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What does it mean to "sound like you're from Isaan"?

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When I  (try to) speak Thai I've had several people say that I must have an Isaan wife. A few have even asked me if I was a ลูกครึ่ง with an Isaan mom.  Nothing against people from Isaan but if I'm speaking central Thai then I would like to have a central Thai accent.

 

I know very little about how Isaan compares to Thai. What pronunciation errors am I likely making that would cause people to say this? 

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How do you say 'what'?

Do you mix up your Rs and Hs?

eg baan how, not baan raw.

Do you speak in shorter sentences?

Do you throw words in your sentences that are Lao or local ethnic language in origin?



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There is a clear Isaan accent when people from Isaan speak central Thai. (though many Isaaners can turn it off)

The intonation is different.

There are also specific tonal differences e.g. ข้าว becomes ข่าว.

There are also specific pronunciation and close pronunciation differences. e.g. รู้ becomes ฮู้ and ว becomes more like an English 'v'.

There are also specific vocabulary changes. e.g. นาน becomes โดน.

There are also cultural context clues. e.g. wearing a ผ้าขาวม้า

 

Which of these are you employing that suggests to your listener you have learnt Thai from an Isaan speaker?

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Most people tell me I speak too fast so that isn't it.

 

"What" is arai or alai. It's ee-yang in Isaan right?

 

I don't use any Isaan vocabulary or mix up ร/ฮ

 

I assumed it was from tone mistakes. Sometimes when I'm speaking fast I get sloppy, especially after a few sangsoms 555. I tried to speak in shorter sentences by omitting unneccesary words because I thought it would make me sound more native. I didn't know that was a trait of Isaan speakers. 

 

Thanks for the replies.

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It is probably your accent/tones. I speak with a slight Isarn accent too. While nearly fluent in spoken Thai, I am self taught and learned through immersion so picked up the accents of those around me. It did not help that my wife was from the North East. However, I also understand spoken Lao based Isarn quite well (which has its benefits) but am lost with Khmer, Suay, etc.     

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Most people tell me I speak too fast so that isn't it.
 
"What" is arai or alai. It's ee-yang in Isaan right?
 
I don't use any Isaan vocabulary or mix up ร/ฮ
 
I assumed it was from tone mistakes. Sometimes when I'm speaking fast I get sloppy, especially after a few sangsoms 555. I tried to speak in shorter sentences by omitting unneccesary words because I thought it would make me sound more native. I didn't know that was a trait of Isaan speakers. 
 
Thanks for the replies.
Spot on.

I like the sound of eeyang.

I think Issan speakers are more economical with the language, just my impression.



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Many people on here are talking about "Issan" language as if there is only one. There are quite a few different dialects here in Issan.

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9 minutes ago, youreavinalaff said:

Many people on here are talking about "Issan" language as if there is only one. There are quite a few different dialects here in Issan.

 

 

Irish, Scots, Geordie, Cockney...... and that is just in 2 of the local bars...

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4 minutes ago, youreavinalaff said:

Many people on here are talking about "Issan" language as if there is only one. There are quite a few different dialects here in Issan.

Yes, putting aside the dialects of Khmer language and the non-Tai minority languages in Nakhon Phanom, Sakon Nakhon and Ubon, some linguistic studies categorise Isaan dialects into 9 categories or a continuum between Central Thai and Official Lao.

 

However, it is fair to say that :-

these 9 'types' of Isaan dialect all share many common features that differentiate them from Central Thai and

the majority of Central Thai speakers with no roots or relatives from the North-East would not be able to differentiate between the Nong Bua Lamphu/West Udon/Loei dialect and the Thung Kula Rong Hai dialect.

 

Therefore when a Central Thai speaker tells a foreigner, "Your Thai sounds Isaan." then I feel a discussion of the differences between various Isaan dialects is overly pedantic.

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1 hour ago, Briggsy said:

Yes, putting aside the dialects of Khmer language and the non-Tai minority languages in Nakhon Phanom, Sakon Nakhon and Ubon, some linguistic studies categorise Isaan dialects into 9 categories or a continuum between Central Thai and Official Lao.

 

However, it is fair to say that :-

these 9 'types' of Isaan dialect all share many common features that differentiate them from Central Thai and

the majority of Central Thai speakers with no roots or relatives from the North-East would not be able to differentiate between the Nong Bua Lamphu/West Udon/Loei dialect and the Thung Kula Rong Hai dialect.

 

Therefore when a Central Thai speaker tells a foreigner, "Your Thai sounds Isaan." then I feel a discussion of the differences between various Isaan dialects is overly pedantic.

But.....Issan Laos and Issan Khmer, also Gui language, are very easy to tell apart even without knowing what is actually being said. Khmer and Gui tend to be very heavy on the "r" sound and there tends to be a fair amount of rolling the tongue to get the sounds. Issan Laos tends to be more flowing with the "r" sound non existent. Issan Laos tends to sound more poetic when it is being spoken.

 

My guess would be that when someone says "you sound Issan" they are referring more to the Issan Laos dialect,as a whole rather that differentiating between provinces, rather than the Khmer or Gui. I lived in Central Thailand for a few years with my Khmer speaking wife. Many people living in in our area were not even aware there was such a dialect.

Edited by youreavinalaff

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3 minutes ago, youreavinalaff said:

But.....Issan Laos and Issan Khmer, also Gui language, are very easy to tell apart even without knowing what is actually being said. Khmer and Gui tend to be very heavy on the "r" sound and there tends to be a fair amount of rolling the tongue to get the sounds. Issan Laos tends to be more flowing with the "r" sound non existent. Issan Laos tends to sound more poetic when it is being spoken.

 

My guess would be that when someone says "you sound Issan" they are referring more to the Issan Laos dialect,as a whole rather that differentiating between provinces, rather than the Khmer or Gui. I lived in Bangkok for 5 years with my Khmer speaking wife. Many people living in Bangkok were not even aware there was such a dialect.

I said "Yes, putting aside the dialects of Khmer language......." :saai:

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Every time my teacher tells me I sound like I’m from Isan, it’s always when I’m using the wrong tone.

 

Sometimes she says I’m from Saraburi too, no idea what that sounds like... 😄

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On 2/5/2018 at 7:13 PM, youreavinalaff said:

Many people on here are talking about "Issan" language as if there is only one. There are quite a few different dialects here in Issan.

I believe all of the people who have said it to me have been from Issan. No one has ever said you sound like you're from (insert province).

 

Most of my Thai teachers from other regions, and people I've met while traveling in the other regions all say I speak well and none have made the Issan comment.

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Sometimes people also tell me i speak like Isaan, but i never use any Isaan words, i learned Thai mostly from people from Bangkok. When i asked them why they think i speak like Isaan they mostly say it's my pronunciation. Maybe it has to do with the mother tongue and how we pronounce things, mine is German, what is yours?

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BANGKOK 25 May 2018 17:29
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