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WINNER: Cracking Thai Fundamentals

Cracking Thai Fundamentals

WINNER: Cracking Thai Fundamentals …

Happy New Year’s Day all! The winner is … Katia.

My thanks goes to everyone who took the time to leave a comment – please do stay tuned for more giveaways!

I also want to thank Stu Jay Raj for gifting a copy of Cracking Thai Fundamentals for this giveaway. If you didn’t win you can always order a copy from his site, stujay.com. Asia books (Thailand) also carries it but there’s been a run on the book so not all stores will have them in stock.

Again, here’s the original post and review, Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Review and Free Draw. And here’s Josh Sager’s (Let’s Talk Thai) as well: Product Review: Cracking Thai Fundamentals by Stuart Jay Raj.

Congrats Katia! An email is swinging your way.

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Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Review and Free Draw

Cracking Thai Fundamentals

Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Review and Free Draw…

For an extra holiday treat Stu Jay Raj (author of Cracking Thai Fundamentals) has gifted a book to giveaway to the lucky winner. As with previous draws, the rules are simple:

NOTE: Each relevant comment gets counted, so leave as many as you like.

The draw will run from this moment until 31st December (New Years Eve), 6am Thai time. As soon I’m awake(ish) I (or someone else) will throw the numbers into random.org, and then announce the winner.

Good luck all and ho ho ho!

Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Review…

The Cracking Thai Fundamentals course by Stu Jay Raj was put together in 2000 to help members of the FCC (Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand) understand the Thai language. When researching the characteristic problems expats have with learning Thai as a second language, Stu developed an interactive system to kickstart students into learning the Thai language along with Thai culture (they go hand-in-hand).

Stu has since gone on to teach other expats, and has even taught the course in Thai to Thai teachers. I lucked out in my first year in Thailand when I came across CTF in Bangkok. It was such an entertaining eyeopener, I took it twice (as did many others in my class).

As there’s only so much of Stu to go around, to enable a wider audience to take advantage of CTF he created an interactive, online version at stujay.com, a membership site.

So there’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals the on-the-ground course, Cracking Thai Fundamentals the online course, and now Cracking Thai Fundamentals the book. When I asked Stu “why the book” he came back with:

Stu Jay Raj: Yes … I am getting older. The problem with the live course is that I have to choose between giving a brain overload or giving a watered down version. The book gets to go into more detail and can be used over the longterm. The online course was developed for a similar reason.

No matter which flavour you go with, the on-the-ground course, the online course, the course in book form, or even a combo, all are suitable for students of Thai sporting various backgrounds. Those brand spanking new to Thai will benefit by avoiding the many traps students often fall into, and those already deep into studying Thai will notice more than a few “ah ha’s” along their CTF journey.

Before I go any further, I want to point you to the most complete review out there for CTF, the book. It’s by Josh Sager at Let’s Talk Thai: Product Review: Cracking Thai Fundamentals by Stuart Jay Raj.

Josh Sager: An Operating System for the Mind: It’s important to mention right off the bat that this is not a Thai language learning “system” as you are perhaps accustomed to using. Stu himself is adamant in making this point clear. The book does not give you vocabulary lists to memorize, lessons on sentence structure, or quick phrases you can use while visiting Thailand as a tourist. Cracking Thai Fundamentals is a suite of tools designed to ultimately provide you with a deeper understanding of the Thai language; it’s a way to take what you already know, what you are currently learning, and smooth out the rough edges. Think of it like expanding your paint palette from 8 to 128 colors to help you paint more vivid pictures.

Review: Cracking Thai Fundamentals…

As Josh has done a fabulous job reviewing the book I’m going to focus on linking the chapters in the book with Stu’s online course at stujay.com.

For those of you who want to sample the online course before you buy, I’ve marked the FREE sections.

Stu Jay Raj: At a bare minimum I would encourage everyone reading the book to use the free online initial Preparing to Crack section along with the Consonant Compass… both interactive and downloadable versions. Laminate an A3 version of the Constant Compass and have it beside you as you learn.

Section One: Preparing to Crack the Fundamentals (page 30)
Preparing to Crack the Thai Fundamentals – Part 1 (FREE)

Section One is chockfull of tips to help prepare yourself for your Thai journey. It goes from changing your mindset (plenty of “ah ha’s”) to rearranging your actual life on the ground (paper dictionaries to computers).

