|From:||Amber Adams <amber@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, October 9, 2001, 21:01|
On Tue, Oct 09, 2001 at 06:35:03AM -0700, SuomenkieliMaa wrote:
> Hi Christophe, Amber,
> At the moment, I'm learning Thai "for the fun of it."
I'm glad to see other people have the same twisted idea of fun as me. :)
> You may know that Thai, albeit a completely separate
> language from Khmer, has imported a large bulk of its
> vocabulary (and customs, it seems) from Cambodia.
Yes, and vice-versa, as Cambodia's influence faded and Thailand's grew,
many words entered Khmer from Thai as well.
> Occasionally, I have glanced over this quite consise
> manual of Khmer hand-writing I picked up this summer
> while on vacation in Phnom Penh -- it does resemble
> Thai in a lot of ways, and Thai, if you ask me, is a
> piece-of-cake to master.
I'd like to know your secret, then. ;)
I've looked at the Thai script, and I couldn't make any sense of it,
due to the similarity of the characters, both in their shapes, and in
that there seem to be multiple characters for the same sound.
This bothers me about Khmer, as well. Because of sound changes, the
'ka kha ga gha' arrangement of brahmi-spawn has become 'ka kha ko kho,'
with no apparent rhyme or reason (other than tradition) as to when to
write a word with the a-vowel and when to use the o-vowel.
> After a couple of weeks focusing on the mind-boggling
> manner in which the Thais write, you do catch on
> quickly! Let me tell you that, from the perspective
> of a Westerner, Japanese 3-layered kana/kanji script
> still takes the medal as "most difficult to master
> reading/writing"! After nearly 10 yrs (half of which
> I've lived/worked in the country), I'm almost ready to
> comfortably read a newspaper in Japanese...
Aww, Japanese isn't so bad. Learning the kana systems is no worse
than learning any other foreign system of writing really, it takes some
time but it's not anything horribly painful. Of course, the kanji are
another matter. However, in that, I don't think that Japanese is any
worse than Chinese, or any other language that uses characters. Characters
are just a headache.
> By the way, my half-hearted attempt at my conlang
> (Vya:a:h) has left me stumped. The script appears a
> pseudo-Khmer script written in form of Hangul, but
> also incorporates the Chinese/Japanes system of
> pictograms for up to the 500 most common concepts.
> I'm stumped, however, with how to keep the
> "3-to-an-inverted-triangle-set" concept I want,
I had a thought about this, my inspiration came from the way that Chinese
characters seem to cram in increasingly complicated radicals into the same
space. Why don't you just squish the characters down?
For example, a basic word might just use three simple symbols, arranged in
an inverted triangle. However, the nice thing about inverted triangles is
that you can make a larger inverted triangle out of three smaller ones.
So what if in the case of a word using 9 symbols, you wrote three triangles
in the same pattern as the basic word, only each one was much smaller,
squashed into the space meant for a single character? That would mean that
some of your words would be much "denser" than others (kind of like the look
of various Chinese characters on a page) but you would preserve the
look of one triangle for one character.