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In my case, I wonder if I will ever be fluent, truly fluent, any language. Vietnamese is my mother tongue. However, I have lived in the Sates for 20 years, am an American citizen, was educated in the States for both undergraduate and graduate studies, have been holding professional jobs in the States, so my English is "fluent". (I still make mistakes from time to time by leaving out that "s" in the plural form or sticking it where it is not needed though). I can switch back and forth between Vietnamese and English with ease (have done lots of translation for my parents). But when I read something in Vietnamese, I don't know what some of the words mean. I think I am losing Vietnamse as I don't have a chance to use it as much. And I will still make mistakes with English (now explain to me while you folks don't use the same rules for things, why is it "panties" but it is "bra"? This throws my analytical self off for a loop). Now that we are planning to move to Spain, I am learning Spanish. So at the end of the road, I will forget most of my Vietnamese, lose some English (as we live in Spain), and forever be learning Spanish. But I think I would rather be "semi-fluent" in multiple languages than fluent in just one and have never had a chance to see the world. That is just me, I guess.
Good Morning Everyone, writing this from Huahin in Thailand, the AC has awoken me and cannot get back to sleep. Its 04.14. I am over here on a quick, much needed fishing break trying to catch an Arapaima, which is the worlds biggest freshwater fish, grows to over 400lb in the Amazon, a little smaller here, but cheaper to pursue.

I looked at this thread about being fluent in a language , not of ones birth. Last night I went out to a restaurant for a meal in this town, which is three hours south of Bangkok, a big coastal town and resort. I got there by taxi, any restaurant , not fussy. For the first time for as long as I can remember, I was completely at a loss to communicate with anyone, the Thai language is completely impenetrable, with a written alphabet that is the same. None if the natives speak any European languages whatsover, even though their core customer base is Europeans with plenty of funds. All the restaurants display their menus in photo form, like in Benidorm for the thick tourists, I personally avoid such places, but here, have no choice. The meal that I had was good, Red Thai curry sea food, very hot, but delicious. Not one of the staff spoke any northern European language. Not their fault, always our fault for not learning enough to get by, but you try ordering anything from Thai phrasebook on holiday.

No doubt there are Thai people that can converse in English or French, but I have yet to meet one. No doubt there will be people that donate to this forum that are better qualified in "foreign tongues", that will immediately shoot me down for my comments, but how do you learn, " enough Thai "to get by", the same is probably true of Russian and other alphabets of rarely used languages never used by us " Brits".

As a footnote. If you really want to study sad old English gits , then you should walk around this place and visit the restos. I have never seen such a collection of sad , lonely old men , all from northern Europe, walking around and sitting in restos., with girls that look like their daughters. They sit at the tables eating, neither speaks to each other, because they cannot, the girls look totally disinterested and the men look distinctly ill at ease and uncomfortable, as if the wife is about to come into the room and surprise them. All very sad and tawdry.

As for me, well, I am continually checking out the womens Adams Apples, seeing if any of the females have hair sprouting out of the back of their fingers and pushing the wardrobe against my door at night, got to keep her in somehow !!!!

If anyone does want a Thai bride, the more I bring back as a job lot, the cheaper they will be.

Regards. Far Flung Fletch
 

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Good Morning Everyone, writing this from Huahin in Thailand, the AC has awoken me and cannot get back to sleep. Its 04.14. I am over here on a quick, much needed fishing break trying to catch an Arapaima, which is the worlds biggest freshwater fish, grows to over 400lb in the Amazon, a little smaller here, but cheaper to pursue.

I looked at this thread about being fluent in a language , not of ones birth. Last night I went out to a restaurant for a meal in this town, which is three hours south of Bangkok, a big coastal town and resort. I got there by taxi, any restaurant , not fussy. For the first time for as long as I can remember, I was completely at a loss to communicate with anyone, the Thai language is completely impenetrable, with a written alphabet that is the same. None if the natives speak any European languages whatsover, even though their core customer base is Europeans with plenty of funds. All the restaurants display their menus in photo form, like in Benidorm for the thick tourists, I personally avoid such places, but here, have no choice. The meal that I had was good, Red Thai curry sea food, very hot, but delicious. Not one of the staff spoke any northern European language. Not their fault, always our fault for not learning enough to get by, but you try ordering anything from Thai phrasebook on holiday.

