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Did you try to learn Thai? How did you get on? How old were you? Was it worth it? Regrets?


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Guest Isaanlife

I know a little Thai, however, what I needed to know and concentrate on was Isaan language.

 

There is really nothing I have found out there, the one or 2 books are not to my liking.

 

So I started with the 5 W's. The who, what, where, why, how and when. What are you doing? Where have you been? Where are you going? What do you want to eat?

 

I would learn how to ask a question. My wife would repeat this over and over and I would write them down in my notebook in English the way I thought they sounded.

 

So far so good. Then learn some answers to basic questions. If you are going to ask a question you need to understand the answer.

 

Then slowly take words of things I know I will use and need to know, take a few a week and learn them. She would always ask me in Isaan so I got use to hearing it.

 

The Isaan word for no is Baw and it sounds like bawe like b and awe

 

Baw Me - Don't have

 

Baw Hai - Not giving to you

 

Baw Sep - Not delicious

 

Baw Mak - I don't like it

 

Baw Ow - I don't want it

 

Baw Sirr - Not buying

 

Baw Who - Don't know (use this alot!)

 

Baw Ma - Not coming

 

Baw Bpai- Not going

 

So you learn a lot of things just from using one word like Baw.

 

All you language experts, save your snarky comments. This is the way I learned for MYSELF and with my wife's help. Nothing more that that.

 

At least when I go out and about I can talk to the family and local folks and not be a complete idiot!

 

The hardest thing with Isaan is how fast they speak. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Positive responses so far. 

Hoping I will get a " I came here at 50 something and with some effort can now speak a boy's to inspire me. Lol

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12 minutes ago, Airalee said:

This.

 

You will find that If you can speak Thai, it is like kryptonite to the scammers and many of them will avoid you because “Farang roo mak mai dee” (Farang who knows too much isn’t good). I consider that a good thing.  Decent, honest women will appreciate that you make an attempt to learn their language.

Your idea that Thai people appreciate...SO VERY MUCH....the farang who deign to learn Thai....is just too quaint an idea.

 

It's like.... Oh!  Do you see???  This Western god has deigned to learn our local language, and so we wish to bow down to him for his kindness and caring of our lowly language and culture.

 

Sure, some Guide Books do say that...if you learn the local language....then you might get more undeserved respect from locals.

 

But, really, friends....

THIS is NOT why you would want to learn a language.

This should not be your principal motivation.

 

IF you love learning languages...then learn and enjoy the experience of learning.

 

But do not do it for any purpose other than you just love language.

 

As we all know, we are separated from other apes, such as chimps, bonobos, and gorillas, not by our sexual prowess or proclivities, but as a result of our evolutionary gift of a highly developed ability which makes language possible, and inevitable.

 

As you know, Chomsky does not know why Chimpsky does not have real language, and why only we do.

 

I love Chomsky.

I also once loved Chimpsky.

 

But, Washoe was a drag.

 

Here is a photo of Washoe...learning passa Thai.

 

Total failure.

 

 

chimp.jpg.7bd19d4f5fd6c103917a8aaf0aeaeaeb.jpg

 

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I speak thai and khmer too.My exwife from surin learned me.It took about 5-6 years.Our kids just speak thai.Me and my new lady just speak thai with echoher.Its good to talk with her family means parents..kids and sister.My new lady speak english but i have to learn her some things she dont know the meaning of.I learned speaking first because i stayed in a small village in surin.So i listen langue everyday.My exwife start just speak thai to me and explained in english.I learned new words everyday.If i speak he wrong tone she corrected me.I think its much easier if u stay with people who speak thai around u on a daily bases.Good luck..ur not to old for learning and dont give up.

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Guest Isaanlife
1 hour ago, OneMoreFarang said:

I think it's great that you put in the effort. But do you think it's a good idea to learn some dialect instead of Thai?

What if you go to a city and try to speak with the people in that city? Or if you try to speak with officials (even a few words)? Will they appreciate your local dialect?

