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  1. #1
    Tiger Bay
    CharleyFarley's Avatar
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    60 million speak it, but who cares ?

    Right that's it.

    Enough is enough with this goddam fukking stupid language.

    7 years living here and 25 plus years living with my Thai wife
    and I speak like a 5 year old. WHY,,,,,,,,I'm not stupid,stubborn
    or unwilling to learn. Poon san fukkin becker whatevva and
    everyone else are no good, the locals are so parochial and
    insular they have no idea of my difficulties and have their own
    completely irregular way of speaking that it has taken me seven
    years to comprehend 'kaochai di gor' or ' sabai di gor'.

    This is the freakin lingo they speak up north.

    It is not a dialect it is diametrically opposite to what we learn from books.

    Fukk it, when I want peanuts I will fukkin ask for "PEANUTS"



    in ENGLISH.

  2. #2
    Newbie Baht Man's Avatar
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    hahahahaha

  3. #3
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    ^^

    Some things just aren't worth the effort. Guess things could be worse. Look on the bright side. You could have ended up in Wales.

  4. #4
    Newbie Baht Man's Avatar
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    I live in Spain

    Learnt most of my Spanish from South American Ho's in the knocking shops
    Completly legal here

  5. #5
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton
    Some things just aren't worth the effort. Guess things could be worse. Look on the bright side. You could have ended up in Wales.
    Or worse again, sharks.



  6. #6
    Newbie Baht Man's Avatar
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    My vocabulary is limited to things like

    1.Do you suck without a rubber

    2.Can i come on your face etc

    My accent is somewhere south of Bogota

  7. #7
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    You better learn number

    3. How much is this going to cost.

  8. #8
    Newbie Baht Man's Avatar
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  9. #9
    I am in Jail

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    As long as Immigration keeps messing with visa regulations on a daily basis, I see no point in investing time in learning a language spoken only in a country where I have no guarantee of being allowed to stay.
    Here in Pattaya English is quite enough for everything I need anyway.

  10. #10
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
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    ^Not everyone looks at learning other languages as a chore, some people enjoy it.

  11. #11
    DaffyDuck
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharleyFarley View Post
    7 years living here and 25 plus years living with my Thai wife
    and I speak like a 5 year old. WHY,,,,,,,,I'm not stupid,stubborn
    or unwilling to learn.
    Apparently, you are all three of those.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat
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    being able to speak the language here is like going from a darkened room into a brightly lit room, it is worth all of the expense,time and effort expended.

  13. #13
    Pedantic bastard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baht Man View Post
    I live in Spain

    Learnt most of my Spanish from South American Ho's in the knocking shops
    Completly legal here
    Thought learning Spanish was completely legal in most places in the world????

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat
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    What reason is there to learn Thai language really other than for functions you may use while you are here? People that go to western countries want to learn the language because those countries offer real opportunities to them. They can be real members of the western societies they live in and will be treated as equals in a short period of time. Here on the other hand, you are treated forever as a sort of guest so you never make yourself at home. Less people try to learn Thai as a result of the way they are treated here. There is a much higher dropout rate of foreigners who come to reside here than you will find in western countries. In my opinion, it's not just you, it's Thai 'hospitality' again. Why would you want to invest so much time?

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    being able to speak the language here is like going from a darkened room into a brightly lit room, it is worth all of the expense,time and effort expended.
    Maybe, maybe not- depends on the circumstances. Turning on the lights helps keep you from tripping over the furniture, but it also reveals the cockroaches.

    At any rate, no matter how good you get in Thai you are still likely find yourself in very frustrating situations from time to time. I have a friend with his own legal practice here- speaks, reads and writes Thai with real fluency. Even so, occasionally we'll be out and encounter a Thai who just flat out refuses to understand him. Whether it is a ploy to get the farang to speak English because that is what farangs are supposed to do, or if it is due to cognitive dissonance (a fluid stream of Thai cannot be emanating from that face) probably varies according to the situation. The real fun begins when I translate into English for the benefit of the Thai listener what my friend just said in Thai.

