A Woman Learning Thai...and some men too ;)

Learn Thai Language & Thai Culture

Author: Catherine Wentworth (page 1 of 67)

EXTENDED: PickupThai Podcast’s Songkran Sale

PickupThai Podcast

A HEADS UP! PickupThai Podcast’s website has been hacked so I’m running an emergency post to get the word out.

PickupThai’s website (www.pickup-thai.com) is temporarily inaccessible due to unexpected circumstances. However, you can still order podcasts (PickupThai Podcast) and request free samples by email.

Payments are accepted through Paypal and Thai bank transfer. The links to the podcasts will be sent to you by email to download from.

The Songkran Grand Sale – Buy Two Courses, Get One Course Free (all three courses for only $198 USD) is still running and has been extended until April 30th.

Should you have any questions, feel free to contact the admins at contact [@] pickup-thai.com or through their Facebook page: PickUpThai or Twitter account @PickupThai.

Yuki Tachaya and Miki Chidchaya

As their information is down as well, here’s a review of Green (intermediate) and Red (advanced), and an overview of Coconut (beginners):

Green and Red: Review: PickupThai Podcast by Yuki and Miki
Coconut: WLT’s 2016 Thai Language Giveaway: PickupThai Podcast

Good luck Yuki and Miki – your site is sure to be back soon!

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Pocket Thai’s Songkran Sale 2018

Pocket Thai

Introducing Pocket Thai…

Introducing Pocket Thai – WLT’s latest sponsor (see more about sponsoring / donating here). Pocket Thai’s Songkran sale runs from Thursday (April 12) to Monday (April 16), but first, here’s a bit about the app from the sponsor.

Pocket Thai…

In a market full of vocab memorization apps, Pocket Thai tries to do something new: teach the language from the ground up.

Pocket Thai is a Thai language learning program and culture guide for iOS and Android that takes you from zero Thai language experience up to the conversational level. This program prepares you for life, work, and travel in Thailand with easily to follow explanations of Thai grammar and culture.

Pocket Thai is designed for beginners and teaches you how to read and speak Thai with culture lessons and travel advice mixed in along the way. You can learn at your own pace and study from anywhere since there’s no internet connection required!

Quizzes at the end of the lessons are randomly generated so that you can repeat them and see new questions in a new order, which makes review much more interesting. Most importantly there are over 1200 audio files from both female and male native Thai speakers, which means that everyone that uses Pocket Thai will have a native speaker to model their speech after.

Pocket Thai’s Songkran Sale…


From April 12 to April 16 you can unlock the full 38 lesson curriculum of Pocket Thai Master for only $6.99 (usually $9.99).

Or if you only want to learn how to read Thai you can unlock the full 12 lesson Pocket Thai Reading for only $2.99 (usually $4.99).

Testimonials…

You can try the first five lessons for free to see if Pocket Thai works for you before you unlock the full program but if you want to see what other people think before you take the time to install it here are a few recent reviews:

The conversational tone of the app and sequential nature has really accelerated the learning process for me, and the supplementary educational elements concerning Thai customs, history, and other points of context show that the developer really understands that learning a new language is really inseparable from encountering a complete culture.
-mmrrkk (iOS user)

Checked out many apps but this is the first app which really takes you through lessons step by step… easy to follow and easy to learn.
-Ralf (Android user)

This app is absolutely excellent. I speak 4 other languages aside from Thai, and thus far this has been one of the best overall language apps I have seen. It’s extremely thorough and written in simple, non-technical language so even absolute beginners can make sense of a very difficult language. The quizzes at the end of each lesson are great too!
-Tokyo Teacher (iOS user)

Been in Thailand for 9 years. On and off learning Thai and this has been a great help. I feel it explained the rules to me very well and made it easier to read more!
-jr7diving (Android user)

Try it today…

To find links to the App Store and Google Play pages or learn more about Pocket Thai: Learn Thai.

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Language Exchange Chiang Mai: English, Thai, Chinese, German and more

Language Exchange Chiang Mai

Language Exchange Chiang Mai…

I first heard about the Chiang mai language exchange group back in 2015 from Daniel Styles. Since then Daniel relocated (but still shows up on occasion), the group was taken over by his mate Maik Cook, and they all shifted to CUBE7 after the closure of their former meeting place, FOCUS.

People from all over the world come to Language Exchange meetings every Wednesday and Saturday. The four most spoken languages are English, Thai, Chinese, and German but many more are represented at the group. Many people at Language Exchange are now friends, but everyone became friends the same way – after meeting and talking with people in the group.

