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Please Vote to add Thai Language to LingQ!

Please Vote for THAI on LingQ!

Please Vote to add the Thai Language to LingQ…

We need your help getting Thai on LingQ. At present, LingQ supports about 10 languages including Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, but not Thai. The first step to getting Thai on LingQ is to get 1000 votes for Thai to be added as a beta language.

To vote Thai, go to LingQ’s Facebook page: What language should we add next?

So, what’s LingQ all about?…

If you are unfamiliar with LingQ, watch this video:

Why do we want Thai on LingQ?…

Last week Scott contacted me about rousting everyone to convince LingQ to add Thai. I looked into LingQ several years back but was unable to generate much interest for Thai, so moved on to supporting other resources for learning Thai. But since then, there’s been a marked increase in the numbers of students learning Thai, so hopefully this time our votes will make a difference.

As I don’t have recent experience with LingQ I asked Scott to step in to explain:

Scott: I’ve been using LingQ to learn Russian for a few months and I think the biggest benefit is its versatility. If you like extensive reading you can just read and use the dictionary if you get stuck. If you want to do intensive reading then you can create “LingQs” for your unknown words and review them by doing basic flashcards, cloze deletions, dictation, or multiple choice.

All lessons have audio so you can practice any combination of listening, reading, shadowing, etc. For the fully supported languages, it has tons of material ranging from beginner dialogues up to complete radio programs. It is also easy to add your own material and has apps for Android and iOS which allow you to review your lessons on the go. It is the best language learning tool I’ve found and it would be a huge help to my Thai studies if it was added.

Scott in turn asked polyglot Wulfgar to expound even further:

Wulfgar: I’m glad that there is an effort to make Thai a supported language on LingQ. I have been using LingQ for about a year to study 4 different languages – French, Russian, Japanese and Mandarin. It’s an excellent tool. There are many different ways to use it, and it has a variety of functions, but let me tell you what I use it for. There is a stage in my studies when I am trying to accumulate enough vocabulary to read native material. This can be a really intensive and grueling experience with a book, for example. I used to trudge through a book, page by page, looking up words in a paper dictionary, setting aside unknown words for memorization. Difficult, time consuming, but it works. An improvement to this was mouse-over dictionaries. These allowed me to quickly see the definition, and some would even build a list of words that I looked up.

LingQ has gone several steps further. It has a mouse over dictionary which keeps track of unknown words, of course. It highlights unknown words blue, and previously looked up words yellow, which I find very helpful when reading. It has flashcards, or an export function that will let you use your own flashcard software. There is a library full of material of different levels, most of which has audio. I really like to read material that also has audio – the reading and listening reinforce each other. It’s very convenient being able to go to the library to get material; no more searching all over the place to find it. And because it keeps track of your known words, you can tell how difficult a lesson will be for you (how many unknown words per minute for example) and chose appropriately.

As I mentioned earlier, I use it to study 4 languages. Having a single location for all of these saves a lot of time. I often create my own lessons, uploading material into LingQ. For example, I’m reading the Count of Monte Cristo in French, which is publicly available online, so I load a chapter at a time when I want to read. Sometimes I pull something difficult into LingQ just to see how hard it really is – I check the unknown word count. I’ve put in subtitles of movies, letters from friends, etc.

I’m a big believer in Krashen’s i+1 theory, or something similar to it. I believe one acquires language most efficiently at a level (i+1) slightly above their current state of language proficiency (i). Consistently using lingQ lessons which have low levels of new words (less that 10 per minute for me) is an excellent way to follow this theory. Making difficult material more comprehensible, or knocking it down to the i+1 level, accomplishes this also. For example, listening to the same material that you read, memorizing unknown words with flashcards, etc. There are many ways to accomplish this, and LingQ can be a big help.

Back to Thai. I’m currently learning Thai, and I’m at the point where I want to become a reader of native material. There are some nice tools for Thai, but they aren’t as useful or convenient as what LingQ would offer. There is an effort to gather lots of existing lessons together to fill the library, and a standing offer from an individual to create many new lessons something like Thai Recordings, but mostly dialogue based. LingQ would offer a mouse-over dictionary, which would parse something like the bulk lookup in Thai Notes, which is imo the best free online parser by far. There are some who say it’s impossible to parse Thai, but I disagree because it’s already been done, and without forcing spaces between words.

In summary, I hope you all will vote for LingQ to implement Thai. It’s a great tool that can be used in many ways, and will dramatically improve the resources to study this beautiful language.

Again, please help us add Thai to LingQ by voting. Go ahead, send your brothers, your mothers, your husbands and lovers to all vote Thai!: What language should we add next?

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My passion is promoting the Thai language. Fullstop. Oh, and traveling. I'm passionate about that as well. And photography too.

