Thai Girlfriend Advisor

Relationship advice for Western Men and Thai Women

Category: Thai and West Intercultural Relationship Issues

Understanding Thai women & English language issues

Understanding Thai women & English language issues is very important.

In dealing with many of my Western clients who are in relationships with Thai women and want to know more about understanding Thai women I have learned that Language differences will always be an issue in relationships between Western men and Thai women. The fact is there are very few Thai women who can speak English really well. Most have barely passable English and many can speak a little English but cannot write it.

Understanding Thai women with Thai Girlfriend Advisor Angella and DeanUnlike some other Asian countries Thailand has only recently started to promote learning English as a second language. They do now teach English in schools but there is still a long way to go before we will see Thai people using English easily and fluently whether in Thailand or overseas. If you have ever been to Thailand for any length of time you would have noticed that apart from the tourist areas Thai people do not know very much English at all and even the tourist areas it is spoken only to engage the basics with tourists.

Careful with some Thai Girls who speak good English!

One thing I am careful with when I deal with my clients is that if they meet a Thai woman who speaks good English this can mean she has spent time in the tourist areas like Phuket or Pattaya and this can mean she has been working as a bar girl. The same can apply for girls in Bangkok but being such a large City there can be many more reasons for a Thai woman being able to speak some English if she lives in Bangkok. I always advise to use your good judgement here and notice where you met her, her look and behavior.

Even if your Thai girlfriend can speak some English you will find that communication between you will be difficult and misunderstandings are easy to arise. This is one area I have found to be very sensitive even in my own relationship and being able to speak reasonable English. There are so many words in the English language and so many words can mean basically the same thing but with a small difference. Some words are very similar but can mean good or bad depending how and when you use them and trying to understand all the tenses in English is complicated.

So what this means for you if you are in a relationship with a Thai woman is that you will need to be mindful about your language and give the benefit of the doubt if she says something that might seem offensive. I always feel it is sometimes so frustrating when I want to explain something deeper or complicated in English but cannot find the right words to use, if I could say it in Thai there would be no problem and you would understand straight away but in English I must be careful that it does not come out all wrong.

I have said before it takes time, effort and patience in these relationships and it really does because you will both want to be able to speak openly and honestly to each other but the language difference will always make it difficult to truly understand each other with just words. You will also need to trust your intuition and your feelings as well as each other.

Understanding Thai women is not just about understanding her culture but also understanding your own language and how she will need to interact with it.

Read more articles on understanding Thai women

 


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Greng Jai and Thai women

I have written about the subject of Greng Jai and Thai women before on this site but I am going to write another post about this because I get a few questions about it.

Here is the link to the previous post on Greng Jai Thai Culture and Greng Jai

Now I don’t think I can give you a one off explanation that will make it all clear for you but I will talk about what I have noticed so far and hopefully it will at least give you western men some better idea of this Thai culture behavior.

The funny thing is this is not a problem between Thai people, for example  with Thai couple Thai men do not have this problem with their Thai women and so it really seems to be mainly a problem between Farang men and their Thai girlfriends or Thai wives. What seems to confuse Farang is that Greng Jai appears like lying…even my Father in law when I first tried to explain said as a joke ‘oh its like lying then’. So it’s easy for me now to understand this must be confusing for Farang.

 

Greng Jai is not to be confused with lying

We greng jai to make things easy, not make it difficult.For example:Rather than ask for something that we feel may be against your wishes we will say nothing or maybe find another way around it. You see what is important to understand is that we don’t greng jai for no reason…not like we wake up in the morning and decide to greng jai today. There is a reason and the reason is we don’t want to upset. We prefer peaceful ways and non conflict.

Ok here is one example of Greng jai for you:

An Australian man asks his Thai wife…would you like to live with me  in Australia or  in Thailand…. now she may think because maybe he gives this impression that really he wants to live in Australia …so rather than upset him..or not grant his wish  she may greng jai and say. I don’t mind.its up to you…in fact she may want to live in Thailand as Thais like to living near their family…but she wont want to cause a problem and so she greng jai and not tell him exactly what she would like.

So how to tell difference between lying and greng jai…very difficult but greng jai has a reason not to upset. Where lying is trying to conceal something you don’t want the person to know and usually for a negative purpose. For Thai we are born with it.so we can justfeel or sense the truth from greng jai…but for western they are not born with it which make’s it difficult to recognize…for us we have a natural instinct to tell the difference

In some ways you can call it politeness or good manners or not wishing to take advantage..or be greedy or put people out on your behalf. Like not wanting to order something too expensive to eat on a first date…This will typically be with Thai couple date as Thai men can tell this is just greng jai and this is not confusing for them.

