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

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

Post by Pleng » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:29 pm

Ohhh how did I miss this thread?!
richard wrote: 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.
Well, the loudly talking could be part of showing off, or could be a by product of the amount of alcohol consumed, or simply trying to be heard above the music and all the jolly-boys banter in whatever the language. I have vary rarely found it upsetting to the staff. A lot of the girls enjoy a bit of banter with a farrang in Thai, some of the ones I've known didn't speak enough English to have a meaningful conversation anyway. Only once have I had a girl to tell me to "Spee Engish Please. You accent quai stange" (which I did find mildly amuzing), but she was the only one in the bar to make such a request.

Personally, I jovially 'despise' people who can speak better Thai than me (and there are plenty that do!). In the same way I 'despise' people who can play guitar better than me (again, a sizable group), or people who have more money than me(um, again...). Or the same way I 'despise' my more Handsome friends(I'm going to stop short of proclaiming that group to be so massive!). Clearly it's just a bit of playful envy.

Thai, though, is a very difficult language to learn for a westerner, no two ways about it. Simple enough to pick up the basics, maybe, but difficult to master. Especially as you get older; your hearing is not as good as it once was, and if you can't hear the differences between tones, how are you supposed to reproduce them? Even if you're not that old, it can be difficult. I for the life of me can't get the high tone, and am starting to think I never will. In which case I will have to rely on context to make myself understood when such words come up.

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

Post by sefty » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:04 pm

I know the basics and can scrape by some days and some days i can't.
However my feelings when i hear another farang fluently converse with a thai is a little bit of jealousy, especially when the GF says 'oh look farang speak thai good'

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