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Funny, true, language story

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6266
    Total reviews: 10

    I was getting a massage when this anglo guy came in. In Muk, most of the massage places are just rooms with mattresses on the floor - low tech, low cost options. I'm getting my massage and the guy who comes in is a tourist. Now God bless him, he's trying to learn the language. Kudos for that, as he's a transient and a lot of people don't think it's worth the trouble for a month or so. Anyway, the girl asks him, in broken English:

    "Do you like girl Thai?"
    He answers:
    "Pu Ying... Thai... Aroi."
    The girl starts laughing so hard, she can't stop. I asked the guy if he knows what he just said.
    "Yeah, that Thai girls are beautiful."
    I said "No. You just said that Thai girls are tasty."
    Just hillarious. Every time I go into that place and see that girl I say to that girl "Pu Ying Thai Aroi!"

    #1 Posted: 19/10/2010 - 17:48

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  • idreamofdur-
    ian

    TF writer
    Click here to learn more about idreamofdurian
    Joined Travelfish
    5th September, 2008
    Location Singapore
    Posts: 576
    Total reviews: 4

    That's funny. I wonder if he's been telling the ladies at the market that their larb is beautiful?

    #2 Posted: 20/10/2010 - 04:17

  • neosho

    Joined Travelfish
    13th August, 2008
    Posts: 386

    That's funny. Someday over a beer I'll tell you how I learned the Thai word "key".

    #3 Posted: 20/10/2010 - 07:53

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    It's a tough language to get right.
    If you say beautiful in the wrong tone it becomes bad luck.
    'You are bad luck!!
    and 'far' becomes 'near'.etc
    I think freshly cooked rice is called beautiful so maybe it IS ok to call a girl delicious, after all many of them are ;-)

    #4 Posted: 20/10/2010 - 14:48

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    oh yeh and don't forget
    'riding a horse'.
    getting that wrong can get a few hoots of laughter.

    #5 Posted: 20/10/2010 - 14:49

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6266
    Total reviews: 10

    Yep, you could be riding a dog pretty easily there.

    But no, saying a woman is tasty (Aroi) is not something a Thai would say. I'm sure of that, as all my Thai friends love this story for it's humor.

    #6 Posted: 20/10/2010 - 15:57

  • sayadian

    Joined Travelfish
    15th January, 2008
    Posts: 1557

    or asking for some dog dirt, or telling everybody you need a toilet fast!
    I expect the learner you heard was directly tranaslating 'a dishy girl.'
    I just hope he hasn't been put off learning and trying more.The Thais don't really have much patience with learners which I find really funny considering the atrocious English I've heard from Thai people.
    I once met a lady at a bus station somewhere in Isan who was keen for me to speak to her daughter who was, as she proudly explained,Head of the English Dept at the local school.
    She phoned her and handed me the phone.It was one of the most embarassing moments I've had in Thailand.I couldn't understand a word she said.Now I know why the English spoken by school kids is usually so atrocious.

    #7 Posted: 20/10/2010 - 20:15

  • neosho

    Joined Travelfish
    13th August, 2008
    Posts: 386

    I love the literal translations. I read in a book that the word for masterbation translates out to "5 against one". :)

    #8 Posted: 21/10/2010 - 07:39

  • AjarnPasa

    Click here to learn more about AjarnPasa
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    Location Thailand
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    Oh dear, how did we get onto masturbation so quickly?!

    But in the spirit of inter-cultural understanding, if you are going to Thailand you should be aware that for a boy the literal translation is 'To fly a kite' [chák wâao] and for a girl it's 'to go line fishing' [dtòk bèt]. Or for the unisex version: 'to help yourself' [chûay dtua ayng].


    All of the above phrases are of course used to convey their literal meanings too, so hilarity can often ensue when a Farang decides to slip one out ... erm ... so to speak.


    There are lots of fun idiomatic phrases. Perhaps a post on the more common ones should be on the cards.

    #9 Posted: 21/10/2010 - 21:56

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6266
    Total reviews: 10

    How about Snake Snake Fish Fish - that's a weird idiom if there ever was one.

