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WLT’s 2016 Thai Language Giveaway: PickupThai Podcast

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway

WLT’s 2016 Thai Language Giveaway…

Welcome to the week ONE of WLT’s seven weeks of Thai language giveaways. If you haven’t already, be sure to read Vote THAI and WIN! | SEVEN Weeks of FREE Thai Giveaways to find out about the prizes.

Vote the Top 100 Language Learning Blogs 2016And see that blue button with the heart inside? The Language Learning Love Button? The one to your right? It’s for clicking and voting. Thanks in advance :)

PickupThai Podcast: Creamy Coconut…

Yuki and Miki from PickupThai Podcast are giving away SIX subscriptions to their new Creamy Coconut course for beginners.

There will be SIX winners in total: One winner – all 30 lessons. Two winners – 15 lessons. Three winners – 10 lessons.

Pickup Thai Podcast

Overview: Creamy Coconut…

This new course was created for absolute beginners to the Thai language.

  • The materials focus on teaching words and phrases in context.
  • To keep it fun, humour is sprinkled around the courses.
  • The audio lessons are roughly half hour long.
  • Both male and female voices interact in the conversations.
  • Each course includes an audio file, two artistically designed pdfs, and a plain text file.

The lesson pdf’s have three sets of vocabulary, followed by the conversation, ending with additional vocabulary. The audio follows the pdfs to a degree. The audio starts out by covering one set of vocabulary at a time. Then, Pimsleur-like, you are asked to listen and repeat. And to help you remember, you are prompted for answers. After the three sets are over, up comes the conversation. To make sure you are not overwhelmed the phrases are broken up into easy chunks. As with the pdf’s the additional vocabulary comes next.

Using various methods (prompts, roleplaying, quizzes), all through the lessons you are tested on what you’ve learned – it’s an extremely powerful way to study a language.

Below are sample subjects from the first five lessons:

Creamy Coconut One:
How to greet someone.
How to introduce yourself.
How to say you like something.
How to say “Thank you” and “Sorry.”
How to tell someone you’re leaving.

Creamy Coconut Two:
How to say numbers.
How to ask someone’s age.
How to say how old you are.
How to say what you don’t like.
How to ask someone’s phone number.
How to ask someone out for dinner.

Creamy Coconut Three:
How to say when you did something.
How to invite someone to do something.
How to ask and talk about someone’s nationality.
How to say what you know or don’t know how to do.
How to ask and say what languages someone speaks.
How to say where you were born and where you moved to.

Creamy Coconut Four:
How to give a suggestion.
How to ask for suggestions.
How to say what you’re afraid of.
How to say what you have just done.
How to say what you don’t want to do.
How to say names of meats and beverages.
How to ask if someone has ever done something.

Creamy Coconut Five:
How to list things.
How to say what you are happy for.
How to estimate someone’s reaction.
How to say something is up to someone.
How to ask the price per unit of something.
How to ask questions expecting multiple answers.
How to say the names of colors and days of the week.

To see for yourself, the first three lessons can be downloaded for free:

Creamy Coconut 1: John & Yoko’s First Encounter
Creamy Coconut 2: The Price to Pay
Creamy Coconut 3: A Language in Common

PickupThai PodcastYuki Tachaya & Miki Chidchaya / PickupThai: After many years of teaching Thai as a second language, we realized there’s something missing in the market – materials that teach REAL spoken Thai.

We constantly witnessed Thai learners pick up wrong phrases and expressions from textbooks that no Thai person really uses. The learners also lacked the knowledge of how to speak naturally (like a Thai person).

We also noticed that there are hundreds of words and expressions that Thai people use all the time but for some reason, Thai learners have never heard of, let alone know how to use.

Everything we’ve done so far on PickupThai – our one-on-one Skype lessons, Youtube videos, and the free lessons we constantly provide on our website – have focused on REAL and PRACTICAL Thai. Unlike in textbooks, we teach non-Thais to speak like how we speak.

A lot of learners get lost when they try to apply their knowledge to the real world. They feel devastated. This is because the world of textbooks and the real world of Thai usage are drastically different. We wanted this to change. We wanted there to be new tools to help Thai learners pick up REAL and PRACTICAL Thai. We wanted to create a bridge that connects them to the real world, the actual way we, Thai people, speak.

