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tgeezer

Your last servant.

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On the course today I got my own water from my golf bag, and remarked: โอย ไม่ได้ยิบน้ำมาให้หรือ บริการไม่ดีเลย จะต้องลบทิบแน่

Which got a laugh, and our lady golfer said: ไม่มีมือเรอ And I told her that in English we say: “What did your last servant die of?”

I then proceeded to attempt a translation ข้าคุณตายหรือ 

It was accepted but one can never tell. Does anyone want to discuss alternative things to say? You see, although it was accepted, they don’t speak English.   Also Thais actually have servants so I think that what I said was probably as meaningless to them but perhaps no more so than it would be to an English speaker who heard it for the first time. 

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ข้า is antiquated so that would throw them off, otherwise คนใช้ 

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I See what you mean. I actually said คนใช้ตายแล้วมั้ง  at first then repeated it as you do in the “heat of battle” and changed it, I should have made it ข้าทาส but do you not think that in the context of บริการ ข้า should work? 

They are used to me bringing up obscure words to discuss and saying strange things, I think that they find my mistakes amusing.  Also there is one caddy who is very helpful, she picked me up the other day for  “ลูกดกน้ำแล้ว” She; “ตกน้ำ ตก ตก”! Once she was saying ล for ร as they do, and I was arguing spelling, it was only later that I realized that she was having a go at my tones! 

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ข้า is valid in this context, but it stopped being used in normal vernacular at least 50-80 years ago, to use it on unsuspecting public would get blank looks from them, also there are many meanings for ข้า such as "I" 

 

another word is ไพร่ which although also quite antiquated, is readily accepted to mean 'serf' or servants

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I agree obviously, but we each speak our own language, however imperfectly and lacking in vocabulary.  Naturally I go along with the way words are used by the company I am in, but if there are helpful souls present I can try to expand my understanding and at the same time, reinforce Thai.  

I have just done that with ไพร่ which I thought meant ‘native’ in สมุนไพร่ but horror ! It is สมุนไพร that I want. Not satisfied with that I try สมุน and see that it is a noun;  บริหาร, คนอยู่ในบังคับ, often said ลูกสมุน which is similar in meaning to ไพร่ as it is used today, often to give offence.        My method is unnecessary I know, more etymology than anything, but I like to think that I am getting ‘under the skin’ of Thai a little.  It seems to help with spelling, also in understanding สำนวนไทย I think. 

 

Context is everything, and in the context of learning the language there should be no ‘blank looks’ they should be enjoying the experience of trying to work out where I am coming from.  

My feeling is that to know “equivalent words” is to give a Thai word an English definition and vice versa, this leads to a diminution of Thai because the dominant language is English. 

It might be interesting to research words which have become antiquated, ไพร่ for example, limited in meaning to คนใช้ = servant, and discuss if anything is lost, I would need help in that. 

 

 

 

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Was it meant to be a joke? If I was a Thai, I would be confused. ข้าคุณตายหรือ can be interpreted as "ฆ่าคุณตายหรือ" (Did I kill you?)

 

I don't think anyone use the word ข้า to mean "servant" anymore as it has negative nuance to it. People still use it as a pronoun to mean "I" though.

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I think that the topic has got off track somehow, I was teaching an English expression to a Thai not suggesting that it would be understood without explanation.  

However I can’t see how a subject could be assumed for ฆ่าคุณตายหรือ . 

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On 1/19/2018 at 3:28 PM, digbeth said:

ข้า is valid in this context, but it stopped being used in normal vernacular at least 50-80 years ago, to use it on unsuspecting public would get blank looks from them, also there are many meanings for ข้า such as "I" 

 

another word is ไพร่ which although also quite antiquated, is readily accepted to mean 'serf' or servants

As you no doubt know ไพร่ has made a big comeback in recent years as a term the Red Shirts apply to the working class in comparison to อำมาตย์ - high ranking civil servants, the elite.

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To remove any ambiguities  ขี้ข้า is better and require less mental gymnastics from Thais to understand compared to just 'ข้า'

again with the ตาย

 

to add further context you could said ขี้ข้าคุณตายหมด(แล้ว)เหรอ

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bannork, That sort of self denigration reminds me of a comment made by Douglas Murry about "white privelege" and the West's masochistic insistence on punishing itself: what happens when a masochist meets a real sadist? 

Edited by tgeezer

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You could be right there digbeth, but one is never sure how far to go. ขี้ is a very bad word and to suggest to someone that they would call you ขี้ข้า might not go down so well. I wouldn't take the chance, คนใช้ would be safer. 

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What did someone die of is เป็นอะไรตาย?

 

Servant is คนรับใช้

 

Latest is ล่าสุด

 

Put them all together. คนรับใช้ล่าสุด(ของคุณ)เป็นอะไรตาย?

 

However I feel that they would struggle to relate this to the situation. How about วันนี้คนรับใช้(ของคุณ)ไม่อยู่หรอ? Notice how I have avoided using ตาย as it carries risk if the meaning is misunderstood.

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28 minutes ago, tgeezer said:

bannork, That sort of self denigration reminds me of a comment made by Douglas Murry about "white privelege" and the West's masochistic insistence on punishing itself: what happens when a masochist meets a real sadist? 

Blacks can call each other niggers, I see some gays are calling themselves queers, a term we used in my youth ( btw how on earth did homosexuals steal the word 'gay'. Are they always jolly?)

I think the red shirts wanted the working class to become more aware of their exploitation by the middle class and rich and hence their use of the terms ไพร่ and อำมาตย์ .

Naturally it opens up a minefield when Nattawut a red shirt leader, was spotted sipping wine in a Thong Lor restaurant- the term champagne socialist comes to mind.

To me the word peasant doesn't have to be derogatory but I doubt most rural Thais would refer to themselves as ไพร่  more likely to be ชาวบ้าน

I'll ask my wife later!

 

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BANGKOK 24 February 2018 09:31
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