Ajarn Adam on himself and 'My Mate Nate'

Ajarn Adam on himself and 'My Mate Nate'

Popular English teacher Adam Bradshaw (Youtube)
Popular English teacher Adam Bradshaw (Youtube)

Writer Apipar Norapoompipat gets the reaction of well-known Thai-speaking foreigners to the controversy over videos by Nathan Bartling, aka 'My Mate Nate'. Let's see what Ajarn Adam Bradshaw has to say.

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In Today's Life section of the Bangkok Post, writer Apipar Norapoompipat gets the reaction of three well-known Thai-speaking foreigners (Andrew Biggs, Todd Lavelle and Adam Bradshaw) to the controversy over videos by Nathan Bartling, aka 'My Mate Nate'. Let's see what Ajarn Adam had to say.

From 'We ain't Nate, mate' by Apipar Norapoompipat

Adam Bradshaw aka Ajarn Adam

The go-to English teacher for teens and young adults, thanks to his extensive knowledge and understanding of Thai local slang, American Adam Bradshaw is known for his enthusiastic demeanour, sense of humour and easy-to-follow education shows.

He first came to Thailand in 2006 as a missionary (the same programme as Bartling's), and then later on an internship with King Prajadhipok's Institute.

After graduating from the University of Utah, he taught at Maejo University in Chiang Mai and decided to go rogue.

Using social media like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to teach English, he was quickly picked up by local Thai TV programmes for educational shows. Bradshaw now hosts countless educational TV shows and owns his own English language institute -- Hollywood Learning Center.

How did you get Thais to accept you and your work?

I think they see my determination, my sincerity and they see that I work hard and that I'm doing a good thing for Thai people. They see that I'm not trying to make clips to make waves. I'm just trying to help Thai people with their English and over the years as I've done that I just picked up more and more followers and viewers and I just keep going.

What are the pros and cons of being famous?

It's a pro that people admire my work and that I can be a good example to Thai people in language learning -- the fact that it's possible to get to a fluent level in your second language. When you really put your full effort towards it, it's very possible to get fluent and almost near native if you really put your mind to it.

Con, I guess sometimes you want to go out and not be recognised [laughs]. I don't see a whole lot of cons. I think it's a good thing as long as you're using your fame in a good way.

What are the disadvantages for people like you after incidents like My Mate Nate? Does it affect you?

Yeah, it does, because there are some people that will stereotype all foreigners in the same mould, basically. They see a white guy and they think, 'Oh, all farangs are like this'. There's definitely that overgeneralisation that happens in not just Thai society, but in all societies. I don't want to overgeneralise myself. It's hypocritical. But there are some people that do over generalise and that's definitely sad for foreigners in Thailand, because we're compared to people like Nate.

You're one of the few people who came out and joked about the whole situation. What do you feel about what he's doing in Thailand?

I think he's made some pretty good clips about tourism in Thailand. He does a great job with his editing and his drone footage – you gotta give it to him there. But his social experiments, some of them have gone overboard and have been disrespectful of Thai culture.

My nieces and nephews who are in elementary school are the ones that watch him. They idolise him. I think he should be a better example to his fan club and understand that he's got a big influence among young Thais.

Do you think social media makes it too easy for people like him to become get famous?

I like social media because it helped me. And it still helps me to this day to run my business. I don't know if I would have ever become who I am today without social media because I started out on YouTube as well and got TV shows from that. But I think we should use social media wisely [laughs].

I understand that I'm a visitor in the country and I'm going to be respectful of the laws and what's going on here. I can make comments but I don't want to piss people off [laughs]. I want to live in harmony with Thai people. I found that having lived in harmony with Thai people for 11 years, it's been great.

I've been very happy, I have a great family, and I have a great set-up here in Thailand. I'm grateful for my opportunity to be a teacher and to be kind of a public figure. I don't want to take it for granted. It comes down to the fact that I really love it here and I don't want to mess that up.

You can see the full story here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/lifestyle/social-and-lifestyle/1291203/we-aint-nate-mate

