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Tag: Thai audio

Aakanee.com’s Thai Recordings and Illustrations on Youtube

Aakanee.com

Thai Recordings and Illustrations on Youtube…

Exciting news! If you are a fan of aakanee.com, which hosts Andrej’s classy illustrations and recording for learning Thai (and Khmer), then you’ll be thrilled to know that Pablo Román is compiling the Thai recordings with their matching illustrations on YouTube.

You can find Pablo Román’s YouTube Channel here: Thai Recordings

And here’s a list of what’s live so far:

Thai Recording: Chili fish dip
Thai Recordings: Going to the Movies
Thai Recordings: Food Poisoning
Thai Recordings: Taking an Airplane
Thai Recordings: Tuk-tuk
Thai Recordings: Laundry
Thai Recordings: Pickpocket
Thai Recordings: Fried Rice
Thai Recordings: Cold Season
Thai Recordings: Getting Up
Thai Recordings: Thai New Year (Songkran)
Thai Recordings: Going To The ATM
Thai Recordings: Coffee And Soft Drink
Thai Recordings: Grilled Fish
Thai Recordings: Cutting One’s Finger
Thai Recordings: Motorcycle Taxi
Thai Recordings: Going To Bed
Thai Recordings: The Rainy Season
Thai Recordings: Shopping For A T-shirt
Thai Recordings: Alms Round
Thai Recordings: Noodle Soup

Background: Introducing aakanee.com: Thai and Khmer Picture Supported Learning.

Thai Recordings: Audio and transcript downloads
Thai: Thai Illustrations
Khmer: Khmer Illustrations
Guest posts on WLT: Andrej

Pablo Román:
Website: Dreaming Languages
Twitter: @langdreamer
YouTube: Pablo Román

Nicely done Andrej and Pablo!

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Thai Language Thai Culture: Speaking Thai in Tenses

Thai Language

Thai Language Thai Culture: Speaking Thai in Tenses…

To avoid talking about the last shot I had just hit into the water on the 3rd hole last week I got to talking with my golfing partner, a former fellow English teacher, about something much more interesting than trying to find my ball, Thai grammar.

I know, you’ve heard the frequent sayings of the not-so-well-informed foreign learner of Thai that “Thai has no grammar”, or “there are no tenses in Thai.” So we got to thinking, how accurate are these statements?

I thought about all the English tenses we have (other languages have even more) like: simple present, present continuous, past, future, future continuous, present perfect, past perfect, and passive voice. Then I had one of those “ah ha” moments. I realized that you could say all of these tenses in Thai too. They just don’t stick an “ed”, an “en”, or an “ing” at the end of their verbs. They do their tenses in their own Thai way.

Verbs:

Those comments about Thai having no tenses probably comes from the fact that in English verbs change depending on their tenses, look, looked, eat, ate, eaten, etc. We have to change the verb depending on who is talking and when. In Thai the verbs themselves never change. It’s the words around them that do the changing.

Special tense words:

In Thai most tenses will require “special tense words” instead of special verb endings. These words sometimes carry their own meaning and sometimes are just there to carry a time stamp. We have listed some of them in the tense examples.

Negatives:

Sometimes the affirmative sentences and the negative sentences are formed slightly differently with special words or a different word order, so we have given examples of both.

Note: We are giving just a few verbs as examples but any Thai verb can be substituted into the patterns. The examples given are just a few of the ways to use these tenses. Thai, being a robust language, has lots of ways to say the same thing.

Let’s look at some examples about how to render these English tenses into Thai.

Simple Present tense…

In English this tense is probably misnamed. It is really the tense we use when talking about something we always do, or usually do, not something we are “doing” at this moment. In Thai it is used in this same way but it can also be used for something we are doing “now”.

