Chiang Mai Thai

Ever wanted to learn Thai, in Chiang Mai? I did just that from November 2010, returning home in October 2011. If you don't want a headache, start HERE, it will explain the preceding posts. I'm Snap, Stray's other half. COOEE is our (other) travel blog.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Taming Otto

The other day we bought Otto home, an induction cooker. Induction cookers are a novelty to me, I’ve never used one, let alone one with control buttons written in Thai. I’m a stickler for reading instructions first....Stray, not necessarily so. I fast forwarded to the important, scary looking picture section of the manual and determined what I mustn’t use on the cook top...copper, glass, aluminium etc.

My translation efforts did turn up some amusing results at ‘ass’ and ‘wind’. My poor eye sight and tiny odd looking symbols/vowels, isn’t always a great combination.

Anyway, I suggested waiting until I had translated the controls before we used it..."ah, how hard can it be?" he says.

The next morning I woke up to the smell of eggs cooking...and a pot which had browned due to overheating? burning? Granted the pot is flimsy and wafer thin.

Using the Thai keyboard, which is part of the Word In The Hand (software) dictionary (I still only have the trial version) and the translation section from Thai, I now know that I can:

Warm (at first I thought this was the ON button) อุ่น oon (the danger of knowing too little, sounding out what I suspected was a loan word)

Set Timer ตั้งเวลา dtang waeh laa

Stir fry/Deep fry ผัด/ทอด phat/thaawt

...and then the should have been obvious, the big red button, Turn On/Turn Off เปิด/ปิด bpeert/bpit

What a difference one little can make!

It also has a weird, but groovy, pulsating function, which is probably discussed in the manual...somewhere.

It’s funny how something so basic can turn into a mini adventure when you can’t read the language. I’m still not sure what a ’mo steel’(หม้อเหล็ก) pot is, but it's OK to use one.

Women Learn Thai highlighted and held a competition for the Word In The Hand dictionary ages ago....I DIDN'T WIN! So, I’m off to purchase the full version now, I reckon it’s a small price to pay for such a great product.

See what else we're up to at Cooee!


  1. Well done, I don't even bother with the instructions when they're in English - it drives my wife crazy :-)

  2. Paul...don't ever buy anything from Ikea ;)

  3. Great going! Making note of what you use daily is a great way to learn Thai. Btw - I have a HUGE series coming in the new year - House Talk. I plan on having sheets to print out on stickers, to, you know, stick all over your house. And I've found goo remover too (needed as the stickers don't just wash off).

    From my Mac's dictionary (not always right)
    หม้อเหล็ก = steel pots
    หม้อ = pot
    เหล็ก = iron, steel

  4. Thanks for the translation Catherine.

    The House Talk stickers sound like a wonderful idea. I considered doing just that at home before coming here...but with packing up, never got around to it. I did this for a while when my girls were small (in English), labelling furniture and different items around the house.

    I know I'm a bit weird, but I'm enjoying trying to decipher food packets, especially nutrition labels, at the moment. I can hide from the real world of 'speaking Thai' this way ;)

  5. When I started the vocabulary list for the house stickers, I grabbed from the dictionary and a few picture books I had laying around. But when I showed it to the housekeeper, she shook her head and laughed.

    So we went through everything again with me pointing and her writing down what it was. To make sure (I worried about some of her long pauses over farang furniture), two other Thai friends checked it out. So it's going to be a real list for sure.

  6. Catherine, can you make them come in a range of colours and styles please, to match various decors?...I'm being serious.


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