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Starting to learn Thai
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  1. #1
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    Starting to learn Thai

    I am extremley confused on how to learn thai, i know the letters but not what they mean. For example if you write a random sentence I can pick out one or two of the letters, but i dont know what they mean.
    Mainly what i am confused about is for example if you want to spell "apple" what letters would you use, because i dont know if the thai letters are matched to english letters, or you just have to learn each individual thing in thai an memorize it. I am just confused and dont really know where to start learning thai.
    Another thing that confuses me are the vowels and they take one letter, and then add a vowel, and it changes sound.
    Another thing is that each letter has a meaning like Gor Gai means chicken, and the rest of the consonants have an individual meaning. So how would you spell words when each letter means egg or bottle? I am just confused on mainly the letters and vowels.
    So can anyone help me with that?

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    Re: Starting to learn Thai

    """So how would you spell words when each letter means egg or bottle?"""
    dun confuse y0urself with the bottle and eggs..! LOL


    gor gai doesn't mean chicken , gai does..
    when this is recited, it stresses the gor () used when gai () is spelled..
    of course many other words also have gor..
    same as A for apple and u may ask:"why not A for Automotive..??!"

    same goes for y0ur bottles and eggs...
    just to highlight that they are the (this consonant is obselete) found the in word "bottle" and spelled in egg.

    y0ur picking out of letters in sentences is absolutely nothing useful..
    prob start recognising words from letters..then u can understand sentences fr0m words..

    a few consonants can be found in vowels
    stujay explains this interestingly enuf..

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ht64qNz-DMo&feature=channel_page"]YouTube - Cracking Thai Fundamentals with Polyglot Stuart Jay Raj - Vowel Handsigns 1of 2[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ht64qNz-DMo&feature=channel_page"]YouTube - Cracking Thai Fundamentals with Polyglot Stuart Jay Raj - Vowel Handsigns 1of 2[/ame]

    i learnt myself the vowels from this page..hope u find it useful..

    http://www.thaigoodview.com/library/.../sec02p01.html

    Consonants would be here:
    have fun dude...
    http://www.thaigoodview.com/library/.../sec01p00.html

  3. #3
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    Re: Starting to learn Thai

    Quote Originally Posted by marzattacks View Post
    Another thing that confuses me are the vowels and they take one letter, and then add a vowel, and it changes sound.
    Like o and u added together changing the sound to ou as in sound...

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    Re: Starting to learn Thai

    Quote Originally Posted by marzattacks View Post
    I am extremley confused on how to learn thai, i know the letters but not what they mean.
    Thai uses an alphabet like we do. It just has more Ks, Ts, Ss and Ps than our alphabet does. Thai language also puts vowels together to make complex vowel sounds.

    You just havve to learn a bigger alphabet and learn the vowel sounds.

    If you go to the Learn Thai pages in this forum, you will find "learn to read Thai with Manee and friends." You can learn to read the same way all of your Thai friends did. It's the best way.
    You can read blogs about Thailand at - www.Thai-Blogs.com

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    Re: Starting to learn Thai

    i think to memorise the consonants and vowels and tone rules 1st before embarking with Manee and his friends...

    otherwise, it's almost impossible to understand the infrastructure..

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    Re: Starting to learn Thai

    marzattacks: Another thing is that each letter has a meaning like Gor Gai means chicken, and the rest of the consonants have an individual meaning. So how would you spell words when each letter means egg or bottle? I
    We do that, too, in English... just as alvinkoo hinted. Remember in kindergarten.. A is for Apple B is for Boy C is for Cat and on and on. Often teachers had pictures of the symbol at the front of the room. In Thai this is done because sometimes there are multiple letters (as billk mentioend) with the same sound.

    Gor Gai
    Gor is the sound of the letter
    Gai is the helpful reminder word, chicken -- not necessary to know, but also helpful because you've just learned a word.

