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Vootieman

Quick Thai language translation question

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My wife & I are making a return trip to Thailand next month. I had what (I hope) is a bright idea and I would welcome an answer from anyone who reads Thai.

 

Both of us come from families with a history of diabetes, so we avoid sugar. And both of us hate the taste of cilantro (pak chee). Don't laugh, happy marriages are built on such details! 😍

 

Anyway, I thought a clever communications hack would be to make a wallet-sized printout in Thai to show when we order food so via Google Translate I made the attached instructions. But I have no way of knowing if it is accurate or comprehensible or may make someone laugh or get angry. 😬

 

Can anyone help? If it's erroneous, I'd welcome a corrected version.

 

Khawp khun krap!

Thai card no sugar or cilantro.jpg

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Thank you for this, but we want them to not add sugar or cilantro. If you can type out the proper sentence for us, that would be much appreciated. I can then copy and make my wallet card!

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I think you may find that when you actually come to do it, it will be hit and miss if your instructions are followed.
The waiting staff won't know the precise ingredients of every dish, there will be poor communication between waiting staff and the cooks in the kitchen and if they have already made up a batch of something, it will be too much trouble to make up a small one-off portion again for you.

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"I think you may find that when you actually come to do it, it will be hit and miss if your instructions are followed."

 

Thanks for your help -- and no doubt! The good news is we are not fussy.

 

Maybe a better alternative to my "bright idea" 😪 is to do what we usually do: just say "mai sai pak chee."

 

For "no sugar," will "mai sai wan" do the trick?

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jackdd, re: my reply to you, I misinterpreted your message, but now I get it. (English is my first language and I'm still learning how to speak it.) 😀 

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MAI SAI NAM DTAN ไม่ใส่น้ำตาล for 'no sugar'. You can add the particles NA KRAP for politeness if you're male or NA KA for females.

But you'd probably be better off writing down your instructions in Thai as per your initial post for clarity.
PS I was once in a restaurant in Thailand where there was a bit of a commotion going on at the next table.
One of the two farang girls sitting there had called over the staff and was complaining in an irate and flustered manner that the food she'd ordered had meat in it.
She was a vegetarian and had carefully explained to the waiter that she didn't want any meat in the stir fired dish when she ordered - she wanted a vegetarian version of it.
However, the message had got lost somewhere along the way and she ended up with a mouthful of chicken before she realised what was going on and spat it back out onto the plate.
For a vegetarian, I guess that's a bit of a no no.

Edited by katana

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I asked a Thai on Line app. the exchange went like this: 

Me. Question : กรุณา ย่าใส้นำ้ตาลหรือผักชีในอาหารของเราครับ 

Is that good enough for a wallet card for a farang to show the waiter? 

He. Better say ไม่หวาน instead of นำ้ตาล if you want to mention food. 

Me. อย่าใส้หวาน?? 

He. If you say อย่าใส้นำ้ตาล it always refers to coffee. 

Me. อย่าทำหวาน

He. บอกไม่หวาน

ส้มตำหนึ่งจานไม่หวาน for example. 

Me. OK so what would a note to staff say to include no sugar or pakchoi? 

He. ขอไม่หวานและไม่ใส้ผักชีครับ 

Me. if they have sugar diabetes.  (Trying to imply that it might be serious if misunderstood) 

He.  a funny meme with OKays scattered round it. 

Me. ใส้นำตาลหรือผัชีเป็นส่วนผสม ?? 

He. No need to say. 

Ends. 

Frustrating but I conclude two things, 1. ไม่ means อย่า. Maybe this is a real life example of some words being considered formal! 

I notice I have used ไม่ไส้ somewhere, consider it a lapse! 

2. That a note is not a good idea. 

6 hours ago, katana said:

I think you may find that when you actually come to do it, it will be hit and miss if your instructions are followed.
The waiting staff won't know the precise ingredients of every dish, there will be poor communication between waiting staff and the cooks in the kitchen and if they have already made up a batch of something, it will be too much trouble to make up a small one-off portion again for you.

I think that my contact thinks as you do Katana. 

3 hours ago, Vootieman said:

 

 

Thanks for your help -- and no doubt! The good news is we are not fussy.

 

Maybe a better alternative to my "bright idea" 😪 is to do what we usually do: just say "mai sai pak chee."

 

For "no sugar," will "mai sai wan" do the trick?

You are probably right but why not try a note since you don’t have diabetes it won’t matter and will probably give you a laugh. 

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Thanks all around. This has been an educational excursion plus I got some smiles along the way. (Chicken "horror story" for the win!)

 

We will try both the verbal & visual methods and, if any fun stories result, I shall post here without fail. Cheers to all and thanks again!

