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FREE DOWNLOADS: Updated Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary and Phrases

Updated Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary and Phrases

Quick & Dirty Thai…

Nine years ago (July 2008 to be exact), WLT’s first book review covered The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast by actor Myke Hawke.

After chatting with Myke and getting permission to use the material in his book, it turned into a series: Quick & Dirty Thai Language Learning with Myke Hawke, Interviewing Myke Hawke: Quick & Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast, and then finally, the FREE: Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary Download.

As the materials in the Quick & Dirty resource are English-Thai, it was always my aim to add Thai specific vocabulary and phrases. But I didn’t realise it’d take nine years to make it so – apologies for that.

Quick & Dirty Thai tips and bits and pieces…

The phrase (Quick & Dirty) is frequently used in describing any document or tutorial that gives a brief overview about how to do something, without going into too much detail about why or how it works.

These words and phrases are not meant as a ‘be all and end all’, they are merely a Quick & Dirty intro. One of the best pieces of advice I know for acquiring real Thai comes from a dear Thai friend:

“Just keep watching how Thais do it and after a while, you’ll start getting the hang of it“.

Different cultures / beliefs / mindsets = different languages and usage of words. The English and Thai languages do not have a shared linguistic heritage, so while the words and phrases in this file are not grammatically wrong, some might sound a bit off to Thais (especially when used out of context).

Given the different nuances in the cultures, a phrase will work in one situation but won’t be sound ‘quite right’ in another. Just one reason is because English is often direct while Thais make an effort to be less abrupt (beating around the bush to get the same results).

Suggestion: If the word or phrase doesn’t quite fit in context, get feedback on when, where and how to use them from Thai teachers, Thai friends, or when running around Thailand (if you are lucky enough to be here).

But you do not have to be in Thailand to converse with Thais – Skype is an amazing resource. Thai Skype teachers such as Narisa will have you conversing in real Thai in no time. And if your budget won’t stretch that far a language exchange partner might work for you.

Grammar: When in doubt, download David Smyth’s FREE Essential Thai Grammar (legal download). Otherwise, purchase one of the Thai grammar books mentioned here: Review: A Guide to Thai Grammar Books.

Transliteration: The transliteration comes ‘as is’ from thai2english.com. I have not changed anything so please do not use it as a 100% crutch.

Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary…

Vocabulary Key: Throughout the vocabulary lists you’ll come across words in brackets such as [polite] and [casual] and [written] even. This is to alert common usage but isn’t always set in stone (rules are always being broken and sometimes I’m just plain wrong).

Spoken: Unless noted, vocabulary is presented in spoken language.
Written: Used in written language (but sometimes on TV).
Polite: Spoken to someone of respect.
Formal: On TV, making a speech.
Casual: Close relationships.

A wee tip: When using Thai vocabulary you can’t just slot words in any ‘ole way. For instance, the English ‘yes’ is often translated as ใช่ /châi/ but in real life it that’s not always the case. Instead, repeating a keyword or the injection of polite particles (ครับ and ค่ะ) is sometimes required.

Particles: These are used at the end of sentences and in response to questions. I have not included a complete list but there’s enough to get you started. Just know that it can take practice to get your head around using particles. When/where/how you use polite particles is determined by who you are (your status), who you are talking to (their status), your intentions and often the length of the conversation.

Many Thais (teachers and friends) will advise students of Thai to stick to polite over casual. I lean towards polite (just not overly). It doesn’t suit certain personalities so you’ll have to sort that particular quagmire out when you come to it.

A tip for those who prefer polite Thai (especially when first meeting someone): Unless you are talking to someone of a much higher status (your boss, your boss’s boss, etc) you don’t need to put ค่ะ/ครับ/จ้า at the end of every phrase. Start off by attaching one to the opening phrase. Then, after that, sprinkle them around when there’s a change of subject or when you are thanking someone.

But how to talk to close friends will sometimes change the whole ballgame.

Pronouns: Pronouns in Thai are rich and varied. To simplify, in the phrase file I’ve used ฉัน, ผม, and คุณ as placeholders for pronouns. To get more insight on the subject please see Arthit Juyaso’s excellent posts:

Thai Time: Using Pronouns Like a Pro (Part 1: How to Say ‘I’ in Thai)
Thai Time: Using Pronouns Like a Pro (Part 2: What Should I Call ‘You’)

Quick & Dirty Thai Downloads…

Spreadsheets: There are two spreadsheets: 1) the Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary spreadsheet that has Thai script and transliteration (inside the sheet you’ll find script only and transliteration only), and 2) the Quick & Dirty Thai Phrases spreadsheet (ditto the insides). In the phrase spreadsheet I’ve included both female and male sentences so feel free to pick and choose your poison.

