S3 – Language

Hello! Welcome to Q&A with Chris.
This is session 3.
In this session we’re gonna talk about language.
Right, let’s jump into it, the first question is…

Question 1 How do you learn a language?

I think the most important thing in learning any language,
the most important thing is vocabulary.
If you don’t have vocabulary,
then, it doesn’t matter how much grammar
you may understand about the language,
you’re not gonna be able to speak it at all!
So, with that said, the most important thing is
that you should be learning the most commonly used words
in that language first.
I would recommend just nailing down
the most common 500 words in that language
once you’ve got those down,
then you can start learning short sentences and short phrases,
maybe about a hundred of those.
And then your next step is to get your vocabulary up to
about 2000, once you hit the 2000 range,
then you can start practicing your listening and speaking
more fluently with children’s cartoons and very basic cartoons.
I wouldn’t go, you know, to movies or other kinds of programs yet,
because your level isn’t there yet.
If you want to be understating at least 90% of
all situations you find yourself in,
you’re gonna need a vocabulary range of about 5000.
It goes in steps.
Your first step is to get your 500 vocabulary with some short phrases,
next is get 2000 and start practicing listening to some music and TV.
and then 5000, and then you can just
read and watch anything you want for practice.
So, that’s how I learn a language.

about ประมาณ
at all ไม่ … เลย
at least อย่างน้อย
basic พื้นฐาน
cartoons การ์ตูน
commonly บ่อยๆ / ทั่วไป
doesn’t matter ไม่ว่า
fluently คล่องแคล่ว
grammar ไวยากรณ์
gonna = going to = จะ
hit ตีเป้า / ถึง
important สำคัญ
just แค่ / เพียงแต่
language ภาษา
level ระดับ
movies หนัง
nailing down ท่องให้แม่น
next ต่อไป
other kinds of แบบอื่นๆ
phrases วลี
practicing ฝึกฝน
programs รายการ
range จำนวน / ปริมาณ
recommend แนะนำ
sentences ประโยค
situations สถานการณ์
step ขั้นตอน
vocabulary คำศัพท์

Question 2
Do you have any bilingual friends?

Bilingual obviously meaning able to speak fluently
2 or 3 or more languages, I think bilingual just means 2,
but I think these days, we just mean that person can speak
more than 2 or 3 languages.
Um, yes, I do have many bilingual friends.
But back in England I didn’t have any.
Apart from maybe a few friends which came from abroad,
but once I came over to Asia,
well, pretty much everyone is bilingual
because everybody is learning English as their second language,
so, practically everybody who became my friend in Asia,
became a bilingual friend,
so, yeah, I have lots of bilingual friends.
Um, mainly in Asia.

abroad ต่างประเทศ
a few บาง / สักสองสาม
apart from นอกจาก
Asia เอเชีย
bilingual สามารถพูดสองภาษาได้
fluently อย่างคล่องแคล่ว
just แค่
lots เยอะ / มากมาย
mainly หลักๆ
more than มากกว่า
obviously แน่นอนอยู่แล้ว
once พอที่ / เมื่อ
practically เกือบ / แทบจะ
pretty much เกือบ / แทบจะ
these days ทุกวันนี้ / ปัจจุบันนี้

Question 3 What methods do you like using to learn English?

Well, I am English, I don’t need to learn English, but, let’s say
this question applied to my learning of Thai or of Chinese.
My favorite method, my absolute favorite method to learn another language is
to just watch TV or a program which is at the same level
as my vocabulary, maybe a little bit higher,
uh, and just repeat basically after what I hear.
So, at the moment, I’m learning Chinese in China,
and what I basically do is in my free time I’ll watch
Chinese ‘Sesame street’
I don’t know if you know that program,
it’s an American program, but they also have a Chinese version,
and all I basically do is I watch it and just repeat after every word,
and every time I find a new word that I don’t know
I just write it down and also write down the sentence
that it came with to better understand
how to use this word in context.
So, that’s my favorite way to learn a language

absolute สุดๆ / มากๆ
applied เกี่ยวข้อง
at the moment ตอนนี้
basically พูดง่ายๆ ก็คือ
context บริบท
higher สูงกว่า
how to use วิธีใช้
just เพียงแค่
level ระดับ
methods วิธี
program รายการ
repeat พูดตาม / ซ้ำ
sentence ประโยค
version ฉบับ
vocabulary คำศัพท์
way to learn วิธีเรียน
word คำ

Question 4 How much money do you think people spend on learning a language?

