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Thai Frustrations


Ajay75

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Seeing as I've spent most of this week freezing and falling on my ass in the snow in this poxy weather, I thought I'd keep with the Christmas spirit and just have a good old moan about my frustrations in learning Thai. Don't get me wrong I still like learning but there are times where Thai just pisses me off plain and simple for the following reasons.

 

Ok here goes....

 

1> Days where I can speak perfectly well with very few mistakes, then the next day not being able to string a sentence together.

 

2> Wondering why I've taken on such a difficult language when compared to French, German etc and if I'll every truley be able to speak perfectly

 

3> Not understanding sometimes when someone asks a simple question (proper frustrating)

 

4> Being able to read and understand phonetic Thai fine and it looking so simple but speaking it so difficult

 

5> My teacher rambling on at 100 miles an hour thinking I am having a "good day" (see point one) despite repeated attempts to tell her to slow down (she does eventually)

 

6> Not having the opportunity to revise for a few days and then having a lesson = me speaking crap IMO

 

7> Getting annoying with myself for not having motivation sometimes and feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of vocab, patterns, phrases I have and need to learn.

 

That's all I can think of at the moment 555. I'm sure there will be more but I don't want to sound too negative about learning. I've been learning with a teacher for a year and although I've come along way since starting this time last year I dont feel I've progressed enough.

 

Learning part time is bloody difficult. An ideal situation for me would be to have 1 to 1 tuition 6 hours a day 5 days a week for 6 months. I think you would learn so much more in a relatively short space of time with regular classes and someone there pushing you continuously forward. Self motivation is the hardest part of learning I've found.

 

We're all in the same boat so post your experiences and vent some frustration :)

My understanding of women goes only as far as the pleasures.

-- Michael Caine (Alfie, 1966)

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Sometimes you just have to be patient. It sounds like you are putting pressure upon yourself. With Thai I found that it took a year or two just to develop an 'ear' for the language, particularly the tones.

 

Don't try to rush it. My biggest tip is to study no more than 20-30 minutes per day. usually after this ammount of time I would be keen to learn more but the truth is that any more would have meant that I was unlikely to remember it all. This approach also keeps you keen for the next lesson.

 

You are obviously serious about studying Thai so you will get there but it takes time and there is no short cut. Don't make it hard for yourself, things that we chase have a habit of running away from us. 20 to 30 minutes per day and you'll get there.

         ความจริงเป็นสิ่งที่ไม่ตายแต่คนพูดความจริงอาจจะตาย                 

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

Karl's Thailand - My YouTube Channel

 

 

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Yeah I know what your saying is true Doc and I agree. I don't really pressure myself too much but when I know I've learnt things it's annoying. I must admit there have been times where I don't really look forward to lessons partly due to lack of motivation and a feeling of not being prepared. Plus my teacher is a pretty strict one who insists on speaking perfectly. Many times I get structure and pronounciation 100% but will miss an odd connector word or something minor so get the impression I am doing worse than I actually am.

 

I chat with a couple of other students of my teacher and we all have the same problems it seems. I just fancied having a moan in typical British spirit 555.

My understanding of women goes only as far as the pleasures.

-- Michael Caine (Alfie, 1966)

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Number 3, horrid that.

 

I try and think of any progress is progress, I used to get stressed a little but now just kinda go with the flow and let things work themselves out

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Number 3, horrid that.

 

I try and think of any progress is progress, I used to get stressed a little but now just kinda go with the flow and let things work themselves out

 

Yeah its more frustrating than anything. Usually catches me out after been chatting in long sentences with someone and they ask something short and throws me off a little. Need to think about it especially when in Thailand and had a heavy night the night before. Tend to give speaking Thai a wide birth on those days as I know I cant think at all. Problem is when you know people and they know you can speak Thai a bit they want to chat in Thai.

 

I guess I'm putting a little bit of pressure on myself as I'm paying for this everymonth. Luckily my teachers in BBK so its not costing that much. I'd be skint if it was at UK hourly rates.

My understanding of women goes only as far as the pleasures.

-- Michael Caine (Alfie, 1966)

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I can't comment on Thai but know that learning any new language is not easy and like anything perserverence is the key.

 

Yes it's demoralising and you will feel like you're not getting anywhere but then one day it'll all click.

