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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Tonal Trickiness

Thailand is crazy. Inflatable crocodiles scare monkeys away from parking lots


5 comments:

  1. Hello, I'm one of your Thai fan. I just really want to know what he said for "burnt knives"? something "..มีด..ไหม้"(Meed Mhai)? It seem don't like other two words; เขาหม้าย (Khao Hmay) and ขาวใหม่ (Kaw Hmai). Anyway I can understand he want to say "ข่าวมั้ย" (Khao Mai).

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    1. Good question! My brother speaks Thai and wrote the comic, so I'm afraid I'm not sure. Some others were debating the same thing over on the Facebook post for this comic, maybe the answer was posted there?

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  2. This happens in Chinese a lot! It is VERY hard for Americans to distinguish between the tones in Chinese. Our Chinese friends found it very amusing when my sister asked for a bottle of "water" (shuǐ), and accidentally gave it the fourth tone instead of the third tone, so it came out sounding like "blood" (xuè).

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    1. "Oh, you brought me a bottle of blood? Well, that's okay too. No, no need to take it back, it's okay."

      Glug glug

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    2. My favourite is still my ex-boyfriend meeting my grandparents. He wanted to speak Cantonese to them to impress them. I taught him a few key phrases, and kept correcting his tone. He blew up at me, finally, saying, "Let me get the pronunciation first and I'll worry about the tones later!" He refused to believe me when I told him the tone WAS part of the pronunciation. So when my grandparents finally came to visit, they asked him what he did for a living. I gave him the simple phrase, "I work with computers" in Cantonese. (He's a computer programmer.) He turned to them and said, "I act like a crazy person." My grandmother almost spit out her tea.

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