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Thai home study


skyborn

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I'm debating between The Pimsleur Approach or the new updated Rosetta Stone. does anybody have any experience, pros and cons?

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I'm debating between The Pimsleur Approach or the new updated Rosetta Stone. does anybody have any experience, pros and cons?

I am looking at this

 

http://www.learnthaistyle.com/getting-started

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I think you have to decide how much Thai you want to learn or how deep you want to go.

 

Do you want to memorise 50-70 phrases that you can chop up and recycle or do you want to learn properly including reading, writing Thai script & actually understanding what you are saying.

 

The down side of the latter is the big learning curve at the beginning, especially memorising the alphabet.

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I think you have to decide how much Thai you want to learn or how deep you want to go.

 

Do you want to memorise 50-70 phrases that you can chop up and recycle or do you want to learn properly including reading, writing Thai script & actually understanding what you are saying.

 

The down side of the latter is the big learning curve at the beginning, especially memorising the alphabet.

I am about a 1/3 thru the alphabet, not as easy as I thought when I'm also working 5 1/2 days a week

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I think you have to decide how much Thai you want to learn or how deep you want to go.

 

Do you want to memorise 50-70 phrases that you can chop up and recycle or do you want to learn properly including reading, writing Thai script & actually understanding what you are saying.

 

The down side of the latter is the big learning curve at the beginning, especially memorising the alphabet.

I'd just looking to for light conversation, to be able to shop and ask questions really.

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I think you have to decide how much Thai you want to learn or how deep you want to go.

 

Do you want to memorise 50-70 phrases that you can chop up and recycle or do you want to learn properly including reading, writing Thai script & actually understanding what you are saying.

 

The down side of the latter is the big learning curve at the beginning, especially memorising the alphabet.

I do this memorize phrases and it does work. Now I've had to find a Thai teacher so I can put words into sentences.

Me no daft, me no silly, me wear condom on my Willy.

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Which ever course you choose the best advice I ever had for home study of Thai was to not over do it. Stick to about 30 minutes per day maximum even if you feel like doing more. That way you stay keen and will remember what you learn much better.

         ความจริงเป็นสิ่งที่ไม่ตายแต่คนพูดความจริงอาจจะตาย                 

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

Karl's Thailand - My YouTube Channel

 

 

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I am about a 1/3 thru the alphabet, not as easy as I thought when I'm also working 5 1/2 days a week

I'm about 1/2 way through the alphabet and likewise not as easy as I thought, compared to latin based languages that use the familiar greek symbols for letters(ABC...Z), we already roughly know some of the sounds these letters make.

 

Whereas Thai symbols are completely alien, then getting your head around the concept of 44 consonants & 15 vowels 5555

 

My strategy has been two pronged:

 

Software flashcards complete with examples of usage, pronunciation and audio examples.

You can earmark any you're having trouble with so they come up more often in the rotation.

 

Chatting with Thai girls on Facebook and translating their posts.

Keeps learning interesting and gets your brain familiar with looking at Thai script & how Thais talk and structure sentences..

 

Because I've learned the popular half of the alphabet I'm at the stage now where I can slowly pronounce a lot of Thai script without actually knowing what it means.

-----------------

 

On the Facebook thing, software translators are hopeless...  Thai is a very strange language in some ways!

 

I have a background in reverse engineering and de-encryption etc so I've taken an engineering approach to this problem as the dynamics are very similar to reverse engineering.

 

For eg:

 

8993987231774.jpg

 

Suppose we have a sentence in Thai and we don't know what it means.

It's can be very similar to the problem of opening this combination padlock ..if we don't know the code.

If even one number is wrong the padlock wont open.

We don't know which numbers are correct and which are wrong.

We only know all the numbers have to be correct for the padlock to open.

Still awake at the back there ...you boy!?!?

 

Now a sentence in Thai, each word is like one of the numbers in the combination.

If you get one of the words wrong, it can mean you are not be able to open the sentence to reveal the intended meaning.

