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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat Immigrunt's Avatar
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    Would the language be diminished if they dropped the krab ka stuff

    I know its purpose, but it's not essential. What would be the effect of dropping it other than the loss of superficial politeness?

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    There would be many more headaches in Thailand as people try to think of how to speak or be polite or give simple affirmations without using kaa/krap etc.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immigrunt View Post
    I know its purpose, but it's not essential. What would be the effect of dropping it other than the loss of superficial politeness?
    I would actually contend that you really don't know 'it's real purpose'.

    But, I'm not a Thai Language expert ... others here have a much more proficient use and understanding of Thai.


    Before we go examining and exploring and criticizing others native language, if you consider that 'Language' or 'the spoken work' is simply the most effective way to communicate then consider the English Language.

    Grunter, I'm going to the Shop ... factual statement in English.

    Grunter, I go shop ... factual statement in English without all those 'glueing' words which the English Language has.


    Both communications deliver the information that I'm going to the Shop.

    The parred down version is more effective, therefore, because it's more efficient, it must be considered the superior English Statement?

    But no ...


    It's the subtle nuances in Language that make it live, make it sing and nice to listen to.

    You can transfer that perspective to your OP.
    .
    Perspective is everything ... it's the difference between going through an ordeal or going through an adventure..

  4. #4
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    Sawadee jaaaaaaa

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD
    It's the subtle nuances in Language that make it live, make it sing and nice to listen to.
    I agree I am not proficient enough with Thai to know the subtle nuances but am a great lover of the English language.

    But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun!
    Paired down: Light in window. Juliet bright.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Immigrunt View Post
    I know its purpose, but it's not essential. What would be the effect of dropping it other than the loss of superficial politeness?
    I would actually contend that you really don't know 'it's real purpose'.

    But, I'm not a Thai Language expert ... others here have a much more proficient use and understanding of Thai.


    Before we go examining and exploring and criticizing others native language, if you consider that 'Language' or 'the spoken work' is simply the most effective way to communicate then consider the English Language.

    Grunter, I'm going to the Shop ... factual statement in English.

    Grunter, I go shop ... factual statement in English without all those 'glueing' words which the English Language has.


    Both communications deliver the information that I'm going to the Shop.

    The parred down version is more effective, therefore, because it's more efficient, it must be considered the superior English Statement?

    But no ...


    It's the subtle nuances in Language that make it live, make it sing and nice to listen to.

    You can transfer that perspective to your OP.
    .
    Like so much of what is believed to be "traditional" Thainess the "krab, ka" usages were invented by the Dictator Plaek Phibunsongkram, Marshall P, in the 1940s. He also invented, among many other things now believed to be ancient and authentic, Thai National dress, the Sawasdi greeting, Pad Thai, the Ramwong dance, and the name "Thailand". So, in answer to Smeg's question, the language would not be depleted if this recently invented and widely disliked usage was dropped, it would merely revert to the usages of 7 decades ago.
    Last edited by DrB0b; 23-05-2017 at 06:23 AM.
    don't you know there ain't no devil, there's just god when he's drunk

  7. #7
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    My first boss in Thailand was a Californian, all 225 kilos of him (500 lbs).

    He was a bit of an oddball in other ways but his language ability was truly impressive.

    However, not once (and I mean never) did anyone witness him (in all the many times of his sorting out taxis, on the phone for biz, ordering food, etc.) utter the word "kap," "krap," or otherwise.

    Made sense since he was an utter cock most of the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShrewedPunter View Post
    Sawadee jaaaaaaa
    That just sounds gay, whoever says it.

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    Well, for one thing, conversations would be greatly shortened.

  10. #10
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    Its always fun listing to my secretary on the phone when she is having a "conversation" with someone...

    Preamble where she ask for the information she is after, followed by 10 minutes of....kah...............kah............kah........ .......kah...............kah...............kah.... ....kah..........kah........

    Think she would be lost without it. Maybe we would get something like "ok" or "uh" in its place. Lets leave Kah and Khrap alone eh.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat Immigrunt's Avatar
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    ^ That's exactly what it means in that context.

    It's the adding it to the end of x% of sentences depending on how arse licky you want to be that I think could be dropped with no major loss of anything other than superficial bull.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immigrunt View Post
    ^ That's exactly what it means in that context.

    It's the adding it to the end of x% of sentences depending on how arse licky you want to be that I think could be dropped with no major loss of anything.
    Of course. But it still sounds better than "uh huh".

  13. #13
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    Give me Kaaa and Krap before the diminished language of Scouse, Brummie or Geordie anyday.

  14. #14
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    khrab and kha serve 2 functions as mentioned- one to show politeness as a speaker to the listener and secondly to show as a listener you're taking in the points the speaker is making.
    We do the first in English all the time- 'Good morning Mr Jones' 'Hello sir/teacher 'etc or by the tones in our voice- simply good manners so what's wrong with keeping that?
    Secondly with no khrap or kha, replies on the phone deteriorate to uh or a very short er. Of course there's the arai wah!? variety too
    kha has its own tone too- short and falling, very relaxing imo.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immigrunt View Post
    ^ That's exactly what it means in that context.

