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University teaching shows why Thais' command of English is so abysmal!


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1 hour ago, TGIR said:

Four pages of comments and not a single commentator has thought to mention the

abysmal translations of Thai to English in most any dictionary or reference material.  As an example, Thais invariably cannot make an R sound to save their life, but looking at any written reference to translated Thai you will find an abundance of words that use "R" in the translation.  How would one even make that mistake if one was educated properly in both languages?

 

In addition, American English is used worldwide as the learning and speaking standard for Business (sorry Brits), but clearly most transliteration is done in what we call "old English".  Not only would this be confusing to an English speaking person, but imagine what is does to a Thai learning English.

 

Lastly, from the number of grammatical and spelling mistakes I see every day on Thai Visa, most of us would be quite unqualified to make a claim to speaking or writing perfect English, and even worse when attempting Thai, written or verbal.  Bashing Thais for their unacceptable language skills is absurd.  How many English speaking expats do you think can read or speak Thai fluently?  I'd bet on a percentage basis not many.

 

Thais can do a rolling R in the middle of a word, they just struggle if it is at the beginning.

 

I don't think you know what Old English is, what you are seeing sometimes is old fashioned English, often text books are old and have been copied from older sources, not that schools don't have access to and purchase modern books, the very same editions as they are using in Europe.

 

 

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No excuses,  the Thai present and previous administrations over decades have administered nothing but neglect and lip service to education in Thailand , unfortunately the country is besotted with Military and business men that run the country, with no knowledge and very little interest in anything or anyone except themselves and military procurement and if it couldn't get any worse the people are to blame for not demanding better education..........................................................:coffee1:

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1 minute ago, Bule gila said:

A dialect is not a language - it is a variety of a language and consists of a localised group [regional, social and/or ethnicity] using an evolved version which is mutually intelligible to them. All languages have dialects and they all have a standard version. Understand?

 

You seem confused between unofficial and official dialect.  Official dialects are versions of a language prescribed by a dictionary, as in British English, American English and Indian English.  All are common in their grammar and differ in their content words and so not necessarily mutually intelligible on all levels.  There is no standard version of English, there are several.  Understand now?

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24 minutes ago, fruitman said:

From ALL Asian countries i visited the Thai speak the worst english. They should be VERY ashamed since they ask for quality tourists all the time, learn english first!!

 

Have you visited Japan?

 

 

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2 hours ago, muskoka said:

About 3 years ago my Thai step son's gf (2nd year at Chiang Mai U) asked me and another expat (from Canada & England) to help her with her university English course. After half an hour or so we were shocked. Not only did she have to learn words and concepts we never use, and poorly understand, they were complex to an extreme. We both have some university  education so are not total dummies. Even the sentences she had to learn the meaning of we struggled over as the concepts in the sentence were complicated, and never ever used in normal speech.

 

The students just don't stand a chance here with learning English in school.

 

I have a very good Thai friend, also at CM uni, reading an Education degree and one of his major subjects is English but when he showed me some of the grammar he was expected to learn I was appalled! It was exactly like something you'd expect to be written for a PhD or even a Doctorate thesis on English grammar, it was so abstract and obscure. It would have been of no use whatsoever for him and his fellow students when they graduated and started work as teachers, or similar, themselves. As my knowledge of English grammar was admittedly fairly basic I passed the paper on to my sister, a close friend, and my nephew's wife  - all 3 qualified teachers of English from the UK at quite senior levels and they too were staggered that these poor souls were having to cope with this esoteric rubbish. Their tutor is an American with a doctorate in English who has apparently convinced the faculty board this is what her students need to know in order for them to teach English themselves. As intimated earlier by other contributors unfortunately one must only assume the board members are generally so misinformed as to what is needed to teach English she seems to have bamboozled them in to accepting this as gospel! Needless to say my dear friend still has difficulty holding a straightforward English conversation with me - but he does try and I try to gently to help him, explaining the nuances of our difficult language without worrying about complex grammatical analysis.

