Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

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petemcc
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Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by petemcc » August 24, 2010, 11:54 am

So you're living in the country you now call home, do you speak the language? If not, why not, if so, did you take classes or just pick it up, or a bit of both?



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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by petemcc » August 24, 2010, 12:23 pm

20 views, no replies, interesting!

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papaguido
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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by papaguido » August 24, 2010, 1:56 pm

nit noy

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by tomboy » August 24, 2010, 2:59 pm

Yes! Thai class at 50baht per hour.

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by Little Italian Udon » August 24, 2010, 3:41 pm

I do speak,write and read Thai and I learned it by myself . Thai is not difficult but thai people can't easily teach you.

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Galee
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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by Galee » August 24, 2010, 3:56 pm

petemcc wrote:So you're living in the country you now call home, do you speak the language? If not, why not, if so, did you take classes or just pick it up, or a bit of both?
Do you? If not how do you communicate with your g/f.? If she speaks English, is it good enough for her to feel comfortable in Australia?.

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by petemcc » August 24, 2010, 4:17 pm

Galee wrote:
petemcc wrote:So you're living in the country you now call home, do you speak the language? If not, why not, if so, did you take classes or just pick it up, or a bit of both?
Do you? If not how do you communicate with your g/f.? If she speaks English, is it good enough for her to feel comfortable in Australia?.
That wasn't my question or the intent of the thread. As it happens I speak very, very basic Thai, and she speaks reasonable English. Her English is limited only by her lack of use in everyday life and I feel confident that it will improve markedly when she lives in Australia. She learnt English from an early age, I started dabbling with Thai 4 years ago. If I lived in Thailand I would make it a major goal to speak Thai.

Now, what about you as an ex-pat, do you speak Thai? Is it so hard a question that you have to answer it with a question?

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by old-timer » August 24, 2010, 4:34 pm

OT went on a thai language course and gave up halfway through the second term. I wasn't interested enough to carry on. I can speak a bit of thai mixed in with the laos dialect, no more than the average ex-pat in Udon. My kids have taught me a lot, especialy when i've given them a hand with their English homework. I wont even bother to speak thai if I dont have to. Lazy I know, but I have no problem going alone and getting whatever I want.

OT.........chock dee........ \:D/

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by Jai » August 24, 2010, 4:48 pm

Code: Select all

If I lived in Thailand I would make it a major goal to speak Thai.
Just 1 Baht would probably make me quite rich if I could receive it form every ex Pat that had quoted that line to me.
Along with ............................ "she is different from the others"

I think we all start off with the intention that we are going to do that.

I have lived in Thailand 10 years---much to my shame---I think my Thai is worse now then 6 years ago.

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by Texpat » August 24, 2010, 5:09 pm

I learned the Thai alphabet and rudimentary vocabulary while living in Japan with my Thai wife.
The characters are easy with flashcards.
Within weeks of moving to Udon, I enrolled int AUA's Thai language class.
I took about eight months of classes (twice a week for a few hours each class).
I recommend it. It's not difficult and not expensive.

Understand that many people in Isaan don't speak much Thai either. I'd peg my wife's normal daily speech at 35% Thai 40% Lao, and 25% mishmash of English/Japanese.

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by petemcc » August 24, 2010, 5:17 pm

Funnily enough in the past two weeks I have had 2 ladies as patients who were from Laos. In both cases I could communicate with them in Thai, albeit at a rudimentary level-mine, not theirs.

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by pienmash » August 24, 2010, 5:22 pm

Texpat wrote:I learned the Thai alphabet and rudimentary vocabulary while living in Japan with my Thai wife.
The characters are easy with flashcards.
Within weeks of moving to Udon, I enrolled int AUA's Thai language class.
I took about eight months of classes (twice a week for a few hours each class).
I recommend it. It's not difficult and not expensive.

Understand that many people in Isaan don't speak much Thai either. I'd peg my wife's normal daily speech at 35% Thai 40% Lao, and 25% mishmash of English/Japanese.
Thats quite an interesting way of divding up your partners daily speech in % , ive just done the same for a 24 hour period and it worked out 10% English , 10% Thai , 50 % snoring , 20 % total waffle and the remaining 10% she couldnt talk cos she had a spoon in her gob......!!

Disclaimer - if you read this Dao im only joking ok teelak xx

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by FrazeeDK » August 24, 2010, 7:14 pm

yes, some.. not as much as I think somtimes and at others more than I think... In other words, sometimes when I'm full of confidence I get my linguistic legs kicked out from under me... At other times, I surprisingly understand complex conversations.. Realistically, although I can communicate on a basic level and read Thai (although understanding only basic words), I don't consider myself up to par as I'd be far more comfortable if I could understand fully the nightly news, share the Lakorn completely with the wife and be able to read newspaper articles with facility.. When if ever will I engage my brain fully to becoming better in the language?? When I finally retire?? Or in the unlikely event the motivation bug bites me...

How did I learn what I know?? Some from the wife, some from listening to other Thais speaking, but I picked up most grammar and reading from various books such as Gordon Allison's basic Thai (very old) and the Paiboon Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Thai books..

If you want to learn Thai I'd say that learning to read basic Thai is key.. Then will understand how words are properly prounounced versus how you hear it. Until I learned how to read Thai I butchered any number of Thai words that I'd picked up from the TW and other Thais, thinking I was prounouncing them right when in reality my tin ear had heard them incorrectly years before..

