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What Level Of Speaking And Writing Thai Are You At?


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I think the last sentence should be: "There are lots of people who say they already learned [to write Thai]."

I don’t know why I put study, it by เรียนรู้ (rain roo) I meant ‘learnt’.

The point being that they can speak Thai so they could if they desired, cobble together some transliterated Thai as I have done.
Is rain roo correct do you think?


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Good Topic, I hope more people weigh in on it!! 1. What level are you at? A pretty subjective question, I'd say my reading comprehension and ability to understand spoken Thai are far away superior

I would love nothing more than to be fluent in Thai, it would greatly improve my life in Thailand, especially with my future in-laws and family. I'm usually pretty good at learning new languages; I'

1. What level are you at? Speaking and understanding Thai very good. I fool Thais on the phone sometimes but rarely for more than a few minutes. I spoke more Thai than English in an average day for se

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I don’t know why I put study, it by เรียนรู้ (rain roo) I meant ‘learnt’.

The point being that they can speak Thai so they could if they desired, cobble together some transliterated Thai as I have done.
Is rain roo correct do you think?


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"rian roo," I think.

Actually I find transliterated Thai quite difficult to understand because it usually doesn't have any indication of the tones. You have to guess the word depending on the context.

For example, "rian roo": is it เรียน​รู้​ (learn)​ or เรียน​รู (study a hole)? Much easier for me to read the Thai script.
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My post was 139 and HEKAPALITA replied with "try a script for everyday folk" which I took to mean Thai using the alphabet. I believe that he has been here long enough to know a lot of Thai but is prevented from writing becuase he can't write it. If his and the other non writers' transliteration was accepted we could all share in their knowledge.

 

 

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On ‎11‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 7:08 AM, tgeezer said:

ทำไมไม่มีใครได้ลองเขียนภาษาไทยที่นี้ครับ มีคนเยอะที่บอกว่าได้เรียนรู้แล้ว

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เพราะว่าคนเยอะพูดมากแต่ทำไม่ได้

Not sure my Thai is worded in a good manner, but I would translate this to

because many person like to tell you a lot but can't do it!

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ตกลงแล้ว
สาเหตุของผมเขียน post ประการนี้ คืออยากสื่อสารให้อีกฟ่ายรู้ คือ คนอื่นที่ เขียนภาษาไทยไม่เป็นแต่พูดเป็น ลองเขียนภาษาอย่างใด ใช้อักษรใด อะไรก็ได้ เช่น dtoklong leaw
หมายเหตุ ผมก็เขียนแบบนั้นไม่ชอบเพราะ iPad ไม่ยอมให้เขียนแบบนี้เลย ก็ลำบากไป

There, that is probably horrible Thai but if I referred to a dictionary it would not be any better, one can only use words which one knows.
I suppose that I should have researched how to write ‘post’ and ‘iPad’ because they need tone but I am too lazy and in any case someone can provide it, which itself would be a form of discussion.

เพราะฉะนั้นขอให้ผมลองวิจารณ์ประโยคที่คุณได้ให้อ่าน

คำประธานว่า คนเยอะ อาจเป็น คนส่วนมาก คำกริยา ทำ คงจะว่า เขียน ก็ได้

เช่น เพราะฝรั่งคนส่วนมากมีเรื่องเราลึกซึ้งที่อยากสื่อให้คนไทยฟัง แต่ไม่มีภาษาไทยพอสำหรับอยู่


I hasten to add that I see that it is impossible to do what I want to do; my inability to easily transliterates prevents engaging with people who can speak a great deal but haven’t learnt to read.

BUT, HampiK there are two of us who can write and probably more like us. I am unable to translate all of what I wrote into English because I have not learnt the acceptable equivalent English words to match the Thai so I invite anyone to do that for me.
Do you think or is there anyone else, interested in pursuing this approach?


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What level are you at?

