Lost in Translation

There is generally a pretty good level of English in Thai.land but I am always amazed that people will spend a lot of money on advertising or making signs, menus etc without having an fluent English speaker give it a once over. And so you wind up with things like this:


Mmm, perhaps not?


Don’t we all like vaggie after all??

Why?? What are they going to do to me??

This is a common sight on menus. Crab in Thai is Pu. I guess anyone can confuse poo and crap.

WW translated this as ‘Don’t be violent to the animals.” Short leap between violence and eating, I suppose.

Why advertise mixed seafood salad when google translate can make life much more interesting?

Then there are the spoken gaffs. Like these two nuggets from yesterday:

Student: Mrs Emz, how you write ‘shat’?

Me: Um, sorry?

Student: Shat. How you write shat?

Me: Shat? Um…

Student: Shat! Shat! Facebook shat!

Me: Aha! We need to work on the difference between ‘ch’ and ‘sh’ next lesson.

WW and many Thai people often don’t clearly pronounce the last sound of a word.  For example:

WW: I feel cole.’

Me: No, you feel col-D.’

WW: *rolls eyes* (I’m not a total douche, she did ask me to correct her and help her get better with English)

My Thai is crappy (Uh huh, 3 years and still crappy. You frickin’ try it!) so WW and I mainly communicate in English or sometimes Tinglish. Mai is a question word (among other things).

Last night I was rearranging my pantyliner in my underwear when WW asked me ‘Cun mai?’

My eyebrows hit my hairline. WW rarely drops a little curse, I was quite taken aback by a full blown c-bomb. Perhaps hanging out with me is really starting to have a negative effect.

Nope, nope. She was asking me if I was itchy in Thai. I told you my Thai sucks. And apparently my mind is in the gutter.

Just for shits and giggles here are few off topic pics of fun cultural differences.

How do they stop students cheating in University exams here?

How do the police deal with gropers during the annual mass water fight Songkran festival ?

Make them stand in the middle of the busiest street wearing a sign that says ‘I like to touch women’s breasts’, of course!

I know you’re all dying for an update on my vertical grimace, so here you go.


4 thoughts on “Lost in Translation

    • Oops, other one. Sorry thou must thinks me awfully rude! Don’t sure why I am channelling Downtown Abbey, but I’m gonna roll with it. It’s tricky finding daily blogging ideas during IVF. Its all waiting around and then concentrated action, like a Stephen King novel.

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