And so we came up with “PickupThai Podcast” – innovative Thai teaching materials that not only teach you what you can’t find anywhere else but also keep you entertained while learning with the humour and jokes added to every lesson. We’re very proud of the effort we’ve put into this project and we can’t be more thankful for every fan who supports and appreciates what we do.”

Website: Yuki Tachaya
twitter: @PickupThai

Rules for WLTs Thai Language Giveaway…

The rules are simple:

  • To be included in the draw, leave comments below.
  • Comment(s) need to add to the conversation (it really does matter).
  • Each relevant comment gets counted, so please leave as many as you like!
  • If you don’t collect your prize within a week of the announcement, it will be given away to the next person in line.

Yuki and Miki will choose the winners, so don’t worry if you know me intimately, you can still win.

The draw will run from this moment until 29 May (Sunday), 6pm Thai time. After the winners have been selected I’ll leave a comment below as well as create a dedicated post.

Thank you Yuki and Miki for being a part of WLT’s eight year celebration!

Let’s help The SET Foundation…

As already mentioned, Peter Robinson from the SET Foundation needs our help. Did you know that…

SET’s administration and non-program expenses are always under 3%. In 2015, the audited accounts show administration costs at just 1.82% of total expenditure.

If you can, please donate to The SET Foundation by filling out the Paypal button at the top right of their site. Ta :)

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Cat Cartoons Episode Thirty Two: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons: Episode Thirty Two…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน แมวไม่อยู่ หนูระเริง
Narrator: Episode 32 – ‘Maew mai yoo, noo ra-reng’

วิเชียรมาศ: วันนี้คุณพ่อคุณแม่ไม่อยู่บ้าน พี่เก่งพี่ก้อยเล่นซนสุนกกันใหญ่เลย
Wi-chian maat: Today Dad and Mum are not at home. P’ Geng and P’ Goi are playing, being naughty and having fun, wildly out of hand.

สีสวาด: แมวไม่อยู่ หนูระเริง
Si Sawat: ‘Maew mai yoo, noo ra-reng’

วิเชียรมาศ: อะไรน่ะ ฉันยังไม่เข้าใจ ระเริง แปลว่าอะไรหรอ
Wi-chian maat: What? I still don’t get it. What does ‘ra-reng’ mean?

สีสวาด: ระเริง แปลว่า สนุกสนานเบิกบานเต็มที่ พี่เก่งพี่ก้อยเล่นสนุกสนานตามใจชอบเพราะคุณพ่อคุณแม่ไม่อยู่บ้าน ไม่มีใครคอยดุคอยเตือน เหมือนพวกหนูที่กลัวแมวอย่างเรา ถ้าเราไม่อยู่ หนูก็สนุกเต็มที่
Si Sawat: ‘Ra-reng’ means ‘(to) have fun and to be overjoyed to the hilt’. P’ Geng and P’ Goi are playing and having fun to their heart’s desire because their dad and mum are not at home, so there’s no one to keep an eye on, scold or reprimand them. It’s like mice that are afraid of us cats, so when we’re not around, they enjoy it to the max.

ผู้บรรยาย: แมวไม่อยู่ หนูระเริง หมายความว่า ผู้ใหญ่ไม่อยู่ ผู้น้อยก็คึกคะนอง สำนวนนี้มักมีต่อท้ายว่า แมวมา หลังคาเปิง หมายความว่า เมื่อผู้ใหญ่กลับมา ผู้น้อยก็จะถูกลงโทษ
Narrator: ‘Maew mai yoo, noo ra-reng’ means that when a ‘poo yai’ is not around, the ‘poo noi’-s will get wildly high-spirited. This saying is usually rounded off with ‘maew maa, lang-kaa bperng’ which means ‘when the “poo yai” returns, the “poo noi”-s will be punished’.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

Comments…

‘Ra-reng’ (ระเริง) basically means ‘(to) rejoice or to be delighted’.

The main meaning of ‘yai’ (ใหญ่) is ‘big or large’ however when it is used as an adverb, it is usually used to describe a situation becoming messy and may even involve the use of violence, basically a situation getting out of hand.