 

Advanced, but I'm hesitant to call myself fluent because I have a lot to improve. I can read most books fairly easily, with 1-2 unknown words per page. Can understand all everyday speech without much effort, but I'd need to concentrate a lot harder to understand more technical topics and I'd likely miss a lot more

 

My pronunciation is really good, but I slip up every now and then. Mostly in pronouncing vowels as short, when it's supposed to be long. Also I'm trying to work more on the rhythm of my speech. 

 

In terms of my speech.. eh, it's not as effortless as I'd like. Everyday topics are no problem, but getting into more technical, complex or abstract topics then I can manage.. but I haven't internalized the ways of saying things well enough just yet. It's often going to come out as understandable but distinctly non-thai or a bit off

 

Can you read and write?

 

Yeah

 

How long have you been learning?

 

5 years on and off.

 

How did you learn?

 

Mostly just using it. Read, listen, speak as much as I possibly can. Whenever I come across something I don't know, then I learn it. Honestly nothing too complicated, it's just about learning 1,000,000 little things. Takes a long time.

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Hello there,

Instead of answering your questions using the format you suggested I will just say what's on my mind in relation to the problems you have with Thai Language.

First I think your problem is not enough of listening. You need to listen to the spoken language by that I mean many many hours. In fact if possible be in the environment where people speak Thai all the time.

Do not write anything or practice writing the script yet. You may write the pronounciation down if you tend to forget (that's in romanized alphabet) the word.

Do not read , yes, no reading.

All the writing and reading come later when you are ready. Reading and writing will slow you down your understanding the spoken language. You will find you couldn't understand well the spoken language and as a result you couldn't speak it well.

Listen, listen, listen,(many many hours) understand and then speak. Forget the writing and reading for the time being.

I am not a linguist or lecturer in university but I have gone through the experience you are having. I studied Japanese and made the mistake by learning writing and reading then found the problem with understanding spoken Japanese and couldn't speak it well. It took me another 4 years to correct that and now about 80 percent better.

Anxiety and desire to master the language fast is very bad for learning foreign languages. If you are relaxed and don't take it too seriously it would help a lot.

Good luck to you. Please google - Stephen Krashen on Learning foreign language. After you understood what he said you will improve tremendously.

Why children learn fast because they don't write and read and they have no anxiety. When they made mistakes they laugh about it. See what I mean. You need to be in that frame of mind.

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You can learn Thai with me for free until 09/2019 on a condition that you will speak a lot and very active in learning. I am available 2 hours a week.

 

*Link edited out*

 

Please use the PM function.  

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  • 4 months later...

1.) What level are you at? I am at A Level  type grade self taught by learning to read and write before speaking. I can read literature and old Thai form of written speech (like old english), and can explain grammmar rules to university entrance exam level.

 2.) Can you read and write Thai?  Yes, including Thai Pali. If you were ป ๔ or ๕ then you would be able to explain why หมาก has a high sound first letter (ห หีบ มีเสียงจัตวา) but is pronounced with a low sound (เสีบยงวรรณยุกต์). Can You? 

You would also know why the four tone symbols react differently depending if mixed with a High, Medium or Low Consonant, and split the alphabet into the 5 spelling groups (แบ่งพยัญชนะเป็นวรรค) 

Like This;

%E0%B8%9E-%E0%B9%84%E0%B8%97%E0%B8%A2-%E

3.) How long have you been learning for?

 

It took me 3 months to recognise most characters but 2 years to have a full enough vocabulary and deeper understanding of abbreviations to read the newspaper. If you find yourself understanding the newspaper, then you know you cracked it! its all ppc (por por chor) and tr (tamruaj) abbreviations, and so that is a good measure of how well you are doing. My first books were over 100 years old so people told me i speak like a monk or an ancient folk, and it took me 5 years to learn how to speak like the kids on the street.  They say if you cannot speak it in 2 years you will never speak it. Also, I say, if you cannot read and write it, you won't ever speak it properly, and by no way of reading street signs and books, are limited to a slower rate of learning. However, i have been here 25 years now, but i would say that my Thai has stayed the same since my 5th year and cannot get any better except for the odd anomaly or strange word that even most Thais dont know. I have King Rama 1 and 2's poetic literary poems of the Ramayana (Ramakien) which is soooooo difficult to understand, and any Thai i give it to puts it down after two sentences saying they can't understand it.

