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Thats great info, I never knew that, I just thought it was the usual crap. i.e they know you know too much and you can listen

 

I was going to write a short article on my experiences with speaking Thai with BG's. I'll do it now and post it in the "Thai Language" section.

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I am (really) trying to learn but it is (really) hard

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Its always funny when they think u dont understand them and after a certain time u start speaking thai with them, their faces its priceless

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...I think the only time I've tried to learn anything is when

I am with my buddies and some of the girls at the bar try to

teach us a few words/phrases....of course I never retain any

of it.....

 

 

aki

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another_addict

I guess I can speak basic Thai. I started to seriously learn it about 1 year ago. I try to study it most days in my lunch break and at home for 1 hour. I've been learning how to write and type in Thai script too, as I've been told this helps to get your tones correct? It's a lot to learn all at once, but once I start something I usually finish it. I'm going to stick with it for a few years and see how I go.

 

I've only really encountered 1 girl who didn't like me talking Thai and she basically made out she didn't understand a word I was saying, even though over 20 other Thai people I know could understand me ok. She got really moody and ordered me to talk English hehe. It was a shame about her attitude because she was a complete stunner!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I could well believe that some people overestimate their Thai language ability. You've got to be pretty serious about learning Thai in order to make any marked progress.

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My thai is pretty basic but i have also leart some phases which are a little above street level conversation, Problem is if you show off using the phases the thais think you can speak and understand more than you do and you are left trying to catch up and understand. I personally think the Thais appreciate a farang trying to speak thai as a form of respect but they also find it quite amusing especially if your tones are not quite right .

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I've been a regular visitor to Pattaya for over 25 years and have learned to speak very little Thai and have no reading or writing skills at all. I must confess being guilty of the old Brit attitude that everybody should speak English. I tried to learn a bit of the language when I worked over there, but a combination of laziness and a broad Scottish accent made my attempts a constant source of amusement to the Thai people. However I would like to learn some more basic phrases as a form of respect. I understand there is no easy way to learn, but is there a basic tutorial I could lay my hands on? bearing in mind there are no Thais living in Dumbarton to my knowledge. :Whistle::P

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We have some good new Thai/English translators in the bookshop, Books as well as CD's for the PC or notebook, just click on the icon and it says it in Thai & English.

Also for your Teelak, A CD to learn English from Thai, easy for them to use although need a PC, Laptop or they can use in an Internet cafe.

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I voted the second option but am more inbetween 2 and 3 with edging towards the second option. Can have a relatively ok conversation but have to ask them to speak slowly.

 

I have found that on my last trip when speaking Thai with girls, I had a few ask if I had business in Thailand. When I said no I just wanted to learn the language as I love the place they seemed a little suprised and taken aback.

 

Its also quite funny that if you speak it reasonably ok (all be it slowly), Thais automatically assume you must be fluent and go off on one chatting at 100 miles an hour. It was quite fun teaching English transaltions to the girls for certain sayings for when they wanted to chat up falang other than the usual cliche stuff they all seem to know. I have found speaking slowly and clearly helped alot and there was little confusion, even though it makes you sound a little simple :)

 

I've got along way to go till I get to the level I want for option 2 but keep plugging away. Its very difficult when you dont live there and get a chance to converse interactively. I make the best by using time travelling to and from work to learn and refresh my memory.

 

Must do at least a couple of hours a day. I find it better to do a little at a time so as not to get overwhelmed. I know when looking at the bigger picture that I have got shit loads to learn but I see it as a challenge. Only 10 months in but am hoping by 2 years I'll be at a good level 2.

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I never made a real effort to learn the language,but being between Thai people for so long made me pick up quite a bit. I can have a decent conversation in Thai. Would like to learn better, but I guess I'm a bit lazy.

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Trying to learn just find it difficult without being able to practice and listen to others speaking it!!!

 

would be so much easier if I could spend a longer holiday there

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was having lessons in the U.K. and was learning quite quickly, the problem is when you can ask questions but not understand the answer !

