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Review: PickupThai Podcast by Yuki and Miki

Pickup Thai Podcast

PickupThai Podcast…

PickupThai PodcastPickupThai Podcast teaches real Thai, not Faranged Thai. Throughout the lessons you’ll learn common sentence structures with particles and idioms that Thai people use in their daily lives (but almost never ever get mentioned in textbooks).

Learning these structures is the key to speaking real Thai – and you’ll do just that with audio files recorded in a relaxed, natural way of speaking.

At present there are two courses on offer at PickupThai Podcast, Sweet Green and Spicy Red. More will be added later. Sweet Green is for beginners to low intermediate students of Thai, and Spicy Red is for upper-intermediate and advanced learners.

Apart from using real Thai, another main selling point of PickupThai Podcast is the liberal use of humour throughout. I mean, who wouldn’t have a hoot studying Thai with sentences such as these?

วันหลังห้ามตดในที่สาธารณะอีกนะ
Don’t fart in public again, OK?

เธอคิดว่าแฟนเธอหน้าเหมือนแบรดพิทท์เหรอ
You think your boyfriend looks like Brad Pitt?

ฮีตเตอร์ผมพังก็เลยไปเมืองไทย
My heater broke, so I went to Thailand.

To get a taste of Yuki’s humour, check out her free YouTube videos. Such fun!

Each course at PickupThai Podcast includes an audio file, two artistically designed pdfs (one with transliteration and one without), and a plain text file for those who want to use the materials elsewhere (such as Anki, BYKI, or LONGDO).

Important, instead of teaching vocabulary and phrases on their own, the materials focus on teaching words and phrases in context. And what I especially appreciate is the casual mix of L’s (ล) and R’s (ร). Often we are taught only to roll our R’s, which is just not common on the street.

Using male and female voices, the audio lessons are roughly 30-40 minutes long. The recordings are clear and personable; it’s almost like having Yuki and her sister Miki chatting away in your living room! And a plus, there is no invasive music or long talking intros in the sound files. I don’t know about you, but I get impatient with courses that add unnecessary time to lessons. Instead, the intros are short and sweet, moving on quickly to what you want to learn.

As each course progresses they get slightly more difficult after each lesson, with the difficulty level being quite significant between lessons 1 and 15. If you want to compare Sweet Green to Spicy Red, from the free downloads be sure to choose each from their difficulty level, such as Sweet Green 1 and Spicy Red 1, and/or Sweet Green 11 and Spicy Red 11. If you compare Sweet Green 1 to Spicy Red 11 the results will be skewed.

PickupThai Podcast: Sweet Green Pod…

Pickup Thai Podcast

As mentioned above, there are two pdfs for Sweet Green. One with just Thai script and English and the other with transliteration and English.

The plain text file has Thai script and English, but no transliteration. NOTE: The plain text files are not carbon copies of the pdf files (sometimes there are parts missing).

Each course comes in two parts: The main conversation lessons teaching patterns and vocabulary, and a question and answer section using the patterns taught in the first lessons but with different phrases and vocabulary.

Conversation sections: First you are given the conversations at normal speed, followed by a slower speed, then the vocabulary used in the lesson. And finally, the conversation with English translations.

Question and answer sections: Using a ‘graduated-interval recall’ method similar to Pimsleur’s, the question and answer section is the power of the courses at PickupThai Podcast. A complete phrase is spoken, then broken down into smaller parts, each with their English translation. After, you are prodded to respond to Yuki’s “how do you say…”.

Each sentence pattern has four sentences using the same pattern. To keep it fun, humour is sprinkled around. Sweet Green’s sentence patterns and interactive “how do you say…” questions geared to draw out a response are a simple, yet robust way to get Thai into your head.

PickupThai Podcast: Spicy Red Pod…

Pickup Thai Podcast

As with Sweet Green there are two pdfs for Spicy Red. The Thai script pdf has English in the Vocabulary and Sentences and Translations sections only. The other pdf is the same, but with transliteration instead of Thai script.

The plain text files come with Thai script (no transliteration). The plain text files sometimes have the English translations along with the vocabulary, sometimes not.

The lessons in Spicy Red are conversation heavy, making them significantly more challenging than Sweet Green. Except for the vocabulary section that has English translations, the crutch of English in the audio files is noticeably absent. These lessons are perfect for those who want to practice listening to Thai without the overly invasive English found in many Thai lessons.