 

4. How did i learn? Autodidactically by tracing the alphabet from poomsan becker's transcription of Thai consonants and vowels whose pronunciation was demonstrated in karaoke english, e.g. ต เต่า = DT, ป ปลา = Bp

 

5. How many Languages do i speak?

Pues Hablo Español, o si prefieres 'Castellano' y La LLengua Catalàna. Ich Kann auch fliessend Deutsch, English, แล้วก็ว่าเป็นไทยได้แบบง่ายดาย and N'itkellem Bil Malti 
Għext hemm matul 4 snin

 

Edited by Pablo Escobar
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On 5/5/2019 at 3:33 AM, sathitth said:

You can learn Thai with me for free until 09/2019 on a condition that you will speak a lot and very active in learning. I am available 2 hours a week.

 

*Link edited out*

 

Please use the PM function.  

อธิบายตัวสะกดดิครับ ทำไม คำว่า หมาก มีเสียงเอก เมื่อพยัญชนะ ห เป็ยเสียงจัตวา กับ ม เป็นเสียงเอก แต่ตัวสะกด ก ไก่ บังคับเสียงวรรยุคต์ให้ ห หีบ เปลี่ยนเป็นเสียงเอก ฝรั่งฟังนี้แล้วงงมาก (หมาก มาก มัก หมัก))

หรือว่า,

อธิบายเป็นอังกฤษว่า ทำไม อ้า น่า มีเสียงโททั้งสองแม้ว่าต่างรูปวรรณยุคต์ หรือ อ๊า น้า เสียงตรี แต่ นะ ้สียงตรี ปะ เสียง เอก

สระยาว และ สั้น บวกรูปวรรยุคต์ บวกตัวสะกด ทำให้อธิบาบกฎไวยากรณ์เหล่านี้ได้ยากครับผม

 อ่า กับ น่า เสียงโททั้งสอง แต่รูปวรรณยุคต์ไม่เหมือน เพราะ พยัญชนะแต่ละสามกลุ่ม ไม่ได้ประพฤติตัวตามกฎเดี่ยวกันแห่งไวยากรณ์ไทย

หากสอนเป็นอังกฤษ ไม่ได้ ต้องสอนเป็นไทย

เหมือน ร.ร.ไทย ครูภาษาอังกฤษถูก ร.ร. ห้ามพูดไทยเวลาสอนอังกผมยังไมเจออีกคนพูดเขีบนอ่านแบบผมได้ในฤ  ตรงข้ามก็เช่นกันครับ สอนได่ไหมครับ? ผมสอนไม่ได้แล้วผมคล่อง5ภาษา ผมก็ยังไมเจอใครสอนฝรั่งจนสำเร็จได้เลยอ่ะ แล้วก็ก็ยังไมเจอต่างชาติที่พูดชัดได้หมด ผมว่า ยากมากสอนเชา

 

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  • 7 months later...

1) What level are you at?
I would say beginner level can help myself at the market and in general but normal spoken Thai is still to fast and being 61 years old does not help.

2) Can you read and write Thai?
Yes, before I started learning Thai I did some research and everybody said to learn to read and write first and never to use transliterations. This I did and took me 3 years but being able to read Thai is well worth the effort.

3) How long have you been learning for?
6 years !

4) How did you learn?

Started on my own to learn the alphabet but that did not go very well, then I used  Gary Orman (rapid learn Thai) that got the alphabet in my head (he has a brilliant system) and part of the tone rules but I had a lot of questions that were not answered by his course. This was followed by Stuart Jay Raj that answered all the historical and "why?" questions, turned out Thai does not have an alphabet but has an abugida.  He also explained the tones very well and I constructed my own tone chart that helped to cement the tone rules in my head. I read the Mani books up to year 4 but stopped when they we going into the kings Thai. I then read "Sydney remember" from rapid learn Thai and some children riddles from pailing publishing and am busy reading a book about speak well (พูดดี) from pailing and I figured out my vocabulary needed an upgrade as I was only reading children books. In the beginning I used google translate but upgraded a few years back to "talking Thai dictionary from Paiboon" best thing I did use it every day. I studied Thai culture in detail starting with "Monks and Magic" PhD from Barend Terwiel big eye opener and explains all the strange things Thais believe. Currently in quarantine in Isaan unfortunately everybody speaks Kui in the village which is a old Kmer dialect, drives me nuts as I do not understand a single word. Kui has no written alphabet so nearly impossible to study, found a Kui-Thai-English dictionary in the university of Leiden in the Netherlands and keep myself busy putting it in Excel.


