How to speak English in Southeast Asia
People in Southeast Asia speak little to no English. Even in the Philippines and Malaysia that are thought to be English speaking countries. In reality - no. Philippines and Malaysia do speak and understand English generally better than their neighbours. However, it’s on the surface - they won’t understand and won’t use common idioms, they’ll make grammar mistakes of which they’re unaware because they do and everyone speaks that way in their countries, and the level of their English is basic.
In some countries people may speak more, in some less. Some people may understand and know basic words and phrases.
In general, it’s easier not to bother making your English correct if you’re not a native English speaker, nobody will care anyway about you speaking correctly and won’t be able distinguish between correct and incorrect. And also accept that misunderstanding will take place in the majority of the situations.
They often use the present simple time whether they’re talking about present, past or future. “Yesterday I go to store”.
They don’t use “a” and “the”.
“Okay” is a universal word there used everywhere and for everything.
Explaining something, making orders in public places with gestures is easier, acceptable and quicker.
In Thailand the people use “no have” to mean “don’t have”, “have no” and “there’s/re”.
Vietnam is one of the countries where almost nobody speaks English. A waiter in a restaurant may not know a single English word.
Short, incomplete sentences are used often.
Speaking English in Japanese-style is easier in Southeast Asia. What’s that? For instance, rather that asking “Where is Manga street?”, you ask “Manga street, where?”
When a thai person replies to you “okay” or “yes I understand”, it may not mean that he agrees with or understands you.
[to be continued]