No doubt there are Thai people that can converse in English or French, but I have yet to meet one. No doubt there will be people that donate to this forum that are better qualified in "foreign tongues", that will immediately shoot me down for my comments, but how do you learn, " enough Thai "to get by", the same is probably true of Russian and other alphabets of rarely used languages never used by us " Brits".

As a footnote. If you really want to study sad old English gits , then you should walk around this place and visit the restos. I have never seen such a collection of sad , lonely old men , all from northern Europe, walking around and sitting in restos., with girls that look like their daughters. They sit at the tables eating, neither speaks to each other, because they cannot, the girls look totally disinterested and the men look distinctly ill at ease and uncomfortable, as if the wife is about to come into the room and surprise them. All very sad and tawdry.

As for me, well, I am continually checking out the womens Adams Apples, seeing if any of the females have hair sprouting out of the back of their fingers and pushing the wardrobe against my door at night, got to keep her in somehow !!!!

If anyone does want a Thai bride, the more I bring back as a job lot, the cheaper they will be.

Regards. Far Flung Fletch
and what is also quite remarkable is that many of those with Adam's apples are better looking than those without! :D:D

I could possibly manage with the Russian (in most cases the pronunciation of the Cyrillic letters is similar in what ever language but with Thai or tagalog, no way José.

Chinese isn't too bad if you remember that 63 is plain boiled rice and 48 is lemon chicken
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
and what is also quite remarkable is that many of those with Adam's apples are better looking than those without! :D:D I could possibly manage with the Russian (in most cases the pronunciation of the Cyrillic letters is similar in what ever language but with Thai or tagalog, no way José. Chinese isn't too bad if you remember that 63 is plain boiled rice and 48 is lemon chicken
Not to mention a number 69, which would probably give us violent indigestion as well as a slipped disc to boot.

FFF.
 

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If you have a local giving you advice about pronunciation, Thai is not that hard at all, at least speaking. I spent a year there as an exchange student and managed to get by pretty well after the first week or two, at least for simple situations like shopping, eating and asking for directions. The tones and the totally different phonemes are usually what throw people off, but if you practice with a patient local, they are pretty simple to overcome. In my case I had five Thai roommates willing to help me, so it came very quickly. Travelling as a tourist without any local connections would make it much harder, of course, as I learned during my recent trip to Lithuania where I only learned two words, "Hello" and "Thank you" :D
 

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Good Morning Everyone, writing this from Huahin in Thailand, the AC has awoken me and cannot get back to sleep. Its 04.14. I am over here on a quick, much needed fishing break trying to catch an Arapaima, which is the worlds biggest freshwater fish, grows to over 400lb in the Amazon, a little smaller here, but cheaper to pursue.

I looked at this thread about being fluent in a language , not of ones birth. Last night I went out to a restaurant for a meal in this town, which is three hours south of Bangkok, a big coastal town and resort. I got there by taxi, any restaurant , not fussy. For the first time for as long as I can remember, I was completely at a loss to communicate with anyone, the Thai language is completely impenetrable, with a written alphabet that is the same. None if the natives speak any European languages whatsover, even though their core customer base is Europeans with plenty of funds. All the restaurants display their menus in photo form, like in Benidorm for the thick tourists, I personally avoid such places, but here, have no choice. The meal that I had was good, Red Thai curry sea food, very hot, but delicious. Not one of the staff spoke any northern European language. Not their fault, always our fault for not learning enough to get by, but you try ordering anything from Thai phrasebook on holiday.

No doubt there are Thai people that can converse in English or French, but I have yet to meet one. No doubt there will be people that donate to this forum that are better qualified in "foreign tongues", that will immediately shoot me down for my comments, but how do you learn, " enough Thai "to get by", the same is probably true of Russian and other alphabets of rarely used languages never used by us " Brits".