5) What other languages could you speak before Thai?

Dutch, Afrikaans, English, Fanakalo (mine language based on Zulu) and a bit of Portuguese.


 

Tone map.pdf

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On 4/3/2011 at 9:36 AM, KunMatt said:

I would love nothing more than to be fluent in Thai, it would greatly improve my life in Thailand, especially with my future in-laws and family.

I'm usually pretty good at learning new languages; I've lived all over Asia for the last 10 years and always picked up the language in the place I stayed without trying too hard; I could speak enough Mandarin in a supermarket after only being in China for 2 weeks to help out another farang who was having trouble at the till; after a year I could speak good basic Mandarin just from living there. I learnt enough Finnish to be able to converse with my Finnish gf's father after we had stayed with them in Finland for a few months. I could speak enough Russian to get by with my employees when I worked there for a couple of years. All of these are difficult languages for someone who's first language is English but they all came quite easy to me to get to a basic level. For some reason Thai is just not sticking in the same way. After trying hard to learn Thai for a year I still cannot speak as much Thai as I could Mandarin just after being in China for just 2 weeks. I don't know why.

The reason for this thread is basically a confidence boost and to find out what level I can realistically believe to attain by comparing to other members who are going and gone through the same thing I am. When I first started reading this forum I was amazed and impressed by all of the fluent Thai speakers who were writing and translating in Thai script, it still impresses me when members post Thai sayings or poems that they know, and I thought that with enough studying and effort I could be that. However my confidence was rocked when another member in here said he had actively been trying to learn Thai for 30 odd years and after many attempts at lessons and different methods he still couldn't even hold a basic conversation with the 7/11 cashier, at the moment I can imagine I could be that! That almost made me give up and killed off a lot of my motivation. What's worrying is a lot of people agreeing in that thread that Thai is basically an impossible language to be learn for some people.

So, for anyone who is learning Thai or is fluent,

1. What level are you at?

2. Can you read and write Thai?

3. How long have you been learning for?

4. How did you learn?

5. What other languages could you speak before Thai?

For me;

1. My Thai is terrible. Still not even basic Thai. I can ask simple questions and if I'm lucky understand the answer. People are starting to be nice and tell me my Thai is great but I have zero confidence in it right now. I'm starting to be able to understand a couple of words per sentence when other Thais are talking to each so occasionally I can get the context of a conversation but there are times when I just sit there clueless not understanding even one word. Sometimes when I learn a new word and use it all day, a couple of days later it's gone. I never had this problem with any other languages before so my vocab is increasing very, very slowly.

2. I found it relaively easy to learn the Thai alphabet so I can read Thai script but apart from very common words I usually don't know the words that I am reading out. If I'm lucky when reading out the words I will hear and recognise them and then understand the sentence. I have some Thai friends on Facebook so I try to understand their updates and correctly contribute every day, but even words I wrote out a hundred times can still look new to me in the middle of a sentence.

3. Actively just under 1 year. I live in Bangkok most of the time and my Thai hardly improves at all when I am there so it wasn't until I went to stay with my gf's parents in Isaan that I started to really learn any Thai. When I go to Isaan with my gf I pick up 10 times more Thai than in BKK.

4. I have Benjawan Poomsan's "Thai for Beginner's" but I've mostly only been using it as a reference. I used it to learn the Thai alphabet. The bulk of my Thai (which is not much) comes from being in a place where nobody speaks any English, unfortunately they all speak Isaan to each other, but they talk Thai to me. I also have Thai2English software on my laptop which I think is awesome and teaches me a lot as a live dictionary.

