Top Class

18 April 2014; AT5 = 1063 hours; total class time = 2001 hours; TV = 716.8 hours

Note the speech of Kun Sengsuda, the woman in the black dress with the big red flower, in these clips from the first episode of pan rai pai ruk แผนร้ายพ่ายรัก. I’m fascinated by the way this woman sounds. So far as I can tell, she’s speaking plain standard Thai, but there’s something about the way she articulates her words that’s very striking:

Kun Sengsuda at work, bullying an employee.

Kun Sengsuda lives in Bangkok, and if any kind of provincial upbringing was mentioned, I missed it. She is of the upper, upper, upper class – her husband owns an airline – and based on this and her overall demeanor, I would guess that she is highly educated. She is also a very commanding, domineering person, and is highly skilled at manipulating people, or even intimidating them, to get her way.

So I don’t think her speech is the result of poor education or carelessness; I suspect rather that it’s part of an overall self-presentation aimed at placing herself above others in terms of social status and power. In other words, it’s part of her strategy to get the upper hand in dealings with others, the better to cow them into submission.

So is this the upper-crusty elocution of the Bangkok elite? Or is Kun Sengsuda’s imperious speech sui generis?

Kun Sengsuda at home, browbeating her husband.


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