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How long?
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Thread: How long?

  1. #1
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    Hello,
    I am an American college student hoping to move to Thailand after graduation. I am just beginning to study Thai and I was wondering how long it took everyone to learn the language. I am trying to teach myself. Has anyone had any success? My progress has been pretty slow. Any advice would be great!
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    delawang Guest
    Start learning the alphabet right away because it takes a long time.

    Study often but for short periods. Fifteen minutes a day in the morning and Fifteen minutes a day at night are much better than an hour a day all at once. I study when I first get out of bed and I am too sleepy to do anything else.

    Get a white board and when you learn a new word or sentence structure, write it on the white board (you donít need to write the English, just the Thai). This will refresh your memory whenever you look at it.

    Numbers are hard to learn because everyone learns them in order but we never use numbers in order. When you are stuck in traffic, just read all of the license plate numbers in Thai.

    If you can afford it, get the Thai language software from Rosetta Stone. It is fun and will help with pronunciation.

    As for me, after six years I am far from fluent but I can communicate. I am self taught other than a four week advanced reading class in Chiang Mai. I tested out of all of their other classes so they put me in that one. I hope some day I can take more classes, it is much better than learning on your own.

    Now, stranded in the USA, I try to learn something new every day, and usually I succeed. Very complex ideas I have problems getting out, but I have problems in English sometimes too. People who donít know me often use big words and leave me in the dust, but my friends and family members know my limitations. I hate to tell you this, but I donít think I could have learned much in the USA. There are people who have done it, but I am not one of them

  3. #3
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    The best way to learn is to be around it, speak it, hear it....
    Don't try and learn the alphabet till you can speak somewhat... believe me a book can't teach you the proper pronounciation of a word or letter.. after you think you have learned the whole book, you go to speak and realize no one can understand you because the tone is not correct..
    This is not Spanish, your brain has to learn the tones and you have to practise it by speaking..

    Trust me,, just like nature, you learned to speak years before you learned to read and write..

    Just as delawang said, study for about 30 minutes at a day, EVERYDAY.. no more than 30 min because your brain begins to lose interest. If your serious about learning, you must do some everyday...

    My wife was born in thailand, I have been there a few times and since I have been around it quite a bit and can talk and listen to my wife on a daily basis it has been easy for me...
    Get some thai speaking tapes and get as much exposure to it as possible, you can use your books to try and understand what they are saying, repeat it and try and answer questions that they ask...

    how long has many factors, Quality, Length, learning ability.... I met a guy in thailand last time i visited and he was an exchange student that had never been there before..
    In a years time, he was mostly fluent....

    I hate to say this, but you may want to wait till you get there to start learning it, Just basic nouns, colors, numbers, etc.. are fine for now, but sentence structure and the flow of speaking can only be learned by listening and speaking (interacting)....

    The first time i went to thailand, after the first few weeks, it was just amazing once my brain started putting things together... something you can't learn from a book..

    Wow.. this got long..... anyways,,,, Have fun, and Good Luck....

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice. I'm not working or in school this summer, so I've been studying for about an hour a day. I need to get more tapes and that software would be nice, also. I'm still pretty lost as far as tone goes...it's nothing like high school french to say the least. I'm not having much of a problem with the reading/writing YET. We'll see. I think I'll have to be there to really get any idea of how the language actually functions. Thanks again!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]If you can afford it, get the Thai language software from Rosetta Stone. It is fun and will help with pronunciation.
    I've heard this was a very very good product, but it is expensive. I think It's somewhere around the $120 - $150 price range. I'd like to try it out before I shell out the cash for it (don't tell anyone but I'm a cheap charlie when it comes to buying things for my self ).

    As others have said, go there and you will learn. The first week I went there I was learing 20 new words per day with out even trying.

    Good luck
    He who laughs last thinks slowest.

  6. #6
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    I have the software if someone is interested contact me through MSN, my e-mail or my website.

    As for those studying Thai, both Delawang and myself are educated yet Thai is still not an easy matter. I too have been studying it for quite some time. I can listen, read, write and speak, but not to the point I would say I am fluent. I still get stuck on some words, those words seem to never be in the dictionary too. Spelling wow!!! That is time consuming. He is correct on the alphabet, get started early, only try to learn 8-12 letters a day. I personally put the letters on flashcards and went through them between my classes. It took less than two months to memorize the alphabet.

    A very important factor in expanding vocabulary, that is often overlooked is music. The nice thing about music is you are learning without exactly studying. If you are studying Thai, you also should be listening to Thai music to help sink deeper into the world. It is agreed that total imeersion is by far the best way to become afluent in a language and culture. So why not 'totally immerse' yourself before you are in Thailand? There are links to TV, and music and Newspapers all over these forums and on Learningthai.com
    Since light travels faster than sound, people appear bright until you hear them speak....and in every forum you will find at least one.

    When you critisize someone, walk a mile in his shoes first; then, if he gets mad, he'll be a mile away and barefoot.

  7. #7
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    Stacker, I am intrested in the software. I've added you to my MSN but you are not signed in at this moment.
    He who laughs last thinks slowest.

  8. #8
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    The music is a great idea, thanks. I would be interested in the software, also. I was looking on rosettastone.com and the listed price was $199.99. I really can't afford that. Does anyone know where I can find some Thai movies or American movies dubbed over in Thai. I've searched, but haven't come up with any that cost less than $50 or so. I'd like to be able to download some--even shorts or tv shows/commercials. Thanks for all of your help!

  9. #9
    delawang Guest
    About tones, I think we westerners make too big a deal out of this. It is just like getting an accent right. They way to do it is to mimic exactly what the other person is saying. If you do that, you will pick up the tones automatically.

    99 per cent of Americanís think people from Boston have a funny accent, and they can do a parody of a person saying ďI parked my car at Harvard YardĒ with a Boston accent and make it sound really funny. That is what you do to say tones correctly. Mimic the native speaker exactly, as if you were exaggerating their accent.

    Sounds silly but it works.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (meganb @ June 23 2004,04:44)]I was looking on rosettastone.com and the listed price was $199.99. I really can't afford that.

    Does anyone know where I can find some Thai movies or American movies dubbed over in Thai.
    Go to this page for software for learning Thai. You will see a link for the Rossetta Stone at $30 cheaper:

    http://www.thaiphrasebook.com/links.php?cat=6

    For movies in Thai language, try these links:

    American movies dubbed in Thai
    Thai movies

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