This article was originally posted on WomenLearnThai.com.
The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast…
The reason I developed this quick and dirty method of learning a foreign language is that, as a Green Beret, I had to travel to many countries on short notice on vital missions with complex requirements that required me to work intimately with foreign officials in a professional capacity. Regardless of how hard I searched, I could never find one book or method that got me where I needed to be in the time I had to get there.
And the reason I chose The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast for my first book review is because it was quick and fast (I’ll pass on dirty for now).
Fast to read. Quick to get the method sussed.
So let’s get started.
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First off, A. G. Hawke (Myke Hawke) sends us on a tool gathering mission. No problem, as they are the typical tools of the language learning trade: Pen and notebook, flash cards, dictionary, phrase book, grammar rules and recordings. I’m sure you have most at the ready?
Getting flash cards together is easy too, as we’ll create our own. As for a dictionary to help, the Thai—English English-Thai dictionary by Benjawan Poomsan Becker comes highly recommended, so no worries there.
But the only Thai phrase book I have at this writing is the Lonely Planet. And although it includes a decent 2000 word dictionary in the back, the Thai script is chicken scratch to my eyes. Time to go searching for more?
Grammar rules was just a google away, so printing them out was easy. And recordings, I have a few.
Getting down to the dirty…
At the back of the book Myke has three and four column charts for six days. There are top verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, numbers, word phrases, present / future and past tenses. All we have to do is fill in the Thai before beginning our marathon of Thai language learning. Or, if you are like me, you’ll yell for your teacher to ‘HELP!’
So on day one we fill out the charts. On day two Myke sends us off for six not too gruelling(?) days of study. I can do that.
Wait! Turning to page 151 I find there’s a phase two in the works: Expanding your vocabulary. It goes from day 8 to day 30, then further on for 22 days. On each day we: Review what we know, learn 5 new verbs, 15 new nouns, one grammar rule per day and 5 new phrases. At the end the day we sign off with a brief review. Oh my.
So, will I do it? Sure, I’ll give it a decent try. And you?