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  1. #1
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    The best way to learn Isaan thai

    not found hardly any useful material to aid learning essan thai language.
    anybody know of any on-line material
    or talking dictianary english-thai -(and) essan.
    any help appreciated
    cheers

  2. #2
    FarangRed
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    Go and live there in sticky rice land

  3. #3
    Non expat WujouMao's Avatar
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    Well 1st things 1st, its Isan not 'Essan'.

  4. #4
    FarangRed
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    upto you^

  5. #5
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    And, they speak Laotian, the language of Laos.

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    ^ yes they do, in Laos...

    Don't you start getting all silly again Can!

    I went to Laos with a couple of Thai friends, they spoke a dialect of Issan aswellas Central Thai, said they could speak Laos no problem, could they fuk... The Laotians had to speak Thai with them (they pick it up off TV which is mostly Thai, or was at that time).
    How do I post these pictures???

  7. #7
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    Most words in Issan and Lao are the same. Even with the differences they can both understand each other. My wife was born in Kemerrat by the river and learned Bangkok Thai from the family and Lao and Issan out side of the house and in school. I have traveled all over Laos and Thailand with my wife and she just jabbers on and on and on...hell do they every stop for a breath.

  8. #8
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    ^ her dialect, I don't doubt it (right on the border).

    Many Issan dialects (I'm not sure exactly, but there's probably 4 or 5 quite distinct Issan dialects) are not as close to Laos as many folks seem to believe... The Thais I went with were from the Korat area, and they couldn't speak or understand Laos.
    Last edited by Bettyboo; 29-01-2012 at 08:58 PM.

  9. #9
    Member Borey the Bald's Avatar
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    The language spoken in upper Isaan (Udon, Nong Khai, Sakon Nakhon, NKP) is Lao. My wife has no difficulty speaking to native Laotians, but the further south we go in Thailand, the more difficulty she has communicating. She is very uncomfortable speaking in Bangkok since her Thai is only what she learned in school. The language used in Khorat is significantly different from upper (northern) Isaan.

    In the US my wife often is called on to translate English to Laotian for immigrant co-workers.

    She does have trouble communicating with the Hmong, but then so do the native Laotians.

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    ^ good post, makes sense.

    Any idea of the diffeent dialect names? Just out of interest.

  11. #11
    Member Borey the Bald's Avatar
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    ^I've never seen anything written about Isaan dialects. I suppose something must exist at one of the Thai universities.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    ^ her dialect, I don't doubt it (right on the border).

    Many Issan dialects (I'm not sure exactly, but there's probably 4 or 5 quite distinct Issan dialects) are not as close to Laos as many folks seem to believe... The Thais I went with were from the Korat area, and they couldn't speak or understand Laos.

    My wife has lived in Bangkok and Korat for the last 25 years, about half and half. There is Issan and there is also a Korat Thai - different from Issan or standard Thai. She speaks it also. It sounds like someome singing with a mouth full of shit and out of tune to boot.

    To the OP - Do as I am doing - learn standard Thai and forget all of the dialects. Standard/Bangkok Thai will serve you better.

  13. #13
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    ^ yes they do, in Laos...

    Don't you start getting all silly again Can!

    I went to Laos with a couple of Thai friends, they spoke a dialect of Issan aswellas Central Thai, said they could speak Laos no problem, could they fuk... The Laotians had to speak Thai with them (they pick it up off TV which is mostly Thai, or was at that time).
    I am just a beginner in the "being silly stakes". How on earth didn't you know that Laotian was spoken "up North" ? Are you sure you are not in Malaysia ?

  16. #16
    Member Mousepad's Avatar
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    There is no such thing as truly Isaan Thai.

    Depending on your location there will be a mixture of Thai/Laos/Khmer etc and although similar, some words will be similair but there is also a fairly big regional difference. Different words/different pronunciation/meanings etc etc.

    Personally, I'd make sure you have a very good grasp of 'Central Thai' before you even venture into learning any regional nuances.

  17. #17
    Dan
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    I'd make sure you have a very good grasp of 'Central Thai' before you even venture into learning any regional nuances.
    I'd agree with that but if you want to study Isaan Thai, Amazon lists some books.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceburat1 View Post
    To the OP - Do as I am doing - learn standard Thai and forget all of the dialects. Standard/Bangkok Thai will serve you better.
    Best advice here, why would you want to learn a guttural bastard language beats me.
    At my daughters school (in Udon) they forbid esarn being spoken as I do in the house.

  19. #19
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    My kid speaks Isan and Thai; lucky little guy. Never seen any books though have to learn it from a native or live there or both

  20. #20
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    Get a book on Laoatian
    or live there

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by can123 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    ^ yes they do, in Laos...

    Don't you start getting all silly again Can!

    I went to Laos with a couple of Thai friends, they spoke a dialect of Issan aswellas Central Thai, said they could speak Laos no problem, could they fuk... The Laotians had to speak Thai with them (they pick it up off TV which is mostly Thai, or was at that time).
    I am just a beginner in the "being silly stakes". How on earth didn't you know that Laotian was spoken "up North" ? Are you sure you are not in Malaysia ?
    I'll give you credit for being a little bit right...

    Actually, I think that some folks, whilst I don't doubt there experiences, have things the wrong way round. The way I understand it, Laos is a version of Tai rather than the other way around, but that's just playing semantics really...

    'Up North' - depends where you are talking about. Up North to the left, up North centrally and up North to the right probably speak different dialects, but even within the same province you may have 4 or 5 dialects/languages; a couple of Issan dialects, some hilltribe 'languages' and some Cambo/Laos based languages.

    As stated above, it's hard to get correct information, one of the propaganda efforts since the 1930's, and a major one at that, has been to promote Central Thai and marginalize other dialects and 'languages'.

    It's an interesting area because what is Issan; what is Thai; What is a dialect or language is quite unclear in Thailand. I've seen some studies, but they've been done by Bangkok universities and show strong biases towards Central Thai which are clearly not historically true.

    There must be a good book about it somewhere; possibly banned...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterpan
    Best advice here, why would you want to learn a guttural bastard language beats me. At my daughters school (in Udon) they forbid esarn being spoken as I do in the house.
    Mate, can't believe you wrote that... Cultural imperialism at best, at worst, well, cultural genecide...

    How's about, because standard English (BBC English/RP) is dominant, that we ban Scouse, Brommy, Scots, Geordie (actually that's not a bad idea...), Welsh, etc, even though they are often historically correct whereas standard BBC English is often the bastard that uses non-standard grammar/pronunciation, unduely influenced by the truly bastard French amongst others...

  23. #23
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    Just learn Thai and then you'll have a good grounding for the rest of the country. They'll understand you and you can pick up a few bits of Issan as you go along. That said, the fuckers code-switch all the time anyway so even if you learnt Laos you'd probably still be lost.

  24. #24
    I am no longer a Hostage

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    Quote Originally Posted by peterpan
    why would you want to learn a guttural bastard language beats me.
    Cause the people you live amongst speak that ?

    Yes you can communicate in Thai, but you can't listen in on a conversation, cause they speak Lao here (KK)

    And it is easier to learn...for me anyway

  25. #25
    Member pescator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alwarner View Post
    Just learn Thai and then you'll have a good grounding for the rest of the country. They'll understand you and you can pick up a few bits of Issan as you go along..
    Totally agree.

    Speaking only Lao/Issan could prove rather counter productive when spoken to central thai speakers.

    Either they will piss their pants while laughing at the hillbilly farang or a more likey scenario, be pissed of that you consider them to be Issan.
    Many will also pretend not to understand. And some will prolly not understand.

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