Quick and Easy Ways to Learn Thai


Learning Thai is a great investment as Thailand is actually one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. However, Thai has a reputation of being the most challenging language for English speakers to learn. As a matter of fact, the Foreign Service institute classifies Thai as a category IV language. This means that it is very difficult for people to master. The observed hardship of learning the Thai language is mostly due to the absence of similarities with other languages such as English or German.

After you get over the different structure of the Thai language, it is astonishingly very easy to learn. Definitely Thai has its own complications especially since it has five contrasting conversational tones. Additionally, it is a regional language which means that people in Northeast Thailand speak a very different lingo than those in Bangkok. This is why mastering Thai can be a really hard task particularly if you don’t live in Thailand. Nevertheless, with the right attitude, anyone can attain moderate fluency in Thai.


How to Learn Thai Easily


  1. Start with the basic expressions/idioms.

Most Thai natives do not speak English. However, in major cities such as Bangkok, or popular tourist areas such as Phuket, you can find natives that are fluent in English. You can avoid all these communication problems by learning some of the basic Thai phrases. For example, Thai language uses male and female word functions. Saying ‘Hello’ in Thai is ‘sawas Dee Krap’ for Men and ‘sawas dee ka’ for Women.

Generally, Thailand people are very friendly. During introductions, you can start by saying hello as ‘sawas Dee’. It is pronounced as Sawat Dee. Krap and Ka are polite words that are used to differentiate gender and create a welcoming atmosphere.


  1. Learn the Thai alphabet

This alphabet consists of 44 unique consonant letters, 15 vowels that are used to make up 28 contrasting vowel sounds and 4 diverse tone markers. It may sound complicated but it is not complex at all. You can learn the letters that are used to form common words in Thai, the sounds that they make and how they are even used in a full sentence. You can also learn the Thai alphabet by buying an alphabet poster for your own use at home. Furthermore, you can install the Thai alphabet application on your Phone (iOS and Android).


  1. Learn the Thai vocabulary

Thai language has various words, some of which sound very similar to one another. This makes it very hard specifically when the difference between the words is your tone. However, always remember that mastering Thai vocabulary only requires two things: Practice and Habit. Practice means constantly going over the most commonly used word in Thai using flashcards, storytelling etc. This will imprint the most memorable words in your mind.


  1. Learn Thai pronunciation

With five diverse tones, words that are spelled in the same manner can turn out to mean different things. It all depends with the way you pronounce them. The best way to learn how to properly pronounce is to converse with Thai speakers. In case you like to communicate with Thai speakers online, or travel to Thailand and talk to them in person, the smoothest way to learn Thai is through networking and practice.

Five Reasons Why Learning to Speak Thai Is Easy

Learning to speak Thai is quite an easy task. Thai language has five tones, ranging from slang to the Royal form. The other tones are Elegant, religious, and rhetorical. Also, the language has thirty-six vowels, forty-four constants, unique alphabets and numeral system. At first, the Thai Language might seem intimidating owing to these characteristics. However, as you will see below, the Thai Language is, in fact, easier to learn than most European Languages. Here are main reasons why learning to speak Thai is easy:


  1. Many Thai words compound to form new words

You can learn new compound words in Thai if you can decipher the meanings of individual words. Thai words compound to form new words. For example, the compound word ‘naam pla’ means fish water. ‘Naam’ means water while ‘pla’ means fish. The ease of learning Thai lies in the fact that the Language has a limited vocabulary. In languages such as English, individual words compound to form many complex words with very different meanings.


  1. Thai grammar is easy to comprehend

Thai is devoid of declensions, conjugations, and inflections, among other grammatical rules. Thai words remain the same for numbers, gender, people, and tenses. Also, the Thai language has no articles and the distinction between feminine and masculine words is unnecessary. The Thai Language uses the words ‘‘already, will, tomorrow and yesterday,’’ to show tense. In general, words are omitted in Thai if they don’t convey meanings.


  1. Thai people are patient

The Thai language Tones can be challenging for beginners. You need to know the meaning of words depending on the tone of the conversation. Once in a while, you will get yourself mixed up if you don’t use the right tone.

