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BANGKOK 23 April 2019 06:55
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Why Do They Add Tones To Everything!

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Can someone explain to me why Thai's add tones to English words? It's really getting on my nerves today.... you won't be able to hear the tones, but I'll try to be phonetic, to some degree.... I work in the IT industry, so my words have to do with computers and stuff....

"Web-sa-ite" = Website

"Ser-vurrrr" = server

"Mon-ih-turr" = monitor

"speek-urrr" = speaker

and then with the US elections.... they add tones to John Kerry's name...makes me laugh. This happens across the board with all English words that make their way into Thai (this is the only other language I speak, so it's the only one I know this happens with). It's like......who's in charge? Who decides that it has to have a tone or two, and then who specifies it's the one that everyone has to use?

Anyone know why this is? It drives me nuts when I'm speaking Thai and saying something that is clearly an English word....and I try and hold out to not say it with a tone....and I , of course, get the blank stare. If I'm going to Index Living Mall in Lad Prao....I have to say "pai IndeK Liwing Mawn" and then they get it....If I even say "Index Liwing Mawn" I get the blank stare of a lifetime....

Is anyone else going crazy from this today?

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> Can someone explain to me why Thai's add tones to English words?

Partially, yes. As you may know, tones in Thai are governed by the consonants that make up a word. Something starting with for example 'b' or 'g' and ending in either a k, p or a t sound will always have a low tone, unless of course tone markers are used to force a tone. Keep in mind that with a Thai accent, also words ending in S, X, F and perhaps others will get a de facto t or p ending as Thai words just don't end in these consonants. Anyway. Just like other accents of non native English speakers (or even native English speakers :o, the automatic trained thing to do will be to apply the appropriate tone.

Now, this does NOT explain why people say 'SerVEEEEEERR' or "Anon SchwartnegGEEEER" Someone else will have to try to explain that one. :D

Cheers,

Chanchao

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Shallow and cheap I know, but i find it amusing when they try to say squirrel.

SKOOODOOOO.

Try it.

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one possible theory:

unlike english, thai does not require one syllable of multi-syllable words to be stressed. a native speaker slightly elongates the stressed syllable and swallows the weak syllable, 'server'. many thai speakers don't pick up the stress and both/all syllables are pronounced equally - although it sounds like the stress ends up on the second, 'server', that first syllable isn't swallowed/weak.

also, a lot of thai english speakers insert that extra syllable between consonants so 'spaghetti' becomes a four-syllable word 'suh-puh-get-ti'.

that 'l' sound at the end of words can be tricky too. e.g. noodle - nooden

i know that a lot of teachers tend to shy away from teaching pronunciation, for various reasons, so without the opportunity to live abroad and pick up more natural pronunciation, many students of english aren't introduced to the finer points.

if only we could hear ourselves as thais hear us when we're speaking thai with various accents and habits carried over from our first language.

then i think about the loan words we have in english, and how they can be pronounced in australia by people unfamiliar with that language - numerous french words and expressions, international restaurant names and dishes. how many times have you heard someone order a 'chang' beer where chang rhymes with hang. same with farang - often pronounced with short 'a'.

so, most of us are running around with dreadful pronunciation - all except the lucky ones who've had the opportunity to learn with good teachers or have been immersed in the language, or are otherwise naturally inclined.

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Shallow and cheap I know, but i find it amusing when they try to say squirrel.

SKOOODOOOO.

Try it.

You're a f###ing crackup mate :o !

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Many English pronounce Pattaya as Pertaiyar with the stress on tai, way off the Thai pronounciation, we, and I'm speaking here as an Englishman, also coarsened the sound of French words such as boutique, disco and boulevard; but the French surely took the biscuit when they pronounced the capital of Laos as Viangtian, the sound of เวียงจันทร์ is wiangjun or wiangjan.

bannork.

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Many English pronounce Pattaya as Pertaiyar with the stress on tai, way off the Thai pronounciation, we, and I'm speaking here as an Englishman, also coarsened the sound of French words such as boutique, disco and boulevard; but the French surely took the biscuit when they pronounced the capital of Laos as Viangtian, the sound of เวียงจันทร์ is wiangjun or wiangjan.

bannork.

Righto chappy, I'll be flying off to Chiner soon.

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It may have more to do with the way their mouth, tongue and lips work in their own speech....As we have difficulty with their Dt, Bp and Ng words because we dont have these sounds in our language so they also must have problems getting their tongues around some of our words. For insatnce they dont have a Vee sound so it gets the Wee treatment....as in Ovaltine becoming Ohwantine.

I get a bit annoyed to hear both....Pat Tay ya and Patta ya.....the correct pronounciation is Phat Ya...which translates as wind medicine or medicine wind...The town was renamed by King Thaksin as he believed the healing effects of the Sea breeze rejuvenated his army and with the enlistment of local men returned to push the Burmese back out of Siam.

