Category Archives: misunderstandings

More Poo Than I Ever Knew: A Failure To Differentiate

8 August 2014, TV = 841.6 hours

I’ve updated the previous post with some corrections and an explanatory note, after a reader pointed out that I’d mistakenly used the same word for both ชมพู่

image retrieved fromhttp://simpleayurvedichealthtips.blogspot.com/2013_04_01_archive.html continued…

A Really, Really Big House Of Bees

29 April 2014, TV = 746.1 hours

They've got some big-assed beehives in Chonburi! That's the office guy's hand on the left; to give some idea of scale, he's holding up a 5 baht piece – roughly the size of a US quarter.

They’ve got some big-assed beehives in Chonburi! That’s the office guy’s hand on the left; to give some idea of scale, he’s holding up a 5 baht piece – roughly the size of a US quarter.

Some of my mistakes in Thai happen when I hear what I thought I was going to hear instead of what was actually said. In other words, my perceptions sometimes get shaped by my preconceptions.

Yesterday I went to my building’s office to pay the rent. They happen to have a giant beehive on display there, probably about a meter across. I’ve always been curious about it, so to make a little small talk I commented on it and then asked what it was called in Thai. continued…

Happy Birthday, กทม!

25 April 2014: hours of unsubtitled Thai TV & movies watched = 739.5

กทม ("gaw taw maw"), a common way of referring to Bangkok in Thai, is an acronym taken from the first three syllables of the city's name.

กทม (“gaw taw maw”), a common way of referring to Bangkok in Thai, is an acronym taken from the first three syllables of the city’s name.

Apparently I’m late to the party: Monday 21 April marked the 232nd anniversary of the official founding of Bangkok. So a happy (if belated) birthday to the city that is now my home!

This reminds me of a funny story from my early days learning Thai. continued…

Total Telephone Call Fail

23 January 2014; AT5 = 1063 hours; total class time = 2001 hours; TV = 485.7 hours

Even in my native English, I’m not a phone person – but I absolutely dread phone calls in Thai, despite the fact that I’ve been managing them fairly well for over a year now. I guess it’s the lack of body language and facial expression, plus the lower (sometimes considerably so) sound quality – it just makes it a lot harder for me to understand the other person. continued…

So, What Language Are We Speaking?

22 January 2014; AT5 = 1063 hours; total class time = 2001 hours; TV = 483.6 hours

Like a lot of simple transactions, it was almost wordless – and could, in fact, have been conducted entirely without spoken language. continued…

Eat Thai Speak Thai

5 August 2013; AT5 = 1042 hours; total class time = 1980 hours; TV = 311.3 hours

Sometimes when I first meet someone, after about a minute or so of conversational back and forth (all in Thai) they’ll ask me if I speak Thai. I’m never really sure how to take this. After all, aren’t we already speaking in Thai? Continue reading