Category Archives: Thai

Language for 2013 is……SAMOAN

Samoan Beach Fale - Samoa

Samoan Beach Fale – Samoa (Photo credit:

Yes it’s official, I am learning Samoan in 2013.  It was a hard decision to make, but ultimately I want my kids to have an understanding of who they are and where they come from.  Since they are one-quarter Samoan, I want them to grow up appreciating what that means.  This reason was the ultimate reason why I chose Samoan over all the other languages.  It has the least practical use for me and the least amount of resources, but it had the highest motivation for me to learn it.

Speaking of resources, I have collected several resources over the last few months using Evernote and I have already started to a Samoan resource page of the ones I have had a chance to review.  Samoan does not have a large amount of free resources online like Spanish.  A good and bad point is that Samoan does not have a plethora of courses, free or paid, like Spanish does.  This means I am not having to filter through a lot of courses, but it also means I have less to choose from.

All of the resources I will be using will primarily come from 3 course manuals I have got my hands on: The book Gangana Samoa, The Peace Corp’s manual for learning Samoan, and the one I am most excited about is the Samoan for Mormon Missionaries.  The Gangana Samoan book needs to be purchased, but the other 2 are available on my Samoan resource page.

Other Changes

I am planning on making some changes, going forward, to how I blog. Continue reading



Filed under Samoan, Thai

How to use Rossetta Stone

Rosetta Stone (company)

Anyone who wants to learn a language will probably have heard of Rosetta Stone.  Rosetta stone is one of the most well-known language learning programs, mostly due to all its radio/TV advertising.  It’s funny, when you Google Rosetta Stone, you will probably find more negative reviews than positive.  I think almost every blog about language learning has a ‘Rosetta Stone Sucks’ post in its archive.  I’ve always found that strange.

While I do understand the desire to guide people in the right direction, the almost pure hatred for this product is amazing.  Some will give the impression that the program is absolutely useless and is a complete waste of time.  First of all, no matter who much a program is marketed, if the program is completely useless then people will stop buying it and it will stop being made.  Secondly, there is no such thing as a silver bullet and to expect any language course/software program to get you from nothing to everything is false expectations.

Do I think Rosetta Stone is the perfect software program?  No I don’t.  But if you bought it or some how got a copy of it from somewhere (I’m not going to ask how) then what good does it do to write a post about why it’s useless.  I would rather tell you how to maximize the good parts so that it is useful to you.

How to use Rosetta Stone

*I have only used version 3, but from what I can tell the differences between the Version 3 and the latest are not that drastic that you can’t apply what I recommend here.

Even though it is sold as a program Continue reading


Filed under How to learn, Learn Spanish, Thai

El Dia de Gracias

Thanksgiving at the Trolls

Thanksgiving at the Trolls (Photo credit: martha_chapa95)

On Thanksgiving today, I just want to say Thank you to everyone who reads and follows the blog.  Thanks for reading and encouraging me as I continue down this path of language learning.  Happy Thanks Giving!

Hoy, en el Dia de Gracias, Solo quiero decire Gracis a todo que leen y siguen este blog.  Gracias por leer y darme  aliento  mientras sigo en este camino de aprendiendo idiomas.  Feliz El Dia de Gracias

ในวันขอบคุณวันนี้ผมแค่อขอแสดงความขอบคุณให้ทุกคนที่อ่านและฅามบล็อกนี้ ขอบคุณสำหรับการอ่านและกระตุ้นผมขณะที่ผมเดินเส้นทางของการเรียนรู้ภาษา สวัสดีวันขอบคุณ!

Sur Thanksgiving hodiaŭ, mi volas nur diri Dankon al ĉiuj, kiuj legas kaj sekvas la blogon. Dankon pro legado kaj kuraĝigante min kiel mi daŭrigos malsupren ĉi vojo de lingvolernado. Feliĉa Thanksgiving!

Leave a comment

Filed under Thai

Software Review

Recently I had a great opportunity to review a software program that would be beneficial for anyone learning to speak another language. My software review is over at  So go check it out by clicking the picture below:

Leave a comment

Filed under Thai

Learning a language like a Kung Fu Master

English: Publicity photo of Phillip Ahn as Mas...

Yesterday, many of you found out how I write.  Normally, I come up with ideas for what to write about and I make drafts with the titles.  Then when I have time to sit down to actually write, I have a whole shelf of ideas to write from.  Oddly enough, yesterday I accidentally hit publish and didn’t know until the next day.  Now you know, the secret is out.  What will I ever do?

This post is one of those posts.  I have had this post on my shelf for a bit now, but didn’t exactly know how to use it until recently.  The idea came about due to a child hood memory.  I found a way to get cable TV into my bedroom.  I used to watch all kinds of odd shows at night.  One night I watched a movie based on a true story about an American who went to China to teach English.  While there, he was taught Kung Fu from a master in China, despite the Chinese government doing all it could to hinder his access to the master.

Recently, I remembered that show, but I couldn’t remember who was in it or what it was even called.  I google searched and google searched until I found the Title: Iron and Silk.  Shortly after that, I found a version of it to watch and enjoyed it again.  That’s when I found a forgotten scene.

The Master becomes the student….kinda

During his studies, the master asks his American student to teach him English. Continue reading


Filed under How to learn, spanish, Thai

Go for a “B”

Image from Wikimedia commons

In high school, I was pretty lazy.  I was plenty smart, and I’m not saying that as a brag, but I was lazy.  For example,  I took the ACT (SAT of the Western United states) without studying and got good enough score to get into a University.  I never took it again, because of that.  I also knew how many “easy A’s” I could get and their fore how many C’s to get so I would get B average.

