Daily Archives: September 29, 2006

Thai Pronunciation Guide

With the opening of the brand spanking new Suwarnnabhumi Airport, I think it’s important that we let the foreigners in on how we pronounce the name.

Suwarnnabhumi : su-wan-na-POOM

I know it should read “su-warn-na-boom-me” according to its spelling, but that’s not how us Thais say it.

Most of the time, any Thai names written in English is pronounced differently than how it looks.

Romanizing/Transliteration isn’t always a good thing. 😉

The way Thais spell out Thai words in English makes the word appear luxurious. Look at how pretty the words look versus how it would look spelling out phonetically.

Sawasdee –> Sa-wad-dee. The “S” at the end of “was” is an “D” sound in Thai spelling.

Thaksin Shinawatra –> TAK-sin SHIN-na-wat

Sorry. I couldn’t resist. 😉

Another case in point, Thailand is pronounced TIE-land, not THIGH-land. (Please, hold on to your jokes. How else could I convey the pronunciation in writing!?)

All kidding aside, how we spell our names out extravagantly in English is not just for show.

Like, Suwarnnabhumi, we spell out according to the Pali or Sanskrit roots.

The name of our king, for example, Bhumibol is pronounced Poo-mi-poan in Thai, but it is written out in English according to how it is spelled in Thai (and “L” stands in for “N” sound at the end of a word, and such) and staying with how root word should be spelled.

But how do you know how the root word should be spelled?

Okay. This is purely from my observation. If someone has a better explanation, by all means please illuminate us all. But my theory is that the English has ways of jotting down the words in Pali, Sanskrit, and other languages and dialects spoken in India. Like, yoga. Yoga is known in Thai as Yo-ka. Maharaja –> Maha Racha. So certain words are supposed to be romanized a certain way. Something like that.

Still with me?

Before we go further, let me just say that this is a GUIDE on how to pronounce Thai words written in English in order to better communicate with Thais in Thailand…and to be able to pronounce the names correctly and feel proud of yourself! This is NOT a Thai lesson. For that, please visit LearningThai.com

Now, you may continue with a cheat sheet to pronouncing Thai words written in English.

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What is wrong with foreigners in Thailand?

Yes….what is wrong with foreigners in Thailand?
Why do they keep pissing you off?

I’ve been in business more than 8 years now in Pattaya and Phuket….and I’ve been pissed off so many times that I can’t even count’em!

Maybe the term “pissed off” is a bit too harsh….but let me explain what I mean:

You have a property or a business or something else for sale.
You advertise this in different spaces, either online or in print media.

You get tons of responses….and here the “problems” start:

Many responses are from curious “farangs” with dreams in their eyes but no money in their pockets to actually purchase your offer. “Time wasters” to use a well-known term.
I bet we all know them….and I bet we all hate them! Am I wrong?

These time wasters all pretend they’re interested, and maybe they really are, but how on earth will they ever pay for your property/business/items!! They very well know they don’t have the money, so why the h… waste the time of serious foreign business men who just try to make an honest living? Why the h… make the business man think that he “has a sale” and then just “disappear”….in other words….they often make the foreign business man think they has a sale and then they just stop replying to your phone calls, emails and SMS messages….like they’ve vanished from the surface of the earth!

As a professional business man you know very well the importance of follow up emails, SMS messages or phone calls….
You do some follow up…. But in most cases you get no response at all….
When you get response you can’t help thinking that you now “have a sale”.
At least you hope so! Even the toughest business man with many years of experience can’t help feeling kind of excited each time he gets a positive response even though he very well damn know that this is possible just another damn time waster….more about that later!

Back to my question: What is wrong with foreigners in Thailand?
Why do they keep pissing you off?
I have often wondered why!!
There might be a simple explanation, but so far I’m still waiting for the answer!
Some answers could be:

• The guy is lonely? He just needs someone to talk to!
• The guy is just dreaming? “If I had the money I could buy this property/business!”
• The guy is envious? “Why does everyone except me have a property/business?” So it’s maybe only a kind of “revenge”…? “Make the life of those lucky bastards with properties/businesses a h_e_l_l….” ????
• The guy is simply lying to himself? “I take a look at this property/business because I know I’ll get the money to buy it soon…”…
• The guy is just a simple looser? The only way he can get some “content” in his life is to make other people feel like losers!? A saying goes: “Do to others as you want them to do to you!” . But those losers change the context: “If you’re a looser, make others feel like losers, too!”

Bet there are many of you who’ve been in contact with time wasters….what is your best bet? Why do people act like this?

I have met all of the above mentioned time wasters…..if any of you time wasters read this please let us all know why you act like this!? Thanks in advance! I don’t expect any responses 🙂
But one thing I want to tell all of you time wasters! “Keep away from me! I have better things to do!”