An elementary handbook of the Siamese language - by B. O. Cartwright - PDF ebook

An elementary handbook of the Siamese language 


An elementary handbook of the Siamese language

in this book, an attempt has been made for the first time, to set forth in English, a method of acquiring a practical working knowledge of the Siamese language. This method is one which the author has found by practical experience to be one, which can be successfully followed by the majority of learners. 

Hitherto those who have tried to acquire the language from a native teacher, have laboured under two great disadvantages, firstly that so very few Siamese teachers have sufficient knowledge of English to enable them to make explanations in necessary detail, and, secondly that they use a method, which although suitable for teaching the Siamese language to a Siamese child, is one which is hard of comprehension by a foreigner. 

The author trusts that this book will remove these disadvantages by giving the rules and explanations, and by indicating an applicable method. The real work therefore of the Siamese teacher, is in the earlier part of the book, to teach the learner the correct pronunciation, and, in the latter- part, to help him to translate English into good Siamese. In the earlier exercises 

Nos. 26 to 38 for translation into English, the Siamese is not very idiomatic. This has been purposely arranged so as not to give the learner too many difficulties to deal with at first. It is useful for the learner to compare these sentences with the same sentences rendered into strictly idiomatic Siamese, in a small book entitled " 

Exercises for Translation " by the same author. Siamese is distinctly a difficult language, especially as regards the correct pronunciation, on which the meanings of the majority of words so vitally depends. A word of caution is therefore necessary to would-be learners, and especially to those Author's Preface ix, who imagine they can " pick up" a smattering of the language in a few weeks by trying to learn words or sentences in a parrot-like fashion from romanised versions which are invariably most misleading. 

To try to do this is a merely absolute waste of time, money and frequently of temper also. The author has found by practical experience, that a working knowledge of the language can be acquired by average persons with proper tuition and diligence on the part of the learner in about 6—8 months, and by those with linguistic abilities in a somewhat shorter period. It is a matter of regret that a few errata have been allowed to pass uncorrected. The learner is advised to make the corrections indicated on page xiii. The author trusts in a subsequent edition (should it be called for) that these defects will be eliminated.

 In conclusion, the author begs to tender his best thanks to those who have so kindly assisted in the production of this work. His obligations are especially due to H. E. Phya Visuddha, Vice-Minister of Public Instruction. Pra Bhaisala, Dr. 0. Frankfurter, Ph. D., Mom Luang Yaam and Nai Boon Heng, for their kindness in correcting proof sheets and giving many valuable hints and suggestions. He also begs to thank H. E. Phya Visuddha and H. E Phya Sri Sahadheb, (Vice-Minister of the Interior) for their kind permission to use certain extracts from their books for translation exercises. To the former for Exercises 144, 145 and 146 taken from

Author: B. O. Cartwright
 Publication Date: 1906 


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