Is It Hard to Learn Thai Language?

November 21, 2013 in Amazing Thailand, Guest Posts

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 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 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

Top 8 Apps to Learn Thai Language

October 7, 2012 in Product News & Reviews

Top 8 Apps to Learn Thai Language

Learning to read, write and speak in Thai, like any new skill takes hours of practice, dedication and a willingness to learn.

I’ve been using smart-phone apps to accelerate my learning of Thai language and make better use of my down time while on the BTS, taking taxi rides across Bangkok or just hanging out by the pool.

I use a Galaxy S3 Android device and downloaded the apps either from Samsung Apps or the Play Store. No doubt you iPhone sheep can get them from the iTunes App Store. Here are my top 7 apps to learn Thai Language in no particular order:

1) Learn Thai Numbers

Learn Thai Numbers AppLearn Thai Numbers is a great app to quickly reference Thai numbers with audio and it’s free!

It has two cool flash card games to help you improve your Thai number skills. These are in three levels with numbers 1-99, 0-999 and 0-9999.

The second flash card is for listening practice. This will help you to tune your ear to the new sounds.

This is a great app for numbers but could be improved if they had a flash card that contained the Thai numericals 0 to 9.

Rating: 9 out of 10

2) Talk Thai (Free)

Talk Thai by BhuioTalk Thai by Bhuio comes in two versions for your smart-phone: full and free.

The free version (the one I use) has 2 categories and contains ads. The full version has 6 categories and no ads.

The two categories in the free version are basic Thai words and phrases and the second is a travel category. Each word or phrase is available to hear in a clear audio recording by a native Thai girl.

The app doesn’t try to overwhelm you with thousands of words or phrases that you will probably never use. Instead they have selected only the phrases you are likely to need.

It’s a great introduction to Thai if you are just starting out or are visiting Thailand for a short holiday.

The full version has additional categories of Emergency, Relations, Numbers, Travel and Fun.

Bhuio also make apps in over 20 other languages and can be found on Facebook here.

Ratings: 8 out of 10

3) Thai Script

Thai Script appThe Thai script app successfully introduces you to the Thai alphabet and numbers.

It breaks down all 44 of the Thai consonants into their respected class: High, Middle and Low and has a Memorizer so you can test yourself against the app. (Note; you only have to learn which consonant are in High and Mid class as all the rest will fall in to the Low class)

All the vowels are presented here but I would have liked to have seen each of them displayed in their long and short forms together.

If you want to really fast track your way to learning the Thai Alphabet and numbers, this is one of the best apps.

Ratings: 9 out of 10

4) Thai Learner

Thai Learner AppThai Learner is a larger app in regards to how much content it has compared to other language apps.

It has over 20 categories that include; Food, Numbers, Drinks, People and Animals. It also covers numbers, verbs and measurements. Each of these category’s are sub-divided into 3 headings to aid your learning: Learn, Glossary and Quiz. Quiz rates your response as a percentage so you can easily see your progress.

This is a great app, all-killer and no filler and another fine introduction to Thai language learning.

Ratings: 9 out of 10

5) Memolicious Thai

Memolicious Thai AppThis was one of the first Thai language apps I downloaded and still use today (I’m so bad at remembering my vowel sounds). You can often see me on the BTS with my earphones on, pointy finger jabbing at my smart-phone screen like a woodpecker on yabba.

The app is broken down into three main categories, Consonants, Vowels and Numbers. Each of these categories are then intelligently sub divided again.

Each card is timed allowing you only a few seconds to answer one of three possible answers and a percentage score keeps your total visible at the top of the screen.

It’s a really good-looking app with superb layout and design that feels very premium although it is free. My only gripe about it is it doesn’t give you an option to turn the background music of or the groaning sound when you get an option wrong. I guess the motivation is to get everything right and learn Thai fast so you don’t have to hear it!

