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

Learn Thai Language & Thai Culture

Tag: L-lingo

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.

Share Button

Top 100 Language Lovers of 2017: The Votes are IN!

Top 100 Language Lovers of 2017

WLT’s 2017 Thai Language Lovers Giveaway…

Wow, was that ever a tough competition. I swear, it gets harder each year – but so worthwhile (fun too). In the Top 25 Language Blogs of 2017, WLT came 15th. I’m soooo chuffed! Did you see the competition in the blog section? Wowza. The fabulous Universe Of Memory deservedly came first – it’s a fantastic blog (I’m a fan).

In the Top 100 Language Lovers 2017 section, where they trim 400 entries down to 100, WLT made it to 30th place. Not too shabby! I’m one happy camper this year.

And even more good news, Wannaporn Muangkham’s Learn Thai with พร came seventh in the Top 25 Language Facebook Pages 2017 section and 46th in the Top 100 Language Lovers 2017 section. Congrats Wannaporn! It’s totally well deserved. I just love your stuff :)

Via the TLL competition, in past years I discovered The iceberg project, Learn Italian with Lucrezia, Universe Of Memory and too many more to mention here. My new find this year is the German blog Sprachheld, that promises to help save time learning languages. I’m game.

WLT’s 2017 Thai Language Lovers series…

Help Nominate the Top 100 Language Lovers of 2017!
Each year Bab.la and Lexiophiles put out a request for new nominees (previous entries are automatically added).

Please Vote THAI | 2017: Top 100 Language Lovers Competition
And now … the voting begins!

Happy Birthday Bab.la! – Celebrating TEN Years and TEN Days!
Bab.la turned ten this year and I’m proud to admit to being a fan for nine of those years (since the first year of the competition). Congrats Bab.la – here’s the ten more!

And now to the prizes in WLT’s 2017 Thai Language Lovers Giveaway – for everyone. That’s right. If you haven’t downloaded yours, please do.

WLT’s 2017 Thai Language Lovers Giveaway: PickUp Thai
Yuki and Miki created Anki files (complete with audio) to go with PickUp Thai‘s free courses.

WLT’s 2017 Thai Language Lovers Giveaway: Learn Thai with พร
Wannaporn Muangkham’s 65 Useful Thai Phrases You Won’t Find in a Travel Phrasebook series was put into spreadsheets to use in Anki, Flashcards Deluxe, Quizlet, etc. Audio included.

WLT’s 2017 Thai Language Lovers Giveaway: Benjawan and Paiboon Publishing
Benjawan Poomsan Becker‘s vocabulary list from Thai for Beginners, Thai for Intermediate Learners and Thai for Advanced Learners was recorded, then put into spreadsheets to use with your flashcard app/software of choice.

WLT’s 2017 Thai Language Giveaway: Arthit and Duke Language School
Duke Language School sponsored one chapter from each of their Journey books (1-3), and Arthit sent a chapter from his popular Read Thai In 10 Days ebook. Audio included with both.

WLT’s 2017 Thai Language Giveaway: L-Lingo
Achim sent in L-Lingo‘s top 1000 Thai words from their brand new 5000+ words VoCab trainer. As an additional treat, audio included. Phrases come with each word.

Top 100 Language Lovers Competition: Giving Thanks
You’ve all been great. Thanks again! I owe – I owe.

So that’s a wrap! Thank you everyone – the 2017 TLL Competition was a hoot.

Share Button

WLT’s 2017 Thai Language Giveaway: L-Lingo

Top 100 Language Lovers of 2017

WLT’s 2017 Thai Language Lovers Giveaway…

Top Language Lovers 2017Welcome to the SIXTH and final prize in WLT’s 2017 Thai Language Lovers giveaway! If you haven’t yet, please read Vote THAI | 2017: Top 100 Language Lovers Competition to catch up.

Note… On June 06, 23:59 CET (5:59am Wednesday Thai time) the competition will be over. Clicking the red Top Language Lovers logo to the right will take you there … EDIT: voting is over – stay tuned! :)

L-lingo Thai…

To celebrate WLT’s ninth year L-lingo sent the top 1000 Thai words from their brand new 5000+ words VoCab trainer. Audio included. In addition (something we all crave when learning Thai vocabulary) they’ve included phrases for each word.

