First of all, I believe I am going to begin posting in a combination of English and Malay. It is nice to be able to speak a little more freely in my native language; Malay is still not as natural to me as English, although I would love it to become that way. I also do realize that there are quite a few people that will read this post that are very fluent in English and maybe even prefer English to be used in their daily lives. This is fine and enjoy interacting with people in whatever language they choose to engage me in.
As many of you have already realized, I love learning languages. I know that most of you know me for my ability to speak Malay, but I also have learned a couple of other languages, although, not as well as I have learned Malay. These languages include Mandarin Chinese, Iban, and Thai. It may be surprising to some people, but I am not the only person in my family that has a knack for speaking a language of the Southeast Asia region. My older brother, Adam, speaks Thai very, very fluently and continues to have quite the response from the locals in Thailand. He has a similar set up as I have, with youtube videos, a Facebook page, and a centralized blog that he uses to share more and more information on teaching English to the people in Thailand. In fact, the original reason that I made my first video, of posting it on youtube and waiting to see if there was any reaction, was Adam's idea. He made a few videos about a year before me and had great success and a huge response from thousands and thousands of people in Thailand. People love his blond hair, blue eyed look. Here is a picture of Adam:
When I finally decided to make my first video, I decided to use the exact same content that he used in his most popular video. Yes, his most popular video was his video of teaching "what's up" and "not much. just chillin" as the response. When Adam made this video, him and I were currently living in Texas, working there for a few months during the summer. I always thought it was kind of funny that he was recording himself and putting it on youtube. He actually had me be the person in his first video, that responded to his question of "what's up?". Here is his first video below. You can see me at 0:34 and then again at 1:00. Adam refers to me as "nong Ben" because I am his younger brother, "nong" being similar to "adik". As in Malay, Thai uses family pronouns that indicate the age of the other person in comparison to the person speaking.
After Adam posted this video, he quickly received a positive response, and the views were starting to add up. All of a sudden, Adam's video had been viewed a few hundred times. This was a huge amount to us! We both couldn't believe how many people were watching his video, commenting, and raving about this "farang" that could speak such perfect Thai! Little did he know that this was only the beginning. Throughout the rest of the summer months, Adam continued to make a few more videos, often times in response to people's questions. More and more views started adding up. After just a few months, his videos began to slowly but surely creep up to over 100,000 views! This was totally unexpected by Adam and myself. Eventually more and more exposure was imminent for Adam, and we could both see a potentially bright future with what he was doing. It was amazing how many people in Thailand were supporting him!
When the next year year arrived, from about January 2010 to May of 2010, Adam headed to Thailand to be an intern at a University in Chiang Mai Thailand. During this time, Adam was contacted by a TV show called "I Love Thailand". The show featured Adam in Chiang Mai, doing various activities with the Host, such as Muay Thai, bungee jumping, playing with animals, eating the local food, and even singing karaoke.
The show boosted Adam's popularity on youtube, and the whole internet in general. When Adam lived in Thailand during this period, more and more people began to recognize him everywhere he went. Since he was assisting in teaching English to the Professors at the University, he himself became known as a professor. He is now known in Thailand as "Ajarn Adam" or Professor Adam. Also during this time, Adam made a number of videos with another intern in the same program as Adam. This friend's name is Mike Boonack, or as he is known in Thailand, Mod. Here is a video he made with Mod:
They were quite an entertaining two to watch.
When Adam finished his internship in Thailand, he moved back to the US for the summer, and worked with me in Nashville, Tennessee and Little Rock, Arkansas for the summer. Our job was simply selling alarm systems to people for their homes. We worked hours and hours each day finding people interested in protecting their house with an alarm. Adam and I would come home at the end of the night, exhausted from the heat of the day. We would have funny stories about weird people and how their dogs wouldn't quiet down. We would joke about how slick of a salesman we were, closing some people that did not show any interest in the alarms we were selling at all. It really was quite fun and we enjoyed the competition. Some nights when we did not have much to do, we would make a video. This video below was filmed while we were in Kentucky:
We had discussed many times of how I wanted to visit him in Thailand that year, and that he should accompany me to Malaysia to see some of the places I hadn't seen yet either. During the summer I booked a trip to Thailand and Malaysia and couldn't wait for December to come. Adam returned to Thailand after the summer was over, in September, right as I began the fall semester of school. October went by. On November 1 of 2010, I finally decided to follows Adam's advice and make a video very similar to his first video and see what kind of reaction youtube viewers would give me. This was just the beginning.
Ok, itu sahaje untuk saya ni malam ni. Pukul empat petang untuk k'orang.... pukul satu pagi untuk saya... haha. Saya mengantuk gileee. Saya selalu suka membaca komen-komen di bawah. Walaupun saya suka baca komen2 tu, saya tak selalu dapat menjawab setiap soalan. Kalau ada cikgu2 English lain, jangan malu nak jawab soalan-soalannya untuk saya!