Friday, December 15, 2006

Thai Me Up~!

If someone in this area hears that I have become a victim of homicide, tell the police my housemates did it.

For the past several months, I have been learning Thai... not very well, I might add. My post-50 brain doesn't pick up new languages like it did when I was 20. That means I have to make a lot of effort and spend a lot of time with it. While I go around the house performing various mundane chores ~ laundry, cooking, surface cleaning, dusting, taking out the trash ~ I have headphones on with Thai tapes in my Walkman. (The CD version is too awkward to carry around.) I repeat endlessly after the instructor, hoping it will take root in that little corner of my brain reserved for very unusual, tonal Asian languages. That means they are exposed to endless recitations of Thai phrases and grammar exercises.

My tongue and mouth eventually adapt to that way of speaking. Consequently, I speak English with a Thai accent for an hour after I stop my daily lesson.

"Joo won goobpok chos?"

I'm beginning to get the "evil eye" from them when I answer a question sounding like I've been possessed by malevolent, overly-talkative spirit from Bangkok.

Maybe I should be kind to them and take some thaim off.




Ginnie said...

A very cute post. My friend who spent two years in Thailand spent 3 weeks learning to say "this meal was delicious" because he was going to have dinner at his driver's house (an honor to be asked.) The day came and after dinner he gave his little spiel to a shocked audience. Evidentally he'd said something like "this food is offensive"...

Leann said...

you funny girl.I giggled over your most have a better brain then me cause I don,t think I would do so good.heck I can barely speak the one I do know!!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Very funny and charming post.

There's no thaim like the present, joo know.

KC said...

It's substantially harder learning new languages after the age of 8...but it can be done to a reasonable extent. Maybe not perfect tones but good enough.

But, the speaking English with a Thai accent, I'd love to hear! (can you include an audio file?)

Pam said...

Quite funny! The next thing you know your housemates will be speaking Thai along with you.
Put it to music, how many of us find ourselves remembering the words to songs better than we remember the grocery list?!

Thailand Gal said...

Ginnie, isn't that funny! The tones mean a lot. I don't recall the exact wording but there is a phrase "mai mai mai mai" and, depending on the tones, can mean "are you selling ducks" or something else. It's really funny!


Leann, I suspect it is the same kind of brain. It's all just repetition.


Susan... very true! Joo won swa pok wa flia lai? :)


KC, no audio files. I'm too much of a Luddite. LOL The funny thing is that I experienced the same thing when I was studying Russian in college. After a few hours in the language lab, I sounded like Riasa Gorbacheva. :)


Pam, actually music is on my study plan. I am supposed to learn some Thai songs. Children's books are also used a lot. And.. no offense intended to my Thai friends.. *but* Thai children's books are beyond boring. They're mind-numbing. LOL


Thanks, all :)



Gobody said...

I would seriously recommend that ;). You made me laugh, thank you.

Ann said...

Cool I use Speakeasy-thai it works wonders, phonetic and easy to get started. From