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Ask The Thais | Road deaths, dating foreigners, and is ‘farang’ racist?

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Ask The Thais” is a new segment on The Thaiger where we ask some of our Thai staff to explain some of the unusual and sometimes inexplicable little nuances of Thai culture. You have a question?

Send it in and we’ll get our MUCH BETTER LOOKING Thai staff to explain, from a Thai youth perspective, some of their culture and what they really think. Send us your questions below.

YouTube link to the Australian Transport Accident Commission video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2mf8DtWWd8

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34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Thomas Bangerter

    Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    the word Farang mean originally Farangsy “French”. The French were the first foreigners doing business in Siam, today Thailand. Farang stands for any westener and I got to know it decades ago while learning the thai language in my hometown in Switzerland before moving to Thailand and Lao to work

    • Avatar

      brian mc

      Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 10:01 pm

      I read this somewhere many moons ago. The version as i recall it was that the french were the first to invade (although i am told thailand has never been invaded). As i hate the way the word sounds, especially when pronounced falang, i usually point out i am not french. i have yet to meet anyone who knew or had at least heard of the words origin and association with the french.
      i also hate the word gin for eat and drink… tarn and derm sound much nicer.

      • Avatar

        Mr cynic

        Friday, January 29, 2021 at 6:23 am

        I’ve heard a slightly different take on the above along the lines of falang is a corruption of the word Flemish and is from the times when the Dutch East Indies company had trading posts in Siam.
        The one about the guava fruit as mentioned in the interview however is by far the most common explanation I have heard.

      • Avatar

        Simon

        Friday, January 29, 2021 at 6:53 am

        Thailand never been invaded? It’s never been colonised by a Western power although every inch of Thailand has at some stage been ruled by a foreign power. The Khmer, Mon, Lao, Lanna , Funan, Langkasuka, Kanduli, Srivijaya, Tambralinga Kingdoms have all ruled in what is now Thailand.

        In fact, the Tai people didn’t even settle in present day Thailand until around 700AD (by some accounts)

        • Avatar

          brian mc

          Friday, January 29, 2021 at 7:37 am

          conquered was more the term i was groping for

    • Avatar

      Jeremy Kipling

      Friday, January 29, 2021 at 8:57 am

      Think you will find that the Portuguese where here first.
      French came later with their ridiculous idea to covert Siam into Catholics.

      • Avatar

        brian mc

        Friday, January 29, 2021 at 3:31 pm

        their more dogoholics than catoholics

    • Avatar

      Kk khun

      Friday, January 29, 2021 at 2:49 pm

      They call foreigners firangi (notice the close similarity) in india where the French hardly existed! So i am not sure of this

  2. Avatar

    Ian

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 1:10 am

    Loved this video do more as we get unbiased opinions good or bad for m 3 lovely people briliant

  3. Avatar

    Bob Dumbrill

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 9:55 am

    I watched with interest today with regard to commentary made re Road Safety within Thailand. I am Australian and spent over 20 years in professional fire services going on with a career change to Work Health and Safety Management within a variety of International and multi state corporate bodies. I retired here to Thailand in 2019 after the death of my Australian wife in 2017. I have since married a Thai national and live in North East Thailand. I was interested in your commentary today after spending the last 10 years of my Fire Service Career as a Command Training Officer within the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service with a predominant part of this time in Motor Vehicle Accident Rescue and Heavy Rescue. I am astonished from experience and observation of the lack of Road Safety understanding here and at the sad loss of life through incidents occurring on the road network. Your commentary and Video on the implementation of the Australian Road Safety campaign is well received but its impact on the current situation here is going to be minimal unless it is shown to the Road Safety related Government Officials for reference and maybe similar implementation into Thai Society. All Australian citizens clearly now understand what is required from them as responsible road users – yes there will be exceptions but those exceptions are dealt with rapidly by the responsible authorities over there. I sat for and received my Thai Drivers and Motor Cycle Licenses last year and was astonished at its ease of receipt. From my observations the lack of understanding of the impacts of death or disablement from Road Incidents including the financial impacts upon Thai Society by these incidents by the populous is not at all clearly understood. Simply Education is the key at a base level within Primary and High Schools including as Tim hit upon the impacts of these incidents upon the actual human body and the their family members having to deal with any loss of life or the ongoing support of those impacted by a prolonged sustained injury including the impact upon the families lifestyles (EG: Farming or Business related families). If these students clearly understood what I had seen and had to deal with during my Fire Service career (including dismemberment removal from vehicles) such education would I dare say make some stand back and realize the impact(s) on the consequence of their ongoing actions with regards to themselves and others on the road network. Sadly it is a long road ahead for the Government, Religious representatives, Employers and Citizens to reduce these road tolls and can only be achieved by a hand in hand response to a complete re-education of drivers on the roads here including an appropriate licensing system with impacts for non conformance to road rules that actually hurt the pocket and / or loss of the privilege of driving. Good subject keep up the good work.

