Is It Hard to Learn Thai Language?

November 21, 2013 in Amazing Thailand, Guest Posts by Perry

Learning Thai LanguageI’ve been living in Thailand since 2011 and when I catch up with old friends and acquaintances from back home, one of the first questions they ask is “So, do you speak Thai?” I usually reply “Phom phut passa Thai nid noi”, which is usually enough to impress them and move along to another subject. The truth is, I’m a poor Thai language speaker. I have a stock of questions and answers but I’m embarrassed to say, living here as long as I have, I should know a lot more and be a pretty fluid conversationalist by now.

I went to a Thai language school in Bangkok for a year and learned the basics of reading, writing and speaking but never progressed like I should. I think this was largely down to the classroom dynamic (going back to school and sitting behind a desk) and the size of the classes (to large). When I completed my year, I never went back. This got me thinking why some people excel at learning new languages and some, like me fail miserably. I asked a few Thai language teachers this question “What are the biggest obstacles people face when they try to learn a new language like Thai and how can they be overcome?” Below are some of the replies:

Robert Greene

Robert GreeneI would say that the biggest obstacle for most people is the belief about whether or not they can actually learn a new language. You have to keep in mind that for most people, when they are picking up a language such as Thai, more often than not it’s the first time they’re attempting to learn a language.

By that I don’t mean they’re mute, but that we’re so young when we pick up our native, mother language that it’s never something we really have to practice or think about. We just realise that we can speak the language. It’s good to surround yourself with success stories of other people who have been able to make it. Once you have the belief that it’s possible, then you’re more be more likely to actively seek ways to learn the language and continue pushing yourself to learn.

Baby steps.

You can discover how Robert learned Thai at his resourceful website Thairang and connect with him on Google+ here.

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Mai Rongsiaw

Mai the Thai TeacherThe biggest obstacles people face or believe they are facing is “I’m too old to learn”

This concern somewhat true and fault.

True: the fact is our learning ability is gradually decrease with age, there is no argue about it. Our physical appearance is telling us so.

Fault : As far as my 7 years of teaching Thai as a foreign language tell me that “you are never too old to learn” (if you put all you’ve got and work twice harder than younger people).

Countless of students under 30s have started to learn Thai and end up giving up for many reason eg. it’s not for me, I’m too busy, I work 2 jobs or I didn’t want to take it seriously in the first place.

On the other hand, my students you are above 60s set up his goal to retire in Thailand in 1 year. They are working 10 times harder. Learning Thai is their first or second job.

To compare between 2 kinds of students, it all come down to the end at determination and encouragement . Determination come from within and encouragement come from people around you, including your Thai teacher. 🙂

Please check out my latest graduate’s interview VDOs below:


You can start to learn Thai with Mai today by visiting her website Learn2SpeakThai.net and connect with her on Google+ here.

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Orrawee Naksuwan

Orrawee Naksuwan1. The first thing is to try and “forget” your language and “pick up” the new system. This can be quite difficult, but a serious learner should make the effort.  In other words, try to think in the new language. It will help immensely.
2.  Try to listen to the sounds of the language closely – this is especially important in Thai which is a tonal language. The way to succeed here is to listen, then speak and practice as much as possible.
3.  Finally you should study from the best source you can find. Ideally a language tutor is the best. It is difficult to learn from books alone and you don’t want to learn something incorrectly. Then it is more difficult to get it right.

 

Learn Thai using Skype, simply visit here website KruuWeeTeachThai.com Connect with her on Google+ here.
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I’d like to thank all the Thai language teachers who contributed and made this blog post possible.
Looking to learn Thai language from you smartphone? I wrote an article and reviewed some language apps that helped me learn more Thai anywhere, anytime.
If you are learning Thai, I’d love to hear how you are progressing and feel free to share any tips and tricks you use to progress below.
Khop Khun Krap