I struggle to try to pick out phrases i know when they are speaking, but it all sounds so different.

I was chatting to a friend who is fluent and we were discussing reading Thai, i said it just looks like a constant line of letters, he said that when we speak we do not say each word seperatly but flow them together, that is how they write, as it is spoken,

Trywritingasentencewithoutanygapsbetweenthewordsthengetsomeonetotrytoreadit.

That's how Thai is written, as it's spoken. He said it's part of the education system, if each word was written seperatly it would be much easier to learn.

As regards speaking, i keep being told different versions of words and phrases, dialect variations e.t.c.

I also knew someone who was fluent and used to sit at bars and just listen, he said it was eye opening, another friend said that when you can understand what they are saying, you realise just how stupid they are, ( his words, not mine, so don't flame me on that ! )

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Took my Basic Thai and currently planning to do my Intermediate...Never had a problem conversing Thai with the locals and BGs..In fact they find you more interesting. According to my teacher who is a Thai, she told me that Thai people appreciate you more when you speak Thai, cause you took the effort to learn their language..Well it's true so far and yet to come across any unpleasant experience...

 

 

CHEERS!!! :unsure:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a few basic phrases. People in Thailand speak English so much better than people in Japan--it is rather frightening. Try speaking English in japan to get anything and your pretty much screwed. However places like Tokyo--lots of English---outside the metro areas--not so much.

bolly

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It all depends on the topic with me. I've done so many introductions (where you from, what you do etc) that I would say I'm pretty good in that area but on the other hand I easily get tripped up with Thai's talking too fast, using isaan or just using words I don't understand.

 

I have a good sponge of a brain when it comes to vocabulary, I can remember around 5-10 words a day now but I have problems with remembering tones and the use of all the connecters to make my sentences coherent.

 

I've found some people love you speaking thai while others, I dunno I sometimes think (cus of perhaps being relatively young at 25) they think i'm just a smart alec being a little cocky. And as for bargirls and the barscene again some like it some really don't.

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It all depends on the topic with me. I've done so many introductions (where you from, what you do etc) that I would say I'm pretty good in that area but on the other hand I easily get tripped up with Thai's talking too fast, using isaan or just using words I don't understand.

 

I have a good sponge of a brain when it comes to vocabulary, I can remember around 5-10 words a day now but I have problems with remembering tones and the use of all the connecters to make my sentences coherent.

 

I've found some people love you speaking thai while others, I dunno I sometimes think (cus of perhaps being relatively young at 25) they think i'm just a smart alec being a little cocky. And as for bargirls and the barscene again some like it some really don't.

 

It's always an advantage if your Thai is better than their English, maybe a hindrance for them if not, at least that's the way I prefer to view it. At the end of the day it's all about communication rather than wether somebody likes foreigners speaking Thai or not.

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I classified myself a 2. I have lived there for 6 years, about 6 months a year. When I am in Thailand, I speak about 98 percent Thai, using English only with Expats. My GF in BKK refuses to speak English with me, since Thai is so convenient. I can watch most Thai soap operas and follow about 70 percent, they speak clearly. Thai movies are tougher since the comedies use heavy slang and often different accents. I occasionally have trouble with different accents in Thai, especially among men. I can follow most women very easily. But, I do admit having significant problems with many English and Scottish accents as well (I am American).

 

In addition, did some one-on-one classes and learned to read/write. Can read newpapers slightly, read Thai in e-mails and write e-mails in Thai, although I have to use a dictionary because spelling in Thai is a bitch. When people say words are written as they sound, it is not true. I find in reading Thai, I need materials that write the Thai characters clearly, with all the heads on the letters clearly delineated. Unfortunately, comic books, which are an excellent educational source, often have the writing in sort of a short-hand on which I spend a lot of time trying to decipher what letter I am looking at. Newspapers, magazines, on the other hand clearly delineate the letters.