    • Avatar

      maxcorrigan

      Friday, January 29, 2021 at 9:39 am

      All well and good Bob, but as long as you have got rampant corruption as in Thailand none of that will apply, where Hi-So’s can get get away with literally murder on the roads, until corruption is seriously tackled and just (not selective) punishment’s administered nothing will change!

      • Avatar

        Anh Lam

        Friday, January 29, 2021 at 10:20 am

        Max, your right, nothing will change until the government get kicked out and a new governing body gets in. I went to the drivers license office in Nakhon Ratchasima in October last year. What a joke. The operators of the various test’s need to be replaced with professional testors. I did not even finish the color blindness test, passed! I didnot complete the depth perception test, passed! Finally the residency test, which was not accepted by one of the 3 admin staff. I had to go to Immigration office 31km away to get a document stating my address in Korat. Well, i informed this 2 bar officer look at your requirement list and tell me what document is required.
        She disappearedand came back with a ugly no good document answer. Me as a farang went donwstairs to the chief’s office and complained. I finally did get my renewed drivers license. Not a baht lost or paid under the table to staff that don’t take their jobs seriously.

  4. Avatar

    Albert Bertram

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 9:59 am

    I very much enjoy “Ask the Thais” except for one thing.
    The young people on the show have the irritating habit of the overuse of the word “LIKE”
    This is a disease that all English speaking young people have.
    It spoils the conversation.
    I do wish they would listen to themselves and change their habits.

  5. Avatar

    Robert

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Great segment. The young man was spot on about ignorant people but opinions can definitely be wrong. Regarding traffic, Thais drive very selfishly-me first. To improve the accident rate appeal to the Buddhist nature of the people and have them understand that good driving is making merit. Let other people merge, don’t skip the line and force your way in at the front, and yield to pedestrians, for God’s sake.
    Also, Thai roads are pretty good but with all the motorcycles there’s a need for motorcycle lanes. And no trucks in the fast lanes on the highway

  6. Avatar

    Michael Dirk

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Excellent video about how some Thais think. However, probably much different answers from the uneducated and poor Thais.

    Would like similar interviews among different socio economic levels with Thai people.

  7. Avatar

    William

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    Indeed these young ladies are very beautiful! You know that!

  8. Avatar

    DAVID LAIRD

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    Having lived in France where the road deaths and accident rate were really high and was reduced substantially by government action i would suggest the following in Thailand :
    1.Everyone must pass a driving test : Practical and theoretical. The police must enforce this. No bribes either to get the licence or to the police when they control.
    2. Cars and motorbikes must be properly maintained. A technical test every 2 years for all vehicles over 4 years old. This will include : lights, brakes, wheel alignment, tyres and also exhaust emission
    These 2 measures will already reduce substantially the accident rate, as the the vehicles will be in better condition, but will start start to make the Thai driver understand that driving can be dangerous and they have to take responsability for their own actions.
    3. More police control of drinking and driving with substantial penalties which are also related to the driver’s income.
    4. More control of speeding as for drink and driving.
    5. Police enforcement of helmet wearing on motorbikes.
    6. Education via advertisements etc of traffic rules : particularly drive on the left overtake on the right.

