Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

General off-topic debates and discussions forum.
User avatar
rick
udonmap.com
Posts: 2548
Joined: January 9, 2008, 10:36 am
Location: Udon, or UK May-August

Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by rick » August 27, 2010, 8:29 am

One reason why many of us find learning Thai hard is because it is a tonal language and we are old. As you get older the range of frequencies we can hear declines (varies from person to person). This was brought home to me when my daughter said the grass hoppers were makin g a lot of noise a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't hear a thing. This is one reason why getting the tones right is so hard, let alone the short term memory loss of our rusty brains..
Last edited by rick on August 27, 2010, 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.



User avatar
nkstan
udonmap.com
Posts: 1909
Joined: December 18, 2009, 12:44 pm

Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by nkstan » August 27, 2010, 8:34 am

rick wrote:One reason why many of us find learning Thai is because it is a tonal language and we are old. As you get older the range of frequencies we can hear declines (varies from person to person). This was brought home to me when my daughter said the grass hoppers were makin g a lot of noise a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't hear a thing. This is one reason why getting the tones right is so hard, let alone the short term memory loss of our rusty brains..
I think there might be some truth in those reasons.Also,iy is one of the most irrelevant languages in the World,except to Thais! :lol:

User avatar
parrot
udonmap.com
Posts: 9617
Joined: March 19, 2006, 8:32 pm

Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by parrot » August 27, 2010, 10:45 am

I convinced myself that my age, tinnitus, and hearing loss (from the Air Force) were roadblocks to my ever learning Thai. I'm convinced now that the limitation was finding the right teacher to help break the code. A classroom environment didn't work (I sat in the front of the class yet could hardly hear the teacher....plus she was tending to the needs/learning desires of 12 other students). My break came with a neighbor who exchanged 2 hours of English lessons for 2 of Thai. She wasn't a teacher....but her mom was....and as a result, she knew the language rules/grammar and was able to explain them to me in English.

I know I'll probably never achieve the fluency of someone like Andrew Biggs......but today I can read road signs, menus, labels on medicines/food/etc, and with a little work, can usually break out the daily political cartoon in Thai Rath newspaper. One of
the biggest benefits is....I can ask my wife what a word in Thai means, and she understands what I'm saying.

Don't fool yourselves into thinking you're too old, too deaf or that there's little to gain by learning the language. As with most all languages, it takes time and effort.

User avatar
Texpat
udonmap.com
Posts: 1324
Joined: July 21, 2007, 1:43 am

Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by Texpat » August 27, 2010, 12:06 pm

A downside of learning to understand Thai is that you realize 95 percent of rural Thais' conversation revolve around food, money-making schemes and gossip about neighbors.

You can fit in easily with a vocabulary of about 200 words and a clever knack for copying grunts, hisses and Ewwww~wiii~!

Farangs are not allowed to make the urgh~ sound for yes. It's very, very bad. [-X
I've never understood why. The only time I ever hear the proper chai-khrap is on Thai soaps -- just before the mansion owner slaps the living ---- out of ii-Aep, the Isaan slave.

User avatar
old-timer
udonmap.com
Posts: 2620
Joined: January 13, 2009, 12:36 pm

Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by old-timer » August 27, 2010, 12:35 pm

[quote="parrot"]I convinced myself that my age, tinnitus, quote]

OT got that nasty little infection once, a course of amoxcillin cleared it up.

Dr. OT........ \:D/

bumper
udonmap.com
Posts: 8875
Joined: July 16, 2008, 1:54 pm
Location: London

Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by bumper » August 28, 2010, 7:54 pm

Right, so it appears as though most ex-pats don't think it is important to be able to speak Thai. I just wonder what those people thought about immigrants to their home country how could not speak their home language (presumably English) despite living there for years, and lived in their own little enclaves.

It seems also that many people again wanted to turn this into a thread about me. Yes, I was somewhat reeled in and expressed my opinion, but that was only after some goading.

Anyway, now I know the answer to my question.
Well based on your response you don't really care what people think of you So why should we care about what you think sir.

It would appear that you have not lived here yet, it will be interesting when you find out what Thai's think of you.

I believe your perfect for WBU

User avatar
jingjai
udonmap.com
Posts: 2369
Joined: November 1, 2005, 4:28 pm
Location: Udon Thani,Thailand

Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by jingjai » August 31, 2010, 3:27 pm

Does Your Language Shape How You Think?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/magaz ... ted=1&_r=1

A little off topic, but a very informative article. IMO.