5. First language is English. Did advanced French at Uni. Picked up basic Finnish, Madarin and Russian along the way. Can still remember everything I learned about them. Would give up all my knowledge of them all if I could convert it into Thai.

So please, any success stories or failures, at least I can get an idea of what to expect. Any tips would be appreciated too. I know I'm not putting the effort in that I should, I should study my book and CD properly, and I would like to do some real lessons in BKK, I just didn't expect Thai to be so much harder than the other languages I learnt.

    Hi,

 

    It has been a relief to read your post as I am in the exact same spot you describe. I have been living in Thailand for 17 years, although I have been working overseas most of the time and was able to come back just on my off time.  I have been able to pick up some Thai, plus  learning the basic script (consonants and vowels), on my own, and I was able to communicate and hold basic conversations, read signs, letters, and find my way in food menus, maps, and webpages.

 

  After I got a job and moved here permanently, I took Thai private language classes. And, for my surprise, my ability to speak has gone down while my writing (both hand writing and typing) and reading has improved enormously. While there has been some, small number, of Thais that have mistakenly took me for a Thai, some others don't even understand me when I greet them with a simple สวัสดีครับ. All the confidence I had speaking before I started with the private classes is gone. I stutter, I hesitate, my mind gets blocked, I freeze in the middle of a sentence... It is getting very frustrating, and the more I try, the worse it gets. 

 

    Your post is 10 years old, you mind if I ask you how is your Thai now, and how did you improve it? Any advice will be really appreciated.

 

    My case:

 

        1. What level are you at?

 

    My private teacher says that I am intermediate, my wife says that I speak good, but it feels like basic level to me.

  

        2. Can you read and write Thai?

 

    Yes, I regularly do. I do it slowly, but most written communications at work are done in Thai.

 

        3. How long have you been learning for?

 

    Exposed to Thai language and its tones and sounds, 17 years. Actively learning around a year and a half.

 

        4. How did you learn?

 

    Initially self-taught. First time I came to Thailand youtube didn't even exist, so I used Thai language student books plus some conversation with locals. Now I use มานะ มานี plus Thai An Essential Grammar, from David Smyth.

 

        5. What other languages could you speak before Thai?

 

    My mother tongue is Spanish and besides that I'm bilingual in English. Thai is my first tonal language.

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, underthecounter said:

    Hi,

 

    It has been a relief to read your post as I am in the exact same spot you describe. I have been living in Thailand for 17 years, although I have been working overseas most of the time and was able to come back just on my off time.  I have been able to pick up some Thai, plus  learning the basic script (consonants and vowels), on my own, and I was able to communicate and hold basic conversations, read signs, letters, and find my way in food menus, maps, and webpages.

 

  After I got a job and moved here permanently, I took Thai private language classes. And, for my surprise, my ability to speak has gone down while my writing (both hand writing and typing) and reading has improved enormously. While there has been some, small number, of Thais that have mistakenly took me for a Thai, some others don't even understand me when I greet them with a simple สวัสดีครับ. All the confidence I had speaking before I started with the private classes is gone. I stutter, I hesitate, my mind gets blocked, I freeze in the middle of a sentence... It is getting very frustrating, and the more I try, the worse it gets. 

 

    Your post is 10 years old, you mind if I ask you how is your Thai now, and how did you improve it? Any advice will be really appreciated.

 

    My case:

 

        1. What level are you at?

 

    My private teacher says that I am intermediate, my wife says that I speak good, but it feels like basic level to me.

  

        2. Can you read and write Thai?

 

    Yes, I regularly do. I do it slowly, but most written communications at work are done in Thai.

 

        3. How long have you been learning for?

 

    Exposed to Thai language and its tones and sounds, 17 years. Actively learning around a year and a half.

 

        4. How did you learn?

 

    Initially self-taught. First time I came to Thailand youtube didn't even exist, so I used Thai language student books plus some conversation with locals. Now I use มานะ มานี plus Thai An Essential Grammar, from David Smyth.