If you’ve never tried L-lingo, be sure to 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.

The coming year will be an exciting one for L-lingo. I won’t spill all the beans but here’s a taster!

With the latest addition of our 5000 strong vocab bank bundled with our 105 structured lessons, we are offering enough content for people to become successful speakers of Thai, so our main focus in the near future will be to help people actually follow-through with their learning. We are changing the mission of L-Lingo from “selling language learning apps” to “make your language learning a success”.

Please stay tuned for the announcement where Achim explains the mindset behind L-Lingo’s future plans. I promise I won’t make you wait long.

And on that note, here’s what you’ve been waiting for – the downloads.

Audio and spreadsheet downloads:
L-lingo Top 1000 Vocab Spreadsheets: Download spreadsheets zip (1.2 MB)
L-lingo Top 1000 Vocab Audio: Download audio zip (8 MB)

Website: L-Lingo.com
Facebook: L-Lingo

Share Button

Please Vote THAI | 2017: Top 100 Language Lovers Competition

Top 100 Language Lovers of 2017

Pleeeeease vote Thai…

Top Language Lovers 2017The Top 100 Language Lovers Competition is here once again! If you want to get straight to voting, just click the logo to the right.

The Top 100 Language Lovers Competition, hosted by the amazing team from bab.la and Lexiophiles, is where WLT pits Thai against other languages such as English, Chinese, French, German, etc. Scary.

When the call goes out, almost a thousand blogs, twitter accounts, Facebook pages and YouTube accounts are submitted to the hardworking competition team who then whittle the count down to a mere 100 in each section.

This year FOUR Thai resources made the cut: Language Learning Blogs (A Women Learning Thai), Language Facebook Pages (Learn Thai with พร, Wondrous Thai), Language Twitter Accounts (0 Thai entries), and Language YouTube Channels (Adam Bradshaw).

Competition rules: You get one vote per section (for a total of four votes).

I hope you can help out as every vote for Thai puts the Thai language that bit closer to the top. Ta in advance!

And now for WLT’s FREE Thai giveaways…

In past Language Lovers Competitions I’ve celebrated with free draws but for WLT’s ninth year, I wanted to do something different. Instead of a select few winners getting free stuff, thanks to the sponsors below, everyone will be a winner.

PickupThai Podcast: Anki flashcard decks to go with select courses. Each lesson comes with two decks (Thai script and transliteration). Audio included in the decks.

Learn Thai with พร: Compilation of Wannaporn Muangkham’s popular series, 65 Thai Useful Thai Phrases You Won’t find in a Phrasebook. Audio downloads included.

Paiboon Publishing: Audio files for Benjawan Becker’s Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced vocabulary lists (mentioned on WLT’s Thai Frequency Lists with English Definitions).

Duke Language School and Arthit: One chapter from each of Duke’s Journey books (1-3) created by Arthit. A chapter from from Arthit’s Read Thai In 10 Days ebook. Audio downloads included with both.

L-Lingo: 1000 top Thai words with sentences from their recent course update (English, Thai script, and transliteration). Audio downloads included.

And there you have it – plenty of free stuff for everyone.

Please vote Thai…

Top Language Lovers 2017If you haven’t voted please click on the TLL (Top 100 Language Lovers) competition logo to your right. Thanks in advance!

Share Button

UPDATE: Jeff Netto’s Thai Challenge

Jeff Netto's Thai Challenge

Jeff Netto’s Thai Challenge…

Jeff is a serious language learner. If you remember, he started his Thai language challenge with ziltch Thai. Nada. In addition to the 6 week challenge Jeff set himself 19 months to learn as much Thai as he can. Reason? A friend is learning Thai too, only in Thailand.

I’ve seen other language challenges but I’ve never seen the likes of what Jeff got up to. During the challenge, Jeff studied four hours a day, six hours a day, ten hours a day even. Impressive.

Jeff Netto's Thai Challenge

And Jeff has real excuses to avoid studying (I have a handful of my own). I mean, he works ten hour days, has a young family, yet he still drove himself to study long hours.

Jeff Netto's Thai Challenge

Jeff didn’t stop at learning Thai either. Alongside Thai, Jeff concentrated on Serbian, Xhosa and Spanish. Again, impressive.