Section Two: Thinking in Meanings (page 68)
CTF Thinking in Meanings
Thinking in Meanings Part 1
Thinking in Meanings Part 2 – Quizzes and Drills

Section Two is a full body, interactive chapter, where, with a few choice words, you are shown how feel their meanings before learning how to create actual sentences. For beginners, this is a brilliant intro into understanding how the Thai language works.

Section Three: Cracking Indic Based Scripts (page 181)
Cracking Indic Based Scripts – Main Lesson
Indic Consonant Compass (FREE)

Section Three covers the Thai sound system, the Thai writing system, and the system behind the system. Taking you back in time, this is where Stu opens up the magic of Indic based scripts to lay a foundation for reading, writing, and speaking Thai.

Section Four: Cracking the Thai Vowels (page 249)
Cracking the Thai Vowels – Main Lesson

Section Four uses hand signals and dimensions to get the Thai vowels into your head and out your mouth.

Section Five: Cracking the Thai Consonants (page 287)
Cracking Thai Consonants – Main Lesson

Section Five is understandably a large chunk of the book as it takes you through the Thai consonants. To assist your understanding, it goes through Stu’s pronunciation glyphs, the five cardinal points of articulation, and then over to each consonant in turn.

Section Six: Cracking Thai Tones (page 484)
Mastering Tones in Thai Chinese and other Tonal Languages
Conquering Thai Tones – Webinar

Section Six covers the bane of most language learners of Thai, tones. By this section you will already have constants and vowels down, along with an understanding of the map of the human mouth, so with a bit more work you will be able to slot in the tones.

Final: How to Make the Cracking Thai Fundamentals Vision a Reality (page 545)

Stu Jay Raj: Lastly, don’t forget that Thai Cracking Fundamentals is not a complete system to teach you Thai; that it is a system to help lay a new physical and mental operating system that will work hand in hand with all the other methods that you are using to learn Thai.

The final part of the book is a general “where do you go from here” section filled with advice on how to use what you’ve learned.

Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Draw reminder…

As if you’d forget … the draw will run from this moment until 31st December (New Years Eve), 6am Thai time.

Good luck!

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WINNERS: Jcademy’s Ultimate Thai Combo Package

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway

WINNERS to WLT’s SEVENTH week of the Thai Language Giveaway…

Here we are giving away prizes for the SEVENTH week of the WLT’s seven weeks of Thai Language Giveaways!

Chosen by jcademy.com, here are the winners: Luke Taylor, Biff Tastic, Chris, Mary, and Ann Norman.

Stu Jay Raj: We hope that you find the courses and materials, as interesting and fun as we had creating it. Keep a eye on Catherine’s site and Jcademy for regular updates.

If the winners would please send a message via my contact form, we’ll get your prizes sorted. Please note that if you do not contact me by next Wednesday, your prize will be given to the winner/s in waiting (already chosen).

I would like to thank Stu Jay Raj and his team for joining in this wonderful giveaway. And my thanks also goes to everyone who left comments!

To get a complete list of the prizes and schedule, read the first post in the series, Please Vote THAI and WIN! 2015: Top 100 Language Lovers Competition.

WLTs 2015 Thai Language Giveaway…

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WLT’s Thai Language Giveaway: Jcademy’s Ultimate Thai Combo package

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway

WLT’s Thai Language Giveaway…

Welcome to week SEVEN of WLT’s seven weeks of Thai language giveaways by top movers and shakers in the learning Thai industry.

If you are just hearing about the giveaway do read Please Vote THAI and WIN! 2015: Top 100 Language Lovers Competition to find out about the $4,500+ in prizes being given away.

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway

Jcademy: Cracking Thai Fundamentals, Thai Bites, and Glossika Thai Fluency 1…

For Jcademy’s giveaway there’s FIVE Ultimate Thai Combo packages. The combo includes the Full Cracking Thai Fundamentals program, Thai Bites, and Glossika Thai Fluency 1.

If you already have the combo you can opt for their new subscription package instead (yet to be announced).

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway

Jcademy: Cracking Thai Fundamentals…

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway I was lucky in that I attended Stu’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals in person. But as there’s only so much of Stu to go around, he created an online course to reach a larger audience.

