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Thread: "ٴѴ"

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    "ٴѴ"

    I studied Thai intensively (8 hours per day) at a language school in the States for a year before coming to Thailand. Now that I'm in Thailand and I speak with Thais I often get this comment. Is this a genuine compliment or is it just that I speak more clearly than most tourists? Or is it a subtle way of saying that I need to focus more on my pronunciation? Just curious as I have always considered myself tone deaf; tones and vowel length have always been challenging for me and I never felt like I had them down before coming to Thailand.

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    Re: "ٴѴ"

    I know that phrase means "you speak clearly". After studying extensively Thai, you most probably deserve that compliment (yes, I think it is a compliment). Having said that, I have noticed that Thais are quick to say "poot geng" to me even when all I have said is sawatdee kha and sabai dee mai. Sometimes it makes me wonder if it is just a way to make my day, or establish rapport, or encourage me to go on learning the language. But not really about me being good at Thai after saying 2 phrases!

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    Re: "ٴѴ"

    Yes, I think Thai people are quick to say phoot geng when you try even a little of thai. But I never heard them say ٴѴ to me So I assume this is probably a much more deserving comment....congrats!!
    Never hit someone below the belt; for you are not the creator.

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    Re: "ٴѴ"

    Personally I've found Thais to be some of the most over complimentary people IN THE WORLD when it comes to foreigners spittin' out even horrifically mangled Thai.

    It drives me up a wall. I finally came up with the thai phrase which says, "We both know my Thai has a strange accent and is off-toned but thanx".

    Now that you did study prior to comin' here you might take their compliments with more than a grain of salt. Those two things; vowel length and correct tone will throw you off the rails faster than even poor sentence constructs. if you studied Thai a year before you came here, you know this but I'd rate it this way;

    First; use sentence constructs you've heard Thais use (meaning use Thai word order NOT engrish, leave out first person pronouns if it's understood you're talking about yourself, in other words, speak LIKE a Thai would, not like a foreigner speaking Thai). Most language schools teach foreigners some totally artificial sounding constructs, things I've never ever heard a native Thai say, and that's sad.

    Second; get the vowel sounds right (if it's a short vowel sound you can't draw it out, or that'd be a long vowel sound in Thai). This is where a lotta foreign speakers run a muck, because I can draw out or shorten just about ANY vowel sound in an English word, and it's still the same word.

    Third; proper intonation on words; the mid, low and high tones aren't super critical and are spoken by native speaker quite blurry or fuzzy, but man the rising and falling tones are deal breakers when you miss 'em.

    In all honesty, I think Thais are so overly praising because most foreigners here totally suck at speaking even rudimentary or basic Thai, so to them anyone who is about that level is praise worthy.

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    Re: "ٴѴ"

    I found this,
    ٴѴਹ articulate (speak clearly); enunciate (articulate) so very good but i agree i hear poot thai geng mak all the time,

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    Re: "ٴѴ"

    While slightly off topic;

    I met a foreigner the other day at a "Thai Language Get Together", where not surprisingly, foreigners interested in Thai get together learn and talk about the Thai language.

    This guy was from the US, and had studied at a Thai temple in American for quite a while before coming here. He did speak Thai with really clear intonation and vowel lengths, however he spoke some of the most artificial sounding Thai as far as sentence constructs. I mean he spoke in a way I've NEVER EVER heard a Thai speak in the entire 7 years I've been here.

    Don't get me wrong, that guy knew tons of buddhist and religious words, (which I have found, are not all that valuable in "real life" situations, but hey, I'd imagine if you learned Thai at a temple you'd get a lotta vocab like that). The monks who he learned from in the US just taught him to speak Thai "like a foreigner". Sometime it was tough to understand because even though it was crystal clear, it was so "un-thai" in construct.

    Now I've spoken to my fair share of monks here in Thailand (what with this being a buddhist country and all, and the fact that there's a temple every coupla kilometers or so), but NONE of those monks spoke Thai like this guy did after learning at a temple in the US. I found that strange really.

    Someone who speaks Thai very fluidly told me, that they've never ever said something in Thai which they hadn't heard a Thai say before. Consequently they speak some of the most "thai-like" Thai I've ever heard comin' from a foreigner.

    You will notice I didn't say speaks "fluently". Because that word is beat to death in the language learning circles. It seems to mean different things to different people.

    Speaking Thai fluidly, means;
    • you use sentence constructs which a Thai would use
    • you don't hafta stop mid sentence to think of the word you need
    • when you speak you pause when a Thai would pause
    • you use appropriate particles to convey emotion to what you're saying instead of changing the tone of words like we do speaking English to convey emotive value.

    These are the things which make foreign speakers of Thai (even high-basic level ones) understood by a wider demographic of Thai (as opposed to Thais you routinely interact with and who may already know you’re particular quirks when you speak Thai to them).

