Sunday, March 25, 2007

Learning from others...

One of my classmates said: "This eloquent man, has learnt to speak Thai from the innapropriate gender and class for the world he circulates in and is quite aware that he speaks like a bar- girl.The Thais being terribly polite excuse him and even think it is quite cute/funny and because of the warmth he gets he has never learned to correct his speech, or seen the need to, his fossilization is actually now a part of his character and if he came out with polite Thai he may find people didn't find him as funny or cute."

The same can be said for all those learning Osaka-ben in Japan. Or a husband (in Jpn) learning his wife's language patterns, and then using them in another social setting, only to find out that he is speaking in a female tone. A foreigner speaking in Osaka-ben will almost always get laughs, which encourage more use of Osaka-ben. And Japanese would be too polite to say to anyone, that your speech sounds 'girlish'.

Even knowing the problem, it is quite difficult to change. Once you have developed a feeling for something, un-learning becomes difficult, if not impossible in some cases. There really has to be some extremely persuasive external motivating forces to make someone even contemplate change. Steven Mondy

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