‘Poo yai’ (ผู้ใหญ่) and ‘poo noi’ (ผู้น้อย) always go together. Looking the constituent words individually, they literally mean ‘one who is big’ and ‘one who is little’ respectively however based on the context that they are used in, they can mean ‘adult or senior / elder or chief / leader’ and ‘child or junior or subordinate / follower’ respectively.

‘Maew maa, lang-kaa bperng’ (แมวมา หลังคาเปิง) literally means ‘when the cat comes, the roof will get wrecked’. Maybe this suggests that when the cats come back, they end up chasing the mice ferociously and relentlessly all over the house including on, under and around the roof and wrecking the roof in the process.

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Thirty Two: Conversation

Disclaimer: The study pdfs are Catherine’s baby. If you notice any mistakes drop her a line via the contact form.

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Vote THAI and WIN! | SEVEN Weeks of FREE Thai Giveaways

Top 100 Language Lovers of 2015

Just like last year’s Language Lovers Competition, this year fabulous sponsors supporting the Thai industry have again donated products. Thanks all!

PickupThai Podcast (24th-29th May): SIX winners will get subscriptions to the new Creamy Coconut course for beginners (One winner – all 30 lessons. Two winners – 15 lessons. Three winners – 10 lessons).

Duke Language School (31st May-5th June): TWO 60 hour Journey One group lessons with course books. This is not a taster, the winners go straight through the course to the end.

Bingo-Lingo (7th-12th June): FOUR copies of Bingo’s detailed book and CD, Read Thai in 10 Days.

Learn Thai Style (14th-19th June): FOUR Speak Thai Course winners (includes a pre-release version of Speak Thai Course with Thai script only – no transliteration) will receive a lifetime access to over 40 hours of audio and video materials, over 300 worksheets (with or without transliteration), online quizzes, self study materials, learn Thai blog access, as well as access to over 700 trained teachers (UK, USA, Singapore, Thailand and Skype).

Learn Thai from a White Guy (21st-26th June): TWO courses of Learn to Read Thai in 2 Weeks and TWO courses of The Need to Know Sentence Pack.

Learn Thai Podcast (5th-10th July): THREE subscriptions to Learn to speak, read, write Thai via LTP’s massive Thai course that has over 800 video, audio and text lessons.

Paiboon Publishing and Word in the Hand (12th-17th July): FOUR EACH of the newly updated Talking Thai-Eng-Thai Dictionary apps (your choice of iOS or Android).

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Leave as many relevant comments as you like (with a stress on ‘relevant’).
  2. Comment on as many of the giveaways as you want (there is no limit on how many prizes you can win).
  3. Claim your prize before the week is out (unclaimed prizes will go to the next in line).

Each post will go live on Tuesdays at 7.30am Thai time and will close out on Sundays at 6pm Thai time.

Note: Those donating will be responsible for choosing the winners so even if you are my buddy you too can win!

The SET Foundation…

As I mentioned in the first post, Peter Robinson from the SET Foundation has asked me for help. Thailand’s run of negative press is directly hurting donations to the foundation, and without donations, studious Thai kids won’t get what they need.

Here’s a little more about SET:

In addition to the 6,000 scholarships, since 2005 SET has also given 25.93 M Bt to more than 8,000 needy youngsters to help pay for school uniform, bus fares, school lunch and other education-related expenses.

If you can help, please donate to The SET Foundation by filling out the Paypal button at the top right of their site. Ta!

Vote Thai…

Vote the Top 100 Language Learning Blogs 2016If you haven’t voted yet, please click on the Top 100 Language Learning Blogs button to your right. Thanks in advance!

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Vote THAI and WIN! | 2016: Top 100 Language Lovers Competition

Top 100 Language Lovers of 2015

Before I get to the Language Lovers Competition I want to address a serious issue. As many of you know, proceeds for ads on WLT go direct to the SET Foundation.

Peter Robinson, SET Foundation Director, just recently emailed me for help. Thailand has had a run of negative press (the military coup being just one issue) and it’s directly hurting donations to the foundation. Without donations, studious Thai kids won’t get what they need. It’s as simple as that.

About SET: Every Baht you give goes directly to help our students. SET has very low overheads and administration costs – no office rent, no staff vehicles and no fundraising expenses. In 2015, less than 2% of expenditure was for administration.

