Some Tips To Help You Learn To Speak Thai

Learning a foreign language is always a challenging, but exciting and rewarding undertaking, it gives you the chance to communicate with literally millions more people in their native tongue, building greater understanding as you make friends or do business in your target culture or country. Learning to speak Thai is one of the most rewarding language choices you can make, the Thai people love to hear foreigners use their language, and will eagerly assist you in your studies!

The Thai language is relatively easy to learn in some ways, and a bit difficult in others, especially when it comes to hearing and producing the tones that can change a word’s meaning in profound ways. Case in point: the word Kịl for ‘far’, and Kıl̂ for ‘near’, it can be a bit of a trick hearing the difference, and can present a real problem when trying to tell the Bangkok taxi where you need to go! The best way to get started is to begin learning Thai language at a language school where you can receive expert instruction, then you can build on what you learn from there!

Here are a few tips to help you in your journey toward Thai fluency!

Live In Thailand! – This may sound obvious, but if it’s possible for you to do so, there is no better incentive to learn than being in a country that’s full of the people you want to talk to! Every time you step out your door you will be immersed in Thai culture and opportunities to practice await you around every corner as you go about your daily business! Saying good morning to your neighbour, buying a snack from a street food vendor, catching the bus, and doing your shopping, all of these are excellent chances to build and hone your Thai language abilities with friendly people who love to help you!

Master The Sounds – As we touched upon earlier, the Thai language is tonal in nature and it takes a good ear to catch them, and a bit of practice to reproduce them with your mouth. Start by memorizing pairs like near and far, or groups of similar words. The word for dog and horse both sound about the same to the untrained ear, ‘mah’, but the tone changes the meaning, so you need to be able to tell the difference and reproduce those sounds yourself! Plus, it’s a good way to increase your vocabulary list.

Vocabulary And Sentences – Making a vocabulary list is just a part of the equation, it’s best to learn some short, often-used sentence structures that you can plug your vocabulary into. This will be a big step for you on your journey toward fluency because you will be able to hold brief conversations on basic topics, giving you a foundation to build more complex sentence structures on. For example, “Will it be hot today?” can also be changed to “Will it be cool today?”. Then try it with “rainy”, “cloudy”, “windy”, etc.

The Thai Government actively promotes learning the Thai language and works with various projects and institutions to implement that goal. We wish you great fortune in your endeavour to learn the Thai language, chokh dī khrap!

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