Thai translation: Common mistakes and how to avoid them

Over 20.2 million people speak Thai as their first language in Thailand, and over 40 million people use it as a second language. Some people who reside in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Midway Islands speak the language.

Are you interested in getting a professional Thai translation? If yes, partnering with a certified Thai translation service provider is the best option. But first, let us understand some common mistakes in Thai translation.

Common Mistakes for Thai translation

1. Inability to fully understand tonal languages

One of the major mistakes when speaking Thai made by Westerners is failing to identify that Thai is a tonal language. 

The popularity of Northern European languages is intonation, meaning each word has a reliable tone. The Thai language has verbal roots in antique dialects, for example, Sanskrit, and pays numerous tones.

When learning Thai, there are five diverse tones that you must remember: falling, rising, mid, low, and high. 

Occasionally you speak a word thinking of a definite meaning, but it’s an improper tone. As an outcome, you provide a word with an entirely diverse sense.

2. Regional dialects Of Thai

It’s vibrant to remember that while Central Thai is the certified Thai language, other dialects are tough to learn by ear. Though everyone in Thailand comprehended Central Thai, the dialect spoken in Bangkok and used in everyday communication and one taught in schools. 

If you’re on the Thai side of the Thai-Cambodian border, don’t be stunned if somebody speaks to you in a language that hums like Thai but isn’t. They’ll recognize if you talk Central Thai to them.

3. Release of final consonants

Thai has no released concluding consonants, unlike definite languages, such as English. For instance, Love. It is interpreted as “รัก” in the Thai language. 

You can call it “Rạk.” Do you notice how no air is cleared in the last K sound? In Thai verses, this is true for all concluding consonants.

To state this word properly, you must break right before the back of the tongue touches the roof of the mouth. In Thai words, do not ever release the air of final consonants.

4. Mispronouncing The NGAAW-NGUU Sound ()

It is a very collective sound in Thai; thus make sure you speak it properly. This sound can also be established in English. It means the NG sound found in words like “ring” and “sing”. 

In Thai, unlike English, this sound can appear at the start of a word.

Begin by saying the word “sing” and then bouncing off it. After that, echo the word in your head. The SI sound should be escaped, but the NG sound should be complete. Effort to isolate the NG sound on its own slowly. That’s how you will be able to speak like Thai speakers.

5. Mispronouncing BPAAW-BPLLA and PHAAW-PHAAN ( and )

As you can see, misstating words is some of the most common errors when speaking Thai.

These are two P-sounding words. The first looks like the P in the word “apan,” while the second looks like the P in “pan.” Though English speakers do not discriminate between these two P sounds, Thai speakers do. The first P is tougher to pronounce, as it sounds like a soft B.

The second P sounds like a Normal English P that you’re familiar with.

Though, it is not the same as the B sound, which is much tougher. You should not let out a rush of air when uttering this sound. 

Employing a Thai language translator or taking help from a Thai translation agency is your best bet to get help with effective translation solutions 

Thai language translation services

Localization and translation will allow businesses to get to their global dream. Thai has a stable economic growth rate and has well-enforced laws.

As the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia Thailand is a trustworthy source of investment for any global company looking for international success.  

However, the Thai translation process is often filled with mistakes and challenges. If you plan to enter the Thai market, here is how to avoid translation mistakes. 

How to avoid Thai translation mistakes

Pre-planning is essential

The entire project might be a disaster if you begin translating your Thai document without proper planning. 

You and your Thai translation service provider must devote suitable time to plan.

Consider Cultural Differences

Symbols, ideas, images, and words that charm this country might be offensive and provocative to the Thai people. Every language has a historical background and distinct culture. 

Thus, localizing your content to fit well with your target learner’s culture is vital to exploit your chances of success in Thailand.

Here are some vital points that both your Thai translation agency and you should bear in mind to get closer to Thai people:

·     Many content boundaries must be followed in Thailand to escape content being banned. Any rude content of the Thai monarchy or King is a big no-no, and it can lead to criminal prosecution or ban. Political content is greatly regulated, and sexual video footage is banned.

· Besides Thais, Thailand’s population contains Indians, Cambodians, Burmese, Lao, Malay, and ethnic Chinese. Each of them has diverse cultural beliefs, so it means analyzing the social spheres of your Thai target group.  

· Thai is one of the few languages with a structure of numerals. On the other hand, Thais rarely utilize their numbers in regular life, particularly in the previous 10-15 years. They work with Arabic numbers in its place due to Thailand’s close commercial ties with other countries, rapid growth, and a generous percentage of structured tourists.

·       Your Thai Translation Service provider should provide the Right Font.

 Choosing the appropriate font is vital in the translation process. It would help if you shunned using licensed and custom fonts, as some may not be available on all devices or systems.

Just use the system fonts, which contain characters for the Thai language. 

Here are some different features of Thai font you should be mindful of before selecting a font:

·       The Thai typeface is not alphabetic, distinct from the typographic systems of all Western languages. It falls between the alphabet and the syllabary as an Abugida.

·       The letters that make up a syllable, like the Devanagari language, are made up of fragments.

·       Thai is written from left to right, much like English. However, they are not detached by spaced marks. Certainly, diverse words are written one after the other, and spaces are used to distinguish diverse sentences.

That’s why you must check the font copyright before choosing a font. 

Translating Your Audio/Video Scripts effectively

Video and audio are quickly becoming the king of the web, and you should have spent significant effort and time developing them by now. You’ll need to work with a qualified Thai translation service provider that can translate the Thai language so they can understand.

Partner with a professional Thai translation agency

When you partner with a Thai translation agency, you can relieve a big burden from your shoulders. Only a human can satisfactorily translate websites, eLearning, e-commerce, multimedia, apps, software and documents. This is why leading translation agencies depend on qualified Thai language translators who are inborn speakers of the area you want to aim at. 

To find experts with the finest skills, translation agencies examine applicants on their smoothness in both English and Thai, accuracy in vocabulary and grammar, ability to communicate effectively and knowledge of specific industries. 

Speed for finishing your localization project before the deadline is also considered. Their services are reasonably priced to keep it within your budget. Also get premium quality from using proficient Thai language translators who specialize in your industry. 

Wrapping Up

Thailand is desirable for any business because it has one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies. On the other hand, offering Thai translation services includes more than just content translation.

Working with those without experience on any project or localization for Thai could lead to your regrets. Partnering with a reliable Thai translation agency will ensure you get affordable, reliable, and high-quality work.

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