Asia Local Custom Tips by SLLiew Top 5 Page for this destination
Asia Local Customs: 57 reviews and 51 photos
I was amazed to see the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum. Here I have created a picture of one for the Asian languages :)
Good news that latin alphabets are used in these six Asian countries - Vietnamese, Malay in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia and for Tagalog in Philippines.
The Chinese characters is used in China, Taiwan, Macao and Hong Kong. Mainland China have simplified some of the more complicated characters while Taiwan has chosen to stay with the traditional characters.
Japan has adopted the Chinese characters and still retain them as "kanji". Japanese has also two other writing systems "hiragana" and "katakana". But all the names of towns and people in Japan is still written in "kanji" or Chinese Characters.
South Korea and Vietnam also once used the Chinese writing system and you can still see them in Korean and Vietnamese temples.
South Korea now has her own writing system based on phonetics called "hangul" while Vietnam uses "chu nom".
Thailand, Cambodia and Nepal has their own writing script based and evolved from Indo-Sanskrit system. They look difficult but so many local six years olds have mastered them. So it is fun to go to the book store and buy their "ABC" and learn to recognize street names or town names in the local writing system.
Example for Bangkok, it is called "krungthep" in Thai and can you recognize it in Thai script?
It may not be possible to learn every Asian language just before your trip. But learning a word or two can endear your local host or warm up the local people you meet.
How about saying "Thank you" and then the local equivalent, eg "Thank you, arigato" when in Japan or "Thank you, xie xie" when in China or Taiwan.
Here is a list for you.
When in Malaysia, Brunei or Indonesia,
"Thank you, terima kasih" (third-read-mar car-say)
When in Singapore,
"Thank you, thanks lah" (adding the "lah" makes it Singlish)
When in Thailand,
"Thank you, khorb khun" (cop croon)
When in Cambodia,
"Thank you, awh khon (owl croon)
When in Vietnam,
"Thank you, cam on (come earn)
When in Hong Kong or Macao,
"Thank you, do je" (door jack)
When in China or Taiwan,
"Thank you, xie xie" (see-eh see-eh)
When in South Korea,
"Thank you, kamsa hamnida" (come-suck-harm-knee-dark)
When in Japan,
"Thank you, arigato" (are-rid-guard-toe)
When in Nepal,
"Thank you, dhanyabaad" (done-yah-but)
It does not matter if you mispronounce. It will create laughter and perhaps a conversation on how to say it right. Have fun, thank you.
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