thai-language.comInternet resource
for the Thai language
Lookup:
» more options here
Browse

F.A.Q. Check out the list of frequently asked questions for a quick answer to your inquiry

e-mail the author
guestbook
site settings
site news
bulk lookup
Bangkok
Thanks for your

recent donations!

Narisa N. $+++!
John A. $+++!
Paul S. $100!
Mike A. $100!
Eric B. $100!
John Karl L. $100!
Don S. $100!
John S. $100!
Peter B. $100!
Ingo B $50
Peter d C $50
Hans G $50
Alan M. $50
Rod S. $50
Wolfgang W. $50
Bill O. $70
Ravinder S. $20
Chris S. $15
Jose D-C $20
Steven P. $20
Daniel W. $75
Rudolf M. $30
David R. $50
Judith W. $50
Roger C. $50
Steve D. $50
Sean F. $50
Paul G. B. $50
xsinventory $20
Nigel A. $15
Michael B. $20
Otto S. $20
Damien G. $12
Simon G. $5
Lindsay D. $25
David S. $25
Laurent L. $40
Peter van G. $10
Graham S. $10
Peter N. $30
James A. $10
Dmitry I. $10
Edward R. $50
Roderick S. $30
Mason S. $5
Henning E. $20
John F. $20
Daniel F. $10
Armand H. $20
Daniel S. $20
James McD. $20
Shane McC. $10
Roberto P. $50
Derrell P. $20
Trevor O. $30
Patrick H. $25
Rick @SS $15
Gene H. $10
Aye A. M. $33
S. Cummings $25
Will F. $20
Get e-mail

Sign-up to join our mail­ing list. You'll receive e­mail notification when this site is updated. Your privacy is guaran­teed; this list is not sold, shared, or used for any other purpose. Click here for more infor­mation.

To unsubscribe, click here.

Wife or Mother ภรรยาหรือคุณแม่

Religion, customs, politics, film, music, television

Moderator: acloudmovingby

Wife or Mother ภรรยาหรือคุณแม่

Postby Naga » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:11 pm

I've re-read my copy of Thailand Fever looking for some clue to my wife's behavior.

My wife is constantly talking to me in a way that I would personally reserve for a child. Statements like: "You can take off shoe.", "You can take shower.", "You can get ready to go to store.", "You can wash car.", "You can do this, you can do that." After sever years of marriage, this is nothing new. What is new is that my wife has health problems and I spend most of my time with her. Two years before, I had a life of my own and I wasn't spending the entire day in the same house with her. So the constant "orders" are really grating on me, and I've told her so. On many occasions I've told her that she talks to me the way a mother would talk to a child that she is instructing. But bringing this to her attention accomplishes next to nothing. She keeps it up, and I've dropped down to the level of either referring to her as คุณแม่ or simple stating after her comments "คำสั่งเมียใช่ไหม". I've even marked out pages in Thailand Fever for her to read regarding how Westerner's would consider this to be inappropriate, but the book stays on the desk with the bookmarks still in place. She isn't going to read it, and I'm disappointed in her lack of desire to compromise.

I've got a 55 year old wife talking down to me like I'm a 7 year old, but unfortunately for her I'm in my mid-60s and I support the family on my sole income.

So, is it normal for Thai wife's to talk like this to their Thai husbands? I don't get it. Maybe that's why Thai men end up with mia nois and gigs? What am I missing here in the Thai culture that makes her think her behavior toward me is acceptable?
Naga
 
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:00 am

Re: Wife or Mother ภรรยาหรือคุณแม่

Postby Pirin » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:00 am

Naga wrote:I've re-read my copy of Thailand Fever looking for some clue to my wife's behavior.

My wife is constantly talking to me in a way that I would personally reserve for a child. Statements like: "You can take off shoe.", "You can take shower.", "You can get ready to go to store.", "You can wash car.", "You can do this, you can do that." After sever years of marriage, this is nothing new. What is new is that my wife has health problems and I spend most of my time with her. Two years before, I had a life of my own and I wasn't spending the entire day in the same house with her. So the constant "orders" are really grating on me, and I've told her so. On many occasions I've told her that she talks to me the way a mother would talk to a child that she is instructing. But bringing this to her attention accomplishes next to nothing. She keeps it up, and I've dropped down to the level of either referring to her as คุณแม่ or simple stating after her comments "คำสั่งเมียใช่ไหม". I've even marked out pages in Thailand Fever for her to read regarding how Westerner's would consider this to be inappropriate, but the book stays on the desk with the bookmarks still in place. She isn't going to read it, and I'm disappointed in her lack of desire to compromise.

I've got a 55 year old wife talking down to me like I'm a 7 year old, but unfortunately for her I'm in my mid-60s and I support the family on my sole income.