Here is the kicker ...even if you correctly translate all the words in a sentence, the meaning might still remain locked because Thai relies so much on context, is not explicit like English and the cryptic ways that Thais talk especially on social media.  It's like encryption within encryption.

 

Hopefully at some point my two prongs will converge.

 

 

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Chatting with Thai girls on Facebook and translating their posts.

Keeps learning interesting and gets your brain familiar with looking at Thai script & how Thais talk and structure sentences..

I think that's one of the many advantages people have today if they want to practise their Thai. Many decent smart phones have a Thai keyboard that can be selected.

 

I keep in contact with a few TG's via LINE. For the past few months I have made a point of only replying to their messages using Thai script, even if they send their message in English. I think that you are right that it keeps things interesting and I am sure that it would be a really good thing for people trying to learn Thai script once they get into the word and sentence construction stage.

 

Looking on the bright side, those on-line translation engines provide good motivation to learn Thai and bypass them.

         ความจริงเป็นสิ่งที่ไม่ตายแต่คนพูดความจริงอาจจะตาย                 

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

Karl's Thailand - My YouTube Channel

 

 

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If you have an apple phone there are quite a few free apps to get you started.  These will have starting phrases.  I'm sure there would be free ones for android as well.

 

I found one for the alphabet, it also gives you flash cards for the consonants.

 

As said above don't over do it.  1/2 hr bits a day to start.  Otherwise it can become overwhelming.

 

I've actually been doing formal classes for two years now.  But I started with the basics at home.

 

Even do a web search for free starter phrases.  Youtube has plenty of free lessons.  They are good because you can hear the correct pronunciation.

 

Best of luck with the learning.

 

Here's an excellent site:

 

http://www.thai-language.com/

 

check it out.  Scroll down and it has a link to a free apple app.  It is the one I use the most.

 

As far as the two you mention, I don't use them but I've heard that The Pimsleur Approach is good.

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IMHO best way to learn Thai is same way Thais learn, start with the cat sat on the mat stuff. Get the little kids books, start with basic vocabulary, simple sentences, and learning to read simple 2 & 3 letter words. Those kids books give a good foundation from which you progress to more complex stuff. 

Women are made to be loved, not understood.

 

 

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I am sure that it would be a really good thing for people trying to learn Thai script once they get into the word and sentence construction stage.

Learning Thai script first is definitely not for everyone, bit of a slogfest tbh. If it wasn't for the sideline in cracking facebook I might have lost interest by now.

 

But, I've heard intermediate/advanced speakers say it's a good idea to stop using phonetic English(Royal Thai General System and its variations)as a guide to pronounce Thai as soon as possible,

so it should pay out in spades if I can stick with it and eventually start learning the rest of the language from a basic level.

 

It's an odd feeling when one day you look & the usual impenetrable wall of Thai script, starts to give up its Secrets. It might be only one word you recognise but that is the beginning.

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Learning Thai script first is definitely not for everyone, bit of a slogfest tbh. If it wasn't for the sideline in cracking facebook I might have lost interest by now.

 

But, I've heard intermediate/advanced speakers say it's a good idea to stop using phonetic English(Royal Thai General System and its variations)as a guide to pronounce Thai as soon as possible,

so it should pay out in spades if I can stick with it and eventually start learning the rest of the language from a basic level.

 

It's an odd feeling when one day you look & the usual impenetrable wall of Thai script, starts to give up its secrets. It might only be one word you recognise but that is the beginning.

Yes, learning the script is key to advancing your Thai to a serious level although I wouldn't say it was worth the effort unless you intend to spend a lot of time there.

 

I'm not on Face-Book but I have seen enough to know that it is not always the best place to read Thai script. There's a lot of modern influences and slang in the Thai that is posted there and the content can leave a lot to be desired as well. A lot of gossip type posts that need a better understanding of the context to fully understand. I've translated a few things from Face-Book for people and it drives me up the wall, if feels like eavesdropping on somebody's domestic arguments!

 

I thought that small book with the Linguaphone course was pretty easy to learn from, by bypassing the Thai names for the letters it allows you to concentrate more fully on word construction, you can always learn the letter names later.

