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Thread: Where to start?

  1. #11
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    Re: Where to start?

    Soulx, I understand you want to speak, but in my opinion learning the basics of Thai writing is not particularly difficult compared to being able to listen and speak. Even if you are using the transliteration to get the general idea, if you have some knowledge of reading the Thai script you will find it much easier to work out how you are supposed to pronounce the words.

    I personally think that the learningthai site is a great help to learning, but the relatively small cost of buying a book and CDs (such as Thai for Beginners) is well worth it because it will be organised in a logical progression.
    ไมค์

  2. #12
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    Re: Where to start?

    PS, you won't quite appreciate this yet, but if you were advising someone learning English would you rather they learned to read:

    Hello Soulx
    or
    เหะโล โสเล็คส์

    If you showed them the latter it would come out whith a very Thai accent. Same problem if you read:
    Sawatdee Khrab
    instead of
    สวัสดี ครับ
    ไมค์

  3. #13
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    Re: Where to start?

    That's a great visual and example, Mike!

  4. #14
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    Re: Where to start?

    Hi Soulx!

    I started this whole thing just a month or two ago (shame on me for not noting the exact day), and I started with the Manee book available on the www.learningthai.com site.

    Yes, it’s a reading book. No, the first, say, half of it isn’t too hard. Yes, it’s more than useful (for reasons Mike stated). And finally, yes, the thing has a vocab, simple sentences, and I’d say a primary school book is a much better way to “dip into” a new language, than a “Hello, my name is Jane.” “Hello, my name is Jack.” “How do you do?” kind of lecture. Of course, the latter is a good idea if you’re going, like, next week

  5. #15
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    Re: Where to start?

    Thanks for sharing that ralesk. As you say, it's good to learn thinks other than "hello, how are you?" (though that's still useful...). The other great thing about Manee is that towards the end you are getting (a small) insight into attitudes about families and children. And you may find when you get to Thailand that some aspects of the village life ring true. (Obviously not if you are visiting Bangkok, Phuket, etc...).
    ไมค์

  6. #16
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    Re: Where to start?

    Soulx,as you are from the UK like myself I advise you go to your nearest Central Library.Most of these Libraries carry 1or2 copies of the Linguaphone full learning Thai course.
    This course is not the short course but a very comprehensive course which will take you from beginner to an intermediate level without learning the Thai script.If you did want to learn the Thai script all the lessons are written in Thai aswell.
    I personally think that you need to have tapes or cd's to listen to over and over again,in the car and at home.For me this is how I gained a good grounding in the Thai Language.
    If you can get hold of this course it would be an advantage as I believe it to be a far better and a much more structured way of learning Thai than the Becker course.
    I also advise using ony 1 course as the Transliteration to English seems to be different for each course and will only confuse you.If you want to use more than 1 course at once then You really must learn to read Thai.However 1 course should be more than enough to occupy you.
    Sometimes having too many different ways of learning can be counterproductive!
    Last edited by mat; 06-01-07 at 06:18 PM.

  7. #17
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    Re: Where to start?

    It seems that for every new word or expression I learn there is a word that I forget. I finally started carrying flashcards with me and would go over and over the words and phrases. I just got sick and tired of looking the same words up in the dictionary. It's not easy but it's very rewarding.

  8. #18
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    Re: Where to start?

    Mat, you've talked before about Linguaphone. Unfortunately, I've never seen it, and the demo on the web is only for the PDQ course., and is very brief. See: http://www.linguaphone.co.uk/learn-thai-1.html

    However, I gather that David Smyth was one of the authors of at least some incarnations of the course. Is there any relationship between the version you have and Smyth's "Teach Yourself Thai"? Now that I have a moderate grasp of Thai vocabulary and grammar I'm really enjoying working carefully through Teach Yourself Thai, which has much better exercises than Thai for Beginners. Exercises that challenge you to organise your language knowledge to do something useful. E.g.: Reply to the vendor's prices (spoken in Thai) by saying that it's expensive and offer 20 baht less....

    Of course, it could do with about 10 times as many exercises.
    If the Linguaphone course is something like TYT, but with lots more detail, then it would certainly be a really good course, and Mat's advice for a serious beginner to investigate it and purchase if you liked it, sounds excellent.

    In my case, though, I think I've collected enough books to keep me going for quite a long time... I don't actually find multiple sources confusing, I find it insteresting to see slightly different ways of ordering food... As Mat points out, the main problem with multiple beginner books is that they all have different transliterations schemes. But once you can read Thai script a little this ceases to be a problem. You don't have to be good at reading for it to be helpful, if you can tell that the vowel sound is long or short, for example, that's a big help.

    I agree with ladida68 that a big challenge is learning enough vocabulary. I've attempted quite seriously to learn the vocab in Thai for Beginners, and maybe 20% has stuck. Seeing much the same vocabulary in Teach Yourself Thai and a grade 1 school book is helping to mesh it together. There is quite a lot of advice that it's better to learn vocabulary in context, rather than just memorize long lists, but I'm still struggling to get to the 500-1000 words of well-memorized vocabulary that seems to be needed to be moderately functional...
    Last edited by mikenz66; 08-01-07 at 06:53 AM.
    ไมค์

  9. #19
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    Re: Where to start?

    The Linguaphone Thai Course was written at The School Of Oriental and African Studies,University of London by Dr.Manas Chitakasem and David Smyth. They are both Lecturers in Thai at The University of London.
    I have used Teach yourself Thai by David Smyth and it is in my opinion a very short course.The Linguaphone course is fully comprehensive and consists of 40 chapters and a 2000 Thai word vocab.There are 3 books one teaches the basics of reading and writting Thai and the other 2 deal with learning to speak Thai.The cd's or tapes have the speach for each chapter and are designed in such a way as you have to play a part of one of the speakers,repeating the conversation several times.
    The 5th,15th25th and 35th chapters are Revision and the 10th,20th30th and 40th chapters are Tests.
    Do not confuse this with the short PDQ course.
    If you have only used Teach Yourself Thai,I would definately recommend purchasing the Linguaphone course.The course is available on ebay much cheaper than the Linguaphone website.
    Last edited by mat; 09-01-07 at 02:27 AM.

  10. #20
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    Re: Where to start?

    Try this : http://www.thaiprompt.com/
    maybe useful for you.

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