Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Chinglish"

The post about English language mistakes in Thailand proved extremely popular and I have received numerous pictures and emails with examples of "Tinglish" and I shall endeavour to post these at a later date.

But......today's post is courtesy of a chum who has spent time in Beijing and has come across plenty of rib-tickling examples of "Chinglish".

This has been a source of great embarassment for Chinese authorities since increasing numbers of English-speaking tourists have been visiting the country since the 2008 Olympics.

They have actually set up a special task-force in Beijing who are responsible for eliminating these poorly worded signs and there is a hotline for people to call when a Chinglish blooper is spotted!!! More worryingly though, the people responsible for originally translating the sign will be searched out and made to "correct their mistakes". This is more likely to mean they will be taken to a Soviet-style gulag and made to break rocks with a tooth pick for 20 years, for turning China into an International laughing stock!!!

If your ready for some comedy gold.............have a look at the pictures below







I'm currently laughing so hard that I have tears running down my cheeks and tea dribbling out of my nose......make the bad Chinese man stop!!!!

If all it took to get fit was to stop spitting then I would end up looking like Arnold Schwarznegger, in his "Conan the Barbarian" days!!!! And I guarantee, that if Lions were proctecting the law in my neighbourhood then, crime would be stamped out over night!!!!

I hope you've enjoyed todays post and I just to let everyone know that I can't be held responsible for any injuries you sustain as a result of reading my blog and laughing too hard. You read my blog at entirely your own risk!!!!

Over and out

Penfold

Monday, August 24, 2009

Crackdown on bar opening hours in Pattaya

The town of Pattaya better known as "Disneyland for Adults" has long been the heart of Thailand's "naughty nightlife" scene and is associated with wanton debauchery, on a scale that would make Gary Glitter blush. It's entertainment venues are known the world, over for allowing patrons to party into the wee small hours.

The current "official" closing time for nightime entertainment venues is 4am, but if the local politicos have their way then everyone will be expected to be home in bed, with a cup of cocoa and a copy of Razzle, by 1am......

According to the Bangokok Post (24/08/09) - "nightspots in entertainment zones have to shut at 2am while those outside the zones must close at 1am".

Whilst I might not necessarily want to party in nightclubs or Bar beers until 4am, there are plenty of tourists, young and old, male and female who like to let their hair down. And the majority of the tourist related services in Pattaya are geared towards satisfying the need of these tourists (both literally and metaphorically!!!).

I have no hideen agenda here, I personally don't know any bar owners and I don't have any financial interest in any of the local watering holes. These are merely the observations of someone who is interested in having a good time and ensuring that Thailand continues to thrive and remains open and welcoming to tourists.

If the bars are required to close early, the only people who will benefit are the local law enforcement officials, who will no doubt use this new law as a means of replenishing the coffers of the "Pattaya City Police Retirement Rund".

Not that I wish to denigrate the police, as many foreign observers do, because I have only ever had dealings with the Thai police on one previous occassion and although there were some communication issues, I was dealt with courteously and professionally.

In response to the proposed measures Bar and nightclub operators have lodged a petition with Pattaya mayor Itthipol Khunpluem seeking longer opening hours to help ease economic hardship.

I am in agreement with this move because at a time when the global economy is in recession and companies are closing left, right and centre, it does make any sense to introduce draconian new laws which will inevitably drive tourists away. Even the head of the TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) indicated that tourist numbers had only increased by 0.88% in the last 12 months and former MP Charnyut Hengtrakul recently stated that "authorities lacked understanding about the tourism industry, especially tourist towns such as Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai" (Bangkok Post - 24/08/09).

The Thai government are not alone in shooting themselves in the foot during this recession, the UK government are equally culpable. They have been guilty of successive rises in alcohol duty at a time when pubs/bars are closing in record numbers. It appears that during the recession fun is being prohibited!!!!

The moralists in the West, particularly in the UK, will say that these measures don't go far enough and will point to all the degenerates and n'eer do wells that are arriving in Pattaya looking to satisfy their base desires.