The meetups are a perfect size, anywhere from 10 to 25 people each time. And while they welcome visitors who show up from elsewhere to practice their chosen languages, the meetings mostly consist of intermediate and advanced learners who live, work, or study in Chiang Mai.

The group meets all year around except for during Songkran and the Loy Krathong festival. And on top of their regular language meetups, there’s now a ‘Language Exchange Karaoke Night’ was well as a ‘Language Exchange Food Night’. Sounds like fun!

Their Language Exchange Chiang Mai Facebook group presently has around 2,760 members, comprised of those living in Chiang mai and those planning a holiday around a visit to the language exchange.

If you live in Chiang mai or will be there anytime soon, perhaps stop by?

FB: Language Exchange Chiang Mai
Time: 7pm, Wednesday and Saturday
Venue: CUBE7, Siri Mangkalajarn Rd Lane 7, Thesaban Nakhon Chiang Mai

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Successful Thai Language Learner: Frank Smith

Frank Smith

Name: Frank Smith
Nationality: US
Age range: 50-60
Sex: Male
Location: US
Profession: University language lecturer (Khmer)
Websites: Study Khmer and Study Lao

What is your Thai level?

Speaking: low-mid advanced
Listening: high advanced
Reading and Writing: low advanced

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

Mostly colloquial/informal, but I can speak polite/formal when needed; I also speak Issan (Lao) at pretty much the same level as I speak Thai.

What were your reasons for learning Thai?

General interest in Southeast Asia, but my ability greatly increased when I moved to Thailand…then I learned it to function as a member of society on a daily basis.

Do you live in Thailand? If so, when did you arrive?

I lived in Bangkok from 2002-2008; visited once a year starting in 1999, visited 3x a year from 2009-2013, now back to once a year. I’ll eventually retire to Thailand.

How long have you been a student of the Thai language?

1999-2018

Did you learn Thai right away, or was it a many-pronged approach?

I started learning from an informal Thai tutor in Seattle in 1999 once I knew I was going to visit, both speaking and reading/writing. From the moment I first landed in Thailand I tried to speak only in Thai to all Thais I interacted with, a strategy I maintain to this day. The only exception was a group of Thais educated in the US (mostly artists and musicians) I interacted with in my first few years of speaking Thai–I spoke English with them then, but speak only Thai with them now.

Did you stick to a regular study schedule?

Not really, since I was pretty much always working on improving my Thai from the moment that I moved there.

What Thai language learning methods did you try?

Learning vocabulary and grammar from an old (1950s or 60s?) textbook (I no longer have it and can’t remember the name or author), constantly practicing with native speakers in a wide range of social situations, reading signs, newspapers, magazines, watching karaoke videos, reading songbooks.

How soon did you tackle reading and writing Thai?

Immediately.

Did you find learning to read and write Thai difficult?

Not difficult at all, because I was already fluent in [spoken and written] Khmer when I began to study Thai.

What was your first ‘ah hah!’ moment?

After living in Thailand about 1.5 years and using it daily, there was a moment when I had finally figured out all the proper spoken uses of ก็ (and distinguishing those uses from how it’s used in Khmer) and was able to use it confidently in my own speech; that was a significant moment that I remember clearly. Other, related, ‘a-hah!’ moments like that came when I was able to start using the final particles นะ and เลย correctly in my speech.

How do you learn languages? (learning styles)

I learn languages by using them as much as I can for communication, with periodic study of vocabulary and grammar to fill in gaps in my communicative ability. When I decide to learn a language, I will refuse to speak anything but that language to native speakers, no matter how good their English is and no matter how much they protest.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths: Pronunciation, speed/fluidity, use of colloquial vocabulary, domestic issues/relationship discussions, pop culture, expression of personal feelings/opinions.

Weaknesses: political vocabulary/discussions on issues such as politics, the economy, etc.; tones.

What is the biggest misconception for students learning Thai?

Probably the same misconception that all students of a language that differs radically (grammar, etc.) from their native language share: the belief that every word in the target language (in this case, Thai) must have an exact equivalent in their native language. Once one accepts that the “semantic range” of many Thai words is way, way broader than any one English (or whatever) word, learning gets a lot easier. “Translation” and “word lists” are very inefficient and often frustrating ways to try to learn a new language.

Can you make your way around any other languages?

Khmer (fluent), Lao (probably the same level of proficiency that I have in Thai, including reading and writing), Vietnamese (knew it well years ago, but I can only speak it now when I’m physically in Vietnam), Spanish.

