Adam and Ben Bradshaw: Farang Rian Thai ฝรั่งเรียนไทย

Adam and Ben Bradshaw: Farang Rian Thai… Being a fan of Adam Bradshaw for years, I finally...

Adam and Ben Bradshaw: Farang Rian Thai ฝรั่งเรียนไทย

Kru CAN: Going Beyond Basic Thai

Kru CAN: For those who want to go beyond the basics… Kru CAN is a Thai Skype teacher with three years experience under his belt. And while...

Kru CAN: Going Beyond Basic Thai

It’s Cherry Blossom Time in Khun Chang Khian, Chiang mai

Cherry trees are blooming in Thailand – hurry if you can… Depending upon traffic, an hour from Chiang mai...

It's Cherry Blossom Time in Khun Chang Khian, Chiang mai
Adam and Ben Bradshaw: Farang Rian Thai ฝรั่งเรียนไทย

Adam and Ben Bradshaw: Farang Rian Thai ฝรั่งเรียนไทย

Adam and Ben Bradshaw: Farang Rian Thai… Being a fan of Adam Bradshaw for years, I finally interviewed him in 2011. When it comes to speaking Thai, Adam is one of the best out of the many talented expats I’ve come across. Since breaking into the business, Adam has been involved in many projects involving […]

Kru CAN: Going Beyond Basic Thai

Kru CAN: Going Beyond Basic Thai

Kru CAN: For those who want to go beyond the basics… Kru CAN is a Thai Skype teacher with three years experience under his belt. And while I do promote Thai teachers on WLT (one-on-one and Skype) that’s not why I’m sharing his site. I’m doing so because of his growing collection of posts to […]

uTalk Thai iOS App Review and Xmas Giveaway

uTalk Thai iOS App Review and Xmas Giveaway

uTalk Thai iOS app Xmas giveaway… Three iOS apps have been kindly donated to WLT by uTalk, a language learning company who designs some of the classiest iOS apps on the market. I totally fell in love with uTalk’s first Thai app, and generations later, this one is better still. NOTE: As many Android users […]

Review: English Thai iOS App Dictionaries: iPhone and iPad

Review: English Thai iOS App Dictionaries: iPhone and iPad

Reviewing iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch Apps: Thai dictionaries… The Thai Dictionary iOS app series is in four parts: English-Thai dictionaries specifically for the English market, English-Thai Dictionaries using the LEXiTRON dataset and/or databases created for Thais, Thai-English dictionaries, and special dictionaries using photos, sign language, etc. At the time of this review there are […]

A Quest to Fluency: Thai and Italian. Italian?

A Quest to Fluency: Thai and Italian. Italian?

Paul’s Quest to Fluency… A little over a month ago Paul Garrigan launched his quest to become fluent in the Thai language. Impressed with the obvious dedication shown, Stu Jay Raj (jcademy.com) took Paul under his wing: 6 Months to Thai Fluency – Paul Garrigan Week One – Thai Bites. From day one I was […]

Taking Private Lessons? Who Should Your Teacher Be?

Taking Private Lessons? Who Should Your Teacher Be?

Taking Private Lessons? Who Should Your Teacher Be?… After noticing a survey that declared that Swedes are the best learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL), Catherine asked me for my perspective on why Swedes are so successful. Though there are many points to consider, one aspect of EFL in Sweden and other countries […]

Successful Thai Language Learner: Ruth Curtis

Successful Thai Language Learner: Ruth Curtis

Interviewing Successful Thai Language Learners… Name: Ruth Curtis Nationality: American Age range: 62 Sex: Female Location: Bangkok Thailand Profession: Missionary [church planter] currently work together with my husband in personnel management for Thailand field member care of OMF Intl. What is your Thai level? Fluent nearly native: speaking, reading, writing, typing, teaching. Do you speak […]