Adding the local Issan dialect to the mix tends to confuse things too... Attempt to differentiate as much as possible the Lao and the Thai and keep your dialects in one lane at a time. I've gotten the strangest looks in Bangkok from central Thais when I start stupidly mixing Lao into Thai when attempting to communicate... Conversely, I get the biggest smiles from Issan folks when I can chat in Lao with them.

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by firsttimebangkok » August 24, 2010, 7:26 pm

I will have to admit I have lived here for almost a year and a half and my thai sucks. I have been lazy, but I can say that thais are basically the same as anyone else. I can still communicate any basic needs especially when shopping. Everyone understands and wants money just like north americans. By not putting in the effort to assimilate, I have discovered that there is little difference really. Any comments......

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by petemcc » August 24, 2010, 7:35 pm

firsttimebangkok wrote:I will have to admit I have lived here for almost a year and a half and my thai sucks. I have been lazy, but I can say that thais are basically the same as anyone else. I can still communicate any basic needs especially when shopping. Everyone understands and wants money just like north americans. By not putting in the effort to assimilate, I have discovered that there is little difference really. Any comments......
I think you should think again. A deaf mute could get by in any country but it does not make for good communication. Can you tell me you never came across any person in your home country who was a foreign national, or citizen who couldn't speak the language, and you didn't get annoyed with them?
Sorry, but I am amazed.

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by nkstan » August 24, 2010, 7:42 pm

I studied 4-5 hours a day for about 7 months prior to moving here,mostly from computer programs.Upon arriving ,I bought the Paraboon series and tapes to learn to write and read Thai.By the time I got married I was doing pretty good,but started to lose interest as making ''friends'' with Thais was creating more problems and very few friends!I used to react with alot of anger at comments made by Thais towards my wife and I by strangers while living in Bangkok!

We concentrated on speaking and learning English while we lived in Bangkok,with the general idea that it would be a great advantage for my wife and daughter and their future.I lost all interest in learning Thai and I am not sorry one little bit.

I have a few Thai friends that can't speak English that live in bangkok,but I have no Thai friends up here that don't speak English.When the locals ask me if I speak Thai,I say nit noy as I have no interest in having conversations with them!
Just being an old falang,that is friendly acting,I show no desire for intimacy with them,just superficial smiling friendly acknowledgments!Life is so much better,without all the BS! :D

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by parrot » August 24, 2010, 8:07 pm

"Sorry, but I am amazed."

Why be judgemental? Your question was, "do you speak Thai?"

My own personal experience has been the vast majority of expats here have very basic speaking ability. Most find the Thai language alone daunting, especially as one gets older. Mix in the Lao and learning the "language" becomes a nightmare.

I'd not worry about others learning the language. If you want to learn it, dive in. If you're able to break the code, you'll find the result very rewarding. But until you break the code, I'd bite my tongue on criticizing others who haven't.

If you can't speak the language, you'll be almost totally dependent on the spouse to bail you out of situations in banks, post offices, stores, tetsabahns, etc where the level of English may be very low (or non-existent). 99% of Thai women are non-confrontational (except with their spouse). They won't ask directions, they won't challenge the clerk in the store who gives you a song/dance, they won't question the lack of faucet water or the crappy phone service. If you can deal with that, there's no need to learn Thai. If you can't deal with that, unless you have the exception, you'll need to learn enough Thai to deal with those situations yourself.
If you can read, all those storefront signs, street/road signs, menus, door-front signs etc. suddenly have meaning. If you can't read, you won't know that the clinic's office hours are 9-5 M-F and 9-1 on S/S, or that your favorite noodle soup shop is closed on major Buddhist days (one or two each month). You won't know, unless your wife tells you what they say. "What's that say, honey?"

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by petemcc » August 24, 2010, 8:39 pm

There is so much I want to say, but I understand that most of it will upset someone. Although ordinarily I don't give a flying ---- about that, people here seem particularly sensitive to being upset, so I'll be diplomatic.

There is very little I do or say that is not done for a reason. I have built up a profile of ex-pats, and if you read some of my questions/threads. Those who have berated me for my attitude about living in Thailand and understanding Thai culture have not come back with proof of their integration into Thai culture, viz able to speak the language. It's their country, it isn't that hard, so why not learn it?
Perhaps the Thaiophiles are not what they claim to be. I am looking forward to hearing what Khun Paul has to say, seeing as he is the fcuking dogs bollocks here. I hope he is fluent in Thai.

I was I would estimate 80% fluent in French because I used to go there often, rural France, and they would not speak English. I could get by in German, and I could read Spanish and Italian, though converse badly. I studied Mandarin for a year by myself and was doing quite well until I discovered Thailand and could not juggle 2 languages at once, with my studies.
When I live in Thailand, I will speak Thai, not to do is in my opinion rude.

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by jackspratt » August 24, 2010, 8:45 pm

pete perhaps you might consider putting aside (for the time being at least) your study of language skills, and focus on practising some social skills. =D>

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by petemcc » August 24, 2010, 8:57 pm

jackspratt wrote:pete perhaps you might consider putting aside (for the time being at least) your study of language skills, and focus on practising some social skills. =D>
I am a pragmatist and a realist. I don't give a flying ---- what people think of me based upon internet discussions. Plenty of people like me in real life for my forthrightness, wysiwyg. I won't stab you in the back, I'll look you in the eye and do it in your heart, I'll not tell you you are pretty if you are a dog, I'll not complement your style if I think you look like a ------. I call a spade a spade, and surprisingly enough most people appreciate that. Social skills, yes I have many, I was brung up proper like and turn my head to spit while I am eating my smoked salmon.

So how's your Thai Jack?

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