Complain = to tell someone that something is wrong or not satisfactory, and that you are annoyed about it
Complaint = a statement that something is wrong or not satisfactory/report of a problemCambridge Dictionary
In the beginning of the class when I knew that we were dealing under the topic of “Complaintivism”, the first thing that came into my mind was rather the act of murmuring, expressing the unpleasant feeling which might fall into the meaning of “complain” than “complaint”.
I somehow had some difficulties distinct between these two English words, and couldn’t help but feel a negative vibe out of it. As I mentioned couple of times in the class that I have negative connotation from the word especially when translated from Thai word “บ่น (Bon)” and “ร้องทุกข์ (Rongtook)”
The word “บ่น” in Thai or complain, according to Thai Royal Academy dictionary means babbling or reprimanding over and over again. While “ร้องทุกข์” Complaint means stating suffering to ask for help which is pretty much the same as in English.
Maybe it was because of loss in translation, again when I heard the term “Complaintivism” one of the first feelings that came into my mind is the feeling of being oppressed. Being a Thai person, I grew up in such a hierarchical society. The young ones should not complain and follow what elders or people in higher positions suggest. To point out something, it might be taken as a mumbling sound. The definition, babbling or reprimanding over and over again definitely define the annoyance of the act right away.
To look at how the young protesters in Thailand that have been fighting with the political regime, they did state their problems, dissatisfaction, suffering and point out what is wrong, then it is supposed to be counted as a complaint. However; the right-wing supporters who mostly are in the older generation ridicule these young ones as those who only complain but never take action, acting like a child crying for their toys.
Complain/Complaint/บ่น Bon/ร้องทุกข์ Rongtook these words that share the same and totally different meanings. Until now I still cannot quite distinct it, or maybe I can say I see it entangled with each other and hard to define even before the class. Perhaps it might be worth seeing the uses of it instead, and in this way, we might find the route of being suppressed eventually.
One reply on “Complaint Language I // Complain บ่น Complaint ร้องทุกข์”
Super interesting text about the meaning of the word Complaint. In Spanish the word also has different translations:
1. Queja: Resentment or dislike of someone’s performance or behavior.
2. Reclamación: Expression with which the claim is made, especially if it is formally stated in writing.
3. Reclamo: Any written submission made by a customer to report a specific situation that has not been resolved by the entity to which the submission is addressed.
3. Denuncia: Notification to the authority that a crime has been committed or that someone is the perpetrator of a crime.
What calls my attention is that there is a rage on the meaning of the word that goes from more “domestic” performativity to a more “institutional” one as the word “denuncia”. I listed them in that order.
I will continue reading Part II of this post 🙂