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how to learn basic thai?


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I am looking forward to some basic thai to help me get around...

 

what's the recommended learning method? video, or audio tapes? class? any advice is appreciated.

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audio is the best way to learn thai . i learned with pimsleurs 30 lessons. thats basic and the rest you learn from the girls

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Guest Harlequin

Oh.... If you're serious don't even think about trying to learn phonetically - trans-literate to English - it's too confusing - play around at first with a few words and phrases - if you get serious - then learn the Thai alphabet

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I too am using the Pimsleur audio course. I put it on my MP3 player and listen to it while walking or jogging, exercising, etc. No book. I like it cause it's teaching me the proper way to speak. I figure it's better to learn formal first, then I can always drop the formalities depending on the situation.

 

Of course, you can always learn from the BGs! Might even be faster to memorize a few of their choice phrases, but not always will work well in everyday situations.

 

Don't want to discourage you, but Thai isn't easy to learn. Being a tonal language, it's hard to pronounce many of the words, but I stopped worrying so much about that, cause they can usually understand me from the context of the conversation. If you really want to become serious, you'll have to learn their characters . I was in a standstill, but suddenly, some things came together and I made a big step upwards in ability, recently. You just have to keep plugging about 30 minutes a day for several months.

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I started here - excellent web site

 

http://www.seasite.niu.edu/Thai/default.htm

 

 

Thanks Harlequin, that is a new one to me. Shame on me, I guess, was a student at NIU (Northern Illinois University) for a brief time, but not going to confess to how long ago that was. I have been fiddling around some trying to learn, but been looking for a good course. I have Rosetta Stone CD course, but frankly, not overly impressed. This site looks pretty good, will be looking into this one more deeply over the next few days.

 

Rick - Still a Student OF & PIT

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Guest Harlequin

Rixkix - this is a good site - it starts you off with the Manii Reader - which is, basically, the way they teach children - in the UK we had the Janet & John books (I'm sure the US has something similar). I'd suggest look at this section and in parallel the basics of phonetics, grammar and the alphabet - the latter will give you a sense of why it is the way it is and the former some of the basic verbs and vocab.

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I agree with some of the others on this thread that an audio course is probably the way to go. In my opinion the best one I have done is the one by "linguaphone".

 

Although the concept of tones changing a words meaning is hard to master it does just eventually come to you. On the positive side Thai grammar is very simple compared to English with no tenses and no plurals (the tenses are indicated by adding words).

 

It is necessary to learn a phonetic system because a lot of the Thai sounds have no exact equivalent in the English language (do not worry, this is easy). You can then learn Thai script which is a big advantage.

 

My Thai is fluent now (I first studied it in 1988). My best tip would be to learn from a properly structured course rather than picking it up from Thais, at least in the beginning. Think of it as laying good foundations before building a house.

         ความจริงเป็นสิ่งที่ไม่ตายแต่คนพูดความจริงอาจจะตาย                 

The truth is immortal but people who speak it aren't - Thai proverb

Karl's Thailand - My YouTube Channel

 

 

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Guest Harlequin

And.. if you want to jump to the useful stuff - buy the book called 'Making Out in Thai' - they have this for many countries - its not bad, but when you get to discussing girls, relationships, sex, etc - a lot of slang comes into play. Slang changes so quickly anywhere in the world and it does here also - the only way is to have one more than your usual drinks-limit and sit down in a bar with a fun girl - you'll learn loads...... Then, you need to re-evaluate what you were told and decide where and when you can get away with using it. I remember a mate of mine found out how to say "may I lick your pussy" - but reciting to himself (out loud) at work the next day didn't improve his reputation with the women n the office!

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You will need audio books for Thai since its a phonetic language. Thai stuff is also very limited unlike Japanese pop and anime so it will be a bit hard to remember how its spoken after some time.

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If you're in Pattaya and want to learn seriously, I can recommend my Thai teacher. She's a genuine person, not interested in giving someone an easy time just because they've paid already. She makes the effort to teach you properly.

 

The school is the Prince of Wales Language School on Third Road, dead opposite the Buffalo Bar. She's the lady who presents the Learning Thai slot on Pattaya City News. Khun Suveraya.

Been learning Thai on and off with her for about five years now. My Thai is OK-ish, I'd never claim to be fluent, but my reading and writing is coming on steadily.

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I agree with all of the above. Learn the alphabet as soon as you can. Even if you don't do a lot of systematic study, do a quick once over of the "letters" then learn how to write new words you learn in Thai in Thai script. There's no other way to write down the vowel sounds, so unless you have an amazing memory and ability to learn through talking, the writing system is the key.

 

I also took 10 lessons at a Thai school in Pattaya over the course of a month. THe bonus was my teacher was this long-haired hottie who wore mini skirts...and the lesson was up the stairs on the 3rd floor and she always went ahead of me. Now THAT's motivating!

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Heres another link, but not that good as the one above i think.

 

http://www.learningthai.com/

 

but if u wanna learn how to say NO to the street vedors and tailors, then theres enough i guess :OMFG:

 

Found another one in another thread here on the forum http://www.thaitrainer111.com/index-en.html

 

and this thread have some download info and more http://www.pattaya-addicts.com/forum/Downl...uage-t3752.html

Edited by Bulten
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Thanks Harlequin, that is a new one to me. Shame on me, I guess, was a student at NIU (Northern Illinois University) for a brief time, but not going to confess to how long ago that was. I have been fiddling around some trying to learn, but been looking for a good course. I have Rosetta Stone CD course, but frankly, not overly impressed. This site looks pretty good, will be looking into this one more deeply over the next few days.

 

Rick - Still a Student OF & PIT

 

 

Hey Rick ,

 

did u figure out how to use rosetta stone ? I can figure out how to use the microphone function ? damn 200 baht copy didnt include instructions :OMFG:

 

Cheers

 

Dude

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The best way to learn the language is on a one to one basis. That way your pronunciation (and tones) can be corrected. I was able to download the Pimsleur lessons but found I really didn't learn anything from them. Also, one or two of the tones given in the lessons are wrong.

 

Also, I thoroughly recommend taking a little time to learn the Thai alphabet and why a certain word has a falling tone or whatever. Without going into specifics -

 

Consonants are divided into 3 classes - low, mid and high

Vowels can be long or short

Syllable endings can be live or dead.

 

The tone of a word is decided by a combination of the class of initial consonant, whether the vowel is long or short and whether the syllable ending is live or dead. Tone marks are also used to vary the tone of a syllable.

 

Also, in spoken Thai, syllables can only end in certain sounds - hence สวัสดี is prounced sawat dee despite the 2nd syllable ending in an "S" sound.

 

It's not really that hard so long as you take a little time over it.

 

Alan

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I started out with thai for beginners , book and 2 cds uploaded my i pod also have pimsleurs but will use that when i can manage the basics which is coming along okay, thai for beginners is written by benjawan poomsan becker, will be back in patts for some more lesson ,s in january .

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I've used rosetta stone software at home. It doesn't really help for getting you conversationally fluent, but I find it really improves my ear for understanding what girls are saying and helps me to learn more when i'm actually in LOS.

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enoughâ€

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?â€

Albert Einstein

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