25 Jan The value of knowing/understanding North Khmer.
Topic suggested by @KhonFaring from Twitter.
My mom was born in Surin province and dad was born in Buriram, both are in the Northeast part of Thailand, the border to the Kingdom of Cambodia. They met each other in Bangkok, got married and live in Charoen Krung area since before I was born.
They can speak Northern Khmer language (will refer as Khmer in this blog). I can only understand it. The reason why I understand is because when they want to gossip about neighbors or have a private conversation, they will speak Khmer. They never taught me to speak or understand, though. I guess I just have a gift for learning languages. Every time I went to parent’s hometown, people always asked me questions in Khmer and I replied to them in Thai. They kept asking why can’t I speak Khmer. Well, I guess I was just shy to speak. I didn’t want to make a mistake and have people laughing at me. Though I thought my parents doesn’t want me to use the language as they never taught me. lol
Well, it’s quite useful sometimes when you are near someone who gossips about you in Khmer. lol, One time I was leaving Asok BTS and 2 ladyboys was staring at me and talk to each other about something. Then one of them came to me and asked “My friend would like to know if your hair is real.” I told her (let’s say her instead of him. haha) Yes, real hair. Her friend was shy and walked away while the one who was talking to me yelled at her in Khmer to come back and take a look closely. It felt good to understand what they were talking about.
Also, weeks ago, my co-worker asked me about the meaning of one sentence that her boyfriend’s friend left a comment on her Facebook photo. It was in Khmer and I translated it to her. Yup, it was useful. 🙂
Now I forgot most of it as I’m not living at home anymore so I can’t hear my parents speak the language to keep it alive in my brain…..