Audio files: There are three audio downloads: 1) vocabulary by subject, 2) vocabulary by total list, and 3) the phrases. In the spreadsheets you’ll see the audio file name alongside each phrase or word. This is to make it easier for those who want to create flashcards with Flashcards Deluxe or Anki or whatever you choose.

Excel downloads:
REVISED: Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary [597kb]
REVISED: Quick & Dirty Thai Phrases [571kb]

Audio downloads:
Audio: Quick & Dirty Thai Vocab (by subject) [11.08mg]
Audio: Quick & Dirty Thai Vocab (total list) [11.09mg]
Audio: Quick & Dirty Thai Phrases [12.8mg]

Quick and Dirty Thai Phrases on Memrise…

David Smith has kindly put most of the Quick and Dirty Thai Phrases on Memrise (thanks David!)

Quick and Dirty Thai Phrases 1
Quick and Dirty Thai Phrases 2
Quick and Dirty Thai Phrases 3
Quick and Dirty Thai Phrases 4
Quick and Dirty Thai Phrases 5

A Quick and Dirty Thai thanks…

Over the years there have been many who’ve contributed to this resource: Narisa Naropakorn (Thai Skype Teacher: who offered suggestions on the different versions of the file), Sean Harley (Speak Read Write Thai: a stickler for Thai-Thai and Thai-English – note: Sean gave advice but lays no claim to the files), Rikker Dockum (Thai 101: who assisted on the first run), Khun Pairoa (my longsuffering Thai friend who records for WLT and responds to all my crazy questions about the Thai language), and now David Smith who has created lessons on Memrise. Thanks all!

REMINDER: These materials are for personal use only (do not upload them on websites, etc, without permission).

Ah. Before I go. A few things were added at the last minute so there’s a possibility of mistakes. If you do spot something please drop me a line via WLT’s contact form.

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FREE: Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary Download

Free Thai Vocabulary Download

Here we go with quick and dirty…

NOTE: I’m updating this resource.

Don’t you just love free? But before I get to the free Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary download, I want to clarify a few things. Mainly, what quick and dirty actually means.

Wiki (no longer live): The phrase is frequently used in describing any document or tutorial that gives a brief overview about how to do something, without going into too much detail about why or how it works.

And while you won’t get an overview on the free Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary download, you will get miles and miles of useful Thai vocabulary and phrases. For the overview, you’ll need to purchase a copy of Myke Hawke’s The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast at amazon.com or your favourite book store (feel free to take my affiliate link off the amazon.com url).

The entire Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary file has been checked out by none other than Rikker from Thai 101. Rikker is a respected academic in the Thai language learning world, fondly known for his many hours spent clearing up the confusion that often comes with learning Thai. Rikker has certainly cleared up mine on more than one occasion!

The free Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary download…

For easy viewing, the pdf is designed in the landscape format. Depending on what you want to study, you can fold the pages to see either the English with Thai script, or the English with transliteration. The page numbers are there to assist those following along with Myke’s book.

Due to the size of the project, only the phrases and vocabulary listed in The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast are included in the list. More Thai vocabulary and phrases, some with sound, will come later.

PDF format 436 kb: Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary A4
PDF format 436 kb: Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary Letter

Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast…

For those of you newly arriving on the scene, here is a brief overview of The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast on WLT:

Back in July, after reading through a stack of language learning books, I wrote a review of The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast. Almost a year later I managed to track down the author, Myke Hawke, who then gave me permission to share the list I compiled from his book. While waiting for the list to be refined (and because he is such an interesting guy), I wrote another post – Interviewing Myke Hawke: Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast.

More free Thai language learning…

Before I forget… If you really like free, then you might be interested in the Learn Thai for FREE page on WLT, as well as the free downloads listed on the Thai Language Cheat Sheets post.

So, what’s coming next? Well, as Myke’s list is generic for all languages, my aim is to fill in the Thai holes. I’ll do that by moving things around, adding words specific to Thai, as well as downgrading what doesn’t quite fit (as mentioned in the file, there are some words that do not have an English-Thai equivalent). And in each post, I’ll make sure point you to the excellent Thai language learning sites available. With Thai being a tonal language, I’ll also include sound as it is important to hear the words and phrases, as well as read them.

