Lost in Translation

By Kirstie Savage and Lisa Swift


“Honestly is the best policy”

“What you do that for”

“Thank you for Westminster student and Professor”

“Open the light”

“Are you delicious?”

“Shop for goal”

“Safety Food”

“Life and Learn”

“This girl rock!”


During this trip we have encountered several “lost in Translation” moments with the Thai people. Given the extreme differences between the Thai and English language it only makes sense that this would occur.  The slightly butchered phrases listed above are only a few of many that we have had the pleasure of hearing or seeing over the course of this trip.  This has allowed for some additional humor that has contributed to the overall trip experience.  For the sake of fairness it must also be noted that the reverse holds true in the sense that we also butcher phrases when we attempt to speak Thai.  One day I was going through a Thai and English translation book with my mom.  She would read it to me in Thai and I would repeat.  As we went through phrases my dad, close by was cracking up with laughter, which made me laugh.  Overall, this was a fun bonding moment as the humor of my inability to speak Thai brought us closer.

Another fun experience that we had resulted in certain language barriers, or the inability of the Thai people to annunciate certain sounds.  One morning Bright asked a small group of us about the difference between bitch and beach.  However, when she said “beach” and “bitch” both words sounded the exact same.  We had a hilarious time going over the pronunciation differences and definitions of bitch and beach with Bright. We hope that Bright now understands the key differences between “bitch” and “beach” .






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