 

        5. What other languages could you speak before Thai?

 

    My mother tongue is Spanish and besides that I'm bilingual in English. Thai is my first tonal language.

 

 

 

Sorry to burst your bubble but the 'intermediate' Thai level that Thai teachers give to foreigners is actually 'elementary' to native Thai.

 

Thai teachers talk among themselves that foreigners just can't learn Thai, they tend to be condescending most of the time.

 

There are 6 levels of language proficiency based on international standards:

1. Beginner

2. Elementary

3. Lower intermediate

4. Upper intermediate

5. Advanced

6. Master or near native

 

If you think your Thai is lower intermediate, you should be able to FULLY understand simple Thai movies (as below) without any translation. This is only a six minutes video.

 

 

We have all been fooled by Thai teachers.

Edited by EricTh
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On 4/3/2011 at 9:36 AM, KunMatt said:

For some reason Thai is just not sticking in the same way. After trying hard to learn Thai for a year I still cannot speak as much Thai as I could Mandarin just after being in China for just 2 weeks. I don't know why.

It's easy to explain, nobody wants you to speak or understand Thai.

The locals will pretend they don't understand no matter how good your Thai language skills are, and they will speak a village variant to discourage your learning. 

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56 minutes ago, EricTh said:

 

Sorry to burst your bubble but the 'intermediate' Thai level that Thai teachers give to foreigners is actually 'elementary' to native Thai.

 

Thai teachers talk among themselves that foreigners just can't learn Thai, they tend to be condescending most of the time.

 

There are 6 levels of language proficiency based on international standards:

1. Beginner

2. Elementary

3. Lower intermediate

4. Upper intermediate

5. Advanced

6. Master or near native

 

If you think your Thai is lower intermediate, you should be able to FULLY understand simple Thai movies (as below) without any translation. This is only a six minutes video.

 

 

We have all been fooled by Thai teachers.

   

    Thanks for the video Eric. I'm only getting about 90% of it, I'm getting lost when they speak fast. I guess I have been fooled my teacher too...

 

 

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20 hours ago, underthecounter said:

   

    Thanks for the video Eric. I'm only getting about 90% of it, I'm getting lost when they speak fast. I guess I have been fooled my teacher too...

 

 

Schools teach formal Thai that the common people don't use. Schools don't teach informal Thai vocabulary.

 

That's why I have stopped going to Thai classes, it's a waste of time.

 

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23 hours ago, underthecounter said:

   Thanks for the video Eric. I'm only getting about 90% of it, I'm getting lost when they speak fast. I guess I have been fooled my teacher too...

I prefer to watch English movies with Thai subtitles so I can complain about the translations being wrong.

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23 hours ago, Dagfinnur Traustason said:

Like fluently perhaps!, Why would you stay in a country where they do not understand you?

Why would I care about the locals in any country?

It's not as if I've ever heard a Thai say anything interesting (in any language).

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If my life was over and I resigned myself to living in some remote village next to a jungle I suppose I would learn thai if only so I could eaevesdrop on my wife and her family when planning for my demise 

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On 3/1/2021 at 12:04 PM, EricTh said:

 

Schools teach formal Thai that the common people don't use. Schools don't teach informal Thai vocabulary.

 

That's why I have stopped going to Thai classes, it's a waste of time.

 

 

    So, you mostly learn on your own by watching short videos like this one, is it how you got to be fluent in Thai?

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6 hours ago, underthecounter said:

 

    So, you mostly learn on your own by watching short videos like this one, is it how you got to be fluent in Thai?

 

Unfortunately, I don't have someone who can translate for me what they are saying so how can I possibly learn if I don't know the meaning?

 

I only learnt what the teachers taught were mostly wrong when I go out and speak with Thai people. Nobody says 'Khun' in real life and a lot of other words.

 

Edited by EricTh
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On 3/1/2021 at 12:04 PM, EricTh said:

Schools teach formal Thai that the common people don't use. Schools don't teach informal Thai vocabulary.

 

That's why I have stopped going to Thai classes, it's a waste of time.

