Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

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petemcc
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Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by petemcc » August 24, 2010, 11:54 am

So you're living in the country you now call home, do you speak the language? If not, why not, if so, did you take classes or just pick it up, or a bit of both?

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by petemcc » August 24, 2010, 12:23 pm

20 views, no replies, interesting!

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papaguido
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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by papaguido » August 24, 2010, 1:56 pm

nit noy

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by tomboy » August 24, 2010, 2:59 pm

Yes! Thai class at 50baht per hour.

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Little Italian Udon
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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by Little Italian Udon » August 24, 2010, 3:41 pm

I do speak,write and read Thai and I learned it by myself . Thai is not difficult but thai people can't easily teach you.

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Galee
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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by Galee » August 24, 2010, 3:56 pm

petemcc wrote:So you're living in the country you now call home, do you speak the language? If not, why not, if so, did you take classes or just pick it up, or a bit of both?
Do you? If not how do you communicate with your g/f.? If she speaks English, is it good enough for her to feel comfortable in Australia?.

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by petemcc » August 24, 2010, 4:17 pm

Galee wrote:
petemcc wrote:So you're living in the country you now call home, do you speak the language? If not, why not, if so, did you take classes or just pick it up, or a bit of both?
Do you? If not how do you communicate with your g/f.? If she speaks English, is it good enough for her to feel comfortable in Australia?.
That wasn't my question or the intent of the thread. As it happens I speak very, very basic Thai, and she speaks reasonable English. Her English is limited only by her lack of use in everyday life and I feel confident that it will improve markedly when she lives in Australia. She learnt English from an early age, I started dabbling with Thai 4 years ago. If I lived in Thailand I would make it a major goal to speak Thai.

Now, what about you as an ex-pat, do you speak Thai? Is it so hard a question that you have to answer it with a question?

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old-timer
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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by old-timer » August 24, 2010, 4:34 pm

OT went on a thai language course and gave up halfway through the second term. I wasn't interested enough to carry on. I can speak a bit of thai mixed in with the laos dialect, no more than the average ex-pat in Udon. My kids have taught me a lot, especialy when i've given them a hand with their English homework. I wont even bother to speak thai if I dont have to. Lazy I know, but I have no problem going alone and getting whatever I want.

OT.........chock dee........ \:D/

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by Jai » August 24, 2010, 4:48 pm

Code: Select all

If I lived in Thailand I would make it a major goal to speak Thai.
Just 1 Baht would probably make me quite rich if I could receive it form every ex Pat that had quoted that line to me.
Along with ............................ "she is different from the others"

I think we all start off with the intention that we are going to do that.

I have lived in Thailand 10 years---much to my shame---I think my Thai is worse now then 6 years ago.

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by Texpat » August 24, 2010, 5:09 pm

I learned the Thai alphabet and rudimentary vocabulary while living in Japan with my Thai wife.
The characters are easy with flashcards.
Within weeks of moving to Udon, I enrolled int AUA's Thai language class.
I took about eight months of classes (twice a week for a few hours each class).
I recommend it. It's not difficult and not expensive.

Understand that many people in Isaan don't speak much Thai either. I'd peg my wife's normal daily speech at 35% Thai 40% Lao, and 25% mishmash of English/Japanese.

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by petemcc » August 24, 2010, 5:17 pm

Funnily enough in the past two weeks I have had 2 ladies as patients who were from Laos. In both cases I could communicate with them in Thai, albeit at a rudimentary level-mine, not theirs.

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by pienmash » August 24, 2010, 5:22 pm

Texpat wrote:I learned the Thai alphabet and rudimentary vocabulary while living in Japan with my Thai wife.
The characters are easy with flashcards.
Within weeks of moving to Udon, I enrolled int AUA's Thai language class.
I took about eight months of classes (twice a week for a few hours each class).
I recommend it. It's not difficult and not expensive.

Understand that many people in Isaan don't speak much Thai either. I'd peg my wife's normal daily speech at 35% Thai 40% Lao, and 25% mishmash of English/Japanese.
Thats quite an interesting way of divding up your partners daily speech in % , ive just done the same for a 24 hour period and it worked out 10% English , 10% Thai , 50 % snoring , 20 % total waffle and the remaining 10% she couldnt talk cos she had a spoon in her gob......!!

Disclaimer - if you read this Dao im only joking ok teelak xx

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by FrazeeDK » August 24, 2010, 7:14 pm

yes, some.. not as much as I think somtimes and at others more than I think... In other words, sometimes when I'm full of confidence I get my linguistic legs kicked out from under me... At other times, I surprisingly understand complex conversations.. Realistically, although I can communicate on a basic level and read Thai (although understanding only basic words), I don't consider myself up to par as I'd be far more comfortable if I could understand fully the nightly news, share the Lakorn completely with the wife and be able to read newspaper articles with facility.. When if ever will I engage my brain fully to becoming better in the language?? When I finally retire?? Or in the unlikely event the motivation bug bites me...

How did I learn what I know?? Some from the wife, some from listening to other Thais speaking, but I picked up most grammar and reading from various books such as Gordon Allison's basic Thai (very old) and the Paiboon Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Thai books..

If you want to learn Thai I'd say that learning to read basic Thai is key.. Then will understand how words are properly prounounced versus how you hear it. Until I learned how to read Thai I butchered any number of Thai words that I'd picked up from the TW and other Thais, thinking I was prounouncing them right when in reality my tin ear had heard them incorrectly years before..

Adding the local Issan dialect to the mix tends to confuse things too... Attempt to differentiate as much as possible the Lao and the Thai and keep your dialects in one lane at a time. I've gotten the strangest looks in Bangkok from central Thais when I start stupidly mixing Lao into Thai when attempting to communicate... Conversely, I get the biggest smiles from Issan folks when I can chat in Lao with them.

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by firsttimebangkok » August 24, 2010, 7:26 pm

I will have to admit I have lived here for almost a year and a half and my thai sucks. I have been lazy, but I can say that thais are basically the same as anyone else. I can still communicate any basic needs especially when shopping. Everyone understands and wants money just like north americans. By not putting in the effort to assimilate, I have discovered that there is little difference really. Any comments......

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Re: Ex-pats, do you speak Thai?

Post by petemcc » August 24, 2010, 7:35 pm

firsttimebangkok wrote:I will have to admit I have lived here for almost a year and a half and my thai sucks. I have been lazy, but I can say that thais are basically the same as anyone else. I can still communicate any basic needs especially when shopping. Everyone understands and wants money just like north americans. By not putting in the effort to assimilate, I have discovered that there is little difference really. Any comments......
I think you should think again. A deaf mute could get by in any country but it does not make for good communication. Can you tell me you never came across any person in your home country who was a foreign national, or citizen who couldn't speak the language, and you didn't get annoyed with them?
Sorry, but I am amazed.

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