How did Jeff manage? During the day he grabbed opportunities where he could and after work he studied long after his household was asleep. Given the choice of sleeping or studying languages, Jeff chose languages.

This, my friends, is a man with a serious language passion.

Interview with inspirational polyglot Jeff Netto…

Understandably, Jeff is still busy concentrating on his Thai challenge so instead of my usual long list of questions I’ve kept the interview to the bare minimum.

Jeff, what is your mother tongue?

(Brazilian) Portuguese.

When did your passion for learning languages develop?

Well, it started when I was a kid learning martial arts, Japanese was the first language I ventured on at age 14. Almost at the same time I started to have English classes at school as part of the Brazilian Public School’s Curriculum. Later on came French (age 17) influenced by a couple friends who were engaged in a government project for foreign languages training.

But what REALLY took me for a loop was an exercise given by a college professor back in Brazil. The class was “Instrumental English” (aimed at preparing the student to do peer reviews and bibliographical research in the Biology field), and the exercise was basically to interpret texts in different languages by using visual or cognate material in the text itself, no dictionaries or any other aid material.

Each week she brought a different text: Spanish, Italian, Japanese… those three didn’t really offer many difficulties, but when she finally brought the text in German everything changed!

I remember it was a Mickey Mouse comics page, and I could only give the meaning of three words out of the whole story! I can’t express the frustration I felt…

I remember ditching the second block of classes and going straight to the university library. I pulled out a German dictionary and a German grammar book and started to translate the little story. Well, as you know, dictionaries don’t list conjugated or declined (case) words, so I decided to appeal to the Internet.

As soon as I typed “German Grammar” on Altavista (yeah, I know it is old…) I came across the website: “travlang.com/Languages” (that is actually still active) which offered the basics for about 70 different languages with links to support material. And then the rest you already know… chain reaction! German, Russian, Korean, Hebrew, Swahili, you name it!

This happened in 2000, and I haven’t stopped since.

You mentioned the importance of changing out activities, to not overdo. Could you please explain further?

When you decide to study a language you need to make sure that you have a balance between the main skills of a language: writing, reading, listening and speaking. Otherwise you may have a counterproductive effect, which actually happened to me after the last day of the challenge. I studied over 24 hours of Thai straight, so even with changing methods my brain got sick of it! I couldn’t touch a Thai book for nearly a month.

I have to admit that it was quite embarrassing, but it does serve as an example to others who are considering a similar challenge whereas they put an excessive amount of study hours in one single language!

Which Shadowing method are you using?

:) It is hard to define which type I followed, I definitely didn’t walk back-and-forth in a park reciting Thai out loud! I don’t think I would EVER do that. What I call shadowing, is in essence the very same thing others do: listen to audio files repeating out loud the expression while trying to get as close as possible from the native pronunciation (like the guy from Pimsleur always says…).

But beyond that I modify the sentences to fit my goals. It is quite effective when you are doing some sort of manual labor which requires mechanical movements, because you can let your mind run free while your arms and legs operate on “auto-pilot”.

Now that it’s over, what are your overall thoughts on your six week Thai challenge?

It was amazing, and I intend to participate in many others! Probably with different languages, but I’ll definitely keep going with Thai.

The Challenge gave a different taste to the tedious study process, which can be extremely motivating at times.

How will your 19 month Thai challenge be planned out?

Well, taking into consideration that I need to juggle 17 college credits and off-record language study at the same time, I’m still studying the possibilities. But I intend to find a steady study-buddy and keep on until life intervenes. :)

What are your suggestions for language learners aiming to emulate your studies?

There are a couple guidelines that I think would give learners some leverage:

  1. Find a concrete interest to support your language study. Be it to impress that one girl in French class or read the Old Testament in Hebrew, it doesn’t matter what the interest is, as long as it exists;
  2. Find out how you learn things (wikipedia: Learning Styles), your study time will be most effective if you know how information sticks to your brain!
  3. (in case you are not living in the country where the languages is spoken) Immerse yourself as much as you can. Music, TV, radio, any and everything you can find in that language;
  4. Be humble about it! If you can’t understand after reading three times, ask somebody with experience. At the end of the day you’ll need to interact anyway, right?!
  5. NEVER, EVER let obstacles or other people’s comments demotivate you! You can do it! No matter what it is, you can do it!

