Certified Thai to English
Document Translation Services,
English to Thai Translations

Digging Deeper into the
Thai to English Translation Challenges

Thai to English Business Document Translation Services

There is a growing need for certified Thai to English translation services and Thai interpreting services.  Spoken fluently by close to 65 million people, Thai is an incredibly complicated language — thanks to a numbering system that doesn’t resemble anything else on the planet, and an alphabet with 44 consonants and 15 vowels.

The placing of those letters also adds to the confusion. When you look at a Thai document translation, you’ll notice that there are no spaces between the words. Plus, the vowels may be above or below the consonants.

Making things even more complicated, there are no capital letters or articles (like “a”, “an”, and “the”). In fact, many experts insist that there is no grammar whatsoever in the Thai language! Adjectives and adverbs can go anywhere, so there’s no set sentence structure to go by. Plus, Thai words aren’t changed to reflect different tenses, or to change from singular to plural. To some language experts, reading Thai is like a free-for-all.

All in all, it makes for an incredibly tedious process — whether you’re getting English to Thai document translation or from Thai to English translation services!

As if all that wasn’t enough to contend with, Thai is a tonal language. As a result, understanding the spoken Thai language is even tougher than decoding the written form!

Even though your English to Thai translator or interpreter won’t be able to hear different tones, they’ll still play a big role in the way he works. Since there is such an emphasis on tones, many Thai words are pronounced differently — but are spelled very similarly. As a result, lots of Thai words look nearly identical, even though they don’t have similar meanings. Your Thai translator will need to have a very keen eye to make sure that he gets everything right!

And, unfortunately, there isn’t much outside knowledge to draw from when it comes to understanding Thai. Unlike some of the other Asian countries — which share language similarities — Thai isn’t similar to anything. Even if your translator speaks perfect Chinese or Vietnamese, if he’s not a Thai expert, he won’t be able to help you.

As unique as Thai is, it’s not the same everywhere that it’s spoken. In fact, there are a number of different dialects. People who live in Bangkok will speak a little differently than the people who live in the northern part of the country. Luckily, though, no matter what dialect they speak, they all understand “Standard Thai”, so no matter where your translated documents are headed, they’ll make sense to the recipient.

And speaking of documents, what can you expect to see in documents that have gone through a Thai to English translation?

First, you might be surprised at some of the compliments you get from your Thai business associates. For example, if you’re ever referred to as a “mouse” or a “baby elephant”, that’s a good thing! Unlike in English, those words don’t mean that you’re timid or fat. In fact, both are considered terms of endearment that Thais use to address people whom they feel are superior to them.

One more thing you’ll likely see when you converse with your Thai business contacts?

The word “probably”. For some reason, when Thais try to speak English (even if it’s only half-English), they use the word “probably” a lot — even if it doesn’t make any sense in the context of the conversation. For example, you might see a hotel claim that it’s “probably the best in town”.

As a result, it’s best for everyone to stick to their native language, and hire a professional Thai translator and interpreter you can trust. That way, you can get a certified Thai translation that makes perfect sense — instead of feeling like you “probably” will understand what everyone else is talking about!

Contact our Thai litigation translation service to hire a Thai deposition interpreter, a Thai medical interpreter, or to obtain certified Thai into English document translations.