Thailand annually attracts more and more foreigners who go there not only as tourists but also seeking permanent residence. Both of these groups are usually curious about learning the Thai language because it will help them feel more at home in Thailand.
Thai is spoken by nearly 39 million people across 3 countries – Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. Thailand has four recognized dialects, Northern, Northeastern, Central, and Southern. In the 18th century, the Central dialect gained immense spread and is now considered the main dialect.
The main feature of the Thai language is its tonality, which gives the same word, pronounced in a different tone, completely different meanings – this can be the most difficult aspect for international students to learn.
Most Thais in tourist areas speak English, but they also have a lot of respect for those foreigners who have taken the trouble to study Thai. So without further ado, let’s discover the best way of learning Thai together!
The Thai language has the following special features:
- Words are not separated with spaces, only sentences are;
- There is no inflection in it, that is, there is no declension, conjugation;
- The function and meaning of the word determines its place in the sentence;
- Learning a word directly depends on the tone of voice. There are 5 tones in the Thai language – middle, low, falling, high and rising tone. Not only learning but pronouncing the tones is difficult.
- Most of the words are borrowings from Sanskrit, Pali, Old Khmer, Chinese, and English;
- Vocabulary is very rich – depending on the context and style of speech, concepts can be expressed in different words.
Regardless of these peculiarities, it is, of course, possible to learn the Thai language, but the process will have a number of difficulties. To get past them, we suggest that you pay attention to some expert tips on studying Thai.
Thai is not easy, but it can be learned, the same as any other language. However, you might need some help getting started. Here are our best tips on how to approach this tricky yet beautiful language efficiently.
When starting any affair (in this case, learning Thai), one needs to begin with setting a clear goal. Do you wish to be fluent? Need to learn written Thai for a job? Or maybe be able to speak a little Thai during travels? Based on your final goal you will draw up a schedule, build your own training plan, define the resources you will need, etc.
Dedicate a specific amount of time each day to study. Even if you can only learn Thai for 30 minutes a day, you will still achieve results if you will keep it. Thai is not a language you can rush – it’s very complex, demands full attention, and a thorough understanding of its rules.
Because learning Thai is so demanding, those who learn it on their own while attending university often must outsource some of their assignments just so they could keep up with their studies. If it’s the case, we recommend these good essay writing service reviews – they can pick up the slack for you, giving you that crucial extra time you can dedicate to learning Thai.
3. Find Thai friends who are native speakers.
You can meet friends from Thailand online, through various apps, or by taking language courses in Thailand. Having met new people you like spending time with will make you more motivated to overcome the language barrier that keeps you from truly knowing and understanding each other.
Use thematic word collections, textbooks, mobile apps, YouTube videos, podcasts, etc to expand your vocabulary. First, learn the words that Thai people use in speech most often, then continue with words and phrases from topics that match your interests.
Join social media communities, share links to interesting educational materials, exchange tutorials, provide advice, etc. Seeing other people learn will likely give you additional motivation to study.
6. Go deeper.
Surround yourself with the Thai language – read news, follow Thai social media channels, listen to Thai radio, etc. Language is part of both culture and history, so you should familiarize yourself with them if you want to deeply understand the language.
Visit Thailand during vacation, go on a language tour, apply to university in Thailand, get a job there, etc. Language tours are a great way of learning Thai, but they can be pretty pricey. Yet, some courses can be free of charge – but you will need to write a good essay to get picked. You can check out websites that do your homework if you want a good essay that can become your golden ticket to Thailand. If you get an opportunity like this – seize it!
Thai is not easy to study. However, you can learn it regardless of your initial level and at any age – thousands of people have already proven this. It takes time, patience, commitment, but above all – a genuine interest in Thai and a true desire to learn it. Use the advice you trust, find good educational resources, study regularly, and communicate with native speakers as often as possible. If you follow our tips, you will be able to start making real progress in learning Thai very soon!
BIO: Erica Sunarjo
Erica is a masterful writer and passionate educator. She is eager to teach her readers about linguistics and cultivate their learning skills. Erica spent several years abroad researching and contributing to the best term paper writing service, in order to apply her skills to help those who require them.
Having traveled the world, she believes that hard work and dedication won’t get people far without outside-the-box thinking and a creative approach to studying.