Friday, 21 July 2017

Thai place names in English (joke)

Thai place names in English (joke)

Some not-too-serious translations of Thai place names into English, based on a post I found on facebook:


These are a great exercise for students of Thai, here my translations and explanations where not obvious (some with help of a Thai friend, some translations from Thai2English):

What are these places in Thailand?

1. Stop drug อยุธยา Ayutthaya (หยุด-ยา)

2. Battle town ลพบุรี Lopburi (รบ [to] fight ; combat), or better:

Minus/erase/delete town ลพบุรี Lopburi (ลบ [to be] negative, [to] remove ; delete ; take away)

3. Great matter blue มหาสารคาม Maha Sarakham (สาร săan (a chemical) substance ; essence, คราม indigo ; indigo blue)

4. Mommy room teach แม่ฮ่องสอน Mae Hong Son (ห้อง hông room, same pronunciation as ฮ่อง (no meaning))

5. Diamond complete เพชรบุรี Petburi

6. Pool town สระบุรี Saraburi (same spelling, but different pronunciation สระ sà pool)

7. Money ตรัง Trang (ตัง is short for สตางค์ sà-dtaang colloquial used for “money”)

8. Monk leg สงขลา Songkhla (สงฆ์ Noun, of Pali/Sanskrit origin monk, ขาขา kăa leg ; limb ; foot)

9. Book war สมุทรสงคราม Samut Songkram
10. Fish china town ปราจีนบุรี Prachinburi
11. Invasion แพร่ Phrae

12. Pool magic city สกลนคร Sakon Nakon (สระ-กล-นคร, กล or มายากล jugglery ; conjuring ; magic)

13. City monk milk นครพนม Nakon Phanom (นคร-พระ-นม)

14. City lion come นครราชสีมา Nakon Ratchasima (ราชสีห์ râat-chá-sĕe, one of the words for lion:
สิงโต sĭng dtoh is the animal from Africa,
สิงห์ sing Leo, fifth sign of the zodiac,
ราชสีห์ râat-chá-sĕe yet another mythological lion)

15. No devil town นครสวรรค์ Nakon Sawan (สวรรค์ heaven)

16. Dot meeting mountain lough ประจวบคีรีขันธ์ (no idea about dot; ประจวบ bprà-jùap [to] coincide ; be coincident with ; collide, คีรี kee-ree mountain, ขัน kăn amusingly ; funnily ; ridiculously)

17. Small monk พะเยา Phayao (พระ-เยา [to be] low ; little ; weak)
18. Growth power อำนาจเจริญ Amnat Charoen
19. That (demonstrative pronoun) น่าน Nan
20. Prime Minister’s city นครนายก Nakon Nayok
21. He’s big เขาไหญ่ Khao Yai

22. KFC casino บ่อนไก่ Bon Gai (บ่อน bòn den ; house (used for illicit activites like gambling)

23. Some Crab บางปู Bang Pu (บาง baang Quantifier some ; a few, but here it means village ; settlement)

24. Beautiful circle yesterday งามวงวาน Ngam Wong Wan (งาม in compounds like สวยงาม sŭay ngaam beautiful ; attractive ; charming, วง wong group ; circle ; sector, วาน waan yesterday)

25. Separate dance wheat แยกลำสาลี Yaek Lamsalee

26. Hold elephant เกาะช้าง Koh Chang (เกาะ has two meanings: island and [to] hold ; cling ; arrest)

27. Soft Lady อ่อนนุช On Nut

28. Speaker head หัวลำโพง Hua Lampong
Used to be วัวลำโพง Wua Lampong (cow/bull/ox gets angry and hits people), then during in WWII, loudspeakers were installed to warn people of allied bombings, and the name was changed to หัวลำโพง Hua Lampong. Furthermore, there is Hua Lampong canal (one running along Narathiwat Ratchanakarin road and another parallel south of Rama 4 road)

29. Some 007 (James Bond) บางบอน

30. Not sad อโศก Asok (อโศก has two meanings: Ashoka the Great (Indian King) and [to be] sad ; unhappy ; depressed)

My own addition:

31. The field of the great cloud ทุ่งมหาเมฆ Thung Maha Mek (sub-district in which Malaysia hotel is located)

And some unfavorable English renderings of names of BTS stations:
Mor Chit - More shit, On Nut - One nut, Chit Lom - Shit room.

And equivalent jokes in English language:
Which country in Europe has the most rain? Uk-rain!
Which country in Asia consumes most beer? Singha-pour!

update: town names in Thailand mainly agricultural, whereas in Germany we have Eisenhuettenstadt, -furt (passing over a river), salz and similar industrial/mining.

ChristianPFC 2017

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