But those people should look at the drunken and disreputable behaviour that is displayed on the average high street, in Birmingham, London or Leeds, on Friday night and turn their attentions to cleaning up the mess in their own backyard before lecturing other countries how to conduct their business.

I hope that Pattaya continues to do well and successfully encourages more tourists as it is always as fun place to visit and it "does exactly what is says on the tin"!!!!

I hope you enjoyed this post and Im keen to hear your views on this or any of my other posts.

Over and out

Penfold

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thai Logic

The theme of todays post is "Thai logic".......

But for those of you that have visited the Kingdom this may seem like a contradiction in terms, because the chances are, you have been in situations where there seems to be a lack of "logic" applied.

You may think I'm being anti-Thai or trying to create an unfair cultural stereotype but this is not the case at all.....

My current girlfriend is Thai as was my ex-girlfriend and I have nothing but good things to say about the majority of Thai people that I have encountered across all walks of life.

I believe that the Thai's are the warmest and friendliest people you are ever likely to meet anywhere in the world....however, many lack, what we in the West would call, "common sense".

Or as the late grandma Penfold might have said "some of them are as green as cabbage looking".

My favourite example is when I checked into a small Bangkok hotel in Soi 4 Sukhumvit and was told the shower in my room was faulty and there was no-one available to fix it that evening but I would be able to use the shower in the room along the hallway. When I asked if I could swap rooms I was told this was not possible because the room with the functioning shower was already taken. Bewildered and after several minutes of conversation, it transpired that the other guests who had resevered this room would not be checking in until 11am the next morning. As I was checking out at 6am to catch a flight, I asked again if I could stay in the room with the working shower...."no" came the reply as they would have to clean the room again.....in vain I tried to explain that by sleeping in one room and showering in another they would then have to clean two rooms...instead of letting me stay in the room with working facilities and just having the one room to clean.......!!!!!!

No common sense......

Another example of "Thai logic" also involved a hotel in bangkok. I had been staying in Hua Hin for several months and was doing one of my monthly visa runs, which required an overnight stay in Bangkok followed by a Minibus journey to Poi Pet/Arranyprathet on the Cambodian border, the following morning. I asked my girlfriend to phone ahead and reserve a room, knowing that I was more likely to get what I wanted and there wouldn't be any language difficulties. I also asked my girlfriend to explain that I was travelling from Hua Hin by car (a journey of 2.5 to 3 hours) and might, therefore, be slightly later arriving if the traffic was heavy. As anticipated, the raods were chocker block and I was nearly an hour later arriving at the hotel. Upon arriving at the hotel I was told that there were no rooms available, and the room I had reserved had been given to another customer. Having endured a 4 hour journey and negotiating the perils of Bangkok traffic, I was just about ready to blow a gasket and open a can of "whoop ass" (as our Yankee friends mights say). However, knowing the importance of not losing your temper in Thailand and showing as much Jai Jen Jen as I could muster, I tried to explain that I had made a telephone booking and couldn't understand why my room had been given to someone else. Eventually, having spoken to the manager, I was told that they had a junior suite available, but I would have to pay 3 times more than the rate for a standard room. Naturally, I told them as politely as possible that I would go elsewhere!!! So not only did they lose my custom that night but also any future custom, as I will never again stay at that hotel!!!!

In the West, I would have been offered an apology and been given the suite for the price of the standard room because it was the hotel that had made the mistake and double booked the room. The hotel may also have benefited from my repeat custom as a result of their good level of customer service. But in Thailand this was not the case because the hotel management did not want to lose "face" and admit the mistake was their's.

No common sense........

When I first came to Thailand in 2003, a friend and I were in the back of a Tuk Tuk exploring the city and also on the look out for the naughty nightlife!!!! We were going along Ploenchit at about 50+ mph, the traffic being unusually light, and as we were approaching the junction near the Erawan Shrine, the driver took both hands off the handle-bars and made a wai towards the Buddha in the shrine. This took about 20-30 seconds!!! So we're travelling at 50 mph straight ahead and he’s looking 90 degrees to the left. I can state categorically that my "shit-your-pants-ometer" went up a notch or two that day!!!

No common sense......

I hope you've enjoyed this post and I will endeavour to get the next post listed asap.