The Cracking Thai Fundamentals online course comes with: Preparing to Crack the Thai Fundamentals, Thinking in Meanings, Cracking Indic Based Scripts, Cracking the Thai Vowels, and Cracking the Thai Consonants.

The materials in Cracking Thai Fundamentals are compiled from Stu’s lifetime experience with learning languages. A powerhouse of a course, it covers many aspects of learning Thai.

Tip: As you work through the course be prepared to open your mind to new and different concepts.

What to expect with Cracking Thai Fundamentals:

  • Learn to hear tones, consonants and vowels as Thais hear them.
  • Become aware of sound, and muscle memory paradigms from your mother tongue that may hinder Thais’ ability to understand you when you speak Thai.
  • Develop a learning regime both at home and ‘in the field’ to help maximise learning.
  • Start to see and hear things around you in a much more ‘Thai’ fashion.

NOTE: Preparing to Crack the Thai Fundamentals is free to the public.

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway

Jcademy: Thai Bites…

WLTs Thai Language GiveawayThai Bites are just that – short, bite-sized lessons on the Thai language and Thai culture. Chock-full of all things learning Thai, they are also perfect for when you don’t have a lot of time to study but still want to get Thai into your learning schedule.

Subjects covered in Thai Bites:

  • Speaking and Sounds.
  • Writing.
  • Grammar.
  • Culture.
  • Colloquial Thai and Slang.

To try them on for size, here’s a few free Bites: สวัสดี 卍 The True Meaning of Sawatdee, Word Duplication to make you sound ไท้ยไทย Thai Thai, ขาวจั๊วะ Colour Rhymes in Thai and Develop an Adult Thai Handwriting Style Part 1.

Also free on Youtube are Stu’s Thai Bites Live Webinars.

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway

Jcademy: Thai Fluency 1 – Glossika GSR and GMS…

WLTs Thai Language GiveawayGlossika Thai is interactive. With the original Glossika materials you study phrases by listening to the audio files while reading along with the pdf files, or just by listening (up to you). On Jcademy’s online interactive course there’s more of a hands-on approach.

Thai Fluency 1: Sentence-based method that gradually builds sentences helping the learner acquire language naturally. Colloquial informal language that you can use with friends and family.

Gain listening comprehension and speaking skills in 30 days. For serious students or for busy people with only 20 minutes per day, it is possible to finish the course in 1 month.

Recommended for mid-high beginners with a working vocabulary of 100-200 words.

The Thai Fluency 1 includes GMS and GSR. GMS (Glossika Mass Sentences) has all of the sentences in the course. And GSR (Glossika Spaced Repetition) uses those same sentences with the proven spaced repetition method of getting the phrases into your head.

NOTE: To assure accuracy the Glossika Thai materials have been totally rewritten by the team at Jcademy. At the time of this post it’s not quite ready for primetime but it will be soon.

About Stuart Jay Raj…

WLTs Thai Language GiveawayStu Jay Raj has a lot going on: Accredited Dale Carnegie consultant and trainer; regional advisor, trainer and lecturer in cross cultural communication; IT developer; simultaneous interpreter, translator and editor; television and audio composer; TV presenter; polyglot, TV host, part of the official Miss Universe interpreting team, jazz pianist, and Dad.

And now there’s the wonderful Jcademy.com.

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Stu. One important subject that often comes up is his beloved grandfather:

He taught me all different memory techniques and we would use them to remember wordlists in English and other languages, memorize lists of numbers, calculate what day of the week any given date was, convert decimal to binary to hex, send messages to each other in Morse-code, build electric circuits from schematics, listen to shortwave radio broadcasts, taught me to touch-type at the age of around four and many other things that stimulated and bridged the senses.

He would play with words with me and we would make new meanings up by making ‘nonsense words’ with roots and affixes that only we knew what they meant.

I believe that all of these things had an impact on my ability to learn languages.

Stu Jay Raj Interviews on WLT:
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part One
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part Two
Successful Thai Language Learner: Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj.

Web (business): Jcademy.com
Web (personal): stujay.com
YouTube: Stujaystujay
Facebook: Jcademy.com by Stu Jay Raj
Twitter: @JcademyOnline and @stu_jay

Rules for WLTs Thai Language Giveaway…

The rules are dead simple:

  • To be included in the draw, leave comments below.
  • Comment(s) need to add to the conversation (it really does matter).
  • If you don’t collect your prize within a week of the announcement, it will be given away to the next person in line.

