Hello, My Name is Tim

Tim in Thai

It may seem simple for those that have gone before me but I can now write my name in Thai, better yet I am beginning to understand Thai letters and the relationships between Thai vowels and consonants. It’s not just that I can write my name,  but I understand the characters and what they are doing to form my name.

My Thai language classes are now being broken up into two separate learning modules. The first hour of class we work on Sentence structure, grammar, vocabulary and conversation. The second hour of class is now devoted to reading and writing Thai. We didn’t begin as I suspected with the Thai alphabet in total but with small subsets of consonants and vowels broken up into tonal groups.

Tackling the Thai alphabet in this way was actually very enlightening for me because I could not only see how certain words are formed but I can understand the tone very easily. We started off learning about low tone consonants and while these seemed very easy I know as we progress further in it will become tougher. Aside from learning in class I have also picked up a few books on reading and writing Thai as well as a Thai alphabet chart for my wall with removable letters to help me learn and remember the Thai alphabet.

Learning Thai Materials 1 Learning Thai Materials 2 Learning Thai Materials 3

Learning in Thailand is also an immeasurable help due to the fact that Thai script can be found everywhere and I find myself looking at every sign, picking out every part I know and trying to put it together in my head. There is also no end to the help I’ve been receiving from Thai friends that are constantly testing me as well, and sometimes under the harshest of conditions…writing Thai or being tested on Thai sentence structure at 2 am while mao mak mak has got to be against U.N. rules of engagement.

I would suggest anyone considering learning Thai or just beginning to actively learn the Thai alphabet at the same time it will definitely give you a leg up in the learning process and things will start to click like never before.

Today I can write my name and a big handful of small words…tomorrow I will write my manifesto…okay, maybe next year.

Note: For those of you that didn’t know,  my real name is Tim but with the internet as it is anytime I was prompted for my name every conceivable combination of Tim was taken so I used my first initial and middle name and never looked back…and now you know.

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18 Comment(s)

  1. Hello Tim, for some reason I thought Talen was a Welsh name :-) It is great that your Thai lessons are going well. I agree with the importance of learning to read.

    Paul Garrigan | Sep 28, 2010 | Reply

  2. Awesome Tim!

    Making small baby steps, then larger strides for sure !

    Joe | Sep 28, 2010 | Reply

  3. Congrats Talen, I’ve been saying this for a while, it isn’t as hard as it looks to crack the basics.

    Of course fluency is a helluva lot tougher.

    How about having a crack at spelling your web alias in Thai?

    Jon | Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

  4. Talen good advice. After struggling for a long time with transliterated words I have actually started from scratch with the alphabet.

    I figure if I can read(and write) I can do better speaking. I’m using Doy’s school books :-)

    Mike | Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

  5. Congratulations Tim, I like to follow their adventures and always. Proves to be a good student and applied. Success! :)

    Uno | Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

  6. Talen, learning to read Thai holds more of an attraction to me than speaking (I’m funny like that) so it’s great to hear that they’d dumped you in at the deep end. Many Thai courses stick to keroke Thai way too long.

    And oddly enough, I never thought to ask you where Talen came from. I knew you were a Tim, but Talen just seemed like a great name, no questions asked.

    Catherine | Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

  7. Typo. Keroke = karaoke.

    (comes from being up all night until 5am this morning)

    Catherine | Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

  8. Hi Talen, I read your review on Catherine’s WLT about Thai Language courses. Mine was cancelled at CMU and I’m leaving Australia in 3 weeks!!! I am liking what I have read about Pro Language schools and I think? your post just answered my question.

    I am determined, and have already started, to learn to read and write Thai. Do you think Pro Language has a balanced course? Enough reading/writing? I understand that the teachers are obviously different in Chiang Mai, but one would think that their curriculum would be the same or similar.

    Any feed back would be appreciated.

    Snap | Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

  9. Snap, The Pro Language course is very balanced. You’ll start with conversation, grammar, vocabulary and sentence structure and at some point they will introduce reading and writing depending on how the class is handling the lessons. My class has been doing very well so the teacher started us on reading and writing early.

    I’m really impressed with the teacher and I have learned a lot of Thai in a small amount of time.

    Talen | Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

  10. Cat, I’m the exact opposite, I get so much joy out of speaking especially when I’m understood :) And the way they are teaching us to read is great so it definitely holds my attention.

    Talen has been around a long time now…since 1997 or so…I like him so I’ll be keeping him around.

    Talen | Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

  11. Mike, I wish I would have concentrated on the alphabet and vowels much early. Words really start to click much better when you understand the script.

    Talen | Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

  12. Jon, you are so very right…but…we are now getting into the harder areas of the written language and I have a feeling it will be going a bit slower now.

    I think I can get a bit of the blog name written down in Thai now…I’ll have to play with it later …might look good as a reflection of the English spelling.

    Talen | Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

  13. Joe, I’m really hoping for the larger strides but am very happy with the progress I am making so far.

    Talen | Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

  14. Paul, Almost everyone thinks Talen is Welsh or Norse :P

    Talen | Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

  15. Good on you Tim, congrats.

    My efforts get stalled too many times and too often because of plenty of reasons. Wish I could break on through to the other side.

    Every time something sticks though and slowly I’m picking things up. Consistency is failing though.

    Camille | Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

  16. Hi Talen, thanks for your feedback. At this stage Pro Language is at the top of my list.

    Snap | Sep 30, 2010 | Reply

  17. Look forward to hearing about your progress.

    I’ve been threatening to get classes to speed my understanding – for one I feel it will make me dedicate more time to learning – though for ???????…though working in an office of Thais is a daily lesson in itself.

    Jon | Sep 30, 2010 | Reply

  18. Camille, I’m a procrastinator and puter offer as it were and if I don’t stick to some sort of schedule regarding learning Thai my studies would get derailed very quickly….it’s a struggle sometimes.

    Talen | Sep 30, 2010 | Reply

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