And what about if your relationship ends for whatever reason? Do you want to stay in that village/region? Or do you want to be more flexible? And then meet another woman with another local dialect? 

No plans to go to any cities and speak with anyone. Haven't for years and years. I can speak enough Thai to get around and get something to eat.

 

I don't "what if's" with relationships. We have been together a long, long time.

 

The life I chose and 100% happy with wife and family. No stress, peace and quiet, no city foolishness to deal with. Way out in the woods!

 

My life is in Isaan and I will die in Isaan. Family is all I need to communicate with and the local folk.

 

Anywhere we go on holiday they can speak English.

 

It was the choice I made to learn exactly what I wanted to learn.

 

I get a lot respect speaking Isaan.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Isaanlife said:

No plans to go to any cities and speak with anyone. Haven't for years and years. I can speak enough Thai to get around and get something to eat.

 

I don't "what if's" with relationships. We have been together a long, long time.

 

The life I chose and 100% happy with wife and family. No stress, peace and quiet, no city foolishness to deal with. Way out in the woods!

 

My life is in Isaan and I will die in Isaan. Family is all I need to communicate with and the local folk.

 

Anywhere we go on holiday they can speak English.

 

It was the choice I made to learn exactly what I wanted to learn.

 

I get a lot respect speaking Isaan.

 

 

Wow.

 

WAY out in the woods, you say?

 

I am VERY envious of you.

 

I have been dreaming about this for years.

 

(I want some place quiet:  Only Birds allowed, and no other noise.)

 

I have never travelled to Isaan, but I have heard many good things about this place.

 

 

Out in the Woods...

Is where I want to be, too....

 

 

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44 minutes ago, GammaGlobulin said:

Obviously, the OP wishes an honest and considered reply to his post, and so, ....  here goes:

 

aa. There are no good studies showing whether or not one's L2 language learning ability markedly decreases after any given age, once one has reached the age of 50.

 

bb. Still, verbal ability seems to remain fairly resilient even to our eighth decade, as seen from this graph.

 

1603024202_aging_and_cogntive_decline(1).jpg.e1559046ede3ae5b3e4926d789169648.jpg

 

cc.  Therefore, you might ask what is the most important factor which predicts success in learning an L2 language.

 

Indeed, the most important factor is MOTIVATION.

 

You need not worry overly much about age as predictor for success in your language learning endeavor, such as your wish to learn passa Thai.

 

IF you have enough motivation, and IF you can sustain this motivation, consistently, day after day, with few breaks between your Thai-language studies and your golfing, then you WILL learn Thai to a fairly good level, without doubt.

 

You will be able to listen-and-comprehend, speak, and also write passa Thai at a very decent level, after several years of dedicated study.

 

When one is young, some say that it might require about 7 years of constant study in order to become fairly fluent in an L2 or L3 language. However, when one reaches the age of 60, for example, becoming fluent in a new language is probably not in the cards, unless you expect to live to the ripe old age of 95, which is probably also not in the cards for most of us.

 

The best you can hope for is to speak and comprehend quite well, which should be good enough for you.  And, your being 53 puts you in a very good position to become fairly fluent by age 60.

 

Just remember that you must sustain your motivation over an extended period of time in order to reach your intended language- learning goal.

 

dd.  But why, one should ask, do I really want to expend so much effort in order to learn a language which is spoken by so relatively few, compared to other languages???

 

The answer is:

 

1.  Thai is a very beautiful language.

2.  Thai script is rounded, and there are no sharp angles in it.

3.  Learning passa Thai is unique among languages in that learning passa Thai can help to ward off dementia. (I know this is somewhat true from my own experience.)

4. Learning Thai is fun.  And, it is cool.

 

Also, after you are able to read passa Thai, then....all the writing on billboards you see, while walking along the streets, will seem less threatening.

 

ee.  So.  You are only 53?

 

You are still young.

You are the perfect age for learning the Thai language, both written and spoken.

 

=======

 

You asked a question, and.....

