Question About kee niaow ("sticky shit" or stingy)

Discussion of Thai-Western relationships and the book, "Thailand Fever."
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Razin
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:07 pm

Question About kee niaow ("sticky shit" or stingy)

#1 Postby Razin » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:30 pm

Hello!

first of all, let me thank Khun Vitida for a wonderful book!

now, I've got a question for you - or whoever else competent enough to answer it.

in your book as well is on this website and Forum, there is mentioning of phrase kee nieow ("sticky shit", or stingy)

http://www.thailandfever.com/book_reviews.html
http://www.thailandfever.com/forum/view ... 266fe4b4ca

now, I've been accused of causing intentional disinformation in one of other on-line Forums simply because I've provided this literal translation.
I've been booed and ridiculed and called names.

mostly because - as claimed by specialists in Thai language there, this phrase kee nieow can NOT be translated as "sticky shit" either literally or indirectly.

and no any appeals to other internet sources (see: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=st ... %A0results), no reference to the fact that Khun Vitida holds a MSc and is not some uneducated Isaan farmer girl - didn't help much.

main reasoning they've given were that in this case word Kee is being used as prefix and therefore is NOT translated as separate word.

I ma more inclined to adhere to your version of translation though, because I assume that as a Native Thai speaker you know better than any bunch of smart-ass foreigners. however I'd really appreciate your help in this matter !

thanks !

Chris Pirazzi
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 7:10 pm

#2 Postby Chris Pirazzi » Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:25 am

I've been booed and ridiculed and called names...mostly because - as claimed by specialists in Thai language there, this phrase kee nieow can NOT be translated as "sticky shit" either literally or indirectly.


Kun Vitida is definitely the expert on all matters of Thai language, but I can at least contribute this: the title of Chapter 5 is kind of a double joke where we translate the English phrase "sugar daddy" literally into Thai and where we translate the Thai phrase "kii niaow" literally into English. The joke is that the literal translations have little or no meaning in the other language, in the same way that the concepts around money and support don't translate across the cultural boundaries.

Nitpick: We did actually give the Thai reader a bit of extra help, though, by using the word ป๋า, which has the feeling of a sugar daddy, combined with the Thai for "sugar-coated," along with a transliteration that sounds like "sugar daddy." On the English side we don't give the English reader any clue of what "sticky shit" might mean until you read the text. I don't think that imbalance is symbolic of anything, but I'm sure we could think of some nice conspiracy theories :)

While I am not a Thai expert, I do observe that ขี้ (kii) (the first word in ขี้เหนียว (kii niaow)) can either mean "shit" or it can be a prefix meaning "habitually," and that เหนียว (niaow) by itself already means "stingy," so one would guess that the ขี้ (kii) in this case is "habitually" and not "shit." Also it's clear that "sticky shit" as a translation is not all that useful even if it somehow happens to be the right one to a native Thai, because the English reader would not know the meaning "stingy" from that translation.


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