i have always wonder why between me and my hmong cousins and friends, why my sister and i ended up picking up thai when they didn't? my question is: what made it for you to come to understand thai? or what broke it for you that you didn't catch the language? i'm aware that many the hmong newcomers are pro at thai and that some hmong understand some thai, so you judge yourself. my story: my mom is a lakorn addict and my dad likes those thai dub chinese fighting wuxia series. very typical story. back in the refugee camps, when i was still in my mom's womb until i was a baby, my mom took me to the "theaters" to watch lakorns. i came to the us as a baby. as long as i could remember, lakorns was predominantly all i watch. we used to bother my mom to translated for us, and gradually, you're a child and desperate, so you learned. what really pushed me was one of my old hmong classmate who lived in the neighborhood, she and her her sisters are so snobby about their knowing thai. so a discreet rivalry between her sisters versus me and my sisters knowing thai started. this endured for about 3 years during my late elementary to early middle school years. the fact that i was so obsessed with D2B really sealed the deal for me. it really has to be sixth grade that i realized i was good, and 8 years later today, i am "self-taught" and fluent. i recently got thinking about how there is the few percentages of hmong older youth (if that makes sense, i'm in my very early 20s) that understand thai. i don't know if 12 year old hmong kids today are that interested or are as exposed. many of my hmong cousins and friends watch lakorns, now wishing more than ever that they had learned thai. so, what made it or broke it for you? please share, i'm excited to know!