The state of Thai English texting group
2 min read

The state of Thai English texting group

Most Thais can’t speak fluent English and this is a fact. But some like
to pretend they can.

I found a member recruitment post so I said to myself “hey this looks
interesting-ish this is great finally Thais will have more resources to
learn English.” Instant disappointment.

The first group I was in was created by a Thai who wants to work in
Europe. Her English? Mia Farang English — very broken English. On one
occasion, she said “the group is so quiet.” so I said “share your guilty
pleasures.” — DEAD AIR. No one actually responded to my prompt and the
group owner herself left the group because she thought I was
trashing her. For some reason.

On another occasion, I was talking to a Dutchman about Thai customs. The
topic was women’s place in society and he was wondering about Thai
women’s. I told him “some wives grovel their husband before bed*.”* I
was instantly kicked out of the group because I discussed about
forbidden topics — royal family, politics and religion.

I so did NOT talk about those topics.

Two Europeans who were in the group tried to talk some sense into her
and let me back in but no dice. The best part? She dropped the “You no
understand Thailand.” to the Europeans. Side note: I was born and
rasied here.

Also, did I mention she’s the one who started talking in Thai in the
English texting group? Happens very often too from what I hear.
Europeans in the group? Google Translate all the way.

And there is another group, which appears to be the best one yet. The
leader has a degree in translations and literature — she speaks
textbook English and does not know how to speak ‘colloquially’ and
still can’t properly use articles (a, an, the).

Whenever I correct her English, she would throw a fit at me because I am
‘undermining’ her English skills. Some examples:

  • I am walking at the mall — it’s strolling

  • We use proper English here — full of lol’s and broken English. Oh,
    and she asked the members “you all know what I’m talking about,
    right?”

  • Are you satisfied? — asking a friend whether she’s happy with her
    grades or not. Yes, in an informal setting.

  • I have just woken up — not technically wrong but come on who says it like this to a friend?

And the members? I see almost next to no improvement because:

  1. They don’t read supplement materials (anything just to broaden their
    vocabulary or improving hearing skills)

  2. Spamming same phrases over and over again — morning, good afternoon,
    good evening, good night (I wish I’m joking but I’m not)

  3. No improvements even after repeated corrections — no verb to be
    and wrong subject-verb agreement and wrong simple past tense OVER
    AND OVER AGAIN (yes, I gave up correcting them)

Some people also ‘offer’ their service to fellow English learners as
well. The kicker is they themselves don’t even speak fluent English. Not
to mention some who looks for a friend to text in English, foreign or
local. The problem with this is in almost all cases both sides speak
broken English. Some go even further — asking for a friend to chat with,
even when they can’t understand spoken English (not TEFL teacher speak).

It makes me wonder why these people are trying to join as many group as
they can yet fail to utilize any of them. Instead, they insist on using
the same phrases (wrongly) over and over again with no sign of
improvements. And out of the blue text in Thai without even trying to
form the sentences in English. (I mean they can just write what they
want to say in Thai and what they think it should look like in English).
Then again, they might just want a friend and use English as an excuse.