Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Thursday, August 11, 2005


by AJ

I was in a foul and frustrated mood yesterday (see previous post). The source of my frustration: the Thai language. While Spanish "study" is zooming along, Thai is a struggle. I feel like the language just won't stick. It goes in, and then it goes out.

Another problem. While Spanish is super-easy to read and pronounce... Thai is not. At this stage, I cannot read even the baby books I have unless someone first reads them to me and I transcribe their pronunciation into the phonetic alphabet (and Im not even worrying about tones yet). Likewise, even the baby TV shows are completely overwhelming... I can't even pick out words to look up. In other words... not much autonomy at this point.

Its quite a contrast. Spanish is fun, effortless, and exhilerating. Though Im a low-beginner, I find it easy to read and pronounce. Its also easy to use a Spanish-English dictionary. Thai is extremely frustrating... and the damn dictionary feels impossible to use (and Im using an electronic one!). Im learning at a glacial rate.

But this is good practice too. It helps to remember just how difficult it is to be a rank beginner in a language very disimilar to your own. Even if I never develop much Thai ability, I will at least develop a great deal of empathy!