  

 

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Just now, Shawn0000 said:

 

You seem confused between unofficial and official dialect.  Official dialects are versions of a language prescribed by a dictionary, as in British English, American English and Indian English.  All are common in their grammar and differ in their content words and so not necessarily mutually intelligible on all levels.  There is no standard version of English, there are several.  Understand now?

You are quite incredible and yet again wrong.

noun
1.
Linguistics. a variety of a language that is distinguished from other varieties of the same language by features of phonology, grammar, and vocabulary, and by its use by a group of speakers who are set off from others geographically or socially.
2.
a provincial, rural, or socially distinct variety of a language that differs from the standard language, especially when considered as substandard.
3.
a special variety of a language:
The literary dialect is usually taken as the standard language.
4.
a language considered as one of a group that have a common ancestor:
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4 hours ago, IMA_FARANG said:

Wouldn't be better to say, "I do not speak English WELL rather than I do not speak English GOOD".

Or is that just my American born English ear?

 

good is of course and adjective whilst well is an adverb.

It is not uncommon for Americans to say, "he plays tennis good", instead of "he is a good tennis player" or "he plays tennis well".

 

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5 hours ago, Charlie1 said:

I noticed that many Thais try to speak a not understandable "American English". They should be taught only by UK native speakers - the teachers, I mean.

Filipinos are  cheaper  hence American English

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2 minutes ago, Bule gila said:

You are quite incredible and yet again wrong.

noun

1.
Linguistics. a variety of a language that is distinguished from other varieties of the same language by features of phonology, grammar, and vocabulary, and by its use by a group of speakers who are set off from others geographically or socially.
2.
a provincial, rural, or socially distinct variety of a language that differs from the standard language, especially when considered as substandard.
3.
a special variety of a language:
The literary dialect is usually taken as the standard language.
4.
a language considered as one of a group that have a common ancestor:

In the context of sociolinguistics we can consider local dialects when teaching however what we must be wary of are people like John Longman who would put forward the American language as the correct and only form of English.

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1 hour ago, dick dasterdly said:

 

 

You are wrong as the automatic response from an English person to their nationality is English - British is the second thought.

 

I have never heard of Englander being used as a confession of nationality. "I am an Englander"? No, that has absolutely never been used in English to my knowledge.

 

Where do you come from "I'm a New Englander" for sure, or even "You are a Little Englander" an insult justifiably applied to Brexit voters but never: "I am an Englander".

 

As with people who hail from Scotland: "I'm Scots" or "I'm Scottish" but never "I'm Scotch"

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1 minute ago, paulbj2 said:

 

I have never heard of Englander being used as a confession of nationality. "I am an Englander"? No, that has absolutely never been used in English to my knowledge.

 

Where do you come from "I'm a New Englander" for sure, or even "You are a Little Englander" an insult justifiably applied to Brexit voters but never: "I am an Englander".

 

As with people who hail from Scotland: "I'm Scots" or "I'm Scottish" but never "I'm Scotch"

 

Which is of course why the Scots never drink water.  It dilutes the scotch. :stoner:

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14 minutes ago, Shawn0000 said:

Thais can do a rolling R in the middle of a word, they just struggle if it is at the beginning.

 

 

Most guys with the name "Andre" or similar call themselves Andy because the Thai can't say it....even not when you say it 50 times to teach them.

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Just now, Shawn0000 said:

 

Japan is a long way ahead of Thailand with regard to English language learning.

 

I don't agree at all. They share similar weak points - teachers who cannot speak English. An over-emphasis on teaching complicated grammar in preference to effective communication...

 

But in terms of everyday ability to use English by well educated people, Thailand is way ahead.

 

Once (about 10 years ago) I spent 2 weeks working in a technical lab in Tokyo, and it was a real trial to find any engineer near me who could answer a simple question such as "can you help me print this document" or "where is the nearest bookstore".

 

No comparison IMHO.

 

 

 

 

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