it to fellow Malaysians. Probably best to get it online – it’s stocked by Amazon or you could get it directly from Paiboon Publishing’s website. For a more hands-on browsing experience in KL, I’ve come across them in KLCC’s Kinokuniya and MidValley Megamall’s MPH. I don’t get any kickbacks for promoting her books, I promise! They are really good especially for self-directed learning in your own time, but you do need to put in the effort . Start with “Thai for Beginners”.

Khun Benjawan and her husband, Nicholas, were such kind and gracious hosts around San Francisco on the day we met up last week. Terima kasih banyak-banyak, khob khun maak na khrab!

Left: Bumbling novice-amateur ; Right: Cool expert-guru

Paiboon Publishing has released books on Lao, Cambodian and Vietnamese languages. Maybe one on Malay will come someday? 😉