Jump to content
Thailand Visa Forum by Thai Visa | The Nation
meadish_sweetball

Thai Newspaper Headlines

Recommended Posts

One thing that is still quite difficult for me is interpreting/understanding Thai newspaper headlines. Now and then I will ask a Thai for an explanation, and I am nigh always intrigued when I understand how they are composed (which is not too often... :o ).

Anyway, there must be some general rules as to how they are composed and should be read, and this thread is dedicated to trying to understand them better.

Hoping we can explore this together, and also hoping one or more of our native Thai members will be kind enough to help us if we get stuck or misunderstand something.

There are some online tools that could be helpful:

www.thai2english.com Free service which allows you to paste Thai text into a box and then hover your mouse over each individual word to get alternative translations. This is a great tool in order to get a basic idea of the words in the headline, but it is unable to translate everything - headlines typically contain many abbreviations and slang words not normally heard in everyday speech (at least not in my everyday life).

Also, Bangkok Post still has an archive of Thai news article translations called 'sàp jàak khàao' (words from the news) that could serve as a good introduction for anyone who has not worked with learning Thai from newspapers before. Click here: Thai-English vocabulary from the Thai dailies

If anyone has any other suggestions for free web resources that could be used, please post them here. However, please bear in mind that links to commercial web pages and plugging of adware/payware are discouraged and will be removed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.thairath.co.th/online.php?secti...p;content=35246

Ok, I will go first. Here is the main headline from ไทยรัฐ today.

คนงาน ปรับพื้น ผิวถนน ดวง กุด แค่ เตือน ซิ่ง 2 หนุ่ม ลาย พราง ยิง ดับ

My attempt at an approximate translation (this can definitely be improved, but will give the general idea at least)

Ill-fated road repairman shot after telling off two speeding youth in camouflage

Words:

คนงาน = worker

ปรับพื้น = level the ground; smooth; even; flatten

ผิวถนน = road surface

ดวง กุด = ดวง 'duang' here is used in the sense (stars; fate) and กุด 'kùd' probably is used in the sense meaning maimed; mutilated.

ยิง ดับ = ยิง 'ying' = shoot, and ดับ dàb = switch off, turn out. When I have seen ยิง ดับ before, it has meant 'shoot dead', but the article claims he was just seriously wounded and brought to hospital).

ซิ่ง = to be speeding. In this case used as a noun. The entire noun phrase is ซิ่ง 2 หนุ่ม ลาย พราง 'sîng [R]sawng nùm laai phraang' "two speeding young men (dressed in) camouflage"

Link to the story, processed by www.thai2english.com in order to separate words for easy reading and allow hovering over words to see their meaning in English: http://www.thai2english.com/trans.html?query_id=240461

The story, in short, is about a road repairman in Bangkok who was shot in the back of his head by two youth dressed in camouflage on a motorcycle, apparently because he had shouted at them earlier when they stirred up dust while speeding over the road repair area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

great idea. it is like deciphering code sometimes with these newspaper headlines.

ยิง ดับ = ยิง 'ying' = shoot, and ดับ dàb = switch off, turn out. When I have seen ยิง ดับ before, it has meant 'shoot dead', but the article claims he was just seriously wounded and brought to hospital).

perhaps the meaning of ดับ in these cases could mean "to xxx his lights out" as in "to knock his lights out". So the combination of ยิง ดับ could have the range of meaning from shoot and kill to shoot and make unconscious or at least totally incapacitate.

Thats my 2 bahts, still trying to put the rest of the jigsaw puzzle together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i liked ผิว ถนน

i'd only heard ผิว used for 'skin' (ie. of a person or animal) before.

so can ผิว be used for the surface or coating of anything?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bangsue,

ผิว often means surface, for example in ผิวน้ำ water surface... A more exact word for 'skin' is ผิวหนัง where หนัง can mean 'hide'; 'skin'... which makes it more obvious that ผิว by itself means surface - "skin surface".

Another good word is ผิวเผิน superficial; on the surface; skin deep.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i liked ผิว ถนน

one amusing characteristic of Thai language that they often relate 'things' & verbs to animal characteristics/behaviors. In english the boundaries are more rigid.

eg. they call the electric cord from a desk lamp the 'tail', or when a printer uses paper, they say the printer 'eats' the paper. I shake my head and smile when I hear these expressions, but at least it makes them easy to remember.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
http://www.thairath.co.th/online.php?secti...p;content=35246

Ok, I will go first. Here is the main headline from ไทยรัฐ today.

คนงาน ปรับพื้น ผิวถนน ดวง กุด แค่ เตือน ซิ่ง 2 หนุ่ม ลาย พราง ยิง ดับ

My attempt at an approximate translation (this can definitely be improved, but will give the general idea at least)

Ill-fated road repairman shot after telling off two speeding youth in camouflage

great idea meadish. good translation too, but can i have a go at getting more of the original 'flavour'?

