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Tag: Free Thai resources (page 1 of 5)

Sleep Learning: Reinforce Your Thai While You Sleep

Learn while you sleep

Can you learn a foreign language while you sleep?…

Wouldn’t it be great to learn Thai when sleeping? No more drills. No more tedious word lists. Just start snoozing and let your subconscious do the hard slog for you.

Dream on … it’s not going to happen. Or rather, not in the way you might think. Not yet anyway.

But there is one way you can reinforce the Thai you are studying and that’s by first revising a set list of words or phrases right before you sleep, then again before you enter the NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) phase.

Verbal cues during sleep can boost the memory, at least when it comes to vocabulary: A new study reveals that it may be easiest to learn that second language if you incorporate some verbal cuing during a snooze right after studying.

The study relates memory retention is stronger for those who study vocabulary, then use a verbal cue, such as a tape that recites the same vocabulary, during sleeping. The key is the studying has to be within short order of the nap learning time.

“You can only successfully activate words that you have learned before you go to sleep,” says Schreiner. “Playing back words you don’t know while you’re asleep has no effect”.

Learn Thai Words & Vocabulary…

For Thai, the only app with the above mentioned sleep attributes I could find is Learn Thai Words & Vocabulary Free (created by Languagecourse.net). They’ve only recently added the sleep mode so if you already have the app, check it out.

Learn in your sleepAt the moment I’m experimenting with an iPhone sleep app for Italian instead (SleepyItalian) because the sleep mode from the Languagecourse.net app doesn’t work with iOS (for me, anyway).

So why am I featuring an app that doesn’t fully work on iOS? Because the rest (most everything but the sleep mode) works fabulously. The app is sort of like Glossika, only with fun bits to play with. And to see what I mean, check out Sven Elven’s a sleep learning screen record download from box.com, or get the free app to play with. Or both.

I plan on reviewing the app in full but as this post is about revising vocab/phrases while you sleep (a lightweight Xmas post) I’ll leave that for later.

A brief walkthrough of ‘Learn Thai Words & Vocabulary Free’ sleep attributes…

In the main menu of the app select Sleep Learning Timer (almost at the bottom of the home page navigation).

From the sleep learning menu:

Start in x minutes: The time when the program starts (let’s say you know you will be asleep in 30 minutes so set the timer to 30 or 40 minutes).

Duration: From the next drop down menu choose the duration you want to study.

Course: Choose the course you want review while you sleep (tip: a course won’t appear in the menu until you first study it while awake).

Background music: Select none, white noise, or white noise with binaural beats (the iOS does not have this option).

Volume Calibration: Set your volume then click the button to see how loud the audio is. Reset if needed.

Yes/No: The next window gives you the choice of doing a final review of the words/phrases before you go to sleep (Yes. Show word list) or go straight into the sleep mode (No. Start sleep learning session now). The review is text only, no audio (pity).

Continue/Start: If you are ready to get to sleep press ‘continue’ or ‘start’ or ‘start sleep learning’ (depending where you are in the process, the selection is different). The screen will then dim.

The program will start playing random phrases at the time you’ve chosen. The phrases will be spaced out about 10 to 15 seconds apart. Once your allotted time is over the audio will stop.

Learn while you sleep


Learn while you sleep


Learn while you sleep


Learn while you sleep

From Sven: Very easy to use and a great tool even if you are awake. I use it while running …

Thank you so much Sven Elven – I couldn’t have done it without you!

iOS: Learn Thai Words & Vocabulary Free
Android: Learn Thai Vocabulary Free

Note: Here’s a smattering of subliminal products for Thai.

For those who want to know more…

Abstract: Boosting Vocabulary Learning by Verbal Cueing During Sleep Reactivating memories during sleep by re-exposure to associated memory cues (e.g., odors or sounds) improves memory consolidation.

Learn while you sleep

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Thai-Notes: Free Reading Course

Thai-Notes

A website growing in popularity with the Thai community for its online Thai Typing Trainer is Mike’s Thai-Notes. Mike is presently in the process of adding yet another free course – one that teaches you how to read Thai.

