THIS IS A TRANSLATED VERSION OF THIS SWEDISH POST!
Why should it be so hard to find a thai school where they from the beginning of course 1 also teach the thai alphabet? 2 years ago, while still at home in Gothenburg, I’d signed up for a course at Folkuniversitetet. I’d had a mail conversation before I came home from Thailand, regarding the alphabet question and whether they taught you the alphabet or not.
Of course they tought you the alphabet – it’s a language course!
Yes siree ma’am was the answer. Without any doubt. It turned out it wasn’t at all yes siree ma’am. It was nono siree ma’am. So I sat by myself, transcribing everything in the book into thai alphabet, which, upon discovery, made my teacher stunned.
“Farang only want speak!”
When I explained to her why I thought it was much easier to learn the alphabet while learning a new language, she just looked puzzled, the poor girl. What a crazy farang – wanting to learn the alphabet; all the others wanted to avoid this predicament.
If you know it’s really a g, then you also know that it isn’t a k
Lucky me, the best example showed up served on a silver platter the same lesson. She pointed out the the k in certain words was to be pronounced more like a g. For me, sitting there with the whole section written in thai, it was a piece of cake, because I could see she was talking about the letter ก. But the others looked more than confused.
I was no longer a mental patient
I saw my opportunity to deny any mental illness they might think I had and clearly stated while pointing at the thai letter in question: well, now you see why it’s easier if you know the alphabet. You can actually see which letter you’re in fact talking about. Then she understood and stopped ogling me in that peculiar way.
Will the Thai school in Thailand teach me what I want to learn?
I’ve found a school on Koh Samui, where the courses starts on the 8th of October, and through them I can get an ED student visa for 1 year if I sign up for 6 courses. Every course cost 8000 baht and all 6 together including the student visa would be 28 000 baht. It seems like a pretty good deal, at least to me, and it’s exactly what I need; learn the language from scratch so I in the future can work with translating from/to thai in some way.
You cannot learn a language properly if you don’t understand its writing system!
Well, today I find out they don’t teach you the alphabet until the end of course 2. WTF! It’s like learning a language once just to re-learn it again; incredibly unnecessary. When I was studying Japanese at the University of Gothenburg they focused enormously during the first 2 weeks of course A on teaching us the alphabet, or 2 of the alphabets anyhow – hiragana and katakana. After that it was all downhill. I don’t understand why Thai people don’t get this. You cannot learn a language for real without understanding its writing. You just can’t.
So it will probably turn out the same way it did back home – I will have to transcribe everything myself.
Every man is an island, and together with myself I can do anything!