So, is it normal for Thai wife's to talk like this to their Thai husbands? I don't get it. Maybe that's why Thai men end up with mia nois and gigs? What am I missing here in the Thai culture that makes her think her behavior toward me is acceptable?


Before interpreting whether your wife generally adds any atttitude in her wording when she says things (in Thai) to you, please let us know the answers of these two questions.

1. How fluent is your wife in your language?
2. How fluent are you in Thai or her language?
User avatar
Pirin
 
Posts: 2667
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:28 pm

Re: Wife or Mother ภรรยาหรือคุณแม่

Postby Naga » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:29 pm

Pirin wrote:
Naga wrote:I've re-read my copy of Thailand Fever looking for some clue to my wife's behavior.

My wife is constantly talking to me in a way that I would personally reserve for a child. Statements like: "You can take off shoe.", "You can take shower.", "You can get ready to go to store.", "You can wash car.", "You can do this, you can do that." After sever years of marriage, this is nothing new. What is new is that my wife has health problems and I spend most of my time with her. Two years before, I had a life of my own and I wasn't spending the entire day in the same house with her. So the constant "orders" are really grating on me, and I've told her so. On many occasions I've told her that she talks to me the way a mother would talk to a child that she is instructing. But bringing this to her attention accomplishes next to nothing. She keeps it up, and I've dropped down to the level of either referring to her as คุณแม่ or simple stating after her comments "คำสั่งเมียใช่ไหม". I've even marked out pages in Thailand Fever for her to read regarding how Westerner's would consider this to be inappropriate, but the book stays on the desk with the bookmarks still in place. She isn't going to read it, and I'm disappointed in her lack of desire to compromise.

I've got a 55 year old wife talking down to me like I'm a 7 year old, but unfortunately for her I'm in my mid-60s and I support the family on my sole income.

So, is it normal for Thai wife's to talk like this to their Thai husbands? I don't get it. Maybe that's why Thai men end up with mia nois and gigs? What am I missing here in the Thai culture that makes her think her behavior toward me is acceptable?


Before interpreting whether your wife generally adds any atttitude in her wording when she says things (in Thai) to you, please let us know the answers of these two questions.

1. How fluent is your wife in your language?
2. How fluent are you in Thai or her language?


She is fluent in English. I read and write Thai and about a P.2 level, and speak, but far from being fluent. In the village when we are together, most Thais will simply talk to her when we are together and completely ignore me even when I'm speaking Thai and attempting to join the conversation. And she'll ignore me too. Considering I now live in a rural Thai village, having Thais talk as though I'm not even in the room is another completely different issue, and one that I find immensely disrespectful. I'm not fluent, but the Thai I do speak is pronounced well. Another idiosyncrasy of Thai culture when คุณแม่ isn't lecturing me on when to take my shoes off?
Naga
 
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:00 am

Re: Wife or Mother ภรรยาหรือคุณแม่

Postby Pirin » Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:15 am

Naga wrote:
Pirin wrote:
....

Before interpreting whether your wife generally adds any atttitude in her wording when she says things (in Thai) to you, please let us know the answers of these two questions.

1. How fluent is your wife in your language?
2. How fluent are you in Thai or her language?


She is fluent in English. I read and write Thai and about a P.2 level, and speak, but far from being fluent. In the village when we are together, most Thais will simply talk to her when we are together and completely ignore me even when I'm speaking Thai and attempting to join the conversation. And she'll ignore me too. Considering I now live in a rural Thai village, having Thais talk as though I'm not even in the room is another completely different issue, and one that I find immensely disrespectful. I'm not fluent, but the Thai I do speak is pronounced well. Another idiosyncrasy of Thai culture when คุณแม่ isn't lecturing me on when to take my shoes off?


I asked about your and your wife's levels of the foreign language because I believed that there could have been the time when you and your wife happened to be unable to understand each other correctly.

In some ways, is it possible that she says short Thai sentences to you because longer sentences are too complex for you to catch?

As for the conversation in the village, I believe that most people there don't understand English. I also believe that people there think that you hardly understand them if they talk to you. In such case, they choose to pay no attention to you.

I, myself, used to deal with a similar situation. When I visited my parents in the village very far from the city, I sometimes had to spend some hours on chatting with a westerner who was there because he is the husband of a cousin of mine. In such case, I cannot do anything to let him know at all that I do want to do something else instead of talking to him. I know that ignoring him is a way to indirectly hurt him.

This is just to say that in our daily life, not many people have skill in dealing with other people, especially foreigners, in different situations.