 

The pleasure that you get from being able to fluently converse (and eventually think and dream) in another language is second to none.

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Think taking time to get aquainted with the language is important. if you want to speak Thai, listen to Thai friends and ask them to talk to you. Learning Thai language from the book, will be very frustrating, because when you come to LOS you will discover you will not understand a word they say :-). It takes a minimum of two years before spoken Thai becomes a little bit clear to you. Writing and reading will take you another 5 years. But once you can communicate and understand, you can start 'Wow Lao' hehe, because most of the people you'll meet will speak Lao. Cheers mates.

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Think taking time to get aquainted with the language is important. if you want to speak Thai, listen to Thai friends and ask them to talk to you. Learning Thai language from the book, will be very frustrating, because when you come to LOS you will discover you will not understand a word they say :-). It takes a minimum of two years before spoken Thai becomes a little bit clear to you. Writing and reading will take you another 5 years. But once you can communicate and understand, you can start 'Wow Lao' hehe, because most of the people you'll meet will speak Lao. Cheers mates.

 

 

I agree that learning from a book can only get you so far and I wouldnt recommend learning for any length of time using books. I only used books for basic survival Thai phrases for holiday, not for having any sort of conversation. Luckily after doing pimslar I sacked off learning from other sources and got myself a teacher which has helped greatly.

 

However I dont quite agree with the time periods your saying about learning thai in its various sources. I think you can crack it to an advanced level in around 3 years. As for Laos, theres probably 30% difference in vocab compared to Thai and all the sentence structures are the same so once you learn Thai it would be pretty easy to learn Laos.

My understanding of women goes only as far as the pleasures.

-- Michael Caine (Alfie, 1966)

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I agree that learning from a book can only get you so far and I wouldnt recommend learning for any length of time using books. I only used books for basic survival Thai phrases for holiday, not for having any sort of conversation. Luckily after doing pimslar I sacked off learning from other sources and got myself a teacher which has helped greatly.

 

However I dont quite agree with the time periods your saying about learning thai in its various sources. I think you can crack it to an advanced level in around 3 years. As for Laos, theres probably 30% difference in vocab compared to Thai and all the sentence structures are the same so once you learn Thai it would be pretty easy to learn Laos.

Yes, If your Thai is good then you already have a great foundation for Laos/Issarn. Even their script is very similar to Thai.

         ความจริงเป็นสิ่งที่ไม่ตายแต่คนพูดความจริงอาจจะตาย                 

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

Karl's Thailand - My YouTube Channel

 

 

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Doc when are u in thailand next? Would be good to meet uo mate. I'm back in March

My understanding of women goes only as far as the pleasures.

-- Michael Caine (Alfie, 1966)

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Doc when are u in thailand next? Would be good to meet uo mate. I'm back in March

There's a good chance that I'll be out there in March but nothing booked yet. It'd be cool to meet up.

         ความจริงเป็นสิ่งที่ไม่ตายแต่คนพูดความจริงอาจจะตาย                 

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

Karl's Thailand - My YouTube Channel

 

 

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Seeing as I've spent most of this week freezing and falling on my ass in the snow in this poxy weather, I thought I'd keep with the Christmas spirit and just have a good old moan about my frustrations in learning Thai. Don't get me wrong I still like learning but there are times where Thai just pisses me off plain and simple for the following reasons.

 

Ok here goes....

 

1> Days where I can speak perfectly well with very few mistakes, then the next day not being able to string a sentence together.

 

2> Wondering why I've taken on such a difficult language when compared to French, German etc and if I'll every truley be able to speak perfectly

 

3> Not understanding sometimes when someone asks a simple question (proper frustrating)

 

4> Being able to read and understand phonetic Thai fine and it looking so simple but speaking it so difficult

 

5> My teacher rambling on at 100 miles an hour thinking I am having a "good day" (see point one) despite repeated attempts to tell her to slow down (she does eventually)

 

6> Not having the opportunity to revise for a few days and then having a lesson = me speaking crap IMO

 

7> Getting annoying with myself for not having motivation sometimes and feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of vocab, patterns, phrases I have and need to learn.