Throughout this series I will highlight different aspects of SET in the hopes you too will see what an amazing charity it is. To donate to The SET Foundation, just fill out the Paypal button at the top right of their site. Ta!

Please VOTE for the Top 100 Language Lovers…

Vote the Top 100 Language Learning Blogs 2016And now here we go … the Top 100 Language Lovers Competition! If you don’t want to read further (just want to vote) click on the button to your right.

There are five categories to vote in: Language Learning Blogs, Language Professionals Blogs, Language Facebook Pages, Language Twitter Accounts, and Language YouTube Channels.

Competition rules: You can only vote for one entry per section. For more go to: Top 100 Language Lovers 2016 – It’s here again!

WLT has been spiffing up for the competition…

Every year the Language Lovers Competition, organised by bab.la and Lexiophiles, inspires me to improve this website.

This year I’ve added prolific new Guest Writer, Sean Harley. Sean’s Thai Cat Cartoon Series is fabulous! In total, there are 250 Thai Cat Cartoons to translate (only 219 to go).

Four other new Guest Writers to watch out for are Yuki Tachaya (Colloquial Thai and Language Connectors), Kru Jiab (Feeling Like a Thai series), Arthit Juyaso (Thai Time series), and the cheeky Wannaporn Muangkham (Useful Thai Phrases You Won’t Find in a Travel Phrasebook series).

And please don’t forget the other Guest Writers who have done a fabulous job keeping WLT updated. There’s a long list under Guest Writers. And in the navagation you’ll find the prolific writers: Hugh Leong (Thai Language Thai Culture), Rikker Dockum (Thai 101 Learners Series), Tod Daniels (Thai Language Schools), Andrej, and Luke Cassady-Dorion.

Also added to WLT are the growing Thai-Thai & Thai-English Study Resources. Learning a foreign language that’s been translated from English tends to cause weirdness so this was my solution for those learning Thai.

Last year I discovered that WLT has a following of the visually impaired. During a discussion, it was mentioned that transliteration causes a problem with screen readers. To rectify this issue I’ve switched to putting transliteration on pdf downloads. This also helps those who are learning how to read Thai as transliteration tends to be a barrier (making it too easy to cheat).

And I’m betting you’ve all noticed my dramatic new banner? After digging around I discovered that the origins are not Thai or Indian even; the design goes all the way back to Greek mythology’s Atlas. I kid you not. But, more on that later.

For the rest, do check out the Please Start Here page. I hope it helps. At eight years old WLT has over 800 posts so help is needed.

SEVEN weeks of FREE Thai giveaways…

Last year during the Language Lovers Competition there were megga Thai product giveaways. This year the fabulous people supporting the Thai industry have again donated products. Thanks all!

And as this post is too long already, tomorrow I’ll share what’s going on. Until then, anon.

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Cat Cartoons Episode Thirty One: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons: Episode Thirty One…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน รูหนู รังหนู
Narrator: Episode – ‘Roo noo’ ‘Rang noo’.

เก้าแต้ม: สีสวาด ดูซี่(สิ) น่าโมโหจริงๆ เลย ชั้น(ฉัน)วิ่งไล่เจ้าหนูตัวนั้นมาจนเกือบจะทันอยู่แล้ว มันวิ่งปรู๊ดลงรูไปเลย
Kao Taem: Si Sawat. Will you just look at that?! It can really make you angry. I’ve been chasing that little mouse and I almost got it too when it dashed straight into the hole.

สีสวาด: รูหนูมันเล็กนะสิ คนถึงเปรียบห้องเล็ก ๆ ว่า ‘เล็กหยั่งกับ(อย่างกับ)รูหนู’ เมื่อวันก่อนคุณแม่พี่เก่งเล่าให้คุณพ่อพี่เก่งฟังว่า เพื่อนย้ายเข้ามาอยู่ในเมือง ต้องเช่าห้องเล็ก ๆ อยู่ เล็กหยั่งกับ(อย่างกับ)รูหนู ข้าวของมีมากล้นห้อง ห้องก็เลยรกหยั่งกับ(อย่างกับ)รังหนู ไม่น่าอยู่เลย
Si Sawat: A mousehole is small, right?! So small that people comparatively described small rooms as being ‘as small as a mousehole’. There was one day when P’ Geng’s mum told P’ Geng’s dad about a friend who moved into the city and had to rent a small room there. It was as small as a mousehole. There was so much stuff that the room was overflowed with them. The room was as messy as a mouse nest. Not cosy and homelike at all.

