I think Manee missed us. It’s been a while since we followed the harrowing adventures of our little friend.

When we last left Manee, she and her mom were in the market shopping. I can’t imagine much has changed since the last translation, but let’s try and see if I can accurately piece together what’s going on; not only based on the translation I come up with, but also based on some of the wonderful comments and help I’ve been receiving from the readers in Part 1 and Part 2, many of whom are way better at Thai than I am.

I think I’ve hit upon a good formula for these posts, but if you have suggestions on how to improve their format by all means let me know!

Okay, enough delaying… let’s continue and see what craziness she gets herself into this time!

Here are the next two paragraphs:

สายแล้วแม่ยังซื้อของไม่เสร็จมานีเดินตามแม่อยู่นานจนหิว   มองเห็นร้านหนึ่งมีของกินน่าอร่อยและราคาไม่แพงเพราะมีป้ายบอกไว้มานีจึงชวนแม่เข้าไป   แม่เห็นว่าบ้านอยู่ไกลตลาดจึงพามานีเข้าไปซื้อกิน   ในร้านมีคนมาก

And so we don’t cause any hemorrhaging, let’s break things down one paragraph and sentence at a time.

/sǎai lɛ́ɛo mɛ̂ɛ yang sʉ́ʉ kɔ̌ɔng mâi sèt maa-nii dəən dtaam mɛ̂ɛ yùu naan jon hǐu/
(late already Mom still buy thing not “to finish” Manee walk follow Mom “to be/located” long time until hungry)
It was late already, and Mom was not finished buying things. Manee followed her Mom for a long time until she got hungry. 

There really doesn’t seem to be much to analyze here; it’s all pretty straightforward with no crazy curveballs. Let’s move on. The next sentence is very long, so I’m going to break it up to make it more readable. Breaking the sentence up this way is not indicative of any pauses in speech or empahsis

/mɔɔng-hěn ráan nʉ̀ng mii kɔ̌ɔng-gin/
(“to notice” store one have “foodstuff”)

/nâa à rɔ̀ɔi lɛ́ raa-kaa mâi-pɛɛng/
(delectable and price inexpensive)

/prɔ́ mii bpâai bɔ̀ɔk wái/
(because have poster/sign tell [subjective predicate])

/maa-nii jʉng chuan mɛ̂ɛ kâo-bpai/
(Manee therefore persuade Mom “to enter”)

First, let’s put it all together into “real” English:

She noticed a store that has food. The food looks tasty, and also inexpensive because she saw a sign with the price. Therefore, she persuaded Mom to go in. 

Now, I’m taking a few liberties here in the translation because, as we all know, Thai often uses way less words than we do in Engilsh. The first thing I want to point out is the use of น่า which is like adding “-able” to a word. In Thai it’s a prefix to the word it modifies, similar to กำลัง, ความ, and การ. “Delectable” is the closest comparable English word if you want to be literal in the use of น่า, but this can also take on the meaning of “very” or “extreme,” so I think if you wanted to be more liberal in your translation you could also say that the food looked yummy, delicious, or simply “very good.”

The next quirk is the application of ไว้. I have to be honest, I have no idea what the hell a “subjective complement” really is; that’s what the dictionary said. But, two additional sources helped me understand this better.

In David Smyth’s book Thai – An Essential Grammar he says that when a verb is followed by ไว้ it conveys an idea that the action is being done for reference.

In the book Thai Reference Grammar, it is explained that ไว้ is “included to show that an object is being kept or left in place.” 

Stated in those ways make perfect sense, as I can only assume a sign is for reference and being left in place. Admittedly, however, that one will probably take me a long time to remember and fully wrap my head around.

We’re almost done, so I’m going to keep the last two sentences intact:

/mɛ̂ɛ hěn wâa bâan yùu glai dtà-làat jʉng paa maa-nii kâo-bpai sʉ́ʉ gin/
(Mom “to discern” that house “to be located” far market therefore “to take along” Manee “to enter” “to buy” “to eat”)
Mom sees that the house is far from the market, so she took Manee inside to buy something to eat.

I think it’s becoming ever more apparent to me that in most cases (but certainly not all) you really have to take some liberties with the translation to get the true meaning. Until I was working on this lesson I didn’t know that เห็น actually also meant “to discern,” but in working through a proper English translation it was very close to the word I wanted to use instead of “to see” anyway. The problem, I suspect, lies in determining when you should be precise, and when you shouldn’t. It’s going to take me a long time to identify if the subject meant “to see” or “to discern” on the fly.

And that brings us to the last sentence of this lesson:

/nai ráan mii kon mâak/
(inside store have people much)
Inside the store were a lot of people.

I don’t think we really need to dissect that last sentence, do we? At the very least it’s nice to know that Manee let us off the hook at the very end.

That’s it for now; I promise we will be joining Manee again very soon.