Over and out

Penfold

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

English language mistakes

I hope my loyal readership is in rude health and not striken with any nasty diseases like monkey influenza or rabbit measles .....the only thing I'm worried about with the current swine flu outbreak is that I actually won't contract it and will therefore be ineligible for a week off work.....but hey what's a guy to do......

Anyway.... let's move on to the theme of today's blog, which is the use of the English language in Thailand.

My favourite Bangkok Blogger, the inimitable but now defunct "Mango Sauce" coined the phrase "Tinglish" to describe this melange of English and Thai.....to read some of Mango Sauce's classic examples here's their link....http://www.mangosauce.com/.

We all know that Thailand is renowned for it's little mishaps with the Queen's English or should that be the Queen's Engrish!!! Anyone who has holidayed in the Kingdom will have seen numerous examples on restuarant menus of "Sticky Lice", "Stir Fried Crap" or "Flying vegetables".

Here are some recent examples of Tinglish in everyday use


























Well thanks for clearing that up for me Charlie.....(I think Charlie must have been eating blow-fish or smoking hideous amounts of crack prior to printing his sign!!!!)

My "picture of the day" award goes to this belter that I encountered on my most recent trip to Thailand......


Signs like these always raise a smile and add to enjoyment of your holiday.....but I worry about the day when i do actually get a plate of stir fried crap for dinner!!!!

Any readers who have some funny examples of Tinglish that they have seen on their travels and would like to share with us are more than welcome to post them on this blog.
Go on, don't be shy and give everybody a good chuckle............................

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hi honey I'm home

Yes yes, I know I've been away for a while.....but worry thee not..... I haven't been abducted by kiddy fiddlers or detained at her Majesty's pleasure!!!

Although it might be quite amusing being detained, together with her Maj and seeing the look on Prince Phillip's face when he finds out that all we have for entertainment is a copy of the Koran and an audio tape of the selected works of Osama Bin Laden.......!!!

The reason for my absence from the "bloggersphere" is slightly more boring and mundane.......I have been trying to work my up the "greasy corporate pole" which requires "application, diligence and hard work" as my employer would say. Or, in the inimitable words of Jim Carey, I'm required to "bend over and take it up the tail-pipe" and be grateful for the mediocre pay cheque that I receive at the end of the month.

Before any unemployed people start getting their knickers in a twist and saying that I'm lucky to still have job during the "credit crunch", blah blah blah..........then please read the following which are examples from a memo that was sent to all staff telling them the "do's and don'ts" when corresponding with clients......

cannot: not can not
plurals: CDs, VPs (not CD’s, VP’s)
a lot: not alot
acronyms: do not use acronyms to describe business units. Resist using acronyms in general. If you must use an acronym, spell out on first reference, with the acronym in parentheses and then use the acronym thereafter.

What kind of numpty do you think I am...I know my "nota bene" from my "id est" and contrary to what my employer may think, I actually know my arse from my elbow.

You wouldn't issue a memo like that to a class of 5 year olds. I "can not" believe that some "T.W.A.T" actually thought that was a productive use of time and resources. If they actually concentrated on making "alot" more money then they wouldn't have to keep making my colleagues redundant.

Below is the very helpful advice that my employers released to help prevent staff from being struck down with Swine Flu:

"Swine influenza symptoms are similar to regular influenza. Here are some preventive measures you can take"

  1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because that often is how germs spread.
  3. Cover your mouth (with your sleeve or a tissue) when you cough or sneeze and properly dispose of the tissue.
  4. Stay home if you are sick (especially with a fever).
  5. Go to the doctor if you are ill and experiencing symptoms of the swine flu.
  6. We will continue to monitor the situation. We will provide updates as the situation warrants.

I'd like to draw your attention to point number 3......

Whilst it is easy enough to "properly dispose of a tissue", how do they expect me to "properly dispose of my sleeve"?

This is the level of stupidity that I have to endure on a daily basis...but enough of my rantings!!!

I'm glad to be back and I hope to be making regular postings to keep you up to date with all developments in the Land of smiles...and anything else that causes me consternation.......