Thai-Notes is a website with a variety of applications to people learning Thai. Its latest addition is a reading course. This course takes the beginner from reading the first few characters and vowels, in small, easy steps, to a comprehensive mastery of all the rules of reading Thai with its many complexities and irregularities. Provided within each lesson are lots of opportunities for practice through simple, interactive games.

New materials introduced in a logical way, based upon frequency, makes sure that beginners get maximum use out of what they learn.

The course also includes instruction and worksheets for those who want to learn to write Thai characters and words.

Currently there are 12 lessons available online (out of a planned 70). Until the course is complete new lessons will be added.

The course is available at Thai-Notes: Reading Index

Also available on Thai-Notes…

Thai Typing Resources:

Thai Typing Trainer
Thai Steady Typer
Thai Typing Game

Thai Dictionaries:

Thai-English/English-Thai Dictionary
Thai Classifier Dictionary

Thai Flashcards:

Flashcard Game
Flashcard Editor

Miscellaneous tools for learning Thai:

IPA Typing Tool
Thai Typing Tool

Note: As this is a project in the making, please contact Mike if you have suggestions or feedback.

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Bab.la’s New (Community Driven) Online Thai-English Dictionary

Bab.la's Dictionary

Congrats to Bab.la! They’ve now added Thai-English to their massive collection of crowdsourced online dictionaries, making the Thai language number 42.

Just check it out!: Bab.la’s new online Thai-English Dictionary

About bab.la: bab.la is a language project by Andreas Schroeter and Patrick Uecker.

The idea has been on Andreas’ mind for quite some time. During his high school and university years he lived in Canada, France, Sweden and the USA. He noticed that just knowing the exact translation often doesn’t really help. You really need to “live” the language to come up with the right word.

Andreas has been collecting dictionaries from different languages for a long time. Putting the things together was just a natural step: Starting a portal where language lovers can meet and exchange their ideas and learn languages from each other.

Who is a better teacher than a native speaker who likes to share his knowledge?

Side note: To support the foreign language community, Bab.la hosts the amazing Top 100 Language Lovers Competition each year. It’s a huge effort (kudos to their team).

Whether your goal is to get your head around some basic Thai survival phrases for your travels around the country, or if you plan to stay in the longer term and need a more in-depth understanding, the bab.la Thai-English dictionary will come in handy.

Did you know that you can contribute to bab.la’s dictionaries? By joining the bab.la community, you can suggest new words and verify words contributed by others. You can also ask for grammar, translation, spelling or pronunciation help in babla’s forum.

For fun, be sure to check out bab.la’s infographic sharing interesting facts about the Thai language and the Thai culture.

Again, congrats to bab.la! I’ve been patiently waiting for this to happen :)

Twitter: @babla
Website: en.bab.la
Blog: lexiophiles.com
Facebook: babla.languages
Dictionary: Thai-English Dictionary

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Teach Pablo … Thai! – FREE iOS and Android Language Learning App

I just have to share this exciting new app for learning Thai. Any language, actually. Early this month Gabriel Morin contacted me about Pablo, an app he’s been working on.

There are a gazillion apps available now for learning languages but Pablo grabbed me because of its simplicity. I’m now a fan.

Do you feel like you’ve spent more time setting up flashcards and lists than you have studying? I sure have. Well, Pablo does away with that. All I do when I get a new word or list is type them into Pablo and start studying. Then, throughout the day, I grab my iPhone to flip through words, quitting when I reach words I already know. I do as much studying as I want, when I want.

I’ve yet to get into sharing/requesting words, phrases, and audio with my StudyBuddy but there’s plenty of time for that later. I’m happy keeping it simple for now.

UPDATE: You will need to log via Facebook but it’s painless (I promise) and if you lose your phone it’s just a matter of signing in to regain the lists you’ve created. You can now login via an email address.

UPDATE: Each time you practice your vocabulary, try to remember the translation of the word. Check the translation, and take the opportunity to tell Pablo if you had the right answer or not. After seven correct answers the word is noted as validated and increases your overall progress. Remember to reverse the language and repeat the test to really know your vocabulary in both directions. Just shake your phone a little bit and languages are reversed :-).

TIPS: When adding words/phrases, make sure you start off with the correct language or you’ll end up with a wonkey list (Thai and English on one side). To edit, with your finger on the entry slide to the left to see an edit menu on the right – then select ‘edit’ or ‘delete’.