I think way too much can be spent if you’re not careful,
because many language institutions or companies
obviously want you to buy as much of their product
or products as they can make you.
But, I mean, to be honest, in this day and age with the internet,
do you really even need to spend any money
apart from your internet fee, internet subscription?
Or even then you can just use WIFI somewhere If you really wanted to.
So, the only money you’re really spending on is
for, you know, stationery and your phone that you
use to watch the videos on.
Um…. So, it can range.
I think the majority of people are choosing
to learn by themselves online.
Just like with this video.
This video is free for you as long as you have access to the internet.
So, I think the majority of people are learning by themselves
with mostly free resources and may supplement their learning
with some paid resources like books and stuff.
I myself have books which I’ve wrote and sell.
But at the same time, I also make loads of free resources
like these videos for you to learn too
because I am a great believer in using
both what’s freely available already and
what you can pay for, for a little bit more of an
advanced push in your….or advanced development In your learning.

access เข้าถึง
advanced ระดับสูง
apart from นอกจาก
as long as ตราบใดที่ / ก็ต่อเมื่อ
at the same time ในขณะเดี่ยวกัน
available มีอยู่
believer ผู้เชื่อ
careful ระวัง
companies บริษัท
development การพัฒนา
even แม้แต่
fee ค่า
free ฟรี
freely อย่างฟรี
institutions สถาบัน
internet อินเตอร์เน็ต
in this day and age สมัยนี้
language ภาษา
loads of เยอะ
majority ส่วนมาก
money เงิน
mostly ส่วนมาก / หลักๆ
obviously แน่นอน
online ออนไลน์
paid จ่าย
pay for จ่าย
phone มือถือ
product สินค้า
push ผลักดัน
range มีหลากหลายแบบ
resources ทรัพยากร
spend ใช้จ่าย
stationery เครื่องเขียน
subscription ค่าสมัคร
supplement เสริม
to be honest จริงๆ แล้ว
way too เกินไป

Question 5 What’s the best way to remember new vocabulary?

For me myself, I think the best way I learn new vocabulary is
by reviewing it as often as I can in context,
so, I would not recommend just learning a new word by itself,
it’s always a best idea to learn it in a sentence
because the sentence you learn it in will help you remember
the wold also, and help you better understand
how to use the word in a sentence and in context,
rather than just learning a list of words.
So, when it comes to that,
I usually would write the word down at least 10 times
just to practice it and just to help
to imprint that word in my memory
by writing it down 10 times.
And then I would write down an example sentence
alongside with it maybe 10 ten times,
each example sentence could be the same
or I could choose different ones
that helps me to remember the word.

alongside ควบคู่กัน / พร้อมๆ กัน
at least อย่างน้อย
best ดีที่สุด
context บริบท
each แต่ละ
example ตัวอย่าง
idea ความคิด
imprint ประทับ / จดจำ
memory ความทรงจำ
often บ่อย
practice ฝึก / หัด
rather than แทนที่จะ
recommend แนะนำ
remember จำ
reviewing ทบทวน
sentence ประโยค
times ครั้ง
usually มักจะ / ปกติ
vocabulary คำศัพท์

Question 6 Why are so many Thai people afraid to speak English?

