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Captain Monday

Why do Thais only understand words pronounced and intoned perfectly?

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I have no problem being understood in Ubon. yet struggle in Udon. weird.

 

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My response. Mueang(เมือง ).

yeah, you have to be careful not to say the vowel sound too short on that word....

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15 minutes ago, BigStar said:

What seems no different, when it is in fact different, or only slightly different, will render a word incomprehensible--absolutely or relative to the context--in a tonal language like Thai that critically depends on different tones you can't hear without a lot of practice with a Thai speaker. Besides tones, you have timings and all the rest.

 

Helps if you have a good ear for music, but anyone can learn with hard work and practice--which most are not willing to do seriously. I mean, what they think is hard work really isn't. 

 

That's just the way it is and you can't expect more.

 

I've known native speakers to give up easily on learning Thai or Vietnamese because they swore they pronounced correctly yet the Thais or Vietnamese were pretending they didn't understand. Stupid. I hear other farangs around deluding themselves they're speaking Thai correctly when it's a big effort to make any sense their gibberish and Thais will try to cut off their attempts as soon as possible.

 

Now a Thai who's used to common foreign mispronunciations and is also of above average intelligence might be able to figure out what you're trying to say. Sometimes.

 

I have a good ear for music but CANNOT carry a tune. I try to control my voice but it just wavers and warbles.

Karyoki is limited to hard rocks songs that consist of shouting, and rap. I thought this may have been a problem.

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Essential for a "tonal-language". Especially if a certain word can be pronounced 4 different ways, giving it 4 different meanings.
(Chinese=5 different ways.)
Relax: There are a few key-words in English that Thais will understand, no matter how you pronounce them.:smile:
Of course, the rolling "R" of Americans will be interpreted as an expression of anger. (unless the Lady has been around the block for for a while).

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3 hours ago, Captain Monday said:

Well there are only so many districts Samoueng, Nong Hai,

Mai Rim, so the contest is well narrowed down. My response. Mueang(เมือง ).

I don't get it, why do you say Mueang, when you mean Samoueng? Or why are you surprised that she does not understand it? She as well knows there are only three districts, and when you name one that does not exist she obviously is confused ... what does he mean? Is he really in Chiang Mai and not Chiang Rai? Etc. 

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Uneducated, never exposed to foreigners, grandma selling me spring rolls understands everything just fine. 

Auntie - she certainly didn't finish M3 - trying to sell me rice understands everything just fine. That she was late,  I came too early,  but I will come another day...

Taxi drivers selling me a fare understand everything just fine. 

Call center staff like AIS or True selling me a promotion understand everything just fine...

Ooooh, but if I call the same call center with a complaint even English speaking staff cannot understand me...

 

Do you sense a motivational problem?

 

 

 

 

 

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I known several expats who think they know how to pronounce different Thai words,  but they butcher the pronunciation something awful......and get upset when they're not understood.  I only understand my wife when she asks about 'Aunt Chester) because we've been married for 47 years......but even then it takes me a bit to realize she's asking about ancestors.  

I finally buckled down and learned pronunciation and tones.....more often than not, when a Thai doesn't understand me it's because of pronunciation......not tones

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3 hours ago, Enki said:

I don't get it, why do you say Mueang, when you mean Samoueng? Or why are you surprised that she does not understand it? She as well knows there are only three districts, and when you name one that does not exist she obviously is confused ... what does he mean? Is he really in Chiang Mai and not Chiang Rai? Etc. 

I said Mueang as in Amphur Mueang Chiang Mai , nothing about Samoeung.

There are 25 districts in Chiang Mai, not 3. I see "Nong Hai" isn't one of them I was wrong about that. That is not the point of my query Why Thai people apparently cannot understand words unless they are pronounced and intoned perfectly. I mean I could go into a bar in the US and ask for a "Biya" like an Aussie, two freaking syllables, when "American" for Beer is one syllable and sure I won't have a problem.  

 

Edited by Captain Monday

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1 minute ago, Curt1591 said:

I once needed a translator to order at Dairy Queen.

 

I ordered a "Mocha Moolatte".  I repeated it, about a half dozen times and all I got was blank stares.

Finally, a young lady came to my rescue and told them I wanted a "mok-AHHH" moolatte. All was good after that!

 

God I love Dairy Queen. Especially how the gals gratuitously invert the ice cream cone to prove its thickness.

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