Pablo comes in both iOS and Android … and … it’s FREE.

iOS: Teach Pablo: No more flashcards
Android: Pablo: No more flashcards

For more: The story behind Pablo
Facebook: Teach Pablo
Twitter: @_gabriel_morin

Thanks Gabriel! This app is a keeper.

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TPR: Total Physical Response 500+ Thai Word List Translated

TPR

In Andrej’s post, TPR: Total Physical Response Explained, he went over the basics of TPR for us.

The main idea of TPR is to teach comprehension through actions: the instructor gives commands, and the student carries them out. It is mostly used with beginners. Usually, the student doesn’t speak during TPR sessions, but speaking can be integrated later by having students take on the role of the instructor.

To help you with possible words and phrases, below is an edited version of Reid Wilson’s 502 Words that Can Be Learned with Total Physical Response, translated into Thai.

PDF: Total Physical Response Thai Word List.

The translations were done by Khun Pairoa and myself, then checked by Khun Narisa (thaiskypeteachers.com). Any mistakes are mine.

UPDATE: Tracy took the time to put together the below video created from the list. He’s so cute :)

I got a Thai friend to do audio, and a couple of my kids made a short video that we can use with my younger children. I appreciate you posting the list of 500 words in Thai. Thanks.

Please feel free to suggest more words and phrases to improve the list. After they’ve been added, audio will be recorded.

PSSST: The words and phrases in this list would work wonderfully as a smartphone app.

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Test Your Might: Online Thai Language Proficiency Tests

Test Your Might

Online Thai language proficiency tests…

Testing your Thai language proficiency is a delicate process and most likely one would need to pay hefty fees to registered language institutes to get something really official going on. There are however, websites where you can get practice rounds! One of these will be covered in this little write-up of mine that Catherine asked me to do. Is it useful? Does it carry any value whatsoever? Are these tests a good way to actually measure ones proficiency? Read on and find out!

So here is the story; Catherine (WLT) asked me to review a particular website, and you know, she made a fair point. A lot of Farangs are able to converse at a pretty high level with Thais and a lot of those are in the precious Farang Can Learn Thai Facebook group. But how well would they perform on an actual proficiency test? I consider myself not too proficient in Thai. Sure, I can hold conversations pretty well, I can read a novel or two in one and a half hours, I understand a lot of spoken Thai, and maybe, just maybe, when speaking Thai I can fool someone if the conversation doesn’t drag out for too long. But I have no idea if I am really proficient in using the Thai language, or not. I’m sure there is a lot more to it, and we are going to find out just how well I rank on a Thai language test.

Top 100 Language Lovers of 2015

Okay so first things first. The website I am going to use for the biggest part of this review can be found at TruePlookpanya. There are literally pages and pages of online tests that can be done. All tests are timed, and at the end of the ride a score is calculated based on how well you performed.

The nice thing is that most of these tests – if not all of them – are as Thai as humanly possible. They are made by Thais in Thailand and made for Thai people as per design. This high level of Thainess also means that a measly 55% score will be enough to, you know, pass the test. Yes, you read that right! I actually heard somewhere that most Thais would score 50%-60% on official language proficiency tests (so no mere website) at school, so that takes away a heavy burden from my (and your!) shoulders to do “well”!

So on to the actual testing: We’ll start off easy. I brushed off my shoulders, took a sip from a glass of water (early morning so beer was not an option) and started the first test: ข้อใดผิด.

Which of the following is wrong? Basically you are given two words and you have to find which of the two are spelled incorrectly. I had to go with my gut feeling with a lot of these questions, but in the end I scored 50%. I redid the test and let my wife do it as well. She also scored 50%… Is something wrong here? So I went and checked thai2english.com and carefully noted down the correct answers and redid it just to be sure. Again, 50%… Oh wait a second!! A timer is being set off as soon as you start, right? So probably I had to do this as fast as possible. I retried, doing the test again as fast as I could. I was literally sitting there, clicking the mouse like a trained monkey, only to end up with 50% yet again! What on earth…? Then it finally struck me. The first half of the questions asked which of the following were WRONG and in the second half it was reversed, asking which of the answers were CORRECT! Being too hasty from our end rated us each 50%. So I redid it and scored 100%! Bingo bango! But in my opinion you can’t just change the rules like that, even though one could argue that I should just learn to read better! On to the next test!