User avatar
pompui
udonmap.com
Posts: 3227
Joined: April 19, 2007, 3:39 pm
Location: udon thani

Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by pompui » September 1, 2010, 4:44 am

I always thought that if you could understand too much Thai,the Thais do not like it, as they like their gossip to themselves and if you do know a lot,do the Thais then decide to speak Issan?

User avatar
Laan Yaa Mo
udonmap.com
Posts: 5792
Joined: February 7, 2007, 9:12 am
Location: ຫຼວງພຣະບາງ, ວຽງຈັນ, ສະຫວັນນະເຂດ, ສ.ປ.ປ; ໂຕຮວນໂຕ (โทรอนโต), ແຄນາດາ (แคนาดา)

Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by Laan Yaa Mo » September 1, 2010, 5:08 pm

Currently, I am learning to speak some Khorat language, and have had friends point out some regional differences so that in Udonthani one might hear: 'sawasdee kha der kha der', in Rayong province you would hear, 'sawasdee kha heap' with the last word pronounced in a short, soprano voice that is quite humourous (well, to me, anyway).

User avatar
Frans
udonmap.com
Posts: 215
Joined: April 24, 2009, 11:18 pm

Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by Frans » September 2, 2010, 5:07 pm

I have try to learn Thai language, never finish due to hear problem. Thai language is a tone language, and i don,t wont to upsed people with a word that i pronouncing in a diverend way as i mean! :( Age cane play a role aswell, brains don,t work so good anymore ;-)

User avatar
camps
udonmap.com
Posts: 129
Joined: June 23, 2007, 4:40 pm
Location: Nong Wau So

Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by camps » September 17, 2010, 7:51 am

Texpat wrote:A downside of learning to understand Thai is that you realize 95 percent of rural Thais' conversation revolve around food, money-making schemes and gossip about neighbors.

You can fit in easily with a vocabulary of about 200 words and a clever knack for copying grunts, hisses and Ewwww~wiii~!
Farangs are not allowed to make the urgh~ sound for yes. It's very, very bad. [-X
Anyone know why this is bad ? Farangs not allowed to make the "urgh" sound for "yes"

PC


I've never understood why. The only time I ever hear the proper chai-khrap is on Thai soaps -- just before the mansion owner slaps the living ---- out of ii-Aep, the Isaan slave.

User avatar
parrot
udonmap.com
Posts: 9617
Joined: March 19, 2006, 8:32 pm

Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by parrot » September 17, 2010, 9:22 am

"the Isaan slave"
I can only compare what the reaction might be in the US if Desperate Housewives, say, had a few servants putting up with the same sort of thing that the Isaan slaves put up with in Thai soap operas. The behavior does seem to pervade Thai soaps....I wonder if that only helps continue the 'us versus them' divide in this country.

User avatar
KHONDAHM
udonmap.com
Posts: 2428
Joined: November 15, 2009, 3:07 pm

Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by KHONDAHM » September 18, 2010, 6:14 am

To the OP: Yep. I have a working vocabulary of a few thousand Thai words and can listen to Thai TV or overhear a casual conversation and understand what is going on. I'd rate myself at about 80% fluent listening and speaking. The compliment I get most from Thais is the sincere "You speak Thai very clearly" as opposed to the polite "You speak Thai well" offered to most attempts by foreigners.

I improve my vocabulary by about 3-5 new words or nuances everyday either remembered or spoken. Here in Udon, most of the new words are Isaan, not the Bangkok Thai I am used to speaking. I abhor Isaan language because it has a lot of nuances (slang) and the enunciation seems to change from person to person or area to area. I rate my Isaan listening at about 30% and speaking at about 10%.

To those thinking about learning Thai in Udon: Beware and be aware that you may be taught or inadvertently pick up Isaan words, not proper Thai. That may be fine for Isaan, but expect to be rebuffed or misunderstood frequently by HiSo Thais as you may unknowingly be speaking to them with a somewhat confusing mix of proper Thai and Isaan words.

Proper Thai is like an Englishman speaking English (dare I say also Americans?). Isaan is like an Australian speaking English (or whatever they call it - lol!) ;)

User avatar
Frans
udonmap.com
Posts: 215
Joined: April 24, 2009, 11:18 pm

Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by Frans » October 14, 2010, 2:17 pm

Bloody oath, mate :wink:

Post Reply

Return to “General Debates & Discussions”