There is one really interesting series going on in our Facebook group. Paul Garrigan is determined to become fluent in Thai within a timeframe of 6 months. To accomplish this feat he embraced linguist Stuart Jay Raj to aid him in his quest.
So, it really begs the question; Is it actually possible to become fluent in Thai in 6 months. The answer is simple; no, or I have yet to meet one person who did accomplish this. But Paul Garrigan is no newcomer to Thai. He doesn’t need to learn an entire list of vocabulary, phrases and he already does speak with some degree of fluency. The problem is that even though his Thai is probably fluent, he has to finetune what he already knows and work on his pronounciation, or work on speaking more like a Thai – if you will. Enter Stuart Jay Raj, who is helping him over skype, giving him pointers and work on Paul’s pronunciation. The result? Well go see it for yourself, it is pretty impressive:
The difference is there and fairly easy to spot. Knowing the words and the phrases is just one step of the journey but making them sound and roll like a Thai is probably the hardest of learning Thai – or any language in general. This quest is a really interesting experiment, and you can follow it too:
Stuart Jay Raj:
Farang Can Learn Thai
Now the other important question is: “What can you learn as a Thai language learner, from little projects such as these?” First of all, there is always something to learn. Being fluent is not the same as sounding like a Thai. Even if you do know all the words and phrases there is still a new world to explore. Paul is going there, a lot of us still have to go. If you are getting tired of those crazed or confused looks on the Thai’ people faces, chances are there is something off with your pronunciation, rythm, stresses or something else that’s often overlooked. Learning a language goes beyond learning words and phrases, that’s just scratching the surface. Here we see somebody training his muscles to sound like a Thai, getting to know the culture that goes along with it and taking his language learning to another level.
There are a lot of ฝรั่ง out there who did it! So can you! Take Paul as an example and never give up or gave in!