The second one was called: การรักษาวาจามารยาท. Now that sounds interesting! So here we go again. I am now warned though! I knew I had to read the questions carefully because they try to trick you just like they did back in high school (which seemed like an eternity ago). The questions for this test are a tad harder and I really had to read them carefully in order to fully understand what was going on.

Top 100 Language Lovers of 2015

I scored 100% but I have no idea how I managed to pull it off. I bet it has something to do with the fact that there were just five questions and I had to guess some of the questions to get the correct answers. This guessing game also reminds me of high school, where sometimes you guessed and got lucky and other times you hit the brick wall hard and had to redo the test. I felt less confident doing this test than the previous one even though I passed it in one go with maximum score, but to be frank, it was a 50/50 situation I think. Two of the five questions I didn’t really get at all and I just clicked the answer that looked the best in my eyes or made the most sense. Just like I did when I was a 15 year old doing a multiple choice test in the French language. And let me tell you, my French is rock-bottom. This guessing phenomenon will be happening a lot as we see later on… and not only the Farangs are participating in the guessing game. A lot of Thais had to guess for their answers as well! Makes one wonder…

This brings me to the following point. None of these tests are actually meaningful because just about everyone can gamble their way to certain glory. When I was doing these kind of tests at high school I could pass, sure, but this wouldn’t tell me or the teacher anything in regards of my actual proficiency level of the language being tested. Sometimes I didn’t even get the question and chose the correct answer because I guessed right. This is about as meaningful as a Thai saying that you are เก่งมาก for that matter. Still, I do think these tests have their place. I think these tests are useful to learn and practice Thai but they won’t tell you anything about your Thai language proficiency. At this point in time, I suggest that you use them for training only, not to measure your level.

Here is one more test I did:

Top 100 Language Lovers of 2015

You have to find the correct classifier for the noun that is being given. That sounds easy! Thank god I knew all these words and scored 100%. With this test I was pretty confident but all tests are for the ป2 level, which are kids play, obviously. I would really have to move to some of the harder tests to see how bad I actually am in this Thai language thing, so I decided to ไปตายเอาดาบหน้า for this one and clicked page five and chose a random test.

Oh boy, here we go with THPB511325 การเขียนเรียงความ!

This is where it’s at. Let’s do this! Well, as I opened up the test and read the first question I noticed right off the bat this was really a lot harder and you really need a good grasp of words used in the grammar aspect of Thai language learning. I also noticed that this test doesn’t measure your Thai language proficiency. It won’t show you how well you understand the Thai language or how well you are able to converse in the Thai language at all. Basically, it is all theory. Well here you have it; 60% is my score!

It really got me thinking though. How well would my wife do for this one? How well would a real Thai native score for this test? It was just five questions and my wife is quite the impatient type but five questions wouldn’t scare her off right? So I asked my wife and took other Thai people along with her into the deep dark depths of Online Thai Language Testing! In total I asked around 10 Thai people from different environments to do this test. I asked bargirls to university graduates. I think I got ‘em all covered! I also asked if they had to guess for some of the answers or not. Then I asked a couple of Farangs who I know are great performers when it comes to Thai Language. Because of the fact I don’t want to cause any fuzz and because I like the statistics more than the individual naming and shaming of persons, I kept the results anonymous. But let me tell you that all of the Farangs I asked did not disappoint!

Here the results from 10 Thai persons, all from totally different environments.

2 people got 100%
5 people got 80%
1 person got 60%
2 people got 40%

Most of the participants had to guess for some of the answers. I then passed the ball to a couple of Farangs to do the same. While it was a fun experiment I think in the grand scheme of things the data received is not that valuable and won’t provide valuable insight. A native speaker scoring 40% on a test and me as a total beginner scoring 60% really begs the question. I guess I was just better at the guessing game (if that makes any sense).

Okay, so after checking the website I took some time checking Google for more “Thai Language Proficiency Tests” and checked the links. The first link brought me to learnspeakingthailanguage.org and it had basic background information and a lot of dead links. Apparently one of the closest things to an official Thai language proficiency test has been created for Japanese people, so unless you are Japanese or any good at the Japanese language, this is not the right place to start. The second link brought me to Thai Visa, but ugh. After a short while of skimming through that I ended up in Google again where I found this one: Chulalongkorn University Proficiency Test of Thai as a Foreign Language.

