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Best Thai Language Cd ?


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Yep, me again - the guy who paid for a 12 week course at Walen in 2008 and didnt go to a single lesson. :banghead:


Its time to put past indiscretions behind me and start anew. All feedback welcome.


Seriously Flashy's suggestion was the best. Go and find a Thai girl that speaks absolutely no English - get a good English/Thai dictionary and phrasebook and live with her for a few months. Ha! you'll be speaking vernacular with the best of 'em in no time - one morning I woke up and kicked a cat halfway across the road swearing very accomplishedly in Laos / Isaan without even really thinking - to the great astonishment and amusement of the local tuk tuk guys.


It's probably cheaper then buying the linguaphone course too - but that is excellent as well...

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As far as a good C/D and book combo, I think Benjawan Becker’s; Beginner Thai book WITH the C/D is a pretty solid foundation to begin to build from. (FYI: her books are "worthless as tits on a tomcat" without the C/D's). The material which is presented is done so in a logical fashion, the lessons build on one another (using previous lessons vocab in subsequent lessons), and if you work thru that beginner book, you'll have a fair grasp of how Thai "fits together", along with its differences from how English ‘fits together’.


I hafta wholeheartedly disagree with the suggestion offered out by "Flashy" and which "panadolsandwich" agreed to. Being a native speaker of ANY language does not qualify that person to teach it to non-native speakers. Every Thai in this country learned Thai by having it literally beaten into their heads by the teachers.


You could hang around Thais on the street, in the bar or with your Thai significant other until the buffalos come home and never learn much more than "2-word-tourist-thai" or "horse-peak-thai" (bar-thai for the un-enlightened). As an example of native speakers being unqualified to teach a language; look at all the "English teachers" you run into here; most of those people have no business teaching engrish to the Thais.


Another thing is; Isaan Thai or Thai/Lao has a VERY limited value as far as a useful language. Other than the "cutesy factor" there's very little 'bang-4-the-baht' in a foreigner learning anything except Bangkok Thai. Even up country in a “one buffalo village†any Thai who went to school a single day was taught the Central Thai dialect (also called Bangkok Thai), after all it's the ONLY "government approved" language here. I can only speak Bangkok Thai (with an American accent no less), yet I seem to have been universally understood by Thais from Chiang Rai to Hat Yai, Udon Thani to Surat Thani and Kanchanaburi to Chantaburi.


To the foreigners who give the same old excuses I've heard every single day the entire 6+ years I've been here of why they don't learn Thai, I can only say;

There are close to 63 MILLION Thais that appear to speak Thai just fine. Certainly they all can't be smarter than you. Maybe some of ‘em for sure, but not all of 'em

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I learned to speak Thai almost exclusively by talking to Thais (including my wife), yet I think I speak pretty decent Thai. I can hold my own in conversations with just about anybody, have had business meetings in Thai, can understand most of what goes on on TV (whenever I actually want to understand :) ), etc.


So, while native speakers are not necessarily the best teachers (certainly do not disagree on that part!) it does help a LOT to speak Thai constantly. Immersion is a great way to learn.


As for your last paragraph, while I agree that there is no real excuse to not learn Thai if you are living here, your comment is a bit 'out there'. Those 63 million Thais were tought the language when they grew up, mostly by immersion and later education. Not even remotely the same as someone trying the language at a later date.



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Welcome to the board...

Interesting first post that will probably promote a little discussion. :cool:


I'm saying nowt. :xmascheer





p.s. KS your Thai is quite good, pronunciation included. Sod it, I'll say something. "My" suggestion actually came from the Thai head of my language training programme back in 1973. Worked fine for me.






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I've been lazy and not even spent the time I should rote-learning the usual Taxi Thai phrases, and I know that without some sort of immersion all I'll ever be capable of is 'bar Thai', and I can imagine how popular that would be with your average urban Thai. To my knowledge, there are precisely 2 Thai people in this town - one is a total bitch, married to the biggest arsehole in town (way to go, Podjaman ...) and the other is a younger woman who seems to be married to one of the Chinese-Viets who runs the noodle place. I've only seen her in the paper, but she is definitely Thai - in any case, hubby wouldnt be too keen on her teaching local yokels the language. Unusually, she has the demeanour of a coolie - not sure if he slaps her around or what.


