Saturday, 1 May 2010

I don't know krab about Thai

There is a lot of talk about knowing words, learning words from vocab lists or flash cards. It seems that knowing something is black and white, on/off. Very little information and learning is like that at all, it makes people feel better though, it makes testing easier (though less accurate).

First of all apologies, I am not sure of the official romanisation of the word krap / krup / krub but basically I am talking about the polite word that males attach to the end of some sentances. I probably know more about this word than any other Thai word but I still don't know krap.

I know the word is high tone in Thai, I know what it is supposed to sound like after much exposure from many speakers (audio and video + 1 waiter). I know that despite what the lessons tell me, Thai male speakers don't put it on the end of every sentance but I need to get more a feel for that. In video they don't use it much when talking with friends or family, with themselves, to their dog, etc. On various forms of radio it almost seems as if it is thrown in every few sentances when the pressure of not enough krap exceeds a certain level. On one of my Tony Jaar movies when they interview the actors and actresses, they use Krab (and ka) a lot at the beginning and then stop using it as they answer later questions. I know you can roll the r, pronounce the r as an l, lose the r entirely, loose the k and end up with something like hup which isn't much at all to end up with as the p is usually unvoiced (I think the technical term is unvoiced anyway).

Having heard the word in many guises, I can say it to a point, I suspect that in a few months time I will hear me saying it now and thing farang! In my head it sounds Thai (having just watched Britian has got Talent on the TV whilst typing this, some people "think" they can sing because they can in their head).

I know the word is not used (or to a much less extent) in the Lao language

Ultimately I still don't know the word in any full sense, I feel I "Know" very few Chinese words, and there a lot of words I don't know even in my mother tongue. I don't expect to know any Thai words yet.

I still don't know so much about this word but that is not a problem all I expect that as with all the words I will keep learning more about it.

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