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Jingthing

Thai Culture And Sarcasm

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I have to admit, I adore SARCASM. I am well aware as I have read it many places and also tried it out on Thais, that sarcasm and Thai culture are not a match.

Assuming you agree with this, can anyone explain why this culture is so averse to SARCASM?

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I have to admit, I adore SARCASM. I am well aware as I have read it many places and also tried it out on Thais, that sarcasm and Thai culture are not a match.

Assuming you agree with this, can anyone explain why this culture is so averse to SARCASM?

Coz tone of voice is needed to give a sarcastic answer krup.

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I have to admit, I adore SARCASM. I am well aware as I have read it many places and also tried it out on Thais, that sarcasm and Thai culture are not a match.

Assuming you agree with this, can anyone explain why this culture is so averse to SARCASM?

I have tried that too,and it was like they didnt get it, maybe its that its not in their culture to be sarcastic, like in America the "little white lie" is big,everyone does it, get it and its funny at times, but I feel like this culture is not funny, but they are funny among themselves, i guess i grew out of the Mr Bean Humor long ago, what I have found funny they have not, like sarcasm.

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In English words are important. How we use them, our timing, our intonation, how we put them together.

If someone puts words together really creatively then we consider that person a genius.

In Thai, there is only one way to say any given thing. If you try to be creative and say what you want to communicate in a slightly different way this is viewed as wrong. There is ONLY one way. It has never been done differently for centuries. Any deviation is just wrong and foolish. There is Never any thinking outside the box. Anything outside the box is always bad.

Another factor is that many Thai's are first generation (or possibly second generation) city dwellers. For city people who have "seen it all", grown calloused and sarcastic, we really appreciate post-modern humor which is typically sarcasm.

For farmers or at least those who haven't "been there done that" for every thing under the sun, they are content with a more simple and relaxed humor. This involves facial gestures, melodrama, and slapstick.

Personally I wish I wasn't so calloused to the world and to simpler humor. It gets harder and harder to get a laugh out of me. Someone always has to "up the bar."

Thai's are better off without sarcasm.

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Yep, not easy to get Thais understanding sarcasm..they need a little training before getting it.

But try sarcasm with Filipinos who speak and understand English...it really throws them. Thais seem quick-witted in the Western sense in comparison!

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I've seen lots of Thai parody, satire and sarcasm. Usually they'll use well worn Thai sayings and even after they tell you what it means and how it relates to the subject matter, you're still often left scratching your head. They get it though.

Edited by lannarebirth

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Gotta disagree with this one. Sarcasm is an integral part of my routine and my family members most certainly get it.

There's a comedy troupe that does the Sapa Joke (Joke Congress) show on one of the free to air channels that makes pretty extensive use of sarcasm.

:o

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good satire/sarcasm requires knowledge of the language, either english or thai.

thats probably why, OP.

When I ask for explanations sometimes I'm still left bewildered. You'd have to pick it up through osmosis over a period of many years. Still, they get it, and love it.

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Well, I am not fully convinced by any of these explanations. Sarcasm does not always have to be dependent on tone of voice or even sophisticated language skills.

In many standard cases, it is fully situational.

For example, you are left waiting in a steaming hot office for two hours, and the person you are seeing says, sorry to keep you waiting, and you say, Not a problem I can skip my sauna bath today.

Or you see a horrific traffic accident and you say, That's lovely.

Neither case requires advanced language skills nor is tone critical. I suspect one of the main reasons sarcasm is not appreciated in Thailand is because it sounds RUDE and DISRESPECTFUL.

Edited by Jingthing

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I’m with uncle Heng on this.

Sarcasm is infact “very much” the integral part of the Thai’s life.

Jingthing, …..Are you sure you didn’t get confuse between…..irony and sarcasm?

Sorry but this time your myth is.......mai jing....mai jing :o

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Well, I am not fully convinced by any of these explanations. Sarcasm does not always have to be dependent on tone of voice or even sophisticated language skills.

In many standard cases, it is fully situational.

For example, you are left waiting in a steaming hot office for two hours, and the person you are seeing says, sorry to keep you waiting, and you say, Not a problem I can skip my sauna bath today.

Or you see a horrific traffic accident and you say, That's lovely.

Neither case requires advanced language skills nor is tone critical. I suspect one of the main reasons sarcasm is not appreciated in Thailand is because it sounds RUDE and DISRESPECTFUL.

Try working some crocodiles and ghosts into your act and see if things don't improve.

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I’m with uncle Heng on this.

Sarcasm is infact “very much” the integral part of the Thai’s life.

Jingthing, …..Are you sure you didn’t get confuse between…..irony and sarcasm?

Sorry but this time your myth is.......mai jing....mai jing :o

No, both of those examples are sarcasm.

So please give me some examples of what you consider to be examples of sarcasm in a Thai context.

Edited by Jingthing

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i sugest the op updates his thai langugue skills, try listenening to and underastanading la khon and ley khay,

at times it passes me by but the mrs loves it, double entendres and various other faux pas.

for all those who claim to be fluent in thia language , i suggest you try listening and re-evaluating your language skills.

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Double entendres are not related to sarcasm.

OBVIOUSLY, understanding double entendres is totally dependent on ADVANCED language skills.

I am not saying Thais don't have their forms of humor. I am still not convinced that SARCASM is one of the common forms here.

Here is another situational example of classic sarcasm that I don't most Thais would understand. You are a restaurant and you order a pad Thai. They bring you a huge platter with a huge portion (way more than you can eat). So you say you could feed a village with this pad Thai! , I don't think the typical Thai would think you were being sarcastic and MOCKING the size of the portion. I think if they understand the language, they would take you LITERALLY. But you weren't being literal, you were being SARCASTIC.

Edited by Jingthing

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