As Teacher David and I are coming to the end of our joint-class restaurant projects, we’ve been editing the commercials the students wrote. This project has been a ton of fun and the kids have really enjoyed the commercial portion.
Commercials range from sweet advertisements to teacher David as Helen of Troy to me as a murderous robber. One thing has remained consistent, though: they’ve all been funny! Click the link below to watch the A&B Korean Restaurant’s commercial.
One thing, that you’ll notice in Thailand is how rude the students can appear to sound. It’s not even that they’re intentionally being rude, it’s just that they don’t know how to be polite in English.
In Thai, it’s polite to say what you want very directly by just adding “krap,” or “ka” to the end of it. Example: “ow namplao” (I want drinking water) can be made polite by adding the above to particles (krap or ka) to the end. If you were to say something so directly in English, it might come off as being a bit rude. It’s even common to just say: “water,” instead of “I want water” in a restaurant situation, and it’s polite as long as you don’t forget the “ka” or “Krap” at the end. If your reply to “would you like anything thing to drink?” in a restaurant was simply “beer,” you might be looked at as someone with slightly poor manners.
Something we do in English, to be polite, is to use indirect methods of communication (Do you have a pen? vs Give me a pen.) Lately, I’ve been trying to convey this to my students, whose usual method of asking me for candy is “Give me candy!” or if I’m lucky, “Give me candy….please.” I’ve been trying to do this primarily by using the restaurant as a platform for polite communication.
It’s easy to get frustrated with the students and, at times, the adults in Thailand as well. Something we always have to remember though, is that it’s a different language and culture, and most of the time, they don’t even realize they’re being rude; often times, they just don’t know how to be polite, even if they intend their message to be so.