National Thai Language Day…whuh?

Did anyone know that yesterday was “National Thai Language Day”?


Has speaking Thai become ‘uncool’?
by Veenarat Laohapakakul

Do you realise that yesterday, July 29, was another important occasion for Thailand? It was “National Thai Language Day”. It might seem amusing to some that Thailand marks such a day on its calendar, but it does provide us with a stark reminder to reflect on how we are using the language. In a world where English has become the lingua franca, a growing number of Thais, especially Bangkokians, don’t really seem to care if they speak or write Thai properly, and even more alarmingly, they don’t seem to appreciate the ability to do so anymore.

Shhh. I’m actually in my computer class right now so I won’t be writing a lot of comment just yet. I just want to post a link so everyone can read it.

Feel free to start your discussion!

7 responses to “National Thai Language Day…whuh?

  1. Growing up abroad or attending schools in an English-speaking environment are acceptable excuses for inaccurate pronunciation, but speaking Thai with an accent – a slightly foreigner-ish one – seems to be all the rage, particularly among celebrities and teenagers. Some say it sounds “cute” and adds a certain international touch to a person’s speech.

    The first line is my excuse for not speaking correctly. But I often read alot of slang Thai teenagers use on forums or sites (I only use it to blend in, lol). I find slang in general annoying especially written. It was cool when I was 13 but now I’ve just grown out of it. I’ve heard slang used in lakorns and I don’t like it much.

    Anyway, I think it’s good to have a National Thai Language Day and I agree with the end of the article. My mother would also agree with the majority of it and prefers the ‘real’ Thai.

    It’s just that when using a language, one should take a little more care and use it accurately, especially if it is that person’s mother tongue.

    I try and do that for all the languages I speak and minimally use slang terms.

    Good point, oakmonster (^_^)

  2. Actually, we celebrated “Thai Language Day” at the school I work at.
    I think the article you linked to is a pretty good one, but I would take exception to the authors assertion that English speakers do not put many borrowed words in their language. He uses the example of a native of L.A. using only a little bit Spanish vocabulary, or none at all. This shows an overall ignorance about the real strength of English. English has grown to be the international language because it is so open to loanwords.

    Native English speakers use words from a gazillion other languages everyday and just don’t know it. Want some proof?

    Let’s start with Turkish:
    caviar, kebab, yoghurt, tulip.

    How about Wolof? (A language spoken in Senegal and Gambia):
    banana, yam, chigger.

    Then there is my mother’s native tongue, Yiddish:
    bagel, chuztpah, glitch, glitz, nosh, shmuck, scram.

    Tamil also has given English a lot of words:
    curry, anaconda, mango, pairah.

    And finally Spanish…everyday English speakers everywhere use hundreds of Spanish words in their speech, not just in L.A. either. Think about how many times a day you might say the following words:
    adobe, alligator, armada, armadillio, balsa(wood), barricade, bonanza, canyon, cargo, comrade, embargo, Florida, guerilla, guitar, lagoon, lasso, lunch, patio, ranch, renegade, rodeo, sherry, seista, silo, stampede, tornado, tuna, vanilla….

    You get the point. English is strong because it takes the best from all other languages; however, this makes spelling a nightmare. There’s always a catch. 😛

  3. Your right, Pompenkroo, English is a totally borrowed language derived from Latin, German, Norse and French, reflecting various invasions of the British Isles through out history.This not only makes spelling a nightmare, but grammar also.
    English is still evolving, new, often borrowed words, are added to the Oxford University Dictionary every year.
    The REAL English language, i.e, the oldest, lays in Welsh and Cornish -and even these languages have to borrow words -like “Computer”

  4. “…This not only makes spelling a nightmare, but grammar also.”

    Case in point: “Your right” could just as well be spelled: yore, or you’re, and write, or wright, or rite.

    In Khun Don’s post, his fingers meant to spell out: “You’re right.” Right?

  5. Mr Brad USA

    Right

  6. well, the thing that really annoy me about Thai people when they speak thai is that they do not pronounce ‘R’ properly, but instead as ‘L’

    ‘chan lak ter’…ha!

    and they do not pronounce the ‘kuab glam’ words that begins KL/GL or KR/GR

    ‘na glua’ = na gua
    klai = kai
    krab = kab
    pudgrong = pudgong