It is better not to feel too bad when others happen to act in the way to make you think that they ignore you.
User avatar
Pirin
 
Posts: 2667
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:28 pm

Re: Wife or Mother ภรรยาหรือคุณแม่

Postby Naga » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:15 am

I understand what you're saying, and under normal circumstances such as family gathering where Thais want to chat, I had no problem being left out of the conversation and simply sit and listen. Conversely, should I happen to bring a bottle of Johnney Walker, it's amazing at how many people suddenly are interesting in talking with me and having a conversation.

The large problem is when we are discussing things that directly involve me, such as at the doctors office or when someone finds out that I'm a qualified, retired teacher. At the doctors office our doctor does speak English at about the same level as I speak Thai. If we're alone, conversations are not a problem; however, once my wife walks in the door, you would think that I had disappeared, the level and speed of Thai goes over my head, then I have to ask my wife what was said once we leave the office. Anybody should see the problem here: I'm left out of the conversation, so questions I had go completely unanswered.

Then last week a doctor in our village found out I use to teach. I spent two years offering to do volunteer work at local schools and government organization as long as I was supplied a work permit. Nobody wanted to deal with the work permit issue, so I let the offer drop. Suddenly the doctor is interested because she wants a tutor for her daughter, and her husband has processed work permits before. All this was spoken in Thai and some broken English. Then the conversation turned to my wife and the doctor as the doctor made plans on how I was going to teach in the village -- but I never said I was willing to teach, not at the level she was talking about. I was dropped from the conversation and nobody at any time asked me what I was willing to do. That's a bit of a serious issue especially considering that I'm really not willing to volunteer to teach more than six hours a week (for every 1 hour of class time I'd be putting in at least 2 hours of preparation because I'd be creating my own curriculum on the fly), and I will only teach students M.3 and above who have interviewed with me, and who have convinced me that they have an honest interest in learning and will put out the effort needed to do so. And to be really honest, it would be a better use of my time to teach the local teacher who could then pass on what I teach to their students -- much more beneficial use of my time because I've done it before and still have the curriculum and lessons plans I developed over four years ago. But that information never made it into the conversation, because I was ignored as though I wasn't in the room. Another interesting cultural anomaly that could end up being a sad story เรื่องเศร้า of miscommunication and misunderstanding that personally I would not accept the blame for. I've explained this to my wife in detail - she knows.

And, I wonder, if the doctors husband does get a work permit for me without ever going through the process to discuss and plan what I am willing to do for them, are they going to think that I'm somehow 'indebted' to them for getting a work permit. I'd feel no indebtedness in the least. I'm offering to give some of my time in volunteering and the work permit is a legal necessity, not something that I personally want. Personally it's a pain in the behind and I don't want it at all, but I won't break the law either.

All I'm saying is the lack of willingness to communicate with me can lead to some serious misunderstanding that would be avoidable if they took the time to include me in the conversation. Maybe it's about ไว้หน้า or even เกรงใจ. I do understand the Thai concept of indirectness, face saving, indebtedness, gratitude - but without them understanding my need to plan, organize, and be included in the planning, I only see problems. Even the educated Thais I meet who speak English relatively well don't seem to have any experience or understanding of my Western point of view. I may live in Thailand, but the cultural understanding has to be a two-way street if I and others in my Amphur ever expect to have a meeting of minds, especially when they are interested in my teaching skills. Unlike farang who have never lived or worked here, I will not be run over 'rough-shod' and agree to do things that I'm unwilling to do in order that some Thai Puu Yai gets to save face. And that's a problem for me because 'status' and 'authority figures' don't get any immediate respect from me unless they earn it - very Western trait. I tried to compromise and be pliable, however, once I feel I'm being taken advantage of, the glove come off and I stand my ground, which is very 'direct'. That's so not 'Thai', but at my age (mid 60s) I refuse be 'used', and unfortunately, too many farang teachers are 'used' to the point of abuse here in the Land of Smiles. But I'm not one of them.
Naga
 
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:00 am

Re: Wife or Mother ภรรยาหรือคุณแม่

Postby Pirin » Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:53 pm

Once you decide to live in a community whose culture is different from your original one, it is advisable that you are aware of the situation when lots of people know nothing about your original culture.
User avatar
Pirin
 
Posts: 2667
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:28 pm

Re: Wife or Mother ภรรยาหรือคุณแม่

Postby tod-daniels » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:28 am

Okay, Naga, you've got more than a simple disconnect in language going on. There is some underlying issue where conversations are being "routed" thru your wife the minute she's present.. That's BAD, period, end of story. True your thai may not be fluent, but I'd wager most thais you interact with have possibly worse engrish skills.

The problem between you and you wife is on you, because it sure sounds like she's treating you like a ข้าทาส <-slave rather than as a partner. Either straighten it out, learn to live with it or just walk out of the house when she pulls that attitude.