In Sweet Green each lesson covers one conversation, but in Spicy Red there are two longer conversations, each with sentence patterns similar to Sweet Green. Leading is a conversation for the first half of the storyline, then the vocabulary used, followed by a series of question sentences and true or false questions, ending with the sentences and their English translations. The second part of the lesson repeats the process with a conversation that continues the storyline.

PickupThai Podcast: Sweet Green and Spicy Red…

Pickup Thai Podcast

To cover practical situations you’ll find in real life, PickupThai Podcast teaches real Thai from as many angles as possible. In Sweet Green there are stories of a mother talking to a daughter, two strangers talking to each other, a sister talking to a brother, friends talking to each other, etc. Sweet Green focuses on daily life situations such as getting a taxi, buying food, eating out, making a phone call, going to the movies, and more. The advanced Spicy Red course concentrates on the more complicated life situations you’ll find yourself in. To see each course in detail, go to this page on PickupThai Podcast.

Now that I’ve touched on the basics, why not see for yourself? Go ahead and take advantage of Yuki’s four FREE lessons at PickupThai Podcast’s store (Sweet Green and Spicy Red 1 and 11).

Yuki and Miki, PickupThai Podcast
Website: PickUpThai Podcast | Youtube: Yuki Tachaya | twitter: @PickupThai

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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.

10 Comments

  1. Count me in as being another fan of Yuki’s lessons on youtube!

  2. Isn’t she great? She’s an original :)

  3. I heartily concur with this review. :-)

    I think that both Sweet Green and Spicy Red are great series for learners past the complete beginner stage. For me, Sweet Green is ideal listening practice, and Spicy Red ideal reading practice.

    With the podcasts, you spend most of your time listening to Thai, and not to the overdrawn introductions or explanations that are found on some recordings.

    And both are excellent sources of vocabulary words in context; other sources include example sentences for vocabulary words — thai-language and dict.longdo come to mind — but Yuki’s and Miki’s sentences are so much better and so much more memorable.

    Both series offer free downloads of the first podcast so you can get a feel for the series, but they get better with each episode, especially the Sweet Green series.

    They also make liberal use of mood particles, so you get a flavor of how to use them in real conversations.

    I am currently working my way through the first 15 or so episodes of each series; there is enough material there to keep me busy for quite a while!

  4. And I heartily agree with your review too. These materials are way above others I’ve found in content and quality.

  5. I purchased 12 lessons for the podcast. And they really are great and very useful. I plan to purchase more when i finish with the first 12.

  6. Since yesterday, Yuki’s server seems to be missing. Do you know anything about that?

  7. Jason, good to know! I’m working with Yuki’s materials as well. They are peppered with interesting tips and tricks, some I wasn’t aware of.

    gaelee, I just checked and the site came up for me. I do know that Yuki has been working hard on switching to WordPress so that could very well be it. The new design isn’t live yet but it will be soon. If you still can’t access it please let me know. I’ve dropped a line to Yuki just incase.

  8. Yea! She’s back!
    From the samples, I think her stuff is terrific.
    I plan to get them all, both flavors.

  9. Excellent – and I agree! Yuki’s lessons are wonderful :)

  10. Hi guys,

    Thank you SO MUCH for all of your support. We are overwhelmed with joy to hear that you are satisfied with our products and it encourages and motivates us to continue doing our best at producing the podcasts. We truly appreciate your support! :) Special thanks to Catherine for doing such a thorough review of our products. Much appreciated.

    As for the problem with the website being down, we are trying our best to address it. While it is not fixed yet, if it fails to display the first time, please try to access it again after a few hours. It does work sometimes. Otherwise, you can take a look at our Facebook page, which also includes a lot of information regarding our learning materials: https://www.facebook.com/pickupthai

    If you are looking to purchase the podcasts, you can make the payment to miki.chidchaya@pickup-thai.com directly from your Paypal account, in case you cannot access our website. The details of the discount packages we’re now offering are also available on our Facebook page.

    Don’t forget to participate in our new campaign “Ask Yuki & Miki Anything About Thai.” You can ask us any questions you have about the Thai language and we’ll answer them in a Youtube video! We’ll be selecting questions to answer at the end of April, so hurry and send us emails. We will be waiting! :)

    If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us any time at yuki.tachaya@pickup-thai.com or miki.chidchaya@pickup-thai.com

    Thank you very much.

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