When it comes to learning easy Thai, the biggest obstacle is how to speak Thai. That is, how to speak the Thai language without sounding like a Thai phrasebook, how to speak Thai more naturally like a native speaker. One of the problems with many Thai language books is that the Thai editors or co-writers are Thai academics who feel compelled to teach the student more formal Thai, even if they claim that the language is “colloquial Thai“. The sample sentences tend to be too wordy, lack common Thai particles, and use word choices that the average Thai on the street would not use.
On the other side of the coin, we have young Western authors who have spent a few years in Thailand as English teachers or Peace Corps volunteers publishing Thai language books that include outrageous epithets, vulgar slang, and bad advice about Thai personal pronouns under the pretense of sounding cool. Well let us set the record straight. There is nothing cool about insulting Thais and getting your ass kicked (or worse) in Thailand. What is cool is having a laugh with your Thai friends, often at your own expense,
One of the benefits of using our Original Thai-English Language Cognate Dictionary & Learning Tool is that the hundreds of sample sentences we include are truly colloquial Thai (i.e. street Thai) and will help you joke with Thais without insulting them. And the book includes all of the particles that Thais so often pepper their speech with. The following is a brief excerpt from the introduction of this easy Thai language book and eBook where we offer a few tips on speaking easy Thai:
We would like to share a few things that we’ve learned over the past ten years speaking with rural Thais who rarely have heard foreigners trying to speak their mother tongue. Firstly, do not get discouraged if you have trouble with the tones of the Thai language. What is most important to being understood by Thais is not proper tones (though that surely helps) but getting your words in the right order.
Unlike English, where foreigners can mix up words and still be understood, Thais will (more often than not) look at you with confusion unless all the words are correctly situated in your sentence. This is true even if you are speaking with correct tones. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the exact order of the words in the sample sentences of this book. Speaking proper tones will come naturally as you increasingly talk and listen to Thais.
That being said, for those who don’t find speaking Thai tones an overwhelming obstacle, do try to learn them as best you can. But don’t get discouraged if mastery doesn’t happen quickly (it won’t); nor get so hung up on tones that it causes you to hesitate and stumble when speaking. In the beginning, the most important tone to recognize and speak is the falling tone, which can be mastered even by those who consider themselves tone deaf. The other tones will fall in place around it…
Add 100s of easy Thai words to your working vocabulary in only a week’s time with the Original Thai-English Language Cognate Dictionary & Learning Tool .
Or pick up the multi-platform eBook edition for your iPad, Palm Pilot, Sony Reader, Nook, iPhone, or other portable device by clicking on the following link: