Untranslatable Thai Words: Thai Language Series 10 – Bangkok Podcast (1.46)

2017-10-18T21:48:01+07:00March 28th, 2011|Bangkok Podcast Season 1, Thai Language Series|3 Comments

In our continuing Thai language series, we talk to ‘Thai Language Jedi’ Rikker Dockum about Thai phrases that have no direct translation into English. What exactly does ‘Mai Pen Rai’ mean, and why is more than just a phrase? How do you tell someone ‘Greng Jai’ without leading to a Marx Brothers-style contest on who wants to disturb the other person the least? We also go off on a few tangents that include where ‘Krap’ and ‘Ka’ come from, and how Chaucer’s original English has mutated into the ‘s we use today.

This is also the first show where we talk about our partnership with BK Magazine. Starting today, at the beginning of each show we’ll highlight a few random selections from Bangkok’s best English weekly to give you a few ideas for what to do over the coming week. This week: beer, bodies, and a certain skinny fat boy.

Greg also gives us the lowdown on his first bicycle accident and how even the act of getting thrown over your handlebars in Thailand can turn into a unique example of Thai hospitality.

Show Links:

BK Magazine Bangkok Podcast

Bangkok Beerology Beerology
Sitting on the mezzanine level of furniture mecca Crystal Design Center, Beerology aims to bring the imported beer craze to suburbanites with all-imported brews, plus a seven-hour booze buffet to boot.

Fat Boy Slim in Bangkok Fatboy Slim Live in bangkok
Legendary Brit DJ/producer gives us a taste of his epic live set, featuring his dance chart-toppers like “Right Here Right Now,” “Praise You” and “Weapon of Choice.”

The Body Show Asia Bangkok Podcast The Body Show: Asia Tour
Take a journey inside the human body with this globe-trotting exhibition, featuring over 500 anatomical specimens and a com- plete 409-piece plastinated human body.

For information on these events and more pick up a copy of BK Magazine


  1. Mitch March 28, 2011 at 10:56 am - Reply

    Great Podcast guys, you guys are smashing it lately keep up the good work!!!

  2. Johnny NUMIQ March 29, 2011 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Great show as always. I put your Podcast on when I`m working on my projects. I had a few good chuckles from tonights episode.
    Thanks to Rick for the lost in translations. I have to say I thought I had a basic grasp of Thai but now after listening to him I`m below basic. I want to learn Thai but weighing in on the pro`s and con`s I wonder if its valid. Don`t get me wrong I`m not saying its wrong I just don`t know if its worth the time investment to become fluent. Perhaps a basic level is suffice?

    • Greg March 31, 2011 at 4:08 pm - Reply

      Hey Johnny,
      Thanks for the note! That’s the damning thing about learning another language (or earning money or ice skating, or baking, or…) – no matter how good you are, there’s always someone better. I’m at the “I can get by, why learn more?” stage which sucks, and the longer I’m here, the more embarrassing it becomes. Listening to Rikker always motivates me to learn, but, well, then I get busy or sleepy. This is incredibly hypocritical coming from me, but – don’t give up! 🙂

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