Jump to content

New To Bangkok


Underbelly

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I have just moved to Bangkok a few weeks ago from Australia and plan to be hear a year or 2. I have just done a few weeks travelling around Bangkok and have been impressed with the the Thai's and my travels.

I am staying in Nongkham (I think thats how you spell it) at my mother-inlaw's house.

I want to know where there are any places that teach Thai around here, im keen to learn Thai so I can speak with communicate with my mother inlaw as we get along greatly but through my wife. Plus I think me learning Thai will let me get around easier.

So does anyone know of any places around here? Also any social activities around here which expats?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

I have just moved to Bangkok a few weeks ago from Australia and plan to be hear a year or 2. I have just done a few weeks travelling around Bangkok and have been impressed with the the Thai's and my travels.

I am staying in Nongkham (I think thats how you spell it) at my mother-inlaw's house.

I want to know where there are any places that teach Thai around here, im keen to learn Thai so I can speak with communicate with my mother inlaw as we get along greatly but through my wife. Plus I think me learning Thai will let me get around easier.

So does anyone know of any places around here? Also any social activities around here which expats?

It's not the cheapest but I took big steps in the 1:1 Berlitz program. Their approach is to sit you down for an hour or two and only speak Thai to you and you only speak Thai in return. It's a relentless approach that just gets you talking and listening - not reading from a book and having things explained in English. I've taken a few others but for me Berlitz was the best. Often I left the class with a monster headache from thinking so much and so hard but my teacher has always succeeded in pounding a little more Thai in my thick skull.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my experience make sure you learn how to READ thai script....as far as I'm concerned you cant speak and understand thai properly unless you can read the vowels, consonants and tonal characteristics of a word.

If you have the time (3 hrs/day for four weeks) then check out Unity Thai (UTL) in Times Square building. Otherwise Pro Language (also Times Square) especially if you can get Kru Eid as your teacher.

I don't agree that you need to study Thai Script if you want to speak with your in-laws. In fact NONE of the Thai language schools even teach it until module 3. The best books/CDs are by Benjawan Becker. I have a whole bunch of intro books/cds that I'll let go for a song. Send me a PM and we can arrange.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my experience make sure you learn how to READ thai script....as far as I'm concerned you cant speak and understand thai properly unless you can read the vowels, consonants and tonal characteristics of a word.

I don't agree that you need to study Thai Script if you want to speak with your in-laws.

that's not what i said.

i said you should learn to read thai script if you want to speak and understand properly.

furthermore i dont consider one to have learned a word unless you can read it aswell. those are just my standards/expectations.

99.99% of the foreigner thai speakers(many who laughingly think they are fluent) i've encountered, cant read, cant even recognise in written form the most basic of words that they speak(hello, come, no etc...), and absoutely mangle the pronunciation, mainly because they've learned phrases by ear rather than understanding each vowel and consonant that makes up the phrase.sure you can figure out what they are saying in as much as i can understand jackie chan's english.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

as you seem to be a total beginner, I would recommend to take a GROUP CLASS. it is by far more fun and more effective, as you can listen and talk to other students on the same level.

when I moved to the Kingdom of SIAM some years ago, I was eager to learn the language as soon as possible, and I signed up for a 1-1 teaching with one of the schools in the Sukhumvit area.

but the approach of teaching was crap, the teacher was crap, and she could hardly speak any english, so when I had questions, they usually remained unanswered. I skipped the course after passing 70% and then felt pissed off and didn't learn anything for the next two years. then I decided to take a GROUP class, I was lucky to have a great teacher, and now, after passing Level 1-3, I can say that I made the right decision. in the meanwhile, I learned the basics of READING Thai (learned from a FARANG who is probably the best teacher in the entire country if you want to learn READING Thai), which helped me even more with my pronunciation, as almost all transcriptions are absolutely nonsense. if you are an english native speaker (which I am not), I would even more recommend to learn to read as soon as possible, as english doesnt have the necessary vowels to properly pronounce all the 26 or so vowels the Thai language uses.

now, after going through 3 courses at 60 hours each, I feel more confident to continue my studies, even in a 1-1 teaching, cause now I know what it's all about and where I need to improve. means, I am able to tell the teacher WHAT to actually teach me, and can almost create a curriculum by myself for that purpose.