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

No…and as a language teacher, I highly recommend NOT trying to learn two or more languages at the same time.

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

Speak as much Thai as you can, to native speakers, as often as you can…resist the urge to resort to English, despite how much more comfortable it might be. Have as your goal “thinking in Thai,” and get away from the notion that learning Thai means translating from English words or grammar into Thai. Also, learn to read and write as soon as you start to learn to speak, and do not use any sort of phonetic transcription or transliteration.

regards,
Frank Smith
Study Khmer and Study Lao

The Series: Interviewing Successful Thai Language Learners…

If you’d like to read more interviews the entire series is here: Interviewing Successful Thai Language Learners.

If you are a successful Thai language learner and would like to share your experiences, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you.

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L-lingo’s Seven Day FREE Thai Course

Seven Day Thai Course

This is your lucky day! L-Lingo just launched a FREE Seven Day Thai Course.

When you sign up, for a week you will get an email a day with great Thai learning resources to jump start your Thai learning. The material included is suitable for both beginners and intermediate learners.

This is what you will receive:

  • Thai Grammar.
  • Thai high frequency word lists (top 150 and top 1000 Thai words).
  • 100 important Thai phrases.
  • Tips for effective language learning.

When I reached out to ask about the reasoning behind this generous offer, I was told that the Seven Day Thai Course is a part of the launch of a new strategic focus at L-Lingo. By analyzing the progress of thousands of students on the way they learn, the people behind L-Lingo realized that most students give up learning Thai because they cannot stay motivated, and not because of a lack of learning resources!

So to tackle that issue, L-Lingo has turned their focus on implementing features that will help you stay on course with your Thai learning. To assist with this, Melanie at L-Lingo now has the official job description as “Student Success Manager” and will introduce herself once you sign up for the Seven Day Thai Course.

Some time ago L-Lingo implemented the feature of daily learning reminder emails in their web app and one of the next features will be motivating progress badges. In line with this, the new Seven Day Thai Course focuses heavily on giving you ideas about how to learn effectively without giving up. Sounds great to me!

You can signup to the free Thai course on the L-Ceps/L-Lingo page: Seven Day Thai Course.

Happy Learning!

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Kickstarter: Thai Font Poster by Lanna Innovation

Thai Font Poster by Lanna Innovation

If you’ve ever had a problem deciphering creative Thai fonts, then Lanna Innovation’s Thai Font Poster might be just what you need.

Thai Font Poster Kickstarter by Lanna Innovation: There is an enormous diversity in Thai fonts (typefaces) found in Thailand, and used everywhere, from Thai movie posters, to Thai advertisements, to Thai signage of all kinds, to Thai restaurant menus. Unfortunately, even if someone learns the fonts used in standard Thai by the government, in use on websites, and in books, that is not enough to be able to read Thai in Thailand.

We had to start by curating a Thai Font Collection which would meet the needs for the Thai Font Poster. This font collection took on a life of its own and we are pleased to include over 300 font files in 98 font families, which are free to download and use, and found at: Thai Font Collection.

We have the most extensive collection that we are aware of, and the cleanest set when it comes to licensing and rights.

From these fonts we selected 20 which showcase the variety and diversity of Thai fonts found in Thailand. With those twenty, we created a two-sided, two-color Thai Font Poster which displays side-by-side all representative characters as found on Thai keyboards and mobile devices.

To help make Lanna Innovation’s project happen please read further: Kickstarter – Thai Font Poster.

Web: Lanna Innovation – Thai Language and Culture
Twitter: @LannaInnovation

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Xmas Gift from L-Lingo: ANKI Deck with 1000 Thai Words and Phrases (audio included)

Xmas Gift from L-Lingo

Xmas is coming early this year! For those who want to get a jumpstart on their New Year’s Resolution to learn Thai, L-lingo is giving away an ANKI Deck with 1000 top frequency Thai words and sample phrases. Audio included.

Download the deck here: Thai 1000 Common Words

If you’ve never tried L-lingo, check out the free version of their Quiz-Based Thai lessons.

L-Lingo immerses you in the sights and sounds of the Thai language, rather than just the written word. Our multi-channel teaching method gives you real and rapid results much quicker than traditional flash-card or textbook approaches. Before you know it, you’ll be speaking words and longer sentences with real confidence.

Ho ho ho everyone! Happy Holidays to you and yours.

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Proposal: A Thai Language Stack Exchange

Stack Exchange Thai Language

Over at FCLT Jeff Mcneill shared his proposal for a Thai Language Stack Exchange. And as I was unaware of the resource I had to Google.

