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BANGKOK 18 December 2018 17:28
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rak sa_ngop

Need Book Recommendations

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I can certainly recommend Lee Child's first Jack Reacher adventure which I believe is the only one to have been translated into Thai. A real cracking good read. I hadn't read it before in English, but due to Jack Reacher's habit of logically thinking problems out, the plot and his actions tend to be easier to understand.

Now looking for a new book to read, but one that will keep my interest. Lots of Dan Brown and other detective books are available these days, but somehow I don't think Dan Brown will translate successfuly for a non-native Thai reader.

I have read Dissolution by C.J.Sansom, but was fortunate to have the English version as well which helped to explain what was really happening (e.g. 'throwing rotting fruit at a woman in the stocks' was translated as throwing fruit in a market) A good read but lots of antiquated words/expressions which did not translate easily.

Can anyone recommend a translated 'Western culture' book to read? I stress Western culture because I want a book I can 'really get into' and not one that focusses on ghosts and ghoullies and other nonsensical story lines.

Thanks

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Are you familiar with Michael Connolly? Most of his books are about a homicide detective in Los Angeles named Harry Bosch, but he has a few stand alone books also. I've read all of his books and while they aren't exactly great literature they are quick, entertaining reads. I've seen several of them translated to into Thai

A few of the books make reference to earlier events and backstories of recurring characters but for the most part they can be read in any order. I borrowed a few from a friend then read them as I found them in second hand stores and I don't think it mattered too much.

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I wanted to edit my post but I guess I was too slow.

Not all Thai books are about ghosts. There's the book ฉันคือเอรี่ which many of the forum members read and there is a thread about it. It's the autobiography of a girl working in the bars in Thailand and abroad.

Chart Korbjitti has written several novels and a bunch of short stories. I've read a few of his books and don't remember any references to anything supernatural. His novella จนตรอก was very good. พันธุ์หมาบ้า was mostly enjoyable but it's a bit over 700 pages and my interest level in it was up and down... but, to be fair, it was probably too difficult for me when I read it a few years ago so it was more of a struggle than it needed to be.

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If anybody wishes to purchase 'Killing Floor' by Lee Child it is currently on the shelves in many bookstores.

The title in Thai is ลานละเลงเลือด which loosely translates as 'blood smeared floor'.

The bookcover has title and author in English as well as Thai so it is easy to locate.

Can anybody explain why Thais never translate titles of books and films directly into Thai, but always change them? This has been bugging me for a long time. (e.g 'Gorky Park' by Martin Cruz Smith was translated as ม่านเหล็กทมิฬ or savage iron curtain)

Edited by rak sa_ngop

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That's because a title like 'Killing floor' would sound ridiculous and/or convoluted in Thai. Titles often carry allusions, puns or associations that are simply not available in the target language, or give rise to unintended associations. It's not quite true that Thais never do direct translations of titles - there are examples of fairly exact translations, for example the title of Watership Down (by Richard Adams) is ทุ่งวอเตอร์ชิป in Thai. About misunderstandings, my Thai acharn once mentioned that he had seen the Ingmar Bergman movie 'The Seventh Seal' in a Thai newspaper article translated as 'แมวน้ำตัวที่เจ็ด maew naam tua thii jet'. I did a little googling and noticed that the Swedish title of 'Killing Floor' is 'Dollar' (which simply is the name of the currency in Swedish). The same thing often happens when translating into English too - take the Stieg Larson novels for example, the original Swedish titles: Män som hatar kvinnor (=Men Who Hate Women) - This one is a direct translation. Flickan som lekte med elden (=The Girl Who Played With Fire) - Eng: 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Luftslottet som sprängdes (=The Air Castle That Was Blown Up) - Eng: 'The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest') What sounds snappy/intriguing/exciting etc. in one language often simply does not work in another. To consider further the effects of truly literal translations between languages belong to fairly distant cultures, I recommend this video clip:

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Thanks for your interesting explanation Meadish.

I suppose that in the case of 'Gorky Park' the 80's movie would have been released in Thailand with the more crowd pulling 'Savage Iron Curtain' name so the book probably has to follow that?

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