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What Level Of Speaking And Writing Thai Are You At?

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Speaking: Fluent to the point where people are shocked.

Hearing: I can follow everything except the news and "royal speak".

Reading: A wee bit. I can read road signs and warning signs.

Writing: Nope

How I got there: My mom is Thai, yet most mixed races, in fact everyone I know, don't speak Thai. Thai-Dutch: nope, Thai-Japanese: nope, Thai-Swiss: nope.

I think it's because I was raised with a close bond to momma, and a Thai maid.

When I spent a year in school here, the Thai reading and writing teacher was actually a farang.

But wait! That's not all! I did my drivers license in Bangkok. The person who taught me to drive... had one arm.

Edited by Stan42

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1. What level am I at (speaking Thai)

I would say very basic .. Enough to have basic conversation, buy food, ask for things ect. Understand more than I can speak

Another thing: I notice is I understand Thai and speak it alot better when I'm drunk, when I went back last year I was have straight conversations about my life to strangers at the wedding I attended.

2. Read or write

Not at all.

3. How long have I been learning

Well, I never tried to learn it, this was something I needed to do to get by in Thailand while living there, I've been exposed majorly to the language for 3 years total (by that I mean, you could live anywhere but leave the country not knowing anything about it or the language, unless YOU Want to learn), but actually tried to really learn and remember words and teach myself (talk with mom (in Thai not in English) & the ex wife) PROBALLY less than 2 month total.

4. How do I learn?

Talk and listen.

I did have a phrase book those do nothing, due to the tones, so unless you talk with a local you'll never know if your saying it right.

5. Other langauges I speak.

Just English.

Edited by Skeetjones

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1. What level are you at?

Intermediate, but with patchy fluency as I only lived in Thailand for a year and 3 months and have done most of my learning out of the country. My other-half is Thai but prefers to speak English, so I 'know' a lot more than I regularly use in proper conversation.

2. Can you read and write Thai?

Yes, but not at any speed and with big vocabulary holes. I got my laptop in Korea, and didn't want to muck up the keys with stickers, so can actually touch type in Thai - albeit extremely slowly! The only time I type is if I'm looking up words in an online dictionary or entering new cards in Anki (a spaced repetition flash card programme, mentioned elsewhere in this thread).

I've recently been trying to read The Daily News as often as possible, but I'm still at the regular trips to the dictionary stage and only do one article a day (on the days that I even read it)! That said, I can usually skim through and get the gist fairly easily before I go back and try to understand each sentence in detail with dictionary back-up. I occasionally put the Thai subtitles on when I'm watching a film, but that sort of speed reading is beyond me at present. One day...

3. How long have you been learning for?

I started 5 years ago, have been learning in earnest for about 3, and reasonably effectively for probably the last 2. Like a lot of language learners (or learners of anything), I'd do things a lot differently if I started again. Which, of course, is all part of the 'learning'! Learning and speaking more Thai when I actually lived in Thailand would be top of the list, followed by using Anki consistently from the start.

4. How did you learn?

I picked up bits and bobs from around and about for the first 6 months, spent 20 hours having 1:1 lessons (which got me my 'letters' and made my pronunciation mostly understandable) then had probably a couple of years going at the Benjawan Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced books, plus her first couple of 'Speak Like a Thai' CDs, dabbling with the Learn Thai Podcast (LTP) videos and dipping in and out of Anki. I had a few months going at Thai kids books (the workbooks they use in Thai schools), but didn't really get on with them as the vocabulary they were teaching me didn't suit the real life context I want (although if I do need to ask for a long, tapering, black scythe to chase the field frog through the ditch, I should now be alright).

The last two years I've got into a routine of using Anki more or less daily, first with some decks which I got as part of the LTP package and then adding my own from the Benjawan CDs, the Higbie/Thinsan Grammar book (bought 2 years ago - I'm up to page 100 out of 400-odd! Although I have learned all the classifiers from the back), the LTP vids and stuff I pick up from the newspaper and soaps. I also have a little pad I jot random words down on whenever I think of something I'd like to say in Thai that I don't know, and once I've filled a page I sit down with the dictionary and stick them in Anki.

I realised I wasn't getting enough Thai listening practice about a year ago (or that's when I first started doing something about it, anyway!) and started donwloading lakorn off youtube.They're on there in around 10 minute chunks, so I alternate with and without English subs, which works really well. I find that with the subs I can work out what they're actually saying in Thai most of the time, less so without. That said, there are 10 minute chunks where I seem to pick up nearly every word, and others where they might as well be speaking Burmese!

The regular reading of a newspaper is a newish thing, but a great vocabulary builder, and when I go from reading an article back to reading sentences, words and phrases in Anki, my improvement in reading 'fluency' is very noticable.

5. What other languages could you speak before Thai?

School-boy French (which is now being bullied out by the Thai - anyone else finding that?). Native English.

I think the main thing I've come to appreciate through this process and would tell anyone starting out learning Thai is that you don't learn 'a language'. You learn some of it. And you should appreciate what you have achieved and can understand rather than constantly beating yourself up over what you don't know.

When I think of how far I've come, especially as someone who spent his school days and 20s horribly resistant to the idea of learning a foreign language, not least because I didn't think I'd be able to, I'm proud of the place I'm at now. Whilst remaining painfully aware of how much further I'd like to get! If my experience is anything to go by, playing around with the various different learning materials and styles until you find something that works for you is probably the best approach. And regularly ringing the changes keep things interesting. Enjoy!

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I learned from my Thai teacher about her farang student complaining the way Thais put the question word in the end of the sentence instead of in the front of the sentence like most of farang's language.

