(For the record, this was meant to post a week ago, but I was sick and the internet was down. So here it is now. It made a lot more sense a week ago. Because now I’ve already progressed a lot more. But I wrote it. So I’m posting it.)
While I’m here, I intend to learn as much Thai as possibly possible. I’m doing okay, for the fifth day. The words are beginning to flow more easily. At first I was just over thinking it: “Sa-wat-dee-kaaaa…” Now it’s much more smooth and natural: “Sawatdee ka….”
I’ve also picked up most of my numbers, which make making purchases that much easier (Like with the beautiful dress and Thai pants that I bought last night on Walking Street.) I know a couple of colors (three, really), but I know blue, which is the most important (si faa). The si at the beginning means color. I know thank you (cop kum ka) and sorry (quator ka) since I say those way too much in English anyway. I know how to say sleepy (nuang non) and hungry (hue kao). I’m also picking up a couple of random things like articles of clothing. (Don’t try to say these at home, ladies and gentlemen. I’m not sure how to type the proper inflection to you.)
I’m not bilingual. The only language I’ve studied in class is Latin. People tease me for that since it’s a dead language, but it’s practical for an English major, okay? I feel like I’ve learned more Thai just by hanging out with my Thai friends who don’t speak much English than I would in a week in a classroom. We trade. I teach them an English word and they teach me Thai.
I don’t think I could be fluent in Thai by the end of two months, but I certainly could learn enough to get around: order my own food, go shopping, and have casual conversations! Other languages I know pieces of are starting to bubble to the surface too. Japanese and Spanish, for instance. Sometimes I’m just tempted to say “arigatou” or “gracias” instead of thank you or “cop kum ka.” I have the strangest dilemmas.
I’m also having a hard time maintaining my English accent. Especially since I’ve been hanging out with my Thai friends, and the other foreign interns. I keep picking up their speaking habits. Actor problems, am I right?