Some Thai words we can use with the simple present are:

He plays football (often).
Every day: ทุกวัน /túk-wan/
Often: บ่อยๆ /bòi-bòi/
Usually: โดยปกติ /doi-​bpà-​gà-​dt/

He plays football (often).
เขาเล่นฟุตบอลบ่อยๆ
kăo lên fút-​bon (bòi-bòi)

He doesn’t play football (often).
เขาไม่เล่นฟุตบอล (บ่อย)
kăo mâi lên fút-​bon (bòi)

I (usually) eat rice.
(โดยปกติ) ฉันทานข้าว
(doi-​bpà-gà-dtì) chăn taan kâao

I (usually) don’t eat rice.
(โดยปกติ) ฉันไม่ทานข้าว
(doi-​bpà-gà-dtì) chăn mâi taan kâao

We visit our friends (every day).

พวกเราไปเยี่ยมเพื่อน (ทุกวัน)
pûuak-rao bpai yîiam pêuan (túk-wan)

We don’t visit our friends (every day).

พวกเราไม่ไปเยี่ยมเพื่อน (ทุกวัน)
pûuak-rao mâi bpai yîiam pêuan (túk-wan)

Present Continuous tense…

This is the English tense we use when talking about what we are doing “now”. In Thai we have two tenses for “now” but this one maybe gives it a little more emphasis; something like “right now”.

For the negative form use the negative of the simple present.

Some Thai words we can use with the present continuous are:

Now: ตอนนี้ /dton-née/
Right now: เดี๋ยวนี้ /dĭeow née/
At this time: เวลานี้ /wee-laa-níi/

Special tense word: กำลัง /gam-lang/

He is playing football (now).
เขากำลังเล่นฟุตบอล (ตอนนี้)
kăo gam-lang lên fút bon (dton-née)

I am eating (right now).
ฉันกำลังทานข้าว (เดี๋ยวนี้)
chăn gam-lang taan kâao (dĭeow née)

We are visiting our friends (at this time).
(เวลานี้) พวกเรากำลังเยี่ยมเพื่อน
(wee-laa-níi) pûuak-rao gam-lang yîiam pêuan

Past tense…

English has lots of ways of expressing actions in the past. The phrase “used to” is also used for past action in English. In Thai you would need to add a word or two of explanation about when something happened.

There are lots and lots of words for the past. Some we use here are:

Already: แล้ว /láew/
This morning: เมื่อเช้านี้ /mêua cháao-née/
Used to: เคย /koie/
Yet: ยัง /yang/

Special tense words:

ได้ /dâai/
แล้ว /láew/
ยัง /yang/
เคย /koie/

He played football.
เขาเล่นฟุตบอล
kăo lên fút-​bon

He didn’t play football.
เขาไม่ได้เล่นฟุตบอล
kăo mâi dâai lên fút bon

I (already) ate.
ฉันได้ทานข้าว (แล้ว)
chăn dâai taan kâao (láew)

I didn’t eat (yet).
ฉัน (ยัง) ไม่ได้ทานข้าว
chăn (yang) mâi dâai taan kâao

We visited our friend (this morning).
พวกเราไปเยี่ยมเพื่อน (เมื่อเช้านี้)
pûuak-rao bai yîiam pêuan (mêua cháao-née)

We didn’t visit our friend (this morning).
(เมื่อเช้านี้) พวกเราไม่ได้ไปเยี่ยมเพื่อน
(mêua cháao-née) pûuak-rao mâi dâai bai yîiam pêuan

She used to study English.
เขาเคยเรียนภาษาอังกฤษ
kăo koie rian paa-săa ang-grìt

She never studied English.
เขาไม่เคยเรียนภาษาอังกฤษ
kăo mâi koie rian paa-săa ang-grìt

Future…

For the future we will usually add a word or two to narrow the time down more accurately. Again, there are lots of words for the future. Ones we use here are:

When the sun shines
เมื่อแดดออก
mêua dàet-​òk

Tomorrow morning
พรุ่งนี้เช้า
prûng-née cháao

Next week
สัปดาห์หน้า
sàp-daa-nâa

Special tense word: จะ /jà/

He will play football (when the sun shines).