About: Launched in 2010, the Stack Exchange network consists of 133 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. Since then, the Stack Exchange network has grown into a top 50 online destination with Stack Overflow alone serving more than 50 million developers every month.

When I asked Jeff the reasoning behind this particular project, he came back with four:

  1. The impetus for the idea was a Stack Exchange question regarding the Thai script and its possible relation to Sanskrit. I think this was in the Linguistics stack. I browsed around for the Thai language stack… and it didn’t exist!
  2. Also, very high quality resources such as thai-language.com have a forum but they are not used much.
  3. Third is that while it seems everyone is on Facebook and there is good discussion, search and indexing of conversations is very poor. It’s fine for keeping up with recent activity, but older topics that might be relevant on into the future are hard to find.
  4. Stack Exchange isn’t perfect but it has been very helpful to me on a number of topics, and doesn’t require an account to read, unlike Quora.

So, just how does this work?

The goal is to come up with at least 40 questions that embody the topic’s scope. When at least 40 questions have a score of at least ten net votes (up minus down), then the proposal is considered “defined.”

And to do just that, first do a quick walk through the Stack Exchange Tour, then go to Area51: Thai Language Stack Exchange.

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Aakanee.com’s Thai Recordings and Illustrations on Youtube

Aakanee.com

Thai Recordings and Illustrations on Youtube…

Exciting news! If you are a fan of aakanee.com, which hosts Andrej’s classy illustrations and recording for learning Thai (and Khmer), then you’ll be thrilled to know that Pablo Román is compiling the Thai recordings with their matching illustrations on YouTube.

You can find Pablo Román’s YouTube Channel here: Thai Recordings

And here’s a list of what’s live so far:

Thai Recording: Chili fish dip
Thai Recordings: Going to the Movies
Thai Recordings: Food Poisoning
Thai Recordings: Taking an Airplane
Thai Recordings: Tuk-tuk
Thai Recordings: Laundry
Thai Recordings: Pickpocket
Thai Recordings: Fried Rice
Thai Recordings: Cold Season
Thai Recordings: Getting Up
Thai Recordings: Thai New Year (Songkran)
Thai Recordings: Going To The ATM
Thai Recordings: Coffee And Soft Drink
Thai Recordings: Grilled Fish
Thai Recordings: Cutting One’s Finger
Thai Recordings: Motorcycle Taxi
Thai Recordings: Going To Bed
Thai Recordings: The Rainy Season
Thai Recordings: Shopping For A T-shirt
Thai Recordings: Alms Round
Thai Recordings: Noodle Soup

Background: Introducing aakanee.com: Thai and Khmer Picture Supported Learning.

Thai Recordings: Audio and transcript downloads
Thai: Thai Illustrations
Khmer: Khmer Illustrations
Guest posts on WLT: Andrej

Pablo Román:
Website: Dreaming Languages
Twitter: @langdreamer
YouTube: Pablo Román

Nicely done Andrej and Pablo!

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FREE Thai Course in Suk: Learn to Read and Write Thai

FREE Thai Course in Suk: Learn to Read and Write

Learn to read and write for free…

EDIT: The offer is over – thanks for joining in!

Good news for Thai beginners currently living near Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok who do not know how to read and write Thai but who are interested in and want to start learning how to read and write Thai.

One of my regular contributors, a native Thai speaker, is looking for a few beginners to be her guinea pig students in a face-to-face foundational introduction to learning how to read and write Thai course.

A total of five morning group sessions [two sessions a week] are planned, with each session lasting at least fifty minutes (half of the time for learning how to write and the other half for learning how to read).

My contributor wishes to emphasize the fact that she is not a professionally trained teacher and that the main reason she is doing this is because she has been sharing her knowledge of Thai with people interested in learning the language for a number of years now and many of those who have enjoyed the interesting and humorous way that she has gone about so, have always asked her to share insights into learning how to read and write Thai. She thinks that it is now time that she does so and hence her wanting to test the waters so to speak this way.

She’s hoping that her observations and feedback from the students during these sessions will inform and prepare her for beginning to share with Thai beginners insights into learning how to read and write Thai.

I can personally vouch for her and I personally find her to be a wonderful and naturally gifted teacher though she stubbornly refuses to be called a teacher.

I think that this is a fantastic opportunity for Thai beginners currently living near Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok who want to learn how to read and write Thai.

Places are limited so please hurry up and send your details via WLT’s contact form and tell us a little bit about your current level. Successful applicants will be notified via e-mail.

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