I will not be responsible for choosing the winners so even if you’ve known me for ages you too can win.

The draw will run from this moment until the 14th of July, 6pm Thai time. At that time I’ll announce the winners in the comments below as well as create a dedicated post.

My thanks goes to Stu Jay Raj and the team at Jcademy for sponsoring such wonderful prizes, and those leaving comments below. Good luck everyone!

WLTs 2015 Thai Language Giveaway…

Here are the posts so far in WLT’s Thai Language Giveaway.

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WLT’s Thai Language Giveaway: Duke Language School and Bingo-Lingo

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway

WLT’s Thai Language Giveaway…

Welcome to week SIX of WLT’s seven weeks of Thai language giveaways by top movers and shakers in the learning Thai industry.

To find out about the $4,500+ in prizes being given away do read the intro post, Please Vote THAI and WIN! 2015: Top 100 Language Lovers Competition.

The previous FIVE giveaway posts by sponsor are: 1) Paiboon Publishing and Word in the Hand, and 2) DCO Books and Orchid Press, and 3) PickupThai Podcast, 4) Learn Thai Podcast, and 5) Learn Thai Style. Once again, congrats to the lucky winners!

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway

Duke Language School and Bingo-Lingo…

This week Duke Language School and Bingo-Lingo (Arthit Juyaso) have joined together to sponsor prizes.

There are FOUR of Duke’s Survival One Group Lessons, which includes the textbook. Also included is free access to the beta version of Duke’s online course, created by Royce Heng.

Note: 1) you need to be in Bangkok to take the course, and 2) you do not have to take it right away.

There are also FOUR copies of Bingo’s detailed book, Read Thai in 10 Days (audio included). For this prize you can be anywhere in the world (we pay for shipping). Good luck!!

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway

Bingo-Lingo: Read Thai in 10 Days….

If you are not located in Bangkok, then Duke’s Survival One Group Lessons will be out of your reach for now. BUT, here’s the good news. Arthit, the author behind Duke’s teaching materials, has also written the terrific Read Thai in 10 Days.

Learn to Read Thai in Ten DaysRead Thai in 10 Days
Author: Arthit Juyaso (Bingo-Lingo)
Price: $17.99 (orig $49.99)
Paperback + audio files: 170 pages

As I’ve already reviewed Read Thai in 10 Days in Learn to Read the Thai Alphabet in 2 Weeks, 10 Days, 60 Minutes, here’s a wee snippet from Arthit:

The selling points of this course are simplification, understanding, and organisation.

Simplification: Many Thai script teaching courses don’t handle rules well. For example, the tone rules. Instead of using bloated tables or cumbersome-looking tone flow charts, RTITD organises tone rules into one principle (plus the default tone for each tone mark) and three exceptions. The course also has a different take on Thai vowels. RTITD simplifies the ‘traditional’ number of vowels from 32 vowels (plus 10 vowel changes) to 22 vowels (4 of which have two forms), and treats vowel shortening and vowel-less words as separate.

Understanding: People may forget what they remember, but they will never forget what they understand! RTITD doesn’t rely on sheer effort to purely memorise individual character’s sounds when at initial and final position, it tells you WHY they are the way they are. The course also explains the nature of the Thai phonological system, that there are no unreleased finals, and which initial sound will become which final sounds, and much more.

Organisation: By prioritising what’s essential, the entire course is carefully structured in such a way that makes sense. Lesson by lesson, what learners have previously studied is repeated and combined with the new materials being introduced.

For reading skill reinforcement, the approach draws from the principles of spaced repetition. Words chosen for the reading practice exercises are not random, but appropriately distributed throughout the course. Using this method, students quickly gain confidence in their ability to read Thai.

Website: Read Thai in 10 Days
Facebook: Read Thai Language
YouTube: Read Thai in 10 Days
Twitter: @readthai

Duke Language School: Survival One Group Lessons….

WLTs Thai Language GiveawayIf your aim is to speak Thai right away, Duke’s Survival lessons, created by Duke’s Principal Arthit Juyaso (Bingo-Lingo), are rich in basic words and phrases that everyone living in Thailand should know.