As a footnote. If you really want to study sad old English gits , then you should walk around this place and visit the restos. I have never seen such a collection of sad , lonely old men , all from northern Europe, walking around and sitting in restos., with girls that look like their daughters. They sit at the tables eating, neither speaks to each other, because they cannot, the girls look totally disinterested and the men look distinctly ill at ease and uncomfortable, as if the wife is about to come into the room and surprise them. All very sad and tawdry.

As for me, well, I am continually checking out the womens Adams Apples, seeing if any of the females have hair sprouting out of the back of their fingers and pushing the wardrobe against my door at night, got to keep her in somehow !!!!

If anyone does want a Thai bride, the more I bring back as a job lot, the cheaper they will be.

Regards. Far Flung Fletch

The younger generations are learning more of foreign languages over there in Thailand, albeit the more affluent families. My younger brother in law and his wife spent a while out there as she was contracted to teach English in a school for the well off, he on the other hand did voluntary work in the slums teaching children of all ages the basics of their own language and English, all supplies were donated/scrounged/borrowed and the children were far more appreciative of even the simplest things like coloured pencils than the children being taught by his wife in the private school.
They came home, had a baby and two years on have just taken their daughter over there for six months to revisit friends over there, and the school. They absolutely love the place and the people and clearly didn't struggle with the language - probably down to being much younger and still having their "learning heads" on.


Oh and spotting the protruding Adam's apple may be possible but I wouldn't get your hopes up if you plan to be able to tell true gender from stray hairs, lol, they will probably be better groomed/waxed/made up than any true female you'll come across. Attention to detail is one of their better skills :laugh::D:hurt::hurt::hurt::hurt:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The younger generations are learning more of foreign languages over there in Thailand, albeit the more affluent families. My younger brother in law and his wife spent a while out there as she was contracted to teach English in a school for the well off, he on the other hand did voluntary work in the slums teaching children of all ages the basics of their own language and English, all supplies were donated/scrounged/borrowed and the children were far more appreciative of even the simplest things like coloured pencils than the children being taught by his wife in the private school. They came home, had a baby and two years on have just taken their daughter over there for six months to revisit friends over there, and the school. They absolutely love the place and the people and clearly didn't struggle with the language - probably down to being much younger and still having their "learning heads" on. Oh and spotting the protruding Adam's apple may be possible but I wouldn't get your hopes up if you plan to be able to tell true gender from stray hairs, lol, they will probably be better groomed/waxed/made up than any true female you'll come across. Attention to detail is one of their better skills :laugh::D:hurt::hurt::hurt::hurt:
Greeting from Huahin. Temperature her is about 90deg in the daytime, sunny , but humid, shorts and t shirt weather. Fished this morning and caught a

lovely Mekong catfish about 25lb and a pirahna abot 12lbs. Very enjoyable and both fish were returned alive and unharmed as usual.

Just returning the the subject of fluency and not having met any of the Thais that can speak passable English.. Last night I left a restaurant in the city after the staff had ordered me a taxi back to my hotel. After five minutes had passed an open backed, but caged in pickup truck arrived out side the resto. And I was assured that this was my taxi. I looked at the height of the rear of it and it immediately became obvious that I would be able to ascend the dizzy height from ground zero to tailgate. The lady taxi driver came from the cab, around to the rear, dropped the tailgate and pulled out a short ladder for me to climb up on. I thanked her in English and she replied, " thank you Sir, it is a bit difficult for older people". "Blooming cheek", thinks I, ageism is alive and well in Thailand. I thanked her for her comments and she the then proceeded to tell me about how, in six weeks time she is going to attend a course at Manchester University, to get sufficient qualifications from there to enable her to attend Stamford University in Huahin on her return, she intended to study English there. After a bit of a chat, which she asked for, to practice her English, she explained that she had been driving this bus/taxi every night for four years to pay for her course. I told her that I thought that was admirable, but, that if she wished to impress aged Mancunians whilst in England whilst entering buses, then she should not refer to their apparent age whilst doing so or she may receive more than she bargained for, although intended innocently . I explained that many of the denizens of that fair city probably thought that Buddah was a night club or a chocolate bar and certainly would not subscribe to an existence that abhorred injuring or killing other creatures as described in Siddartha.

