The Best THAI-ENGLISH Dictionary
Thread poster: DJHartmann

DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
May 6, 2015

What is your opinion on the best Thai-English dictionary for use as a translator?

I am considering purchasing Mary R. Haas's Thai-English Student’s Dictionary after reading several reviews of it's usefulness.

What experience do you have? What dictionaries do you prefer? I'm specifically referring to book rather than software dictionaries, but if there is a software dictionary that you swear by, please do mention.

Best,

DJH


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Peter Ross  Identity Verified
Vietnam
Local time: 11:52
Member (2014)
Thai to English
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Dictionaries for Translation May 16, 2015

DJH

This is a surprising question!

I'm not sure there's anything in Haas that is of specific use to a translator in 2015. I'd be surprised if most of it hasn't made its way into other dictionaries. As I recall, it has proper phonetic transcriptions, which is occasionally useful when the RBD doesn't make things clear enough. There are some older dictionaries it can be useful to have if you are dealing with something from an older period.

There are plenty of digital and online dictionaries to use, but there are so many specialist terms and names these days I don't see how anyone can get away without building their own termbases for their fields of specialty.

Apart from general kinds of dictionaries, I collect everything including abbreviation dictionaries, dialect dictionaries, reduplication dictionaries, proverb dictionaries, online and off, as well as linguistic papers on particular topics, e.g. slang. I've been in situations where the only way I could get to the meaning of a "Thai" sentence was through Vietnamese-Lao dictionary. There are also subculture forums.

I can't get by without an official monolingual dictionary for each key language I work with (including English), and use a hard copy to give me a break from onscreen work. I highly recommend a thesaurus. อ. นววรรณ's คลังคำ, which is a dictionary-thesaurus- though this gets more use in literary translation. It's hard to improve on translation choices or do proper word disambiguation if you don't have these tools. Apart from Google, there are online corpora too.

Last time someone was questioning my translation experience - before I was working via ProZ - and asked what dictionary I used, I decided I'd be better off not working for them. At the time, I had a double-sided 3-level dictionary trolley that still didn't fit everything, and my choices are select.

These days, for practical reasons, I rely more on digital dictionaries, and as much as I can am always building a termbase. MT is around the corner for Vietnamese, but a little further off for Thai.


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 11:52
Member (2004)
English to Thai
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dict.longdo.com Jun 8

DJHartmann wrote:

What is your opinion on the best Thai-English dictionary for use as a translator?

I am considering purchasing Mary R. Haas's Thai-English Student’s Dictionary after reading several reviews of it's usefulness.

What experience do you have? What dictionaries do you prefer? I'm specifically referring to book rather than software dictionaries, but if there is a software dictionary that you swear by, please do mention.

Best,

DJH


I prefer this dict.longdo.com since it is handy and I can compare JP, EN, TH, FR, DE at the same time.

Dr. Soonthon Lupkitaro
8 June 2017


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