the problem with the courses in Bangkok is: many of them are 20 hours only, which is nonsense. it should be 60 hours for one course. I went to another town to get what I wanted (a 60-hours course) and I am glad I did.

oh and one thing: be patient with yourself ! dont get frustrated easily. in the beginning, limit the learning time to 2 hours daily, in case you plan to have classes monday-friday. Thai IS a difficult language to learn, and I think I can judge that as I already speak 5 other languages to a certain degree, besides my mother tongue. but once you understand the PATTERN, you are probably out of the woods.....

CHOK DEE ! :o

Edited by siam2007
Link to comment
Share on other sites

as you seem to be a total beginner, I would recommend to take a GROUP CLASS. it is by far more fun and more effective, as you can listen and talk to other students on the same level.

when I moved to the Kingdom of SIAM some years ago, I was eager to learn the language as soon as possible, and I signed up for a 1-1 teaching with one of the schools in the Sukhumvit area.

but the approach of teaching was crap, the teacher was crap, and she could hardly speak any english, so when I had questions, they usually remained unanswered. I skipped the course after passing 70% and then felt pissed off and didn't learn anything for the next two years. then I decided to take a GROUP class, I was lucky to have a great teacher, and now, after passing Level 1-3, I can say that I made the right decision. in the meanwhile, I learned the basics of READING Thai (learned from a FARANG who is probably the best teacher in the entire country if you want to learn READING Thai), which helped me even more with my pronunciation, as almost all transcriptions are absolutely nonsense. if you are an english native speaker (which I am not), I would even more recommend to learn to read as soon as possible, as english doesnt have the necessary vowels to properly pronounce all the 26 or so vowels the Thai language uses.

now, after going through 3 courses at 60 hours each, I feel more confident to continue my studies, even in a 1-1 teaching, cause now I know what it's all about and where I need to improve. means, I am able to tell the teacher WHAT to actually teach me, and can almost create a curriculum by myself for that purpose.

the problem with the courses in Bangkok is: many of them are 20 hours only, which is nonsense. it should be 60 hours for one course. I went to another town to get what I wanted (a 60-hours course) and I am glad I did.

oh and one thing: be patient with yourself ! dont get frustrated easily. in the beginning, limit the learning time to 2 hours daily, in case you plan to have classes monday-friday. Thai IS a difficult language to learn, and I think I can judge that as I already speak 5 other languages to a certain degree, besides my mother tongue. but once you understand the PATTERN, you are probably out of the woods.....

CHOK DEE ! :o

Thank you for a Great post, very interesting and informative, :D

BT :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Compared to other popular asian languages that foreigners learn, chinese and japanese, where you need to know several thousand characters to be able to read well, thai really is quite straight forward and I dont understand why more people dont make the effort to read.

It has forty-four consonants , fifteen vowel symbols that combine into at least twenty-eight vowel forms, four tone marks and 10 numeric symbols.

Not that much to have to learn really. I got to point where I could read the newspaper very quickly, I may not have understood every word, but being able to read I then could use a thai script to english dictionary to look up the word.

After an initial effort of a few months(learn 5 characters a day) , you'll never have to deal with the evils of transliterated/romanized thai again :o I know a few blokes with a huge vocabuluarys(albeit with dodgy pronunciation), put them in a situation where they have to read a thai word and they are rendered completely useless, something a few months of reading tuition effort could overcome. Also when you can read, it really opens up the culture so much more, you feel more confident and in control, you can read notices in banks and post offices, legal documents, pricing signs, menus, advertising, local newspaper articles, hidden goodies in the small print etc... so much great stuff thats out there....i dont know every word i read, i have a really good pocket electronic dictionary with standard and specialised(legal, medical etc...) vocab sets that i can just type the thai script word into when i need it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your advice, I have learned the basics like hello, good morning, exucse me, im hungry, im not hungry, im full, this is yummy plus afew other simple ones, I have a few books that come with CD's also which I go in Australia but the sentences seem to go in one ear and out the other and I forget them in 2 mins.

