Tinglish at the tour desk

Good morning.

Moaning, sir. Pease tekkaseat. How may I hep chew?

Well, it looks like it’s going to be a cloudy day, so we thought we’d give the beach a miss and go for a tour.

Give mit to beat I ting cannot hep. Wat you need?

No, I don’t mean “miss” as in “young lady”. Never mind. What tours can you show us?

Cannot show you. Can ownee book. Upter book, tour guide he show you. Dat him job, na.

Let me rephrase that: What tours do you offer?

How bout tour to soowenir sop an jewelly sop?

I don’t think so. I was thinking something more cultural.

Soowenir Thai cuncher. Shooa. Make in Thailan, so muss be.

I’m not sure I agree with that. Just because something is made in Thailand doesn’t mean it’s part of Thai culture. I mean, they make Niké clothes in Thailand, but Niké’s not part of Thai culture.

Nooooo! Nikey part of Thai cuncher. Same same Polo, Wersayse an like dat. Every Thai wan dese ting so part of cuncher for shooa.

Okay, but what I mean is traditional Thai culture.

Hab soowenir tradishunun too. Tradishunun jewelly werrrrrrrry beautifun. You see, you like, shooa.

What’s this obsession with jewellery? Are you getting commission from these people for sending us there?

Me? Naaaaw. I just ting you like jewelly wery mutt.

Well I don’t. In fact, I hate jewellery. My wife does too. She hates gold and diamonds and all that sparkly stuff. So do the kids. Can’t stand it.

You jorking me! Cannot beliep!

No, I’m not joking. I don’t want to go to a souvenir shop or a gold shop. I just want a tourist-type tour. You got elephant rides, for example? Or canoes on Phang Nga Bay?

Hab. But I tink you no like. Elephan no can go in jewelly sop.

I DO NOT WANT TO GO TO A JEWELLERY SHOP!!!

Okay, okay. No jewelly. Soowenir? Hab werry good souwenir in Phuket. Make in Thailan, China, Taiwan, Yapan. You lie Hello Kitty? Hab Hello Kitty in Thai clode. Werry cute, na..

NO!

Okay. Hab elephan, canoe, A T Wee, bisickun liding, lafting, wiew poin, lubber farm, parm oy farm, purn farm, pine appun farm…

Elephants, canoes, bicycles, rafting, view point, farms… Tell me about the elephants.

Car take you looooong way, you get on elephan back, elephan walk lown, you get off elephan, come back loooooong way.

That’s it? Nothing else? Do we get lunch?

Hab lunt in lestaulan on water. Can go A T Wee same time if you wan.

So we can take an elephant ride, have lunch in a floating restaurant and then go play with ATVs? Is that right?

Dat rye.

That sounds great. What about all these farms. Is this what they call agro-tourism?

Yet. Agro meaning aggrawayshun, ha, ha! Can see lubber tee an people cut tee and lubber come out. Verry smelly. Or can go parm oy farm. Or better go pern farm. See pern take out shell. Den go jewelly sop see man make jewelly wit pern.

No, no, NO! No pearls in the jewellery shop, so no pearl farms! What about the canoeing?

Car take you loooooong way, den boat take you long way, den you get in canoe, paddun lown, you get off canoe, come back loooooong way.

We do this paddling around in Phang Nga Bay? I’ve read that the scenery there is spectacularly beautiful?

Is okay. Big lock in water. But hot, na. Werry hot. No aircon. Better go jewelly sop. Hab aircon, no far fom here.

NO! I told you. No jewellery shop. Jeez, the way you’re pushing it, the place must be owned by your mother.

Not mudder. Uncun.

Your uncle owns it? That explains a lot. I’m sorry, but we’re going to have to disappoint your uncle.

He werry disappoin. He pay me go sakoon learn tour bidnet. Den he pay hoten let me sit dis desk. He pay ebery munt. But tourit like you no wan go he sop. He no like me. Gib me hard time. Say “I sapen mut money for you but you no sen me bidnet. What wrong you? Sometime I come here jus wan to cry. But cannot. Mus samile for you. Mus samile for orn tourit. But inside my heart crying.

Oh Gawd. Now I’m feeling really guilty. You’re not kidding me, are you? Your uncle paid for you to study tourism business, and then he pays the hotel every month for this tour desk? And now he’s angry because you’re not sending enough customers to his gold shop?

Yet. I werry sad.

Okay. Let’s do this. You fix an elephant-and-ATVs tour for me that goes past your uncle’s shop, and we’ll drop in there quickly on the way. We’re not going to buy anything, but that’s not your fault, is it? So your uncle can’t blame you.

Korp khun ka! You werry kine. How many peepun? Four, yet? Okay. One momen. I make you ticket an corn limo for you. Please tekkaseet ower dere. Diber come soon… (into the phone, in Thai) Hello? Somchai? Four more for the jewellery shop! Yeah, the uncle story again. See you in five minutes, okay?

© Copyright Alasdair Forbes 2008-2009

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