Jeff Netto,
twitter: JNatAlkhimia
YouTube: JNatAlkhimia
Blog: The Thai Challenge

Jeff Netto’s impressive Thai language learning timeline on twitter…

I followed Jeff’s tweets from the beginning. And from the start of the 6 week challenge Jeff stayed at the top of the pack.

But what really interested me was his pattern of study and how he switched out the focus. He’d write for a bit, watch a video on YouTube, study vocabulary, and then perhaps get back to writing.

And if Stu Jay Raj had a twitter challenge timeline I imagine it’d look similar. I’ll ask.

Because I was curious, I kept a rolling record of Jeff’s progress. I’ve tidied it up a bit so you can get some language learning inspiration too.

Pdf download: Jeff’s Twitter Thai Challenge

NOTE: As mentioned, in addition to Thai Jeff was studying other languages but I only kept the Thai tweets.

The Thai language learning community comes out in support…

Many in the Thai language community followed Jeff’s progress. I was chuffed to hear that the top three Thai language products were so generous in their support of his Thai challenge.

Learn Thai Podcast was on Jeff’s twitter timeline from the very beginning. And when LTP discovered Jeff’s passion for language learning, Jo and Jay gifted him with the entire LTP package. Fantastic.

Jeff started with Rosetta Stone but when he played around with a free version of L-lingo, Rosetta Stone was out and L-lingo was in. And also watching his progress were the good folks at L-lingo who graciously gave Jeff their software version.

Benjawan Becker from Paiboon Publishing was also curious about Jeff’s Thai challenge. Always one to support avid students of Thai, Benjawan sent her entire collection of learning Thai CD’s.

Jeff is plugging away at another language challenge so when he comes up for air I’ll ask for a brief review of Learn Thai Podcast, L-lingo, and the Thai language CD’s at Paiboon Publishing.

Share Button

How Do You Declutter Your Language Learning Focus?

How Do YOU Focus on Your Language Learning?

How do you focus on learning Thai?..

During the past week my Internet connection has been getting weaker, to the point that I could no longer code. And I had a big, fat, overdue post to finish this weekend, the February edition of ‘Who’s Talking About Learning Thai’. Ouch.

But it’s not just the posts that are overdue. Projects are piling up and my Thai lessons are disgracefully lagging behind. I’ve always been bad organising study time and life keeps digging me a bigger hole.

Now here’s the thing. My computer holds all my stuff. Loads and loads of stuff. Photos, books, dictionaries, software… I’m sure you have stuff too so you might know what I mean.

Bottom line: On my computer I have a mountain of work needing to get done… and my Thai lessons. And both are fighting for equal attention.

My Buddy Scott came up with a solution – buy the nifty new iPad and transfer my Thai lessons over. Bingo. Problem solved. And well, ok. That was boldfaced lie. He didn’t come up with the idea but he did get me thinking about an excuse to buy even more digital kit. But… the iPad is already in the US but it won’t arrive in Thailand until goodness knows when – October? – and I need a solution now.

And I believe I found just the one…

Do you have a Mac? Well, if you go up to System Preferences >> System >> Accounts >> and click that little plus on the bottom left you can create what is basically a new start in life. And that’s exactly what I did. It wasn’t totally smooth sailing because getting used to switching between two accounts slowed me down. But this morning while my Internet was chocking and then going cold stone dead, I was busy creating a home away from home in my very own home.

Just check it out… below is what my regular desktop looks like (and please don’t say to clean the mess up because I NEED all that stuff at my fingertips).

How Do YOU Focus on Your Language Learning?

And here’s what my new learning Thai desktop looks like (I’ll change the background photo later).

How Do YOU Focus on Your Language Learning?

There is no twitter, no Facebook, no emails, no blogs to read, and no folders full of jobs to complete. By clicking the Finder I can see the folders on my work machine but I can’t edit anything. In the shared folder are my Thai lessons, all ready to go.

Going from left to right on the bottom bar: The Finder, Chrome (for downloading software updates and naught else), Word and Excel (Thai lessons and vocabulary lists), Audacity (listening to sections of Thai audio), iTunes (Baroque music and Thai audio and podcasts only), Anki (for the odd vocab list), BYKI (growing bulk of my Thai lessons), L-Lingo (review), TypeTrainer4Mac (for needed typing practice). And the rest on the bar are functional necessities.

