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Do Thai men and Thai ladies speak English well?

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princeton11
5/23/2018 20:48 EST

Considering the fact that Thailand has become a hotspot for tourists, I’m curious about the English skills of Thai men and Thai ladies. Are they fluent in English? Or do they speak broken English? I know for a fact that in Singapore, English language is incorporated well in their educational system which makes most men and women capable of speaking the language.

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ken24
5/23/2018 22:13 EST

In tourist areas and in tourist industries, it will be fair... as the years have gone by there is more taught in countryside schools but most have little oppt to use it and do not speak much or well... Of the expats here, most have wives who learned English to accommodate them... the languages do not always translate well and then there can be cultural differences that bend the meanings somewhat...

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ken24
5/23/2018 22:18 EST

let me offer an example -

gumlung maah - means I am coming...

To a Westerner from Princeton, if I said that to you and we had an appointment, you might see me in the car, on my way... [15 minutes]

For a Thai - - it might mean, I just got up, I have to take a shower, have breakfast, visit my mother, but yes, I am coming... [ 4 hours ]

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hawkesk
5/24/2018 00:42 EST

I've lived in Thailand almost 14 years. If you are in a tourist area (which I am) then most public venues will have SOME level of English speaking employees. However, I've picked up enough Thai (7th hardest language to learn in the world!) to get by in most circumstances. Google translate is also a savior! If you're just coming for a visit and will stay/visit in tourist spots, you shouldn't have a problem.

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