Thai Food (1970, 1971, 1978); Maltese Sauce (1959); Gado Gado (1969)

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Thu Dec 12 22:41:53 UTC 2002

>Speaking of taboo avoidance ("drunk", "rag", "prik"), I've always
>wondered whether diners in Thai restaurants in France order "mee
>krob" without a second thought.  Luckily for us, the Great Vowel
>Shift has prevented any confusion with our own microbes.

The final "b" will be more like "p" in Thai (as in German), I think. [But I
may be wrong, as I've forgotten most of what little Thai I ever knew.]

In Thai, a man/woman often appends "krap"/"ka" at the end of an utterance
for 'politeness' or so: e.g., Thai greeting "sawatdi" will be "sawatdi
krap" from a man, "sawatdi ka" from a woman. I've seen somebody (a
non-Thai-speaker obviously) represent his impression of spoken Thai (spoken
by a man) as something like "crop crap crop crop crap". Actually this Thai
"krap" seems (to me) to rhyme with English "cop" [no "caughp"/"cop" merger
here] or almost with "cup".

When Googling for Thai items, note that there is often "l" for "r", and
also consonant clusters tend to lose their "r"s and "l"s: thus occasionally
"mi klob" for "mi krob", often "Chao Phaya" for "Chao Phraya" (the river),
occasionally "nam pa" for "nam pla" [oops, I forgot to check for this in my
recent Google search, but it turns out there are no additional hits in my
contexts], often "falang" for "farang" (= "white person"/"Westerner" or =
"guava"), etc. I don't know whether these changes are considered dialectal
or simply erroneous/sloppy. Also note "kh" versus "k", etc., and "v" versus
"w", and "ph" sometimes used for "f".

-- Doug Wilson

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