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New Thai Course at the Andrew Biggs Academy: Sap Khao Ngai Nid Deow

Sap Khao

Although the Andrew Biggs Academy mostly focuses on teaching English, Andrew’s new course can be used by both Thais learning English and those learning Thai: ทราบข่าวง่ายนิดเดียว /sâap kàao ngâai nít dieow/.

“Sap Khao” is a service for Thai learners of English as a second language … but it is also an excellent tool for anybody interested in learning Thai.

Andrew Biggs, who is fluent in both Thai and English, explains the headlines of the day. This is a perfect opportunity for non-Thais to learn new Thai words and phrases.

Every day, Monday to Friday (9am), you receive a 10-minute video in the morning explaining the day’s news. You can watch it as many times as you like, and at any time you like for a period of 90 days. And at 1,599 Baht per year, it works out to the cheapest Thai lesson you are ever going to have!

To acquire the course you first sign up at Sap Khao.
See you there!

Website: Andrew Biggs Academy
Facebook: Andrew Biggs Academy
YouTube: Andrew Biggs TV
twitter: @AndrewBiggs

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Successful Thai Language Learner: Andrew Biggs

Andrew Biggs

Interviewing Successful Thai Language Learners…

Name: Andrew Biggs
Nationality: Australian
Age range: Mid-twenties. Oh allright, 47.
Sex: Male
Location: Bangkok
Profession: Writer, TV producer, Tv and radio emcee, school owner … you name it
Website/blog: www.andrewbiggs.com
Products (books, courses etc): Too many to mention

What is your Thai level?

That depends on how much sleep I’ve had. I can sound incredibly fluent with the aid of a script, or Khaosan Road-ish with the aid of a hangover.

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

In a bad mood I’m excellent at street Thai, but I think I veer towards professional (for the first time in my life).

What were your reasons for learning Thai?

I wanted to learn how Thais tick. I figured knowing their language would explain their nuances, personalities and habits, and I was right.

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

I arrived on Valentine’s Day, 1989. Recently I spent three months in the USA, the longest I’ve ever been away from Thailand since then.

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

Since the day I arrived.

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

Right away. It was a good decision of mine, too. I got right into it the moment I arrived.

Did you stick to a regular study schedule?

Yes I did. I was incredibly disciplined. I learnt the alphabet, then the tone rules, and then ten new words a day for at least a year. Then I went to Ramkhamhaeng University to study a degree in Thai. All the time I was working a full time job – sometimes two full time jobs.

What Thai language learning methods did you try?

I started off by learning how to read and write the language, and I think this is the way to do it. The tone rules gave me lots of headaches but once I understood them I felt as though I’d made a major breakthrough. I went to a school very early on but they laughed at me when I told them I wanted to do the Education Ministry’s Grade 6 exam in three months time. They said if I didn’t take their five-day-a-week expensive course I’d fail it for sure. I walked out of that school and got to work by myself with the help of a lovely Thai teacher. I ended up coming first in that exam three months later.

Did one method stand out over all others?

Immersion, immersion, immersion. Read the newspaper. Watch the hideous Thai soapies. Listen to Thai pop music. Sit quietly with your Thai friends as they open a bottle of whiskey and solve the world’s problems in three hours before passing out. This all helps.

How soon did you tackle reading and writing Thai?

One millisecond after I started learning the language. It’s the ONLY real way to learn Thai. This phonetic rubbish with the squiggles for tones just makes you sound like a farang sputtering through the language. You will never get fluent doing it that way.

Did you find learning to read and write Thai difficult?

No. I love it, actually.

What was your first ‘ah hah!’ moment?

I was in Kanchanaburi one year after arriving here, doing a story for The Nation when all my stuff got stolen. I raced into the nearest police station and blurted out, in Thai, that all my stuff had been stolen. I screamed for about five minutes. At the end of it I realized it was the first time I’d been fluent.

How do you learn languages?

With Tylenol and Xanax.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Catherine, are you serious? My strengths are I am creative and manic obsessive so when I put myself into a task I stick with it. My weaknesses … you simply don’t have enough room in your column to list them all. Kate Bush is my greatest weakness.

What is the biggest misconception for students learning Thai?

That you can do it without reading and writing it.

Can you make your way around any other languages?

I used to be good at French. The last time I went to Paris, everytime I wanted to speak French, Thai came out! “Je voudrais kin khao.”

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

No. I’m not clever enough for that.

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

No! Why would you ask that?

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

Yes. I play the piano and I have a great passion for music.

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

60 million Thais can speak it. You’re no different. Ditch the excuses and get on with it.

Again, thank you so much for reading.
(fingers cross and crossed again… and once more for double measure)

Andrew Biggs,

The Series: 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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Andrew Biggs on Twitter and Facebook

Andrew Biggs on Twitter

Who is Andrew Biggs?…

Andrew Biggs, the coolest bald guy in Thailand, is one of those long-time expat curiosities that a chunk of Thai learners know next to nothing about. A part of the reason is because Andrew does not market his talents to expats (he’s an all Thai sort of guy). And (taking a stab) I imagine the lack of focus on the expat market is due to Andrew’s available time being taken up already.

And as Andrew does not go after expats, we need to go to him.