I don’t think this just applies to Thai people,
it can apply to any non-native speaker of English,
I think most of the fear or pressure when speaking English
comes from the over emphasis on grammar.
So, you’re always just thinking
“Am I speaking with correct grammar?”
I mean, even as an English native speaker myself,
you know, I don’t always speak perfect grammar,
but if you’re worrying too much about it,
then you’re never gonna enjoy or use the language at all.
You’re just gonna be so worked up over
“Oh my gosh, Am I speaking this sentence correctly?”
“Am I using the correct tense?”
“Have I used the right verb?”
So, I think too much emphasis on grammar
is why people are afraid to speak English.
You should realize that making mistakes is natural and common
and it’s by making mistakes that you then learn of the mistakes
and I mean, if you never had tried,
you would never had known what the mistake was
to then correct it and speak correctly.

afraid กลัว
applies เกี่ยวข้อง
at all ไม่…เลย
common ทั่วๆ ไป / ธรรมดา
correct (adj,) ถูกต้อง
correct (v) แก้ไข
emphasis เน้น
enjoy ชอบ / สนุก
even แม้
fear กลัว
grammar ไวยากรณ์
just แค่ / เท่านั้น
mistakes ข้อผิดพลาด
most of ส่วนมาก
natural ธรรมชาติ
non-native ที่ไม่ใช่เจ้าของภาษา
over เกินไป
perfect สมบูรณ์แบบ
pressure ความกดดัน
realize รู้ตัว / ระลึก
right ถูกต้อง
tense โครงสร้างเวลา
tried พยายาม
use ใช้
verb กริยา
worked up กังวล / คิดมาก
worrying เป็นห่วง

Question 7 Can you learn a language by yourself?

Yes! I mean, you’re doing so right now.
by using this video, right?
When it means by yourself,
it probably means you don’t have a paid teacher,
you’re not paying somebody to teach you.
I mean, I, in a sense, am teaching you, right?
But you’re also learning by yourself because you
went out of your own way to find this resource,
nobody gave it to you.
So, can you learn by yourself?
Yes, absolutely!

absolutely แน่นอน
by yourself ด้วยตัวเอง
find หา
in a sense ในแง่หนึ่ง / ในรูปแบบหนึ่ง
language ภาษา
paid จ่าย
probably น่าจะ
resource ทรัพยากร / แหล่ง / สื่อ
right? ใช่ไหม
right now ตอนนี้
went out of your own way อุตส่าห์

Question 8 Do you prefer 1 on 1 or group lessons?

I could answer this both as a teacher and as a student.
As a teacher I would much more prefer to teach a class
because it’s much more fun and you can play more games.
But this question probably applies to being a student,
so, as a student learning a language I think there’s
pros and cons both to 1 on 1 lessons and group.
1 on 1 the pros are you get more speaking and listening practice for yourself,
and you don’t have to go at the same level as anybody else.
You can go at your own pace.
If you’re in a group you might be slower than the level
or you might be faster than the level of the group.
But 1 to 1 you can just do your own thing.
Whereas in a group, I think a group is also quite good
because you can also learn from other people,
you know, if you see them make mistakes and you’d be like,
“Oh, I didn’t know that was a mistake.”
And then you could learn from their mistakes
without having to even make them first yourself.
But also like I said, the cons about maybe learning in a group is
you may be ahead of their level or you might be below
or lacking behind the groups’ level.
and that can also kind of be a problem.

answer ตอบ
applies เกี่ยวข้องกับ / พูดถึง
below ใต้
both ทั้งสอง
cons ข้อเสีย
even แม้แต่
fun สนุก
games เกมส์
group กลุ่ม
kind of แบบว่า / ค่อนข้าง / นิดหน่อย
lacking behind ขาด / ตามไม่ทัน
lessons บทเรียน
level ระดับ
might อาจจะ
mistakes ความผิดพลาด
pace ความเร็ว
practice การฝึกฝน
prefer ชอบมากกว่า
probably น่าจะ
problem ปัญหา
pros ข้อดี
quite ค่อนข้าง
whereas ว่าแต่
without โดยที่ไม่

Question 9 What problems do you face in learning a new language?

