Learning Thai: The PM's tears

Learning Thai: The PM's tears

One of this week's most talked about video clips shows PM Yingluck breaking into tears while speaking to the media. Let's look at what she said in Thai and English.

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One of the most talked about video clips of the past week has been the one in which Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra could not hold back her tears while talking to the press about demands from anti-government protesters that she and her family leave the country. It elicited sympathy from her supporters and derision from her opponents, the kind of material that should make for a good language lesson.

What did she say? As usual, there are a number of ways we can translate the Thai into English. I'm sure I have the basic idea, but you might want to suggest some adjustments. Just let me know through Facebook (see above) or twitter @terryfrd

Thai transcript (by Archarn Sunee Khaenyuk)

ก็ต้องเรียนว่า.....เป็นความรู้สึกที่ถามเป็นใคร ก็เชื่อว่าทุกคนคงจะมีความรู้สึกนะคะ ไม่ใช่ว่าดิฉันจะไม่มีความรู้สึก  ดิฉันได้ฟังมาตลอดต่อการร้องขอของผู้ชุมนุม  การที่กล่าวถึงทั้งตระกูลนั้น ดิฉันถือว่าเราเป็นคนไทยด้วยกัน  เราถึงขนาดไม่ให้อยู่บนแผ่นดินไทยด้วยกันเลยหรือ เราจะเป็นกันอย่างนี้หรือ ดิฉันก็ถอยจนไม่รู้ว่าจะถอยอย่างไรแล้ว ก็ขอความเป็นธรรมด้วย ขอบคุณค่ะ

English translation

I'd like to say....it's a feeling that if you ask anyone, I believe everyone would probably have it. It is not that I don't have feelings.

I have heard the calls/demands of the protesters from the beginning...the fact that they have referred to the whole family (i.e., my family, the Shinawatra extended family). I believe we are all Thais. Has it reached the point where we won't be allowed to stay on Thai soil together? We are going to be like this, are we? I have stepped back (retreated) to the point where I don't know how to step back any further. I appeal for fairness. Thank you.

Learn from listening

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  • adjustment: a change in something that makes it better, more accurate, or more effective - การปรับเปลี่ยน
  • demand: a very firm request for something - ข้อเรียกร้อง, การเรียกร้อง
  • derision: the opinion that someone or something is stupid, unimportant, or useless - การหัวเราะเยาะ, การเยาะเย้ย, การดูถูก
  • elicit: to get information or a reaction from somebody, often with difficulty - นำออกมา เอาออกมา
  • opponent: someone who disagrees with you or who is competing against you - ฝ่ายตรงข้าม
  • protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
  • sympathy: a natural feeling of kindness and understanding that you have for someone who is experiencing something very unpleasant - ความเห็นอกเห็นใจ
  • tears (noun): drops of water that come from your eyes when you cry or when something (dust, gas, etc.) has entered your eyes - น้ำตา

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