Road repairman out of luck: merely warns off speeding youth, ends up shot dead.

Ok, i left out the camouflage, and the 'ends up' bit is mine, but i reckon that if we can try to get into the phrasing, rhythm and (implied) punctuation of thai headlines we might even be able to create something authentic-sounding on our own (although admittedly just understanding is an ongoing challenge!).

all the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Link to the story, processed by www.thai2english.com in order to separate words for easy reading and allow hovering over words to see their meaning in English

there are other sections of thai rath that i like to (try and ) read , but due to the length of time involved , rarely get beyond the first paragraph , how is it possible to configure thai2english to help me read the thai press.

my favourite thai rath column is เลขที่๑วีภาวดีฯ , on the inside of the back page.

he writes , often sarcastically , about the incompetence of thai officialdom and wacky criminal cases.

its not too hard to get the gist of the stories , but sometimes putting the meat on the bones drives me up the wall ( and my wife too if i keep pestering her for translations) and i have to give up and hope the next days story will be easier.

how is it possible to configure thai2english to help me read this column , or do i have to cut and paste phrase by phrase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

aanon> your suggestion is definitely better. I can never hope to compete with a creative native speaker when it comes to flow...

Only one thing that confused me - he was not shot dead, as you can see further down in the article... still they use ยิง ดับ. A mistake?

taxexile - just copy the URL from the address line of the article in your browser, and paste it into the lowest field on the thai2english.com website, and you will get the entire page processed for easy reading. Hover the mouse over each word and its alternative translations will be shown. For an example of what it looks like when processed, just click on this link: http://www.thai2english.com/trans.html?query_id=240461

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today's headline from this Thai Rath article: http://www.thairath.co.th/onlineheadnews.html?id=35327 :

คาดได้ข้อยุติส.ส.สังกัดพรรค ลดเวลาสังกัดเหลือ30วันแทน

คาด ได้ ข้อยุติ ส.ส. สังกัด พรรค ลด เวลา สังกัด เหลือ 30 วัน แทน

[L]khaad [F]daai [FS]khaw [H]yud [R]saw [R]saw [R]sang[L]kad [H]phag [H]lod [M]wee[M]laa [R]sang[L]kad [RL]luea [R]saam[L]sib [M]wan [M]thaen

My general attempt at a translation:

Settlement expected in lowering the party affiliation time to 30 days for MPs

คาด ได้ = (it is) expected (to) get

ข้อยุติ = settlement

ส.ส. = Member of Parliament (short for สมาชิกรัฐสภา where รัฐสภา means parliament and สมาชิก means member)

สังกัด = affiliated with (belong to; be under; be a member of; be affiliated with)

พรรค = party (short for พรรคการเมือง 'political party')

ลด เวลา = reduce (the) time

เหลือ = to remain; to be left over

แทน = instead (also 'in lieu of' etc.)

Thaiglish: Expect get settlement MP belong party reduce time affiliation remain 30 days instead

General idea of the article: The commitee who are overseeing the rewriting of the constitution want to curb MPs ability to shift party loyalty during their term, and reserve movement between parties for election times. As I understand it, although I am not certain this is correct, it is the minimum amount of notice before changing party, that is to be reduced.

The article can be found here, processed by thai2english.com: http://www.thai2english.com/trans.html?query_id=242047

Comments very welcome - my translation won't be very idiomatic English but hopefully good enough to increase people's understanding of Thai. It is also possible I have misunderstood some of the details of the article's contents.

If anybody else wants to have a go at their own headline, please feel free. :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
aanon> your suggestion is definitely better. I can never hope to compete with a creative native speaker when it comes to flow...

Only one thing that confused me - he was not shot dead, as you can see further down in the article... still they use ยิง ดับ. A mistake?

taxexile - just copy the URL from the address line of the article in your browser, and paste it into the lowest field on the thai2english.com website, and you will get the entire page processed for easy reading. Hover the mouse over each word and its alternative translations will be shown. For an example of what it looks like when processed, just click on this link: http://www.thai2english.com/trans.html?query_id=240461

that is confusing, meadish. all i can think of with ยิงดับ is perhaps ดับ can apply to unconsciousness as per grover's suggestion? or, less likely, ยิงดับ is talking about the intentions of the youths?

ps. i think your translation would be preferred by most english speakers, in mine i'm merely playing around and trying to get closer to "thinking like a thai person", whatever that means!

pps. perhaps as we go on we will be able to formulate some general rules of thai headline writing, for example (starting with the easy stuff): leave out connecting words like และ and กับ, use nicknames where commonly known, shorten verbs to minimum understandable length...

ppps. after looking at your example link, i'm shocked to see how hard it is to read thai with gaps between all the words! i want to pause after every word.

all the best.

Edited by aanon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

BANGKOK 21 November 2017 07:50
Sponsors
×