Stay tuned, and as ever, enjoy…

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Interviewing Myke Hawke: Quick & Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast

Myke Hawke Interview

The power of learning languages…

Before I start the interview, I’d like to share a quote Myke has in the prefaces of The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast.

“He who learns another language earns another soul”

When I first read the quote, my heart glowed. And then I grinned.

Now, just sit back and think about it. Without being able to communicate, we cannot possibly understand the nuances of a different culture.

So, by learning their language, we acquire the ability to absorb parts of their world and possibly their mindset.

The power of it totally blew me away.

And now I give you… Myke Hawke…

Myke Hawke is a TV personality, professional soldier, and author, as well as being an accomplished linguist. And while the many attributes of Myke are quite an attraction, it is his language skills that suit women and men learning Thai.

Quoting from The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast:

To develop my specialized method of instruction, I built backward, the way you are supposed to plan. First, I figured out what was needed and then how to get it as quickly and efficiently as possible. Using this method I have become officially rated in seven languages: Russian, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Serbo-Croation, and Turkish. I used many of these languages within weeks of beginning to study them and served as the official interpreter on our missions.

In addition, with a little research and effort, I was able to create summaries for the other members of my Special Forces team so that they too could function with a day of study.

From these summaries, I wrote this book so that you could learn a foolproof way of conquering a foreign language.

Do not kid yourself: you still acquire the language, the good, old-fashioned way – you have to learn it. But here I have trimmed the fat for you and gotten down to the brass tacks. No fluff, all action words, so you can get down to the action yourself.

Myke Hawke, the interview…

Being a pathetically poor language learner, I’ve always wondered: Are linguists created or born? Were they subjected to a variety of languages when young? Did they always have the language knack or, from a variety of circumstances, did they fall into learning languages later in life?

Hahaha! The answer is easy- it’s both! Like music, everyone can learn to play an instrument, the degree to which they carry it, will depend on natural aptitude of course, but no one just gets there without effort. So the second ingredient is the most important, it’s hard work. Usually, this work is more effective if well organized and that’s all my book really does, is provide a structured framework, but the individual has to build their own house. The third ingredient is motivation… If one lives in a culture surrounded by other languages, or they see a need as a way to increase income, or they just meet a romantic interest of another tongue… But without motivation, the other two ingredients don’t usually amount to much. So, being born with ability helps, but desire and endeavor are what makes a linguist.

Myke, you mentioned that it was in the Special Forces where you first tackled a foreign language. Did you have any leanings at all towards learning foreign languages when you were growing up, or was that your first drive to learn a language other than your mother tongue?

No way! In fact, the way I was raised was to think I was stupid. And, since I never got past junior high school, I didn’t think I’d ever be smart enough to learn another language. I only knew what I believed, and that was that during the cold war, the Russians were the threat, and since I had just become an Intelligence guy after being a communications guy first, I felt it was imperative that I learn the language of the threat. So, I requested Russian school with much apprehension, but equal fervor. I graduated early, with honors and all while being a platoon sergeant for 70 troopies.

In The Quick and Dirty Guide you write:

It works for any language… For the less familiar languages, you will need to select and use a very good guide or dictionary in conjunction with this guide.

I’m guessing that Thai would come under a ‘less familiar language’. So, what additional tips do you have for Thai language learners?

  1. For the languages that come in squiggles and symbols, like Thai, it is good to get the kids books that are made for English speakers or anything that gives phonetic pronunciation examples for starters.
  2. Get some kids tapes or childrens videos, especially with subtitles and listen to how they say simple words and listen for how they say it, as it sounds to you. This will help you refine your own phonetics standards. (For example, I often find when someone who wrote a phrase book uses a “Th” sound for a letter, I might find it sounds more like a “Dh” sound to me.) So, I tweak it according to how I hear it, and this makes it more intuitive and therefore, a bit easier.
  3. Get a long haired dictionary… of in your case, a short haired one, ha! Having a sexy or romantic person who can work with you on the language helps a lot. The reason is that we learn most from our mistakes. The mistakes are a lot easier to take if they come with friendly giggle when the human dictionary corrects you as opposed to a snarl when you make a mistake with a stranger. Positive reinforcement!

Quoting from The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast:

You know your mission, whether it’s for travel, business, or just speaking with a friend. Your objective is to conduct your mission in the language required. Your goal is to obtain the instrumental tool needed, which is the language itself. Your parameters are to do all this in the time allocated.

What were the circumstances for you coming to Thailand, and how long did you have to become proficient in Thai?

