Below is an amazing cartoon from the LINE account of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (it may ultimately be from the Ministry of Culture). It expresses a long-held belief that true Thai culture is being polluted by mixing in English words or by otherwise speaking incorrectly.
B. Dog: What are you complaining about?
Sticker: Khaodam… [a dog’s name]
C. Sticker can’t do the homework.
Sticker: A teacher has assigned me to write an essay on the topic “Why do we have to love Thai culture?”
A. Sticker: Khaodam, please don’t tell anybody that Sticker likes Western culture more than Thai culture because it’s modern… So, I can’t write this essay…
Khaodam: I could tell even if you didn’t say it.
B. Sticker: I’ll go to bed… let’s do it tomorrow…
C. Khaodam: Ao.. [an exclamation of surprise]
A. Voice: Sticker. Sticker…
B. Sticker: Who’s calling me?
C. I’m an angel of universal culture.
A. Sticker: Do we have an angel like this?
Angel: Of course, we do.
B. Angel: I know that Sticker has a problem with your homework related to culture. So, it’s my job to help you…
C. Angel: I will help Sticker understand why we must love our culture.
A. Angel: Tonight… I will send Sticker to the opposite world where everything is transposed. The developed country will change to a developing country while the developing country will become a major power which everyone wants to follow!
[“Opposite world” is literally something like “reflex angle world” meaning an upside down world or seeing things from another angle.]
B. Sticker: How can it be like that even in a dream?
C. Angel: That’s why I have to make you sleep and dream it again.
A. Angel: Sweet dream and when you wake up, you will see how people think about you… when you’re not yourself anymore…
B. Dreaming in a dream… Then, wake up in the “opposite world.”
C. Sticker dreams in the dream that… Sticker is going to the U.S… with Khaodam.
A. In the opposite world… Sticker is a Thai person who is visiting the U.S. without applying for a visa. She can take the plane to go there easily… because every country wants us [Thais] to go.
B. In her dream, Sticker feels so happy to be a person from a developed country that every country wants to follow…
C. “Opposite world…” Dream in the dream
On the Thai map: Thailand
Arrow pointing to Thailand: Major power
On the green map: The USA
Arrow pointing to the U.S.: Developing [country]
Above the U.S. map: Cost of living, food and accommodation are very cheap like everything’s free. [All of this is showing that in their imaginary dream the roles of Thailand and the U.S. are reversed.]
A. The first thing that attracts Sticker is that American people [in the opposite world] like to use the Thai language…
Yellow building: Lookkhang Supermarket
[In Thai, “Lookkhang” means “top.” Therefore, it refers to “Tops Supermarket.” Thus, this is critical of Tops for having an English-language name.]
Green building: Hang Zor Yai
[In Thai, “Hang” is a mall and “Zor” sounds like a “C” and “Yai” is big. Therefore, it refers to Big C. Again, this is critical of large Thai chains using English names.]
White building: Hang Dokbua
[In Thai, “Hang” is a mall and “Dokbua” is a lotus. Therefore, it refers to Lotus Supermarket.]
Purple building: Hang Santood
[In Thai, “Hang” is a mall and “sandtood” is an embassy. Therefore, it refers to Embassy Mall.]
B. Sticker doesn’t know how much Thai language everyone in the country can understand… but they believe that having a name in Thai will help their shop become more luxurious, modern and high-class than using their language. [Drawing a comparison to Thais who do not understand English, but use English words to connote a high status for their business.]
Yellow building: Tee tam yang yai [Headquarters]
Pink building: Hang jaiklang [Central Mall]
White building: Hang Bangna Yaiyai [Big Bangna mall]
C. Sticker goes to Daowgnen Coffee Shop to listen to people talking. [This alludes to a Starbucks-type coffee shop in the dream.]
Man: Patty… Do you have any khamkid? [idea]
A woman: No..John.. I think yours is somboon! [perfect]
On sign: Daowngen coffee shop [This is meant to make the reader think of Thai young people who riddle their conversation with English words to be trendy.]
It’s funny to listen to those people talking. The American loves to speak their language and Thai mixed together… it’s funny.
Dee [good]… I think your work is deemak [very good]!
Sawaddee [hello]… Nice to meet you!
See you later… lakorn [goodbye]
I rak [love] you mak [very much]
They say that for some words, when saying it in Thai it is much more meaningful.
[Again, making the point that some Thais like to use English words in certain situations because is sounds better or is more meaningful for them.]