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About BugJackBaron

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  1. Some thoughts : Malaysia used to use English as the second language to teach subjects like math , etc in public schools but apparently don't do so any longer. In my experience with exchange students and average people from Malaysia , they are often excellent speakers of English - particularly those of Chinese descent - but a large portion speak worse English than Thais. Even Thais who don't speak English often know "baby words" like "Hey, you, come ,eat.. go home" .(think schoolboy French). Uneducated Malaysians often don't have even this. A recent exchange of students from Malaysia at my school was painful to watch. The Thais could not communicate with them. They had no Thai or usable English and the Thais had limited English. My point is that we should be careful in the interpretation of such surveys and how they were done.
  2. It's easy to believe this but it's not really true(I heard similar complaints about Korean which is also alien to English but in a different way). Try listening to a Thai who is just starting to learn English and speaks English with no stress or intonation. As other posters have said, it's all about the tones. After 10 years here I have just got to a pre-intermediate stage and can hold simple conversations without being second-guessed. Context can help but beyond the simplest things - like showing something you want to buy - well, the context needs to be set linguistically. For a better explanation with real examples check out Stewart Jay's youtube videos.
  3. For routine problems like lost wallet, passport etc I can see this being useful and certainly some students can speak well enough to help. For more complex cases it would certainly be a challenge for most students and even most Thai teachers of English but again I think it is better than nothing.. As for their ability in languages like Japanese and French, I can't say except that I have seen a few students good at these languages.
  4. Actually, in newspaper English the narrative voice - which uses present tense for past events - is usually used to describe past events in headlines "Police arrest suspect" for example. Yes, I know this is not a newspaper but native speakers of English - and others - will read it as such.
  5. The thaiglish thread

    Great discussion. I would not count Thai pronunciation of English words as Thaiglish however... There are other mistakes that are just bad grammar based on literal translations ; for example my gf often says "not impossible" when she means impossible. This is not a generally understood construction in Thailand(at least none of her neighbors would have a clue) so I just count it as poorly learned English rather than Thaiglish.
  6. The thaiglish thread

    There seems to be quite a bit of Thaiglish in spoken Thai. Here is my take on a little of what I've noticed recently. "Too late" this one I still don't quite know what would be the normal English or Thai.It doesn't seem to mean what we would mean. "Ben" obviously from the English "bent" when referring to a tire low on air. "spec" from "specifications. I had no clue what a Thai man meant when he asked me what my spec was..he was talking about what kind of girl I liked. "fighting" this one is the same in Korean English meaning giving a good effort I guess..as in a football game. "slide" this is a borrowing that is the same as English but I would be curious as to how it got picked up into general parlance. What have you noticed? I am not counting the absurd number of borrowing of interjections such as "wow" "oh my God" "Oh no" that are picked up from TV and games.