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  1. #1
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    klongmaster's Avatar
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    The Inanity of Prime Time TV in Thailand

    So I'm having a quiet beer at my local this evening and the TV plays the six o'clock anthem followed by 60 seconds of English...

    We have a fashion show with two girls and the obligatory katoey and their English lesson is about clothes. Three items: coat, scarf & raincoat...

    FMD...it's prime time TV and they are teaching millions of watching Thai 'raincoat'...

    I've been here for a good decade and I have NEVER seen a Thai wearing a 'raincoat'...

    why don't they understand that language should be on a 'need-to-know' basis...why teach them vocab that they will never learn...

    I ranted to my wife and she just told me 'why are you so serious about this story'...changed her tune quickly when I feigned a phone call to the TV channel...

    This is the reason Thailand lags behind the rest of SE Asia in the development of their English-language skills...

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    Rattanaburi's Avatar
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    One thing that bothers me about Thai TV is that the news never seems to be at the top of the hour or just after the Anthemn. It doesn't make any sense how things are organized. It may be all about keeping the people stupid.

    After 5pm today I noticed Samak was on TV with the PPP logo behind him going on about different things. It was a pre-recorded promotion for himself as it had clipd of him shaking hands with all the people he's met in the last few months. he also went on about the megaprogects. The problem with this was the PPP logo. As PM, he shouldn't be running 10-15 minute promos for himself and his party on primetime TV. I fear for where things are going right now. Sometimes it feels like this place is going to explode.

  3. #3
    bkkmadness
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    When I was young I was taught the word kangaroo, but there was none bouncing around England.

  4. #4
    I am in Jail

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    try watching western telly from the seventies....the Goodies or Mind your language

    seems unsophisticated today

    Unlike modern British telly ....okay - Jade Goody on Big Brother, perhaps not.


    In 30 yrs time Thailand might be into documentaries. (though I saw a US supposed- documentary recently about sports injuries - but it was all a pretense to show people being struck in the nuts - Jackass style. )

  5. #5
    bkkandrew
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    ^^^^No, the reason Thailand lags behind the rest of SE Asia in the development of their English-language skills is that companies, individuals and the Government will not allow proper English speakers to proof read their statements, edit their signs and documents, correct their prose and translate anything.

    The laughable 'translated' result is that Thais actually think that the correct way to speak and write English is what they see and hear around them.

    And yes, Thai TV is crap. I have just turned my set off seeing that the g/f has gone to buy some food with the bloody thing blaring at me...

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat
    dirtydog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkkandrew
    individuals and the Government will not allow proper English speakers to proof read their statements, edit their signs and documents, correct their prose and translate anything.
    Sadly I think you are right, the Ministry of Foriegn affairs in Thailand has set new precedents on how bad English needs to be, you know that printed Garuda emblem on all official Thai documents, the animal at the top that is printed onto just about every Thai document? This now has to be translated saying that it is a sticker, the word sticker has to be used for it, ie "Thai emblem sticker" printed etc will not be accepted.

  7. #7
    Tiger Bay
    CharleyFarley's Avatar
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    My wife yesterday evening stopped me updating the satellite because she was watching the Royal news, always 8pm. I said if there was any news worth hearing about, I would know before Thai TV.

    Didn't go down too well.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkkandrew
    individuals and the Government will not allow proper English speakers to proof read their statements, edit their signs and documents, correct their prose and translate anything.

    Ya thats also true in broadcast journalism here. I applied for a job at Nation television and exchanged e mails with the Newscaster there for awhile. He said there were no native English speakers there whatsoever. Behind the camera everything was done in Thai. No proof reading at all of their English scripts - lost in translation.

  9. #9
    Not an expat
    Fabian's Avatar
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    Actually, Klongmaster, I don't think that's so useless knowledge. If they plan to travel to Europe it could be useful to know what a raincoat is.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkkandrew View Post
    the reason Thailand lags behind the rest of SE Asia in the development of their English-language skills is that companies, individuals and the Government will not allow proper English speakers to proof read their statements, edit their signs and documents, correct their prose and translate anything.

    The average Thai citizens' comprehension of English cannot be conveyed by a native speaker. The Thai government sends hundreds of 21-year-old sons and daughters of very highly placed general officers (of which there are approximately 974,912) to study English at Manchester Community College and India's Agra Tech. They return with full understanding and complete fluency to handle any government request. Native English speakers are incapable of making the leap.

    Farang go home.
    Last edited by Texpat; 13-06-2008 at 12:43 AM.

  11. #11
    たのむよ。
    The Gentleman Scamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klongmaster View Post
    Why don't they understand that language should be on a 'need-to-know' basis...why teach them vocab that they will never learn...
    A teacher friend in China recently invited me to do an 'English Corner' and I was mortified he was confusing them with my 'stage' name and abv - he's not even a forum member.

    I have Photoshopped out my actual name.

    "I'm an outsider by choice, but not truly. It's the unpleasantness of the system that keeps me out. I'd rather be in, in a good system. That's where my discontent comes from: being forced to choose to stay outside.
    My advice: Just keep movin' straight ahead. Every now and then you find yourself in a different place."

    George Carlin

  12. #12
    ding ding ding
    Spin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klongmaster
    FMD...it's prime time TV and they are teaching millions of watching Thai 'raincoat'...
    Its a good question, I once watched some show with that baldy guy Andrew Whathisname fella and he was teaching some fairly obscure English idioms like "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"
    One day, I wholly expect to ask someone for directions and the answer will be "too many cooks spoil the broth"

  13. #13
    សុខសប្បាយ
    EmperorTud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spin
    I wholly expect to ask someone for directions
    I don't waste my time asking Thais for directions.

  14. #14
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    They can direct you to most somtam stalls, that's about as great as it gets, typically.

  15. #15
    I am in Jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Gentleman Scamp View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by klongmaster View Post
    Why don't they understand that language should be on a 'need-to-know' basis...why teach them vocab that they will never learn...
    A teacher friend in China recently invited me to do an 'English Corner' and I was mortified he was confusing them with my 'stage' name and abv - he's not even a forum member.

    I have Photoshopped out my actual name.

    But this isn't you. This person doesn't look like Catweasle..


    And if he's not a Forum member, with zero posts, why were you even talking to him?

  16. #16
    This is not my avatar
    NickA's Avatar
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    You didn't photoshop out the reflection of your name in the mirror though, did you Gerald?

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