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Thairecordings.com: Audio Clips for Intermediate Learners

Thairecordings.com

A New Audio Resource…

I’ve been learning Thai for a bit more than three years now, some of you might remember my guest post here on WLT. I’ve been trying to learn Thai without using translation, text-book study or explicit vocabulary work, and I’m quite happy with the results so far. The resource I want to present in this post, however, is compatible with any learning style.

Thairecordings.com is a new project of mine, one that I hope to grow and maintain for some time into the future. Similar recordings to the ones I publish were quite useful in my own learning of Thai, and I thought, why not set up a website and see whether others like the idea. The website went live in July 2012, and as of now (Aug 2012) the content is still limited, but I hope to add to it on a regular basis.

Thairecordings.com is a free website for intermediate learners who already understand spoken Thai and are able to read. It is basically an archive of audio clips and corresponding transcripts. The audio clips are around 5 minutes each and contain unscripted, natural speech, 100% in Thai. Each recording has a topic, and there are usually 2-3 recordings per topic. Each recording comes with a short synopsis in English. The topics are intended to be accessible and useful, or at least interesting, for intermediate learners, and cover a wide range of issues, for example:

  • going to the dentist
  • ghosts
  • having diarrhea, or
  • beach vacation.

The recordings are not designed to teach anything in particular, and they don’t systematically cover vocabulary related to the respective topic. The intention is rather to provide examples of story telling and talking about experiences. Nonetheless, the vocabulary and structures covered are quite varied and should be useful to intermediate learners. New recordings are added on a regular basis.

The transcripts are done after recording the audio and are (so far) pretty accurate. They contain all spoken function words, which are rarely found in written texts.

How to use the recordings…

The recordings can be used in various ways: you can just listen to the recordings, maybe repeatedly, trying to understand what’s going on. You can practice guessing at unknown words. You can listen with the goal to pick up specific vocabulary or ways to say things, or you can use the recordings to supplement other Thai learning activities on those same topics. If it helps, you can read the transcripts before, during or after listening to the recordings, either assisting or verifying your comprehension. You can also use the audio and the transcripts for shadowing, or for dictation practice. Finally, you can upload the material to LWT (a reading-listening software).

All material is free and subject to a Creative Commons license. I hope the material proves useful to some learners, and I would be happy to get feedback on whether and how it’s used, or what I could do to make it more useful.

Andrej
thairecordings.com

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Andrej

I'm passionate about language learning and linguistic diversity. You can find me and my language projects - Thai Recordings, South-East Asia Illustrations in Thai / Khmer - at aakanee.com.

9 Comments

  1. Thank you, Andrej,

    That’s a very nice resource… for applying the Luca Lampariello method on !
    Listen to the audio and read the Thai. Then translate the Thai in French (for me). Then translate back the French in Thai. Full circle !

    The stories are just quite still challenging for me, as they are really for quite “fluent” thai learner. And I’am not near that point yet. But I like the challenge.
    I downloaded some of the MP3 files from the site, about subjects that seems to interest me, and synced them with the iPhone, so I shall listen to them (or even just ear at) anytime of the day.

    Thanks again. Bernard.

  2. Bernard, these materials would be perfect for Learning With Texts as well. I’ll try it out at the end of the month (my schedule is crazy busy at the moment).

  3. Great project!!! I’ve visited your site and find it interesting. I will be more than happy to volunteer my voice or anything I could contribute please let me know
    Mia

  4. Thanks, Bernard and Cat. I hope that the recordings and transcripts will be useful for some learners. They are clearly not for beginners and require (or train towards) being able to understand spoken Thai at normal speed. If there is anything I could do to make the website more useful, please let me know. And, Cat, I’m looking forward to your LWT experiment. I’m not very familiar with that software and am curious to learn more.

    Thanks, Mia, I’m glad you like the project, and I’ll send you a PM to discuss.

  5. Andrej, if anyone has difficulty keeping up with the audio all they have to do is pull it into Audacity and slow it down to a speed they are comfortable with. That’s the beauty of recording these days. I used to worry if the audio is too fast or too slow but with a little bit of effort it’s possible to get it just right.

  6. Hi Andrej, the spoken function words in the recordings are very helpful as these would make the speaker sound more fluent and articulate in daily speech. I think your website is a very useful adjunct to those who are attending formal language schools, not least the one at AUA ;) I may not understand every word that Gun is saying, but I do understand the gist of it. Thank you.

  7. This is awesome! I will have it up on my blog’s resource page in minutes!

  8. Thanks, Sany and Justin, I’m glad you find it useful :)

  9. Not only can Audacity slow down or speed up speech, it makes it easy to select a snippet of the audio (say, a 10-second sentence) and replay it over and over so that you ‘get it’ after a few repeats.

    Audacity is terrific and free. http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

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