 

That's all I can think of at the moment 555. I'm sure there will be more but I don't want to sound too negative about learning. I've been learning with a teacher for a year and although I've come along way since starting this time last year I dont feel I've progressed enough.

 

Learning part time is bloody difficult. An ideal situation for me would be to have 1 to 1 tuition 6 hours a day 5 days a week for 6 months. I think you would learn so much more in a relatively short space of time with regular classes and someone there pushing you continuously forward. Self motivation is the hardest part of learning I've found.

 

We're all in the same boat so post your experiences and vent some frustration :D

 

1 2 6 and 7 are common feelings in learners of other (most?) language users, too. So you're not at all alone. Remember that. Number 1 is the one that gets me. "Sorry. Today I can't speak Thai. I've my English brain on"

 

A point worth noting,also: foreigners learning English find their knowledge of some structures gets worse when they're learning another related one. So, they learn the present simple (eg I eat, I drink etc) and they can use it perfectly. But then when they learn the so called present continuous (I'm eating, I'm drinking: sometimes called the ing form) their use of the simple form gets weaker. So they get frustrated/lose confidence etc. But when they've grasped the continuous the simple form comes back strong again.

 

Whether it's the same with any Thai language I dunno. But if this happens to you I wouldn't worry just keep going.

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Even people who have been speaking/learning English for 20+ years never get it 'right', theres always something that separates fluent from native speakers, I guess the same is probably true with Thai, best just แค่พูดเฉยๆ and let it all work itself out.

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Even people who have been speaking/learning English for 20+ years never get it 'right', theres always something that separates fluent from native speakers, I guess the same is probably true with Thai, best just แค่พูดเฉยๆ and let it all work itself out.

You're right. It's very rare for a foreigner to actually sound like a Thai on the phone for example. It happened to me once and I considered it the most rewarding compliment I've ever had about my Thai. That's the only time it's ever happened though as far as I am aware.

 

Sometimes I wonder if it's anything to do with us sounding different because of our relative size or not?

         ความจริงเป็นสิ่งที่ไม่ตายแต่คนพูดความจริงอาจจะตาย                 

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

Karl's Thailand - My YouTube Channel

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

When I listen to my recordings of me speaking with my teacher I don't sound Thai but my pronounciation ensures she understands me. I think sounding like a Thai comes with time. When I've had a few pints and relax the vocal cords I do sound quite Thai from BBK what I've been told. Apparently sothern Thais are quite hard to understand.

My understanding of women goes only as far as the pleasures.

-- Michael Caine (Alfie, 1966)

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snake, "ngoo"

 

I am totally incapable of reproducing this sound and the sound of the letter it represents.

 

:2Cents1: yes got to agree with you there the thai consanant งอ งู so frustrating to get the sound right I'm sure this was invented by thais so farangs can not speak their language

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  • 6 months later...

I can't comment on Thai but know that learning any new language is not easy and like anything perserverence is the key.

 

Yes it's demoralising and you will feel like you're not getting anywhere but then one day it'll all click.

 

The pleasure that you get from being able to fluently converse (and eventually think and dream) in another language is second to none.

Well I dream Thai every night but I can´t do the language. --- Sorry couldent help it , you almost asked for it

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When I listen to my recordings of me speaking with my teacher I don't sound Thai but my pronounciation ensures she understands me. I think sounding like a Thai comes with time. When I've had a few pints and relax the vocal cords I do sound quite Thai from BBK what I've been told. Apparently sothern Thais are quite hard to understand.

Southern Thais speak Phasa Tai.

 

When I moved to Phuket, I leaned it from my GF, her family and neighbors.

 

Guess how people look a me in Bangkok, when I talk to them with Southern Thai tones and accent. :Sorry2:

Edited by Benny10

BEER: HELPING UGLY PEOPLE HAVE SEX SINCE 3000 B.C.

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You not the only one who gets frustrated studying Thai. I study full time and have been for a while and also have dumb days when i know the words but do not seem to make any sense of it.

 

What i also find very annoying is the fact when you out about and speaking Thai, if i was to say the word wrong or the tone, usually they will make a face and a "monkey" sound, so it kind of makes you feel like a real retard, but then hearing them speak English makes me feel little better.

 

The main problem i found is that when you speaking Thai to just Thai's they make no effort to understand you or correct you or be just little patient, as i said it always the face and the "monkey" sound.

