Thaichinese, Chithai

That’s what I’ll do.

I’ll create a new language that’s a glorious hodge podge, or potpourri if you’ll allow for it, of the two languages I flutter back and forth from to study. I’ve studied Chinese and Thai since I was little but haven’t seemed to master either language. Just when I get to a point of good standing it’s time to move back to the other language.

During my younger years, (approximately years 3-10) we lived in Chinese-speaking countries. Well, there was Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong, but that is an entirely different blog post. From ages 10-17 we lived in Thailand. I took Thai in high school and one year of Spanish.
In college, I took two years of Chinese. My junior year of college, I studied abroad at Tsinghua University in Beijing for eight months. Now, I am back in Thailand studying Thai.

Sadly, now I fear my Chinese is fading. It almost has to be pushed to the back of my mind because in language class my sentences are coming out half Thai and half Chinese. Sometimes it takes a confused look from my teacher to realize I must have used a Chinese word in my sentence. Thai and Chinese are both tonal languages. Thai has five tones and Chinese has four tones. The second tone is said differently in Thai than it is in Chinese. This has caused a few problems.

I’m not complaining–but I’ve realized that in studying one language I inevitably forget the other language. What’s the remedy? Since pushing a magic button for fluency in languages isn’t feasible quite yet, (maybe it will be in 2012 if the Mayans aren’t right in their predictions) my only other solution is to propose the creation of a new language. This new language would be a combination of Thai and Chinese. I’m thinking of possible names, Thaichinese, is one choice, but I do feel that is slightly predictable. Here’s another Chithai. Thainese?

Thoughts? I am open to suggestions.

สวัสดีค่ะ , 再见 Sawatdii kah, Zai jian!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sam Chen says:

    Tessa,

    You ability to learn languages and embrace cultures has always impressed me. This ability is only surpassed by the thoughtfulness of your blog posts. Keep up the good work…and please don’t lose your Chinese. I need someone to talk to. : )

    – Sam

  2. Maggie says:

    I’ll help!!! Gwalai Leela, Gwalai!!!!!

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