I wouldn’t go that far / ผมไม่ไปไกลถึงขนาดนั้น

Friday, December 21, 2007 at 3:29 pm 2 comments

How about a pseudo-cognate from current events? Bangkok Pundit addresses Privy Councilor Prem’s take on a PPP win in the election this weekend. Firstly, this is a blog about the Thai language only. I am interested only in helping people by spreading knowledge; I want my writing to be helpful for decades, not days.

You can read the Thai interview at Matichon. Check the paragraph under the second ‘@’ sign. In my opinion, Bangkok Pundit’s translation is faithful.

Firstly, this is an ideal pseudo-cognate:

  • It is a long phrase
  • It is composed of short, simple words most of us know already
  • It has a subtle and nuanced meaning—a powerful communication tool

Both languages, Thai and English, use the metaphor of traveling some distance to mean following one’s thought process. What a great phrase! Not just for Bangkok taxi drivers anymore!

This phrase gives us all a polite way to tell somebody that we understand their thinking—basically; however, we might not reach the same extreme conclusions as they.

Entry filed under: Pseudo-cognates. Tags: .

The Return of TLT: Request for Thai Dictionaries, Books, Etc. Eyes bigger than stomach / ตาโตกว่าท้อง

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. poomk  |  Monday, December 31, 2007 at 8:29 am

    Hey, I don’t say it that way. This is the first time I hear “ผมไม่ไปไกลถึงขนาดนั้น”, and I think that’s not an original Thai phrase.

    For me “ผมไม่คิดไปไกลถึงขนาดนั้น” sounds better. But คิด and go is totally different.

  • 2. Jason  |  Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Thanks for the feedback. With you outside of Thailand these days, I lost a good source to interview and make sure my ideas are correct!

    I updated the about page to indicate that my posts here should be taken with a grain of salt. When I get an idea to write about, I can only ask a few Thais what they think about it, because they rapidly get bored with my constant questioning.

    About this phrase specifically, I also noticed that some people disagree about the meaning of Prem’s words. Being a political figure, he of course speaks with much ambiguity. Still, the the political blogs all jumped to the meaning I used here.


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