UPDATE July 30, 2012: An audio recording of this event is now available in MP3 format. Listen now.
To many foreigners, the Thai language is a confounding mix of sounds and squiggles that tie the tongue and befuddle the brain. Many try mightily to master it, but most become comfortable with enough to get by and leave it at that. However, there are others who have made study of this complex language their careers, and who can impart a great deal of knowledge on its history, development, and the role it plays in the complex linguistic jigsaw of Asia.
Rikker Dockum has been studying Thai for a decade. Fluent in Thai, but always looking to improve, he is interested in drilling down to the very roots of the language to learn how it developed into its current form, and he’s found doing so to be the key to better mastering the language. As a former Fulbright scholar he studied ancient Thai inscriptions, the oldest written records of Thai, and nowadays keeps busy with various projects related to Southeast Asian linguistics.
Rikker will discuss Thai from a linguist’s point of view. He’ll touch on some common questions — Why does Thai have multiple letters for the same sounds? Why so many consonants that appear in just a handful of words? Why on earth hasn’t this all been simplified? And just what is up with Thai transliteration into English? The answers to these questions may surprise you, but they will certainly leave you with a better appreciation for the complicated history of the Thai language as a living legacy of a cultural crossroads.
This event is free
All BKKSci events are free of charge. We do however ask that you please consider supporting Cafe Tartine (our venue) by purchasing your choice of food and drink during the event. Cafe Tartine has kindly agreed to host BKKSci free of charge. This is our way of thanking them for their support.
How to get there
Cafe Tartine is located on Soi Ruamrudee at Athenee Residence (65 Wireless Rd., Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330). The cafe is a but a short walk from BTS Ploenchit. Parking is limited but available.
Image curtesy: Theis Kofoed Hjorth.