คุณ kʰun - On the usage of 'khun': I thought it

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Stuart J
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:43 am

Re: คุณ kʰun - On the usage of 'khun': I thought it

Post by Stuart J »

if she has the role of mother at home, then แม่ would be a good choice
เบ็น เร่งสมบูรณ์
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Re: คุณ kʰun - On the usage of 'khun': I thought it

Post by เบ็น เร่งสมบูรณ์ »

Relationships can be different in Thailand, for instance, externally there are no half brothers and sisters, you have to be from the same mother and father for the relationship to be considered brother and sister, even though you are half brother and sister, the person with the most grounding in the family usually will be the person who welcomes you as a friend to the family. It's odd as people who have no blood relation at all but who are พี่ น้อง by nationality usually can also dictate how close you can be to your siblings etc.

Personally, I always feel kind of awkward around my parents and siblings in general, I am fairly independent anyway so I often don't bother using titles or just use first names rather than the พี่ น้อง just to avoid the awkwardness. I mean seriously, you have sisters and brothers but you don't officially, it is a case of different mum, different dad, not related and so many people are eager to point this out to you.

You also have to know people for a long time, people say use พี่ น้อง as it makes people feel closer but I think that is ok for Thai but weird for Foreign-Thai relationships, unless you completely act Thai but I find it's just easier to use ผม as it avoids any criticism from others. I mean you can be here for 40 years but people will still say, oh he's not Thai use mister as an example. คุณ in this example is a happy medium as I understand Stuart Jay Raj frustration with that, as he basically is Thai but in a family situation then it's different, first names I say is ok or พ่อ แม่ etc business relationships คุณ ผม I don't really use ท่าน though some westerners have said to use it but my dad insists I don't etc.
Veradej W
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Re: คุณ kʰun - On the usage of 'khun': I thought it

Post by Veradej W »

There was a symposium I attended last year. An interpreter shared his story that he interpreted in China Guangzhou. The last sentence is "send my regard to your mother" but the interpreter said "send regard to your family" instead. Because "send my regard to your mother" is offensive in Cantonese, and that may spark conflict!
Veradej W
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Re: คุณ kʰun - On the usage of 'khun': I thought it

Post by Veradej W »

Perhaps, English "You" and "I" concept is one reason for its widespread as world language. Japanese also has about the same pronoun concept as Thai. But when Japanese and Thai speak to each other in English, both sides can forget such social system.
Stuart J
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:43 am

Re: คุณ kʰun - On the usage of 'khun': I thought it

Post by Stuart J »

In javanese its worse. There are 5 registers of vocab... ngoko madya krama krama inggil and krama andhap. You need to choose the right word in every interaction depending on who you're talking to and who you're talking about. In many cases the words are totally different. Very often, javanese ppl might jump into the blander indoneaian to escape this
Stuart J
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:43 am

Re: คุณ kʰun - On the usage of 'khun': I thought it

Post by Stuart J »

Richard - on the note of พ่อ and แม่, i might add that at home with my gf, with our dog, we refer to each other (my gf and I) as พ่อ and แม่ when speaking with each other and speaking to the dog or any guests that come over. When my gf's mum comes over, even though we don't have kids, because of the relationship with the dog and acceptance into the family, her mum is ยาย and we all address each other accordingly.
Richard J
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Re: คุณ kʰun - On the usage of 'khun': I thought it

Post by Richard J »

It's very obvious that learning the words is only half the battle in language acquistion. Thanks to everyone for their input on this subject (Y)
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