Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Last Online
    27-11-2006 @ 09:00 AM
    Posts
    2,894

    Pronunciation [long]

    So, yesterday I went for lunch at the little restaurant near our house where we eat at least three or four times a week. It's a small, informal place with no more than ten ordinary Thai food items on the menu; stuff like fried rice, noodles, etc.

    They ask me what I want and I do my best to say, "kana moo krap". Now, of the ten items on the menu there is only one that is even remotely like "kana moo krap". It seems that there is no way they could misunderstand what I'm saying and yet both of them (husband and wife) look at me as if I'd just ordered Beef Wellington or something. Finally, I get it straight, but it took a while.

    Today I went to Da Mor (The Mall). I'd finished my shopping, but the baguettes were not yet out of the oven at Yamazaki Pan so I headed downstairs for a beer. I wanted a draft beer so I said, "bia sot". The lady wrote something down and then said, "Wi' Aye", which I took to mean, "With ice?". I nodded "yes".

    A few minutes later she arrives with a bucket of ice and large bottle of Beer Chang. Somehow my "bia sot" got understood as "Beer Chang".

    Finally, it's time to leave Da Mor so I head for what must be one of the most chaotic bus stops in Thailand. You really need to be able to read Thai to get anywhere from here. The first bus I see is going to Sung Noen and points beyond; way too far for me. But, the bus tout asks me "bpai nai" so, hoping they might let me off at my stop I say, "Saef Won" which is how I think Thai's pronounce "Save One" which is the very English name of the flea market near my house. Again, the guy gets this baffled look on his face as if I'd asked for a ticket to Jupiter or something.

    How many years does it take before you can actually pronounce things in a manner that ordinary Thai's can understand? I've been with Ms. B over two years now and even she can't understand my Thai most of the time.

    Give up or keep on plugging?

  2. #2
    A bladdy woman
    Goddess of Whatever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Last Online
    29-04-2009 @ 05:13 PM
    Location
    Somewhere I belong but it won't be last long
    Posts
    4,248
    Quote Originally Posted by buadhai
    "Wi' Aye"
    Errr.. It seems she's not Thai. Hmmm... She must be Cambodian lady.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat aging one's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Last Online
    Today @ 08:28 AM
    Posts
    14,774
    No she is Thai. Some need perfect pronunction to get what you said.

    But a student can say asskusa me, and we are supposed to get excuse me.

    Nothing can be done, but smile and not go back to places that dont even try to listen to ya!!!

  4. #4
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Mousehole
    Posts
    20,904
    Somedays I can hold a decent conversation in thai and some days no-one can understand a word.
    Just have to take each day as it comes.

    Instead of saying 'kana moo krap'
    try 'Pak kana moo grob'
    That usually works for me.

  5. #5
    A bladdy woman
    Goddess of Whatever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Last Online
    29-04-2009 @ 05:13 PM
    Location
    Somewhere I belong but it won't be last long
    Posts
    4,248
    Quote Originally Posted by aging one
    No she is Thai.
    I don't think so. If she's Thai, she would say "Wid Aye"

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Last Online
    27-11-2006 @ 09:00 AM
    Posts
    2,894
    Quote Originally Posted by Goddess of Whatever
    Errr.. It seems she's not Thai. Hmmm... She must be Cambodian lady.
    She could be, lots of them about here....

    Quote Originally Posted by Thetyim
    Instead of saying 'kana moo krap'
    try 'Pak kana moo grob
    You're so right. I'm really bad on getting the initial consonant correct. I can't get the English out of my head.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Last Online
    08-09-2014 @ 10:43 AM
    Location
    Simian Islands
    Posts
    34,837
    We've had discussions like this before, and I still think it's because they don't expect you to speak Thai, but Farang. Sometimes you need to conciously flick the switch in your head before you understand what is being said and what language it is being said in.
    If you give a 'khrap' and a pause before you speak, it often switches them back into 'Farang put Thai dai' mode.

    Or maybe your Thai really sucks...?

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Last Online
    27-11-2006 @ 09:00 AM
    Posts
    2,894
    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    Or maybe your Thai really sucks...
    It does, because I'm a slob.

    It's a shame, because I know a lot and can read OK (got on the right bus today) but making myself understood is very, very hard.

    I think your "khrap" hint is a good one though. Very clever.

  9. #9
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Mousehole
    Posts
    20,904
    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    they don't expect you to speak Thai
    Yes that is very true.
    I spent about ten minutes in a computer shop asking for something but the stupid girl couldn't understand one word. Then another girl came up and could understand everything I said. Suddenly the first girl exclaimed "Oh.. you can speak thai"

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Last Online
    27-11-2006 @ 09:00 AM
    Posts
    2,894
    Quote Originally Posted by Thetyim
    I spent about ten minutes in a computer shop asking for something but the stupid girl couldn't understand one word. Then another girl came up and could understand everything I said. Suddenly the first girl exclaimed "Oh.. you can speak thai"
    One wonders what language the first girl thought you were speaking! Or what was going on in her head while she was listening (or, not listening).

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Last Online
    27-11-2006 @ 09:00 AM
    Posts
    2,894

    It Gets Worse

    Since tomorrow is wan prah our usual flower sellers show up. Sometimes it's a cart with flowers but on busy nights like tonight they just send a motorcycle guy with the usual order. He arrives with a bag of flowers and garlands and I ask "tao rai"? This throws him for the usual loop. He immediately asks and gestures wondering if Ms. B is home: "yu mai?". I reply, "Mae yu". His face darkens but finally he manages to blurt out in Thai "sip ha baht". I give him a 20 and wait for the change.

    Turns out he doesn't have change so offers me a flower necklace. I figure this must be a 5 baht necklace so I agree to take one in lieu of change.

    Trouble is, the necklace is ten baht so he still doesn't have change. He offers me another. I figure, maybe it's two for 15 baht which will, again, eliminate the need for 5 baht change.

    No, no discount for two.

    By now I owe him 35 baht. I give two 20's.

    At this point he reaches deep into his jeans pockets and manages to come up with four one baht coins. He counts out in English: "One, two, three, four, five." Well, four, five, who cares.

    At this point I can barely contain my laughter, so I take the flowers, the unwanted necklaces and the four one baht coins and retreat to the porch where I'm just now starting my third beer Chang.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat
    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Last Online
    08-09-2014 @ 10:43 AM
    Location
    Simian Islands
    Posts
    34,837
    Quote Originally Posted by buadhai
    Or what was going on in her head while she was listening
    Nothing probably.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •