Storycorps provides an endless supply of short (2-3 minute) stories told by ordinary American people of all ages and from all parts of the country. Best of all, you can see what is being said. Here's an example with a Bangkok connection.
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Notice that little "cc" symbol under the screen. Click on it and you can see what is being said.
Listening/reading: Speeding up the learning process
When I was learning to read Thai back in the late 1960's I was impatient. To speed things up, I had some of my students use my old tape recorder to record short easy Thai texts. I still remember the beginning of the first one: กาเป็นนกชนิดหนึ่ง เราเรียกมันว่ากาเพราะมันร้อง "กา" "กา".
I used to listen to each story again and again – sometimes 10 times – and before long I could read, and I also could understand much better what people were saying to me.
That is a big reason why I have included sound files with the stories we use on the bangkokpost learning website. It is simply a great way to improve your understanding of a second language.
With the internet, there is a huge amount of listening/reading material available and today I want to introduce you to an endless supply of short stories told by ordinary people from all parts of the United States. There are also transcripts for each story so you can see what is being said.
The organisation that produces the stories is called Storycorps and its website is: http://storycorps.org. Some of the stories have been animated and that is where we will start. Tomorrow, we'll explore the website in more detail and I'll show you how to find hundreds more stories.
The animated stories are found here: http://storycorps.org/animation/. I have chosen one example because it has a Bangkok connection. It is called To RP Salazar, with Love.
You can click on the "cc" symbol to see the text, but I have also transcribed the text below, so you can read through it as well. I have also explained a few words that you might not know.
process – a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
impatient – wanting something to happen as soon as possible ใจร้อน
improve – to make better ทำให้ดีขึ้น
ordinary – not unusual or different in any way ธรรมดา, ปกติ
transcript – a written or printed copy of words that have been spoken บันทึก
animated – consisting of a series of drawings that are shown quickly one after another so that they look as if they are moving ภาพวาดเคลื่อนไหวได้
explore – to examine something completely or carefully in order to find out more about it สำรวจ,ตรวจ
in detail – in a very thorough way and with careful attention to facts อย่างพิถีพิถัน
This love story starts with a typo
In 2007, Rachel Salaar lived in Bangkok, Thailand
Ruben Salazar lived in Waco, Texas
Their email addresses were nearly identical.
RUBIN: Get to work, first thing I do is turn on my email, and I discovered this one. I didn’t know who it was from.
RACHEL: My coworker sent you that email by mistake.
RUBIN: And I was like, Here’s another R.P. Salazar. Imagine that. And so I forwarded it, I wrote a little message: “Hi Rachel, it seems as if this message came to me instead of you. I’m in Waco, Texas, U.S.A. Have a great day. P.S. How’s the weather there in Bangkok.
RACHEL: I replied to you, “Weather in Bangkok is lovely. Gracias, Rachel.”
RUBIN: So began a chain of emails.
RACHEL: The first couple of emails you started describing yourself, and that kind of encouraged me to be open about myself, too.
RUBIN: I was excited that this person is halfway around the world. It’s kind of like sending a letter in a bottle. I happened to hover my mouse over your name on one of those emails and a picture of you popped up. It was like “Wow, she’s really beautiful. How can I make this picture bigger?” I would stay up late at night, which was your morning and we would chat for like four or five hours.
RACHEL: You had started to play an important role in my life, even before I consciously realized it. I knew that I was falling love but there’s still that tiny little bit of doubt that, this might not work because we’re 8,000 miles away from each other. But at some point, I finalized my plans to visit the U.S.
RUBIN: And you didn’t tell anyone.
RACHEL: Because everyone would tell me “You’re foolish to go halfway across the world to meet some strange guy you have not met. That would be crazy.”
RUBIN: And on my end, every relative, every friend, coworker – everyone knew.
RACHEL: We were together for eight days.
RUBIN: We were dancing one night and you mentioned something to the effect that…
RACHEL: I said you were the sweetest guy I’ve ever met.
RUBIN: I knew right at that moment I need to say or do something so I don’t lose her. And so I got on my knee and asked you to marry me.
RACHEL: Deep in my heart, I knew it was coming and it was the right thing, and it was the best thing.
RUBIN: People didn’t believe me when I told them I proposed to Rachel. Some of them had second thoughts for me followed by five minutes of laughter.
RACHEL: They now all tell us, “You’re perfect for each other. You found the right match!”
typo – a typing mistake
identical – exactly the same, or very similar เหมือนกัน, แบบเดียวกัน
gracias – “thank you” in Spanish
chain – a series of connected things or people โซ่
encourage – to cause someone to have more confidence or hope about something ทำให้มีกำลังใจ
hover – to stay over the same place for a period of time อยู่เหนือ
play a role – to have a particular influence มีบทบาท
consciously – being aware of something; noticing something อย่างตระหนักได้
realize – to know about ตระหนัก รู้
doubt – a feeling of being uncertain about something/someone or not believing something ความสงสัย
finalize – to complete the last part of a plan, trip, project, etc ทำให้เสร็จสมบูรณ์
foolish – not showing good sense or judgement โง่
mention – to refer to someone or something in speech or writing กล่าวถึ, เอ่ยถึง, พูดถึง
moment – a very short period of time; a particular time or occasion ชั่วขณะ, โอกาสสำคัญ
propose – to ask someone to get married to you ขอแต่งงาน
have second thoughts – to change your opinion about something or start to doubt it เริ่มสงสัยว่าสิ่งที่ทำอยู่ถูกหรือเปล่า
match – a person or thing that combines well with somebody/something else คู่ที่เหมาะ (กับ), คู่รักหวานชื่น