This test is a paid version, and is probably a lot more official than the website I reviewed previously. It ends up at 3000 baht for the ENTIRE Thai proficiency test but I haven’t taken it. Yet. If someone has any experience or is willing to take it, go ahead and let us know how it went. I think it looks a bit more promising than the website I reviewed. I also found a link with details of a Thai Language Proficiency Exam. The data derives from 2009 though so I don’t know how actual it is. It even tells us about the dresscode though and how many but questions in how many minutes you have to answer. I think it is worth a read. Check it out: Anatomy of a Thai Language Proficiency Exam.

To conclude: So there are a lot of language tests online and it would be impossible to do them all for this review. But I urge you to go through these for fun and giggles, just to check how well you perform! You really have to get used to the weird way they ask questions, and for most people going from ป1 to ป3 shouldn’t be that big of a hassle. Remember, you just need 50% to pass the tests!

On the flipside: I don’t attach too much value to most of the scores because even native speakers needed to guess for some of the answers. You win some you lose some. Also, none of these tests actually measure how well one would perform in real life conversations, or how well you actually speak! I would recommend using these tests for fun and practice, but basically the scores carry as much value as a Thai who will tell you that you พูดไทยเก่งมาก. My advice is to use them for study but not for measuring your language skills.

Again, there are paid websites where you can pay some fees and get a test going, but I don’t know how much bang for the buck they are as I haven’t tested myself. Just to keep you going here, is a list of all the language proficiency test sites I found in a short time googling. Just go out there, test your might, and use your own powers for good! Good luck guys and gals!

Maarten Tummers,
500px.com/maartentummers

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Thai Snippets: Semantics, Spelling, and Sentence Construction

Thai Snippets

Introducing: Thai Snippets…

EDIT: Thai Snippets is now offline.

I’ve been learning Thai for about 5 years now and have advanced beyond the beginner stage. I used to have the “Bakunin learns Thai” blog describing the first two years of that journey, but recently decided to take it offline and delete the content which caused the owner of this blog to lament over the loss of my travels through ALG (Automatic Language Growth).

Another project of mine, Thai Recordings, however, is still accessible and will be kept online as long as I can afford to pay for the hosting and the site is not getting hacked. Thai Recordings has about ten hours of recordings of spoken Thai, together with fairly exact transcripts, on a wide variety of everyday topics, and is aimed at intermediate learners of Thai.

Recently, I’ve started another little project: Thai Snippets. It is actually not intended to be a blog where I broadcast something to the world and engage in social networking and the rest of it, but rather something like a notebook that happens to be online. I’m not good at keeping notes in real life because I can’t stand stuff cluttering up my desk, but I still have the desire to jot down and keep those small personal insights I (and we all) have when learning a second language. The files I’ve started have never really worked out either. Maybe the format of a blog is a better solution because it imposes some structure with regards to how I present the content.

Thai Snippets is 100% focussed on my own needs and learning journey, and admittedly pretty random, maybe even obscure. I love to investigate questions related to semantics, spelling, and sentence construction. Instead of just researching that stuff, I now research it and write it down. That’s all there is to it.

Time will tell whether Thai Snippets will add value to my learning experience. If it does, I’ll keep doing it, otherwise it’ll die without much ado. It is clearly a niche project, but maybe there are a few people out there who share my interest in semantic relationships, spelling and the like and enjoy stopping by, or others who might be inspired to start such a notebook-type blog of their own, whatever their level and interest is.

Since starting Thai Snippets I’ve been busily adding material, and I’ve got an even longer pipeline. Somehow having to write the stuff up forces me to dig a bit deeper, and this in turn increases my learning experience. It’s also good fun, I’m just that type of guy. So, I guess I’ll keep adding to Thai Snippets for some time to come.

Andrej
Thai Recordings

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New Facebook Group: Farang Can Learn Thai

Farang Can Learn Thai

Farang really can learn Thai…

Farang Can Learn Thai is an exciting Facebook group created in November of last year by language enthusiast Richard Jensen. Two months later (almost to the day), membership is already at 1766. I put the group’s popularity down to Richard’s kind nature guiding the generous spirit of its members.

