Category Archives: English

Insider/Outsider Accent And Adaptation

12 August 2015.     TV = 1182.9 hours.     AUA: reading/writing classes = 58 hours, advanced class = 1203 hours, total class time = 2199 hours; currently at reading/writing level 2.

In this scene from episode 2 of มงกุฎดอกส้ม (mong kut dawk som) wife number one, addressing her Thai-born son with an obvious mixture of pride and affection, expresses concern that he’s too Thai — this includes his speaking abilities — and that he’s losing his Chinese roots. Note that she speaks Thai with a heavy Chinese accent, whereas he just sounds like a normal Thai.

I’ve heard stories of Americans who settle into a different part of the U.S. than where they were born and, without intending to, end up acquiring the local accent. continued…

The Really, Really Big House Of Bees Is Back!

20 January 2015, TV = 1051.4 hours

AUA: advanced class = 1069 hours, total class time = 2007 hours

And I thought I was being such the wit when last year I ended a post about a giant beehive with two photos placed side by side, both close-ups and all texture and pattern: one of the beehive, the other of a large Bangkok apartment building. Sometimes it’s funnier to imply something pictorially — like, wouldn’t two pictures be worth 2000 words? — than to just state it baldly.

But then walking around Bangkok I come across

hive_building_2 continued…

How Real Does It Feel?

13 January 2015, TV 1045.7 = hours

AUA: advanced class = 1068 hours, total class time = 2006 hours

Years ago, as a college student, I took several semesters worth of French and then ended up spending close to a year in the country, getting to the point where I could understand, speak, and read the language to a decent level continued…

Sometimes It’s All In Your Head

6 January 2015, TV = 1035.9 hours

I needed to make a dental appointment for my semi-annual cleaning and checkup, so I call the hospital whose dental clinic I’ve been using; the phone is answered with an automated message that informs me that I can “press nine for English.” continued…


4 January 2015, TV = 1033.8 hours

I had just finished an all-day bus ride from northern Thailand back to Bangkok and boarded the battered old city bus which would take me from the Mo Chit bus terminal to the BTS skytrain, which I would use to get to my neighborhood. As the bus exited Mo Chit, it dipped violently downward to the accompaniment of a loud scraping sound: metal against pavement. Apparently we’d hit some kind of pothole, or maybe a shallow ditch. And as the bus lurched, I reflexively blurted out continued…

Killing Birds Efficiently — In Thai

13 November 2014, TV = 968.2 hours

Unlike the last Thai expression that I looked at — which really did turn out to be cryptic1 — this one has a meaning that should be familiar to any English speaker, despite the substitution of a gun for a stone.

Alin continues to scheme, in this scene from episode 7 of สูตรเสน่หา (soot saneha):