Some time around 1999 I was wandering around the library at the University of Surrey contemplating why there weren't more books relevant to the research I was doing. It struck me that perhaps they might have some interesting Thai language books, such as a handy reference dictionary.
Wandering over to a terminal to search for any Thai related volumes I discovered the Fundamentals of the Thai Language which I went on to borrow for almost 2 years on repeated renewal. "FunThai" is an excellent reference book; so much that some Thai teachers refer to it as the black book. It is certainly the best Thai language book that I have ever read, although perhaps it is beginning to show it's age now.
Around 2002, FunThai was released onto the web and readers were encouraged to download it. I downloaded it using wget for offline reading during a business trip. Shortly afterwards the FunThai website went offline. When I came to check, it seemed I downloaded a small part of the website. Just recently I discovered I had actually managed to get the whole thing because one of the files was a zip file containing all the pages.
The original HTML was a conversion from a Windows help file and had a lot of unnecessary formatting as a result. The pages were dependent on a special font. Unfortunately there were 341 files to deal with - quite a lot of editing would have been required. Therefore I decided to reformat it using a PERL conversion script.
The book is here: Fundamentals of the Thai Language
The conversion script makes the following changes:
Most of these changes are due to the special fonts expected by the original conversion and redundant characters introduced into it. I haven't needed to change the underlying content. For many files, the size is reduced by as much as half.
I also corrected a couple of spelling mistakes I found in the dictionaries in the appendix.
This is the Fifth edition; the original authors remarked that the 6th edition was considered a "disaster". I hope this version meets with the approval of the authors.
Lyndon Hill, 15th July 2006