I just figured something out. Now before we hark the herald angels sing, I should say, this idea is relatively fresh and new.
But I’m so excited that I have to write about it.
I was in Thailand for about 10 months then I left for Ecuador, and then I returned. And I’ve been back for a year now. I’ve taken Thai classes at Payap University and AUA Chiang Mai. Currently I am working with a tutor. Sometimes a friend joins us and other times it’s just me and Dtum.
All of my learning Thai experiences have been invaluable and it’s been a serpentine road up the mountain. Needless to say, I’ve been frustrated. I’ve been enthusiastic. I’ve been studious and I’ve been lazy. I’ve been overwhelmed and I’ve taken it one foot hold at a time. I’ve acquired spotty dog vocabulary and very little grammatical structure.
It’s embarassing because I’m part Thai! I don’t really know why my mom didn’t teach my brother and I, and there is nothing I can do about it now! Yes it is a shame. But this is where I am at! Sometimes I am patient with myself and the process and other times I look at all the worksheets, books and resources I have collected and want to start a burn pile.
Maybe I’m not good at learning languages but I’m not really into excuses. It’s hard not to compare myself to my friends whose Thai has steadily progressed. Their circumstances are different and have obviously worked well for them but what about folks like me? I didn’t have a home stay, work with Thai employees, a Thai wife, a desire to hang out in bars, a second language already under my flotation device or a lot of free time.
I studied, worked and went to class. I’m just your average Nam. What’s interesting is when I did have more free time I did study a lot but I hadn’t mastered the tones and I was too terrified/embarrased to practice with the locals. Now that I have less time, I can hear the tones much better and I’m much more fearless in my practicing.
There is a lot of material out there on how to learn Thai faster, better, etc and I’ve been around the buffet sampling ideas and trying new methods but nothing has ever stuck for very long. So my Thai can be very good or very bad, depending. So I’m going to try the Oprah method and announce, I’m going on a diet.
In case you didn’t know, my dream is to be a published and successful writer. (see average Nam) I knew that my love for words has helped me remember a lot of Thai vocabulary but it wasn’t until I read Josh’s Blog that “things” started to make sense.
Basically I took Josh’s idea, improve your Thai with a journal and made it my own. You see, I’ve been journaling since I was 14 years old. So it seems natural then for me to work on my Thai through a medium that I do everyday! This idea takes my love for words and my need to work on sentence structure and combines it into one beautiful hero’s journey.
I’m so excited. It makes sense to learn another language through the medium you love, through the subject you are passionate about, be it food, shopping, music, history or in my case, writing. Maybe my enthusiasm will be short-livid and my announcement too soon but I have too much fight left in me to give up.
(Plus I’m very cute…and highly suseptible to awesomeness. I just like to take my time, that’s all! Umm-hhhmmmmm.)