เก้าแต้ม: อะไรนะ เล็กหยั่งกับ(อย่างกับ)รูหนู รกหยั่งกับ(อย่างกับ)รังหนู รูหนู กับ รังหนู เหมือนกันมั๊ย(ไหม)ล่ะ
Kao Taem: Whaaat?! As small as a mousehole?! As messy as a mouse nest?! A mouse hole and a mouse nest, are they the same?

สีสวาด: ไม่เหมือนกันหรอก
Si Sawat: They’re not the same.

ผู้บรรยาย: รังหนู คือที่อยู่ของหนู ใช้เปรียบเทียบแสดงความรกไม่เป็นระเบียบ รูหนู คือที่อยู่ของหนู ใช้เปรียบเทียบแสดงที่ที่เล็ก
Narrator: A mouse nest is the dwelling place of mice, used comparatively to show messiness and disorderliness. A mouse nest is the dwelling place of mice, used comparatively to show how small a place is.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Thirty One: Conversation

Disclaimer: The study pdfs are Catherine’s baby. If you notice any mistakes drop her a line via the contact form.

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Thai Cat Cartoons Compilation: Episodes One to Twenty

Thai Cat Cartoon Compilation

Last year when the Thai Cat Cartoon series launched I thought it’d be a great idea to create study files.

Sean thought I was totally bonkers but I slogged on anyway. In the end, Sean was right. Well, we both were. Having study files is a great idea but I ran out of steam. Plus, I have a megga project coming up.

Ah. The guilt. Yes. I’m bowing out.

To partially make it up to everyone, I’ve created a compilation pdf from the first twenty episodes. Accompanying it is a spreadsheet with the vocabulary.

Download: Thai Cat Cartoons Episodes One to Twenty: Conversations
Download: Thai Cat Cartoons Episodes One to Twenty: Vocabulary

Disclaimer…

Sean has not read my version of the Thai Cat Cartoons (the vocabulary translations). When it comes to Thai he’s a bit of a perfectionist and crunched for time so it’s for the best. If you aren’t too sure about the vocabulary sections then please do grab a dictionary and/or a Thai to find out for yourself. That’s how I do it. Sometimes I’m wrong and sometimes right, but I always learn something extra.

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Cat Cartoons Episode Thirty: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons: Episode Thirty…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน กำแพงมีหู ประตูมีตา
Narrator: Episode – ‘Gam-paeng mee hoo, bpra-dtoo mee dtaa’

วิเชียรมาศ: สีสวาด ดูซี่(สิ) ใครเอาโบว์มาผูกคอเก้าแต้ม เค้า(เขา)ทำท่าเชิดเชียว ถ้าเป็นชั้น(ฉัน) ชั้น(ฉัน)ไม่ยอมให้ใครมาทำอย่างงี้(นี้)กับชั้น(ฉัน)หรอก
Wi-chian maat: Si Sawat! Look! Look! Who has tied a bow tie around Kao Taem’s neck? Geez, he’s putting on airs. If it were me, I would not let anyone do this to me, you know?!

สีสวาด: อย่าไปนินทาเค้า(เขา) แมวขี้นินทาไม่ดีหรอกนะ
Si Sawat: Do not gossip about him behind his back. It’s not good, OK?! To be a gossipy cat.

วิเชียรมาศ: จริงด้วย เค้า(เขา)ยิ่งว่า “หน้าต่างมีหู ประตูมีตา” จะพูดอะไรก็ต้องระวัง
Wi-chian maat: That’s true. All the more so as the folk saying goes ‘Naa-dtaang mee hoo, bpra-dtoo mee dtaa’. So one must be careful with one’s words.

สีสวาด: พูดผิดอีกแล้ว เค้าพูดว่า “กำแพงมีหู ประตูมีตา” จ้ะ ไม่ใช่ “หน้าต่างมีหู ประตูมีตา”
Si Sawat: You’ve got it wrong again. The saying goes ‘Gam-paeng mee hoo, bpra-dtoo mee dtaa’, not ‘Naa-dtaang mee hoo, bpra-dtoo mee dtaa’.