When going through Survival One I was impressed to discover there are only 300 words to learn. With only a bare minimum of vocabulary, the lessons are jam-packed with useful phrases, sentence patterns and structures. Mentioning it to Arthit, he replied:

One of the main points of the course is to recycle previously seen vocabulary as much as possible (it’s my love for spaced repetition).

Arthit not only knows his stuff, but equally important, he knows how to explain it to westerners. You are just going to love the helpful advice and cultural tidbits dribbled all throughout the course. And yes, it’s real Thai.

Stu Jay Raj (jcademy.com): I searched for months to find Thai language schools in Bangkok that I would feel comfortable affiliating with and being able to recommend to my students of the Thai language regardless of where their level was at. They must be linguistically accurate, dynamic and have a teaching system that really engages their students.

All roads led to Duke. Their team has all the right ingredients of tech savvy, linguistically qualified experienced teachers that really know their stuff.

Their new Journey series fits in very well with CTF and the new upcoming online version that they’re putting together is looking fantastic!

Duke’s Survival lessons (1-3) are for basic beginners. Survival One is included in this giveaway. The Journey series (Conversational 1-3 and Fluency 1-3) focuses on speaking, Explore (1-4) introduces reading and writing, and Connect (1-4) takes it further. All courses require the same amount of time to complete. 

Survival lessons are taught onsite at Duke Language School in Bangkok. Each course is 12 days long, lasting for two hours per lesson. It’s important to note because you will obviously need to be in Bangkok to collect this part of your prize!

Duke’s Survival One Chapter Breakdown:

WLTs Thai Language GiveawayChapter One: Getting started
About the Thai language.
Thai sounds: consonants, vowels, and tones.
Numbers from zero to 100.
Essential words and classroom phrases.

Chapter Two: Meeting and greeting
How to introduce yourself, greet people and say goodbye.
How to talk about your home country and hometown.
How Thai pronouns work.

Chapter Three: Taking a taxi
How to get a taxi and use the service.
Yes-no questions.
How to give simple directions.

Chapter Four: Buying street food
How to ask what something is called.
Buying food from the street.
About different kinds of street food.

Chapter Five: Navigating buildings
How to ask where things are.
How to talk about locations.
The words for places inside a building.

Layout of the lessons: Essential Words (20 words and mini-phrases), Dialogue (cartoons acting out the scenes, then dialogue on its own with transliteration and English, finishing with questions to make sure you understand what is happening), Key Structures and Expressions (important sentence patterns are taught in this section), Noteworthy (one of my favourite sections because goodies are imparted here), and Vocab Builder (more vocabulary to increase your usage of the patterns explained in Key Structures and Expressions).

Tod Daniels: The new course and textbooks by Duke Language School are some of the most revolutionary, best written and engaging conversational Thai textbooks I’ve seen after viewing the material of almost 20 private Thai language schools.

This stuff will turn the “teach conversational Thai to foreigners” marketplace on its ear. This is how Thai should have been taught to us ages ago. The material is presented in a very easy to understand and logically progressive manner. It contains contemporary, high frequency vocabulary that a student will be able to use from day one in conversations with Thais.

If you factor in the companion on-line program currently in development you’ve got the makings of a product that stands head and shoulders above everything else out in the marketplace now. I can’t say enough positive things about the books and the course.

For more about Duke, read Tod Daniels’ Review: Duke Thai Language School.

At present, Royce Heng’s Survival One online course (included in the giveaway) is in sneak preview mode. Once it’s been finalised winners will get two months free access. But, before it’s all spiffed up, winners can preview the incomplete materials as much as they want.

Note: If you don’t win one of the courses not all is lost. You can still get a free lesson by sending them an email here: Duke: Learn Thai.

Duke Language School
10/63, Trendy Building, 3rd floor
Sukhumvit Soi 13, Wattana
Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tel: +66 8-2444-1595

Facebook: Duke Language BKK
Twitter: @DukeLanguageBKK

Rules for WLTs Thai Language Giveaway…

The rules are dead simple (at this point I could recite them in my sleep):

  • To be included in the draw, leave comments below.
  • Comment(s) need to add to the conversation (it really does matter).
  • Each relevant comment gets counted, so please do leave as many as you like!
  • You do have to live in Bangkok to enter the contest for Duke’s course (let us know).
  • You don’t have to live in Thailand to enter the contest for the book; the cost of shipping to anywhere in the world is covered (again, let us know).
  • If you don’t collect your prize within a week of the announcement, it will be given away to the next person in line.

