My Thai language learning challenge has definitely had its fair share of ups and downs. It is so important to maintain motivation when you are learning a foreign language, and I personally think this is the main reason why people give up. The past week or so has had some significant positive and negative experiences for me. I’ll classify them as ‘ups’ and ‘downs’. Let me share them with you…

Let’s look at the downs first.


  • When I got pickpocketed and could not explain the circumstances when filing a police report, that was a massive downer. I guess I was in shock about what happened (especially after being in Thailand for over a year and having no trouble like this), but it really made me question how good I am at the language.
  • I actually learnt to read and write Thai well before I first came to Thailand from this UK based Thai tuition agency. I still have the learning materials from when I first studied Thai, and for a bit of comfort I decided to go over my upper intermediate textbook learning materials I was using in the UK. This book contains traditional Thai stories, and I found this really hard first time round. To my horror I still found it hard. I felt as if I had literally made no progress with the language since being here in Thailand. Not very reassuring at all.

and before this gets too depressing, let’s look at the ups.


  • The very next day after being pickpocketed, I went to my local Thai bank with a police report and managed to explain the situation and get a new Thai debit made for me without using a word of English.
  • I met up with some old Thai friends who I first met 3 years ago while we were all at University in the UK. For the first time, I felt like I could understand about 70-80% of what they were saying when they were talking amongst themselves in Thai! Better yet, they invited some of their Thai friends and I had a really good conversation about music and movies.
  • A few days later, at my Thai language school, I progressed to the top skill level which made me feel great!

It’s really important to keep that motivation and to try your best to maintain a positive outlook. This blog post by Benny Lewis is incredibly relevant to me because he is trying to speak Thai language, and he also talks about being positive and not dwelling on the bad experiences.

I’ll keep you guys updated, and thanks for all your support so far!