    Still I applaud the O/P's efforts in undertaking this language BEFORE “washin' up on the shores here”. He's leaps and bounds ahead of 99.999% of the foreigners already here in regards to Thai.

    Good Luck. . .

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    Re: "ٴѴ"

    Saying you speak Thai "chat" (clearly) is a fairly decent compliment considering that you've studied the language for a year. "Complimentation" on one's language abilities follows a structured tier system as described below:

    The first complement learners receive is: "Pood keng." This compliment amounts to very little when issued to a new learner. Thai's will give this compliment to the 80 y/o tourist who can only say "Hello" and "How are you?" in a thick accent.

    The second compliment is "Pood Chat" (the very compliment you got). This is a complement Thais will give you once you can speak well enough to be understood clearly. Given the level you should be at after a year of study while living in the states, it's an appropriate complement.

    The third compliment is: "Pood meuan khon Thai." When you get this complement, you've hit a high level of language skill, as you are being compared to a native speaker. Most of the famous Thai-speaking farang (i.e. Adam Bradshaw, etc) are at this level.

    The final and ultimate compliment is: no compliment. When you walk up to someone and chat away to them in Thai and they don't compliment you or instantly ask about why you speak Thai so well, you've received the ultimate compliment. They either assume you grew up in Thailand or are half-Thai. (Eventually curiosity may get to them and they may ask if you have a Thai mom or if you were born in Thailand)

    Note: the compliment should be compared to the speakers actual language ability to be valid. The 80 y/o who speaks two words might be told he "pood meuan khon thai." Obviously, the person doing the complimenting is being sarcastic.

    Hope this helps.
    "Random Witty Comment"

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    Re: "ٴѴ"

    Yeah, I'm still not buyin' a thing Thais say about the ability of a foreign Thai speaker. They are just so over complimentary you can never really tell with 'em, but that's just how they are.

    Now don't get me wrong, Andrew Biggs & Adam Bradshaw are some really clear foreign speakers of Thai. Still NOT a single Thai in this country would EVER confuse them for native speakers. Maybe if they just said a few words or had a very short conversation, but if they spoke for any length of time they're "foreign-ness" would come out in their structure, their intonation, and their usage. Adam certainly speaks more than Andrew but there's probably about a 20 year age difference between the two.

    I watched Adam's show for a while on t/v, that Wink, Wink English (the one on between real t/v shows), but was unimpressed overall because none of the dialogs were all that long. In fact they're so tightly cut and edited you can't tell, same for his You Tube stuff which I watched. I did see some stuff when he was on another show Farang Bok Bok, on the Thai travel channel, the show with Luke Cassidy Dorian as the host (who is a really good Thai speaker in his own right) yet I still dunno how well Adam can speak Thai other than short "cut & paste" stuff.

    Don't read this wrong, I'm not downin' Adam, just pointin' out there's not a lotta stuff out there which has him really free speakin' Thai all that much.

    I still am of the mind that any foreign speaker should take what the Thais say with a grain of proverbial salt.

    I have Thais tell me almost daily that I say things no Thai would; usually after I've made some blunt observation, expressed my dissatisfaction, or called someone out for not keeping a deadline, etc.

    I always laugh, tell 'em thanx, n' then say, I speak Thai to communicate with Thais not because I want to become Thai, lol... I'm happy with the fact I'll never be confused for a native speaker, but that’s just me.

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    Re: "ٴѴ"

    Apology im not read thru all these comments right now,but i say im" put Thai chat" as many as person in Thailand told me,even my teacher. But i saw the khek sold watchs,jewelries...etc
    at Thailand spoke Thai better than me.

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    Re: "ٴѴ"

    There is one guy Todd (tongdee) Lavelle; who I jokingly call; Todd "good stomach" by purposely mispronouncing the Thai words "gold" and "stomach" (because of the weight he's put on, lol...).

    Now his Thai is some of the clearest most "Thai accented" spoken Thai I've ever heard a foreigner spit out here. Then again after spending two Fulbright scholarships here studying and being here for as long as he has working in the entertainment and music industry, I'd hope his Thai would be a cut above. ..

    I can't remember if I mentioned this in a previous post, but I was at a Thai Language Meet Up which happens once a month here in Bangkok. There was a American kid (I say kid because he's easily 20+ years my junior), who had studied Thai at a temple in Washington DC, USA. He had really clear Thai but spoke it in a very strange 'monk-ish' way; as in he used words I knew but that I'd never heard Thais use in conversation. Perhaps learning Thai from monks especially monks in the US ain't the best way to go.

    Still for the O/P glad you "speak clear" Thai, there're certainly enough foreigners here (myself included) who speak some pretty "muddy" Thai, lol. . .

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