I know there are many western men who sadly will say this is all just BS and that really I am trying to cover up for Thai women lying but I can tell you this is not so. Sadly of course in all walks of life there are extremes and manipulators. There is black and white and every shade of grey in between…innocent Thai Greng jai is as I describe it but yes the other extreme it can be used by less scrupulous people to lie and manipulate you…and I understand completely those Farang who have been caught by this.

Ok so another analogy I can think of is with English accents.

I know that people from England will know this very well that there are many changes in accents between county’s…and so to different accents in America if you are from Chicago or Idaho and different accents if you are from Manchester or London. But for a Thai person like me I cannot tell the difference. Perhaps one may sound clearer than another and I can notice a slight difference but I have no idea what is the difference or where that person is from. But for those who are from that country you just know because you have grown up with it. It is the same with Greng jai for Thai people…we just know the difference between blatant lying and greng jai.

So what can you do if your Thai girlfriend greng jai you?

Well the best advice I can give for now is just talk to her. Ask her not to greng jai you. You could also try a tactic like using the reason to greng jai as a reason not to greng jai, here is what I mean:

For example…if you ask a question to choose between 2 holidays one in Norway and one in Italy……try explaining that you don’t want her to greng jai because if she does and chooses the wrong one it will cause a problem, maybe Norway will be cold and she don’t like it but she feel you want to go there and so she greng jai and choose Norway but once you book the tickets and get there you cannot go back, and she will be unhappy and so will you….so now you will make her greng jai to not cause a problem and so she will now choose the one she really wants….I hope that makes sense!

However listen to this warning about Greng Jai and Thai women

This technique will not work with bad insincere people because they want to get what they want. This will work with sincere people because good people will generally greng jai for the right reasons and with a good purpose of being polite and not wanting to offend, upset or cause problem. Just for an easy and peaceful way.

I guess like any relationship issues you also need to be able to read human nature well to tell if they are sincere or not, whether it be Thai or Farang!!..Lol

Read my funny coffee conversation with Dean about Greng Jai here Angella and Dean talk about Greng Jai

 

Do you feel you could use some helpful guidance about your Thai girlfriend or Thai wife? I advise many Western men about issues they face and often help them avoid very expensive and heartbreaking mistakes. The prices are very reasonable and can save you a lot more in the long run. Take a look here at Thai girlfriend Advisor costs


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What do successful Thai/Farang relationships do that the failures don’t

It’s no secret that many relationships between Farang men and Thai women fail. Some fail before marriage and some fail soon after marriage. Are the causes of these failures the same as same culture relationships or is there something between East and West cultures that causes the problem.

And more important is…what do the successful relationships between Farang men and Thai women do different?

My recent post on Thailand Musings I talk about this very subject and ask the question of the readers there with some very interesting responses.

Here is the post:

http://thailandmusings.thaivisa.com/what-do-successful-thai-and-farang-relationships-do-differently-from-the-ones-that-fail/#comments

When I read the comments on that post which are largely from a Farang male perspective I see that communication does play a very big part in either the success or break down of intercultural relationships between a Thai woman and a Western man. As I said in the article I also read on a recent website in Thailand that this was the cause of close to 50% of all marriage failures between Thai and West.

I know that when I talk with many Thai women about the prospect of a relationship with a Farang male one of their biggest worries is exactly that…”Communication”. It is clear that we can say in these intercultural relationships that the language is always going to be an issue. I only have to look at my own relationship to confirm that and I would say that we have a very good level of communication, but we still have misunderstandings due to language.

So it is no surprise then that if a couple not only have a language obstacle but also do not have such a good desire or knowledge to communicate with each other the problems can be much larger and potentially cause eventual break down of the relationship. My guess with this is that both parties will be left confused and angry and without a very clear understanding of what actually happened.

Another thing I found interesting from many comments is that the age gap between the Thai women and many of the Farang who commented was quite high. I have always thought that a larger age gap has more potential for problems and for many reasons. This is only my opinion of course.

So what we can learn from this is that it is very important to focus on communication in any relationship but maybe it is even more important in Intercultural relationships with different languages, like Thai women and Farang men. The question is then what exactly does it take.

What I notice is that many of the comments from those who say they have a successful relationship express a very profound love for each other. They also seem to have have a willingness to learn not just about the other person but about culture, themselves and life.

I will write more on this subject in future posts to try and give some very real and useful advice on what you can use in these relationships to make them successful.

Here is the post at Thailand Musings again:

http://thailandmusings.thaivisa.com/what-do-successful-thai-and-farang-relationships-do-differently-from-the-ones-that-fail/#comments

Sawasdee for now


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