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Learning Thai from the opposite sex

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:19 pm
by ILikeThai
I hear men and women speak differently quite often. Will a man learning Thai from a woman cause any problems?

Re: Learning Thai from the opposite sex

Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:52 am
by PatrickK
I don't think that really plays into any of it really - both genders speak the same. I would say, however, that learning from both natives and people who learned as a second language is a good combination. People who learned it as a second language know can better understand the troubles, while natives often overlook them.

I'm guilty of this in English, and after talking to my German friend about it more, I realized there were soo many things in English that I didn't "learn", but just knew, and had a hard time describing them. It confirmed to me that learning languages is about using, and not just studying.

Re: Learning Thai from the opposite sex

Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:52 am
by ReubenA
I wouldn't say both genders speak Thai the same. Girls tend to use a lot more cutesy language and sometimes it's hard to tell it apart. I remember someone gave an example of saying น่ารักอ่ะ -- to say this as a guy would come across gay. Course I could be off-point here but I don't think it's the same at all.

Re: Learning Thai from the opposite sex

Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:42 pm
by PatrickK
Are you referring to personalities, or genders? Do all girls use cutesy language, or just some? I understand your point, but not sure if it is gender based or personality based. I bet you can find tons of guys and girls that sound more or less the same.

It is similar to English where men say "dude" or" mate", but rarely do women say it. It is small things, but as a whole men and women in English also speak the same. There are different personalities, like some people cursing a lot, some people using a lot of slang, but mostly people speak more or less the same.

Re: Learning Thai from the opposite sex

Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:11 am
by ReubenA
I'm referring to genders. Personally I think gender differences in speaking are more pronounced in Thai than English -- but I don't think my level really is good enough to say for sure. I'd love to hear a Thai's perspective on this - or even someone closer to fluency.

Re: Learning Thai from the opposite sex

Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:29 am
by Tod Daniels
In colloquial spoken thai there is a HUGE difference in how thai guyz and thai gurlz talk. :o However, if you have no thai guy friends, and all you do is hang around your thai g/f and her friends you're unlikely to be exposed to the difference. :? :lol:

Unfortunately thai guyz make up such a small percent of the teachers in private thai language schools! :oops:

Most foreigner enrolled in a school here in thailand learn thai from a gurl. ;) I'm not sayin' it's a bad thing, it just is what it is. :) . At least in most of those classes the material is that "watered-down artificial ultra polite" version of thai. Also most female teachers are adept at keeping the "cutesy" out of their voice whilst they're in class teachin' thai. :roll:

The fact that most thai teachers in the "teach thai to foreigner" marketplace are gurls, or women can and does lead to some pretty funny things..

Early on when the teacher says "mimic my tone" a LOT of adult learners of thai will mimic her "pitch" :shock: , and end up speaking thai in a voice that sounds more like Mickey Mouse, or at least two steps higher in pitch than they speak their native language..

A LONG time ago, there was a GIANT Russian guy in a thai class I attended. I mean I was scared of him because he looked so darned intimidating, but he turned out to be one of the nicest guys I'd ever met. At that time he knew far more thai than I did, but listening to that 6'6" tall Russian speaks thai in a squeaky high voice was almost comical! :D

There is a super stupid youtube video which evidently went viral, where a foreigner speaking thai relates a story.

He was going to go to 7/11 and he asked his thai gurlfriend if she wanted anything. She said, No, so he didn't buy anything for her. When he got back she went ballistic about the fact. He asks about it.

The in the same video is a second clip where a foreigner answers him (in thai too).

The first foreigner speaks like a gurl, he sounds like a gurl 100%.. He speaks high pitched (way above what I imagine his normal speaking range is), he draws out the words which gurls routinely draw out and he uses more a cutesy cadence (which gurlz use)..

I'd bet dollarz to durian; he either learned thai 100% from a gurl, or he doesn't have a thai gurlfriend at all, but a thai boyfriend! :lol: ;)

The second guy NAILS the thai, it's delivered in a more "man-like" cadence, there's no over enunciation of the words, and he is evidently speaking in his normal voice range... :)

I wish I knew who those two guys were in the video, because they're both pretty darned good speakers of thai, but you can hear just by listening to them what I'm talking about...

I am loathe to link to it based solely on its content, (because it's a story that NO thai guy would ever experience or talk about. Honestly, if a thai guy wanted to go to 7/11, he'd get up and go get what he wanted without even talking to his g/f. ;) The second speaker who says, "thailand only" I think gives just as lame of an answer :cry: . However those are my personal opinionz of the content.

I will link it for comparative purposes just so you can see the two disparate styles these guys speak in;