เขาจะเล่นฟุตบอล (เมื่อแดดออก)
kăo jà lên fút bon (mêua dàet òk)

He won’t play football (when the sun shines).
เขาจะไม่เล่นฟุตบอล (เมื่อแดดออก)
kăo jà mâi lên fút bon (mêua dàet òk)

I will eat (tomorrow morning).
ฉันจะทานข้าว (พรุ่งนี้เช้า)
chăn jà taan kâao (prûng-née cháao)

I won’t eat (tomorrow morning).
ฉันจะไม่ทานข้าว (พรุ่งนี้เช้า)
chăn jà mâi taan kâao (prûng-née cháao)

We will visit our friend (next week).

พวกเราจะไปเยี่ยมเพื่อน (สัปดาห์หน้า)
pûuak-rao jà bai yîiam pêuan (sàp-daa-nâa)

We won’t visit our friend (next week).
พวกเราจะไม่ไปเยี่ยมเพื่อน (สัปดาห์หน้า)
pûuak-rao jà mâi bai yîiam pêuan (sàp-daa-nâa)

Future continuous…

In English we make ample use of the words “going” and “going to” or we just add an “ing” to the verb. Thai is almost that simple and usually indicates something we are just about to do.

For the negative use the regular future tense negative.

Special tense word: กำลังจะ /gam-lang jà/

He is going to (just about to) play football.
เขากำลังจะเล่นฟุตบอล
kăo gam-lang jà lên fút-​bon

I am going to (just about to) eat.
ฉันกำลังจะทานข้าว
chăn gam-lang jà taan kâao

We are going to (just about to) visit our friends.
พวกเรากำลังจะไปเยี่ยมเพื่อน
pûuak-rao gam-lang jà bai yîiam pêuan

Present Perfect tense:

The English present perfect tense is used for some action in the past that could already have been completed or may still be going on. It would sometimes require additional words as explanation of when something occurred. Thai would almost always need words in the sentence that would explain it more fully.

Some time words we used here are:

Many times
บ่อยครั้ง
bòi kráng

Already today
วันนี้… แล้ว
wan-née … láew

Throughout the week
ตลอดสัปดาห์
dtàlòt sàp-daa

For … years
… ปีแล้ว
… bpii láew

This week
อาทิตย์นี้
aa-tít-níi

Special tense words:

ได้ /dâai/
เคย /koie/
แล้ว /láew/
ยัง /yang/

He has played football (many times).
เขาเล่นฟุตบอล (บ่อยครั้ง)
kăo lên fút bon (bòr-yá-kráng)

He has never played football.
เขาไม่เคยเล่นฟุตบอล
kăo mâi koie lên fút-​bol

I have eaten (already) today.
วันนี้ฉันทานข้าว (แล้ว)
wan-née chăn taan kâao (láew)

I haven’t eaten (yet) today.
วันนี้ฉัน (ยัง) ไม่ได้ทานข้าว
wan-née chăn (yang) mâi dâai taan kâao

We have visited our friends (throughout the week).
พวกเราไปเยี่ยมเพื่อน (ตลอดสัปดาห์)
pûuak-rao bai yîiam pêuan (dtàlòt sàp-daa)

(This week) we haven’t visited our friends.
(อาทิตย์นี้) พวกเราไม่ได้ไปเยี่ยมเพื่อน
(aa-tít-níi) pûuak-rao mâi dâai bai yîiam pêuan

She has studied English (for five years).
เขา (เคย) เรียนภาษาอังกฤษ (ห้าปีแล้ว)
kăo (koie) rian paa-săa ang-grìt (hâa bpee láew)

She has never studied English.
เขาไม่เคยเรียนภาษาอังกฤษ
kăo mâi koie rian paa-săa ang-grìt

Past Perfect tense…

The past perfect is one of those tenses that English could probably do without (and is almost impossible to teach to Thai students) since we have other ways of saying the same thing. It is usually used when one thing happened in the past before another. In Thai we will need to explain a bit.