If you are not entirely satisfied with this reply, 

Please let me know.

 

Best of Luck to you in finding your best strategy to learn a new language!

Fantastic post! Thanks

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2 hours ago, CharlieH said:

Very simply, it depends where you spend the majority of your time.

That said, if you are on your own its invaluable so as to know exactly whats going on around you.

If you have a Thai in tow most of the time, they will talk to her and you will feel invisible whether you speak it or not.

 

Get Google translate on your phone and that will help in some situations , but you really should try to get atleast one word or phrase everyday and build on that.

Reading your good comment, I immediately thought of this well-known account....

 

 9780313334658.jpg.3e0bd4a414cb357787e94f50cbacf7a8.jpg

 

Being invisible is a hard row to hoe.

Especially, for an extended amount of time.

Edited by GammaGlobulin
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I would say one of the first things to learn, is to count that helps a lot,

I used to write down 5 words a day and if I was driving I would have it on the dashboard so I could see it,

 

The 5 words I used to pick would be things I would be doing everyday

Make a list,

Numbers

Colours

House

Car

Cat 

Dog

I think everybody goes to the shop at least once a day, like me I buy a packet of cigarettes or a bottle of milk, learn to ask in thai   

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I realized I had to start learning Thai from day one. First was with pricing. T-shirts, street food. Few of such vendors speak English. You know what I've seen many farangs do? Hand over some bills and hope that's the correct amount. And they wonder what they get ripped off.

 

Next was with my soi name/number, address number, and left or right. Coming home at 4 am totally blitzed, the last thing you want is the taxi driver dumping you in the middle of nowhere. I quickly learned I'd better be able to give him some idea of where I stayed. I didn't come home with someone to help me every night. 😉

 

Then when I soon found that special lady, seeing how receptive she was to my learning Thai was key. I've seen the many farangs with their ladies who absolutely don't care, or make an effort at them not learning Thai. Then if you marry her as I did, see how her parents are with speaking to you. Can you practice Thai with them, and are they happy to see you trying? Or do they just ignore you? That's a big part of the deal.

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OK...

 

First, it is a really nice thing to see, the fact that there are still some old guys here who are up for learning passa Thai, in order to improve both their brains, and also their wellbeing as they gradually acclimate to their new home in Thailand.

 

Also, I am happy to see that this thread has NOT been moved to the "language" forum, where it would probably remain unseen and unappreciated by most of us who lurk on this Pub Forum for people past their prime, like Miss Jean Brodie. (And, if you are too young to know Jean Brodie, then I really don't want to know you, either.)

 

So, anyway, for those guys who are really breaking their backs, by learning 5 words of Thai, while driving their cars in Thai traffic, I can only wonder why.

 

I really feel sorry for this gang, this bunch, who will never make good progress without a far better strategy than learning the words for cats and dogs, while driving to Seven.

 

Seriously, now....

 

aa.  There is a tried and true app, a proven app, which is probably the best you will ever find, for memorization of vocabulary.  This app is also used by Med Students for courses in anatomy, which is one of the most challenging courses known to Man.

 

bb.  This app is also highly recommended by a PhD researcher from NZland, Averil COXHEAD.  Anyone who is anyone in the linguistics sphere, knows her.  She is GREAT!

 

cc. Anyway, COXHEAD agrees with me that the app, ANKI, is the best for you, if you really want to learn a new language....FAST.

 

dd.  The app ANKI is very well maintained by a wonderful person who lives in Japan.  I have been using ANKI for almost a decade, and I consider this app to be god's gift to students who need to memorize almost anything.  Truly, this app is a great contribution to the society of students, young and old, who need to memorize almost anything.

 

ee.  So now, I will post this link for you here.  And, I just hope that doing so will be kosher:   https://apps.ankiweb.net/

 

ff.  If you want to learn an L2, and you want to learn it faster than otherwise possible....  Then.....  Download  ANKI...  and use it religiously.

 

I have NO skin in the game of the ANKI app.