ผู้บรรยาย: กำแพงมีหู ประตูมีตา หมายความว่า การพูดหรือทำอะไรต้องระมัดระวังแม้เราจะคิดว่าเก็บเป็นความลับแล้ว ถ้าไม่ระมัดระวังก็อาจมีคนล่วงรู้ได้ สำนวนนี้บางทีก็ใช้ว่า กำแพงมีหู ประตูมีช่อง
Narrator: ‘Gam-paeng mee hoo, bpra-dtoo mee dtaa’ means ‘one must be careful when saying or doing something because if one is not careful, what is thought to be a secret may become known to others. This saying is sometimes expressed as ‘Gam-paeng mee hoo, bpra-dtoo mee chong’.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

Comments…

The literal translation and the closest English equivalent of ‘Gam-paeng mee hoo, bpra-dtoo mee dtaa’ are the same, that is ‘Walls have ears. Doors have eyes.’

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Thirty: Conversation

Disclaimer: The study pdfs are Catherine’s baby. If you notice any mistakes she’d love for you to drop her a line via the contact form.

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Francesco Accomando: Sharing My Personal Retrospective With Those Just Beginning to Study Thai

Francesco Alessandro Accomando

I started studying English while in primary school in Italy, then moved to London in June 2007. By then I’d been studying English for about 10 years. Although I never really spoke English during that time I would chat online and play English language video games.

Once living in London I couldn’t communicate with anyone; it was very hard to put words together and even harder to understand anyone.

After three months I was still having problems, mostly because I was living and working with other Italians, which limited my chances of practicing English. I moved once again and started living, working and interacting with more non-Italian speakers.

I’m not sure how long it took me to get used to the language both in expressing myself and understanding others, but in September 2009 I started College (High School) and didn’t have any problems with English.

That means that in two years living in UK I was already fluent; although, I’m quite sure it took me less than that.

So why am I telling you this? Because in September 2013 I decided to actively learn a third language and I chose Thai.

With a personal tutor I started by writing the Thai alphabet and phonics. Although I tried speaking, it was always hard and gave me headaches whenever I attempted to remember anything. To learn vocabulary and expressions I used apps with spaced repetition.

In November 2013 I went to Thailand for three weeks and discovered that I could read few words on sight, but except for a few words, I couldn’t speak or understand Thai.

When I went back to London I had a month rest but wanted to get back to focusing on the language. From March to December 2014 I studied mostly writing and reading but I was still not comfortable with speaking.

During that time I watched the series Hormones although I couldn’t make out anything that was said. But, I did discover that Thai people used Line, so I joined and started chatting a lot. This is where learning to write and read helped boost my progress.

You may not know how to speak, but you can check words in a dictionary. And compared to listening, reading is easier. Don’t use a translator like Google Translate for sentences. Translate word by word and try to make meaning out of the sentences. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t, but translators will throw you off completely – they are useless.

If you do language exchange, be smart. Either chat with someone of your level or someone whose level is lover then yours.

You need to practice. If you speak more English (or your Mother tongue) than Thai, you are not helping yourself.

Even when your Thai is so basic that it’s not enough to make conversation, try to type or say as many words in Thai as you can. Even writing สวัสดี everyday will help you learn spelling and typing.

For reference I did 10 months of studying two hours a week. That’s only 80 hours. If you are consistent you can learn how to read in the span of three to six months.

In January 2015 I went to live in Bangkok for two months. I tried to speak as much as I could although I found it very difficult and would rely on people typing out what they were saying.

I studied again for a few more months, mostly to not forget what I’d already learned. And then I moved to Chiang Mai in October 2015. I’m still here.

I can understand basic conversation, I can express myself.

My vocabulary is roughly around 1000 words. I don’t understand everything I hear so I have to ask what words mean. But I discovered that in Thai there are many expressions that are not literal like in English, and while you may know every word in that sentence yet still not understand the meaning, that’s still ok.

So how long it took me to get here? Two years and seven months.

