Week 18 in my Six Month Attempt to Speak Thai Fluently
My attitude towards learning Thai has shifted significantly over the last week. Nothing dramatic has happened, but it just all feels easier somehow. Combining Glossika with exercise has made a huge difference, and I’m excited about making my video in Thai. There is less than two months left in this challenge, and it just feels like it is going to be all-downhill from here on in. One of the other factors in this change of perspective is the realization that I don’t need to force myself to speak Thai.
No Need to Force Myself Speak Thai
I’ve approached speaking Thai with about the same level of enthusiasm as my son did for his recent vaccine injection. I know it’s something I should be doing, and I’ve been making myself feel bad about not doing it. I even said in an earlier post that if I wasn’t speaking Thai every day with my neighbors by this stage, I’d consider this challenge a failure. So, why am I not waiving a white flag?
I no longer believe that it is a good idea for me to force myself to speak Thai. In fact, I think forcing myself to do anything is usually going to be a bad idea. It means that I’m switching from passion to willpower, and I’m turning something that should be fun into something that needs to be endured. I wouldn’t be able to complete this 6 month challenge using willpower alone, and it just isn’t necessary.
I’ve started to speak more Thai without even having to think about it. Sometimes the words just come, and there I am chatting away without any effort – I even find myself making jokes. In the past, where I would have just given a one-word mumbled reply, but now I’m talking in sentences. The responses I’m getting are in normal Thai, and I hardly ever see the look of panic on people’s faces (like I used to get when I tried to speak the language). I’m not having to force myself to do any of this, it is just happening naturally. It’s like I’ve stuffed myself so full of Thai that the language is finding its own way into my life.
Last Tuesday, I had to go and renew my driving license. Normally, I would hang onto my wife like a life-raft, and I’d get her to do all the talking. This time, she went off to eat breakfast, and I handled everything myself. It didn’t feel like a big deal at the time, but it’s a huge improvement for me.
The Importance of Faith and Intuition When Learning Thai
I think one of the challenges with learning Thai is it requires faith. I have to trust that what I’m doing is going to get me to my goal. This is tricky because there doesn’t seem to be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to language learning, and what works for you might not work for me. I’ve needed to put faith in my intuition, and this seems to be paying off. I’ve benefited from the input of some superb teachers on this journey, but it is following my intuition that has kept me passionate. My gut kept on telling me getting out there and speaking Thai didn’t have to be such a big deal, and this does seem to be the case.
Other posts in this series on learning Thai
Week 0- My Quest to Speak Fluent Thai in Six Months
Week 1 -Creating the Right Mental Conditions for Learning Thai
Week 2- Maybe Just Getting Out There and Speaking Thai is Not Enough
Week 3 – 5 Improvements in My Approach to Learning Thai
Week 4 – Generating Enough Passion to Learn Thai
Week 5 – Undoing the Damage from Speaking Thai Badly for Thirteen Years
Week 6 – Early Impressions of Glossika Thai Fluency Course
Week 7 – Introverts Can Learn Thai Too
Week 8 – Winning Strategy for Achieving Fluency in Thai
Week 9 – Thai Fluency in 10,000 Sentences
Week 10 – Problems with Staying Focused Prevent Me from Learning Thai
Week 11 – Importance of Cracking Thai Fundamentals
Week 12 – Painful Lessons while Ordering Pizza in Thai
Week 13- If I Can Become Fluent in Thai, So Can Anyone
Week 14 – How I Make Time to Study Thai
Week 15 – Redefining Fluency After Losing My Way While Learning Thai
Week 16 – My Learn Thai Fitness Challenge
Week 17 – Talking about Myself in Thai