The Thai Dictionary and Phrasebook one of a series of dictionary/phrasebooks published by Hippocrene Books. The books in this series follow a similar format with a section on basic grammar followed by two small dictionaries (Thai-English then English-Thai). The last third of the book consists of phrases for general conversation and for traveling or living in the country.

The small format makes it handy for carrying around when travelling. Words included in the dictionary are those most often used and heard in Thailand, so learning all of the vocabulary and phrases in the book is a good way to get a good working knowledge of the language.

Because the book follows the Hippocrene format of only two columns (English-Thai) there is only the romanized version of Thai based on the phonetic and tone system described on this website. There is no column of Thai script. This is either a plus or a minus depending on your personal needs. For people who don't read Thai and who take the time to understand the phonetic system the book is very usable for travel or reference. However, if you need to read Thai script the book is useful mainly for its contents which form a good database of common words and phrases and also because the visual tone markers can help intermediate and advanced learners get their pronunciation down.

The Thai Dictionary and Phrasebook is for sale in North America and Europe and is now in its third printing.



Review from Amazon UK:

I find the layout exremely helpful and the method of transliteration (i.e. the method of writing the Thai script into understandable English script to produce pronouncable sounds) easily understandable. I have compared it to other phrasebooks available in Thai bookshops and using this as a benchmark I decided not to buy the others. I am frequently told that my Thai pronunciation is good, despite the difficulties "falangs" (Westerners) have with the all-important Thai tones. If I could improve the book in any way, for me, it would be to increase the number of Thai/English words in the dictionary section. However for most people on holiday in Thailand it is an excellent start. I use a larger dictionary written in Thai script and English to continue my learning. This book travels everywhre with me in Thailand, and returns home with me every time.