 

I don't think I will ever be "fluent". Fluency is a loaded word. Do you have enough vocabulary to carry on a conversation with anyone? Can you understand anybody you speak to, regardless of their accent? Can you speak about various subjects which in themselves have specialized vocabulary: polictics, sports (any aport), computer terminology, business terminology...etc. That is a challenge in your native language as well. I tend to disbelieve many who say they are fluent. That is usually relegated to people who grew up speaking both languages because they had a multilingual family.

 

Given that, when I go the bars, I rarely try to speak Thai, unless I am just passing time and just have a conversation with a girl. I admit it is hard, because speaking almost exclusively Thai, it is hard not to react and say something in Thai just because it is natural at that point in time. It is simply a reaction that sometimes is uncontrollable. It has happened to me as well when I am in other countries like Cambodia, Malaysia, HK, etc., I will react and speak Thai to a local Asian person, realizing immediately that they have no clue what I am saying.

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I classified myself a 2. I have lived there for 6 years, about 6 months a year. When I am in Thailand, I speak about 98 percent Thai, using English only with Expats. My GF in BKK refuses to speak English with me, since Thai is so convenient. I can watch most Thai soap operas and follow about 70 percent, they speak clearly. Thai movies are tougher since the comedies use heavy slang and often different accents. I occasionally have trouble with different accents in Thai, especially among men. I can follow most women very easily. But, I do admit having significant problems with many English and Scottish accents as well (I am American).

 

In addition, did some one-on-one classes and learned to read/write. Can read newpapers slightly, read Thai in e-mails and write e-mails in Thai, although I have to use a dictionary because spelling in Thai is a bitch. When people say words are written as they sound, it is not true. I find in reading Thai, I need materials that write the Thai characters clearly, with all the heads on the letters clearly delineated. Unfortunately, comic books, which are an excellent educational source, often have the writing in sort of a short-hand on which I spend a lot of time trying to decipher what letter I am looking at. Newspapers, magazines, on the other hand clearly delineate the letters.

 

I don't think I will ever be "fluent". Fluency is a loaded word. Do you have enough vocabulary to carry on a conversation with anyone? Can you understand anybody you speak to, regardless of their accent? Can you speak about various subjects which in themselves have specialized vocabulary: polictics, sports (any aport), computer terminology, business terminology...etc. That is a challenge in your native language as well. I tend to disbelieve many who say they are fluent. That is usually relegated to people who grew up speaking both languages because they had a multilingual family.

 

Given that, when I go the bars, I rarely try to speak Thai, unless I am just passing time and just have a conversation with a girl. I admit it is hard, because speaking almost exclusively Thai, it is hard not to react and say something in Thai just because it is natural at that point in time. It is simply a reaction that sometimes is uncontrollable. It has happened to me as well when I am in other countries like Cambodia, Malaysia, HK, etc., I will react and speak Thai to a local Asian person, realizing immediately that they have no clue what I am saying.

 

I believe that there are ways of classifying "fluent". One that I heard was if you can speak non-stop in a foreign language while being fully understood for 10 minutes. Interestingly there is a classification used for translators "extra fluent" Fluent doesn't mean that you are indistinguishable from a local speaker. if you can chat with Thais at their normal pace and both fully understand and be fully understood then I woul say you are fluent.

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My Thai wife has only been in the UK for a month but my Thai is improving rapidly on a daily basis. I take the time out to learn at least five words a day and some phrases too, she is starting to worry that I will become better at speaking Thai than she is at speaking English. Let's hope so........

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There are some free podcasts[like pink chilli] on itunes with audio and visual that can help at the beginning stage. If anyone else has free info let us know

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I'm not fluent i.e. 100% - but I do meetings, presentations in Thai and speak it in the office. Would find it nigh on impossible to work if I couldn't. Great to see so many people giving it a go. You'll find it's easy to learn the grammar so focus on growing your vocab. Learn phrases and don't try and translate direct from English - you'll get messed up. There are around 10,000 little walking talking dictionaries in Pattaya who can help with your studies!!

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