To switch between accounts I just log out of one and into the other. And while it’s a simple switch, it’s a big enough pain to make me think twice about getting distracted, away from studying.

So from now on there will be no more answering emails, writing posts, reading blogs, and doing projects first thing in the morning, only to resurface when most of the day is gone. From now on it’s Thai lessons first, and the rest of my life later.

I don’t have a clue how PC’s work or if they have something similar to this. Do they? And one more question – do you have any tips for keeping your computer life uncluttered? Enough to get to Thai studies? I’d love to hear them if you do.

Edit: If you know of someone coming from the US… I’m still game for an iPad ;-)

Share Button

Review: L-Lingo Burmese & Thai Language Learning Software

Review: L-Lingo Burmese & Thai Language Learning Software

Review: L-Lingo Burmese & Thai Language Learning Software…

Please note that this is an updated version reflecting minor changes. Specifically, the Android version is not released as previously noted and at this time grammar notes are available for the Thai version only.

I have been studying the Burmese (Myanmar) language for over a year, however until recently, I could barely hold a conversation. I know the alphabet (itʼs very similar to Lanna Thai), know a few hundred words, understand basic grammar (itʼs almost the same as Japanese), however when I ordered Burmese food near the Indian temple in Bangkok (Silom), I would get lost after “hello” and “thank you”.

When I say that I have been studying Burmese, I mean that I have been taking classes at Ramhamhaeng University which I am using to fulfill the foreign language requirement of the Bachelors Degree majoring in Thai that I am working on. Classes meet once a week for two hours which since the classes arenʼt all that popular (1-8 students), it means that I get a fair amount of time practicing with my teacher. The problem is, aside from my interactions with the Burmese restaurant staff, I have zero additional exposure to the language. I canʼt get Burmese TV, podcasts or movies. Burmese phonology is very different from English and Thai, it has tones but they are different from Thai tones so my ability to speak Thai doesnʼt really help that much. Actually, my studies with Japanese are probably more helpful as it means I donʼt need to get my head around a new grammar system (both Japanese and Burmese are Subject-Object-Verb with markers after each sentence part to indicate role).

This realization that I needed more exposure to Burmese led me to the Internet and to the strangely named L-Ceps and L-Lingo offerings (the software is great, however the name is one of the things that I donʼt really get). Fortunately it also happened to be at a time when I was about to have a two week break from university, and I really couldnʼt think of any better way to spend my time than to dive into the language. I gave myself a goal of doing 40 hours of study during the 14 days that I had off and then chronicling it on my South-East Asian blog, Goldenland Polyglot. On an ideal day I spent 45-50 minutes studying followed by 10-15 minutes of mild exercise and then back to studying. My initial goal was to write this review immediately following the ten day immersion, however I ended up getting side-tracked with a billion other things until just now.

L-Ceps offers language education specifically geared towards Asian languages viz. Arabic, Burmese, Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, Korean, Malay, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese. The software is developed in Flash and works either as an online ($9.99 USD / month) or desktop ($49.95 USD) version for Mac, Windows and Linux. There are are mobile versions currently in development, with a multi-platform release planned for 2011.

When you first start the application, you are given the choice of studying your target language using either English, German, French or Spanish. Obvious omissions from that list are any of the Asian languages which they teach. My Burmese classes at university are all taught using Thai, so it would be great if I could somehow configure L-Ceps to drill mean the same fashion. Using a second language to learn a third (or fourth or fifth) has helped me to not forget what I had learned in any of the previous languages.

People with experience using Rosetta Stone will notice obvious similarities when first opening up an L-Ceps application, however the differences soon become apparent. L-Ceps has designed their applications from the ground up to focus on Asian languages with their own alphabets, grammars and unique pronunciations. Each of 105 different lessons introduces six new words grouped around a common theme and then runs you through a series of quizzes to test your memory. Vocabulary from previous lessons are used in current lessons, with sentences that get progressively longer and more complicated to help cement your knowledge. As you can see from the screen capture below, Asian models and Asian places are used in the photographs (in other lessons I noticed Thai busses), which is a nice added touch when studying Asian languages.

