Tinglish at the road block

Afternoon, ossifer, how’s it going?

How what going?

Just a friendly Strylian greeting, mate. Is there a problem?

Yet. Pompem. You no hemmet.

Sure I’ve got a helmet. It’s right here in the basket.

You no hemmet on head.

Yeah, well, it’s a bit hot isn’t it? And no one else seems to be wearing them.

You no hemmet. No good. Bake law.

Yeah, but no one else seems to be obeying the law, so I didn’t know it was compulsory.

Must put on head. Is law.

Okay. It’s on my head now. Is that okay?

Gimme lie sen.

My license… Here ya go, mate.

This lie sen no good. Muss hab Thai lie sen or internashanun. This one fom where?

Strylia, mate. Where the men are men and the beer’s always cold.

You dink bia?

Well of course – but not recently. At least not in the past five minutes, heh heh.

Why you hab bia in bassaket mo’sy?

We’re going to meet some mates. That’s why the helmet was in the basket – to protect the beers from the sun.

I tink you dinking and dybing. You big pompem.

No. No, mate. Really. Not drinking. Honest.

But you no hemmet on head and no hab lie sen.

Listen, can we settle this amicably? How about a contribution to the police widows and orphans fund? Five hundred? Will that do it?

You tie to bibe me, uh? Uh?

No, no, no. It’s a contribution to the widows and orphans fund.

Okay. No bibe. I take gib widow and offan. Korb khun. Where you passaport?

Hang on a tick. Here ya go.

Ossatalia. Nia Jeraman, no?

No, that’s Austria that’s next to Germany. This is Australia. Big island southeast of here.

Iland? Molly Malone Scuffy Merfee?

No, that’s Ireland. Australia’s an island, not Ireland.

I gib you ticket. You go poleet satayshun. Pay fine. Come back get passaport.

Crikey mate, I thought we’d agreed…

Agee gib money widow and offan. Now you go poleet satayshun pay fine. Come back, I gib you passaport.


Maybe I check you dinking, too.

No, no, it’s okay. I’m on my way.


Good afternoon. I’ve got a ticket here. I wanna pay my fine.

No hemmet fie hun dead. Ni lie sen fie hun dead. One tousan.

Ah Gawd. I’ve only got a 500.

You gib me key mo-sy. Wen you pay I gib key you.

But how can I go to an ATM with no motorbike?

You go taxi mo-sy. You come back, I gib you key.

Okay, okay, okay.

Okay. Here’s yer thousand baht. Bloody hell, this is turning out to be an expensive day.

You no buluddy. Talk poleet bad ting – bad idea.

Blimey, mate, it’s just an expression!

You no argoo me. You go now.

Can I have the motorbike key, please, Mr Policeman?

You hab lie sen, can dibe. But you no lie sen, cannot. I corn man gib you len you mo-sy.

I can’t drive? And why do you want to call the motorbike rental guy?

Tell him come take mo-sy.

But I just paid today for a week in advance!

You go see him get money. Maybe he gib. Maybe not.

How do I get back to the police check point?

Taxi mo-sy. But check poy finit today. Go tomollow. Maybe hab check poy. Maybe no hab.

Okay, okay. You win.

Hi. Remember me? I’ve come to get my passport back.

Why you no shirt?

What? Cos it’s hot. Cos I want a good tan. Cos this is a holiday island. Is that a problem?

Go beat no pompem. But you in town. No shirt no poleye. You bake law. Fie fie hun dead baht.

So I can take my shirt off at the beach but not in town? Hey look – there goes a Thai bloke with no shirt on. Why don’t you stop him?

He poor man. No hab shirt.

I’m a poor man too. The way you blokes have been fining me, and the money I’m spending on motorbike taxis, plus the money I paid up front to bike rental guy, I’ve got no money left. How about it? You wanna give me a break here?

Okay. I gib you bake. You get shirt, come back, I gib you passaport. No fie you.

Bloody hell. No – I didn’t mean that – I’m very grateful. I’ll see you later. Sir.

Hi, officer. I was here about two hours ago, and the policeman said if I came back wearing a shirt, then I could get my passport back. But I don’t see him. Where’s he gone, do you know?

Wat hit name?

Strewth, mate, I’ve no idea. I mean, he was wearing a name tag, but it was all in that squiggly Thai writing. But he was about medium height, black hair, big black sunglasses.

All same same here. You look. But I tink maybe you meaning Sawai. He gone.

Yeah, I can see that. Listen, he had my passport. He didn’t give it to you, did he?

No. He very rut. Sister him accident mo’sy. Wery baaad. In hopitan. He go see her.

Where’s the hospital?


Is that near here?

Bow fie hun dead kilo.

AAAAAAAAARRRGH! Five hundred kilometres? What am I gonna do???

I joking you. Here passaport. You no dibe, wear shirt in tow, na. Hab good holiday, khrap.

© Copyright Alasdair Forbes 2008-2009

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