Fortunately, the Thai people will decipher what you mean from the context of the conversation. The word ‘maa’ in Thai has three meanings; horse, dog, and come, depending on the tone. Therefore, if you are telling someone about a ‘maa’ in a kennel, he will understand that you mean a ‘dog’. Also, the Thai people are excited when you attempt to speak their language. They will tell you ‘pood passa Thai geng ma!’ meaning ‘you speak very good Thai’ when you confuse the Thai Language tones. This disposition is encouraging to a new learner of the language.


  1. Thai has Simple Sentence Structure

The Thai Language has few rules regarding sentence structure formations. For example, the word ‘mai’ can be used to pose a question or negate a verb. ‘Mai bai’ means ‘not going’ while ‘bai mai’ means ‘are you going?’ In Thai, there are no verb conjugations as well as singularization and pluralization of nouns.

Also, words that don’t contribute to the meaning of a sentence are dropped out in most cases. In the English language for example, sentences conform to a strict ‘Subject, Verb, Order’ arrangement.


  1. Multiple uses

Thai words have multiple uses. For example, the phrase for ‘not attractive’ is ‘mai suay’, and has alternatives. The English language for instance, has numerous synonyms for words and phrases, unlike Thai. Consequently, giving descriptions in Thai is easier compared to many other Languages.

Thailand as a Tourist Destination

learn thai

Although Thailand may have first come to the attention of many people through the movie The King and I, the movie is banned in Thailand as they believe it shows their king in an untrue manner.
Thailand’s king is the world’s longest reigning monarch as he came to the throne in 1946. King Rama IX was born in the United States in 1927 whilst his father was studying medicine at Harvard and himself holds a degree in engineering from Switzerland.

He also plays the saxophone and composed Thailand’s national anthem. The king is very popular and has become almost a legend to Thais that respect him so much, they have made it illegal to step on any Thai bank notes or coins as they have his image on them.

Sex tourism has been a major industry in Thailand since the 1960 when American troops fighting in Vietnam would go there for rest and recreation (R&R), later to be referred to as I&I (Intoxication and Intercourse).

It was this influx of American soldiers that prompted the Thai government to introduce the Entertainment Places Act in 1966 which dictated police tolerance towards military prostitution. Today Thailand is a popular destination for foreign tourists from all around the world but it is a particular favorite for the British.

Although when a Brit is contemplating taking a vacation in Spain, Paris or the Rhine, they may take time to learn at last a little Spanish, French or German, when planning to visit Thailand, few bother learning any Thai. Thai, like Chinese and some other languages in Southeast Asia, is what is known as a tonal language which means that the tone with which a word is spoken is very important, so much so in fact that the same word spoken in a different tone, could have a completely new meaning.

An example of this is the word glai which, when spoken in a mid-tone, means far away whilst the same word glai written with a tonal notification ^ above the ‘a’ and spoken in a falling tone means near. If you wish to know how to learn thai then there are various resources available to you.

It may be because Thai is a tonal language that few people try to learn it which is a shame as the Thais are very proud of both their language and any foreign visitors that try to learn it.
So much so in fact that in the market places, many stalls will have special, reduced prices, for Thai speakers. With there being tonal notifications in the Thai texts, it has always been difficult to translate the Thai written word into English but even allowing for that, the Thai language may be hard for English to understand as, many of their words have no spaces between them, making them confusing.

In the Thai language the correct name for Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, is Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit which, as a word with 169 characters, is one of the longest names in the world.
Too much of a mouthful for even the Thais, it is locally referred to as its shortened version Krung Thep Maha Nakho.

Teach Yourself Thai through the Internet and Social Media Sites

A Syndacast survey recently found that social media is alive and active in Thailand. There are 30 million customer subscribers to Facebook, 26.2 million YouTube users, 4.5 million Twitter accounts, and 1.7 million users of Instagram.

When it comes to the Internet, the numbers are a bit lower, with Internet World Stats finding 55.9 % of the Thailand population active on the Internet.

