Cultural Takeaways With Educator Frank Smith [Season 2, Episode 64]

2018-01-04T21:24:56+00:00

(Direct download .mp3)

To help us ring in 2018, we’re bringing back a prior guest on his annual pilgrimage to Bangkok. Frank Smith from UC Berkeley teaches Khmer to children of Cambodian refugees. We caught up with him in person at Bangkok’s Central World mall… before we got kicked out by security. Yes, again. Not just because one of us made a foot faux pas.

What’s it like for a Thai speaker who doesn’t live in Thailand to plop back into Bangkok, suddenly surrounded by other Thai speakers? There are actually lot of ways to keep up with the evolving language, thanks to the pervasive nature of the internet.

Or what’s it like when your a young person, with parents speaking their native tongue and all your friends and the world around you speaking English? Frank faces that every day in the classroom, and shares some interesting tidbits from his students.

Also, Frank reports the Bay area of California has a sizeable and well-knit Thai population, so we press him for some impressions (from the outside, obviously) on how that contingent live their lives abroad, which makes for a nice parallel for those expats like us living in Thailand.

You’ll also hear Frank bust some myths we’ve heard (and may be following) as we both struggle our way through learning Thai.

And on Love, Loath, or Leave, we talk about not having easy access to clean drinking water. And by “easy”, we mean getting it straight out of the tap. It’s pretty obvious where we fall on this question, but your mileage may vary depending on where you are from.

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