SARA AM (-ำ)

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SARA AM (-ำ)

This weekend is fully packed with the EKKA agricultural shows in Brisbane; the opening ceremony of RIO 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro (both down under the Equator but some 12 hours apart on the time zone). We talked about the way we divide the world into time zone by longitude (angular distance between 2 points on a selected latitude - the Equator). We ask questions like how do we tell time when we are at either the North or the South poles? At the poles all longitudes merge into ane single point, so is all time zones. So time zones do not make sense. We can make one step foreward and travel across one whole day! Step back and we can be back to yesterday - a time travel?

It is this sort of detailed inquiry that brings us to one issue with the Royal Society Thai Dictionary (mobile edition) {RSTDm}. It is an insidious issue that has been overlooked. In the time when Thailand need to digitize the country's various forms of record, so that we can make better use of available information and information technologies. This issue is included in my request to the Royal Society to revise {RDTDm}.

In my (weekend) research to see if {RSTDm} is 'complete' (see definition of 'completeness of a dictionary' and result - that {RSTDm} is not complete in my previous blog: A Call from the Wilderness ), I also found that we have issue with the ways 'สระ อำ (-ำ)' have been typed in the dictionary.

"There are words with -ำ that are spelt with 'sara am' (-ำ), but there many words spelt with 'nikhahit' (นิคหิต) and 'sara aa' ( ํา). For example (รํ ่ า) instead of (ร ่ ำ). Though they look the same, their encoding are different (sara am is encoded with one '0E33' unicode, while nikhahit '0E4D' and sasa aa '0E32' are 2 unicodes, more complex when a tone mark 'วรรณยุกต์' is involved) and computer search engines will fail to find 'sara am' words with '0E4D' and '0E32'. In some languistic research this may reduce much valuable result. It is strongly recommended that all instances of 'nikhahit [optional tone mark] sara aa' are replaced with '[optional tone mark] sara am' for consistency and more correct search results."

Let me explain a little further. We can transform all instances of 'nikhahit'and 'sara aa' ( ํา) to 'sara am' (-ำ) with any simple text editor that allows 'replace text'. All other variations including วรรณยุกต์ (tone mark) can be replaced in the same fashion. But there are words that had been typed with sequences like 'นิคหิต' 'วรรณยุกต์' 'สระ อา'. These sequences must be replaced by sequences like 'วรรณยุกต์' 'สระ อำ'. And we must include not just 'head words' but also words in definition and so on to ensure complete and thorough replacement. (Evidently, this issue had been overlooked.)

So we looked at issues like 'time at the poles' and 'sara am' in {RSTDm} and realized that they are more or less an issue of 'detailing' in practice that can have far more serious consequences when we work at the edge of chaos or confusion zone. To go forth in this (so called 21st) century, we have enough of other issues to worry about. Let us remove this 'sara am' issue from our best Thai language reference.

บันทึกนี้เขียนที่ GotoKnow โดย  ใน พจนานุกรม ฉบับราชบัณฑิตยสถาน 2554

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คุณ sr ละเอียดมากเลยค่ะ อยากให้ส่งต่อข้อมูลถึงผู้จัดทำได้จังเลยนะคะ


Hi โอ๋-อโณ :

I did send a list of issues to the Royal Society and request to have the dictionary revised. I also to ask for a 2560 BE edition RSTD -- ie. the revision should be done ASAP.

Please follow me. I will describe more issues with RSTD in the next few posts. ;-)


Wow! you're such an asset.