Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rosetta Stone

My dad bought me the Rosetta Stone ไทย Level 1 program for Christmas. I'd heard about Rosetta Stone, of course, but didn't know much about it; I heard it was overpriced but that's all. It's pretty interesting. No English is used, and no romanization. It simply gives you lines of Thai (spoken and written) with corresponding pictures (or vice versa.) It does it in a clever order that lets you infer the meaning of words, and it slowly builds in complexity. The first few lessons are elementary to me, but the structured repetition is just what I need to drill things in to my brain. I think it will help enormously with remembering simple sentence structure (I get confused on placement of กัน, for instance), classifiers, and pronunciation... and no doubt a lot of other things.

While I appreciate the lack of romanization, the program conveys absolutely no phonetic infomation. Since Thai is a tonal language with a complicated orthography and no spaces between words, I think the program would be pretty difficult for someone starting from scratch. Similarly, all the grammar is learned from inference- nothing is explicetly "taught". This is a different approach from what I'm used to- I'm interested to see how I do with it.

RS comes with a headset, which can supposedly be used to record your voice. It shows the waveform and pitch of both the speaker's example and your attempts. Supposedly. I haven't really gotten it to work well.

Verdict? Looks like a great study tool. ขอบคุณพ่อ

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Thai music came. I really love DOObaDOO. Modern Dog is more standard alt-rock but it's defiently listenable.

I obviously can't understand much of the lyrics; it sounds like a babble of vaguely familiar words. The only phrases I've gleamed on early listens is กี่วันกี่คืน ("How many days? How many nights?") and the ubiquitous ฉันรักเทอ ("I love you"). More will come...