    Mainly what i am confused about is for example if you want to spell "apple" what letters would you use, because i dont know if the thai letters are matched to english letters, or you just have to learn each individual thing in thai an memorize it. I am just confused and dont really know where to start learning thai.
    This is a little trickier because the word you randomly chose "apple" is a loan word in Thai, so it sounds nearly the same as in English. Pause for a moment and let's choose another fruit. How about Watermelon. The Thai word for Watermelon is not "Watermelon"....so you do not go searching through the Thai letters looking for a W-a-t-e-r-m-e-l-o-n. Instead, this is language learning, so you have to learn what the word in Thai is for watermelon. It has sounds like dtaeng moe (phonetics are never accurate, so pardon on my attempt). From that Thai word and sounds, then it is a bit easier...once you know the Thai letters to follow the phonetic rules and learn that this is how you spell watermelon: ᵧ

    It's a bit confusing at first, but with practice you'll start to break the code.

  7. #7
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    Re: Starting to learn Thai

    > i think to memorise the consonants and vowels and tone rules 1st before embarking with Manee and his friends...

    I know these points are often contested, but personally I think
    - it is easier to plunge into reading and pick up some of the not so frequent letters as you go along. the Thai alphabet tends to have the most useful letters at the end and almost all the rarely used ones towards the beginning. also, first I would (and did) learn simple consonants like before trying to crack the most complex ones. children learn to read Thai like this, too. some of the complex ones are really "heavy" visually and it takes months to get used to them.
    - many people I know have no idea about the tone rules, but they understand what they are reading and apply the tones from recognising the meaning of the words. this is what children do, too. they don't learn rules in the first few grades, they memorise the spelling of words. I think tone rules are very, very difficult. so many things to keep in mind at the same time. it gets easier when you get the hang of the spoken language, too, when you learn which tone is "natural" for certain consonants. it may be worth a try for analytical people, but approaching reading through memorising the tone rules is not the way for everyone. I have seen people give up reading Thai because they tried to master the tone rules first.

    you don't need to master all the strokes on dry land before plunging into a pool. you learn swimming while you are in the pool.

    that's just my experience, I know different people have different strategies.

  8. #8
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    Re: Starting to learn Thai

    this is what children do, too. they don't learn rules in the first few grades, they memorise the spelling of words.
    ...but one important thing they do is learn the consonants by class quite early on. I think at ͹غ (Betti help me here), right? Knowing the classes at a natural level will help considerably when tones are introduced. If I remember correctly, tones came in towards the end of our . books....and they are spelled out as rules.

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    Re: Starting to learn Thai

    Quote Originally Posted by Betti View Post
    > i think to memorise the consonants and vowels and tone rules 1st before embarking with Manee and his friends...

    I know these points are often contested, but personally I think
    - it is easier to plunge into reading and pick up some of the not so frequent letters as you go along. the Thai alphabet tends to have the most useful letters at the end and almost all the rarely used ones towards the beginning. also, first I would (and did) learn simple consonants like before trying to crack the most complex ones. children learn to read Thai like this, too. some of the complex ones are really "heavy" visually and it takes months to get used to them.
    - many people I know have no idea about the tone rules, but they understand what they are reading and apply the tones from recognising the meaning of the words. this is what children do, too. they don't learn rules in the first few grades, they memorise the spelling of words. I think tone rules are very, very difficult. so many things to keep in mind at the same time. it gets easier when you get the hang of the spoken language, too, when you learn which tone is "natural" for certain consonants. it may be worth a try for analytical people, but approaching reading through memorising the tone rules is not the way for everyone. I have seen people give up reading Thai because they tried to master the tone rules first.

    you don't need to master all the strokes on dry land before plunging into a pool. you learn swimming while you are in the pool.

    that's just my experience, I know different people have different strategies.
    yeah, have to agree on the uncommon consonants and the tone rules..too taxing for some people..now i felt like i wasted time on the rare consonants, hahaha

  10. #10
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    Re: Starting to learn Thai

    Pailin, I don't know about P1 but they don't learn the consonant classes in Anuban 3 for sure. what they learn is saying the sound of each letter (not their full names) with the appropriate tone and the rest seems to follow from there. they are gradually picking it up with their ears and there is a fair bit or correction going on when they are doing their individual practice but I never hear rules being spelled out.

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