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JohnBarleycorn

After Age 60: Is it possible to learn to Read and Speak Thai? And, Is it Worth the Effort?

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Of course you can learn a new language after the age of 60, there is no biological reason why you couldn't. Learning a new language is difficult at any age, but with a bit of determination and daily practice, surely you can do this.

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No reason learn particular language--I speak universal language called money.

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22 hours ago, bkk6060 said:

No.

Waste of time especially if you travel around the country.  The dialects are different Thais lets say in the north, cannot understand everthing a Bangkok Thai says.

 

10 hours ago, GinBoy2 said:

No thats totally wrong.

 

We aren't talking dialect we're talking language and I think you have it totally backwards.

 

The Thais in the North and Northeast will speak Lanna & Lao, but they all speak Thai as well. They can all understand  completely what a person in Bangkok is speaking standard Thai is saying.

 

The reverse however is not true. Take a Bangkokian to Khon Kaen and they won't have a clue whats being said to them, until the person changes to Thai.

 

I just thought about this.

 

You do understand one of the absurd aspects of Thai education is language.

 

In the Northeast, kids and teachers are forbidden to speak Lao as soon as they enter the school gates, and they must speak Thai.

 

As soon as they leave school both kids and teachers revert to speaking Lao.

 

Years ago I was talking to a friend of mine who is Welsh. He told me in years gone by in Wales they had something called the 'Welsh Stick' which was used to beat a kid who dared speak Welsh in school. Thailand isn't far off that!

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15 minutes ago, ChristianBlessing said:

I can't answer your second question, but for the first question, you most can learn Thai or any other language. At 68, upon my retirement, I began studying Thai more as a mental challenge than as a necessity as I only visit Thailand 2-3 months a year. There is significant scientific evidence to support that the effort (if not success) in studying a language will result in neural plasticity and better cognition and memory in aging adults.

 

I am currently in my home country and am focusing on learning the Thai alphabet and reading Thai. I spend, on most days, an hour or two. While what I'm doing is more decoding than reading, I am making progress. As I'm no longer working so it hardly interrupts my day. I regard it as one aspect of my daily exercise and health regimen. 

 

As you can read in other replies it may not be useful or prudent, but if you're motivated it is most certainly possible.

I know as dumb as this might sound, but to improve your language skills try watching a Thai lakorn for an hour or so a day.

 

If you already have basic language skills your brain will start to fill in the blanks.

 

I did it for Mandarin when I lived in China, and it's a well documented way that Latina hotel staff learn English while cleaning rooms and watching Daytime TV

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The only time you will need Thai language is when lost in the jungle,finding the way out

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Posted (edited)

It was mandatory, when I was young, to learn the 3 national Belgian languages. 

Than English, I think around when we were 14-15.

20 years ago, when I came to Thailand to live permanently, I intended to learn Thai, but quickly gave up : too lazy, too difficult, not really necessary ( I buy, don't sell, anything). 

And Thais are pleased (vain) when I tell them I am too stupid to learn/speak Thai, but admire their English knowledge ( Usually worse than my English). 

Thais have mostly a high self-esteem of themselves. 

You tell a lady she is beautiful, and she believe it,

you tell a Thai he/she is clever and they believe it. 

 

 

Edited by luckyluke
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I have been in and out of Thailand for 50 years now and I still do not know the language.  I can get around and eat and stuff like this but to hold a conversation - Now way.  I can't get the tones right.  I think my hearing plays in this.  I am 72 now.  My wife learned English must faster that I could ever learn Thai.  Yes you are treated differently when you know Thai words that are above what a normal farang would speak.  I do seem to speak more Thai when I am very mad or have been drinking.  lol

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53 minutes ago, izod10 said:

The only time you will need Thai language is when lost in the jungle,finding the way out

how about for conversing with someone? getting to know people is interesting... especially from a different culture. It can be a daily activity. unlike, for most of us, getting lost in the jungle.. 

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21 minutes ago, thaipo7 said:

I do seem to speak more Thai when I am very mad or have been drinking.  lol

Bottoms up. 

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If You should crack it Lucky You. But dont sound like these Ferang Fools i hear who recon they can.Thais find them embarrassing but are to polite to say. You Speak Good, and off they waddle believing they can.

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On 6/3/2020 at 7:35 AM, hgma said:

the more you learn the more distance will appear between you and GF, phone calls are answered in a different space etc etc

my suggestion is lean basics for polite returns to family and unknown Thai, the less you know what is simmering around you the better off you be. and gives you more time to watch and check the most important issue here......money trails

Agree. Anyone can learn basic Thai to get by, but why anyone would want to converse about food or Thai tv soaps is beyond me.

Why learn to read it? Do you want to read Thai books? Might help when the divorce comes though, so one can know if the wife is screwing one in the divorce documents.

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17 minutes ago, OneMoreFarang said:

Why would you want to live in an area with stupid people around you?

And how do you know they are stupid if you don't understand them?

Or are you one of those people who think others are stupid because they are not fluent in whatever language YOU speak?

When I lived in the village the gossips used to gather under the house to converse about the "farang". I had no desire to know what they were saying about me.

I have no idea if they were stupid or not, but I had zero desire to converse with any of them, and least of all with my horrid MIL or the greedy family.

 

When living in the city, everyone I needed to talk to spoke English.

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