I have tried to ring a few uni's around where I am living but there is no courses as there is not enough people to commence a course.

I will have to find somewhere closer to the main city but I dont want to travel 1 hour a day if possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have learned the basics like hello, good morning, exucse me, im hungry, im not hungry, im full, this is yummy

So these should be easy for you then :o

สวัสดีครับ

ขอโทษ

ผมหิวข้าว

ผมอิ่มแล้ว

อร่อย

(note: thai used, not issan ie: yummy in the north east of thailand would be แซบ)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only know how to say them, not read or write

How can you say them properly if you cant read them, even the most basic words ? Answer is, you cant. Ask yourself, do you want to be competent,accurate and accomplished in the thai language or do you want to be yet another mumbling, mispronouncing, illiterate, phrase book Charlie ?

Thai is a tonal language, you have to understand the vowels and consonants to pronounce properly. Learning from transliterated texts doesn't work because the roman alphabet's vowels and consonants cant replicate all the thai vowels and consonants, let alone the tones.

Dismounting my soapbox now...please learn to read (I've been down the path, I'm not making this stuff up).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

here kiakaha, we get it

you can read thai

well done

:o

You dont get it, its not about me.

I'm not talking myself up , I am simply offering advice based upon my experience of walking this path before.

However if members of this forum would not like input, advice and accurate information from the sum of my experiences in this country(as I have offered in countless other threads aswell) , I will gladly piss off for good. Would you like this ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

here kiakaha, we get it

you can read thai

well done

:o

You dont get it, its not about me.

I'm not talking myself up , I am simply offering advice based upon my experience of walking this path before.

However if members of this forum would not like input, advice and accurate information from the sum of my experiences in this country(as I have offered in countless other threads aswell) , I will gladly piss off for good. Would you like this ?

I have only mastered very basic reading but on a regular basis if I am having trouble with a word and see it written in Thai it helps. The transliteration often causes more confusion. For instance I would take a motorcycle taxi every day to the Tipco building. I could see that wasn't getting it right because it would take them a moment to understand the destination. When I saw it in Thai ทิปโก้ I understood I was doing the "c" much to hard and it needed the softer "g" sound. Problem solved. Maybe I should have picked that up listening but I got stuck with "c" and thought my mistake was tonal.

Stuart Jay Raj who is a bit of a savant idiot on learning languages teaches a class "Cracking the Fundamentals" You get the alphabet, tone marks, and all of it in a few hours. He has a system. He speaks at some level 12+ languages and always starts with reading. Learn more stujay.blogspot.com

I made the common mistake of not starting with reading and pay for it to this day (compounded with laziness). If you're serious about learning Thai, learn to read is my recommendation. It just opens a huge window for "getting it".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ผมหิวข้าว

Or try หิวจะตายอยู่แล้ว if you really want to surprise one of your friends. They'll love that one. kiakaha's completely right. Learning to read Thai script is probably the single most important thing you can do if you want to learn Thai properly (yes, even just to speak it). It's not that hard, Thai is generally phonetic. Don't waste your time with transliteration.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ผมหิวข้าว

Or try หิวจะตายอยู่แล้ว if you really want to surprise one of your friends. They'll love that one. kiakaha's completely right. Learning to read Thai script is probably the single most important thing you can do if you want to learn Thai properly (yes, even just to speak it). It's not that hard, Thai is generally phonetic. Don't waste your time with transliteration.

Lots of people get to a point where they have loads of phrases and words under their belts, learned by ear. After about my first year in Thailand I was in that position. The hardest thing is then realising you have to go back to the start and re-learn those words from thai script all over again if you want to progress anywhere with the language.When I starting to be able to read some of the words I thought I was saying well, lets just say I was well off the mark, even with really simple words.

So if you are able to start learning to read from the outset, this will lay a fantastic foundation for yourself (as you will be free of the linguistic pollutant that is transliterated thai , haha :o )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

very good to know thai writing and reading, but

dont try to be perfect.

i do translations thai/english/finnish,

and still need to think a lot when my broken

languages are totally from the place u are sitting on.

all the luck with studying !

good site

www.thai2english.com.

helps a lot.

cheers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...