I think one of my biggest problems
or obstacles to learning a new language is
just having the free time to do so
because working a full-time job and teaching English
and doing so many other projects, uh
yeah, the hardest thing is just finding the free time.
I don’t really have any obstacles in the actual learning process,
but all of my obstacles are that of not having any free time to do so.
It usually means, I just have to, like, you know, find 10 minutes here
and 5 minutes there throughout the day
to cram in some reading or writing
or quickly watch a children’s cartoon or something.
So, yeah, my biggest problem, if you like,
is definitely that of free time.
Apart from not having enough free time, I guess another problem could be
um, not always having a native to practice with.
Cuz being an English native in Asia,
they all wanna practice English with me
and it doesn’t give me really any chance
to practice their language with them.
So, yeah, I’m happy if they wanna speak English with me.
I’m happy to, you know, help them learn English,
but then it means I never really get a chance.
So, I mainly just rely on input,
listening to a lot of the language to learn the language,
rather than relying in speaking to learn it.

apart from นอกจาก
chance โอกาส
cram อัด
definitely แน่นอน
face เผชิญ
free time เวลาว่าง
full-time เต็มเวลา
happy to ยินดี
hardest ยากที่สุด
help ช่วย
input รับเข้า
job งาน
just แค่
language ภาษา
mainly หลักๆ
minutes นาที
native เจ้าของภาษา
obstacles อุปสรรค
practice การฝึกฝน
problems ปัญหา
process วิธีการ
projects โครงการ / งาน
quickly เร็ว
rather than แทนที่จะ
rely on พึ่งพา
throughout ตลอด / ในช่วง
usually มักจะ

Question 10 Which language would you like to learn next?

I don’t think I wanna learn anymore languages,
I’m quite full enough with Thai and Chinese
and even just using English, you know,
because I don’t really get that much chance
to just speak English naturally, normally,
because I’m always teaching it at a beginner level,
or at least at an intermediate level and even then,
it’s always in a teaching context.
So, I’m never really able to speak as I would back in England.
It’s funny, when I go back to England, all my friends are like,
“What’s wrong with your accent?”
“You sound like you’re from Australia or something!”
And I’m like, oh no!
Sometimes I go back to England and people don’t even believe
I’m an English native cuz my accent is all weird and screwed up
and it doesn’t sound like a real English native anymore,
but that’s because I’ve been in Asia and I’ve been
learning two other languages for such a long time.
So, which language would I like to learn next?
None, to be quite frank.
Thai, Chinese and English,
I think three languages is enough for me
and I’d rather just be fluent in these three languages,
rather than to be too broadly spread out and thinly spread out
between too many languages and not really
being able to speak any one, you know, fluently.
So, yeah, I think I’ll just stick with these languages
English, Chinese and Thai
and I’ll just get as fluent as I can in all three of them.
You know, even English, I need to go back and review on my fluency.
Alright, that’s the end of session 3 about language.
I’ll see you in the next session.
Seya later! Bye bye!

always เสมอ
accent สำเนียง
anymore อีกต่อไป
Asia เอเชีย
at least อย่างน้อย
beginner level ระดับต้น
believe เชื่อ
between ระหว่าง
broadly กว้างขวาง
chance โอกาส
context บริบท
enough พอ
even แม้แต่
fluent คล่องแคล่ว
frank พูดตรงๆ
full เต็ม
funny ตลก
intermediate level ระดับกลาง
language ภาษา
native เจ้าของภาษา
naturally อย่างเป็นธรรมชาติ
next ต่อไป
none ไม่มี
normally อย่างปกติ
quite ค่อนข้าง
rather than แทนที่จะ
real แท้จริง
review ทบทวน
screwed up มั่ว / สบสน
sound ฟังดู
spread out แพร่กระจาย
stick with เลือก
such a long time เป็นเวลานานมาก
thinly บาง
too many มากเกินไป
weird แปลก
wrong ผิด

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