 

Another problem i found, i study proper Thai, while the majority around Pattaya speak Isaan, so i do not understand half of what they say, but then again, when i speak proper Thai they do not understand what i said, because half of the time, they did not even do few years of school.

 

One funny incident i had, i very often eat at Lengkee, so they use to my accent, but one time they had a new waiter, i ordered fried morning glory -spicy, but got the "accent" wrong so i got morning glory with a duck.

 

Duck and spicy is almost the same word but slightly different sound.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psvL2eYQ7YM&feature=related

There are three sides to every argument: your side, my side and the right side.

Thank God I'm an atheist.

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You not the only one who gets frustrated studying Thai. I study full time and have been for a while and also have dumb days when i know the words but do not seem to make any sense of it.

 

What i also find very annoying is the fact when you out about and speaking Thai, if i was to say the word wrong or the tone, usually they will make a face and a "monkey" sound, so it kind of makes you feel like a real retard, but then hearing them speak English makes me feel little better.

 

The main problem i found is that when you speaking Thai to just Thai's they make no effort to understand you or correct you or be just little patient, as i said it always the face and the "monkey" sound.

 

Another problem i found, i study proper Thai, while the majority around Pattaya speak Isaan, so i do not understand half of what they say, but then again, when i speak proper Thai they do not understand what i said, because half of the time, they did not even do few years of school.

 

 

 

Whilst I agree with you on these statements, the same can be said of myself and many farang. I've lost count of the times where I've heard a girl ramble on in what she thinks is good English but is "Tinglish" which to be honest is pretty poor. Yeah we all try and understand what she is trying to say and get the gist but if we spoke like that in the UK we'd probably been in the "special" set in school. I only ever correct with friends or girls who tell me they want to improve their english as I just cant be arsed tbh.

 

One way to get around the issue of them just letting you speak without understanding is to ask them if they understand and to repeat in thai or english. This usually puts them on the spot and they will either prompt you to repeat or will understand. I used to ask girls this in Thai before speaking with them and ask them to correct me so they knew the score. This helped break down the issues of losing "face" for them and they were only too happy to help. But I was always wary of their accent and would check in central bkk thai before speaking anything they suggested.

 

I think I have only ever met 2 Thais (both women) who spoke pretty much perfect English which freaked me out a little bit tbh. But they were very very good even knowing all the latest slang etc.

 

BTW I've never had a girl do the monkey sound 555. You should think of an equally stupid sound for when they speak tinglish.

Edited by Ajay75

My understanding of women goes only as far as the pleasures.

-- Michael Caine (Alfie, 1966)

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You not the only one who gets frustrated studying Thai. I study full time and have been for a while and also have dumb days when i know the words but do not seem to make any sense of it.

 

What i also find very annoying is the fact when you out about and speaking Thai, if i was to say the word wrong or the tone, usually they will make a face and a "monkey" sound, so it kind of makes you feel like a real retard, but then hearing them speak English makes me feel little better.

 

The main problem i found is that when you speaking Thai to just Thai's they make no effort to understand you or correct you or be just little patient, as i said it always the face and the "monkey" sound.

 

Another problem i found, i study proper Thai, while the majority around Pattaya speak Isaan, so i do not understand half of what they say, but then again, when i speak proper Thai they do not understand what i said, because half of the time, they did not even do few years of school.

 

One funny incident i had, i very often eat at Lengkee, so they use to my accent, but one time they had a new waiter, i ordered fried morning glory -spicy, but got the "accent" wrong so i got morning glory with a duck.

 

Duck and spicy is almost the same word but slightly different sound.

 

I have to agree that many do practice this type of behavior, but there are some who are more reasonable. Funny thing happened the other day. I happened to be in a bar with a friend and one of those rare vendors came up selling sunglasses or something. My buddy said mai ouw krap and I guess the vendor didn't think his mai had enough of a falling tone, so he said "I no understand" I almost said "I no understand blae wha aria nai pasa englit" but bit my tongue as the vendor was obviously looking for trouble. It was funny that he thought he was so smart but said something that in the west would be completely nonsensical.

 

Maybe you could record yourself making the monkey sound and upload it here so we can all recognize it when we hear it?

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