She thanked me for my advice. I checked the rear of the dimly lit truck for strange looking women with big feet and climbed in. And off we
went.

Fishing again tomorrow. The weather is here, wish you were beautiful. Far Flung Fletch.
R
 

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One hopes for the one and hopes again the other, Baldi! MS

Sunday. Greetings from old Siam, been here a week and still no sign of Yul Brynner. Drove into Huahin yesterday for a mooch around. Heard a little English spoken in bars a nd restos., but it would appear that the only Thai people in general that speak any English at all are those that are living with English partners. But there again, why should they have to speak English anyway. Visited some tailors as well, they all spoke English perfectly, why?' Because they were from India and Burma and all spoke proudly about their relatives who fought alongside the British Army in days gone by, its nice to know that the UK is still appreciated by some people around the world. Sat in a tailors shop and drank tea with the boss who told me that he was Burmese and his father fought as a Gurkha against the Chinese , very interesting chat. Bought three pairs of handmade slacks from him at £19 each and will be delivered today at hotel. Came out of the shop and found that I had a parking ticket, which has to be paid today or its off to work on a railroad for me, damn traffic wardens are everywhere.

Left the store and promptly got totally lost for an hour, every market looked the same. Round and round I went, waved my tourist map at people from the car window, they all went into huddles similar to "a first fifteen scrum". The spokesperson would emerge and give me directions, which were all totally wrong, i later discovered that none of these charming people ever travel more than about two streets from their workplaces and therefore know nothing of the place in which they live, they were all pleasant of nature and address and very willing to please. I eventually found a landmark on which to take a bearing home , some six miles distant, only to find the petrol tank light flashing at me, it was getting dark, and no mobile phone, not that I could call anyone anyway. The light had actually been flashing for some time due to the distance I had travelled trying to leave the city, which has no petrol stations in its environs. I literally nursed the car back on fumes, I drove into the petrol station near my hotel and it died six feet from the pump. Saved by the bell, filled the tank from empty to full, 91octane at 23euros. I liked that.

Regards . Far Flung Fletch.
 

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Hi Triple F

Nice to hear from you, and that your sense of humour retains its usual quality.

I'll try to negotiate the same deal for filling up the car at Super U tomorrow - it's a global economy now, dontcha know.

DejW from a very, very wet Pyrénées Orientales.
 

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Hi Triple F Nice to hear from you, and that your sense of humour retains its usual quality. I'll try to negotiate the same deal for filling up the car at Super U tomorrow - it's a global economy now, dontcha know. DejW from a very, very wet Pyrénées Orientales.
Hi All. Left Huahin this morning at 7am and drove south for five hours to a seaport and caught a hi speed ferry to Koh Tau Island, two hours out into the Gulf of Thailand for three days sea fishing. The weather today has been awful, tropical storms with thunder, lightening and black skies, but very warm. The main road system is good as there is only one main road, so you cannot go wrong. The roads are of good quality but this road here is littered with holes, some of them very deep. I hit one this morning at about 30mph., how it did not smash the suspension is beyond belief, or even the tyres, so caution is now the watchword.

Hotel here is absolutely great, teak lined boudoir on the beach amid palms. Air con, safe, beautiful wood lined, slate floored bathroom.

Would really recommend this country to those that have never visited. Now finding that many Thais do speak a little Eng., but mainly those in tourist trade.

Looking forward to more fishing tomorrow. Far Flung Fletch.
 

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Catch a big one for me, medium ones for DejW, Baldi and Bev and a great big eel for Eeeeeellllls! Don't fall in any potholes! Cheers! A.
Nowt wrong with smoked eels :)
 
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