|Do I Need to Know THIS Word?|
|Monday, 20 April 2009 09:18|
One of the challenges of language study is deciding which words to try to remember and which ones to not worry about. Ideally, I would be able to remember and incorporate into my working knowledge all of the new Thai words that I encounter in my reading and conversation. But, there are a LOT of new words that I encounter all the time. In working through a Thai novel about the history of democracy in Thailand, every page has many words that I either have not encountered before or still haven't learned well enough to actually use them. Here's an example: In my novel, the word meru (เมรุ), pronounced "main", has come up a couple times in the context of funerals. The immediate context in the novel didn't give me enough information to figure it out but upon looking it up in the dictionary, I've found out that it means "funeral pyre" or "crematorium". So, I think it is that little building on the temple grounds where they burn the body after a Buddhist funeral. Now, is this something I should make a point of remembering? It's not a word that I hear come up in conversation very often and if I remember correctly, I usually hear people talk
about "the place where you burn the body" (ที่เผาศพ), and not meru (เมรุ) so I could probably get by without bothering to memorize the word. However, now that I have blogged about, the word is probably going to be stuck in my memory whether I intend it to be or not. And besides that I just enjoy learning new words and trying them out in conversation.
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