UDON THANI EXPATS CLUB
MINUTES OF MEMBER MEETING
|Location:||Bangkok Hospital Udon|
|Date:||Sunday, August 30, 2015.
|Subject:||See Agenda (Distributed by e-mail and shown on the website)|
|Participants:||See attendance list (For Administration only)|
|Secretary:||J.J. van Spaandonk|
1. Peter Edwards opened the meeting at about 14.10 hours.
2. Administrative issues
– 28 members, 0 Sponsors and 4 guests/visitors attended the meeting.
– 9 members notified that they would not be able to attend.
– At present, the Club has 71 members.
– Quorum (to vote) requires >40% members present. Quorum is OK.
– The minutes of the July 26, 2015 member–meeting have been approved. No comments made.
3. New Members, Visitors and Sponsors
* Mr. Bernard Tetrault is welcomed and installed as member.
* Mr. Arnstein Smith upgraded to a life membership.
* Four (4) guests attended the meeting.
The Club welcomes them all with much pleasure.
4. Announcements by the Board
* The yearly Boat–trip with dinner party along the Mekong River at Nong Khai is scheduled for
Thursday, October 1, 2015. Details and invitations will be dispatched soon.
* Starting on Wednesday, September 2, 2015, the Club‘s weekly Breakfast will be at the “DELIGHT” restaurant. Starting time is 10 am. The DELIGHT is located on the Adunyadet Road at the ground floor of the Ruysuk Hotel.
* Mike and David volunteered to join the Refreshments Committee. (Much appreciated).
* A delegation of UTEC responded to the Invitation of the Udon Thani Governor’s Office and, on Sunday, August 16, 2015, attended the opening ceremony of the new Visitor Information Center (V.I.C.) annex Coffee Shop.
The VIC is located on Atipbody Road at Tungsri Muang square, next to the Chinese Shrine and opposite the Udon Government Building.
The VIC offers all kind of information for Visitors as well as residents of Udon Thani. The VIC is also the starting point of the Streetcars, for a sightseeing Tour around the city.
* Later that Sunday, a number of members of UTEC joined the Bike for MOM event. Of them, at least two participated in the attempt for a registration in the Guinness Book of World Records.
* A couple of our members responded to an invitation of Arthur and visited his Bungalows in the Forest and Organic Farm here in Udon.
5. Open Forum
* After the meeting; Arthur informed that they recently obtained the official certification for their Organic Farm. They now are the only certified Farm in this part of the country. We congratulate them with this milestone.
* Peter informed that he had visited our member Dr. Bernard who had experienced another visit and (short) stay at the Hospital. He is back home now. Unfortunately his physical condition is improving rather slowly. We wish him the strength and willpower to recover soon and look forward to welcome him back at our Club functions.
6. Guest–Speaker Mr. Dirk Baaij (part 1).
Dirk shared why and how he came to the decision to start understanding and speaking
“Daily Thai”. That decision was one step but to bring this to a successful ending was another.
Coming from Europe, Thai is not an easy language to learn.
A different alphabet, construction of the sentences and grammar.
Although Thai grammar is not so complex, as the grammar of West European languages, its basic knowledge gives you the right drive to speak correctly Thai in matter of work order and correct syntax. On the other hand, the alphabet, tones and building the sentences differs much and needs a lot of time to capture.
He visited various Thai classes at various institutions. In general, they all shared one thing; They offer a lot of information in a short time; without wondering if you understood it or not.
After each course he took 3 months at home to repeat (with the help of the internet, You Tube) again and again until he mastered the contents. In total he took 3 courses.
It took him a couple of years with an average of 2 hrs studying/day, 3 days/week to manage to communicate on an acceptable level with his Thai family and around town.
If you ask him: ” Do you speak Thai ? ” He will answer “No, but well enough for my daily conversations”.
And, It needs a continuing practice to keep your skills at an acceptable level.
7. Coffee break
We were invited to enjoy the assorted cookies, coffee & tea, water and Donuts/Doughnuts
8. Guest-Speaker Mr. Dirk Baaij (part 2).
Dirk continued explaining that children, when they learn their mother language, just repeat what they picked up. They are not thinking and still make only a few errors. Only later at school they learn to think and that is the start of making mistakes.
His advice, Start speaking with what you know and don’t think too much about speaking correctly. And, start to remember the grammar (past, present, future, single, plural etc.) of your mother language, you need it for understanding the grammar in Thai.
Thai could be short. Example sentence: I go to the market is in Thai: Pai Talaad (Go market).
Go and mix with Thai speakers. It is the same: While learning to swim you surround yourself with water don’t you ?.
Start to learn the Thai words for objects and daily things. With about 1000 words only you will already be able to communicate.
Try to master the various tone levels, but don’t worry, most of the people will understand in context what you say even if your pronunciation is not perfect.
He learned about 30% from books and 70% by practicing.
Some argue that Thai is the most difficult language to learn because it lacks or has a little logic.
The Thai alphabet was invented in 1283 CE by King Ram Khamhaeng, ruling the Sukhothai Kingdom. Thai writing began to appear around 1292 CE and until now hardly changed.
The spoken language changed a lot.
For details you may consult: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_language
Even for Thai (children), although they speak and understand Thai very well, it takes them a lot of time (even years) to master the Thai written language.
The Korean alphabet seems to be the most easy one in the world.
Arriving at the closing time of 16.00 hrs, Dirk thanked the attendees for their interest and stimulating questions during and after his lecture.
The meeting was closed at about 16.00 hrs.
Next meeting will be on Sunday, September 27, 2015. Please check at www.udonexpatsclub.com for possible changes and/or further information.
September 02, 2015.
Joop J. van Spaandonk,