    It's the adding it to the end of x% of sentences depending on how arse licky you want to be that I think could be dropped with no major loss of anything other than superficial bull.
    By incorrectly assuming that these words are a sign of weakness, subservience and indecision and removing them from your thai language usage you are likely to be seen as ignorant and become culturally lost very quickly.

    The english equivalent would be to converse in a gruff, bad tempered, disrespectful and ill mannered aggressive manner using a loud tone of voice with a facial expression showing impatience and anger and you wouldnt get very far in your day to day dealings. social exclusion would result very quickly.

    Using the thai particles kha and khrap and other polite particles in a soft and undemonstrative manner is a mark of both politeness, reflecting the speakers unwillingness to appear too assertive, and a sign of authority, reflecting the speakers lack of need to be assertive.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Immigrunt View Post
    ^ That's exactly what it means in that context.

    It's the adding it to the end of x% of sentences depending on how arse licky you want to be that I think could be dropped with no major loss of anything other than superficial bull.
    By incorrectly assuming that these words are a sign of weakness, subservience and indecision and removing them from your thai language usage you are likely to be seen as ignorant and become culturally lost very quickly.

    The english equivalent would be to converse in a gruff, bad tempered, disrespectful and ill mannered aggressive manner using a loud tone of voice with a facial expression showing impatience and anger and you wouldnt get very far in your day to day dealings. social exclusion would result very quickly.

    Using the thai particles kha and khrap and other polite particles in a soft and undemonstrative manner is a mark of both politeness, reflecting the speakers unwillingness to appear too assertive, and a sign of authority, reflecting the speakers lack of need to be assertive.
    So how exactly do they do it before those words were added to the language in the 1940s?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrB0b
    So how exactly do they do it before those words were added to the language in the 1940s?
    They stuck their tongues out at each other or thumbed their noses depending on status.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crestofawave
    kha has its own tone too- short and falling, very relaxing imo.
    Short is not a tone. Falling tone ค่ะ means yes I agree, for a female. Rising tone คะ is the polite particle for a female.

  19. #19
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    i have no idea.

    maybe before, ones status in society resulted in either complete subservience and bowing and scraping was the norm when dealing with superiors, whilst those of high status had no need to be polite to inferiors and just hurled abuse and contempt.

    the adding of kha and khrap might have been an attempt at evening out the playing field a little and bringing a smidgin of equality into social intercourse.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrB0b View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Crestofawave
    kha has its own tone too- short and falling, very relaxing imo.
    Short is not a tone. Falling tone ค่ะ means yes I agree, for a female. Rising tone คะ is the polite particle for a female.
    ค ควาย doesn't have a rising tone surely, only middle, falling or high.
    If you write คะ it must be a high tone which is why it's often written with mai aek to make it fall ie ค่ะ for assenting.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat Immigrunt's Avatar
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    Agree with Bob, and these words have now become self-sustaining because every member of society is too scared of losing face by ending or even reducing their use.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crestofawave View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrB0b View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Crestofawave
    kha has its own tone too- short and falling, very relaxing imo.
    Short is not a tone. Falling tone ค่ะ means yes I agree, for a female. Rising tone คะ is the polite particle for a female.
    ค ควาย doesn't have a rising tone surely, only middle, falling or high.
    If you write คะ it must be a high tone which is why it's often written with mai aek to make it fall ie ค่ะ for assenting.
    Ah right, high tone for คะ. Still, there are two forms of the female partickle Kha and only one has a falling tone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Immigrunt
    Agree with Bob, and these words have now become self-sustaining because everyone is too scared of losing face by ending their use.
    There was some pop star a few years ago, Luk Krung, who refused to use Kha in her speech, the media wrote about her as if she was advocating forced buggery of the King.

  23. #23
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    Sometimes the kaaaaaaaa is ridiculously long, for example when they say please come again in 7-11, and it sounds completely insincere (which of course it is, because they couldn't care less if you return and have to say it to keep their job).

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    i have no idea.

    maybe before, ones status in society resulted in either complete subservience and bowing and scraping was the norm when dealing with superiors, whilst those of high status had no need to be polite to inferiors and just hurled abuse and contempt.

    the adding of kha and khrap might have been an attempt at evening out the playing field a little and bringing a smidgin of equality into social intercourse.
    I'd say it had the exact opposite effect, and introduced a social caste system of grovelling into the language, with those who wish to demonstrate their superiority or contempt avoiding its use whilst knowing the lesser party has no choice but to use it.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immigrunt View Post
    Sometimes the kaaaaaaaa is ridiculously long, for example when they say please come again in 7-11, and it sounds completely insincere (which of course it is, because they couldn't care less if you return and have to say it to keep their job).
    thats no different to the "have a nice day" one hears in shops back in the west.

    but have a nice day and other niceties can have meaning when said friend to friend or even during social intercourse.

    the thais know how read the nuances of their language and pronunciations and will detect politeness or disrespect and insincerity where it arises.
    we as foreigners, even the fluent speakers amongst us, are mostly unable to do that, or may misread those subtle signals that would be unmistakable in our own language. chai mai khraaaaap?

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