Linguistic Features of 'Good English' Spoken in Thai English Movies

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ไพโรจน์ เบ็ญนุ้ย


It has been debatable whether Thai people’s spoken English is ‘good English’. Many Thais are claimed to speak ‘improper English’ because of their idiosyncrasies. However, there appear to be a number of Thais in different professions who can use English effectively. In the entertainment sector, in particular, several Thai actors and actresses are able to speak proper English in their English language movies. This is evident in Thai English movies, namely ‘The King of the White Elephant’ (1941) and ‘The King Maker’ (2005). This research aimed to analyze and describe linguistic features of ‘good English’ spoken by Thai characters in the movies as well as to discuss the extent to which the features imply Standard Thai English. It applied Joos’s (1967) ‘five styles of English usage’ and Prasithrathsint’s (1999) ‘good English in the Thai context’ as a theoretical framework. The data was analyzed by using a content analysis. It was found that the Thai characters performed the linguistic features of good spoken English styles and mirrored their Thai culture and identity of English through their speaking. The latter indicates the use of the standard Thai variety of English.
Keywords: Good English; Thai English Movies; Standard Thai English; Linguistic Features


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ไพโรจน์ เบ็ญนุ้ย, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Thaksin University