We were going there to train their Delta Force and Seal guys. I had 30 day notice. I was functional, but not at all pretty. Mostly simple sentences that conveyed the thought I wanted, but always with flaws. As with anything like this, if learned fast, it’s forgotten fast, unless you remain at it or in the country. So, it’s still a super way to get up and running in a hurry, then it’s easier to use and build as you can manipulate it more. So again, it’s a positive reinforcement.

Due to the time constraints of your job, how far were you able to get with Thai?

I only got far enough to be able to communicate basics ideas. I wasn’t there long enough to solidify a base in it.

Did you find anything particularly difficult when you set out to learn the Thai language?

Actually, no. Only because I did not set out to learn to read and write, only to speak and hear. But I have found that the more foreign the letters, the easier to learn as I still confuse Russian and English letters in cursive, to this day, 20 years later.

What are your favourite Thai phrases?

Every cloud has a silver lining- (Chew a jet, T D, jet hun)
I recall it as chew on a jet, while viewing the clouds, I make a mental TD, or touchdown, and jet to my hunny, for her silver lining….

So, I play with the sounds of the phrase, to make it make sense to me and remind me of something in English I can relate to, and in this way, I can call it to the forefront of memory when needed.

Have you had the opportunity to use your skills with languages in any of your TV or movie roles?

Ya’ know, I really haven’t. Media folks are surprisingly closed minded. Once they get it in their head you fit into one box, and that’s the label you get. So, they often forget that I was a Medic, and Officer, an Aikido guy or even a Linguist. But, I keep hope.

More on Myke, but no more on languages…

At the same time as I read The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast, I was also reading other books on learning foreign languages. And while reading Quick and Dirty, a visual image of A. G. Hawke formed in my head.

A. G. Hawke: Seasoned, middle-aged male nudging 60-65+ years old, skint on top with a wee bit of a pouch in the front and love handles hugging both sides. He no longer consumes healthy amounts of caffeine or alcohol, prefers a sofa lifestyle over jumping out of planes, and mostly writes to reminisce over past successes.

When I finally tracked Myke down, I was not expecting what I found. Not even close.

So with that visual in mind, I just have to ask Myke this question: At some point a decision must have been made to omit your photo from the book cover. Why?

That’s funny! Really, Military guys don’t take looks into consideration when it comes to fellas. The language book and dangerous fun books are both published by Paladin, a military niche publisher, so, it was never even a planning factor. Besides that, I think photos cost more, haha!

Thailand is an incredible place to live or visit, so what Thai experiences stand out the most for you?

To me, buildings and trees are nice, but the people make a place. The Thai people are simply the warmest, friendliest on the planet.

What is your take on Thai food? Just right? Too spicy? Or not spicy enough?

Like the people, the food is just right! I mean, what is not to like?! A subtle but complex fusion that bursts with perfect flavor, wow!

What so far has been your favourite role(s)? (in either TV or movie).

To me, TV is like life in that it only gets better and better. So, While my first role on MTV’s Road Rules back in ’98 was great fun as I got to play a good guy and the bad guy and had lots of freedom to make it up as I went, I have to say the last show was the most fun- working with Andrew Zimmern and the crew of Bizarre Foods was a real joy. Andrew was super and the crew was fun, so, it made the work easy and enjoyable. I think it will show when the program airs soon.

And one more question…
Now, about that Paris Hilton… ;-)

The ladies were great, that show was a lot of fun, too. The personality of the production company leadership really impacts the outcome of a show and they had some awesome folks on the ground. The kids were a challenge and entertaining. But Richie was a real feisty one and that ain’t never a bad thing, haha!

Thank you Myke. I’ll be right there, watching you on the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern next month.

Thanks, Cat! Take care and a big squeeze!

Coming next in the series will be the free Thai download prepared from Myke Hawke’s The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast: .

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Quick & Dirty Thai Language Learning with Myke Hawke

Thai Days with Myke Hawke

The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast…

A little over a week after launching Women Learn Thai, I wrote my first book review: The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast.

But I didn’t just review A. G. Hawke’s book, I followed his instructions (up to a point).

Getting help from my Thai teacher and Thai friends, I spent hours collecting top verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, numbers, word phrases, past, present and future tenses.

As you can imagine, it was a lot of work.

With it partly complete, I decided to share my efforts here at Women Learning Thai.

And as I needed permission from the author, I did what I always do: I googled.

Nothing solid came of my search, so I shelved the idea.

Then yesterday, getting a wildhair (as I’m known to do), I googled again and bingo, A. G. Hawke on Wikipidia.