Review: L-Lingo Burmese & Thai Language Learning Software

Each lesson starts by individually introducing each of six words and then progressing to the screen above where you can mouse-over the picture to hear the word or phrase used. With languages that use a non-Roman script, you have the option of using the native scriptor the Romanization. The only problem with the screen above and many of the other screens is that they have a designed-by-engineers feeling, which, while utilitarian, isnʼt always the most visually pleasing. Before moving to Asia and becoming a language nerd, I was a software developer nerd for years and remember building many an application that was slow to be adopted due to its user interface not being designed by professional designers. That aside, everything does work flawlessly (another benefit of having engineers design applications), in months of working with the application, I donʼt once remember it crashing or behaving in a way that it shouldnʼt have.

The application really shines when you move into the quiz section, the first one looks similar to the above screen, except that a single word or phrase is spoken and written on the screen and then you are prompted to click on the matching picture. Depending on the lesson, a second batch of six photographs might follow using a similar quizzing method.Eventually, you move on to a picture quiz which uses just four pictures and increasingly complex sentences. The problem with sentences with increasingly difficult grammar is that for Burmese there are no grammar notes to help you along. The Burmese in the image below translates into English as “The woman is not standing, she is sitting in the office”, the words for woman, office, stand and sit have all been introduced, however the grammatical structure needed to form negative sentences never is. Burmese sentences are negated similar to French ones in that the verb is surrounded on both sides with short words (ma-buu), which can be confusing if you arenʼt taught it directly.

I eventually started using some extra books (Burmese for Beginners Book and CDs Combo by Gene Mesher along with my school textbooks) which helped a lot. While the lack of grammar notes in the Burmese version is a problem, it is not an issue with the Thai version. At present the Thai (and Chinese) versions of the software have grammar notes, and notes for Burmese will be part of a free upgrade soon.

Review: L-Lingo Burmese & Thai Language Learning Software

In addition to the picture quizzes, there are three word-based quizzes. In the first one, you are presented a word in Burmese and then you choose between the correct of four English words. The image below shows single words, but many of the quizzes use full sentences.

Review: L-Lingo Burmese & Thai Language Learning Software

After successfully completing the Burmese into English quiz, L-Ceps switches things around and gives you a single word or sentence in English and then has you pick the correct Burmese translation.

Review: L-Lingo Burmese & Thai Language Learning Software

In the final quiz you are shown a picture and hear the word spoken in Burmese, then you have to write it on a piece of paper, click a button to see the correct answer and then tell the computer if you got it correct or not. This is the only feature that seems poorly designed. Writing and typing are pretty much the same thing, the quiz should function by having the user type in the answer using the native alphabet and then automatically determine if the answer is correct or not.

At the completion of each quiz, you are presented with a summary of your results, a list of your wrong answers which can be copied to the clipboard, and then given the option of going back and reviewing the wrong answers or moving forward with another guided quiz. The only thing that struck me as strange in this screen is the way that you can click on items from the list and have them copied to the clipboard. Not that itʼs not a good feature to have, rather I was surprised that it was included only for the wrong answers. I couldnʼt find a way to see a list of all words in the lesson and copy them to your clipboard.

L-Ceps does provide some great offline learning tools, including MP3s, lesson notes and printable flashcards which became my constant companion on public transportation, however the ability to easily import text into Anki or another SRS would be a benefit (I know, I should stop complaining and just learn to type the Burmese alphabet).

Review: L-Lingo Burmese & Thai Language Learning Software

After finishing 40 hours with the program, the biggest improvement in my skills was in my ability to learn new words. With a language like Burmese, most students are going to find the new sounds to be quite a hurdle. Itʼs not like learning Spanish or French where you can easily find mnemonic devices that relate back to English. Here you are faced with a plethora of phonemes, most of which will be new to you. Spending 40 hours with L-Ceps in two weeks meant that my brain had time to absorb the new sounds and find ways to build mnemonic devices.

L-Ceps is a new company and their products show the lack of maturity that comes from a new company. That said, their faults are few and far between. The Burmese product needs grammar notes (again, the version has them), the user interface needs polish and the writing quiz should be better. At the same time, they are presenting Asian languages in a format that makes them easy to learn, and with the compliment of MP3s, printable flashcards and lesson notes you have a complete package which you can use to study in multiple environments. I have already begun recommending that friends use their products, and will continue to do so.

