Have you lost your voice since moving to Thailand?

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10 thoughts on “Have you lost your voice since moving to Thailand?

  1. When I got back from Thailand, I spoke with a light Thai accent. It was from being around it so much. In fact, I think I spoke better Thailish than some of the Thai people! :) Now as I listen to my Thai language tapes, I tend to revert back to it. It doesn't bother me that much. As long as I'm understood, the rest of it is really unimportant. I just pick up whatever accent I am around most.

  2. Back in my earlier days, I did have a British accent. That was how I learned to speak English. And then somewhere in my first 2 months in the US, I lost all of that and now I speak American.

    Much like Chani, every time I come back to the US from visit home to Thailand, my English is a bit "funnier" than usual. Then again, while in New Mexico, among my Texan in-laws, I came back to California with perfect Southern drawl on certain names.

  3. I'm American, so I've always had an American accent (or the one most recognized as such, at least), but my friends from high school tell me that it's gotten a lot more "twangy" over the years, whatever that means, haha.

  4. About a year ago I found myself slipping into Th-english. I am sure you know what I mean. Why say 20 words when two will do. "Cannot" works just as well as "I am sorry, I cannot do that right now but get back to me in a while and I will see what I can do for you".

    I don't think I am too bad right now, and I guess that's because I do have lots of day-to-day dealings in English with people overseas.

    "Twangy" can be good, but you will only know for sure when you leave Thailand and people cannot understand what you're saying.

  5. People often have trouble placing my accent. Due to not living in England for more than 10 years, a couple of years in Central America gave me a spanish accent, teaching scuba diving to Danish, German, Japanese, Israeli, American, French and so on… I tended to simplify my words and speak slowly. All a long way from Sussex by the sea.

  6. How you speak is mostly a function of your environment. Younger people are affected more by this than older people because older people have spoken more words and in more ways in their lifetime and get "set" in the ways.

    The goal when you speak is to be understood, so the words you use and your pronunciation will change with your environment, as you naturally have to "repeat" until understood. It's a survival instinct in many ways….

  7. Coming from east london I always communicated with family and friend using quite a bit of cockney… now my friends have commented I don't use any cockney when I speak. They also say I speak "simple" english… I guess this is from spending so much time with Thai's that I use simple english words for them to understand me.

    As for my voice, it's stayed the same as far as I know!

  8. I'd like to comment on something you said that falls a little outside of the accent realm.

    You said you fear that you'll be heckled for using an American English term like 'chips' instead of the British English term 'crisps'. I find this interesting, and an illuminating peek into the British psyche.

    Brits clearly are drawn to things American, but rarely, if ever, like to admit it–although, ironically, modern Britain has expressed itself most confidently through rock music, which would not exist if it weren't for America. After all, it was the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, etc. who committed themselves to the pursuit of emulating their heroes Muddy Waters, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, etc. And, if we are to believe that artists express the feelings of the people, I'd say it's pretty clear that Britain has been able to successfully move their modern feelings within a vehicle of American music.

    Could your accent becoming more American have to do with an unconscious force that attracts you to things that are American? Could it be that the complicated new emotions you've developed in Thailand need just a little bit of America to get them out and make you feel more at ease? Could it be that, when in an international social situation, we all like to use a little bit of America because subconsciously we know that this is something we all find familiar? These are truly just questions. I have no idea if this is what you feel because I am an American. Your post just got me thinking, and when that happens I like to share my thoughts.


  9. I don't think my accent has changed but speaking tinglish so much my vocabulary has definitely gotten worse. When I went back to england to see my friends last year no one said anything about my accent, although saying sawadee khrup and giving everybody a wai did get a little embarrassing.

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