“Hey, Oaks. How do you say ‘I love you’ in Thai?”
My in-laws love to learn about cultures and languages, especially my father-in-law Vernie. Taped to the passenger side dashboard in both of the cars are words and phrases in Spanish that dad and mom are learning. Peppered on it are a few phrases in Thai I have taught them before. Like Sawaddee and Kob Khun, and the proper use of Krup/Kaa addition.
“For you, being a guy, you would say Pomm Rak Khun. Pomm is ‘I’ for a guy. Rak is love. And of course, Khun is you.”
“Rak. Koon? Sort of like ‘raccoon’?”
“Yeah. Sort of like that.”
“Pom Raccoon! Wow. That’s 2 animals in my Thai vocabulary now.”
“What’s the other one?”
“Water cat. What was it again? Meow Now?”
My mom taught him that after he pointed at the sculpture of seals on Redondo Beach Pier.
“It’s maew naam, dad.”
“Right! Maew Naam!”
Everyone has his/her own system to learn and memorize things. Dad is very good with association, a trait Brandon also inherited.
But for Brandon, he is very keen to make the word association usually for comical purposes. If it ain’t funny, it doesn’t seem to stick. Took him a while to properly say krup like “cup” with an R, and not “crap”.
“So what do I call this barbeque pork noodle thing?”
“Ba-meeh Mhoo Daeng. Egg noodles – BBQ pork.”
“Yeah. Literally means red pork for the color, you know.”
“Moo is pork?”
“If pigs moo, then what do Thai cows sound like?”
But I’d rather look on the bright side. At least now he can order his own noodles and politely say thank you properly.