“Speak Thai!” (Linguistic lessons still required)



Last weekend I decided to take the children to the movies at Big C.  The new Johnny English Reborn film was being screened and we went up to the office to get the tickets.

I asked the rather surly looking young Thai male for three tickets to Johnny English.  “Speak Thai!” was his response to my request (in English) for tickets.  Restraining my anger, I replied “Ow sam ticket.”  I then picked our seat positions and asked, “What time does the movie start?”  Again he replied loudly, “Speak Thai!”

Getting more annoyed and a little tired of this young man, I turned to my daughter and said, “You ask him what time it starts.”  Being bilingual she rattled off “Gee mong …?” and we were informed it was 2.20 p.m. giving us time for lunch before the movie.

During lunch I started mentally preparing the letter I was going to write to the SF cinema people complaining about the staff rudeness, and then it was time for the movie.

After the numerous trailers for forthcoming features, finally the Johnny English Reborn movie began.  It was then I found out that Johnny English had been dubbed in Thai and there were no English subtitles.  Johnny English it might have been, but “English” it certainly was not!  It was only then that I twigged that what my young ticket seller was doing was attempting to warn me of this fact.

However, Johnny English Reborn is enough of a visual comedy that I still enjoyed the movie, whilst my bilingual children, who understood everything, were screaming with laughter.

Of course, I could have saved myself the angst if I had read the movie reviews on page 29 of the Pattaya Mail that week!

Ah well, nobody is too old to learn!

Dr. Iain Corness