    #10 Posted: 21/10/2010 - 22:49

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  • UsTwo

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2010
    Posts: 66

    Ok, Madmac...My younger brother and his Thai wife will be visiting us soon. My wife gets on really well with her, and I am pretty fond of her, too. How do we welcome her in her language?

    #11 Posted: 22/10/2010 - 18:57

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6266
    Total reviews: 10

    I spell everything pheonetically, but even so, you'll only get the ballpark pronunciation right because English does not accomodate tone variation.

    Hello:
    For you - Savadee Khrap
    For your wife - Savadee Ka

    If you wish to ask her how she's feeling "Savadee Mai Khrap" (Ka for the wife).

    If she Wai's you and you wish to return the greeting, place the hands together as if in prayer, then place them in front of and below you face - I usually have the tips of my fingers level with the point of my nose, and then nod my head once downward, ever so slightly.

    #12 Posted: 23/10/2010 - 01:06

  • AjarnPasa

    Click here to learn more about AjarnPasa
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Thailand
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    Please excuse me wading in here, but just a couple of tiny tweaks to MADMAC's transliterations.

    First, there is no V sound in Thai. For some reason the W sound is occasionally (erroneously) represented as a V.

    A greeting should be Sa-wat-dee krap/ka. Krap for a man saying the greeting, ka for a woman saying the greeting.

    How are you is Sa-bai-dee mai krap/ka. The answer in the affirmative is sa-bai-dee krap/ka, a negative answer is mai sa-bai krap/ka

    Try copying and pasting this สวัสด๊ครับ and สวัสดีค่ะ and สบายดีไหม into http://www.thai-language.com/dict where there are sound files for each.

    #13 Posted: 23/10/2010 - 17:11

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6266
    Total reviews: 10

    Ajarn Pasa is technically correct. At least where I live, the common pronunciation for the "วั" sound is a combination, sort of like Sawvadee - almost like we have the DT sound as well. But yes, I agree with his points.

    #14 Posted: 23/10/2010 - 17:22

  • UsTwo

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2010
    Posts: 66

    Thanks, both.
    That Thai language site is terrific - I've bookmarked it, and will be studying it.

    #15 Posted: 23/10/2010 - 17:24

  • AjarnPasa

    Click here to learn more about AjarnPasa
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Thailand
    Posts: 27
    Places visited:
    At least 92

    UsTwo

    You might like this forum post on small talk too:

    http://www.travelfish.org/board/post/learnthai/11685_small-talk

    #16 Posted: 23/10/2010 - 20:06

  • gstallones

    Joined Travelfish
    8th June, 2011
    Posts: 1

    And be careful how you ask for a bannana :)

    #17 Posted: 8/6/2011 - 01:01

  • 9preciousGe-
    ms

    Joined Travelfish
    13th January, 2011
    Posts: 82

    i dont know the spelling at all but had some fun times on phi phi with some locals once

    it went something like "Chang let - mai de. Chang yai - phon loy!"

    (Small Chang - no good. Big Chang - ok!)

    Happy to be corrected on the phrasing/spelling btw

    #18 Posted: 8/6/2011 - 22:37

  • AjarnPasa

    Click here to learn more about AjarnPasa
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Thailand
    Posts: 27
    Places visited:
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    Chang lek, mai dee
    Chang yai, pon luhy

    Small Chang, no good.
    Big Chang. Result!

    ... is a pretty good translation.

    And anyone whose had the pleasure can surely attest. ;)

    #19 Posted: 18/3/2012 - 08:45

  • neosho

    Joined Travelfish
    13th August, 2008
    Posts: 386

    Madmac
    I learned key the hard way too. Sometimes the wife's english skills aren't that good either. We were sharing a bag of Lays chips the other day and she said that Lays has spicy "she-it". You can imagine the conversation that insued. She was trying to say cheese.

    #20 Posted: 18/3/2012 - 21:52

  • 9preciousGe-
    ms

    Joined Travelfish
    13th January, 2011
    Posts: 82

    haha thanks!

    #21 Posted: 19/3/2012 - 04:23

  • theChosenOne

    Joined Travelfish
    26th March, 2012
    Posts: 12

    I hope the guy in the massage place was not put off. In the west if someone laughs at you it is almost always offensive. Not so much here.

    #22 Posted: 26/3/2012 - 23:42

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