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Talking Thai - Why do some people understand what you're saying and some don't?

Discussion in 'Thai Language' started by Stamp, 26 Dec 2013.

  1. Stamp

    Stamp Thread Starter Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm wondering why during a conversation or discussion, some Thai people exactly understand what I'm trying to say and some people not at all? I'm not talking about general chit-chat but real conversations or discussions about politics, economics, ASEAN or life. Of course, I'm not Thai and my fluency is not good enough nor is the used syntax but like I said some people understand and some don't. How do I know some understand? They actively participate and respond to what I'm saying.

    What is it? :confused:
     
  2. daiwill

    daiwill Member

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    Maybe the levels of education and real knowledge or lack of real knowledge of what you are talking about.
     
  3. tiredtony

    tiredtony Well-Known Member

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    They ones that understand, or pretend to, have the brains to think what you're trying to say.

    To be honest most foreigners speak dreadful Thai.
     
  4. bahn_farang

    bahn_farang Well-Known Member

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    I have had the same problem. I speak ok Thai and sometimes I come across people who do not understand me.

    My better half told me that... some do not and some choose not too and some are so freaked out that "will not compute" flashes on their brain. She expanded that those who do not perhaps only understand the very clearest of speakers. "The ones that choose not too?" I asked. Her reply was something like did - I really want to be talking to those who are happy not to try?

    The "will not compute" group can go either way.

    Our problem is the polar opposite of the very problem Thailand has in speaking English. The are so concerned that people will not understand that thy do not speak themselves. I on the other hand speak as if I can.
     
  5. Ajarn Greg

    Ajarn Greg Well-Known Member

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    Well if you pay better attention to some of the daily dialogues between Thai people, (7 eleven, banks, post offices etc.), you will see that many times even Thais cannot understand, or cannot explain with accuracy, what the other person says... Just check how much time they need to pay a bill of electricity and hoe many questions need the cashier to make. So it is not only our privilege... It happens between them many times also! :righton:
     
  6. Stamp

    Stamp Thread Starter Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for your replies, gentlemen.

    I had a little chat with my Thai teacher, a colleague teaching Thai to our secondary students, and she basically confirmed what you're saying. She told me that she understands everything I have to say and that my fluency has improved over the months. Thai syntax is still complicated for foreigners though and syntax for Thai people differs on their level of education. She told me Thai people who don't understand what I'm trying to say are not paying attention. It's a bit like 'bahn_farang' says 'they don't compute'.

    Also what Ajarn Greg is saying seems to be true. Thai conversations can often be 'short-sentenced' and shallow.

    Guess I've to work on syntax and context.
     
    Mati likes this.

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