And remember, even if you’ve won in past giveaways, you can win in this one too.

The draw will run from this moment until the 7th of July, 6pm Thai time. At that time I’ll announce the winners in the comments below as well as create a dedicated post. Good luck!

Again, my thanks goes to Duke Language School and Arthit for gifting these wonderful materials!

WLTs 2015 Thai Language Giveaway…

Here are the posts so far in WLT’s Thai Language Giveaway.

And remember, after this there’s still ONE more week of prizes to be given out to celebrate WLT turning seven. Good luck everyone!

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A Quest to Fluency: Thai and Italian. Italian?

A Quest to Fluency: Thai and Italian. Italian?

Paul’s Quest to Fluency…

A little over a month ago Paul Garrigan launched his quest to become fluent in the Thai language. Impressed with the obvious dedication shown, Stu Jay Raj (jcademy.com) took Paul under his wing: 6 Months to Thai Fluency – Paul Garrigan Week One – Thai Bites.

From day one I was excited about Paul’s quest. But to join, I first had to discover my own motivation to raise the stakes in learning Thai. No doubt, motivation in language learning is key.

You see, Paul and I are both introverts. It’s a personal attribute that gets in the way of becoming fluent in any language. A no brainer, to communicate by speaking, you really do need to be interested (motivated) in talking with people.

My Quest to Speak Fluent Thai in Six Months: I’ve lived in the country for thirteen years, so it is embarrassing to admit I’m still not fluent. There have been periods when I’ve put in the hours to learn the language. I can read Thai, and I’ve got a reasonably large vocabulary, but I just don’t like talking. My goal over the next six months is to rectify this situation.

Paul’s week three post gave that “ah hah!” needed to find a motivation that has a decent chance of sticking with me.

5 Improvements in My Approach to Learning Thai: It is my goal that within one year, I’ll be putting out videos in the Thai language as well as the ones in English. This is my dream, and I’m passionate about making it happen. There might not be even one Thai person interested in what I have to say, but I know it will give me so much pleasure to do this.

After reading Paul’s main reason for becoming fluent in Thai, I realised that my own motivating factor should also be something tangible, not mysterious, or just because “it’s the thing to do”.

Now here’s the thing. When searching for my motivation to join Paul’s quest I decided to switch to Italian. Because motivation-wise, it just so happens that everything fell into place for me to learn Italian (for the interim) before getting back to Thai.

  • This week I found out that I’m headed to Venice at the end of the year.
  • Also this week, Glossika launched their Complete Fluency Italian Course.

The clock is ticking. I have under 200 days to get my head around Italian and the pressure is creating a RUSH of motivation. VENICE!! YA! ITALIAN!! YA!

Then, after the New Year, with the Glossika Method fully entrenched (hope, hope), I’ll get back to my regular studies with the Thai materials at Glossika and jcademy.com. How’s that for a plan?

The guts of the language quest…

Paul will study with Glossika’s Complete Fluency Thai course (pssst: the pre-launch price is US$49). And at the same time, I’ll be tackling Glossika’s Italian course (already launched). The two courses are designed the same so we’ll have plenty to discuss.

As mentioned, Paul will be working hand-in-hand with Stu and jcademy.com. As a polyglot, Stu Jay Raj is an inspiration for learning any language so I’ll be quoting him often. Plus, his site includes posts on getting your accent just right – none of that superimposing your native language over your target language. IPA warning: I’ve succumbed.

The Glossika Method…

I’ve written about Stuart Jay Raj many times but Mike’s Glossika is new to this site. Other than to say that the method is centred around GMS (Glossika Mass Sentences) and GSR (Glossika Spaced Repetition), there isn’t room in this post to get into much detail. I will later though.

Before I sign off I do want to quickly inject that I’ve been interested in mass sentences ever since Brett mentioned using sentences to learn languages effortlessly.

Mining sentences (finding sentences, getting the sentences approved by someone knowledgeable/trustworthy in the language, and then recording the sentences) is not effortless. But now there’s Glossika – and Glossika mined the sentences for us. So now there’s no excuse.

Until next time…

Please do read what Paul’s been up to during the first four weeks of his quest:

Care to tag along? We’d love for you to join the quest!