Successful Thai Language Learner: Michel Boismard

Successful Thai Language Learner: Michel Boismard

Interviewing Successful Thai Language Learners… Name: Michel Boismard Nationality: French Age range: 67 Sex: Male Location: Thailand What is your Thai level? My Thai level is advanced. I learnt some rudiments on my 2nd visit in 1983 (1st in 1979) but really took off in 1987 where I was lucky to stay in a Thai […]

Interview: Jeff is Getting By in Thai

Interview: Jeff is Getting By in Thai

Interview: Jeff is getting by in Thai… Name: Jeff 
Nationality: USA
 Age range: 30
 Sex: Male 
Location: Bangkok What is your Thai level? Hard to say. It depends on the subject matter being discussed, but for regular day-to-day dealings, I would put myself squarely in “intermediate.” What percentage of conversational Thai do you understand? I’d […]

Helpful Thai Medical Vocabulary for Men, and the Women Who Love Them

Helpful Thai Medical Vocabulary for Men, and the Women Who Love Them

Helpful Thai Medical Vocabulary for Men… Some of you may know that besides contributing to Women Learn Thai I also write a blog on retiring to Thailand. My latest post is one about increasing awareness of a problem many older men have; problems with our prostate. I wrote that post because I thought that awareness […]

It's Cherry Blossom Time in Khun Chang Khian, Chiang mai

It’s Cherry Blossom Time in Khun Chang Khian, Chiang mai

Cherry trees are blooming in Thailand – hurry if you can… Depending upon traffic, an hour from Chiang mai is the Khun Chang Kian Highland Agriculture Research Center. Around this time of year (Jan/Feb) visitors squeeze up a hairy one lane road to see the Center’s cherry trees in bloom. Siam and Beyond: The variety […]

Wishing You a Very Merry SET Christmas

Wishing You a Very Merry SET Christmas

Here’s wishing you all a very Merry SET Christmas… It’s now been six years since I discovered The SET Foundation, and five years since I turned over WLT’s ad revenue to SET as well. What’s the SET Foundation? The SET Foundation has a very specific aim: to make a difference. That difference is between a […]

Adam and Ben Bradshaw: Farang Rian Thai ฝรั่งเรียนไทย

Farang Rian Thai ฝรั่งเรียนไทย

Adam and Ben Bradshaw: Farang Rian Thai…

Being a fan of Adam Bradshaw for years, I finally interviewed him in 2011. When it comes to speaking Thai, Adam is one of the best out of the many talented expats I’ve come across.

Since breaking into the business, Adam has been involved in many projects involving the English and Thai languages. His most recent (and my favs) are The Breakdown and Talking Thailand. Both are quality shows (and I believe Adam’s drive for perfectionism has something to do with it).

When Adam’s brother Ben (also talented in languages) showed up in Thailand last year they teamed up to produce Farang Rian Thai (ฝรั่งเรียนไทย). During each show Ben shares his progress with learning Thai. That’s awfully brave of him!

At the moment there’s only three episodes but there’s sure to be more soon.

Farang Rian Thai (ฝรั่งเรียนไทย): Episode 1…

Farang Rian Thai (ฝรั่งเรียนไทย): Episode 2…

Farang Rian Thai (ฝรั่งเรียนไทย): Episode 3…

Where to find Adam and Ben Bradshaw…

ajarnadam.tv: Farang Rian Thai
Facebook: AjarnAdamBradshaw
Facebook: Ben Bradshaw
Facebook: AdamBreakdown
YouTube: jadambrad
Twitter: @AjarnAdam

Do you have questions about the quirks of the Thai language?
Send them over and we’ll do our best.

Kru CAN: Going Beyond Basic Thai

Kru Can

Kru CAN: For those who want to go beyond the basics…

Kru CAN is a Thai Skype teacher with three years experience under his belt. And while I do promote Thai teachers on WLT (one-on-one and Skype) that’s not why I’m sharing his site. I’m doing so because of his growing collection of posts to help students learn how to read Thai.

The posts on Kru CAN’s site teaches Thai from Level 1 (beginner) to Level 5 (advanced). The subject matter is: Thai Vocabulary, Grammar Usage, Easy Story in Thai, Easy-to-read Articles in Thai, Easy-to-read Articles in Thai with Audio, Easy-to-read News in Thai, Thai Language Exercises, and Conversations in Thai.

