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To learn to speak Thai or not learn to speak Thai. That is the question. No, literally. It’s the question we’re asking each other on behalf of all people who come to live in Thailand. As you’ll hear, we have a difference of opinion.
So yeah, we’re the #1 travel podcast in Thailand. That’s kinda cool. But it’s not what we’re talking about today… (but thanks for subscribing!)
We ask ourselves a simple question on this week’s show: If you’re going to “live” in Thailand, do you need to learn Thai? Not surprisingly, we have differing opinions on the matter. Greg, the 16 year expat, staunchly feels anyone wishing to live in Thailand needs to learn the language. Evo, not surprisingly, takes the opposite view. Then again, he only has a year under his belt, so take his opinion with a shot of nam pla.
Some arguments for include the ability to keep yourself out of trouble by knowing what warning signs say, having a deeper understanding of Thai culture, and generally paying homage to the fact that you’re living in a country with something other than your native tongue as the official language.
Arguments against include the fact that most (but not all) signs that you really need to see are also presented in English, Thai students have been forced to learn English (or at least enroll in English classes) for decades, and that technology makes for easy as-you-need it translation.
Not surprisingly, there’s more to it that that. Listen to the show to see which side of the argument you identify with. For bonus points, leave us a comment on the blog, or even a review on iTunes with your thoughts on who’s right. Because we strive for your approval! Kidding.
Oh, and that better translation app Evo mentioned? It comes from Thai-Language.com, a great web resource. They have an iOS app, but we’re not sure about Android. Get it.
Love, Loathe, or Leave?
Thai pajamas. Or the “farang uniform”. Lightweight, colorful and comfortable pants that gather around the waist that no self-respecting Thai person would be caught dead in. I think we’re giving away our opinions on these horrid garments. Clean it up a bit, tourists. This is Bangkok. Put on the big person pants when you go out in public, OK?
Leave a review here or send us a message on the contact tab at the top menu, or leave a review for us on iTunes or Google Play. Oh, and we have a Facebook page! You can even Tweet to the show @bangkokpodcast or us personally at @bkkgreg or @evoterra. We’ll see you next week on The Bangkok Podcast!