The problem of how people deal with you alone and when you're with your wife is tougher. It sounds far too late to nip it in the bud as you have should done eons ago. You're going to have to chop that tree down roots and all, as much as it will vex the thais.

Anytime a thai ignores me and directs their conversation to a thai near me, ESPECIALLY when they're talking about me or something I might do with/for them, I stop them mid-sentence. I say, "I'm sitting right here, I'm NOT deaf and I can speak thai too! Stop talkin' about me and start talking to me".. <- and yes, I say that in really abrupt, terse thai, because I'm trying to drive the point home in no uncertain terms that I "don't cotton" to being treated that way. But that's just me...

As far as the work permit, no, I wouldn't feel indebted to them in the least. You should make that clear up front. Pulling a work permit for you is a legal requirement for you to volunteer. It is not a "favor" and as such it won't cut any ice with you. .

Along the lines of how you vet prospective students, I think you have a great handle on it.. You need to stand fast, not lower your standards and stick to your guns.

I sympathize with your plight, and while I don't mean to disagree with Pirin's statement;
Pirin wrote:Once you decide to live in a community whose culture is different from your original one, it is advisable that you are aware of the situation when lots of people know nothing about your original culture.

I will say this with 100% certainty.In today's day and age where this entire country is connected to the rest of the world, there is no excuse for people treating you the way you're being treated. You ain't the first foreigner to live in a one buffalo village in Nakhon Nowhere with a thai wife.. That is just poor manners and ignorance, plain and simple. Set 'em straight. While they might act standoffish at first when you call them to task for the way they act, they'll begrudgingly respect you because you've held your ground and made them change rather than be a pushover foreigner.

Good Luck..
tod-daniels
 
Posts: 627
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:41 am
Location: Bangkok

Re: Wife or Mother ภรรยาหรือคุณแม่

Postby bifftastic » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:18 pm

"You can take off shoe.", "You can take shower.", "You can get ready to go to store.", "You can wash car."
Don't sound like the sentence constructions of someone who is fluent in English.

Maybe that's just the way your wife has learned those phrases, and what she means is "Can you take off your shoes? etc. etc.

Thai, when you don't add the polite particles, is quite an abrupt language (that's probably why they have the polite particles). English doesn't have any, so if you take an abrupt Thai sentence, translate it into English without the possibility of adding the politeness in the normal (Thai) manner, you get abruptness. Which is what you've got.

As for not being included in conversations, that's a whole different matter. That does happen to me sometimes. If I don't like it enough, I'll go back to where it happened (police station, doctor's office, bank, wherever), by myself.
bifftastic
 
Posts: 568
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:45 pm

Re: Wife or Mother ภรรยาหรือคุณแม่

Postby Pirin » Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:29 pm

In addition to the above comment, if your wife leaves you alone when you are sick, there is no more need to live with her.

On the other hand, if she is willing to be with you when you have any health problem, she proves that she is there for you. There is no need to expect her to behave the way you or people in your homeland would do.

Each of us is brought up and taught differently. How each of us has learned things and appiled them in our daily lives is another matter.
User avatar
Pirin
 
Posts: 2667
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:28 pm

Re: Wife or Mother ภรรยาหรือคุณแม่

Postby Naga » Mon Jun 29, 2015 4:05 pm

bifftastic wrote:"You can take off shoe.", "You can take shower.", "You can get ready to go to store.", "You can wash car."
Don't sound like the sentence constructions of someone who is fluent in English.

Maybe that's just the way your wife has learned those phrases, and what she means is "Can you take off your shoes? etc. etc.

Thai, when you don't add the polite particles, is quite an abrupt language (that's probably why they have the polite particles). English doesn't have any, so if you take an abrupt Thai sentence, translate it into English without the possibility of adding the politeness in the normal (Thai) manner, you get abruptness. Which is what you've got.

As for not being included in conversations, that's a whole different matter. That does happen to me sometimes. If I don't like it enough, I'll go back to where it happened (police station, doctor's office, bank, wherever), by myself.



Thanks for the input, but I wrote it that way because that is English spoken with Thai grammar, which is that way many Thais speak. No articles, noun/verb before adjective/adverb. But, my wife is fluent in the sense that she can be understood by just about any NES she speaks with. It's not about perfect grammar, it's about the level of communication and understanding. But thanks for schooling me, I don't care about your hubris, and I'm really not in the mood for it tonight. Try with an newbie.
Naga
 
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:00 am

Next

Return to Culture and Current Events

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Copyright © 2020 thai-language.com. Portions copyright © by original authors, rights reserved, used by permission; Portions 17 USC §107.