I wouldn’t be able to speak English without this important person of my life. He’s my first inspiration to learn languages.
Here’s a story of my dad.
My dad is Chinese born in Thailand. His parents both come from China so the language they speak to my dad is Chaozhou or Teochew, one of the local languages of China.
My grandparents only speak Teochew to him so it is his first language. But since he lives in Thailand, he also needed to learn Thai in order to communicate with Thai people and to study in a Thai school.
He’s an example of successive bilingual. He learned Thai early in his childhood so his Thai is as strong as his Teochew.
But that’s not really as interesting as how he learned the third language: English. By the age of 27, he went to work at Saudi Arabia without knowing any English. After 3 years, he could speak English fluently and he also had a really good accent. He told me that he usually got compliments about his accent from the native speakers.
He told me that he didn’t want to work at just only one place and in order to be able to go somewhere else other than a worksite.
English is the way out.
So he spent the first 3 months listening to English teaching tapes every single night. He practiced it every day until he could communicate with other people in just 6 months.
He said that other Thai workers were afraid to speak English. They just worked there without trying to learn the language and they only talk to Thai people. But he practiced English all the time.
The result turned out that he got higher salary than anyone else because he could take a position that required language skills. His intention to travel around the country also came true.
Even though my dad can’t speak English fluently now, he can still understand some especially words about computers. He manages to maintain his English by learning about fixing computers and programing. Since stuff like that is mostly in English, he’s got quite good knowledge about technical terms of computers in English.
Growing up with all his stories about working abroad and learning new language inspired me a lot to practice English. He taught me that the first thing you need to have when you want to learn a language is to be confident.
“You don’t need to be afraid of making mistakes because that will teach you how to use the language correctly. Learn from it and keep practicing”