The ins and outs of learning Thai


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6 thoughts on “The ins and outs of learning Thai

  1. That's an unfortunate selection you've made to illustrate the Flashboard section, as it gives an incorrect pronunciation for the word 'accident'; it leaves out the connecting syllable -tì-, to make /ù-bàt-tì-hèet/. The lack of indication that the final syllable should be a long vowel is also troubling (hèt vs. hèet).

    I'm sure they've put a huge amount of time an effort into it, but for a paid product, especially at $20 bucks a month, one needs accuracy and expertise. This doesn't inspire my confidence.

    So is this an anomaly, or the norm? Any response from the folks at learn-thai-podcast? What kind of native speaker review of content is there?

  2. A podcast sounds like a good idea although I'm not sure how helpful textbook learning of Thai really is.

    When I first came to live in Thailand I started trying to learn from a book. As I've always lived in Southern Thailand (Krabi in the main), I found that the stuff I was learning from the book was practically useless when speaking to people in the area.

    I guess it depends on what context you are going to speak Thai in, if you need to speak formal/Bangkok Thai then maybe a formal way of learning (books/podcasts/etc.) is better.

    For me it made a confusing language even more confusing as no-one understood what I was trying to say and I couldn't find any of the words I was hearing in the dictionaries.

    So I just listened to people and copied them (it helped having a Thai partner). I now speak fluent Thai but it is extremely Southern (and therefore not particularly polite!). The people around me think it's great as they feel they can have a real conversation with me.

    The biggest turning point (and I advise anyone who seriously wants to speak Thai to do this to) is when I learnt to read and write Thai. Even just learning the alphabet helped my ear recognise the slight differences between some of the letters (ด and ต for instance).

    I still use a dictionary every now and then to look up words but I'm a great believer in just talking… and talking… and talking… but then, I suppose everyone learns in different ways.

    I had this notion that one day I would compile a Southern Thai dictionary or learning aid… whatd'ya reckon??

  3. ^^ trouble is, southern Thai is only going to be useful in the south and mostly only during informal conversations. To say that they wouldn't understand you if you spoke central Thai is quite incorrent. What do u think they listen to when they are glued to the TV soaps? Also, there are many dialects of southern thai which vary quite a lot from province to province, although you should be understood for the most part.

    Central Thai is the lingua franca, and i would recommend learning that first, before any of the dialects.

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