Monday, January 08, 2007

Language overload

I bought the Pimpsleur audio CD's for learning Thai. I also used Pimsleur's Swahili CD's over a year ago to learn Swahili. Ironically enough, I haven't used Swahili in about a year now, and I still know quite a bit of it. So now I'm starting with the Thai CD's. I'm currently on lesson 4...

My first language (speaking) is English. My second language is Spanish. And as far as fluency goes, my third is Swahili. Then French, Norwegian...I grew up listening to Thai, but responding in English. I've lost a lot of the listening comprehension, so it is kind of like starting over, but not really -- kind of like remedial Thai. But I never spoke it before, and that is harder than it seems...

When trying to speak a language other than English or Spanish, if I don't know a word, I default to saying it in Spanish and catch myself. So naturally, I would expect that if I don't know something in Thai, I will probably say it in Spanish.

I listen to the Thai CD's in my car, on my commute to and from work. A lot of times, they pause and you respond to a question or saying. A lot of times, I have to think...what's that word? And sometimes I just blurt it out...and blurt it out in another language. That other language I'm blurting out is Swahili.

The mind is such an interesting thing. I feel like I do have a knack for learning languages. It's not natural, it comes with a lot of hard work, but I do seem to pick up and retain languages pretty well. But it does get confusing, and I'm at that confusing point. I have about 2 months and a week to learn Thai before I go to Thailand, so still have time. But I feel like I have to shut out everything I know in every other foreign language...something that is difficult to do. Just need to focus...

4 Comments:

Blogger textile_fetish said...

Are you able to recognize words better than you can speak a language? That alone would help tremendously I'm sure. Will the ceremony be in English?

4:51 AM  
Blogger marisa said...

I am able to recognize a lot of words, but am having a difficult time thinking of them on my own. Little by little...it's getting there.

I actually don't know which language the ceremony will be in...I'm just along for the ride ;) It will either be in Thai or Pali. Pali is the ancient language that the monks chant in. My wedding planner will be there to tell us what to do and when..hehe.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

, you can try http://langhub.com. It has a variety of downloadable audio and video files. I use it sometimes and it is very helpful.

10:24 AM  
Blogger marisa said...

thanks, I'll check that site out!

10:29 AM  

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