 

 

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Hi tgeezer,
If your native speaker says use MAI WAHN ไม่หวาน instead of MAI SAI ไม่ใส่, best disregard what I said and go with that!

Edited by katana

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12 hours ago, tgeezer said:

I asked a Thai on Line app. the exchange went like this:

Your Thai person is wrong.

If you say ไม่หวาน you can not be sure what you get, in most cases you will just get it with reduced sugar, but there will still be sugar added.

To be clear about this you have to say ไม่ไส้นำ้ตาล, maybe even emphasize it by adding เลย to it to make it 100% clear.

You can use อย่า instead of ไม่, but imho อย่า gives the impression that you boss around, i would consider ไม่ to be more polite.

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Disagreement is inevitable but to suggest that my interlocutor’s speech is wrong is going a little far.

I agree with you jackdd which is the reason that I pressed the point by introducing diabetes but We are not Thai.  One of his hobbies is cooking so he is familiar with the mechanics of cooking which leads me to conclude that หวาน can not be treated in the same way as เผ็ด so that ไม่หวาน means that there is no sugar at all. 

ขอไม่หวาน says requesting not sweet and (requesting) not to put in... 

13 hours ago, Vootieman said:

 

 

 

Sorry, I was trying to quote katana and jackdd. 

กรุณา is probably the wrong word to use in a servant customer relationship, I don’t share your opinion on อย่า because I believe in being specific if able. 

กรุณาหากมีภาวะฉุกเฉินช่วยติดต่อ... or words to that effect is where I think กรุณา belongs. 

I know of many words but not necessarily how to use them so how about this? เรื่องเกี่ยวกับการทำอาหาร เรียนพ่อครัวว่าอย่าทำให้หวานหรือใส้...

This is the story concerning cooking- inform the chef not to make sweet or use... 

I will be consulting again but do express your opinions, but on comprehension rather than on whether any Thai would say such things. 

What can possibly go wrong? 

Edit: เรียน used in this way is something I learned aclong time ago so probably archaic, บอก is better. 

Edited by tgeezer

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As I performed my ablutions I thought if additions but before I could post a Face call came in and this is what I have gleaned from the conversation.  

Firstly I softened him up by asking him to consider a non English speaker formulating a sentence and the effort required to understand him. 

 

I said เรื่องเกี่ยวกับการทำอาหารให้ผม ช่วยบอกพ่อครัวว่าไม่หวานและ... which he accepted and then as we conversed some points were made. 

รบกวนหน่อย บอก... , อาหารสำหรับผม คำแน่นำคนทำอาหาร this, because the sex of the cook is not known.  เรียน- to inform, he said was very formal. 

Five minutes after being told something people usually can not quote word for word, I am no different, I offer this up for discussion. 

หวาน เปรี้ยว เผ็ด are all treated in the same way ไม่เผ็ด means no พริก at all, in the same way as ไม่หวาน means no นำ้ตาล at all. Both refer to taste not ingredients the derived meaning of ไม่หวาน is that คนทีาทำอาหารไม่ได้ใสนำ้ตาล To make it imperative add เลย. 

ไม่ใส้นำ้ตาร is understandable but our point of view, not a Thai’s apparently. 

 

I must say that I find the use if Thai interesting and have tried to introduce it before with no response, so if anyone is brave enough to make mistakes, please do so. 

Edit. I have a feeling that when indicating degrees of things, Thai is more positive, เผ็ดนิดหน่อย is less than เผ็ดมาก rather than  ไม่เผ็ดมาก. 

Edited by tgeezer

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2 hours ago, tgeezer said:

Disagreement is inevitable but to suggest that my interlocutor’s speech is wrong is going a little far.

I agree with you jackdd which is the reason that I pressed the point by introducing diabetes but We are not Thai.  One of his hobbies is cooking so he is familiar with the mechanics of cooking which leads me to conclude that หวาน can not be treated in the same way as เผ็ด so that ไม่หวาน means that there is no sugar at all. 

Just give it a try. Order some food where they traditionally put sugar inside, for example ผัดไทย or ส้มตำไทย and tell them ไม่หวาน.

In most cases they will either put less sugar than normally inside, or they will ask you to clarify how sweet you want it. The cases where they just put no sogar inside will be rare.

 

1 hour ago, tgeezer said:

ไม่เผ็ด means no พริก at all

That's what it means for a western person.

When i had my mom visit me, who doesn't eat spicy at all, i experienced that for most Thais ไม่เผ็ด means to add just one chilli instead of 5.

Actually that's a good example, because indeed ไม่เผ็ด and ไม่หวาน are indeed treated the same by Thais. It doesn't mean "no sugar" or "no chilli" to them, but instead it means less sweet / spicy than usually.

If you want to be sure that they don't put any chillis inside you have to say ไม่ไส้พริก(เลย)

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