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It is pretty weird and can throw off a lot of foreigners. However, at least most foreign words get the same treatment (cen-TUN=central, com-pu-TDER=computer, mas-DA=mazda, tdo-yo-TDA=toyota, mau-DUHN=modern) and so it's not that difficult to get used to. There are exceptions, such as "product" which has a short ending, and so has a low tone. At first, it really ground on my nerves that English words were so un-English, but now I'm pretty used to it and will use the "proper" Thai pronunciation.

If a Thai were to constantly speak foreign words in the correct foreign way, they will pretty often be accused of being "gra-dae", something akin to showing off. Now that's REALLY sad.

But on the other hand, I also think that Thais who replace every other Thai word with English words (pronounced the Thai way) when they speak are a bit... twisted. I can understand using "compuTDER" since there's no good Thai word for it. But why, oh dear god WHY, do they have to replace "karn tdalad" with "markeTDING"? Why replace "sin kah" with "bro-duck"? Why replace "yee-hau" with "bran"? Why replace "loog ka" with "custoMER"? Have they forgotten Thai? Or are they afraid someone might not notice that they know a bit of English? My theory is that they use these tons of English words because they have no clue about what they're talking about and so want to make it sound so fancy that it's GOT to mean something. (Sorry, had to get that off my chest)

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King Thaksin

Taksin ตากสิน!

'Toxin' is ทักษิณ

I thought the prefix King may have been enough to cover any error in spelling Plus I wanted to avoid any confusion with the present day "Would be King Taksin"

:o:D:D:D

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Shallow and cheap I know, but i find it amusing when they try to say squirrel.

I had Shrimps toinght on the BBQ. I lagh so much that my wife still is struggling to say this. Crisps is another.

Then again she gets a laugh at me - I think I can just now just about say, " nguang nawn" - sleepy.

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Now, this does NOT explain why people say 'SerVEEEEEERR' or "Anon SchwartnegGEEEER"    Someone else will have to try to explain that one. :D

Cheers,

Chanchao

Or why when they say my name, they say "RogEEEEEEEEr" - although it usually sounds like "LodgEEEEEEEr" :o

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........that 'l' sound at the end of words can be tricky too. e.g. noodle - nooden....

I tried to get to Central Department store in bkk by taxi.

Told him 3 times: "Central Department Store"

He replied 3 times: "Mai loo"

Then I remembered what my teacher had recently taught me about L's and N's. So I tried: "Centrun?".

"Centrun? OK!" he replied, and off we went. :o

So I guess the new "Central Festival" in Phuket should be pronounced "Centrun Festivun"? :D

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It may have more to do with the way their mouth, tongue and lips work in their own speech....As we have difficulty with their Dt, Bp and Ng words because we dont have these sounds in our language so they also must have problems getting their tongues around some of our words. For insatnce they dont have a Vee sound so it gets the Wee treatment....as in Ovaltine becoming Ohwantine.

I get a bit annoyed to hear both....Pat Tay ya and Patta ya.....the correct pronounciation is Phat Ya...which translates as wind medicine or medicine wind...The town was renamed by King Thaksin as he believed the healing effects of the Sea breeze rejuvenated his army and with the enlistment of local men returned to push the Burmese back out of Siam.

I agree. I can't really stand the overuse of English terms either, but this is something that occurs in a lot of languages around the world today. Scandinavians increasingly speak about their work using watered-down versions of English (American) terms despite there being Swedish words there that would work just as well. But it's a fashion thing. English is status, English is cool. If you don't know it, you're not with it. Sounds ridiculous, I know... but it is natural. When French was the language of the aristocracy and royalty all around Europe, the Swedish king only spoke French in his daily life, and Swedish was totally swamped with French loan-words, words which are now incorporated into Swedish and part of our everday vocabulary.

Look at the immense impact Latin had on the languages all over Europe because of the Roman empire... For the longest time, grammarians maintained that Germanic languages were flawed because they lacked the structure of Latin - therefore they tried to make people write e.g. English, Swedish and German according to the sentence structure of Latin... The same psychological mechanisms are at play now when the Thais would rather use "custom-EEEEEEER" than "luuk khaa".

BTW, a Thai who uses as many foreign buzzwords as possible is our own dear Toxin. Have a look at his writings and you'll discover lots of 'e-lear-NING' and plenty of other little Corporate BS tidbits...

As for the Thais who try to pronounce English words properly and are accused by their peers of being "sa-lid" (that's the word my friends would use, meaning 'conceited', 'affected' - I have never heard 'gra-dae', will try it out at the next opportunity) I suppose that is the same thing as an English speaker who tries to pronounce words like Chardonnay or Champagne the way the French would. It doesn't go down all that well does it?

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