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BANGKOK 19 February 2019 11:17


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About Katia

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  1. Katia

    ว= v

    Yes. This has always killed me. English transliteration of Thai words has always seemed to me to have the flavor of someone who knows just enough Thai to be dangerous... they know that "ส" makes an S sound, but don't know enough to know that that's *only at the beginning of a syllable,* so you get things like "sawas dee." Etc. It's *not* would I would expect from people who are transliterating a language they are fluent in, their first language, the language of the nation they live in! By the time I'd been studying Thai for more than about half an hour, I knew enough for these things to confuse me. It's like they're setting people up to fail. Especially when Thais often don't understand this pronunciation (or, pretend not to-- a coworker was once mad about a taxi driver she asked to take her to "Sukhumvit" road. He didn't understand, didn't understand. Finally she rolled her eyes: "Sukhumwit." Ah, then he got it. OTOH, who knows-- there was the conversation I had with the guy at the concession stand of the movie theater, asked him in Thai what sizes of soda (SO-da) they had. Blank looks, confused indicating of my already-present container of popcorn... then a light goes on my head. "So-DAAAA," I say with a Thai accent. AHA! His eyes light up and then all is well. {Lucky for him that I gave up that regional word "pop" years ago...!}) I get this-- loanwords are often this way, no matter the language of origin (in fact, often when I see words with weird silent letters, this is my first indication that it's a loanword). BUT, shouldn't the transcription to English pronunciation still follow the Thai pronunciation? After all, while there may be reason to spell it in Thai script in a way that reflects the word's original spelling in its original language, that doesn't mean that's necessarily the way it's pronounced in Thai, so why should the original spelling follow through yet another translation to English script? What does that accomplish? The translation into Thai script still reflects the "correct" "Thai" way to say the word. The translation into Latin characters does not, and I'd be hard-pressed to argue that there is some sort of "correct Western-language pronunciation" of any of these words that these transliterations accomplish. You think that's bad? How about the time at the 25 Degrees when I ordered the veggie burger... and the waitress repeated it several times to make sure she had it right. My coworker couldn't even wait until the waitress had gone out of earshot to crack up... I always assumed it was more a case of, "it's not a sound that's native to their language, hence it's not native to their tongue and hard for them to pronounce." I've seen this, for example, the one or two times a Thai friend has learned a new word in English that has a V in it. She has to try it out carefully a couple times to get her mouth to do it. No, my favorite is that the shortened form of the nickname "Apple" in spelled in English "Ple" but still pronounced in Thai as "Pun."
  2. Seems to be the case... if it was about safety, it wouldn't be only the budget airlines that do it. If it was about safety, it wouldn't have only become a "thing" right around the time of the beginning of airlines' nickel-and-diming... (unless it was around more than ten years ago and I just didn't hear of it).
  3. Or maybe they won't be "ready to hear the truth" until suddenly they're at the pearly gates and are wondering W T F* happened... A doctor can "force the truth" on someone, or reality can do it. This isn't like not telling your friend their spouse is cheating because they'd rather turn a blind eye and it can go on forever... with terminal illnesses, eventually the truth is going to rear its ugly head; the question is just whether you're going to spend the rest of your time in denial and tiptoeing around the issue and leave a lot of unfinished business behind, or be honest with yourself and your family/friends, accept their support, spend as much quality time with them as you can, and get your affairs in order as much as you can. *(oh hi TV, we talk about prostitution and racism here and get in all sorts of nasty arguments, but I can't type "W T F" without it being deleted like we're a kindergarten? Give me a break.) I was not amused near the end for my mom when it seems a few medical people told ME what was going on and not my mom. I suppose maybe they thought it might be easier for her to hear from me? Wasn't easier for me to deliver, though... And yes, I know, a mature person should be able to do it, but, still. They're the doctor. That was up there with a supervisor I used to have who, whenever he needed to tell me I screwed up, would get one of my coworkers to do it... guess he thought I might take it easier coming from "not an authority figure" but in reality it just pissed me off that he both wouldn't do his job *and* got coworkers involved in things that weren't their business (and shouldn't have to be *their* job).
  4. Wait... HE'S desperate, so he's expecting people to pay *him* so he doesn't have to be alone on Valentine's Day?? Somebody needs to tell him how the world works... (though I'm sure he'll figure it out; he'll be back in the papers whining on Friday about how nobody wanted to pay up, with no idea whatsoever why that could be...).
  5. Bangkokian Museum. Very pretty. And if Thai-style houses are your thing, Suan Pakkad Palace and Jim Thompson's house (yes tourist attraction, but quite pretty and I absolutely love a couple of the Buddha statues there). On Bang Krachao there's the Siamese Fighting Fish Gallery, with lots of information about the fish and their lifestyle (when they're not confined to tiny bowls...)
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