Thailand · Travel

How to expand your world

world-puzzle

Sawatdee Kah!

Have you ever thought of learning a second language? Perhaps you already can, and lucky you if that’s the case!

A teacher of mine recently quoted philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, who said “The limits of my language means the limits of my world.”

Before moving back to Thailand 3 months ago my Thai was fairly basic- what is sometimes called “taxi Thai”- I could get around, order food, etc but not have an in-depth conversation in Thai.

However, I was very lucky to have the opportunity to study an intensive Thai language course for 1 month at Lanta International Language School as part of my New Colombo Plan Scholarship.

lanta-language-school

The school is on Koh Lanta, a beautiful island in the Andaman Sea. This was the perfect setting to balance intense learning with strolls along the beach in the afternoons and exploring waterfalls on weekends.

My teacher was so positive and energetic, which helped me stay focused on what often required a lot of brain power. Along with my 6 other classmates I was amazed by how much we learnt in just four weeks. I even learnt how to read and write Thai (all 42 consonants and 28 vowels!). I’m still extremely slow at reading, and please don’t ask me to spell, but it’s an amazing feeling to see a sign in another language and actually be able to read it.

If you have ever thought of learning a second language, I say go for it.

Learning a new language helps to exercise your brain, allows you to connect with other cultures and have experiences and opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

I still have a long journey of learning Thai before I become fluent. However, each new word is a little piece of the puzzle that opens up my world.

Can you speak a second language? If not, what language would you most like to learn?

7 thoughts on “How to expand your world

  1. Young brains learn that second language well. Not so easy for isolated Aussies over 50 I think! So wish I had stretched my language capacity at an early age, but maybe if I had a lot of picture cues I could learn some basics at least, being a visual learner type. 🙂

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  2. Yes it can be more difficult as we get older and without easy access to classes, but not impossible I believe! I learnt to read Thai through flashcards, it’s a really great method for visual learners.

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  3. Yes! Best way to remember is with music and movement. I still remember so many scripture verses that way.😊

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  4. Love it! I know 3 languages. I want to improve my Italian (that’s my 4). I love them… And also I’m happy you know Thai. Is it difficult?

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    1. Wow, that’s impressive! What other languages do you speak? Thai is quite difficult because it’s a tonal language. If you use the wrong tone, the word has a different meaning. You could end up saying “wee on your friend” instead of “point to your friend”, or telling someone they are “unlucky”, when you wanted to say they are “beautiful”!

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