I’ve been gradually and begrudgingly starting to work out how to get the most out of the Hippo audio for Thai. This is based on a few pointers I got from Terry Hsieh the other day.
I was spending too much time before shadowing the same track, thinking I would wait until I could shadow it perfectly before I moved on to the next one. Diversity is actually key. Hearing the same words repeated in different contexts is an important part of learning them. I had a small “a ha!” moment when I listened to the fourth track a couple days ago and recognized some phrases from tracks one and two. I still don’t know what they mean, but the fact that I recognized them means they’re starting to make an impression.
The story is another important point. No matter how mundane it is, following the story — instead of just hopping around, listening to random middle sections — will help my brain put what I’m hearing in context.
So my new daily practice for Thai is as follows:
- Listen to the next recording in Thai. If I listened to track 5 yesterday, I’ll listen to track 6 today.
- Listen to the same recording in German. I can usually understand about 80% of the meaning this way. Good enough.
- Listen to the Thai track again, on repeat, for about 10 minutes.
- Go back and listen to tracks from previous days, each once or twice.
By “listen” I really mean shadow.
Why do I listen to the Thai track once before I figure out what it means? Is this important? I think it’s probably valuable to grapple with the sounds in Thai first, to give my brain a chance to figure out the meaning before it has an official meaning that it’s “supposed to” hear.