Here’s what has worked for me the best, and what you should do (in my opinion) if you want to improve faster:

  • Learn to read and write: there is no reason not to. You are missing out on a lot if you don’t. You can learn words by sight too.
  • Be consistent: revise about 10 words a day and you will end up knowing 3000+ words in 12 months (Disclaimer: I’ve yet to do this but I intend to).
  • Make sentences using the words that you know: it will help you learn how to use them and understand language patterns without needing to study grammar.

Other advice:

  • Use Line to chat with people.
  • Write down new words and expressions you encounter.
  • Get the Thai English Dictionary app by Christian Rishoj to translate sentence by individual words (bulk).
  • Study with Glossika Thai Fluency 1-3 but only if you have already some vocabulary and possibly if you can already read.

โชคดี
Interview: Francesco is Getting By in Thai

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Cat Cartoons Episode Twenty Nine: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons: Episode Twenty Nine…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: พระ – พระอาทิตย์
Narrator: Episode – ‘Pra’ – ‘Pra Aa-tit’.

เก้าแต้ม: แน่ะ พระอาทิตย์กำลังจะตกดิน ดวงกลมโตดีจัง
Kao Taem: Aha! The ‘Pra Aa-tit’ is falling to the ground, a really large round star.

วิเชียรมาศ: สีสวาดรู้มั๊ย(ไหม) ทำไมต้องเรียกว่า “พระอาทิตย์” ไม่เรียกว่า “อาทิตย์” เฉยๆ
Wi-chian maat: Si Sawat, do you know why it is called ‘Pra Aa-tit’, and not just ‘aa-tit’?

สีสวาด: ถึงแม้พี่เก่งเคยบอกว่า คำว่า พระ ใช้หน้าคำแสดงการยกย่อง อาทิตย์ เป็นชื่อเทวดาของอินเดีย คนอินเดียโบราณเชื่อว่า เทวดาองค์นี้ขับรถระหว่างโลกมนุษย์กับโลกของเทวดา ทำให้เกิดแสงสว่างตั้งแต่เช้าจนเย็น คนไทยรู้เรื่องว่าอาทิตย์เป็นเทวดาก็เลยใช้คำว่า พระ นำหน้าคำว่า อาทิตย์ เหมือนชื่อเทวดาอื่นๆ
Si Sawat: Even though P’ Geng has said before that the word ‘Pra’ is placed in front of a word to show respect and admiration, ‘Aa-tit’ is actually the name of an Indian god. Indian people in ancient times believed that this divinity drives a chariot between Man’s world and the gods’ world, creating a bright light from dawn till dusk. When Thais learned that ‘Aa-tit’ is a divinity, they started using ‘Pra’ in front of the word ‘Aa-tit’, just as they would do so for the other divinities.

วิเชียรมาศ: ใช่ๆ พระพรหม เป็นเทวดาก็มีคำว่า พระ นำหน้าชื่อ
Wi-chian maat: Yes, that is true. ‘Pra Prom’ is a divinity, so there is the word ‘Pra’ in front of the name.

ผู้บรรยาย: ดวงอาทิตย์ให้แสงสว่างแก่โลก เราจึงมักเรียกดวงอาทิตย์ว่า พระอาทิตย์
Narrator: The sun provides a bright light for the world, that we usually call the sun ‘Pra Aa-tit’.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

Comments…

Although 94.6 percent of Thai people today identify as Buddhist (with the largest minority religion being Islam at 4.6 percent), scholars have long recognized the significant presence of Hindu / Brahmanical elements in Thai religious culture, including the Hindu belief that the sun is the Hindu god Surya (or Soorya) who drives a chariot pulled by seven white horses. In Thailand, Surya and Brahma are known as ‘Pra Aa-tit’ (พระอาทิตย์ / พระสุริยะ) and ‘Pra Prom’ (พระพรหม) respectively.

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Download: Cat Cartoons Episode Twenty Nine: Conversation

Disclaimer: The study pdfs are Catherine’s baby. If you notice any mistakes she’d love for you to drop her a line via the contact form.

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Why Do Foreigners Quit Learning Thai?

This is a recurring problem that I hear from many learners of Thai. I put this clip together to hopefully help Thais who are working or living with foreigners know how to better handle some situations with foreigners to ensure that they will keep motivated with their learning.

If you live or work with any Thais, send this clip to them. I’m sure it will help!

Follow the conversation on FCLT: Why do foreigners quit learning Thai?

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