Learn Thai!


If you want to learn Thai, you need to be prepared for a few challenges. This language of southeast Asia has a unique alphabet which always makes learning another language a little more difficult. Even if you don't need to read or write and only want to focus on speaking, Thai still has a challenge for you. Much like its distant cousin Chinese, Thai uses tones, something we aren't too familiar with as native English speakers.

With that said, your own determination and willingness to engage in a new endeavor will help you achieve your goal to learn Thai. Approach it with an open mind and conquering those minor challenges will be very rewarding. Here are some ways to get started learning Thai.

Internet/Free
Thai Language and Culture
This site has extensive lessons, it's more comprehensive than sites for most languages. Audio, help with the Thai alphabet, short stories and other reading materials, cartoons and comics and links to lots of resources. This site has plenty for the beginning and intermediate student to learn Thai.

Internet/Free
L-Lingo.com
This is a great new resource for learning a variety of Asian languages, including Thai. The initial few dozen lessons are available free in your internet browser. The lessons are introduced somewhat like Rosetta Stone, along with some great extras like downloadable transcriptions and grammar, mp3 audio and a flashcard feature. There is a monthly subscription fee which is very affordable, and a downloadable desktop version if you want it. A very interesting course with great value.

Internet/Free
Transparent Language offers a free vocabulary trainer to get started learning Thai. Get your Free BYKI™ Lite download by Transparent Language

Internet/Free
FSI Thai
This site has a Thai course from the US Foreign Service available for free download. It's a little out-of-date (like most of the available FSI programs) but for free it's a great resource. The method is excellent and quite comprehensive and comes with extensive lessons with text and audio.

Book/Audio Combo/Inexpensive
Teach Yourself Thai
The longstanding Teach Yourself series seems to have a course for just about every language. It is not heavy on grammar, with lots of dialogs and everyday conversation and vocabulary. The coursebook comes with two audio cd's. It is inexpensive, practical, easy to use, and easy to find. Makes a great conplementary course along with almost any other.

Audio Only
Pimsleur Comprehensive Thai
As far as ease of use and quality of the material and method, Pimsleur is the best. You learn to speak Thai in a natural and
comfortable way. Thankfully, Pimsleur publisher Simon and Schuster recently upgraded their Thai Compact to a full 30 Lesson Comprehensive Thai course. I love the Pimsleur method and I highly recommend it for learning to speak Thai, but because of the unique Thai writing system, I also think you need additional written materials to supplement Pimsleurs all-audio course if you want to continue learning Thai beyond basic conversation. Read my more in-depth Review of Pimsleur Products.

Software

This inexpensive and downloadable software program for learning Thai is a great tool to have in your arsenal. Lots of vocabulary and phrases, dialogues, audio from native speakers, games and activities and much more to get you started on your path to learn Thai.


Additional Resources to Learn Thai

Learning Thai
This site has lots of free lessons, alphabet help, chat rooms, forums and links to other resources to help you learn Thai.

Learn Thai Podcast
You can never get enough audio when you are learning a language. Use this podcast to supplement your other learning methods, books, programs etc.

Langhub
This site has a nice collection of videos showing Thai vocabulary with an English translation and native audio. There are lots of categories, sections for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners, and sections for travelers and business.


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