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Would Someone Please Teach Thais What “Inundated” Means in Bangkok’s Floods?

If it looks like a puddle, you can't use the word "inundated" to describe water in Bangkok


Over the last few days, every time I read yet one more Thai newspaper article about a new area of Bangkok being “inundated” with flood waters, I just roll my eyes and go back to what I was doing. Apparently, most Thais in the news media haven’t figured out that, if there are four inches of water that have overflowed the Chao Praya River due to the high tide,  that does not mean the area is “inundated” with flood water. It’s a cup of water. Barely deep enough for a goldfish. And, no, it’s not “flooding”.

The latest news story from the Bangkok Post about a new area of Bangkok “inundated” with flood waters is about Talad Thai. Apparently, according to Somchai Sakulsurarat, executive chairman of Modern Home City, the company that runs Talad Thai (a large fruit and veg market in Bangkok), the market is “inundated” with water, after damage to a floodwall at the market.  After reporting the water problem, Mr. Somchai said, ““The people are advised to move out within three to four hours for safety reasons because it is not sure whether the attempted to plugged the damaged floodwall would succeed.” (the grammatical errors in that statement are those of the Bangkok Post and not mine!)

Now, someone should explain to the Bangkok Post that, if the Talad Thai was indeed “inundated”, taking three to four hours to move out would be impossible. Flood waters would be coming so fast, the whole market would be waist deep in water in less than half an hour, and that goldfish would think it had died and gone to heaven.

So, the next time you read or hear that an area of Bangkok is “inundated” with flood water, I give you my permission to roll your eyes. Then start to think aboutways to teach the Thai news media better English.


 Update 7:30pm Saturday 29th October – Talad Thai is NOT closed. Evacuation didn’t happen as, yes, their ‘inundation’ was a couple of inches of water.