There are few things more beautiful than turning disaster into victory. As my regular readers will know, learning Thai has represented a severe challenge both to my language learning skills and my sanity. I had to take a year off, at one point and learn Italian just to stop myself from becoming too miserable.

Anyhow, job done, mostly. I can now remember tones (breakthrough), expand my vocabulary by a net 10 words per day and I’m getting better at listening to Thai also. Thus in less than another 10 months I will be able to comfortably and successfully chat with people in Thai. All I have to do now is to be patient and wait for the system I have established to work its magic. The key factor that is allowing me to relax and be confident in my progress is that we measure everything precisely – so I know when a new approach is working and when it is not. My latest method is working like a charm. My recall of my Thai is now > 95% accurate including the tone.

My next challenge is my Italian. I have just over 12,000 fluency units of Italian including just over a 10,000 word vocabulary. Irritatingly, due to mistakes made while learning including adding 4,000 more words in the last two months, I have about 10% of these words I can’t recall correctly and about another 10% that I can recall correctly but not quickly. So time to find another solution. I’ll report in when I have it.

I’m close to a beautiful situation. Soon I expect to be able to keep my Italian in prime condition using a little less than 5 minutes per day of study time and a bit of practice time. I don’t include practice time in study time because it is predominantly about having fun – such as watching a movie with Italian subtitles, reading a book I want to read anyhow or speaking with someone when I can find an Italian with whom to chat.

I wrote an article some time ago called “start with the end in mind.” The above is the “end in mind” with which I always start.