The time words used here are:

Before he ran, before running
ก่อนวิ่ง
gòn wîng

Then we met
แล้วเราเจอกัน
láew rao jəə-gan

He became ill
เขาเริ่มไม่สบาย
kăo rêrm mâi sà-baai

Before she could speak well
ก่อนที่เขาพูดเก่ง
gòn têe kăo pôot gèng

Special tense words:

เคย /koie/
แล้ว /láew/
ก่อน /gòn/
หลังจาก /lăng jàak/

He had kicked the ball (before he ran, before running).
เขาเตะลูกบอล (ก่อนวิ่ง, ก่อนเขาวิ่ง)
kăo dtè lôok bon (gòn wîng, gòn kăo wîng)

I had eaten (and then we met)
ฉันทานข้าว (แล้วเราเจอกัน)
chăn taan kâao (láew rao jəə-gan)

We had already visited our friend (when he became ill).

หลังจากพวกเราเยี่ยมเพื่อนแล้ว (เขาเริ่มไม่สบาย)
lăng jàak pûak rao yîam pêuan láew (kăo rêrm mâi sà-baai)

She had studied English for 5 years (before she could speak well).
เขา (เคย) เรียนภาษาอังกฤษห้าปี (ก่อนเขาพูดเก่ง)
kăo (koie) rian paa-săa ang-grìt hâa bpee (gòn kăo pôot gèng)

Passive Voice…

This is always a fun tense to use. Children (and some adults) use it to direct attention away from themselves and something “they did” and make it something that “was done” (by someone). “I hit the golf ball into the water” becomes “the golf ball was hit into the water (by me).” “I stole the money” becomes “the money was stolen (by me)”, etc. Thai has some neat ways to produce this pattern but as in English not every verb is a candidate for the passive voice (“English was studied by me”, is not a really great sentence, is it?)

The one word most often used in English with the passive voice is “by” to indicate who was doing the action. Thai also uses it.

By: โดย /doi/

Special tense words:

ถูก /tùuk/
โดน /dohn/

The ball was kicked.
ลูกบอลถูกเตะ
lôok bon tùuk dtè

The ball wasn’t kicked.
ลูกบอลไม่ถูกเตะ
lôok bon mâi tùuk dtè

He was struck (by the ball).
เขาโดนกระแทก (โดยลูกบอล)
kăo dohn grà-tâek (doi lôok bon)

He wasn’t struck (by the ball).
เขาไม่โดนกระแทก (โดยลูกบอล)
kăo mâi dohn grà-tâek (doi lôok bon)

Tenses simplified…

For us just getting used to speaking Thai in different tenses there is a less sophisticate but a pretty easy way to say just about all we need to say. Just use the verb and add some time words after it if you need to be more specific. Every tense starts out the same way.

I eat (every day)
ผมทานข้าว (ทุกวัน)
pŏm taan kâao (túk wan)

I don’t eat (every day)
ผมไม่ทานข้าว (ทุกวัน)
pŏm mâi taan kâao (túk-wan)

I ate (yesterday)
ผมทานข้าว (เมื่อวานนี้)
pŏm taan kâao (mêua waan née)

I didn’t eat (yesterday)
ผมไม่ทานข้าว (เมื่อวานนี้)
pŏm mâi taan kâao (mêua-waan-née)

I will eat (tomorrow).
ผมทานข้าว (พรุ่งนี้)
pŏm taan kâao (prûng-níi)

I won’t eat (tomorrow).
ผมไม่ทานข้าว (พรุ่งนี้)
pŏm mâi taan kâao (prûng-níi)

I’ve already eaten.
ผมทานข้าว (แล้ว)
pŏm taan kâao (láew)

I haven’t eaten (yet).
ผม (ยัง) ไม่ทานข้าว
pŏm (yang) mâi taan kâao (láew)

So the next time someone says to you that Thai has no tenses, you might beg to differ.

This was written by Hugh Leong.
นี่เขียนโดยฮีวลีออง
nêe kĭan doi Hugh Leong

And hopefully you’ve read it.
และหวังว่าคุณได้อ่านแล้ว
láe wăng wâa kun dâai àan láew

Addendum (more ways to express tenses in Thai)…

After posting the above I have been listening to what people say and I came up with some more ideas.