What these numbers mean to you, as a student of the language Thai, is that you can help bolster your knowledge through exchange with Thai people via social media and the Internet. You can socialize and study simultaneously.

Online Sources
There are numerous amounts of free resources for learning Thai online. Some of the most popular places are www.thai-language.com and My Language Exchange. These are not the only places you can go, as a general online search will prove quite beneficial in finding free and for charge sites.

A quick search can also help you to find a study group, a tutor, a program, or a language-learning center. You should assess your needs and then see which offerings will help you have success.

Something that can prove invaluable that is no-charge is an online Thai dictionary. There should be one available that translates from your language, such as the Thai-English audio dictionary. Get one that does have the audio purposes, since hearing the words pronounced is invaluable and very necessary to language acquisition.

You may also be able to locate a Thai tutor online. The cost should be minimal, with the results being amazing. You can use the audio instruction feature to further enhance your lessons.

Make sure the money for the tutor or tutoring company is paid through a third party group or a platform and that you read the contract carefully before you commit to the tutor.

Similarly, you will be able to find many language instruction companies online. As you search, carefully read the reviews for each considered site. Lastly, make sure to take into consideration your budget before you commit to an online Thai language program of study.

Lastly, you should look online for a study abroad program to Thailand. There are many different companies advertised online. You will want to think about your budget, the length of time you want to study, and how much you wish to accomplish during the study abroad program.

Social Media
When you engage in social media for any purpose, make sure you are smart and safe. Never give away too much personal information, give money, or engage with a person who makes you feel uncomfortable.

You can, however, safely reach out to some very nice people in Thailand who can help you to learn the language. You will be amazed at how much a connection like this can help you. At the same time, your new Facebook or Instagram friend may also learn your native language. It can be a safe and reciprocal relationship that helps you to successfully acquire the Thai language.

Speaking Thai

Speaking Thai

Thailand is a popular destination with tourists and has plenty to offer them. Bangkok is the capitol of the country and as such most visitors will at least spend some of their vacation there but, some of the more popular destinations are located on Thailand’s beautiful beaches.

The country has two coastlines; one on the Andaman Sea and one on the Gulf of Thailand and both have their own somewhat unique experiences to offer a tourist. More recently Thailand’s Islands have become popular tourist destinations with them earning the name of Thailand’s Paradise Islands.

As well as having two coastlines, Thailand also shares land borders with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand had once been called Siam and has a history made famous by the movie and play “The King and I”. Although these theatrical offerings may have been fictional, the romantic and exotic setting still helped to make Thailand the popular tourist destination that it is today.

As with all major tourist destinations, many of the locals involved in the tourist industry, hotel staffs, bar keepers and taxi drivers, have learned to speak the languages of the tourist but also like many other tourist destinations, few of the visitors bother tore they start their vacation.

This means that if a visitor to Thailand were to stay only in the popular tourist areas, they can certainly get by without knowing the country’s official language, often referred to as Siamese but, if they were to venture further afield within the country, their lack of linguistic skills would equally as certainly put them at a disadvantage. In general the Thai people are very friendly but do appreciate it when a visitor at least tries to learn their language and so making an effort to do so could prove to have some significant advantages.

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages, even for those visitors that stay within the more popular areas, is that they may be able to buy things at a cheaper price. Like many other countries, it is possible to haggle over the price of many things in Thailand and being able to haggle in Thai could lead to bigger savings.

Although haggling over prices is a thing that happens in many countries, few other countries take it as seriously as Thai’s who are often known to have a special Thai speaker’s price.

There are many languages spoken in Southeast Asia and many have similarities as they have derived from the same ancient languages. For instance, more than half of the words in the Thai language, originated from Sanskrit, Pali or Old Khmer and like other languages in the area, Thai is a tonal language meaning that the same words can have different meanings, depending on what tone is used to say them.

This fact alone can put a lot of westerners off from learning the language as, even knowing some words, speaking them in the wrong tone could lead to some big mistakes. An example of this is the word glai which can mean either near or far away, depending in which tone it is spoken.