Too often it has been said that farang (foreigners) either can’t or won’t learn the Thai language. This group has been created to help those who wish to learn Thai. It exists in order that we may help each other by sharing ideas, posting videos or web sites that will aid us in the quest to master the Thai language.

Everyone is encouraged to share experiences related to Thai language learning and anything about Thailand you feel will be beneficial to all. Please feel free to add files by clicking on the Files tab at the top. Invite anyone, farang or Thai. let’s have some fun and learn Thai.

Farang Can Learn Thai is a relaxed, social group. Scanning through the members there’s a good balance of Thais, Asians, and Westerners amongst the mix.

Questions about the Thai language get asked. Thais, Thai teachers, and the more advanced Thai students take turns to answer. And (my passion) learning Thai resources appear round the clock. Richard especially keeps finding great stuff I never knew existed!

Due to the international membership, moderators from different time zones keep watch for spam, so please don’t join the group to sell sunglasses or other unnecessary doodads (your posts will be deleted and you’ll be banned).

Thai teachers, bloggers, developers, and more…

As the word about the Farang Can Learn Thai Facebook group got out, many from the learning Thai community stopped by to share their knowledge.

In alphabetical order, here’s a list (along with their details):

Ann Norman
thailandqa.com: 100 Carabao Songs in English

Benjawan Becker
Site: Paiboon Publishing
Blog: Benjawan Poomsan Becker
Facebook: Paiboon Publishing
YouTube: paiboonpublishing

WLT: Interview: Benjawan Poomsan Becker
WLT: Teaser: The Interpreter’s Journal: How it Started
WLT: Teaser: The Interpreter’s Journal: Mistakes and Misinterpretations
WLT: Teaser: The Interpreter’s Journal: Studying Foreign Languages

Jan Badertscher
sites.google.com: Thai Learning Resources

Josh Sager
Blog: Let’s Talk Thai
Twitter: @letsTalkThai

Mia Rongsaiw
Site: Learn 2 Speak Thai
Facebook: Learn2speakThai
YouTube: learn2speakthai
Podcast: Thai Girl Talk Podcast
Twitter: @learn2speakthai

WLT: Questions… Questions… Lani and Mia from Thai Girl Talk

Mod
Blog: Learn Thai with Mod
Facebook: Learn Thai with Mod
YouTube: ThaiwithMod
Twitter: @ThaiwithMod

WLT: Learn Thai With Mod

Parisa Koknoi
Blog: Speak Thai with Noi Naa
Facebook: Speak Thai with Noinaa
YouTube: SpeakThaiWithNoiNaa

Ryan Zander
Site: Nagaraja Rivers
Blog: Nagaraja Rivers
Facebook: Nagaraja Rivers
Twitter:@nagarajarivers
iTunes: Ryan Zander

WLT: Successful Thai Language Learner: Ryan Zander

Stuart Cox
Twitter: @stuartcox (Learning Thai Daily)

Stuart G Towns
Site: Its4Thai
Twitter: @ITS4Thai and @sgtowns

WLT: ITS4Thai DRAW + iPhone and iPad Review

Stu Jay Raj
Site: Jcademy Cracking Thai Fundamentals
Blog: Language and Mind Mastery
Facebook: Jcademy.com by Stuart Jay Raj
YouTube: Stuart Jay Raj
Twitter: @jcademy and @stu_jay

WLT: Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part One
WLT: Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part Two

Yuki Tachaya
Site: Pick up Thai
Facebook: Pick up Thai by Yuki Tachaya
YouTube: Yuki Tachaya
Twitter: @PickupThai

WLT: PickUpThai: Colloquial Thai Terms and Expressions
WLT: PickUpThai: Colloquial Thai Compound Words

Steve Kaufmann from Linqq is in lurk-mode for now.

Please join us to talk about the Thai language at Farang Can Learn Thai. You are sure to be warmly welcomed if you do.

