Thursday, November 16, 2006


Smile's English is really good. Grammar not so much (I've come to the conclusion that grammar's overrated when it comes to learning a foreign language), but he can hold a decent conversation. Well, when I say conversation, I mean extended monologue covering anything from Napoleon, Alexander the Great, World War II, Thai history, his holiday in London (they went in December – not the best time of year for Thais to visit the UK. In fact he's very funny – he was telling me how it was so cold, he thought they were going to be frozen in blocks of ice like mammoths and become extinct, and would be displayed in museums with expressions of surprise frozen on their faces). Anyway, his English is far from grammatically perfect, but he's got certain turns of phrase that I particularly like.

  1. “look like”. In Smilespeak, to look like means to be similar to. Thus, when describing a particular farang newsreader who can speak Thai with a perfect accent, he says “his sound very good, look like Thai sound”
  2. When talking about any sort of invasion being repelled (you'd be amazed how often this comes up). “Kick out [Burmese, Germans, English, etc.], go battooyor home”
  3. “Open” means to switch on. So you open the lights, you open the air conditioning, and you open the TV. And then when you're done with them, you close them.


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