    I have encountered something very similar with the Japanese. The expectation that the foreigner will not speak Japanese is very strong, as is the discomfort that a Japanese tends to feel when things don't go according to expectations; this also applies to a certain degree in Thailand, I think. When dealing with Japanese who don't already know me, I tend to try to ease them (when I am feeling patient) into grasping the concept that they are dealing with the gaijin (foreigner) version of The Famous Mr. Ed- otherwise it can be too shocking to their system. Nonetheless, similar to speaking in Thai with Thais, it is usually difficult to avoid getting into a tedious discussion of why I can speak Japanese (it is always "Why is your Japanese so good?", rather than "how did you learn Japanese?", the sub-text being, "You're sleeping with our women, drinking our whiskey, opening locked drawers, aren't you?"). It is also probably uncomfortable for some Japanese, as it likely is similarly for some Thais, to find they are dealing with a foreigner who likely no longer holds to the myths about them that they would have us embrace- that the Japanese are honest, hardworking people dedicated to harmony, or that the Thais are a gentle, kindhearted Buddhists.

    By the way, you can tell how good your Japanese is getting by how long it takes a Japanese listener to get around to saying "Your Japanese is really good." The longer they take to emit that phrase, the better you are getting- if they say it late in the conversation it is generally after you've made a mistake of some kind. I wonder if that is true with Thais, too.

    At any rate, there is an awful lot more to learning a language than accumulating vocabulary, refining pronunciation, and digesting grammar. As the learner gets beyond the functional level the social and cultural aspects become ever more important, especially in languages not as internationalized as English or Spanish. Throw dialects into the mix, especially in places where people cling fiercely to their regional identity as expressed in the use of dialect, and it is easy to see how a farang would be tempted to throw up his hands in defeat.
    “You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.” Dorothy Parker

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat
    Attilla the Hen's Avatar
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    Never yet met a Thai who wasn't pleased that I could speak a smattering of the language.

    Acceptance in Thai society and being able to communicate are two seperate issues.

    Seems like many non-speakers come up with lame excuses about why they don't speak the language, but, I garuantee that any speaker of moderate ability would never want to go back to being a non-speaker.

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat reinvented's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile
    being able to speak the language here is like going from a darkened room into a brightly lit room, it is worth all of the expense,time and effort expended.
    unfortunately its the room of a 7 year old, there are adult topics you cant talk about and their reality really isnt

  18. #18
    Pronce. PH said so AGAIN!
    slackula's Avatar
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    I speak enough to get by, and generally understand the gist of what is being said around me in meetings etc but really, my level of Thai is pretty pathetic considering how long I have lived here.

    I don't know why that is though, previously I have lived in places such as China and the ME and picked up the lingo quite easily, I was never fluent but after a couple of years in China I spoke about as much Mandarin as I do Thai after 11 years here. Something about Thai just doesn't seem to stick in my brain. It's very frustrating.
    bibo ergo sum
    If you hear the thunder be happy - the lightening missed.
    This time.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
    robuzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reinvented View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile
    being able to speak the language here is like going from a darkened room into a brightly lit room, it is worth all of the expense,time and effort expended.
    unfortunately its the room of a 7 year old, there are adult topics you cant talk about and their reality really isnt
    On a related note, the Thais I have met that can speak informatively on topics of interest to me, such as politics and current affairs, almost always speak English far better than I could ever, at this stage in my life, hope to speak Thai. Often, in fact, the ability to pursue advanced studies in most fields requires at least a good reading knowledge of English.