42 Comments

  1. LingQ looks really promising. But I am afraid there are not enough people to vote Thai up. That’s a language I voted for lots of times before :)

  2. Patrick, I know Thai isn’t a hugely popular language to learn but it’s gaining. When I first started this blog there was a steady trickle coming through. Now I see more and more people showing an interest.

    Note: By sharing on twitter, blogs, and personal FB pages, we’ve gained quite a few votes just today. It’s now at 127 and this post hasn’t even gone out via email (it’ll reach followers at 7am tomorrow morning). If it doesn’t peter out, at this rate we’ll gain 1000 in two weeks plus.

  3. Hope it works, but you can’t vote unless you join facebook.

  4. Gaelee, another person mentioned not being able to vote because they don’t have a Facebook account.

    This is the first time I’ve voted by FB and I can see why they are doing it. Less chance of people voting twice. It can still happen but it’s not as simple to pull off.

    We are now at 140 votes. Slow but hopefully sure wins the race.

  5. Now at 150 votes – only a mere 850 to go. Come on Thailand!

  6. Would love to vote Cat but am another of the non-Facebook Thai learners. Hope you can muster enough support.

  7. Darn. Do you know that FB is a good place to learn Thai? There’s oodles of actual real Thai conversations just for the looking.

  8. Now at 163 votes – only a sweet 837 to go.

  9. Note: I can’t do anything about the voting being on FB. It’s not my poll – it was set up by Steve at LingQ.

    Suggestion: If you don’t use FB but want to help get Thai on LingQ, just ask a friend or family member to vote for you.

    Thai is now at 270 votes – 730 to go.

  10. So any non-Facebook using friendless orphans are not going to help up the vote total. ;-)
    Steady improvement. Nice going Cat. I am still drowning in existing resources, many of them thanks to your site Cat, so I can live without the distractions of FB. Will check if any friends are FB users, just for you and this vote. Keep up the great work.

  11. Gordon, there are indeed a ton of resources out there for learning Thai but we don’t have this one (I’ve now got the gottas!)

    Learning With Texts (LWT) is a possibility, as is FLTR. But none are perfect (especially for those with no programming skills).

    Thanks for voting :-)

  12. LingQ does look good. Well worth the trouble to vote, especially if we succeed!
    (note the “we” :-p Obviously more of you and others than I in that we.)

  13. LingQ (or even something similar) does indeed look good. And it IS a ‘we’ as we are all in this together :-)

  14. 324 now and still steadily rising! Great job everyone.

  15. I woke up to 343. Thai is now at the top of the LingQ votes. Romanian at 1073 doesn’t count because it’s already been accepted into beta.

  16. After tweeting, posting on FB and forums (Thai and English) we’ve now reached a sweet 350 LingQ votes.

  17. Votes are slowing down at 369 votes. Nite all.

  18. I voted. Sadly, it looks like Thai aficionados are among the most ardent, but not among the most numerous. :-( LingQ looks like an interesting site.

  19. Keith, you are right. Thai students are ardent – and while Thai doesn’t have a huge following, interest is growing.

    We are now at 389 votes.

  20. Catherine,
    Thanks very much for posting this. We seem to be stuck, or slowed down at 396. Do you have any ideas regarding getting Thais to vote for this? Every Thai friend i’ve asked has voted instantly, so I think there might be a little “let’s get these farang to learn Thai” going on here. Following this line of reasoning might help, but I’m trying to figure out some good ways to do this…
    Thanks again.
    Leo

  21. Thanks Leo. I was hoping to wake up to 400+ but the voting still going slow.

    We have been targeting Thais but perhaps not enough. With Thai on LingQ, Thais should be able to learn English via the method as well, correct? I would think that’d get a few votes, as well as wanting westerners to learn better Thai.

    Kaewmala (@Thai_Talk) and Thai teacher Mia (@learn2speakthai) have been tweeting (Kaewmala tweeted in Thai and English to her followers). And Mia posted on Pantip (popular Thai forum).

    But I believe a part of the problem is that Thais don’t understand how LingQ works. If someone could post a translation of the explanation on Pantip, there’d be more interest.

  22. I hope you don’t consider this as spam, I just would like you to know that Thai is already featured on Bliu Bliu. We play with similar concept used by LingQ, we just extent the exposure contept even more. taking away lessongs and grammar completely.
    We have a beta version of the language but if you tell us where to find more content….we can make it better already today. We don’t know Thai so we don’t know where to get content but we have already 24 videos and 5000 texts to practice
    bliubliu.com

  23. Welcome Claudio. Yours is the good kind of spam :-) bliubliu.com is a beautifully designed site.

    So does the staff at bliubliu.com input Thai or can learners? I see there’s the ability for learners to record Thai audio but I couldn’t find a FAQ to explain just how the site works.

    “we have already 24 videos and 5000 texts to practice” … do you mean for Thai or overall?