Another way to speak Thai in tenses is to use the time words “in the present’, “in the past”, and “in the future”. With these time words we will need to use the Thai helping word “in” ใน /nài/.

Here are some examples:

Present
ปัจจุบัน
bpàt-jù-ban

Presently (right now, in the present, at this time) he plays football.
ในปัจจุบันเขาเล่นฟุตบอล
nai bpàt-jù-ban kăo lên fút-bon

Past
อดีต
à-dèet

In the past (formerly) he played (used to play) football.
ในอดีตเขา (เคย) เล่นฟุตบอล
nai à-dèet kăo (koie) lên fút-bon

Future
อนาคต
à-naa-kót

(In the future) He will play football.

ในอนาคตเขา (จะ) เล่นฟุตบอล
nai à-naa-kót kăo (jà) lên fút-bon

I’d like to thank Ajarn Mia (Learn2SpeakThai) who checked the Thai for accuracy and Khun Pairoj who recorded the audio.

Hugh Leong
Retire 2 Thailand
Retire 2 Thailand: Blog
eBooks in Thailand

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

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

Study Thai with VOA news articles…

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

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

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

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

Mike Arnstein,
Selfstudythai.com

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Introduction: Using High Frequency Thai Vocabulary

Using High Frequency Thai Vocabulary

Introduction: Using High Frequency Thai Vocabulary…

I’m proud to announce the High Frequency Thai Vocabulary series!

In a nutshell, whenever we get around to it, using a Top 3000 Thai Vocabulary List we’ll share patterns created via category. Hugh Leong (retirement blogger and Thai phrasemaker extraordinaire) will tackle the more complicated Thai patterns.

Note: There will be no transliteration included in this series. If you do desire transliteration, feel free to add the transliteration of your choice to the free pdf downloads offered in each post.

A recap on the top 3000+ Thai vocabulary list…

As explained previously, to create the list I started with Thai Frequency Lists.

Combining choice lists in a spreadsheet, I handed it over to programmer Mark Hollow, who then collated 17,000++ words down to 6000 (give or take). After adding the vocabulary from Essential Thai as a quality marker (thanks Jim!) a Thai teacher and I trimmed the list down to 3000 and a bit.

You can download the spreadsheet here: High Frequency Thai Vocabulary list

Note: As we work through the series the Thai vocabulary list will be tweaked – words added and deleted, categories refined – so expect updates in each new post.

Curious about how others gathered vocabulary used in their Thai courses, I went to Jim Higbie (Essential Thai) and Benjawan Becker (Paiboon Publishing).

James (Jim) Higbie: When I chose the basic vocabulary for the first part of Essential Thai I took an “organic” approach, that is I took words that Thais used in basic conversation – the words you would most often hear Thais saying. This is a good way to approach Thai because the language is very much attached to Thai culture and their discourse.

Benjawan Becker: I design the subject for each lesson first and then come up with vocabulary and sentences.

Good to hear! Just like Jim, we chose the most common words out of the tens of thousands found in the Thai frequency lists. And similar to Benjawan, each post will focus on an individual subject.

Please stay tuned for Hugh’s first post: The Thai Double อยู่.

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How to Learn a Language in a Foreign Country: Thai Resources Included

How to Learn a Language in a Foreign Country

Video: How to Learn a Language in a Foreign Country…

In David Mansaray’s latest video he asks interpreter and translator Robert Bigler for his views on learning a language in a foreign country. In the video, Robert also discussed how he actively studies languages.

This is one of the best videos on learning languages. It’s that good. Actually, this video is what I’ve come to expect from David. David’s How to Use Motivation Effectively video is brilliant.

How to learn a language in a foreign country…

My original intention was to share only the bare basics but I found so MUCH good stuff I asked David for permission to post the full list. Thank you for your generosity David!

