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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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32 minutes ago, vogie said:

If you live in a country surely it is only respectfull to learn some of that language, the Thais will love you for it. I have more respect for someone in my country speaking english than someone expecting me to know their language, it is total arrogance to think that everyone should speak your language.

A little time and effort learning some thai costs nothing and the Thais might even like you instead of thinking you are an arrogant foreigner.

 

Did you not read the headline? At age 60 it becomes more difficult to distinguish tones, on which the Thai language depends. At 60 I was unable to hear any difference in tones at all.

One can definitely learn enough Thai to get by at any age though. Just don't expect conversation.

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Yes you can do it . And Yes it is worth it , if you step out 1 foot of the tourist zone . In tourist area , it isnt necessary but people wont look at you the same . If you go out of the tourist area , you gain a lot of face , and it makes all a lot easier .

You do not have to speak everything and/or read write ( thats a lot harder ) , but basic conversation /understanding is certainly appreciated by Thai people ( not in bars , there they switch straight away to Isaan or local dialect if they spot somebody who can understand them ) .  

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2 minutes ago, thaibeachlovers said:

Did you not read the headline? At age 60 it becomes more difficult to distinguish tones, on which the Thai language depends. At 60 I was unable to hear any difference in tones at all.

One can definitely learn enough Thai to get by at any age though. Just don't expect conversation.

Maybe you don't have the flair or judging by your last 3 posts are even possitive enough to learn thai.

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, vogie said:

If you live in a country surely it is only respectfull to learn some of that language, the Thais will love you for it. I have more respect for someone in my country speaking english than someone expecting me to know their language, it is total arrogance to think that everyone should speak your language.

A little time and effort learning some thai costs nothing and the Thais might even like you instead of thinking you are an arrogant foreigner.

 

In my experience they don't love you for it at all, more often they misunderatand you, often deliberatly according to the Mrs and refuse to enter into an exchange. It became obvious years ago it was a waste of time when the cashiers at Big C etc hardly ever underdtood the card number I gave them. Recently went into local shop who suddenly did not understand beer chang song kuwat, despite me going in there fairly often but usually with the Mrs. They had to trot out an 8 year old to translate, luckily her Englsih was amazingly good and she did they whole transaction, top of her year at school. Kids are usualy better at understanding me speaking to them in Thai, why is that?

Edited by Orton Rd
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2 minutes ago, Orton Rd said:

In my experience they don't love you for it at all, more often they misunderatand you, often deliberatly according to the Mrs and refuse to enter into an exchange. It became obvious years ago it was a waste of time when the cashiers at Big C etc hardly ever underdtood the card number I gave them. Recently went into local shop who suddenly did not understand beer chang song kuwat, despite me going in there fairly often but usually with the Mrs. They had to trot out an 8 year old to translate, luckily her Englsih was amazingly good and she did they whole transaction, top of her year at school.

I have never found that, most Thais I converse with are very polite and understanding.

Maybe they truly didn't understand you, I cannot comment because I don't know, I wouldn't have thought that they would deliberately misunderstand though, what would be their purpose for such an act?

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2 minutes ago, vogie said:

I have never found that, most Thais I converse with are very polite and understanding.

Maybe they truly didn't understand you, I cannot comment because I don't know, I wouldn't have thought that they would deliberately misunderstand though, what would be their purpose for such an act?

Many do not like foreigners, in Bangkok at least.

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On 6/3/2020 at 5:25 AM, 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.

I think you have it the wrong way around Thais in the North learn Lana which is the tradional language here but when they go to school they learn “ Central  Thai” which is the National Thai language.

Only a couple of days ago I spoke to my daughters teacher regarding the same subject and she confirmed that if she speaks to her friends in Bangkok in Lana they don’t understand her but using “Central Thai” they do.

Just for the record we have travelled extensively throughout Thailand and I don’t recall my wife having problems communicating with the locals presumably she speaks “Central Thai”

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I could be wrong but wasnt the Op just talking about leaving LOS days ago?  I could be mistaken....

 

This is among my top 4, basic daily questions by thais sizing me up..daily since 2008--exhausting

1- where u from???  I now say Mogadishu and enjoy the reactions

2-how long u sa-tay thai-laaaan?  I say I just arrived---(been here since 2008).so they can trick me

3-Do u sha-ah-peak thai?---I say Mai chai and again watch their faces before they gossip about me

4-do u have thai lady? I say I dunno--DO I?  and wink.....hee hee giggle giggle from thais, then say Im poor

 

So when they hear me speak basic survival thai they AUTOMATICALLY say I must have a thai GF

No can u believe I actually use my brain to learn---I then counter with--YOU must have a falang BF

since you can speak eng-grish!!!!  Ooooooo..nooooooo mai mee..no hab no hab....oh but I must have thai gf?!

 

I use basic thai memorized to do basic things, but smile and nod when they start talking to me-gaeng mak!

I basically just study-watch-observe thais and copy them--when in rome amirite??  joop joop teerak!!!

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23 minutes ago, vogie said:

Maybe you don't have the flair or judging by your last 3 posts are even possitive enough to learn thai.

LOL I could speak Thai.

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I learned the numbers to lesson the chance of getting screwed over every time I pay for something

 

The rest seems more effort than it's worth. There still arn't enough decent learning apps/resources available like there are for other languages

 

Some people say conversing with people is best way to learn, but then you have to enjoy conversing with people

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10 hours ago, Sujo said:

If the girl cannot converse enough with you in english then dont bother.

I've always found typing the amount on my phone then showing it to her works in any country.

"$30?"

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is Thai useful outside of thailand?

 

a few more years and we (kid) are out of here for university

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10 hours ago, teatime101 said:

Ask the guy in the mirror.

All very well, but they don't make mirrors like they uses to☺️

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Posted (edited)
1 hour 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?

Having an IQ of 140+, it's fair to assume most people around me are stupid ........ comparatively speaking.

It's lonely at the top!

 

But agree, you may well find Thais more on your level.

Where did I say I can't understand them?

Edited by BritManToo
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