Jump to content
Displayed prices are for multiple nights. Check the site for price per night. I see hostels starting at 200b/day and hotels from 500b/day on agoda.
Sign in to follow this  
Butch

Is it worth learning Thai anymore?

Recommended Posts

I'm not on about the basic level of ability, I believe that a basic understanding such as how to ask for food, directions, the numbers, money and simple stuff like "what do you like or can you do ??" are essential and polite given that we are a guest in their Country, but I'm on about the more the advanced level of Thai like future tenses, holding a conversation for more than a couple of minutes, stuff about the weather and how to install a proximity sensor to the hoist bearing on a ZPMC Post Panamax crane.

English ability among the girls is definitely and very clearly improving to a point where all or many staff in Beer bars and GGB's have a good grasp. GG girls are even polishing up on their Hindi and Korean. Google is of course a blessing, I had a conversation using google translate with a Korean girl lost up at Terminal 21 last trip. I now know what "fuck off " is in Korean at least.

Given that there are now hand held translation devices, akin to something you might see on Star Trek, and the tech is becoming even more advanced as time goes on, how long will it be before we can have a "Babel fish" like implant to do it all for us I wonder.

Back to the current situation, as I said, a basic and polite understanding and ability is good to have, but as girls are beginning to learn more and at an earlier age, tech is making life easier for both parties and English is now (as far as I know) being taught in Primary schools in Thailand, is it really worth dusting Benjawan Poomsan Beckers book off anymore and playing the tapes?.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like being able to understand what is being said about me when people are unaware that I can understand Thai. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always wanted to learn Thai and am quite fluent at reverse bar girl. That is if a girl is new with no english i'm up to the task  Once on Soi Cowboy Mama asked me to sit with a new arrival from Issan as she wasnt getting any customers. She spoke not a single word of english and Mama was worried she was heading back home. We had a good night. But i dont understand anything and cannot read.  A girl pissed me off years ago telling me just speak english, i dont understand your Thai.  So i keep trying.  Threre is a school close to me and i may try again but will start with basic reading.  But to your question Butch , does not seem a reason to go advanced unless a hobby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is utility to knowing a bit such as turn right, turn left as well as telling time and days of the week.  Same with some familiarity with the alphabet.  I  won't attempt to write out anything in Thai but if I enter something in English in Google Translate, I can sometimes tell whether what comes out in Thai is what I want.

Mentioned to the GFE provider that she can understand my limited vocabulary and that other people in Pattaya might as well.  If I said the same thing in Isaan, it would probably be alai na or what.  She agreed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No need if you are a monger hanging around Pattaya (and probably a few other tourist areas).Every need if you are in business here or spend a bit of time in the boonies. I am personally surprised how utterly bloody useless I am at Thai, after quite a few years here. In my working time I was in Central and South America a bit and Spanish was coming along. All these years in Thailand and I am still useless, and when I listen to Thais nearby, or even on TV, I can't make out anything. Have to face facts, it isn't going to happen. 

Edited by jacko

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have conceded that tones defeat me with rare exceptions.  Earlier this year, I knew I was going to need to get a ride to the the Thara Patong Hotel in Phuket so I found it on Google Maps.  The screen showed the name in Thai.  I told the driver Thara Patong and I got the WTF is this farang talking about.  Then I showed him my phone, he says "Thara Patong" and off we go.

 

Edited by nkped

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats a good one kped . I was in a taxi and another time a restaurant    Spoke Thai and got the blank look. The Thai girl took over and i listened .   Hey , i said it the same way you did , why i am not understood.  Just the look of pity.   I will continue to try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I admit that I have never given up trying to learn. There is however a middle course that I have aimed for. This is the area that I am involved in and constantly try to add words where it is part of my holiday. I added 'Greedy" the other day! In other words I want to broaden it out from the basics but only into areas that I think that I will use. 

There is another consideration and that is as follows. many of us guys and girls on the forum have some mileage on the clock. It seems to be generally believed that for older people language learning is conducive to good brain health and anything that will slow down dementia can only be a good thing. I have my lists and flash cards out daily and also have Pimsleur cd's but like Jacko, my spoken Thai never seems to be right to the locals but on the occasion that I get a compliment it can bring on a big smile. 

If you are going to be a constant visitor to Thailand or could possibly decide to live there then every effort that you make will be rewarded. Also something that I have noted. is that the bar girls (When not speaking Issan, Khymer or Lao) have evolved an understanding of Falang Thai. They seem to be able to overlook the tones and poor pronunciation and sounds that are exclusive to Thai. Am I the only one who has sensible conversations with bar girls and are completely not understood by their parents?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, teelack said:

Am I the only one who has sensible conversations with bar girls and are completely not understood by their parents?

Probably, I usually exclude their parents from the bedroom. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Probably, I usually exclude their parents from the bedroom. 
The word was "Sensible". I get all silly in the bedroom.

Sent from my Nokia 6.1 using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...