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Fsi Thai (also Mandarin & Cantonese)


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#1 onebir

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Posted 2006-10-16 10:15:26

which should be online soon, according to this thread:
http://www.fsi-langu.../...=78&KW=thai

the bad news is they don't have access to the (all important) audio - only the books. so if anyone does have the original* audio, perhaps you could digitise it and send it to them. gdfellows is the guy to contact...

i seem to recall that some london (westminster marylebone, islington central?) libraries have the original course, so perhaps londoners could come to the rescue. (perhaps on their next enforced visa run ;-) )

anyway, with a bit of luck, a very high quality, comprehensive (albeit slightly dated) thai course should be available for free online within a month or two...

background:
FSI = the US foreign service institute. these courses were developed to bring US embassy staff to fluency in languages during short intensive courses. they were designed for use in small classes, with a native speaker instructor, but work fairly well - better than most other language courses i've studied - for self instruction.

they can be made available for free online because training materials developed by the US government are automatically in the public domain. but until www.fsi-language-courses.com started to do this, various publishers/resellers (eg barrons/audioforum, multilingual books) sold them, at high prices (typically USD400 for a course with 12-15 tapes).

*why original?
although the courses are in the public domain, resellers have often marked their versions with a copyright symbol. under US law, this appears to be invalid unless they have made 'substantial editions' - which is not always the case. but the fsi-language-courses.com site owners (understandably) don't want to take any risks, so they'll only post files digitised from courses published by the FSI/US government printing service, which carry no copyright notice.

#2 Rikker

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Posted 2006-10-16 16:03:44

What a great resource, I can't believe I've never known about this site before now.

I may offer to scan my Cambodian FSI book for their site now, too.

#3 onebir

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Posted 2006-10-16 17:10:20

What a great resource, I can't believe I've never known about this site before now.


it's quite a new site.

re FSI cambodian, check with them on their forum to make sure you won't be duplicating work.

until they do get the FSI thai audio up, it seems that the first 1/3 of 'courage thai interactive'
http://www.thaivisa....showtopic=88491 is actually based on the US defence language institute/ DLI's course - for stacks cheaper than this is available elsewhere ($60 vs around $230 inc audio at http://www.dunwoodyp.../products/-/108, http://www.dunwoodyp...products/-/212)

see this post 62 here: http://www.thailandq...d...4765&page=7

#4 onebir

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Posted 2006-10-17 09:25:15


What a great resource, I can't believe I've never known about this site before now.

re FSI cambodian, check with them on their forum to make sure you won't be duplicating work.


thanks rikker, i see you did contact them :o

re the thai audio, after several failed attempts i got through to islingtion libraries catalog. they have the course, but it's an audioforum version (probably copyrighted - unless it's very old). i may be able to digitise the audio 'for my own purposes' nonetheless ;-)

but perhaps forum members in/from the US and Canada, where larger public libraries often stock FSI language courses, could have a look?

#5 onebir

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Posted 2007-01-16 16:43:37

UPDATE:

Thanks to Rikker, www.fsi-language-courses.com has a Cambodian grammar. Vol 1 of the Cambodian Basic Course has just been added (including audio) as has the text for Vol 1 of the Thai Basic Course. Vol 1 of the Vietnamese Basic Course & Vol 2 of the Korean Basic Course has been available for a while - both include the audio.

On the way: Lao basic Course Text & Reading Lao.

I'd just like to repeat my appeal to anyone in the US with a public or university library card - there's a good chance you have access to some of these courses via inter-library loan and could help fill in the gaps. Digitising audio isn't time consuming or difficult - it takes a few minutes of real work per tape - but the audio is very expensive to buy, unlike the books that often turn up cheap second hand.

#6 Rikker

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Posted 2007-01-17 01:53:50

I should set the record straight that someone else beat me to the Cambodian punch. I began scanning it shortly after I discovered the site, but let it slip through the cracks.

The person who did it did a beautiful job, though. And it has the audio! Great!

#7 onebir

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Posted 2007-01-18 16:13:48

Here's how to find the books in the US: Go to the government documents section of a local "Federal Depository Library" (Typically these books are not in the catalog - it's probably worth calling ahead)

Here's how to find the nearest "Federal Depository Library":

http://www.gpoaccess.../libraries.html

Look around call number S1.114 (S = State Dept, D = Defense) & in the Defense documents section for the DLI Headstart books.

(Info from Demipuppet)

#8 Bobcat

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Posted 2007-01-19 15:57:05

Has anyone used the FSI Thai course to completion? I am very curious to know what people think of it. I have downloaded Volume 1 and I must say it looks rather good.

#9 onebir

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Posted 2007-01-19 19:22:21

Has anyone used the FSI Thai course to completion? I am very curious to know what people think of it. I have downloaded Volume 1 and I must say it looks rather good.


There's a review of it by someone who did it at the FSI here:
http://www.amazon.co...u...TF8&s=books

He had the advantage of native speakers instructors, but I've found other FSI courses is that they work ok without instructors - particularly if you can get access to plenty of video material in the language.

Note also that now the book is online, users may start to produce transcripts using the thai alphabet - see:
http://www.thailandq...d...2426&page=2

If anyone has access to the audio & is prepared to digitise it (not a big job) please post on www.fsi-language-courses.com.

#10 kokesaat

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Posted 2007-01-20 10:24:00

I've tried to download the Thai course from http://www.fsi-langu.../...=78&KW=thai but gave up after about an hour (nearly 10meg). Can anyone tell me how big the file is.....or better yet, when downloading a pdf file, is there a way to know how big of a file you are downloading??
Thanks for the help from Udon

#11 meadish_sweetball

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Posted 2007-01-20 12:03:49

kokesaat, you should get yourself a download manager. That way you'll be able to resume downloads that get interrupted and download files when most convenient (leave the computer on overnight for example).

Flashget works well and is free: http://www.flashget....en/download.htm

#12 onebir

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Posted 2007-01-20 14:44:01

Can anyone tell me how big the file is.....


It's a bit over 10Mb (see post here). Unfortunately they can't make text files of the books - which would be a lot smaller - because OCR won't recognise transliterations, and even a few errors would be really confusing...

Sounds like you almost finished downloading it.

When the audio mp3s get posted, judging from their other stuff, it'll be 20-30mb for each of 18(?) tapes - a download manager would be very useful (&/or a trip to an internet cafe with a fast connection, if there's one handy)





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