 

The ANKI person who maintains this app seems to be a super nice person who truly cares about what he does, and he has provided invaluable help to many students around the world, helping them to memorize much more than they thought they could, and in a faster and more efficient way.

 

gg.  So, it's up to you.  Download ANKI, download a few books, then go for it.

 

hh.  I have forgotten the name of the most helpful Thai-language primer I ever used, a book I read long ago.  But, no matter, because this is not the Thaivisa Language Forum....is it?

 

The only thing to remember, if you want to learn vocabulary more quickly.... is to download and use ANKI.

 

Just be aware that ANKI can have a rather steep learning curve if you might wish to customize it, or change its basic function.

 

So Solly for this far too-brief addendum.

 

Just remember what I imagine that Coxhead would tell you...which is..... mastery of vocabulary is crucial for effective language study.

 

Some day, maybe, no one will speak a foreign language, and everybody will speak the language most of use know as the Lingua Franca.

 

I have spent many years learning Lingua Franca.

Lingua Franca is one of the most difficult languages, and even more difficult than passa Thai.

 

Still, Lingua Franca can be learned gradually, word by word, if one has the will and the time.

 

Such a great language, Lingua Franca, because it rolls off the tongue like almost no other language.

 

Nobody is too old to learn a new language!

Fear Not!

Edited by GammaGlobulin
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I like to stay in my mind, and not be disturbed when living in Isan. I understand some thai, but it is easy to misunderstand, and use alot of time and energy just listening on conversations that really is not of any interest at all. But if you are a very social person, and enjoy chit chats, you should do it, but for me, I enjoy my time alone with myself. My gf have solid english language, so we can talk, and I manage to do my shopping and order food along the road when Im travelling alone out in the districts. So you do not need to learn, but if you feel you need, then you should. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, GammaGlobulin said:

I have never travelled to Isaan, but I have heard many good things about this place.

Harvest time on the na (farm), out here in Issan (the Northeast). Last month was the khao (rice), now it's the namta (sugar). Many ma (dogs) running about, supervising the harvest. They're otherwise not of much help.

 

Similarly, many returned bargirls from BKK/Patts could be doing this work, instead of leaving it up to their 50-something parents and 70-something grandparents. Alas, they're ki-kiet (lazy) and glued to the torasap (phone).

harvest.jpg

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To the title .... try ... NO

 

To the OP ... "will I be having better quality relationships if I'm speaking thai?"

Oh hell yea, and you'll avoid the whole P4P that most seem to live on.  Pay for it, nah, that's completely unnecessary, unless really fat & ugly.

 

Picked up enough to get by on my own, and if on my own, would pick up and learn a bit more, but find it unnecessary.  

 

With newer translation apps, it's completely unnecessary, for any language, though learning would be convenient.  Simply too lazy and no need to now.

 

Edited by KhunLA
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Guest Isaanlife
4 hours ago, GammaGlobulin said:

Wow.

 

WAY out in the woods, you say?

 

I am VERY envious of you.

 

I have been dreaming about this for years.

 

(I want some place quiet:  Only Birds allowed, and no other noise.)

 

I have never travelled to Isaan, but I have heard many good things about this place.

 

 

Out in the Woods...

Is where I want to be, too....

 

 

This is a true story.

 

There are  hardly any, if any birds at all.

 

The villagers are so poor they will kill and eat anything that moves!

 

It's party time when they catch some rice rats!

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Guest Isaanlife
4 hours ago, GammaGlobulin said:

Wow.

 

WAY out in the woods, you say?

 

I am VERY envious of you.

 

I have been dreaming about this for years.

 

(I want some place quiet:  Only Birds allowed, and no other noise.)

 

I have never travelled to Isaan, but I have heard many good things about this place.

 

 

Out in the Woods...

Is where I want to be, too....

 

 

This is a true story.

 

There are  hardly any, if any birds at all.

 

The villagers are so poor they will kill and eat anything that moves!

 

It's party time when they catch some rice rats!

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