A sad part of this stay in Thailand for me is that I haven’t progressed much with my Thai. I was never very comfortable with learning languages anyway, although I have a passion for it. Thai is extremely difficult for a westerner. We generally have no background like we might have in Spanish or French, to say nothing of the fact that 60% of english words are derived from the french language. With Thai I feel like the first few times I went off a ski jump with jumping skis. In those days the attachment of the boot was not as good as a cross country binding and as I reached the lip of the jump I felt like I was suddenly thrown out there with no support. With the Thai language, there is nothing familiar to make me feel comfortable or give me the ability to figure things out from other things I know about other languages. I would think that the Thais themselves would have a huge advantage when it comes to speaking english as most learn that language in school and probably all know the english alphabet as well.
Tui and I went to a book publisher today on Soi 4 Niemanheiman where Tui discovered a book for learning Thai which has the unique approach of having no transliteration of the Thai words. In fact, you need to know how to read Thai in order to follow the course. I’m not at all sure how that is going to go but I’m willing to try.
I also discovered the web site of Gary Ormand who claims that he has a method to teach you how to read Thai (but not undestand what you read!) in 16 hours. I signed up for a free introductory course to try it out.
I’ll write more tomorrow about the name of both items, the book and the Gary Ormand courses.