Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thai Lessons

I’ll tell you one thing I admire about Dave and that is his determination to learn a little more of the Thai language every day.
For me, it’s been a journey of deciding between, “it’s too hard to learn” and “it’s too hard (to survive here) and not learn”.
I had to decide which “too hard” was harder!! 
Well it’s taken me twelve months but, as some of you may already know, I took the plunge a few weeks ago and began taking Thai classes two mornings a week at a little language school not too far from our house.
The first few days, my children were so sweet and kept asking me what words I’d learnt.  BUT before even beginning to learn words, I had to master the sounds of the Thai vowels, beginning and ending sounds and practice getting my tone right!
After two and a half weeks of “ahhhhh…. aaaaayyyyyyy…. ooooooouuuuu …. iiiiiiiiiiiiii’s” and making high tones instead of low and rising sounds instead of falling; I finally graduated from the practice sheets and began learning some real, Thai vocabulary!
Thankfully I have a really nice teacher who is patient with me and we have a lot of laughs!  I think it’s usually her laughing at me though and when I really stop and think about how I must sound speaking so slowly and messing up the tones just trying to repeat “Hello. My name is Andrea. How are you? What is your name?” it makes me laugh too.
I met a lady at the shops the other day who asked me whether I was the mother of ALL those kids (pointing to Tobi, Eli and Spencer)!! I didn’t think having three children was excessive but anyway, I am proud to say that I was able to have a five-minute conversation with her with my little bit of Thai and her little bit of English and it gave me hope… and encouragement to persist.
And, on that note, I must go and spend some time preparing for my dictation test on Tuesday morning.  Yikes!!
My cheer squad. I love these little guys!

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