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Please Vote THAI: Top 100 Language Lovers of 2014

Top 100 Language Lovers of 2014

Voting commences for the Top 100 Language Lovers…

Often when there’s a Top 100 Language Lovers competition, Thailand has a political or natural disaster, or both. Just on time, and after recovering from an earthquake a few weeks ago, we are now under Martial Law. Well. Unless you are reading the Wall Street Journal (then we are enjoying a coup).

EDIT: It’s official. The Thai army has announced a coup. But don’t let that stop you from voting, ok?

Politics and natural disasters aside, there’s a major change in the Top 100 Language Lovers Competition this year. Previously, we could only vote for one candidate per category (tough, when there are so many good ones in the competition). But we can now vote for everyone we fancy. Once.

Lexiophiles.com: You can vote for AS MANY candidates as you want, but just ONCE per candidate. This goes for all categories. If you vote several times for one candidate, these votes will be deleted when we check for fraudulent votes at the end of the competition.

TIP: When, after you vote, you refresh your browser, you will no longer have a visual record of who you voted for. So it’s a good idea choose everyone in one go. Unless, of course, you have an excellent memory.

If you want to go straight to the voting…

Top 100 Language: Professional Blogs
Top 100 Language: Facebook Pages
Top 100 Language: Twitter Accounts
Top 100 Language: YouTube Channels
Top 100 Language: Learning Blogs

Psst: For WLT, scroll the way down to the W’s in the Language Learning Blog section ;)

Vote THAI?…

I don’t have the room to list everyone in the competition, and as this is a Thai language site, below you’ll find a brief description of the Thai candidates who made it through the paring down process. And what a process it was.

If I have the numbers right, over 1000 candidates per category are entered each year. Out of those, only 100 per category are chosen. So yes, it’s an honour to be included.

The joint team from Bab.la and Lexiophiles are sure to be recovering for weeks to come due to their marathon ruuuush to get us this list. My thanks to you all!

Top 100 Language Learning Blogs…

Learn Thai with Porn is a new site written by Wannaporn Muangkham and managed by Kris Willems. What makes this site unique is that the posts come from Wannaporn’s active Facebook group (also named Learn Thai With Porn), where she gives lessons and advice on learning Thai. It’s sort of like having a Thai language class on tap, only friendlier, and available 24-7.

BTW: Porn (พร) is short for Wannaporn (วรรณพร) and means ‘blessing’ in Thai.

Facebook: Learn Thai With Porn

Women Learn Thai is run by moi (as you already know) but I couldn’t do without the top contributors, Hugh Leong and Todd Daniels. Hugh writes the bulk of the learning Thai posts in his popular series, Thai Language Thai Culture. And Tod mostly writes a series about the best Thai language schools in Bangkok.

Facebook: Women Learn Thai
Twitter: @ThaiLanguageRes and @WomenLearnThai

–>> Please vote THAI here: Top 100 Language Learning Blogs

Top 100 Language Professional Blogs…

There are no Thai entries in this section. Pity.

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Top 100 Language Facebook Pages…

Thai Language Hut is an established school in Bangkok that has partnered with Paiboon Publishing (by Benjawan Becker). Benjawan creates the largest collection of learning Thai products on the market. Bare none. You can take Thai lessons Paiboon-style at Thai Language Hut’s physical school, via Skype, or learn for free on their generous YouTube channel.

Site: Thai Language Hut
Twitter: @ThaiLanguageHut
YouTube: Thai Language Hut School

Todd’s Review: Thai Language School Review: Thai Language Hut

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Top 100 Language Twitter Accounts…

Andrew Biggs spreads his Thai and English talents across radio and TV shows, newspaper columns and magazines, YouTube, twitter and Facebook. If you are an intermediate student of the Thai language his twitter feed is for you. And me (I often retweet his tweets).

Site: Andrew Biggs
Facebook: Andrew Biggs

Interview: Successful Thai Language Learner: Andrew Biggs

–>> Please vote THAI here: Top 100 Language Twitter Accounts

Top 100 Language YouTube Channels…

Adam Bradshaw is another powerhouse performer on Thai TV, Youtube, Facebook and twitter. He mostly teaches English to Thais but his shows are invaluable to intermediate and up students of the Thai language. A new project Adam is involved with is VOICE TV Talking Thailand. It’s off the air at the moment (Thai politics, once again) but until they are allowed back you can catch previous episodes on YouTube.