  24. Patrick, we’ve been busy behind the scenes. Right after the voting started Rick Bradford offered to fix the Thai parser problem for FLTR (easier for non-programmers to use than LWT). Rick showed the parser to me today and it’s almost there (I’ve been jumping up and down over how great it works). More on that later (Monday week).

    If anyone wants to help put Thai through the parser to calibrate the dictionary, please contact me.

    bliubliu.com is a fine site! Getting a steady stream of decent Thai copy will take some doing. When the guys went asking for copy, those who agreed to donate wanted their materials to stay free to the public. If that part can be addressed they should be ok :-)

  25. Bliu Bliu has a long way to go to be usable even for absolute beginners, but yes, the concept looks good. Hope it progresses quickly and remains a free resource.

  26. @Catherine
    We have more than 3millions texts in the system, for all language. 5751 for Thai (+721 in few days!)
    Would you happen to know RSS from Thai Blog or Newspaper?

    @Patrick
    You will find so many jokes in Finnish (none in Thai) and you will love them. What’s your finnish level?

    @Gordon
    Bliu Bliu for now it’s for Intermediate people, this has been our focus since the beginning.
    And we are progressing very fast, in 12hours we launch the new design

  27. Hi Claudio,
    I don’t want to hijack Cats topic so let me just this once reply to you. The reason I said it has a long way to go is not related to the users level so much as the text displayed does not separate words so you can not select them to say you know them therefore rendering the application unusable. Additionally, though not as important and possibly only on my screen but maybe for others too, vowels are displayed incorrectly (with a “o” place-marker if parts of them are displayed above or below the consonant).
    If these can be corrected so that words are correctly displayed then it would at least be usable, which in its current state it is not.
    Again, I know it is early days and I am sure you are probably already working on this so I wish you quick progress so we can all benefit from this when it is ready.

  28. Claudio, here’s a list of newspapers in Thai: w3newspapers.com

  29. @Gordon
    I believe we will fix everything you mentioned tomorrow morning but I could not reproduce the vowels problem you are having. About the splitting we might use some better parser. Parsing can always be upgraded

  30. Hi Claudio,
    Tried again this morning. Sent you an email via Bliu site Feedback on the issues. We can continue the discussions via email if you want so we leave this thread for good news updates.

  31. GOOD NEWS
    We fixed everything and Thai looks amazing on Bliu Bliu. Plus we just went live with new design, you should definitely check it out ;)

    Some extra info:
    We have 7200 texts for Thai (growing our collection very fast) and we got inspired by FLTR and now we are parsing our Thai text using https://pypi.python.org/pypi/pythai/

  32. Quick Update:
    Not had time to play much but it looks like the issues I raised are fixed and it is now usable. Good, quick work by Claudio. Look forward to future improvements.

  33. We are now looking for volunteers to help fine-tune a Thai parser to use with FLTR. You don’t have to be a programmer. You just need to get Thai script, run it through the parser, then send the results to Rick.

    The details are here: http://thaitextreader.com/index.php/parsing/

  34. I noticed that a lot of people who wrote “Thai” in the comments on the facebook page didn’t actually click the Thai checkbox on the poll. Sad to see that we lost a bunch of votes because of confusion. :(

  35. @Claudio
    I played with Bliu Bliu too and it seems pretty good! Where can we submit RSS feeds to if we have content suggestions?

  36. If you are logged you can do it from here
    http://bliubliu.com/en/help-others/add-rss/th/

    If you are not, go to
    http://bliubliu.com
    help others
    Add RSS in Thai

  37. Introducing Thai Text Reader … TTR is a work in progress … Post on WLT coming tomorrow.

  38. Thai now has 502 LingQ votes. Excellent!

    Please vote. There can’t ever be enough learning resources for Thai.

    Well, there could. Be we are not even close.

  39. It looks like we’re stuck on 514 now. Meanwhile, Catalan has made a big move to pass Modern Greek at 340. I urge people to keep on voting. It will be beneficial for us to get to 1000 before Catalan, so that the LingQ programers have more time to concentrate on Thai. I’m just concerned that if we come in right after Catalan, we will be put on hold for a long time. I believe there are enough readers here to put us over the top, so please vote today.

  40. Leo, I also saw those Catalan votes coming in – reason why I posted on TV. And you are right, if Thai gets 1000 votes after Catalan it’ll be a long while before they get around to it. Even if Thai does make it first it’s not going to be an overnight project.

  41. Catherine,
    Wulfgar just texted me about a post he made on LingQ. Looks like there are new requirements for languages:

    http://www.lingq.com/forum/1/21444/

    We might be in luck. Just let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.
    Leo

  42. Thanks Leo – I wasn’t aware of the new requirements. That’s good news! I’ll contact people to get this going on our end.

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