    The people capable of purposeful discourse (like we have here on TD all the time!) may even be more comfortable discussing/debating issues in English, due to cultural constraints on free expression in their native language. This is, again, something I learned in Japan that may well apply here, albeit due to the heterogeneity of Thai society maybe not so heavily. A Japanese explained to me long ago the difficulty they have in grasping the "agree to disagree" concept. This is one example of why Japanese, and I suspect some Thais, find learning English (or German, Russian, etc.) to be a liberating experience; it isn't so much that one can't debate cogently and vigorously in Japanese, it is just that due to cultural constraints, one simply doesn't. Whereas people in hierarchically bound societies tend to come to associate English (especially) with the freedom to assert one's opinion, and to question. "Learn another language, live another life" as the proverb goes, and a Thai speaking English may feel free to be quite different person than he or she is when speaking Thai.

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackula View Post
    I speak enough to get by, and generally understand the gist of what is being said around me in meetings etc but really, my level of Thai is pretty pathetic considering how long I have lived here.

    I don't know why that is though, previously I have lived in places such as China and the ME and picked up the lingo quite easily, I was never fluent but after a couple of years in China I spoke about as much Mandarin as I do Thai after 11 years here. Something about Thai just doesn't seem to stick in my brain. It's very frustrating.
    Coupla things- first of all, I've noticed that people living in China do tend to get a pretty good return on language-learning investment. I know a number of people who have gone to school or worked in China and become quite fluent conversationally, even when they can't read. I tend to put this down to the garrulousness of the Chinese in general- the Chinese will talk to you in Chinese, even when you can't really speak it, whereas the Thais seem a bit more reticent.

    Also, you were younger 12 or so years ago when you learned Chinese. I learned two "hard" languages- Russian and Japanese- to a high degree of fluency when I was young, and I have found that Thai has come a bit harder than I expected it. But my brain is surely a bit "harder" (and my head softer) now. In addition, living in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, or any of the touristy one regularly meets in Thailand people determined to speak English, and that works against picking up the lingo. I used to resort to all sorts of ploys to get the Japanese to speak Japanese with me, by pretending to be Russian, etc., but I don't bother doing that here because it pointlessly adds to the aggro (I do have Thai-speaking farang friends who get stroppy when Thais insist on speaking English, and I think it is a bit silly, although I understand their frustration).

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat
    Attilla the Hen's Avatar
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    Jeez.........you don't learn Thai to speak about politics and current affairs.
    You use it at the market, in taxis, to ask how to get somewhere, to order food and all the other millions of practical applications.

  22. #22
    Pronce. PH said so AGAIN!
    slackula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robuzo
    Also, you were younger 12 or so years ago when you learned Chinese.
    lol, thanks for reminding me! I prefer to blame my lack of ability on the difficulty of the language, not my advancing years

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Attilla the Hen View Post
    Jeez.........you don't learn Thai to speak about politics and current affairs.
    You use it at the market, in taxis, to ask how to get somewhere, to order food and all the other millions of practical applications.
    Yes, and doing so makes life here easier, unquestionably.

  24. #24
    DaffyDuck
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattanaburi View Post
    Why would you want to invest so much time?
    Because learning a foreign language exercises your brain - and because making the effort to learn the language of the country you stay in shows a minimum of respect towards your hosts.

    Both of these are concepts hard to grasp for most yanks or brits, albeit Europeans appear to have no issues naturally making an effort to learn a new language. I speak five languages, of which I barely really need two of them -- but I appreciate being able to communicate in French, English and German, as well as comprehend Italian and Spanish -- note, I did not include my poor excuse for 'Thai' as claiming language comprehension, but I am engaged in learning it, and enjoy making the effort in discovering yet another interesting language.

    You don't learn a language because you have to, but because you want to - otherwise, it's a chore, and you end up whining about how useless it is.

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat

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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    being able to speak the language here is like going from a darkened room into a brightly lit room, it is worth all of the expense,time and effort expended.
    How did it change your life here?

    I'm useless at it not least because I simply can't tell the difference between some of the tones and more often than not it's impossible for me to replicate some of the sounds. Still, upon my imminent retirement to LoS I fully intend to enrol in a proper course but I have the abiding thought that it simply won't be worth all the hassle and expense. A fluent speaking yank told me that it took him at least a year of full time intensive study before he mastered the basics to become remotely proficient.

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