 

14 hours ago, EricTh said:

I only learnt what the teachers taught were mostly wrong when I go out and speak with Thai people. Nobody says 'Khun' in real life and a lot of other words.

It sounds like you had a bad experience or possibly your expectations were too high thinking you could take some classes and be able to converse naturally with the Thais. Imagine a native Thai speaker, who doesn't know any English, travels to the US, UK or Australia and takes English courses for a year or two and when they find they have trouble with day to day informal conversation with the locals they blame it on the teaching.

 

I don't think you should be discouraging new students of Thai from starting off with some formal instruction by bad mouthing the teachers. I took some Thai classes long before Youtube existed and I really enjoyed the teachers and fellow students. The teachers help to establish a foundation and after that its up to you to build on that foundation. Even with all the resources available now on the Internet for most students I'd still recommend some formal instruction when first starting out.

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7 hours ago, KeeTua said:

 

It sounds like you had a bad experience or possibly your expectations were too high thinking you could take some classes and be able to converse naturally with the Thais. Imagine a native Thai speaker, who doesn't know any English, travels to the US, UK or Australia and takes English courses for a year or two and when they find they have trouble with day to day informal conversation with the locals they blame it on the teaching.

 

I don't think you should be discouraging new students of Thai from starting off with some formal instruction by bad mouthing the teachers. I took some Thai classes long before Youtube existed and I really enjoyed the teachers and fellow students. The teachers help to establish a foundation and after that its up to you to build on that foundation. Even with all the resources available now on the Internet for most students I'd still recommend some formal instruction when first starting out.

 

You're confused between formal words and formal education.

 

If someone have been learning English for 1 to 2 years and still couldn't communicate in lower intermediate English with the man on the street, the problem lies with the teacher and not the students.

 

A good teacher would be able to teach a foreigner how to speak basic English within a few months and 1 to 2 years to reach lower intermediate level. We are not talking about reading newspaper or listening to news broadcast which require near native proficiency.

 

I have been talking to a few students who have been learning Thai for few years (some even 7 years) and they still can't string a sentence correctly or a paragraph spontaneously without looking at their books or notepads first.

 

If a Thai person switched to English the moment you speak to them in Thai, it shows how bad your Thai is, despite the years of study.

 

The results speak for themselves.

Edited by EricTh
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On 3/2/2021 at 12:02 PM, EricTh said:

 

I only learnt what the teachers taught were mostly wrong when I go out and speak with Thai people. Nobody says 'Khun' in real life and a lot of other words.

 

In my experience people do use คุณ to you if you use it to them.  I am referring to a grammar book and in the chapter on คำแทน the word is not mentioned as a 2ndp.p. เรา แก ท่าน เธอ is all they have.  I would add คุณ to that list, do you have any other suggestions?   

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16 minutes ago, tgeezer said:

In my experience people do use คุณ to you if you use it to them.  I am referring to a grammar book and in the chapter on คำแทน the word is not mentioned as a 2ndp.p. เรา แก ท่าน เธอ is all they have.  I would add คุณ to that list, do you have any other suggestions?   

 

I can add a few: พี่, น้อง, and if you want to be rude (careful with these!): หล่อน, มึง.

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Ah, but you are not EricTh!  do you agree with him that teaching is too formal?

I learnt that  คุณ meant "you" so when a chap who I thought a tout called out to me once  "You, you" I thought "rude <deleted>" ! Now I use คุณครับ more or less in the same way as I use "I say".  
 

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7 hours ago, tgeezer said:

In my experience people do use คุณ to you if you use it to them.  I am referring to a grammar book and in the chapter on คำแทน the word is not mentioned as a 2ndp.p. เรา แก ท่าน เธอ is all they have.  I would add คุณ to that list, do you have any other suggestions?   

LOL. I've used it so many times in the past, and they never reply using 'Khun'. 

 

There are many other more common ways for 'you' that are not taught in Learn Thai schools. This is just one tiny example, there are lots of other examples.

 

This goes to show your lack of interaction with ordinary Thai people especially in the rural area.

 

 

 

 

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