Learning to speak Thai is not as difficult as some people seem to think. There are many ways to learn how to speak Thai language. If you are in Thailand then the language acqusition is much easier because you are immersed in the native language.
Learn Thai From Thai People
If you are not living in or visiting Thailand then the next best way to listen to Thai native speakers and learn the correct pronunciation is to acquire some professionally produced audio that features Thai native speakers.
Thai is a tonal language. Many words change their meaning just by the use of a higher, lower, medium or no tone at all. It is important to listen to the tones spoken by native Thai speakers.
When I first began learning to speak Thai I had so much fun learning Thai with Thai people.
Learn Thai Tourist Language
During the time I first visited Thailand as a tourist I learned some useful phrases like “Could you say that again please?”
With that phrase you can ask Thai people to repeat words or phrases so that you can listen to the language again and try to remember the correct pronunciation.
You also have the chance to practice your Thai and build up your confidence.
"How Much Is This?" and Counting in Thai
Notice the word "KRAHP" at the end of the sentence? That makes the speaker sound polite. Men say "KRAHP" and women say "KA" at the end of a sentence.
NEUNG, SONG, SAM…. = one, two, three…
You could go to the markets to practice counting and asking how much things are.
This is how you could conduct your own lesson. You can just ask how much, listen to the answer then repeat it. You will discover if you repeat the answer with the wrong pronunciation then the Thai vendor will say it again.
Listen carefully to the vendor's response. You can repeat the number and the Thai vendor will repeat it until you get it right. This is an organic classroom. I learned the Thai words for all the vegetables that I liked. I took that to the market too. At home before I went to the TALARD (market) I got my Thai neighbor to help me with a new phrase.
You can approach any vendor who obviously doesn't sell the vegetable and ask where to buy it. You should listen carefully to the response.
Usually you will not get a very long sentence to digest, just a few words. The vendor's response could be any one of these four as displayed in the table below.
|at the front||ที่หน้า||TEE NAH|
|at the back||ที่หลัง||TEE LUNG|
|here not sell||วันพฤหัสฯ||TEE NEE MY KY|
If you are given a response you have never heard before then you could use your well-rehearsed phrase “Could you say that again please?”
CHEW-AY POOD IG KLUNG NUENG DY MAI (This is another way of saying it).
Usually I would write the answer to this question in my red notebook using my own phonetics. On returning home I would repeat the Thai phrase to my neighbor, or girlfriend if I had one at the time. We would pan through the Thai phrase book looking for an English translation of the phrase.
The Thai markets are a great resource for learning the basic street Thai. The language you acquire would get you by in basic shopping situations. In order to get the pronunciation right from the start it is important to listen to Thai speakers .
Thai Night Life Language Learning Adventure
Thai bar girls can also teach you to speak Thai. Some of the girls are up to it but some would prefer you to remain a dummy. Download a copy of the Pattaya Bar Girls Report and you will understand why. The bars most suitable for language acquisition are the indoor short time bars. You usually won’t have to compete with loud music because the indoor bars have private areas, and the girls are more laid back.
It can be a load of fun especially if you employ the Total Physical Response (TPR) method.
When employing TPR you must engage in the action of a verb as you speak the word. Hold her hand as you say “hold”.
Squeeze her arm as you say "squeeze",
"kiss" oooOOh getting a bit close. Then the adverbs "lightly", "touch lightly", "squeeze tightly " etc. Get the idea?
Have her pronounce the Thai word for you. Ask her using the phrase in the play box above:
"What do you call it when I do like this?"
ARRAI TE KHUN REAK WHA MEUA PHOM TUM BAB NEE
Squeeze = BEEP บีบ
Hand = MEU มือ
So "hold hand" = JUP MEU จับมือ and so on.
|hold hand||จับมือ||JUP MEU|