Friday, December 12, 2014

Studying Reading and Writing Thai

One of the things I am doing now is studying reading and writing the Thai language.  I study two hours every morning five days a week, in a group with eight other people.  Our teacher is an older woman (OK, a really old woman) who is definitely Old School about doing things correctly.  We are beyond the point of learning the 44 consonants, twenty-some-odd vowels and assorted additional symbols and making simple words.  We read short stories, critique the grammar, write answers to questions, and constantly learn new vocabulary.

One of the things we all struggle with is using Thai conjunctions.  There are a lot of them, and I still get confused about which one to use.  When we write sentences I often get criticized for using English sentence structures or thought patterns to express things in Thai.  I keep on trying and I do make less mistakes than I did a few weeks ago.

So, why do I bother to learn to read and write Thai?  One reason is that it improves my speaking.  I learn a lot about the underlying grammar from learning proper sentence structure for writing sentences.  This translates in to me speaking more grammatically as well.  Secondly, I am learning a lot of vocabulary.  From practicing spelling Thai words you realize which of them come from the same roots, and which you previously thought were connected, in fact, are not.  Our teacher is quite thorough about teaching the proper meaning of words and how they should be used, rather than the sloppy translations we had assumed before.  Finally studying a language is good practice for the brain.  As you get older, you either stretch your mental capacities and exercise them, or you let your brain get slack and begin to lose capacity.  I want to keep learning new things for as long as I live.

My Thai Homework

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! That's a lot of work but I believe it will definitely pay of in the end. I also want to keep learning as long as I live.