Note: All posts have pdf downloads but only the audio post has audio. Some posts have keywords/vocabulary to learn, and most posts have transliteration.

Thai Vocabulary: A list of words with Thai script, transliteration, and English translation. Each lesson has an animated banner to help you learn the words. Each word has three cards: Thai script, Thai script + transliteration, Thai script + transliteration + English translation.

Grammar Usage: Grammar samples with Thai script, transliteration, translation, and a vocabulary list.

Easy Story in Thai: Short lessons with three or four sentences. Each lesson has Thai script with spaces between words and English translation. There is no transliteration.

Easy-to-read Articles in Thai: Thai script with no spaces between words, transliteration (IPA I believe), English translation, and a vocabulary list to learn.

Easy-to-read Articles in Thai with Audio: Audio spoken in an easygoing manner, Thai script (separated by word for lower levels only), transliteration and translation.

Easy-to-read News in Thai: Consists of paragraphs with Thai script and English translation. Some have transliteration and vocabulary lists.

Thai Language Exercises: A selection of sentences in Thai script with missing words. Answers appear in the comments several days after the post goes live.

Conversations in Thai: Some have Thai script with English translation, while others also have transliteration.

Personally, I’d love to see audio in all posts. If you too would like to hear Thai spoken, perhaps this will help: Does your computer speak Thai.

Where you can find Kru CAN:

Web: Kru CAN
Facebook: Kru CAN
YouTube: Kru CAN

Do you have questions about the quirks of the Thai language?
Send them over and we’ll do our best.

It’s Cherry Blossom Time in Khun Chang Khian, Chiang mai

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry trees are blooming in Thailand – hurry if you can…

Depending upon traffic, an hour from Chiang mai is the Khun Chang Kian Highland Agriculture Research Center. Around this time of year (Jan/Feb) visitors squeeze up a hairy one lane road to see the Center’s cherry trees in bloom.

Siam and Beyond: The variety of sakura growing in Thailand is the Wild Himalayan cherry (Prunus cerasoides). Its name in Thai is นางพญาเสือโคร่ง /naang phá-yaa sǔea-khrông/, which means “Tiger Queen.”

Thailand isn’t exactly known for its cherry trees, but as the story is told, over 50 years ago China’s defeated Lost Army planted the trees in Santikhiri (สันติคีรี) to remind them of their homeland. Looking to attract more tourists to the region, in 1974 Thailand extended the planting to other suitable areas in the north of the country.

Cherry Blossoms On Sunday (the day after Children’s Day) I attempted the drive up the mountain to Khun Chang Kian but turned back due to the massive amount of cars trying to do the same.

The grade is fairly steep and traffic goes both ways so you are constantly forced off into a dirt shoulder. That’s if there is one. If not, one of you will need to reverse. And if there’s a long line going up and another coming back down, it can be a nightmare.

My car has an automatic transmission with a button for a break (weird, huh). The combination of a steep hill and constantly having to stop and start did me in! The cars behind crowded too close, leaving no room to go from brake to accelerate. Turning around at the overlook, I promised myself a Monday return.

The trip up the mountain can be made in a regular car if your timing is right. Sunday was a wash but going back on a weekday worked out great.

Tips: If you don’t have access to either a truck or motorbike, at the scenic overlook partway up the mountain transportation is available. But do know that parking there is limited. And if you do go in a regular car and a truck (four-wheel drive) comes the opposite way, stay on the road but give them enough room to go off the shoulder on either side. Sometimes it works and sometimes not but it’s worth a try.

How to get there…

As per the map below, drive out of Chiang mai, heading towards Doi Suthep. A few km past the Phuping Palace and Gardens (zoom in to see it on the map) is a three way junction. At the junction is a hard to miss sign to Khun Chang Khian telling you to turn right. Keep on that small road all the way to the Khun Chang Kian Highland Agriculture Research Center.

