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Learning Thai

Learn Thai Language PodcastI’ve been slowly working at learning the Thai language for a while now. I’ve been using a mixture of books, online resources, and Rosetta Stone software. Whereas I’ve learned quite a few words and phrases I’m not getting the complete picture from any of the resources I’ve been using.

Thai is a tonal language and it’s important to get the tones right or you will be saying something completely different than you mean. The books have helped to a certain extent but if you aren’t getting the tones right you’re fighting the process.

Rosetta Stone software lays it out well by showing you pictures and having a native voice say the words which helps immensely with the learning process. Unfortunately they aren’t helping to build sentences and join words together like I had hoped.

A few months ago Jo & Jay from Learning Thai Podcast contacted me about an Emergency Thai podcast and Emergency Thai PDF they had created that might help my readers. They were just starting out with their learning Thai site and what they sent me was a well thought out and very easy to learn selection of Thai phrases and words to use in an emergency. So I wrote a post about it linking to their podcast and put a link in to download the Emergency Thai PDF.The link and post have both been downloaded quite a few times.

Since then they have greatly expanded their site adding lessons in vocabulary, pronunciation, conversational lessons and much more. The big plus is the fact that they are giving you the lessons as a video, a downloadable MP3 file, and as a printable pdf. The lessons are given in a very easy format with Jay giving you the English and Jo providing the Thai. Each word or phrase is repeated several times with time for you to speak it as well. There is already enough on Learn Thai Podcast to keep you busy for a long time and they add new lessons daily.

Learn Thai Podcast is a membership site but at the price of $19.95 a month it’s a bargain for what you get. The complete Rosetta Stone course in Thai will cost you well over $400 and  even though there are a lot of books out there they aren’t going to give you the tones as you need to hear them from a Thai person. Sure, there are other online resources for learning Thai but they aren’t as well thought out or put together as Learn Thai Podcast in my opinion.

I know this looks like it’s a paid advertisement or affiliate link but it’s not. I’ve decided to join their site and give them advertising on Land of Smiles because from what I’ve seen so far it’s that good…I’m not being paid to say this. Check out their site including the free lessons and judge for yourself. As well as the lessons they also have forums where you can ask questions and get answers from the creators of the site and other members. And most importantly they are backing their lessons with a 30 day 100% money back Guarantee if you aren’t satisfied.

I’ll be giving regular updates on my progress using their system and I’ll let you know just how it’s going for me honestly.

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Comment by MikeNo Gravatar
2008-08-16 23:08:04

What an excellent resource. I too am struggling with the tones. I like the feel of the demo stuff so I guess you could say I am hooked! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Mikes last blog post..Life on the Soi (5)

Comment by My Bug LifeNo Gravatar
2008-08-17 04:29:21

Learning another language is always a good thing!

Comment by jayNo Gravatar
2008-08-17 07:50:10

Thank you for your kind words Talen!

jays last blog post..Learn Thai Lessons: Public Conversation 5 (Audio)

Comment by Nomadic MattNo Gravatar
2008-08-18 09:09:12

It took me ages to learn thai and I’m still only conversational at it. If you are in Bangkok, thai solutions had good lessons. They taught me a lot and were very accommodating.

Nomadic Matts last blog post..Interview with Thomas Kohnstamm

Comment by TalenNo Gravatar
2008-08-18 10:56:02

Thai definitely isn’t easy for the foreigner to just pick up but even the the Thai I know has helped out when outside the tourist areas. I hope to at least be conversational and I think Jay’s course will help me do that.

Being in Thailand and surrounded by Thai speakers is an advantage too as you hear it more and tend to pick up on words and tones. But even in Thailand lessons will cost you much more than $20 a month.

Comment by CathyNo Gravatar
2008-08-18 14:32:53

Thank you for that short review on Rosetta Stone. I thought about buying the software thinking they build sentences for you to learn. Guess I’m not buying it then.

I was told that the best way to learn a language is to live in the country for a year or two. I wish I have that luxury. I want to be fluent in Spanish by the way.

Again, thanks for the review.

Comment by QuaCheeNo Gravatar
2008-08-18 21:41:18

will definitely go check it out. im sure it will come in handy! :)

Comment by ChrisNo Gravatar
2008-08-19 01:41:52

I’ve been studying Chinese & also got the Rosetta Stone software. It is very helpful, but lacks the classical approach to learning a language (you never really learn Grammar with Rosetta Stone).

I suggest you use your normal book resources for the Grammar part of things (forming sentences, verb tenses), and continue doing the Rosetta Stone lessons to build your vocabulary.

That’s what has been working well for me at least.

Comment by catNo Gravatar
2008-08-21 23:07:38

I agree, learning Thai can be so difficult for those without a background in tonal languages.

And Jo and & Jay have such a pleasant way of easing you into speaking and hearing Thai, their program is a keeper for sure!

Rosetta Stone - I have the two Thai CD’s but it doesn’t have the sanook I need to learn the Thai language. Sure, I might go back and play around, but nothing back-to-back serious.

Learn Thai Podcasts, Pimsleur and Lingaphone, with a decent SRS (Spaced Repetition System) are more my style.

cats last blog post..Top Thai Language Learning Resources

Comment by Bryan Karl YusonNo Gravatar
2008-09-12 22:38:57

I so so so love the Thai language. In my mp3 player, I have a dozen of Thai songs like those of Witwisit Hiranyawongkul, Nologo, and Flure. I know some Thai expressions already like Sawat dee khap, Sanook mai khrap, etc… I am from the Philippines but I got interested in learning Thai after I saw Rak Haen Siam.

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