My current goals are two fold in that I firstly want to be confident speaking(and being understood)with conversational Thai and secondly being able to read standard Thai script-the arty stuff will have to wait for now! The reading I figure will help with the speaking.
Well one month into my current Thai adventure and I am pleased to say that I am making good progress, particularly with my reading, although I need to check out the meaning of some of the stuff I read with the dictionary since my Thai vocabulary is still limited.
I have been using several aids(besides my Thai friends) which include the excellent Pimsleur Thai, my Thai Talking Dictionary for iPhone along with several other iPhone apps for the Thai alphabet etc. I have also acquired a couple of children’s reading books in the Thai language which are relatively easy and fun to use as an adult. Translated into English it involves subject matter like a crow visiting a paddy-field where snakes and crabs live in different holes!
Twitter is also proving useful and I was able to read(in Thai) that our erstwhile ambassador(UK), visited Wat Pho the other day with his mother in law. Incidentally Mark Kent, the current incumbent, regularly Tweets in Thai. He also speaks it pretty well too!
Whilst another tweet in Thai from Jon Russell revealed that a Thai elephant had eaten an iPhone belonging to two Chinese girls. The attached video showed them recovering the said phone later from the unfortunate animals droppings!
I intend to try a few tweets in Thai myself to try and build my confidence.
So what about the next month? Well I guess its more of the same where I tend to alternate my learning between reading and speaking on a daily basis, trying to use what I have learned(and not forgotten) in conversation. I just hope my Thai friends don’t get bored with birds, crabs, snakes and paddy-fields!
To be fair to them(Thais I know) they are very patient with me and seem to appreciate my efforts although after a few beers they do get a bit playful. I mean fancy asking me to say something in Thai that they know I will get wrong! Mind you I had to laugh, since apparently what I said means a lady with a small vagina 😉
More on my Thai language learning next month.
Update June 2013: I have now started a blog dedicated to learning to read Thai.