Pick up Thai is run by Thai teacher Yuki Tachaya. What makes her materials stand out is that they are chockfull of real Thai. Thai you will actually use when conversing in Thailand. And if you are a student of the Thai language, you’ll know exactly what that means!

Yuki normally resides in the US but is presently in Bangkok for a few months. If you are in the area and are looking for an excellent Thai teacher, grab her right quick. If not, you can sign up for Skype lessons instead (my preference, even if a teacher is in the same city).

Site: Pick up Thai
Facebook: PickUpThai
Twitter: @pickupthai

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

I could chat forever aboutStuart Jay Raj, polyglot extraordinaire. Stu has given much to the learning Thai community. Just his enthusiasm for languages alone is responsible for many of us sticking to our studies, whether we are learning Thai or Swahili.

At the moment Stu has two main courses at his online school, Jcademy: Thai Bites and Cracking Thai Fundamentals. I couldn’t imagine learning Thai without access to both courses, and Stu says there’s many more on the way. Are we lucky, or what?

Site: Jcademy
Twitter: @JcademyOnline
Facebook: Jcademy

Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part One
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part Two
Successful Thai Language Learner: Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj

I’ve already discussed the generous Thai Language Hut School, so I’ll just briefly point out that they have over 300 videos on their YouTube channel, and all free to the public. Impressive.

–>> Please vote THAI here: Top 100 Language YouTube Channels

Well, that’s a rap. Please do take the time to vote for whatever candidates in the Top 100 Language Lovers you fancy, whether Thai language or not. But just the once. Ta!

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Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Thai Bites

Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Thai Bites

Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Thai Bites…

In January Stu Jay Raj launched Jcademy’s CTF Challenge. Shortly after his wonderful Thai Bites started rolling out.

Thai Bites are small ‘bite sized’ lessons in Thai that are based on Stuart Jay Raj’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals programme.

Thai Bites are available as a monthly subscription package where subscribers will be sent regular ‘Thai Bites’ to their email each day.

Once a week a free bite will be released to the public at Stu’s Thai Bites playlist at YouTube.

But to get the full program, subscribe to Thai Bites at Jcademy.

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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

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
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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Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Thai Challenge 2014

Cracking Thai Fundamentals

Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Thai Challenge 2014…

I’ve reviewed scads of learning Thai projects since starting WLT and Polyglot Stu Jay Raj’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals Thai Challenge is one of the most exciting ever.

To give you a bit of background: Stu’s original Cracking Thai Fundamentals started in Bangkok in 2000. Wanting to learn about the Thai language, I attended a CTF course shortly after arriving in Thailand. Like other students I met in class, I loved it so much that I signed up for second round.

If you are interested in what people are saying about CTF, below are several Cracking Thai Fundamentals interviews:

Stu Jay Raj is Back in Bangkok with Cracking Thai Fundamentals
Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Interview with Claudio Sennhauser
Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Interview with Scott Eddy
Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Interview with Peter Lo

In order to reach more students, six months ago Stu started working his butt off to create an online learning experience: Jcademy. That’s right. You no longer have to physically attend one of Stu’s courses to reap the benefits.

To add to the thrill, this week he launched the Jcademy Cracking Thai Fundamentals Challenge.

I’ll say it again. Stu’s CTF Challenge is one the most promising projects I’ve come across. And to help make it even more powerful, please do join in!

For the next few months you can follow Polyglot Stuart Jay Raj as he guides two expats through the CTF course. To do that, Stu created four ways to experience the challenge:

  1. Watch the sessions live via Jcademy’s CTF Challenge section.
  2. Afterwards ask questions of Stu, Andrew, and Richard on Google Hangouts.
  3. Watch the session videos on Jcademy and Stu’s YouTube channel stujaystujay.
  4. Join the CTF Challenge (how can you resist?)

Note: The first CTF Challenge Google Hangout starts at 4pm, Wednesday, January 22.

Be sure to keep up with Jcademy news via:

Web: Jcademy
Facebook: Jcademy
YouTube: stujaystujay
Twitter: @JcademyOnline

And a reminder. This is not a paid ad – I don’t do those – the opinions in this post are unencumbered by personal gain.

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