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Author Topic: I’m invisible  (Read 140 times)

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ken kenobie

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I’m invisible
« on: December 23, 2018, 08:55:23 AM »

Over the years Ive really tried to learn the Thai language and its not been an easy journey by any stretch of the imagination . I’ve mastered  the numbers  , telling time and days of the week basic stuff and in my mind I think that having a simple every day conversation with a Thai person is some thing that I can do. But when I try out my Thai language skills the reality strikes home. This is the normal scenario , here we are both my self and my Thai wife out shopping , I see some thing that I would like  to know about in more detail , so I ask the sales assistant in Thai , a simple question about the product. The sales assistant listens to my question and smiles , then as if I’m invisible turns to my wife and starts having a conversation . 

We bump into some one my wife knows , I smile and do a polite wai hand gesture , and say sah wah dee khrap, then proceed to ask how they are doing ,  sabai dee mai . Then again my invisibility cloke seems to once more become activated , and the person Ive been talking to turns to my wife and starts talking .

Many times Ive been frustrated on hearing some obviously wrong answer or statement when Ive asked a Thai person a question and my wife's translated the answer for me into English .  Its at times like these when the frustration set in that  Ive told my wife , if I could speak perfect plainly understandable Thai , how I would let go with both both barrels and give the offending Thai person a piece of my mind in no uncertain terms .



Any one else here get frustrated when trying to communicate with a Thai person , or do you have a decent command of the Thai language and see no problems , or like myself , you Thai language skills are limited , but you to dream of having the ability to talk in perfect Thai , so you could let the buggers have both barrels  ;D


Ps

My wife keeps telling me that if I could speak perfect Thai , I would get my self killed.  ???


Ken

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Pompui

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Re: I’m invisible
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2018, 04:48:45 PM »

24 years on and off in Thailand and I'm in the same boat.
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Roger

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Re: I’m invisible
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2018, 05:06:53 PM »

Ken I get that . . .

I notice in a Restaurant, with the Missis, I'm paying but when they arrive with the Bill they hand it to her, (I'm usually waiting for that and summon the Bill for myself). Even worse, saying something simple to a Waiter/Waitress and they look at Madam and speak in answer.

I understand the reason why this happens but I get the 'invisible' feeling  8)

I speak very little Thai but I often prefer to transact business with Thais on my own. For the reason that if Missis is there the conversation goes through her but it's ME that knows just what I want and needs to understand any problem myself. Despite best intentions, matters get lost in translation going through the 3rd Person. (Most Thai offices have someone who speaks enough English to get by). Also, I'd feel 'invisible' in that 3rd Person conversation.

You do come up with some interesting conundrums . . .  ;)
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dam12641

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Re: I’m invisible
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2018, 06:31:02 PM »

When I manage to string together a sentence of Thai there is only one person in the world who understands it. My wife.
My pronunciation must be so bad that only the wife, being used to it, can make any sense of it.

I'm a cyclist and I frequently rock up to a little village shop in need of a bottle of water.
When I croak "Nam." I'm generally met with uncomprehending stares.
I don't really believe that. I mean how wrong can I say "Nam"?
The context alone should make it obvious.

But apparently not.....
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ken kenobie

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Re: I’m invisible
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2018, 09:18:55 PM »

Ken I get that . . .

I notice in a Restaurant, with the Missis, I'm paying but when they arrive with the Bill they hand it to her, (I'm usually waiting for that and summon the Bill for myself). Even worse, saying something simple to a Waiter/Waitress and they look at Madam and speak in answer.

I understand the reason why this happens but I get the 'invisible' feeling  8)

I speak very little Thai but I often prefer to transact business with Thais on my own. For the reason that if Missis is there the conversation goes through her but it's ME that knows just what I want and needs to understand any problem myself. Despite best intentions, matters get lost in translation going through the 3rd Person. (Most Thai offices have someone who speaks enough English to get by). Also, I'd feel 'invisible' in that 3rd Person conversation.

You do come up with some interesting conundrums . . .  ;)

There’s still so much in my mind when getting involved with Thais that just does not make any sense.  Add to that my curse of having an overactive brain tied to a low threshold for idiots plus a working life time being around theatrical luvvies and you have a man who could explode at any moment .

 Now where can I find a length of strong rope , a secluded tree and a pair of aluminum steps.  ;D



Ken


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ken kenobie

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Re: I’m invisible
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2018, 09:23:49 PM »

When I manage to string together a sentence of Thai there is only one person in the world who understands it. My wife.
My pronunciation must be so bad that only the wife, being used to it, can make any sense of it.

I'm a cyclist and I frequently rock up to a little village shop in need of a bottle of water.
When I croak "Nam." I'm generally met with uncomprehending stares.
I don't really believe that. I mean how wrong can I say "Nam"?
The context alone should make it obvious.

But apparently not.....

I can relate to the uncomprehending stares , its the whispered comments as I walk by ,  farang  farang  farang  that get to me  :)


Ken


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Roger

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Re: I’m invisible
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2018, 10:07:14 AM »

Ken I usually return the stares with a 'sa wa dee cap' and a smile and do the same if I hear the mumbles as I pass by. That breaks the ice   ;)

The other issue of being 'invisible' is with the Missis. From Friends I know this ain't just my problem. My Missis speaks some English but when she is in full flow in Thai chatter, sometimes she just won't respond. This also happens sometimes when it's just the two of us.

A suitable case for some 'assertive' persistence IMO   :(

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