Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can?

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GLCQuantum
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Re: Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can

Post by GLCQuantum » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:48 pm

STEVEG said...
the sort who feels the need to ask a 12 year old shoe-shine boy his views on proposed Constitutional amendments
:lach:

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Re: Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can

Post by Sydman » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:24 pm

MrPlum wrote:Put anyone in a situation where their native language is not spoken at all and I'll bet they will all be fluent within 18 months. The need dictates the amount of effort.
That's a good point.

I've only been to Thailand as a tourist to touristy areas and have always been able get by speaking english. Maybe the people that move to less visited (by foreigners) areas have more incentive to learn Thai and would progress quicker.

On a different note, I went to Cambodia in March and found that a lot of the expats could speak Khmer, even though english is widely spoken. I was told Kmer is not tonal so its much easier to learn than Thai. One waitress in a restaurant, who spoke excelent english, was charging 50c a word to a guy that had just moved there :)

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Re: Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can

Post by Vital Spark » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:51 am

I think that you’re making too many assumptions, CJ (whoever you are). I admire people who can speak Thai better than I can, and feel a tad embarrassed that my Thai isn’t as good as it should be, but I would never shun them. Unless, they had other traits that made them shunnable (I just made up that word, but I quite like it :D ).

I have friends who speak a small amount of Thai, and some that are extremely good. Strangely enough, the ones that are extremely good (at Thai) seem to get into more bother with Thais than those at a more basic level. They, maybe, get into deeper conversations that could possibly be misunderstood. The nuances of any language can end up with misunderstandings, especially with the hierarchal Thai language.

It’s very easy to say that everyone should speak Thai, but it takes time, patience, and/or money. Not all of us have the above (I wish), but manage to live in relative harmony with our Thai friends.

VS
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Re: Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can

Post by BaaBaa. » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:57 am

My only view when I hear a fluent Thai Farang is inquisitive, my Thai is passable, been told my pronunciation is perfect, if not my vocabulary.

Never resented, just wonder how long they've been around, background etc.

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Re: Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can

Post by redzonerocker » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:04 am

BaaBaa. wrote: . . . . . my Thai is passable, been told my pronunciation is perfect, if not my vocabulary.
.
Just need to brush up on your English now then :wink: :laugh:
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Re: Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can

Post by BaaBaa. » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:34 am

redzonerocker wrote:
BaaBaa. wrote: . . . . . my Thai is passable, been told my pronunciation is perfect, if not my vocabulary.
.
Just need to brush up on your English now then :wink: :laugh:

I'm impeccabable.

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Re: Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can

Post by caller » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:17 am

BaaBaa. wrote:I'm impeccabable.
Always assumed you were scouse? :? :)
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Re: Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can

Post by Takiap » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:03 am

I for one couldn't care less whether a person can speak Thai or not, so naturally I don't resent expats who can speak it. I know a few words, but that's it. I have never made an attempt to learn, simply because I have never wanted to learn. As with Mr Plum, I enjoy the silence. Also, I cannot keep my mouth shut when/if it should be opened, so if I could speak Thai, I could well find myself getting into very dangerous situations.


As much as people like to think otherwise, Thais DO often say some pretty nasty things about us, unless of course they realize you can understand the language. My wife for example was referred to as a prostitute by a female taxi driver on Samui, while I was a dog. My wife was naturally very upset, but refused to tell me why until we had left the island. Now, had I understood the taxi driver, she would have got a damn side more than a smile, and that in turn could get me into serious trouble.


Just a short while ago at the floating market in Hua-Hin, some nasty comments were made by a stuck up Bangkok rich kid bitch. Unfortunately for her, I did understand some of what she said, and of course she got it straight back from me in no uncertain terms, with plenty of English insults added in for good measure. So, it's things like this that make me not want to learn the language.


Having said all that, I am now, after more than 12 years, eventually thinking that maybe I should learn the language, but not 100% sure yet.


For now, I'll just continue speaking the world's finest language ........ :duck:

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Re: Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can

Post by Roel » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:24 am

The fact that you will be able to understand insults seems not a very good reason not to learn a language.
"I cannot be bothered" is! :P
Takiap wrote:For now, I'll just continue speaking the world's finest language ........
Why would you speak German???
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Re: Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can

Post by sateeb » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:42 am

Why would you speak German???



Hmmmm...Fawlty Towers springs to mind :neener: :naughty:
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Re: Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can

Post by richard » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:14 pm

I think VS hit the nail on the head.

I know farangs who speak perfect Thai and Laos but only use it when necessary.

I know farangs who show off by loudly talking in Thai or Laos in bars and restaurants. Not only is this unnecessary and despised by quieter farangs but I have noticed it upsets the Thai staff too.

I noticed it most when living in Khon Kaen. Some guys who live up there who are remnants of the MIA VN forces insist on talking loudly in Khmer or Laos despite the fact all and sundry present speak English.

Some of these guys had never been out of Isaan so their views on the rest of Thailand and the rest of the world were distorted
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It’s none of my business what people say and think of me. I am what I am and do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. It makes life so much easier.

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Re: Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can

Post by sargeant » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:27 pm

I for one will be disapointed to see Cing Jai leave but advise him to grow a thicker skin if he stays and learn his views are not going to be accepted by those that disagree

quote Steve G
Another might be if it's being done to exclude someone from the conversation or even talk about them furtively.
Obviously in these cases it's not so much resentment about speaking Thai but just a lack of manners.
Speaking to a farangs wife in Thai when all three speak english and the farang does not speak Thai could cause resentment i would suggest
could that be when the percieved resentment was felt if so a bit more thought would probably have had one speaking english
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Re: Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can

Post by GLCQuantum » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:29 pm

Speaking to a farangs wife in Thai when all three speak english and the farang does not speak Thai
This, for me, is a BIG no no.

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Re: Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can

Post by Korkenzieher » Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:08 am

Isn't that kind of what CJ is referring to though?

If you speak to someone's other half in Thai - because you can and she / he intitiated conversation in Thai - then if the 3rd person has no ability to understand you are almost obliged to switch to the common language at the earliest opportunity. It frequently exposes an insecurity - "what are they talking about 'secretly'". Or something like that.

That insecurity need not only be about Thai (or any other language) specifically. It could equally be maths, high energy physics, or any subject where some familiarity with advanced subject matter tends to cut others from the discussion. With languages, it is just closer to the surface; more obvious; more pointed. I don't think it is particularly unusual to get some kind of resentment when a person's relative ignorance is unwittingly laid before them - and we all generally take care to change the subject when it becomes obvious that that is the case.

I say unwittingly, because to do it deliberately would be (I think most would agree) incredibly rude.

I am pretty sure this is true of any expat community - take the Costas, or Hong Kong as examples. Many of the responses to CJ read like indignation. He was asking, not accusing - however bluntly. Just maybe the indigant flak indicates his comment cut a little close to the bone.
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Re: Why do expats who can't speak Thai resent those that can

Post by GLCQuantum » Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:14 am

If I was sitting at a table with my wife (that'll be the day) and a friend for dinner and the friend struck up a conversation with the wife in Thai knowing full well she speaks English and I don't speak Thai - I would find that to be extremely rude to be honest.

:cheers:

Edit: Sorry I didn't read your above post properly... you had already said this.

Korkenzieher said...
I say unwittingly, because to do it deliberately would be (I think most would agree) incredibly rude.
:cheers:

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