I’m sitting with a new friend of mine, Ode. He’s a local in Thailand and while talking with him I realized it’s important to realize that if you want to change your life you’ve got to put yourself in an environment to have that change.
As someone who’s been in Thailand only a few times, there are certain nuances in pronouncing similar Thai words that I couldn’t pick up in the beginning. But for someone like Ode, it’s second nature. It’s easy to hear those subtle nuances because he has grown up in this environment for the last 27-28 years. A language as difficult as Thai is easy to learn if you’re in the right environment. If you spend a year or two immersed in the culture you would pick up the language.
The thing that most interests me about Ode is that he’s very fluent in English but he’s also fluent in French, which is an incredibly complicated language.
Laurens: “Something that you said that was very interesting for me Ode is that you find that French is more complicated than English, but you find that you can speak better French?”
Ode: Yeah I find that I am more comfortable when I’m speaking French because I was in France for a year with French friends. That helped me a lot to improve my skill in French, which is why I feel more comfortable. Whereas here in Thailand I have less friends to speak English to so I feel less comfortable when I speak English.
Laurens: That’s brilliant. It’s harder to speak French but because he was in an environment where French is natural, he picked it up. English being a slightly easier language is harder to pick up because his environment isn’t conducive, so it’s harder for him to speak it. Although we’re taking about languages you can apply this to anything you want.
So if you want to be good at something put yourself in an environment where you are constantly embraced and immersed in that new skill.
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