C. Buddha's Hasty Musings
Raising a family in Thailand // Documenting Issan food, culture, music, and people
So what’d’ja see?
Frozen in 3D. In Thai. I don’t know if either of those details made it better or worse, but it was pretty meh.
They do a lot of dubbing of foreign films in Thailand? As they do in France? In Korea, they prefer subtitles, which works for me whenever I see an American film. Not so good when they’re showing Kieslowski. I can follow the French dialogue without help, but when it switches to Polish, I can’t read the Korean subtitles fast enough to understand what’s happening.
Would you say you’re fluent in Thai at this point? How much of your day is spent speaking Thai? In fact, how much of your day is spent not speaking English? What language do you primarily speak with the kiddies? With the Missus?
Foreign films are all dubbed at some point, to my knowledge. English films with Thai subtitles are not popular outside of Bangkok, but available maybe one film at a time at the biggest and newest theater in our small city. In fact, a movie theater owner in Khon Kaen, the closest big city, told me about six years ago that subtitled films in English weren’t legal or allowed outside of Bangkok, so either something changed since then or he was full of shit.
I’m not fluent in Thai by any measure, but I’m skilled with language in general. I’ve never studied Thai in a classroom at all, but I speak better than most that have studied it. I don’t have problems day to day, really, but force myself into new experiences to improve my spoken Thai. I don’t read or write Thai at all, simply because I don’t need to. I can always ask someone around me if I need something read. Saves me having to wipe memory to make space for another character set, if you know what I mean.
I would say that I speak Thai on average less than five minutes per day, and that’s enough to have gotten to a semi-proficient level in seven years, although I learned most of it in the first two years. The hardest part was the tones – still have problems with making some sounds on the first try.
When we had kids, we decided that I would speak English with the kids. and my wife would speak Thai. The nanny spoke to them in Laotian, and they also use this with their friends in school. We teach them a few words in Japanese here and there, but nothing too complicated, and we speak to each other in a mix of Japanese and English and a little Thai.
And how awesome is all that? Thanks for the comprehensive reply to my many preguntas.
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