Sunday, May 14, 2006

Ninja learning. entry no.3

(or how I finally remembered the Thai alphabet) 
Finally this past week, after more than 2 months, I can finally say that I have taught myself to write the Thai alphabet (not including vowels :))

This year after several false starts I finally decided that enough was enough and that I was to hunker down and finally nail the alphabet. I asked around and found a tutor and he set me upon the "Ninja Learning" technique. "wha?" I said when he first mentioned it. Then he asked me if I had seen Karate Kid. Of course I had (I actually prefer Ralph Macchois earlier work). Before he got to do the high flying kicks and before he could slide down that string of Japanese lanterns he had to start off by painting Mr. Miyagi's fence, then he had to catch a fly with chopsticks. The point being that he would master one small seemingly insignificant task a day, and each subsequent task-a-day would build on the previously learnt ones.

And so too an alphabet character a day sent me on the road to mastering the alphabet- even the obsolete ones. Beleive me it was frustrating at first having to confine myself to one a day, I mean come on, I knew Gor Gai backwards, but I kept to the deal and wrote out one page a day of the new character I was learning followed by another page of the whole alphabet up to that letter. It averaged out to about 700 characters to a page. It took about 20 minutes for each page so about an hour a day. 
Although I aimed for one character a day, there were days that I didn't get anything done, so it took a bit longer than the originally planned 44 days. And it did get a bit messy on the full alphabet pages at times.
I did it wherever I could find the time- on the subway to and from work, on the bullet train on the way to Kyoto to view the cherry bloosoms, at my desk late at night a lot, and if I knew I had a busy day ahead I'd sometimes leave for work early and sit at Starbucks before work and get as much as possible done.
Yes it was sometimes gruelling, but I think it was worth it. I can use a dictionary now :), which came in handy just this afternoon. Also, I should be able to remember the tones of each character now because I have been saying them at least 30 times a day in order.

Vowels next I suppose.......

1 comment:

Virtual Thai Keyboard said...

free english to virtual thai keyboard switch language English to Thai converter type thai fonts thai language install no font on screen can't write character symbol letter print English/Thai layout fast typing unicode flash easy small size typewrite English change char writing quick text input convert post encode.,easy and simple for none thai langage keyboard install,