Only, he isn’t really A. G. Hawke; he is Myke Hawke (now corrected in my review).

And he is gorgeous.

Myke Hawke makes women happy on YouTube…

And while Myke is all over YouTube with Paris Hilton and others of note, the video below is a good introduction to a part of what he does. Suggestion: If you are in a hurry, skip the condoms and go straight to the gals.

Myke Hawke: TV personality, professional soldier, linguist and author…

I found it difficult to extract brief notes on a busy man’s life, so Myke, apologies if I’ve missed a few.

TV personality: Featured on two of the final episodes of E’s THE SIMPLE LIFE with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. Appeared in the BBC’s CASTAWAY EXPOSED and the Living Channel’s LIVING WITH KIMBERLEY. In the DISCOVERY CHANNEL’S acclaimed series SCIENCE OF SURVIVAL, I SHOULDN’T BE ALIVE, Hawke taught survival in the Amazon jungle. Hawke also appeared as himself in the movie DIRTY SANCHEZ. Prior media projects included MTV’s ROAD RULES, Fox TV’s FOREVER EDEN, LOVE CRUISE and BOOT CAMP, ABC TV’s THE DATING EXPERIMENT, NBC’s FEAR FACTOR, The History Channel’s Tactical to Practical, and Britain’s Worst Boss. In addition to appearances, hosting and acting roles, he has worked as consultant, expert advisor, writer, and producer.

Professional soldier: Myke Hawke is an experienced survival instructor in jungle, desert, arctic, sea, and urban environments. Hawke has over 20 years of combined military, civilian, and government experience. He has served as a senior enlisted member of the U.S. Army’s Special Forces, and as a Commissioned Officer and Team Commander. He has been a U.S. Government Contractor and Country Project Manager abroad. Hawke has training and experience in telecommunications, intelligence operations, remote medical management, combat search and rescue, guerrilla warfare, counter terrorism, security tactics and languages. He has deployed to hotspots throughout Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, South America, South East Asia and Africa.

Author: The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast, Myke Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual and In the Dark of the Sun.

Languages: Russian, Spanish, French, Italian, Serbo-Croation, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, and others.

Yes, there really is a reason for this post…

When I finally made contact with Myke, he said ‘yes’.

‘Yes’ to my request to share the Thai compiled from his book.

Or rather, in true Myke speak: ‘info request granted!’

So stay tuned for the series: Quick & Dirty Thai Language Learning with Myke Hawke.

If you aim to follow the series, be sure to purchase The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, or your favourite book store.

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The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast

The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast

The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast…

The reason I developed this quick and dirty method of learning a foreign language is that, as a Green Beret, I had to travel to many countries on short notice on vital missions with complex requirements that required me to work intimately with foreign officials in a professional capacity. Regardless of how hard I searched, I could never find one book or method that got me where I needed to be in the time I had to get there.

And the reason I chose The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast for my first book review is because it was quick and fast (I’ll pass on dirty for now).

Fast to read. Quick to get the method sussed.

So let’s get started.

First off, A. G. Hawke (Myke Hawke) sends us on a tool gathering mission. No problem, as they are the typical tools of the language learning trade: Pen and notebook, flash cards, dictionary, phrase book, grammar rules and recordings. I’m sure you have most at the ready?

Getting flash cards together is easy too, as we’ll create our own. As for a dictionary to help, the Thai—English English-Thai dictionary by Benjawan Poomsan Becker comes highly recommended, so no worries there.

But the only Thai phrase book I have at this writing is the Lonely Planet. And although it includes a decent 2000 word dictionary in the back, the Thai script is chicken scratch to my eyes. Time to go searching for more?

Grammar rules was just a google away, so printing them out was easy. And recordings, I have a few.

Getting down to the dirty…

At the back of the book Myke has three and four column charts for six days. There are top verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, numbers, word phrases, present / future and past tenses. All we have to do is fill in the Thai before beginning our marathon of Thai language learning. Or, if you are like me, you’ll yell for your teacher to ‘HELP!’

So on day one we fill out the charts. On day two Myke sends us off for six not too gruelling(?) days of study. I can do that.

Wait! Turning to page 151 I find there’s a phase two in the works: Expanding your vocabulary. It goes from day 8 to day 30, then further on for 22 days. On each day we: Review what we know, learn 5 new verbs, 15 new nouns, one grammar rule per day and 5 new phrases. At the end the day we sign off with a brief review. Oh my.

So, will I do it? Sure, I’ll give it a decent try. And you?

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