18 March 2013; AT5 = 934 hours; total time = 1872 hours; TV = 101.2 hours
For what it’s worth, I just this week passed the 100 hour mark in terms of watching Thai video (movies & TV), and later today when I go to school I will hit the point where my hours in AT5 start to exceed 50% of my total time in the AUA program.
Since the last entry, my video watching has been entirely of one particular Thai lakorn, Maneesawat (มณีสวาท). In fact, the concluding episode aired last week, but I’ve been viewing the early episodes that I’d missed on YouTube, which – as long as I have a good internet connection – is actually better than on TV in that there are no commercials.
My understanding seems to be picking up a little bit, which may be in part due to familiarity with the show’s plot and characters. I also seem to be more engaged even when I don’t really understand what’s being said. This is interesting because I’ve previously experienced the same thing in classes at AUA: I would hit a stage where my language abilities were still inadequate enough for that level of Thai that there would be stretches of time when I couldn’t understand what was being said, but even though I couldn’t understand what was going on, I would still feel engaged and interested, my attention rapt.
I’ve wondered if this happens because I now understand enough of the show as a whole that when my comprehension fails, my curiosity as to what’s going on only increases. I’ve also sometimes felt as if there’s something – within the language I’m listening to – which I’m able to follow, able to pay attention to, but which doesn’t really translate into verbal meaning. Perhaps I’ve gained a greater ability to tune into the non-verbal aspects of the language being used, things like emphasis or intonation? Or could it be that my ability to process the language has increased but that it still falls short of the threshold of actual understanding?