         ความจริงเป็นสิ่งที่ไม่ตายแต่คนพูดความจริงอาจจะตาย                 

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

Karl's Thailand - My YouTube Channel

 

 

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My first couple years living in LOS I tried teaching myself Thai using various books I bought. Then I got the kids books, less than a month later I was reading basic Thai,  I really found learning to read Thai very easy and I sure don't have a gift for learning languages. Once you memorize the sounds associated with the letters of the Thai alphabet you can read...you might not understand everything you're reading but you're reading nonetheless. I can't read much in newspapers because I don't have all that vocab' but can easily read menus, street signs, various signs around the place, most notes/letters (provided handwriting is clear). 

Women are made to be loved, not understood.

 

 

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My first couple years living in LOS I tried teaching myself Thai using various books I bought. Then I got the kids books, less than a month later I was reading basic Thai,  I really found learning to read Thai very easy and I sure don't have a gift for learning languages. Once you memorize the sounds associated with the letters of the Thai alphabet you can read...you might not understand everything you're reading but you're reading nonetheless. I can't read much in newspapers because I don't have all that vocab' but can easily read menus, street signs, various signs around the place, most notes/letters (provided handwriting is clear). 

I agree, I have seen the books you are referring to and their use of bold illustrations would really help. I learned the foundations of my Thai back in 1988-9 from books and cassettes so by the time I first lived there in 1990 my reading was already at the stage where those books wouldn't be that useful.

 

I used to read copies of the old 'murder weekly', that Thai '191" magazine that would have pictures of people with their brains blown out and a picture of a topless girl with her nipples censored out on the next page. It would alternate Thai police investigation reports with sexy stories, bizarre! I remember one Thai lady's letter in the magazine that translated as "I like reading 191, it makes me hot and cold at the same time". The police reports would always end with a moralistic ending like "That's what happens if you are unfaithful", a bit like a lot of modern American movies maybe.

 

Yes, it's great to be able to read the signs on buses and understand menus, Thai newspapers are very hard with a lot of phonetically spelt English borrow words and full Thai names and official titles.

         ความจริงเป็นสิ่งที่ไม่ตายแต่คนพูดความจริงอาจจะตาย                 

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

Karl's Thailand - My YouTube Channel

 

 

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I tried both  Pimsleur Approach was just listen to CD - was boring. Rosetta Stone was OK but when I had questions Rosetta Stone told me to goggle for the answer.The best I found is Thai for Beginners - by Benjawan Poomsan Becker. I self -study because there is so much free web sites. A tutor is great if you can find one. Good luck

 
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I dont know about the new rosseta stone but the old one was a joke

       *** I would rather have sex with a beautiful starfish.......than an ugly porn-star ***

                *** We are drowning in information ---- While starving for wisdom ***

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On tip that helped me with the alphabet. I printed out a page with the 44 consonants printed in 5 rows (4x10, 1x4). I then would concentrate on just memorizing one row at a time so it was more of a bite size piece at a time. After awhile I could almost see the page in my head as I would mentally got through the alphabet in order.

 

Attached is a chart that has all the consonants, vowels, tone marks, special characters, numbers and tone rules all on one page. I printed this out on heavy paper to have as a handy reference to review as I was learning. It puts everything on one page that is usually spread out such as numbers and tone rules etc.

 

I also agree with the folks that use the Benjawan Becker books. The Beginners and Intermediate book are excellent.

 

Thai Alphabet Info.pdf

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The free app 'memolicious Thai' is a godsend for learning the alphabet. It turns learning into a game and competition to better yourself.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Memorizing the Thai alphabet is problematic to me. Some of the letters are never used, others rarely.

 

Concentrate on the most used letters and then make the transition to reading as early as possible is my take.

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I have burned a few cds of stuff I want to learn, as I drive a lot I have certain section of the cds on repeat, over and over again.

 

Some of it is sinking in gradually.

 

My missus was quite impressed as I never mentioned it to her.

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