Getting back to immersion, that starts at your mother's knee - if it didnt, there would be some very backward kids in pre-school. Our German teacher always maintained that the best time to start teaching someone a new language was between the ages of 3 and 5 - 'their brains are like a sponge'. Many of the Italian and Lebanese kids I went to school with had little or no English on day one at school, but they learnt very quickly.

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I spoke German when I was that age. Later my grandmother and great gran didn't speak it as much, since they knew I understood what they were saying, and it largely slipped away. Young folks do absorb like a sponge. My old compound had a lot of UN families living there. The children were Thai, American, Japanese, Dutch and Hungarian - common language was Thai. My wife came in one day asking who that little blue eyed blonde girl was. Her Thai was perfect! I said it was the American girl.


Unfortunately, most of these multi-lingual children lose the language when they move somewhere else and never speak it again. It is a shame their parents don't have them keep it up. I know from experience that languages are taught extremely badly in US high schools and universities. The emphasis is on reading, not being able to use a language.


As to rote learning, forget it. You need to learn the grammatical structure of the language. In basic Thai that is quite easy. Once you know that, you can insert words as interchangeable parts.


You need rote learning for the numbers, nouns ... things like that. Do not try to memorise sentences.




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Sorry for the overly long first post. :surprised: On other forums I am (or was, as the case may be :closemouth: ) known for that. Also that last line in my previous post is one I tell students who’re studying Thai. I use it only to draw the parallel that there’re a LOT of people here who can speak Thai, so it’s not beyond most people if they invest the time, effort and energy to learn it.


I concur with "Flashermac" that "rote learning" is not cost effective for anything but "phrozen-phrasez" (of which there are actually quite a few in Thai). The big reason; learning from a “script†only works when the other “actor†stays “on scriptâ€. If a Thai decides to “ad-lib†their responses to your scripted speech, you can end up way over your head really fast. That’s not even factoring in the penchant for Thais to speak 110Km/h once a foreigner speaks any Thai at all. :biggrin:


I think, learning how Thai "fits together" grammar-wise and structurally is about the best way for adult learners. For me it was learning the differences between Thai and English rather than the similarities.


:topic: , but maybe of marginal value;


Most of the private Thai language schools I've "toured" here in Bangkok have close to the same entry level classes. I mean there are only so many ways you can teach new learners the Thai language (or any language for that matter). Nothing revolutionary or innovative has come down the flag-pole in a long time as far as second language acquisition. That’s due mostly to the HUGE disconnect between Theoretical Linguistics and what’s taught in the classrooms. Then again, those theoretical linguistic guys (who I refer to as "cunning linguists" <_< ) just throw theory out there and wait, so you can’t place the blame on the teachers.


Beginner classes (at all but one un-named school with a whacky methodology :banghead: ) are taught in phonetics (so foreigners don't hafta front load the time it takes to wrap their heads around 44 consonants, 32 vowel sounds, plus the consonant class & tone rules). Those schools teach meeting, greeting, asking questions, giving answers, etc. This gets a person speaking something which at least resembles Thai quite quickly. Then they can move on to the learning to read, write etc. Most foreigners take just the conversational Thai classes, although I have noticed there are more and more who are learning to read. I’ve met some foreigners who spoke pretty clear, pretty well structured Thai yet couldn’t read a single character in Thai.


Quite a few of the schools have gone to what I call a "dialog substitution based" method; where sentence structures are taught and words which can be substituted are underlined. They are replaced in the dialog with other words, allowing people to see for themselves what parts of sentences are "fixed" and which parts can be "varied" according to the specific situation. It's sort of like teaching the grammar rules without mentioning the rules at all. Foreigners who attend these types of classes seem to "get" Thai faster than other ways I’ve seen taught.


I also agree that speaking the Thai you know, to your Thai g/f, spouse, significant other can’t hurt. I’ve just never seen Thai significant others have the patience needed to teach the foreigners they’re with Thai. The “teach my foreign b/f Thai game†usually lasts about a minute or three. :rotl: ..


Thanx for sticking with my overly verbose posts, hope you find them of marginal value. :wink:

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