And while I’m handing out thanks, thank you for introducing us to Robert too. He’s a jewel :-)

If you enjoyed the video as much as I did, please leave comments on David’s YouTube channel: How to Learn a Language in a Foreign Country.

In the interview Robert gives advice on learning resources. I’ve added top favourites for learning Thai to the post below. I could easily add more but I ran out of time. If you have other suggestions, please do share them in the comments.

For even more resources for learning Thai, go to WLTs FREE Thai language learning resources. If you want to read about the resources, WLTs check out Archives.

Talking points: How to Learn a Language in a Foreign Country…

Prepare yourself: get as much information about the country as possible, acquire enough of the language to have a basic conversation, be open-minded and interested in the language as well as the culture and people.

Learning resources…

The bare essentials: a good dictionary with sample sentences, basic grammar book, self-study course with dialogs, a good phrase book.

Instead of buying ten books and merely glancing at each, take one small book to focus on.

Dictionaries with phrases:
Domnern Sathienpong Thai-English dictionary (hardcopy with CD)
New Model English-Thai Dictionary ฉบับห้องสมุด (Set) (ปกแข็ง) (hardcopy)
P. Sethaputra English-Thai Dictionary of Contemporary Usage (paperback)
Thai-language.com dictionary (online)
Thai2English dictionary(online)

Dictionary:
Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary

Note: This dictionary doesn’t have sentences (yet) but it’s still the best dictionary on the market.

WLT: Android and iPhone: Talking Thai-English-Thai Dictionary Review

Grammar books:
Thai: An Essential Grammar (hardcopy) and Kindle edition
Thai Reference Grammar: The Structure of Spoken Thai (hard copy)

WLT: Review: A Guide to Thai Grammar Books

Self-Study courses:
Essential Thai (hard copy)
FSI Materials: Thai Language Wiki
Glossika Thai
ITS4Thai online
ITS4Thai iOS apps
Jcademy: Cracking Thai Fundamentals (online)
Teach Yourself Thai Complete (hard copy)
Thai for Beginners (hard copy) and iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad App
Thai language products at Paiboon Publishing
Learn Thai Podcast (online and iTunes)
L-Lingo Thai (online) and iOS iPad

WLT: Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Thai Bites
WLT: David Smyth Updates Teach Yourself Thai
WLT: FREE Download: Glossika Thai Fluency 1 GMS and GSR
WLT: ITS4Thai DRAW + iPhone and iPad Review
WLT: Thai for Beginners iPhone App
WLT: Review: Learn Thai Podcast Relaunches!
WLT: Using the Assimil Method with Essential Thai

Phrasebooks:
WLT: iPhone Apps: Thai Language Phrase books
WLT: Thai Language Phrase Books: A Mega Review

Natural materials…

Start with natural material as soon as possible: radio programs, newspaper articles, magazines, on subjects you are interested in.

Radio:
Cat Radio
Surf Music: Thailand
Thailand Radio Stations
Radio Thailand and Thai TV & Radio Pro (iOS apps)

Paul Garrigan: This is the Sound of Thailand

Newspapers:
Onlinenewspapers.com: Thailand
Learn how to read Thai newspapers at Paknam Forums
Learning from the news > Learn Thai from the Bangkok Post

WLT: Free Download: Advanced Thai Reading and Vocabulary Building
WLT: Learn Thai from the Bangkok Post

Thai TV:
FukDuK.tv (offline for now – will be back)
Thai tv Online, ThaiTVonline.tv

Frequency lists…

Use frequency lists. The same 3-4000 words come up all the time. Learn them. Work with them. If you don’t understand something, ask people to explain.

Chula University: 5000 word frequency list (no longer online at Chula)

You’ll notice that Chula’s list is all in Thai. When I asked Mark Hollow (programmer) about the English he graciously created several versions for download.

WLT: Thai Frequency Lists with English Definitions

Words, phrases, conversations…

Learn phrases you’ll use in discussions pertinent to your life: who you are, where you are from, what you do, how old you are, etc.

Have a basic set of structures: how to say what happened in the past, what is going on right now, what’s going to happen in the future.

Anticipate likely conversations, prepare your replies, talk to yourself in the foreign language, rehearse as if you are on stage.

When preparing for conversations on certain subjects write down repeatedly used words and expressions. Go through them. The words you lacked in previous conversations are the words you need to focus on.

If you hear a nice expression use it in your next sentence. Make sentences out of the words you’ve just heard.

When you have problems with expressing yourself, immediately look it up. If there is something you cannot say because you don’t know the word, look up that word.

Don’t learn words on their own without context. If you learn them in context you will get exposure to the words and structures. Exposure is the key.

You don’t need a lot of material but you have to be able to reproduce them automatically so it’s essential to actually speak the language. You need to get used to talking. Your muscles need to be trained.

How to listen…

Be a good listener. You will benefit from the wealth of knowledge received from the person you are talking to.

To get into the flow of the language listen to audio. Get a lot of exposure by listening. Listening helps to practice the language passively. Listen carefully and attentively. Don’t listen in the background.

Audio:
Glossika Thai
Self Study Thai: Audio, transcripts, English translations and flashcards from VOA
Thai Recordings: Five minute audio clips with transcripts for intermediate learners of Thai

WLT: FREE Download: Glossika Thai Fluency 1 GMS and GSR
WLT: Free Podcasts in the Thai Language
WLT: ดึงดูดใจ: Thai Lyrics and Translations

Create a natural environment…

Create a natural environment by getting involved in discussions of interest on TV and radio. Sitcoms are a great way to get use to structures that come up in everyday conversation. If you lack the words to get your point across in your fake conversation, look them up. Keep talking. Say something like, “I’m sorry I have to look up the word”.

Thai videos on YouTube:
Andrew Biggs on YouTube
Andrew Bigs: Easy English
Adam Bradshaw’s YouTube Channel
AUA: Learn Thai Language Videos
ฝรั่งป๊อก ป๊อก Farang Pok Pok (search for other episodes)

WLT: AUA Thai Videos on YouTube
WLT: Thai Movies: A Relaxing Way to Study Thai

Tips on reading, writing, speaking…

Writing and reading is the whole package. When it comes to internalising grammatical structures and vocabulary, writing does a lot.

Write by hand, not by using the computer.

Copy books. Look at the words. Really get involved. Read the sentences out loud. Write them. Look at them. Get embedded in the language environment.

Speaking and reading:
AUA Thai: Reading and Writing videos
Learn2SpeakThai: Learn Thai with Maanii Books
Slice of Thai: Voice Viewer
Thai Reader Project

WLT: Andrew Biggs is Tongue Thai’d on YouTube
WLT: AUA Thai: FREE Reading and Writing Videos
WLT: Download 12 FREE Manee Books
WLT: Free Online Thai Readers
WLT: FREE Resource: Thai Reader Project
WLT: Thai-English Readers with Mp3s
WLT: The Easy Way for Beginners to Read and Write Thai

Language exchange…

For language exchange using email, you both choose the topics you are interested in. Each prepares text. Each corrects the other’s. You have the time to work with whatever tool you feel comfortable with (a dictionary, sentences from books, etc).

ALG Crosstalk Project: Bangkok

WLT: How to Learn Thai via Skype: The Series
WLT: Online Language Exchange Partners

Meeting native speakers…

When going abroad for an extended period of time, try to meet people by: joining clubs, fitness clubs, playing sports, and doing volunteer work.

Volunteer work is the best way to actually live with the people and not just beside them or next to them.

Be honest enough to tell people that you appreciate being corrected. Encourage people to correct you. Ask them to help you out. But also ask them not to judge you. There is a major difference between correcting somebody and judging somebody.

But it’s not the mistakes you should be worrying about. It is not being told about your mistakes.

It’s very important, especially in the beginning stages, that you meet someone you feel comfortable with to talk to.

When you get to the stage where you are open enough to actually learn from others without feeling bad for making mistakes, then you will be really successful.

Making progress is why it’s very important to have somebody around you who is understanding, but is also honest enough to actually tell you what you are saying wrong.