Ratings: 9 out of 10

6) Convo. Master

Thai Conversation MasterThe Thai Conversation Master is a free app I’ve only used a little. As it’s free the only theme available is “Conversation”. This theme is broken down into a further nine sub themes that include; Greetings, Relationships and Topics of Conversations. If you take Topics of Conversations for instance this covers Family, Time, and the Weather to name but a few sub niches.

When you decide on your topic you have the option to listen to the phrase or sentence in Thai or Thai and English and how many times you would like it repeated.

The full paid app has 12 themes that include Transportation, Shopping, Emergency and Business.

It is a good app but I would like to see the inclusion of a phonetic translation in addition to the Thai and English. I don’t like the cartoon aesthetic aspect of it either finding the screen to busy for me. If you don’t mind this you will like this app and learn some great Thai questions and phrases quickly.

Ratings: 7 out of 10

 7) Thai Dictionary

Thai Dictionary AppThis is an English/Thai Thai English dictionary app that allows you to write or voice control your word search. It delivers the results fast and gives you the spelling in the opposite language, examples of how to use the word, common phrases and the definition.

You can save your word in a flash card folder and write a memo.

I’ve never had much call to use this app but it’s cool to have on your smart-phone for emergencies.

It’s a well designed and premium looking app that will help you learn Thai and it is also free.

Ratings: 7 out of 10

8) Lyngo Lite

Lyngo Lite AppLyngo Lite is a new and recent addition to my learn Thai language apps. This voice to voice translator is free but invaluable. You simply choose the two languages you want to work in and write your word, phrase or sentence as you would an SMS message. Within a second or two you’ll get a real speak translation.

This app works for many languages so check out Lyngo Lite on Facebook here.

More Learn Thai Language Apps

Do you use any other apps to learn Thai language? If you do share them in the comments below.
If you know someone who is also learning Thai or any other language and would like this post, don’t forget to share it with them, tweet it out and join me on Facebook. Chok dii!

Ratings: 10 out of 10

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The Top 8 Apps to Learn Thai Language

Learn Thai Alphabet

September 19, 2012 in Product News & Reviews

Learn Thai Alphabet in Minutes

Learn Thai AlphabetLearn Thai alphabet? Why you may be asking do you need to learn the Thai alphabet!

Well, if you are going to be living and working in Thailand or even if you want to make deeper connections when traveling through the Land of Smiles, you will soon notice most things like road signs, shop boards, restaurant receipts and your utility bills are all written in Thai. That shouldn’t come as any surprise after all, you’re in Thailand right!

You can get by without reading Thai but if you start to learn to speak Thai you will progress quicker and easier if you can read Thai too. Besides you’ll have a better quality of life (cheaper too) if you can read what you are buying at the market and how much you’re paying for it.

That’s why I recommend investing in ‘Learn the Thai Alphabet in Minutes’.

Download: Learn Thai Alphabet in Minutes

Get Instant Access to Learn the Thai Alphabet

This is the book I wish I discovered when I first started to learn Thai language. It can be a daunting experience when you first discover there are 44 Thai consonants, 32 vowels, 3 classes and 5 tones to memorize and don’t forget about the numbers! This book helps you to connect all these new symbols with things you already know and so aids for a quicker and more rewarding learning experience.

The book is available as an instant download in the form of a PDF, a digital flip book style and now also in a mobipocket version for your smartphone. It also comes with a full 60 days money-back guarantee. It works on Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone and windows mobile.

So don’t delay, join the thousands of other satisfied Thai language students who have downloaded this book since 2005 and download your Thai alphabet now. Within just a few minutes from now you will be learning how to read in Thai.

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Learn Thai Disclaimer:

If you invest in Learning Thai Alphabet in Minutes we may get a affiliate commission. That’s how we pay the bills and maintain the upkeep of this website. However, if you are serious about learning Thai language and getting more from this rich culture, we couldn’t recommend a better place to start.

Learn Thai Alphabet