This is another question that I get asked a lot, you live in Thailand, why don’t you bother to learn the Thai language? My response:Coz ain’t nobody got time for dat!
But in all seriousness, the Thai language is pretty difficult to learn, it’s nothing like learning English which is a flat and easy language to learn. One word in Thai could mean three different things, depending on how you pronounce a word and in what tone you say it, and I really ain’t got time for dat.
How much Thai do I know?
I know enough Thai to order food, count, tell a taxi driver where I need to go and how to call a girl a kunt. That’s about as much as I know, and it’s been fine for the most part. I make a joke with my friends say that you don’t need to learn Thai past that, it’s not useful.
Do you ever have problems with not knowing Thai?
Sometimes asking for directions or being lost can be a pain, but I have a smartphone with Google maps which tends to be 110% more accurate than any local directions I get. Ordering food isn’t a problem, I know the names of quite a few dishes, and if not, I’ll just point to something. In most shopping malls at least one staff member is going to know some amount of English.
When you’re condo shopping for cheap apartments in bangkok is when it can sometimes become a bit tricky. Never use Google translator either, it doesn’t work well and butches up everything.
Why don’t you learn the Thai language?
There’s a few reasons, they are:
- I’m just to lazy: I have
spentwasted a good chuck of my life in high school, college, and at university studying for exams I didn’t want to study for. I have done enough studying to last several lifetimes. The last thing I need is to go back into a classroom and hate life for 1 hour, while spending 500 baht or so on a lesson that could put towards a hand job the next time I am out.
- I don’t plan on living here for ever: I don’t know where I’ll go next, but I don’t see myself living in Thailand all my life, there’s so many other places to see and do. I think my time would be better spent researching soapy massages parlous and blowjob bars rather than learning Thai and improving myself as a individual.
- Thai people don’t like debates: I enjoy a bit of stimulating conversation and debating on certain topics, which is not something Thai people do so much. They don’t really want to upset anyone and will kind of back down or not even go into a debate in the first place if they can help it… well with westerns anyway.
- I’d rather not talk to Thai’s : Or people in general for that matter. Talking to Thai people in English is quite refreshing though, many of them seem to live in the now, and not worry too much about the future or pseudo problems like we do in the west. But I have 4 friends back home, and 3 in Bangkok, that’s already way too many. I am not really a social person, and automatically dislike everyone I don’t know.
- Someone nearby can almost always speak always English: There’s always someone somewhere who can speak a bit of English. If you’re ever in Asia and need help, walk into a pharmacy. Most of them are educated to some high level and chances are they will have a good grasp of English.
Should you learn the Thai language?
I dunno, but one thing’s for sure, you really shouldn’t be taking any advice from me. If you feel like it’s something you would enjoy, or benefit from, sure go ahead. I think I’d benefit from learning it, but as I’ve said, I’m just to lazy and quite ignorant. The further you go out of places like Bangkok, the less English Thai people will be speaking. All the major tourist spots you will be fine for the most part. My key to staying here without learning Thai language is to live near a lot of local pharmacy shops.If you are interested in learning Thai, check out this blog.