Monday, August 16

How do you say "plastic" in Thai?

Apparently, only foreigners call the city Bangkok. The denizens call it Krung Tep (pronounced “Grung Teyp,” more on Thai language later), a diminutive of its real name, which is this:

Krungthep Maha Nakorn Amorn Ratanakosindra Mahindrayudhya, Mahadilokpop Noparatana Rajthani Burirom Udom Rajnivet Mahastan Amorn Pimarn Avatarn Satit Sakkatuttiya Vishnukarm Prasit

I think it holds the world record for the longest place name possible. It means "Large City of Angels, Highest Sanctuary of Divine Jewels, Mighty Invincible Country, Mighty and Exceptional Realm, Magnificent Royal Capital, Adorned with Nine Heavenly Jewels, Supreme Royal Throne and Royal Palace, Shelter of the Gods and House of Reincarnated Souls." Astig noh? Hehe.

They also have a reputation for horrible traffic. But Magical Journeys claims that “Bangkok's bad reputation for long traffic jams and pollution is no longer justified. At the end of 2000, the new Sky Train has gone into service and new roads have been built. In comparison to other mega-cities, Bangkok is also a very safe city and has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.”

So if it’s relatively safe, then I suppose a single girl should do okay. Plus Wally is picking me up from the airport where he also works so at least I don’t have to get myself lost in a maze of signs I don’t understand just yet.

That's just one of the many things that I have to figure out when I venture into the city by Wednesday. This guy claims that one doesn't really need to learn Thai to go around, as the people speak English. However, understanding the pronunciation is another thing. Consider the word "central." Since there is no equivalent of the "l" sound in Thai, you would have to say it as "centran," with emphasis on the last syllable. It would sound like "Sentraan." Don't believe it? Listen to the wav file available right here.

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