Hello. My name is Thomas and I’m one of the contributing authors here at babelhut.com. I wasn’t always a language junkie. My first foray into the world of foreign language acquisition started when I took a semester of Spanish in Jr. High School many many moons ago. At that tender age, I didn’t have much enthusiasm for anything school-related, so little came from it. About all I remember is my Spanish colors.
In High School, I took four years of Latin! I had some interest in the language – Ancient Rome was exciting. I remember we translated Caesar’s Gallic War Campaigns. We wrote strange children’s stories as a class project too. Sadly, Latin was the blow-off class at my High School, so I didn’t really learn any Latin. Vir in silvam ambulat.
What really got me hooked on language was people. In college I got a job at one of the dorm cafeterias. It was quite an international place. There was a guy from Brazil, a woman from Guatemala, a man from Mexico, a Kenyan, two people from Thailand and a whole gang of Japanese servers. Soon they were teaching me random phrases in their languages. Pom au ani ma hai khun (sorry if I butchered that, Thai speakers). Through them, I was introduced to even more foreign students and it opened up doors for me to do some international travel. Back at the university I ended up enrolling in a Japanese class and well, 8 years later here I am in Japan.
I am not fluent in Japanese, but I’m in a place conducive to reaching that goal. I’ve dabbled a little bit in other languages – French, Thai, Spanish, Dutch – but not with any dedication. When I came here I decided to focus on Japanese exclusively. For the purposes of this site, I have since recanted that decision and have added Pali to the mix. Pali is the language of the Theravada Buddhist Canon. It’s an Indo-European language on the Indo-Iranian branch, closely related to Sanskrit. Like Latin it is a “dead” language used only in religious circles and Pali classrooms. I live and breathe Theravada Buddhism, so it has long been a goal of mine to read the Pali Canon in its original language. More on Pali later.
Thank you for patiently reading my four-paragraph self-introduction. Next up should be Peter’s introduction and then we’ll start cranking out real posts. Feel free to introduce yourself in the comments.
- Author Introduction – Peter
- Author Introduction – David
- Grinding Out The Pali
- My Current Strategies For Language Learning
- Pali Day 1