There must be some reason why some people can learn the Thai language like it’s second nature. They also seem to be able to learn Thai quickly too, as if no real effort is required on their part. Why is this? Well, let’s take a deeper look into learning Thai and see if we can find out the secrets…
Firstly you might think that just by coming to Thailand you would automatically learn Thai quickly. Actually no. Out of all the hundreds of western people who I’ve met living in Thailand over the years, only a tiny handful of them could speak Thai. Obviously just being in Thailand doesn’t automatically give you mastery over the Thai language. 🙂
So what is it then? How does one get to learn Thai easily?
1. Well, you know when you want to get good at something you need to practice, right? It’s the same with learning Thai. To get good at it you need to practice and then practice even more. Buy yourself a Thai language book, keep it with you, and use it often. When it looks a sight for sore eyes, I’ll know you’ve been using it!
2. Take a simple Thai phrase or sentence and master it. Use that sentence as much as possible. What you’ll find is that you can build on this… Here’s an example. If you learn how to say “Hi, my name is so and so,” then after a while you’ll get the hang of saying “my name is so and so, and what’s your name?”
See how you can expand on a simple sentence like that? Before you know it you’ll have wonderfully long Thai sentences popping out of your mouth and the folks around you smiling in disbelief!
3. Don’t worry too much about the tones when you’re first starting to learn Thai. Focus instead on getting the word sounding approximately right. (The Thai’s will happily correct you anyway!) Working the different tones can come later. Write down how the words ‘sounds’ to you. For example: the word ‘bedroom’ can be written like this… “hong non.” This will help you memorize the words better.
So there you go. In a nutshell that’s how you can start to learn Thai. Obviously there’s a lot more to it! But that’ll get you on track to start speaking some basic Thai conversation. Sa-wat-di-krap!
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