I think there’s a direct relationship between the amount of English

a foreign language absorbs, and the ability of that foreign culture to speak correct English. No country wants to speak English more than Thailand, no country absorbs and ‘localizes’ English more than Thailand, and ultimately no country speaks it worse. There’s got to be some causal connection, right? Certainly Thailand’s ‘fun, fun, fun’ attitude toward life creates obstacles for the serious study of any subject, including English. How can you learn anything if everything’s a joke? The average street vendor in Tijuana speaks better than the average Ph.D. in Thailand. Of course, they are at opposite ends of the linguistic spectrum, with only vague connections via the ancient Sanskrit-Greek relationship, yet still they rank lower (by their own measure) than ‘neighbor countries’, which include such basket cases as Burma, Laos, and Cambodia. They speak almost with envy of their neighbors who got lucky enough to be colonized by England or America, in the case of Philippines. They judge one another by how well that person speaks English, as if anyone were qualified to judge, and to fill a Thai sentence with English ‘buzz words’ is the ultimate in ‘cool’, whether by a politician, rock star, or TV personality, no matter whether anyone understands or not. It’s mind-boggling.

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