If you would have asked me two weeks ago how Thai School was going I would have said, “Great!” I got the highest score out of my class on my writing test and I just passed Book One’s test on speaking so now I am on my way to Book Two! I just give all glory and praise to God for helping me pass these tests for I don’t know how I did it. My brain must have learned something! (Haha) But right when I felt like I was getting somewhere, here comes Tone Class.
No wonder why everyone said that once you learn the alphabet it’s down hill from there. I thought it could only get better, but they were right.
After the alphabet, I moved to tone class. Being that there are five tones in this language, I figured I would just have to memorize which tone mark goes with each sound so I can know if it’s 1. rising 2. falling 3. middle 4. low to high to low 5. high to low to high. I was so wrong.
So with there being forty-four consonants and twenty-eight vowels (and even those change depending on the writing of the word) that the tone marks can be any of the five. It depends if your cluster of consonants are low class, middle class, or high class. Then with the vowels you have with the ending of the word, and which tone mark is on top, now you can determine how to read and pronounce it correctly.
I bit my tongue so hard in class to try to keep from crying, that I started crying cause my tongue hurt. My teacher then handed me a paper full of words to figure out what the tones were with the constants and vowels. An hour later with a major headache, I only got half of them done with still no clue because sometimes the rules don’t even apply to certain words. I couldn’t help but cry all over again. I would have to take these thirteen tone classes thirty times before I would even begin to start to comprehend this.
I would like to repeat this class but I have to move on to the next class due to that I’m leaving soon. Please just be in prayer for me, for in December I have a big test coming up for my ED Visa at the embassy. It’s all written in Thai and I have to read it and write the answers back in Thai.
I try not to get overwhelmed and looking back, I can see how much I have actually learned. It’s honestly a miracle. It is encouraging going down the street being able to read some signs, telling the motorcycle taxi where to go, and even understanding some conversations. I know at the beginning of the year I couldn’t do any of those things and so I’m thankful for this opportunity to learn a whole new language that God has created. I just wish He didn’t make it so complicated.
I noticed I got some of the Thai accent down for when I speak to people at the market, they automatically think I can speak Thai and start rattling off a hundred words per minute. I just stand there looking like a deer in headlights and smile and tell them I can’t speak Thai in Thai but then ask them to speak slower so I can try to have a conversation. They just smile back at me and nod. (Haha)
*Here’s a picture of my name that’s spelled in Thai exactly how it would sound saying it in English.