Posted by: susankayjones | June 15, 2010

PILAT–day 1 (aka-making really weird sounds with your mouth, part 1)

There is definitely a majesty in mountains that stirs my heart for worship!!! Here are just a few pics I took on my afternoon hike today with my new friend, Naomi. We are off from class at 4:00 everyday, and will sometimes have homework..but plenty of time to get it done!

I love it here. The training facility is nestled at the foot of mountains with scattered houses nearby on the hills leading up to the mountains. It’s really quite quaint. My room overlooks a mountain range and I have eaten most meals outside. This is seriously good for the soul!

But, I love it here, not just because the scenery is picturesque, my room is great, and the camaraderie is easy. I love it here because of how interesting and helpful this information is!!!

So, I have learned many things already in only one day of training, but I feel some of the information and tools I have already gained will be paramount in “successfully” acquiring a new language. I say “acquire” now, because one of the things I have learned is that language is acquired, not learned. It is a cultural “inputting” instead of an academic exercise.

Today we spent time studying the sounds of consonants (specially of English)…how they translate phonetically…how our mouths are formed to make those sounds…and even stretching us some outside our English framework of 44-sounds!

I really love this kind of stuff. It is seriously fascinating!!! We learned the different parts of the mouth and throat used to make sounds, and all about the minute differences in pronunciation that can mean major differences in meanings of words!!!

We also observed and partook in an exercise where we “learned” some of the Jeh language spoken in Vietnam simply from some techniques involving listening and doing. NOT speaking!

I can tell that this program is going to be very eye-opening…and I am excited to learn more!!! There have already been some things specific to Spanish that are crucial to understanding and pronouncing words right! It is honoring to nationals when you speak their language correctly and take the time and effort to ensure you are doing just that!

Now…off to bed! I’m sure day 2 involves more drills where I will be forced to look at a hand-held mirror to make sure I am shaping my mouth, tongue, lips correctly! How embarrassing!



  1. Ha. I’m envisioning you and the 2 others in tongue twisting type exercises. Wish I could see that! Glad everything is sweet so far!! Say “hello” and “I miss you” to nature!!!!! (as I sit in my cube with the florescent lights)

  2. The last part makes me think of Anchorman! “Unique New York!” “The arsonist had oddly shaped feet!” “How now, brown cow? How now, brown cow?”

    Glad you are enjoying it….love the updates & pictures!

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