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The Thai Language

Language Lessons and Dictionaries


     For the westerner the Thai language is one of the more difficult languages to learn.  There are tones to deal with and lots of vowel and consonant sounds that our tongues cannot wrap around.  For some that would be a reason to give up right away, for others the prospects of learning a new and difficult language are stimulating and challenging.  If you are in the first group then you may only see and understand the surface of the Thai culture.  If you are among the second group then your time in Thailand will bring new excitement daily and you will be able to develop lasting and close relationships.

     Anyway, if something were easy then why do it?  Make the effort to lean Thai from many of the Thai language schools around the country or get yourself an individual tutor. Choose a school depending on the class sizes, the teachers' experience,  their emphasis, (reading and writing or conversation), and what best suits your needs.  It is probably best to start in a classroom setting for the basics and then move on to what is most comfortable for you. This writer has been speaking Thai for almost 40 years and still studies Thai an hour every day.  It keeps me young and my mind alive and at the same time closer to the Thai people around me.

One really good Thai language school is the one at AUA Chiang Mai

Lots of luck with your studies.

 

Overview of the Thai language:  (Wikipeida) (Mahidol University) - Don't let them intimidate you.  They are just here as a reference.

Women Learning Thai...and Some Men Too - This website has lots of hints on studying Thai, interview with successful Thai learners, and free downloads of materials for studying Thai.  The interviews alone are a great inspiration to the new Thai learner.

Interview with yours truly about my experiences in studying and learning the Thai language.

 

 Thai Lessons  

     See a few introductory lessons in Thai to get a feeling of what learning Thai would be like.  You can also listen to recordings of Thai words and sentences

Project Thailand - Beginning vocabulary with recordings of the Thai words.

ARC Language Project - Overview of the Thai language and introducing the Thai alphabet (with recordings).

Riker Blogspot - For the linguistic oriented, some high-level discussions on the Thai language.

English-Thai-Dictionary.com - Contains a very unique Thai keyboard that you can use to write in Thai on a small screen provided, then cut and paste into your document.  Save hours of time trying to type using your computer keyboard.  Also contains an online dictionary.

Thai-Language.com

     Vocabulary - Intermediate vocabulary for various situations (with recordings).

     Lessons - Basic language lessons with an introduction to reading and writing.

     Lessons written and compiled by Yours Truly

     Advanced Thai Reading and Vocabulary Building - Written to help the advanced Thai learner   improved their reading skills and helps to build a stronger Thai vocabulary.  Free download of (3 volume set), or go to Lessons to see them online. 

     Pali and Sanskrit Prefixes and Suffixes, is also for advanced Thai learners and provides an interesting way to increase your Thai vocabulary by learning their roots.

 

Thai/English Dictionaries

     I have 5 Thai/English dictionaries on my shelves, all now gathering dust.  Since I am on the computer much of the day I have found that the online variety of Thai/English dictionaries are convenient, quick, and accurate.  Some will even speak the Thai words that you look up.  Go to these links to check out a few of the best.

Thai-Language.com

Thai is the primary language of Thailand, a country in Southeast-Asia  with a population of around 60 million people. This website is provides information for English-speakers with any level of interest in Thailand, its language and culture—from beginners who wish to learn a few phrases before their vacation to advanced students who may want to live or work in Thailand someday.  The search results are given in both Thai script and transliterated phonetics.

Lexitron.nectec.or.th

"ParSit" is a result of collaborative research between National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) and NEC Corporation, Japan. It is   an online free service via Internet that can translate English texts and Web pages into Thai.  You will need to read Thai to be able to use this dictionary as it does not define Thai words using English phonetics.

Thai2English.com

We have a comprehensive Thai <> English dictionary available to search, with over 30,000 entries. The dictionary can be searched either in English, Thai script or by transliterated Thai. The search results are given in both Thai script and transliterated phonetics.

Google Translate

Multi language translator.  Very good on individual words, giving multiple definitions for each word, but not perfect when translating sentences.  It will get you in the ball park though.

Microsoft's Bling Translator

OK for individual words but gives only one definition.  Needs lots of work on sentence translations.


 
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