How to deal with communication snafus…

There will be moments of frustration, even when you believe that you are well-prepared. When this happens, don’t give up. Keep practicing.

You will make a lot of mistakes and at first might not understand much of what they are saying. When you make mistakes ask people to help you out.

When you struggle in conversation, once back at home get out your dictionary and turn to the subject at hand.

A final word from David Mansaray…

When it comes to spoken language people are willing to let some things go, but when it comes to writing people are a lot more sensitive to mistakes. They are going to be a lot more honest when correcting your mistakes. Writing is a great tool for the shy because you don’t have to immediately deal with that confrontation, you can look at your own mistakes to see where to improve.

It’s really important to have someone that you trust to help you with your language. Who you practice language with is also very important. When going through the stages you can be physiologically fragile. If you are not corrected in a friendly way then you can lose confidence in yourself, and that can make you retreat.

Where to find David and Robert…

David Mansaray:

Web: David Mansaray
YouTube Channel: davidmansaray
twitter: @DavidMansaray

Robert Bigler:

The Polyglot Project Podcast: Robert Bigler

Please join me in congratulating David and Robert on their fabulous video at: How to Learn a Language in a Foreign Country.

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Learn Thai at the Bangkok Post

Learn Thai from the Bangkok Post

The Bangkok Post teaches Thai…

Exciting for intermediate Thai language learners is a new section at the Bangkok Post: Learning From News > Learning Thai from Post Today.

Bangkok Post: We now have thousands of readers using stories from the Bangkok Post each day to learn English, but our sister newspaper Post Today can be just as useful for those of you who are learning Thai.

Each post has a short article in Thai and English, with audio for both. You can read along with the audio online, or copy everything onto your computer to study later.

Here are the available subjects so far:

Call for world to brace for expensive food
Donkey wifi
Nicknames
Under control
Practice bullets
Big-name signing for BEC Tero Sasana
Phuut Thai, laew laeng Tai
Abbreviation headaches: น.1, สวป., ผบช.น., พล.ต.ท., กก…
Actress death mystery
The flood season
Don Mueang ready for business
YouTube clip makes news again
Another video clip makes news
Tennis in the news
Politics in the news
Senate debate
Chalerm has his say
Sandbag meeting, a Thai version
Sihanouk dies
Sihanouk’s return
3G auction criticised

Edit: If you want to find the rest of the Thai posts google “Learning Thai from Post Today”.
Edit: Learning Thai with Post Today (Archive)

To get updates on new articles follow Terry Fredrickson on twitter: @terryfrd. If you have suggestions or questions or just want to say “hey”, join their Facebook page: Bangkok Post Learning.

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Learn2SpeakThai: Learn Thai with Manee

Learn2SpeakThai: Maanee books

Learn Thai with Manee…

Manee books (also spelt Maanee and Maanii) are beloved by many Thais, as well as those passionate about Thai learning materials. Like me.

Thai Skype teacher Mia, from Learn2SpeakThai, also shares the Manee passion. Aiming to offer free Manee lessons on her site, she waded through Thai bureaucracy to get official permission (good on her!) You can read all about her trials at My quest for Maanee books copyright.

Mia has my total sympathy because I too attempted to go the same route for a different set of expired Thai school books, but failed. Perhaps when I get more time I’ll give it another try.

After getting the all clear from the Thai Ministry of Education, Mia then started working through the Manee books. So far she’s recorded books one, two, and three, with book four coming soon: Learn Thai with Maanee Books. It will take Mia awhile to get through all 12 books, but after speaking to her about the project I can assure you it’s an absolute labour of love.

Also exciting is an interview Mia did with the esteemed author of the Maanee series, Kruu Ratchanii Sripaiwan. It’s a sweet interview so please do stop by: Meet the Author of Maanee(Maanii) books and VDO interview with kruu Ratchanii Sripaiwan…the author of Maanee books.

If you are interested you can download all 12 Manee Books for free. If you have any problems downloading, contact me.

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