When I went to University, something about paying for it myself, made me grow up and I got an A- average.   The study habits a created in University has helped me as I now learn Spanish on my own.  I learned how to “study everywhere” and to take advantage of the minutes of free time I find.  It has been a fantastic experience to go to University, but one thing I learned there held me back for a while.

How could it hold you back?

When at University, I learned not to accept less than the best I could possible do. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under How to learn, spanish, Thai

The Myth of Fossilized Errors

psiloceras planorbis (Ammonite Fossil)

psiloceras planorbis (Ammonite Fossil) (Photo credit: cobalt123)

Even though I have my own blog about language learning, I don’t think I know it all.  I search and read and learn from other blogs out there.  I love reading the experience of others so I can take what I like and use it to improve the way I learn.  Everybody learns a bit differently but you can always get, at least, inspiration from others.

Fossilized Errors

Out there in the blogosphere, It’s common for me to read about “fossilized errors.”  It gives this horrible impression of dead fossils stuck in stone.  If you are not careful and “Speak too much, too Soon,”  then you are going to get these fossilized errors, like it something that just becomes permanent.

What is a fossilized error?  It’s a habit.  That’s all it is.  I know habits can be hard to break, but by calling it a “fossilized error” it creates this scary thing that makes it so people are scared to talk at all.  Language learning is hard enough, don’t make it harder on yourself by creating monsters in your closet that don’t exist.

A real example of a “fossilized error.”

In English, there are two words that a large number speakers, both native and non-native, mix up.  They are ‘good’ and ‘well.’  Good is an adjective and Well is an adverb.  To speak properly, you don’t use ‘good’ to describe an action, only a noun.  Or in other words, you can speak well or be a good speaker, but you can’t speak good.

Up until recently, I commonly made this mistake ALL THE TIME.  My wife hated it.  Every day, she would correct my “horrible American grammar.”  This fossilized mistake, that I had used almost all my 30 years of life, I corrected in about a week.  Why?  Because it was a habit and that’s it!  I won’t use the phrase fossilized errors in this blog.  I will only call them what they are: habits.

How not form bad habits

You still need to avoid getting into bad habits.  How do you do that?  Always be trying to get better! Don’t became complacent with where you are.  No matter how good or not at the language you are, never accept that you are “good enough.”  Don’t get down on yourself, just always be ready to improve.


Filed under How to learn, spanish, Thai

Spanish for the iPod


English: The 1st generation iPod Touch, with a...

English: The 1st generation iPod Touch, with a non-scratch cover over the glass front. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My iPod touch is my greatest language learning companion.  I wouldn’t be able to do half the amount of stuff I do with out it.  I highly recommend investing in an iPod touch or other similar type device.  It is well worth the investment in your language learning tools.

Most of what I use it for is the audio.  I listen to podcast and audio courses to and from work, but that is definitely not all I use it for.  I have two app folders, one for Spanish and one for Thai.  They are full of various apps, but I do tend to use some more than others.  So I thought I would share my favorite apps for each language.

Spanish Apps Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Thai

Repentance: It’s not just for religion


Repentance (Photo credit: Moh Tj)

I went to church today and no I didn’t have anything specifically about repentance, I do think about it.  For me church is a fantastic opportunity to go and think about what I messed up on and to recommit myself to doing better.  No I will probably fail again, but no one is perfect.  The important part is to get up when we fail and start again with a new commitment to keep going.  This is what repentance means to me.

What does this have to do with language learning?

I’m not turning my blog into a sermon.  I was thinking about how this applies to language learning as well. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under How to learn, Motivation, spanish, Thai

Back from my “Thai” Vacation

Last week was Thai week.  It was great.  I listened to Thai TV, especially a very interesting hour all about Taxi driver’s not legally being able to reject passengers without a valid reason, and I read and practice speaking in Thai.  It’s great to have this monthly vacation from Spanish.  Eventually you work yourself so hard you get frustrated and you wonder if you are making any progress.  Today, I felt my Spanish is the best it has ever been, and I did not actively learn Spanish for over a week!

Despite last week being about Thai, I still found a fantastic tool that I want to share with you to help you learn Spanish.  What is this tool you may ask?  It’s a website called Duolingo.

What is Duolingo?

The best way to answer that is to watch this video:

It’s a win/win situation.  They get more people to translate, which the more people who translate, the better their translation is, and you get to learn Spanish.  Functionally it is a great program.  If this was your only method of learning Spanish, you would be lacking a lot.  As a complement to your other programs out there, it is great.  You can test out of subjects and levels you already know, which lets you move on quicker to the subjects you don’t know as well.

The vocabulary builds on itself, so you need to learn basic animals and clothing before you learn colors.  Why?  Because you will be taught using sentences such as gray elephants drank water or I have a red hat.  So you are constantly reviewing old vocab as you study new ones.  Don’t worry if you learned plumo instead of bolígrafo.  It will accept any answer for “Pen” that exists.

Four more months!

As of this month, I only have 4 more months of Active Spanish left.  I really need to get down and push myself hard.  I have turned my Google Chrome immersion tool to “fluent” so that it translates whole paragraphs now.  I sometimes feel like I am way off, but I know that If I push myself hard enough I will make my goal to be basically fluent in speaking by the end of the year.

So four more months and you will hear me Speaking a new language.  What is that language going to be?  It’s one of those 4 on the right.  Which one would like to learn?  Vote now and share which one you would like to learn.

1 Comment

Filed under How to learn, spanish, Thai