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

Do you have questions about the quirks of the Thai language?
Send them over and we’ll do our best.

Interview: Jeff is Getting By in Thai

Thai Style

Interview: Jeff is getting by in Thai…

Name: Jeff

Nationality: USA

Age range: 30

Sex: Male

Location: Bangkok

What is your Thai level?

Hard to say. It depends on the subject matter being discussed, but for regular day-to-day dealings, I would put myself squarely in “intermediate.”

What percentage of conversational Thai do you understand?

I’d say I can at least get the gist of at least 70% of what’s being said.

Do you speak more street Thai, Issan Thai, professional Thai, or a mix?

I speak polite Thai with some working knowledge of slang and Isan.

What were your reasons for learning the Thai language?

It’s annoying to live in a country and not know the language.

When did you become a student of the Thai language?

About one month before I moved to Thailand.

How much time do you currently spend learning Thai?

Everyday is a lesson – but specifically studying Thai – maybe about 2 hours per day.

Do you stick to a regular study schedule?

Not at all. I think this is one reason I’m not taking part in the successful Thai learners series.

What Thai language learning methods are you using (resources needed)?

I am reading and studying vocabulary from a couple books written in Thai.

Does one method stand out over all others?

I only know the self-study and immersion method. Having someone constantly correct me is rather discouraging. I prefer to learn from my mistakes (i.e. notice Thais saying the word differently than I am and working to mimic them).

Have you started reading and writing Thai yet?

Yes, of course. I got into reading and writing almost as soon as I landed.

If so, do you find learning to read and write Thai difficult?

I wouldn’t say difficult – just time consuming (it took me about 3 months of 3-5 hours per day to get comfortable with reading and writing in Thai).

How long did it take you to pluck up the courage to actually try using your Thai skills?

I’ve been using Thai from the first day. It’s a matter of politeness and convenience.

How soon was it before you could make yourself understood in Thai (even just a little bit)?

I think everyone could understand สวัสดีครับ right away ☺

What are your most embarrassing moments when speaking Thai?

I don’t get embarrassed from making mistakes. I like a good laugh.

What is the biggest misconception for students learning Thai?

That tonal languages are some sort of insurmountable obstacle.

What was your first ‘ah hah!’ moment?

Going out with Thai friends and realizing at the end that I was fully engaged in the conversation we were having that lasted well over three hours.

How do you learn languages?

I like to study grammar and get a basis of vocabulary down while doing grammar drills. Then it’s just about using what I know and adding more vocab.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

My strengths are that I am quite good at learning grammar and I’m able to think in whatever language I’m learning. My weakness would be my own laziness. I really should be at a very advanced level for how long I’ve lived here.

Can you make your way around any other languages?

Yes. I am fluent in German and also speak French as well as some Spanish and Norwegian.

Has learning Thai affected your knowledge of the other languages you speak?

Sometimes when I’m speaking German, a Thai word will creep up to my lips.

How many foreign languages have you attempted to use?

With natives in their own countries, I have used German, Hungarian, Thai, Lao, and Tagalog.

Are you learning another language at the same time as Thai?

Yes, I’m concentrating on Tagalog and also working on getting at least a rudimentary knowledge of Lao and Burmese and mixing a bit of Norwegian in there.

Do you currently live in Thailand, or have you ever lived in Thailand? If so, how long for?

I have been in Thailand for about 5 ½ years.

Are you a computer programmer, or do you have programming experience?

Nope.

Do you have a passion for music and or you play an instrument

I love music and used to play violin.

What learning advice would you give to other students of the Thai language?

There is a direct correlation between effort and result.

What is your Thai language study plan for the next six months? The next year?

Keep on trucking.

Getting by in Thai…

Thank you Jeff, Terry, Dan, Tod, Snap, Talen and Greg. And for others out there – if you’d like be involved in the Getting by in Thai series, contact me. And please remember the clincher: the idea for the series is interview those getting by as well as regenerate an interest in learning Thai.

Do you have questions about the quirks of the Thai language?
Send them over and we’ll do our best.