    These measures will take some time to enforce and for them to take effect but they will in time bring down the accident rate. As the accident rate drops the Thais must be informed so that they are proud of the improvement as they move down the world rating and will then help to strive for a even beter position the following year.

    • Avatar

      Somchai

      Friday, January 29, 2021 at 12:37 pm

      100% agree. My country also in Europe had a similar high death rate. It is now substabtially lower thanks to the goverment implemeting similar policies to what you siggested above.
      Will it happen in Thailand? Not in the next 20 years no.

  9. Avatar

    brian mc

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    Shame Tim is not called Ray.

    Bow and Beer, a female beer. Ray a drop of golden sun.

  10. Avatar

    Simon

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    Where is Ask the Thais Episode one? No link on this website and no search results. What is going on?

  11. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 10:55 pm

    Apart from my intention to be seen cool in bar, I do wear dark glasses in order to guard against glare of persons wearing shirts such as this person to the left in the picture.

  12. Avatar

    Far a long long way to run

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    Doe a deer!

  13. Avatar

    Alan

    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    I went from farang to uncle on my first visit.

  14. Avatar

    Clinton

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 12:43 am

    Would like to hear more news regarding the police and government officials who were charged with corruption regarding the facilitation of illegal migrant workers suspected of introducing the surge of new COVID-19 cases in a number of provinces in Thailand.

  15. Avatar

    norbert BUFFARD

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 6:01 am

    The word FARANG came from the word FRANC which mean FRENCH and was used by French having business with the kingdom of Siam

  16. Avatar

    Ian

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 7:17 am

    I would like to know your opinions on how foreigners living in Thailand are treated versus how Thais living in other countries are treated by the respective governments (and immigration in-particular).

  17. Avatar

    TV

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 8:28 am

    “You want the old once with a lot of money who will die in a few years…” Lol, your hilarious Tim!

  18. Avatar

    Patrick

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 8:48 am

    If you really want to get their opinion you should let them answer in Thai and add subtitles because most of your guests have problems expressing themselves in English and seem to miss the finesses sometimes. Or its a lack of general interests? Like to hope thats not the case..

  19. Avatar

    Anh Lam

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 10:22 am

    Max, your right, nothing will change until the government get kicked out and a new governing body gets in. I went to the drivers license office in Nakhon Ratchasima in October last year. What a joke. The operators of the various test’s need to be replaced with professional testors. I did not even finish the color blindness test, passed! I didnot complete the depth perception test, passed! Finally the residency test, which was not accepted by one of the 3 admin staff. I had to go to Immigration office 31km away to get a document stating my address in Korat. Well, i informed this 2 bar officer look at your requirement list and tell me what document is required.
    She disappearedand came back with a ugly no good document answer. Me as a farang went donwstairs to the chief’s office and complained. I finally did get my renewed drivers license. Not a baht lost or paid under the table to staff that don’t take their jobs seriously.

  20. Avatar

    MikeD

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    This is a nice segment. I wish you had more Thai people 10 to 20) to answer each question. To get a wider range of responses. Especially on whet they don’t like about farangs what farangs do wrong. Etc. I hope continue to have these segments.

  21. Avatar

    Social Observer

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 4:52 am

    Being called Farang doesn’t bother me at all. Same as calling someone a “Brit” or “French” or “Swiss”.

    • Avatar

      The Thaiger

      Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 12:15 pm

      Wel,, totally different thing really. ‘Farang’ is referring to your skin colour.

  22. Avatar

    Wayne crozier

    Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 12:37 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed the program.

  23. Avatar

    Sunil

    Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 9:32 am

    This is for “Ask the Thais Segment”

    I’m curious to know about Thai subtext. In English we use intonation to convey nuance, being cheeky, flirting, or anger and annoyance. With Thai being a tonal language and from my experience not really catering to intonation, I’m seeing Thai as a literal language.

    Example:
    The closest I can come to this Thai is the phrase ‘Mai bpen rai” which could mean a variety of things but the tone of delivery is the exact same. Whereas in English the tone of “Don’t worry about it” could change the meaning quite a bit.

    How do Thai’s convey subtext?

    Thank you,

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