There is supposed to be a course to teach Thai to foreigners at the Andrew Biggs Academy. When I checked andrewbiggs.com I came up with nadda (but I could be wrong). And other than a mention in Tod’s review of Thai Language Schools in Bangkok, I haven’t heard much else. If you are interested, please call 02-714-2838 for the details (and be sure to let us know).

Andrew Biggs in an English Minute…

Andrew Biggs on Twitter and FacebookBack when Andrew had hair, he hosted a program called the ‘English Minute’ on Channel 3.By the time the show closed, Andrew had seasoned into the icon we know now.

I much prefer Andrew’s later iconic look, don’t you?

Note: I had to take down the links in this post to Andrew’s ‘English Minute’ videos due to YouTube banning the channel. Pity. If you know where they are now, please share.

Andrew Biggs does Facebook and Twitter and everything else…

Andrew spreads his talents to radio and TV shows, newspaper columns and magazines. You’ll also find Andrew these days is on Twitter and FaceBook.

Andrew has three accounts with Facebook. The first account he created is here: Andrew Biggs. But when he garnered too many friends, Andrew created a FB page with megga friending going on. He also has another FB page: คน ไทย อยาก เก่ง ภาษา อังกฤษ /kon tai yàak gèng paa-săa ang-grìt/ = Thai people who want to be proficient in English. If you are a Thai learning English, or wanting to learn Thai, it’s also a worthwhile read.

With 4,888 friends in one FB account and 3,057 members on another, and 35,478 followers on Twitter too (he responds as well), Andrew is understandably busy.

Andrew Biggs shares his twitters …

Once a day (but not on weekends) Andrew picks a subject to tweet about. Sometimes he grabs suggestions from his followers and other times his tweets are driven by current news either Thailand related, or from around the world. And no matter where Andrew is traveling (and he’s always traveling) Andrew tweets.

As I mentioned, Andrew Biggs is busy. Really busy. When I asked permission to use his Thai-English twitter phrases, within hours he came back with a generous yes (thanks Andrew!) I bugged him for other things too, but like I said, he’s really really busy.

Note: If the Thai script is too small for you to read, use command + if on a Mac, and control + if on a PC. If you have a new MacBook Pro or similar, just flick your fingers across your track pad. And if none of those work, google is your friend.

tam à-rai yòo
What are you up to?

pŏm róo sèuk gòt dan krîat
I’m stressed out.

yàa krîat ná
Don’t stress yourself out.

gèrt à-rai kêun
What’s happening?

ter bpen kon kêe aai mâak
She’s very shy.

ter mee bpan-hăa têe gâe yâak
She has a sticky problem.

ter nâa daeng lăng jàak têe ter hòk lóm
She was embarrassed after she fell over.

nân mâi jing ròk
That’s not true.

kun nêe dtor-lăe
You are full of it.

chan àak glàp bâan
I want to go home.

dtaam sà-baai · mâi dtông grayng jai
Make yourself at home.

pŏm mâi yàak yòo naan gern bpai
I don’t want to wear out my welcome.

kun jà glàp maa mêua-rai
When will you be back?

chăn yòo tăew née
I’ll be around.

yeun ror dtrong nán
Wait right there!

chăn gam-lang jà long
I’m coming down now!

rái săa-rá jang
That’s ridiculous.

à-rai gam-lang jà gèrt kêun
What’s happening?

kun gam-lang tam à-rai yòo
What are you up to?

ter mâi hĕn kun kâa kŏng chăn
You take me for granted.

ter mâi chôp kun
She doesn’t like you.

chăn róo sèuk mĕuan gan
The feeling is mutual.

kăo gam-lang tam à-rai têe mâi dee
He’s up to no good.

kăo mâi chà-làat
He isn’t clever.

mee à-rai hâi chûay măi
Do you need any help?

kun bpen à-rai bpai
What’s the matter?

ฉันไม่มีข้อมูลเลย · ฉันไม่รู้(ต่อ)
chăn mâi mee kôr moon loie · chăn mâi róo (dtòr)
I’m in the dark.

pŏm pá-yaa-yaam hăa kwaam jing yòo
I’m trying to unravel the truth.

à-rai ná kráp

nêe rái săa-rá
This is rediculous.

pŏm mâi châi kon ngôh
I’m not stupid.

pŏm róo wâa à-rai gèrt kêun yòo
I know what’s going on.

chăn rêrm ton kun mâi wăi
I’m losing patience with you.

jai yen yen òt ton sák nòi
Please be patient.

nâa sĭa daai jang
What a shame!

wan née kun doo ûan
You look fat today.

chăn hĕn dûay yàang yîng
I couldn’t agree more.

pŏm mâi róo jà tam à-rai
I’m stuck (I don’t know what to do).

pŏm mâi róo rêuang loie (dtòr)
I don’t know what’s going on.

tâa mee kôr sŏng-săi à-rai gôr toh hăa pŏm
If you’re stuck at all, give me a call.

mâi kúm
It’s not worth it.

ฉันต้องการ… ช็อกโกแล็ต
chăn dtông gaan chocolate
I want chocolate.

kun tam hâi chăn hŭa rór
You crack me up.

chăn kàat mâi dâi chocolate
I need chocolate.

Andrew, if you are reading this, I would love to have your interview on WLT :-)

EDIT: Thanks Andrew! Successful Thai Language Learner: Andrew Biggs

And just in case you missed it, his twittering is going on here: Andrew Biggs on Twitter

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