Learning to Speak Thai
If you are looking to spend any prolonged amount of time in Thailand, learning & Speaking Thai is a great advantage. Whether you are trying to communicate with a market vendor in order to get a good deal, trying to sweet talk a bar girl or just trying to be taken seriously, learning Thai is a fantastic skill to have and it will stand you in good stead.
According to www.businessinsider.com Thai is a medium difficulty language to learn for native English speakers. Taking roughly 1,110 class hours (about a year’s worth of classes) to gain proficiency. The benefit for many of the expats and long term visitors of Pattaya is immersion. Just spending time surrounded by Thai natives can have you speaking basic Thai in a couple of months. You will still need to go to classes to learn your grammar and pronunciation.
You have a few options to go about learning Thai- Sign up to one of the many Thai language schools in Pattaya, learn through one of the mail order courses like Rosetta Stone, download one of the Thai audiobook courses or you can sign up online. Many of the online courses are free and very simple to use such as www.thaipod101.com. It is important to remember that a good course should come with an audio part, so you can hear the numerous tones and sounds that make Thai difficult to English/European speakers.
Rosetta Stone have currently discontinued any new online courses for learning Thai, but Volume 1 and Volume 2 of Rosetta Stone learning Thai Books are still available to buy online from stores like Amazon and 3rd party distributors like MultiLingualBooks.com
It is important to remember that learning Thai should be fun! If you find one particular way isn’t working for you and you aren’t getting much out of it, try a different method. As you are learning Thai it is important to use your new found phrases in the real world. Don’t worry about sounding funny, Thais may smile if you mispronunciate a word but they will be very appreciative.
Places like markets and shops are the perfect place to go and practice your Thai.
Useful Thai Phrases
NB: like many languages all phrases are either masculine or feminine. In Thailand all speech is affixed with the masculine (krâhp) or feminine (kâ).
|How Are You?||Sà-baai dee rĕu?|
|What is your name?||Kun chêu a-rai|
|My name is…||Pŏm chêu (m) dì-chăn chêu (f)|
|How much is that?||Nan tâo rài?|
|Where is the toilet?||Hông náam yòo têe năi|
|Sorry I don’t speak Thai||chăn pôot tai mâi bpen|
|I don’t understand||mâi khâo jai|
|How do you say … in Thai?||paasăa tai … pôot wâa yàang-rai?|
|Can I have the bill?||kŏr doo bin nòi|
|Very drunk||maò mak|