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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    dirtydog's Avatar
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    Old Issan dialect dying

    Old dialect dying

    The Northeast is facing cultural bankruptcy, according to a linguist who witnessed youngsters in the region booing a troupe performing typical chanting, known as Sorrapan, that usually tells moral stories.
    "The performers were in tears when they saw how the younger generation has abandoned the local arts and culture," said Assoc Prof Udom Buasri of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University.

    He was speaking at a seminar on "Dialects and Thai Language" at Khon Kaen University.

    Udom said the written form of the Northeast dialect had almost vanished because it is now known only among local monks.
    Culture Ministry permanent secretary Vira Rojpojchanarat, who attended the seminar, said his ministry would draw up a national master plan to handle problems relating to the Thai language and local dialects.

    The Nation

  2. #2
    watterinja
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    Wonder if it's possible to send SMS & text messages in old Isaan dialect? If not, one can only wonder at its future usefulness in emerging Thai society.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    I've only lived in Nong Khai for 14 months so I'm no expert.
    I studied Thai language for 8 months (at AUA Udon Thani) upon arrival last year.

    My wife, her whole family and all friends, neighbors and acquaintences speak what "they" call Issan dialect. They certainly don't speak Thai.

    As far as I can tell it's simply Lao. But they can't admit it. Laos is bad -- everyone knows that. I constantly ask my wife what words mean, and she always says, "It's Lao for _____."

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    You often find that they speak Thai, Laos and a dialect very local to their area.

  5. #5
    watterinja
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    ^^ Many Non Kai locals will be historic Lao-Thai river people, with families on both sides of the river - the remnants of many years of river trading - Chinese, Vietnamese, Lao, Isaan all thrown into the pot. They speak Lao-Thai river dialect. Same applies to Mukdahan.

    Further into Lao, the language does change a little, but Lao-Thai river people can just about understand it.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    My wife's mother was an illegal immigrant from Laos. Her father, a Thai, buggered off before she was born. Her stepfather was Vietnamese. When she was 5 or 6 years old, she had to get a "surrogate" Thai father so that she could be a Thai citizen. She kept this guys name and family book until we got married. To this day she has never met him.

    Men yuu. (Lao for No Shit!)

    Absolute craziness.

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