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Thai Politics on Facebook: Manee Has a Chair

Thai Politics: Manee Has A Chair

Manee gets into Thai politics on Facebook…

Thai Politics: Manee Has Chair Monday (tomorrow) is the big kickoff for #BKKshutdown. On twitter the protests are also hashed as #BangkokShutdown and #ShutdownBKK and #ShutdownBangkok and #ปิดกรุงเทพ. Starting early, the anti-government protesters have already shut down Bangkok. Oh joy.

If you are interested in the Thai protests and would like to learn how to read Thai at the same time, there’s a Facebook page that you ‘might’ fancy: Manee Has Chair (มานีมีเเชร์).

Old Thai schoolbook illustrations revived in satirical cartoons: “Manee. Manee has eyes.” These are the first simple words most Thai children in the 1970s and 80s (and possibly every foreign student learning Thai) read in school.

Created by the Ministry of Education and published in 1977, the books – plainly titled “Thai Lesson Book” – aimed at primary school students became a recognizable childhood item for introducing them to reading Thai and also a stable of characters such as the young girl Manee (มานี), her older brother Mana (มานะ) and also a dog called Toh (โต).

Just like the Manee series, the words used are short and sweet. To understand what’s going on in the cartoons, of course you’ll need to follow what’s happening in Thai politics and perhaps dig around some. Oh. And your Thai will get a real workout if you also read the comments below each drawing.

You can see the complete set of artwork here: Maneehaschair Photo Stream

More about Manee…

Download 12 FREE Manee Books
Learn2SpeakThai: Learn Thai with Manee
Manee on Thai Text Reader

More about (present) Thai politics…

Thai Language Thai Culture: Thai Words for This Time of Political Unrest
Keeping Cool (Tempers) in Thailand
Christopher G. Moore: The Kreng Jai System and Thai Politics
Thai Protests 2013: Who to Follow on Twitter

Stay safe everyone.

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Self Study Thai: In-depth Study of VOA News Articles

Self Study Thai: In-depth Study of VOA News Articles

Study Thai with VOA news articles…

Selfstudythai.com creates study materials from news articles with corresponding audio from the voathai.com website. Articles are broken down so you can listen to and read them a line at a time, and for each line an English translation is also provided. As some of you may be aware, articles on the VOA Thai website don’t always match the audio provided, but selfstudythai changes this so can read along with what you’re hearing. The site is for people who have at least a basic understanding of how to read Thai. For those who can’t, I highly recommend starting as soon as possible. That way you can learn from material that’s out in the real world, instead of being stuck learning what someone else has decided is important.

Currently over 50 articles are available covering a wide range of topics. Aside from the first few, I’ve made an effort to choose topics I hope others will find interesting. I try to cover the hot topic of the day, whether it’s political unrest in Egypt, the latest US mass shooting incident, the resignation of the Pope or even the Gangnam Style craze. I also try to add diverse topics to gain exposure to different vocabulary, like online dating and winemaking, plus I’ve also added a few Thailand related topics, like looking back on the 2004 Tsunami, a recent Lese Majeste violation, and hunting for criminals in the Thai entertainment districts. I hope to keep adding at least one article a week to keep the site from becoming stale. Next up are a couple of articles related to outer space.

There are many ways to use selfstudythai. Extensive vocabulary lists are provided in alphabetical order at the end of each article and for each study page. This makes it easy to either choose an article with vocabulary you’d like to learn or choose an article to reinforce the vocabulary you’re already familiar with. Since you can listen to an article one line at a time, you can also use the study pages to help improve your reading skills. Simply try reading a line and then hit the play button to see how you did. The study pages also include a way to listen to a paragraph or two at a time. This way you can see how well you understand everything when it’s all put together before moving on. Of course you don’t need to use the study pages at all and can use the site similar to thairecordings.com, where you play audio and follow along reading the article text.

The project started as a way to help me improve my Thai language skills while at the same time helping others. Having lived in Thailand for just over a decade, I was hoping I would have picked up more of the language by osmosis. Unfortunately the word a week I was learning wasn’t cutting it. When I posted selfstudythai’s 50th article, I decided it was time to go back and proofread everything, taking all I had learned and applying it to my earlier work. I’ve made a huge number of changes, and feel the site is now the best it has ever been. That said, I’m always looking for ways to improve the site and welcome any comments or suggestions.

Mike Arnstein,
Selfstudythai.com

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