Young Woman Learns Five Languages from Social Media

Noeun Sreypich has spent two hours every day using social media and YouTube to teach herself Chinese, English, Korean, Thai and French. Photo provided

Sreypich aims for career as diplomat after university

KAMPONG SPEU--After graduating from high school in 2020, Noeun Sreypich has spent two hours every day using social media and YouTube to teach herself Chinese, English, Korean, Thai and French.

Sreypich, 19, who lives in Kampong Speu province, says she has been learning how to write and communicate but there are limitations on how much she can use these internet resources.

“I know five languages, but the ones I can use formally are Chinese and English, and I can only use Japanese, Thai and French a little,” she said.

“I learn them online by using YouTube and by communicating with foreigners.”

Sreypich added that the learning process has been easier because she used to attend French and English classes at school next to her house. Having the foundation of the languages helps her follow up with them quickly through YouTube.

As for Chinese, Thai, and Korean, Sreypich has been learning them from YouTube for almost two years without taking any courses.

Her dream to become a diplomat is the driving force for her studying many languages.

“The more languages I know, the better, as it makes it easier for me to communicate with people from around the world,” she said.

Regardless of her positive learning process, there were a few challenges that led her to give up on it once. However, she started studying again after graduating from high school.

“I had begun teaching myself for a month before I gave it up. It was getting boring and more complicated and I became lazy,” she said.

“However, I started it once again and am committed to it this time because it is preparation to go to university.”

To make the process easier, Sreypich set out a schedule of studying one language for two hours every day, with the schedule repeating weekly.

However, she only wants to focus on English and Chinese for now, as she is also preparing to go to university next year after a year’s break since her high school graduation. After advancing these languages, Sreypich aims to improve the other three.

Sreypich uses many ways to improve her language. English plays an important role for her to learn other languages. Songs, dramas, movies and educational videos in the target languages help develop her pronunciation, she says.

She also gets to practice by speaking to foreign customers of her family business.

According to Sreypich, her improvement comes not only from hard work but also from the help of people around her such as friends and her brother, who give her books and suggestions on learning strategies.

Her mother Teng Kimhan said Sreypich, the third of the four children in the family, had been a hard-working student since she was young. This made her happy and proud that her daughter can speak many languages.

“She has been studying hard since a young age and has never made it difficult for us,” she said.

Sreypich also finds time to help people around her and her family by helping with chores, babysitting younger siblings and taking care of the business.

Despite her achievements, Sreypich still feels the need to improve herself and she appreciates her mother and the people around her for always forgiving her, giving feedback and guiding her to choose her dream. 

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