Luke Cassady-Dorion
Goldenland Polygot
luke.org

Share Button

Review: L-Lingo, Learn Thai Podcast, and Rosetta Stone

Learning Thai: L-Lingo, Learn Thai Podcast, and Rosetta Stone

Learning Thai: L-Lingo, Learn Thai Podcast, and Rosetta Stone…

I have a very logical mind. My job is software development, quality assurance in software engineering and search engine optimization. My hobby is chess and on my holidays I solve Sudokos.

My mind is always working. I want to “understand” the software problem, the position on the chess board, and the structure of languages. But as I have no “feeling” for foreign languages, I have to “build” the sentences, piece by piece.

I started learning Thai with Rosetta Stone, but had nearly no progress. Learning without translation and grammar was impossible for me. Frustrated, I stopped studying Thai for 12 months.

With L-Lingo I found a similar concept to Rosetta Stone: pictures, audios, Thai- and Latin-writing, translations and lessons. But there was no introduction to grammar, and I needed it. I thought “I will never understand, I have to memorize the sentences”.

I found the grammar explanations the most important advantage of Learn Thai Podcast (LTP). The grammar introduction helped me to “understand” the sentences and get a feeling for the structure of the Thai language. Also, being able to download mp3 lessons to listen to while traveling in Germany was a huge help.

After some weeks with LTP I had a basic understanding of Thai so I again tried Rosetta Stone. Rosetta Stone uses a very intensive method to repeat and check the content. And while I don’t feel that it is possible to learn solely with Rosetta Stone, I did find it helpful to repeat the basic lessons.

Rosetta Stone and L-Lingo have a better course structure and statistics than LTP. They say “follow me, I show you the next lesson”. In LTP there are hundreds of lessons, and I have to repeat each lesson until I have learned it. With LTP there are no tests and no visual indicators for my progress.

So my breakthrough with the Thai language started with LTP, but I learn vocabulary best with L-Lingo. For my Thai studies so far, I’ve been using a mix of three courses: start with LTP to learn “content”, learn vocabulary with pictures and quizzes with L-Lingo, and finish with the intensive tests in Rosetta Stone.

Reviewing the L-Lingo update…

When L-Lingo updated this week I was asked give my opinion. The new grammar notes are a good introduction for beginners, and if I had this software a year ago I would have seen much more progress in my Thai studies.

Each lesson is introduced with a short summary and grammar notes for the lesson. The new words needed to understand the sentences are also introduced. I found this angle very good for my learning style.

In comparison to LTP, the L-Lingo grammar notes are shorter and easier. LTP’s grammar instructions are much deeper. For instance, in LTP, when teaching “how to ask questions”, the question words and how to place them in sentences is explained.

LTP is more helpful for me because after learning basic vocabulary I am now creating real life sentences. In addition, the grammar lessons in LTP are labeled, so I can choose lessons that are interesting to me.

L-Lingo has matching grammar notes for each lesson, while LTP has grammar notes for topics. Both ways are good, but for learning grammar I prefer the LTP way. To learn the grammar together with the vocabulary in the course program of L-Lingo, the grammar notes are a good solution. Maybe L-Lingo can extend the notes (I cannot explain what I’m missing, but it feels a little bit short for me).

In some notes from L-Lingo the explanation for new words are in the examples (but I haven’t checked to see if L-Lingo introduces every new word). For me, it is important to know the words being used, even if they are not in the exercises. Here LTP is nearly perfect for me because every word in every example is translated. And even if the words are not in the exercises, you get a feeling for the common words like “have”, “is”, “he”, “they”, “everybody”, and how to use them.

L-Lingo made a big step in the right direction with the grammar notes but I will continue with my method of learning by using the three courses together: LTP, L-Lingo and Rosetta Stone.

Learning languages is very hard for me (even getting new English vocabulary is not easy). Now, with LTP and L-Lingo, I am making progress in Thai. Week after week I see that my vocabulary is extending. Sometimes I even understand words in Thai movies or songs :-)

In spring next year I will try “learning with Skype“. I want to have human partner for speaking and understanding, for discussions and getting into unexpected situations.

Reiner Eiteljörge
www.antaro.de

Share Button