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Vocabulary

  • admire: to respect somebody for what they are or for what they have done - ชมเชย,ยกย่องสรรเสริญ
  • affect: to produce a change in somebody/something - กระทบ, ส่งผล, มีผลต่อ
  • aka: .... Also Known As .... , .... AKA.... -
  • con (noun): something bad; a disadvantage - ข้อเสีย
  • controversy: a disagreement that a lot of people have strong feelings about - ความขัดแย้ง
  • countless: very many; too many to be counted - มากเหลือคณานับ
  • demeanour (noun): the way that somebody looks or behaves - ความประพฤติ,การวางตัว, การปฏิบัติตัว
  • determination: the quality that makes you continue trying to do something even when this is difficult - ความตั้งใจ, ความมุ่งมั่น, ความตั้งใจมั่น
  • disadvantage: something that makes someone or something less effective, successful or attractive - ข้อเสียเปรียบ ข้อด้อย
  • disrespectful: showing a lack of respect for somebody/something - ที่ไม่เคารพ, ดูหมิ่น
  • drone (noun): an aircraft (or ship) without a pilot, controlled from the ground - เครื่องบินไร้คนขับที่ควบคุมด้วยวิทยุทางไกล
  • effort: an attempt to do something - ความพยายาม
  • elementary school: a school for children between the ages of about 6 and 11 or 12 - โรงเรียนประถม
  • enthusiastic: very interested in something or excited about it - อย่างสนใจ กระตือรือร้น
  • experiment: a test of products, substances, new ideas, methods, etc. to find out what effect they have - การทดลอง
  • extensive: great in amount; covering a large area - กว้างขวาง
  • fame: the state of being famous or very well known - ชื่อเสียง
  • famous: very well known - มีชื่อเสียง
  • fluent: able to speak, read or write a language, especially a foreign language, easily and well - คล่อง, พูดหรือเขียนได้อย่างคล่องแคล่ว
  • footage: film of a particular subject or event - ฟิลม์หรือคลิปภาพยนตร์
  • give it to him: give him credit -
  • go overboard: to do or say more than is reasonable or necessary, for example because you are excited or angry - ทำเกินเหตุ
  • go rogue (idiom): to take an action by yourself, especially in an unusual or possibly risky way -
  • gotta: (spoken language) got to; have to - ต้อง
  • harmony: when people are peaceful and agree with each other, or when things seem right or suitable together - ความสามัคคี
  • host: to introduce a television or radio programme, a show, etc. - ทำหน้าที่เป็นพิธีกร
  • hypocritical (adj): pretending to have moral standards or opinions that you do not actually have - หน้าซื่อใจคด, เจ้าเล่ห์, หน้าไหว้หลังหลอก
  • idolise (verb): to admire or love somebody very much - หลงใหลอย่างหลับหูหลับตา,บูชา,เลื่อมใสอย่างมาก
  • incident: something that happens, usually something bad - เหตุการณ์
  • influence: the power to have an effect on people or things - อิทธิพล
  • institute (noun): an organization that has a particular purpose, especially one that is connected with education or a particular profession; the building used by this organisation - สถาบัน,องค์การ,วิทยาลัย,สถาบันหนึ่งของมหาวิทยาลัย
  • internship: a period of time during which a student or new graduate gets practical experience in a job, for example during the summer holiday/vacation - การฝึกงาน
  • level: a position or rank in a scale of size or importance - ระดับ
  • local: in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น
  • make waves (idiom): to create attention or cause problems by making suggestions or criticisms - สร้างความสนใจ, สร้างปัญหา, ก่อปัญหา, ทำให้ยุ่งยาก
  • mess up: to spoil something or do it badly - ทำให้สูญเสียโดยประมาท
  • missionary (noun): a person who is sent to a foreign country to teach people about their religion - ผู้เผยแพร่ศาสนา, มิชชันนารี
  • mould: a particular style showing the characteristics, attitudes or behaviour that are typical of somebody/something - ลักษณะเฉพาะ
  • native speaker: someone who has spoken a particular language since they were a baby, rather than having learnt it as a child or adult - เจ้าของภาษา
  • nephew: a son of your brother or sister, or a son of your husband’s or wife’s brother or sister - หลานชาย
  • niece: a daughter of your brother or sister, or a daughter of your husband’s or wife’s brother or sister - หลานสาว
  • opportunity (noun): a chance to do something, or a situation in which it is easy for you to do something - โอกาส
  • overgeneralisation (noun): a statement that is not accurate because it is too general; the act of making a statement that is too general - คำพูดที่ไม่ถูกต้องเนื่องจากเป็นคำม่ถูที่กว้างเกินไป
  • piss off (slang): to cause someone to be angry - ทำให้โกรธ
  • pro (noun): something positive; an advantage - ข้อดี
  • pros and cons: advantages and disadvantages - ข้อดีและข้อเสีย
  • public figure: a well-known person -
  • reaction: the way something responds as a result of something that happens - ปฏิกิริยา การตอบสนอง, ปฏิกิริยาตอบโต้
  • respectful (adj.): feeling or showing respect - ซึ่งมีความเคารพ
  • sense of humour: the ability to know when something is funny, and to laugh at funny situations - อารมณ์ขัน
  • sincerity: (of a person, feelings or behaviour) not pretending or lying; honest - ความจริงใจ, ตรงไปตรงมา
  • slang: informal language used by people when speaking to each other - ภาษาสแลง, ถ้อยคำที่เป็นภาษาพูดและใช้ในกลุ่มคนบางกลุ่ม, ภาษารหัสของขโมยหรือโจร, คำสแลง
  • society (noun): people in general, living together in communities - สังคม
  • stereotype: to cause or support a fixed, unchanging idea or image that many people have of a particular type of person or thing, but which is often not true in reality -
  • take for granted (idiom): to expect someone/something will always be there for you; to fail to give something its true importance; to believe something is true without first making sure that it is - ไม่เห็นคุณค่า, ทึกทัก
  • wisely (adv): making good choices and decisions - อย่างฉลาด, อย่างรอบรู้, อย่างมีสติปัญญา
  • yeah (excl): (informal) yes - ใช่
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