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What are the best places for learning Thai language?

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2 minutes ago, Solinvictus said:

I respect those who formally enroll in a university to study Thai, especially for reading & writing. However, I must say being able to speak Thai pretty decent, I found learning through small talk, dealing with taxis, being in school's and IMO the best source, is your significant other! I also have previously lived with Thai people everyday for two years. 

 

Speaking has been my goal, even before I came here, I practiced.  I should say, as I'm not that interested in learning to read and write. Much support and praise to those who are learning to do so also! Eye-opening and good for the spirit I'm sure!

 

So I guess my point is again, IMO, speaking with your significant other will be the fastest and most efficient way for speaking!

Well, if you have a Thai wife or a close Thai friend, you can be fluent much faster but not every farang has one.

 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, EricTh said:

IPA is intuitive because there is only one character for one sound unlike the Indic Thai script which has several characters for the same sound. One character can have different sounds too depending on the combination.

I didn't say Thai script is intuitive, but it's completely different from what we know, so when we learn it we can start from zero and our brain does not try to connect it to something which we know already.

 

IPA phonetics on the other hand remind us of our mother tongue, or at least of english. If you happen to be a German, and intuitively pronounce IPA this way, it will not be too bad. But if you pronounce IPA phonetics intuitively as if they were english, then your pronounciation will be quite wrong. Thus a native English speaker will have to spend quite some time learning how to pronounce IPA phonetics. And then every time he sees such IPA phonetics, he has to act completely counter intuitive, because by default his brain thinks latin script = english pronounciation, but this would be wrong.

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I have been at TSL at Pantip Plaza, 3rd floor. Good price, nice teachers, friendly atmosphere and I learned a lot. I can absolutely recommend. 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, jackdd said:

IPA phonetics on the other hand remind us of our mother tongue, or at least of english. 

If you want to learn a new language, you have to put a little effort.

 

If you want to learn Chinese pronunciation, you have to learn some pinyin and not the Chinese characters. If you want to learn Vietnamese pronunciation, you have to learn their romanised system etc.

 

If you want to learn other European languages, you have to learn their slightly different alphabetic system but they are quite similar.

 

The learning curve of learning latin characters is much faster than learning the Thai scripts which is unnecessary complex according to what many Thai learners told me.

 

Even some native Thai people and Thai teacher told me it is complex when you go to the higher levels.

 

As I have mentioned many times, reading and speaking are two different skills. Many people are still confused and just because somebody here knows basic writing doesn't mean he knows all the idiosyncrasies of written Thai.

 

I see many farang learners mapping each Thai character to each English alphabet which is fine for basic writing but wrong as it is not a one to one mapping.

 

I have also seen many people not pronouncing the tones and sounds properly even after learning basic Thai writing.

 

So whether you can pronounce it properly doesn't depend on whether you know Thai writing as some claimed.

 

One should concentrate on the spoken language and master the pronunciation first instead of diving into the world of Thai writing which is another skillset.

 

 

Edited by EricTh

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On 8/15/2019 at 5:12 PM, EricTh said:

Well, if you have a Thai wife or a close Thai friend, you can be fluent much faster but not every farang has one.

 

 

 

 

I actually think many casual encounters and taught by non professionals is not the route to faster.. A non fluent teacher will often use a close but not quite right equivalent word, are not patient or motivated to get you correct, and a million other reasons. 

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My vote was on Payap.. I did 2 modules there and then stopped due to travel, if I had decent blocks of time incountry without things grabbing my time I would happily go back. My Thai is shameful considering the time I have here (nothing to do with Payap !!) 

It was intensive, it was hard, but it was fun.. I learnt more in the first module of a few weeks than I had in a decade of hanging around and not putting effort in. 

Personally if I want to do something, I see little reason to do it 'slowly' or 'easily'.. Put the effort in, put that time aside and work at it, or dont bother.. 

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A good part of learning Thai in school is going to be based on the individual teacher... AUA has good course materials and I did purchase the books to supplement learning on my own... immersion and talking with people worked for me and I am seeing some pretty good material on the internet in 10 minute snippets... have fun. 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, kenk24 said:

A good part of learning Thai in school is going to be based on the individual teacher... AUA has good course materials and I did purchase the books to supplement learning on my own... immersion and talking with people worked for me and I am seeing some pretty good material on the internet in 10 minute snippets... have fun. 

How many levels of speaking and listening courses can they go up to? (excluding the writing courses)

 

Do they focus on grammar or just vocabulary?

Edited by EricTh

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, LivinLOS said:

My vote was on Payap.. I did 2 modules there and then stopped due to travel,.. 

The beginner and elementary courses are usually easy and 'fun' but once you reach the lower intermediate courses, most people I know have dropped out.

Edited by EricTh

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3 hours ago, EricTh said:

The beginner and elementary courses are usually easy and 'fun' but once you reach the lower intermediate courses, most people I know have dropped out.

I was module 3 and 4 of IIRC 6 (maybe 8 ??).. 

 

End of spoken and start of written.. 

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A lot depends on the learner and the commitment. Learning the Thai letters is important but often skipped as I did when I started. This is a very basic class that can also be learned individually prior to taking a class.

 

Started with YMCA. Learned some Thai. Met some great people. More of a casual learning environment.

 

AUA is much more serious and intense. A little intimidating for the novice.

 

Payap is even more intense. Assessment prior to enrollment. As stated by another this is more geared for language fluency. Good teacher and class.

 

Never tried CMU.

 

Not all classes are geared for all learning styles. Sit in on a class before signing up.

 

A lot can be learned by a dedicated learner without classes.  Many great tools available now.

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Posted (edited)

That said, the 'learn Thai manager' Khun Phim at YMCA has left.

 

I heard the student enrolment there is dropping. There is not enough students to even start the elementary courses.

 

I guess many have gone to the newer schools.

 

Edited by EricTh

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