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Thread: Software/Online resource for learning Thai?

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    Platinum NeedHoliday's Avatar
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    Software/Online resource for learning Thai?

    Hi,

    Looking over the threads in this section there's a few great resources for learning phrases and such, but does anyone recommend any for learning from scratch? Tones, sentence structures, etc.

    I've got a few books, but find it hard to know the tones from just words. When I use visual and audio resources I find it much easier to understand how and why words are spoken, but I've yet to find a complete solution that uses visual and audio aids from scratch.

    Closest I've got is Rosetta Stone Thai, which is great software and easy to start/stop (so good to use in my spare time). Problem is I'm not sure how accurate it is, as for one they've stopped doing Thai language software now and I've read some reviews saying some of the words don't get used in common conversation (e.g. they use su-naa for dog, but others say it's maa).

    Classes in Singapore seem fairly expensive so not sure I want to try that just yet, I'd rather learn online or with software at my own pace.

    Anyone actually used a resource and been successful?

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    Cadet Gold Yes's Avatar
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    I used Thai learner for a while..easy to use..spoken by a man or a woman..you can download a very limited trial version for free..good to give you a feel if you like its layout and style..only available for PC

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    sorry its called Thai Trainer 111

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Uber Star TMTBOUND's Avatar
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    I tried to use rosetta stone before my first trip to LOS. I lost interest after learning to say Cat and airplane.

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Mr. Smiley's Avatar
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    Pimsleur's Thai is really good. I use that as a refresher if I don't speak or hear Thai for a while. 30 lessons with each broken down in a listen and repeat style and then has you respond or ask questions with what you learned. Do that for one month and you should have a good ability to hold and understand a basic conversation.
    Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

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    Platinum NeedHoliday's Avatar
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    Cool I'll give Pimsleur a try.

    I laughed at the Rosetta Stone comment.. it does feel like that at the start... Cat.. dog... boy... girl... man... woman... plane... table and then variations of on/below etc. It does seem odd as you don't get the English version, but it's apparently designed that way as that's how you learned as a child. I must admit it does actually make me remember those words, but how effective it is I don't know yet. I think I struggle as I try to logically understand and map words to english.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน justcruzing1's Avatar
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    NH,
    I am not any good at speaking Thai as I have no real reason to learn at this time.
    I did use the free site "learn Thai the easy way" by a young Thai guy named Gor, he is curently in jail for having drugs on him.
    Here is the link, the site has a lot on it. http://www.learningthai.com/

    I did learn a few words and sentance's and used them speaking on the phone to my TG at the time, there was dead silence, and then she screamed at me "You have Thai LADY!!!" I had to play the computer for her to hear the lesson's before she would believe I wasn't cheating on her.

    The other thing I have heard for all different languages, is language chat sites. many Thai's learning English at school etc want to get the experience of talking to farang and learning the extras not taught.

    In return they talk and teach you Thai. All for free and benefits for both sides.

    The one thing I think you will find, and I'm sure Chob and other expats here agree, there are so many different areas of Thai and they have their own tonal variations so you may get it right in one area and totally wrong in another.

    Classic example, I took a BG from Patong, headed for the Zoo at Phuket, she wanted to go, I had hired a cruzer bike so all's good. Trouble was she didn't know where the zoo was, and after driving in and out of Phuket a couple of times, I finally stopped alongside a woman sweeping the footpath in front of her shop, told BG to go ask for directions, she comes back and off we go with BG directing.

    All directions were wrong, and when I pointed that out, she said "I not know what she say, Thai not all speak the same". 555555
    Last edited by justcruzing1; 13th May 2013 at 12:09.
    "Of course you love me darling, I handsome man 55555"

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    Foundation Member Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Gazmac's Avatar
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    Yeah how many times dop you hear them say , oh she sapeak Isarn or she sapeak Lao .
    !qq!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeedHoliday View Post
    Cool I'll give Pimsleur a try.

    I laughed at the Rosetta Stone comment.. it does feel like that at the start... Cat.. dog... boy... girl... man... woman... plane... table and then variations of on/below etc. It does seem odd as you don't get the English version, but it's apparently designed that way as that's how you learned as a child. I must admit it does actually make me remember those words, but how effective it is I don't know yet. I think I struggle as I try to logically understand and map words to english.
    Yeah man.......I still call planes Krungbien's(spelling?)

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    I see that Pimsleur teaches 'central' or Bangkok Thai.
    As this is the language of TV and movies and the Government , all Thais should by nowadays be able to understand it , if not speak it.
    I personally left tones till later ( and still arent good at them ) in order to build vocabulary quickly.
    A lot of tones are assumed as the word will appear in context , and a 'dodgy' tone glossed over or forgiven.

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    Platinum NeedHoliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMTBOUND View Post
    Yeah man.......I still call planes Krungbien's(spelling?)
    555.. yeah "kru-ung-bin".. see I still would have no idea how it's spelt (transliteration), but that's stuck in my head forever now so it must work in some form. Same with poo-ying, poo-chai, luk-bon, chang. ****, maybe this does actually work! I should do more than just the first lesson...

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    It's an old sketch but still elicits a chuckle.

    Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

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    I caught the subway from Swampy airport into BKK last trip, and by the time I got off I knew,and will never forget, that "sah-tah-nee" means station! 555

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedHoliday View Post
    555.. yeah "kru-ung-bin".. see I still would have no idea how it's spelt (transliteration), but that's stuck in my head forever now so it must work in some form. Same with poo-ying, poo-chai, luk-bon, chang. ****, maybe this does actually work! I should do more than just the first lesson...

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Cippy's Avatar
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    Good tool to take with you is "Talking Thai" Dictionary App for the Iphone, it's the most expensive App I have ever purchased (25.00 USD) but I don't know what I would do without it.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/talk...411632067?mt=8
    Never argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. M.T.

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    Cadet Gold Tyrion's Avatar
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    The biggest problem with software and other online Thai language resources is dealing with the different dialects. They are good for learning the basics though. One good one is the 'learnthaipodcast' it used to be free but I think they might charge for it now.

    At the end of the day your best way of picking up the language is by hanging around with Thais and by listening to the language. You will start to pick up specific words that stand out or that seem relevant. I used to drive my Thai friends nuts by constantly asking "what's that mean" I also drove my now ex wife nuts when she was watching her Thai tv.

    It does require a lot of hard work but eventually starts to click and you'll surprise yourself how quickly you pick things up. Great fun when in Thailand too. I often don't let on I can speak Thai at first, just kick back and listen, it can be a lot of fun!

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    Cadet Bronze Nightcrawler's Avatar
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    I'd agree with Clippy, the Talking Thai app for the iPhone (also available on Android) is outstanding. It runs even better on the iPad. It's publisher is Paiboon who also publish what, from the research I did, seems to be classed as one of the better books - 'Thai for Beginners'. Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/talk...411632067?mt=8

    There's a great overview / review of the app here: Overview - Thai-English Talking Dictionary for iPhone/iPad - Word in the Hand Inc.

    The app has a load of useful information about the Thai language and learning it in it's Help section. You can also select a number of different 'Pronunciation Guides' (PG) (all the leading ones in fact, including Paiboon, used by many of book publishers and schools) and also includes the Easy Thai PG, a great one for weaning you off English transliteration if you are making the transition to reading / writing Thai.

    An app based on Thai for Beginners is also available for iPad / iPhone which as far as I can see primarily covers the accompanying CD that the book can be bought with and maybe some extra material. Again I find this aids understanding pronunciation and tone much better than just reading it. I only bought the book (got it from the bookstore outside Jungceylon in Patong) and find that this app is a good companion for it. If the CD contains ALL the same material it might be more cost effective to buy the book and the CD together. The benefit with the app is that it is fully structured and follows the book layout making lesson and section selection easy. The shortcoming with the app IMO is that it would have been better if it contained the actual book, the whole text. As it is, you really need to have both. Thai for Beginners app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/thai...405688629?mt=8

    As to online resources I found there's tons of crap out there, many being random assemblies of words and phrases rather sites geared towards you learning the language in a structured manner.

    The best overall site I found for learning Thai is: thai-language.com

    Another excellent site (especially for understanding the tonal concept) is Slice of Thai:

    Main site: Thai Language - slice-of-thai.com

    Tones page: The Five Tones of Thai - Thai Language - slice-of-thai.com

    For the first time, after reading that site I actually 'got' what they were getting at and understand the concept a lot better, even if I haven't got a grip of it yet (not by a long way), but at least I now understand what I'm trying to do 5555.

    Mr Smiley also pointed me in the direction of Pimsleur which I think is superb (and plays constantly at home at the moment as I prep for a 3-4 month intensive Thai language course). 30 lessons of 30 minutes each that really hammers some basic conversational Thai into you, chopping and changing the way the sentences are constructed so you get to understand what words mean and how using them in a different way alters the meaning of a sentence, rather than just parroting the exact same phrase over and over again.

    I currently find the above compilation of resources perfect for my needs, it keeps the resources narrowed down, keeping it focussed with a pathway that I can visualise. This is the problem I have with many of the online resources which merely seem to assemble phrases and such like over time such I find it hard to see the direction that it's all going in.

    YMMV
    Last edited by Nightcrawler; 21st July 2013 at 15:45.

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    Cadet Bronze Nightcrawler's Avatar
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    Forgot about this one too ' Pattaya Funtown', quite useful 'Grammar and syntax', 'Basic Vocab and Useful Phrases' pages:

    Grammar / Syntax: Thai Language Introduction | Basic Thai Grammar & Syntax

    Vocab / Phrases: Thai Vocabulary & Useful Phrases

    I used this quite a lot until I found and got into the more in-depth Thai Language and Slice of Thai sites.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Smiley View Post
    Pimsleur's Thai is really good. I use that as a refresher if I don't speak or hear Thai for a while. 30 lessons with each broken down in a listen and repeat style and then has you respond or ask questions with what you learned. Do that for one month and you should have a good ability to hold and understand a basic conversation.
    It says this is downloadable as a MP3 format.....does that mean I can download it on my phone?>

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    this looks good to thaipod101 on youtube free to

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Mr. Smiley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcTwoSix View Post
    It says this is downloadable as a MP3 format.....does that mean I can download it on my phone?>
    Sorry for the late reply (by a year).... but yeah you can put the lessons on your mobile... I have it on my Nexus 5.
    Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

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