Monday 5 November 2012

Introducing Catalan to Thailand (and Thai to Catalonia)

The Thai term for Catalan (as an ethnicity) = ชาวมณฑลแคตาโลเนีย.  We have two proper nouns before the phonetics of แคตาโลเนีย, attempting to sound out "Catalonia".

This is better than what you get from the Chinese transcription.

In Chinese, the two useful syllables at the start of "Catalonia" (the only part people would bother to say) are "Jia Tai".  You get stuck with the same "Jia" that is used to transcribe the first part of "Canada" (加) followed by the same "Tai" that is used for the nation of Thailand (泰).

In full, the Chinese is Jiā tài luō ní yǎ (as you've already seen on the recent vocabulary lists) --but nobody will say all of that in a monosyllabic language.  I suppose somebody must have a few funny stories from trying to explain what "Jia Tai" means in the Chinese cultural (and political) context.  The Thai transcription doesn't have the same scope for comedy.

The guy in the video is Alif Silpachai and if you click through to his other contributions online, you'll see that most of them concern Tai (泰) languages other than Catalan.