Then I realized that I was wrong when trying to learn Thai while comparing/referring it with English.

My mother tongue is Indonesia, when I start comparing Thai language structure with Indonesian, I find many similarities:

  • Question word is the end of the sentence; Most question sentences in Indonesia language have question word in the end.
  • noun-adjective instead of adjective-noun; Farangs say "dining table", Thais say "table dining", Indonesians say "table dining" too
  • Repeated word for plural; Farangs say "friends", Thais say "friend-friend", Indonesian say "friend-friend" too
  • Thai language almost have no tenses, same like Indonesia; Both languages don't change the verb when describing event of different time.

That's all, which come to my mind now, but I am pretty sure that there are more similarities.

My problem as Indonesian speaker learning Thai is:

  1. Tone
  2. Vocabulary

I believe that for farangs, the problem should be added with "grammar"

Hence, for farangs trying to learn Phasa Thai, I think that you have to stop/avoid comparing/referring Thai language to English or any farang language.

Just make yourself like a stupid guy and absorb any structure, which your Thai teacher tells you.

FYI, I also spoke a little Mandarin, but it was gone after I learned Thai for a few months;

Even I answered someone, who spoke Mandarin (I was in a Chinese restaurant in LA) to me, with Thai language crazy.gif

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Great topic...pity it seems to have stalled. Thanks for the links and the Anki recommendations.

1.What level are you at?

Basic, very basic.

2. Can you read and write Thai?

Can read parts of restaurant menus and road signs. Write like a two-year-old.

3. How long have you been learning for?

Spent two years in Bangkok during the '90s with speaking lessons once a week. Then back to Cantonese until I moved to Koh Samui three months ago. Now revising previously studied books and lessons.

4. How did you learn?

Mostly self taught.

5. What other languages could you speak before Thai?

Native English speaker. Schoolboy French and Irish Gaelic. Studied Cantonese for 18 years on and off. Can read Chinese (traditional), enough to follow subtitles on a movie.

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I learned from my Thai teacher about her farang student complaining the way Thais put the question word in the end of the sentence instead of in the front of the sentence like most of farang's language.

As far as I know, in Thai the question word replaces the word you ask for. Which is at the end in many cases.

This is considerably easier than European languages:

in Englisch they use "do" as an auxilliary

in French there are various ways to ask questions: "est-ce que", inversion, intonation

in German, we have the question word at the beginning of the sentence and change the word order.

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I have a feeling I know where all the decent members have gone to.

Where? (genuinely don't know and don't want to miss out!) drunk.gif

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1. What level are you at?

Pretty much at a beginners level, I can speak enough that I can usually communicate and make myself understood (Grammer, vocab and tones are shocking though). I know that first conversation / introduction you have when you first meet people, as well as basic vocab/verbs/conjunctions (I mostly learnt from a talking dictionary on my phone when I needed to say a word in a sentence). The words I know, I'm pretty confident with, but my listening is terrible (Mostly listen to Lao rather than Thai which is a lot of the problem I think)

2. Can you read and write Thai?

Yes, but my vocab is very low so I don't understand the words I'm reading and often mispronounce them since I'm not good with the tone markers etc and how they change the words. Likewise my writing is just a phonetic writing, without the tones, and in general my spelling is terrible

3. How long have you been learning Thai?

I came to Thailand to live in Oct 2010, I started learning on and off then. So roughly 1 1/2 years.

4. How did you learn?

I had a teacher at my school teach me the constants and then we were starting on the vowels, when she had to leave. Just by living here though, I learnt to use a lot of words/sentences which were constantly asked of me etc, as well as a lot of the words from the alphabet song. I learnt a lot of other words from other songs which I heard, liked and then translated (often just translated the title though), as well as from friends teaching me a few words here and there while drinking. Otherwise the rest I just learnt from the dictionary on my phone while I was out and about (Since I'd go into a shop, and if I wanted a banana I'd learn the word banana before I went in kinda thing)

5. What other languages could you speak before Thai?

Only English. I had to study a Maori, French, Japanese and Latin in school at various times, but I'm terrible at languages so none of them really stuck, and I dropped each as soon as the opportunity presented itself

I'm hoping to increase my Thai once I start teaching next term though and can get into a routine of learning a few words every day :) Although we'll see what happens with that, might get put in the same basket as running and swimming every day did last term lol.

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1. What level are you at?

Can have a conversation, follow some TV programs, read basic signs etc

2. Can you read and write Thai?

Yes, learnt that 10 years ago but slow at reading and my spelling for writing isn't great

3. How long have you been learning for?

on and off for 10 years, though I now have a private teacher to improve my reading and writing to keep up with the kids.

4. How did you learn?

Out of a book at first, took a few short courses, then left it for 5 years while getting by, then started with a private teacher 2 years ago.

5. What other languages could you speak before Thai?

Only English.

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Good thread and really interesting reading. Helping motivate me as well!

1. What level are you at?

I would say beginner / intermediate. Primarily based on the fact I've moved on from Thai for Beginners book to Thai for Intermediate Learners! Probably around 1000+ word vocabulary so still not enough to have more than fairly basic conversations and can speak much better than I can understand.

2. Can you read and write Thai?

I can read it really quite well... but honestly don't know a lot of the words (but I know how to say and pronounce them). I can write all the letters but I need to practice much more and work on my spelling.

3. How long have you been learning for?

Picked up bits and pieces and the basics over the last few years, but have started studying really hard this year. Based on a trip to Thailand at the beginning of the year where I realised I knew much more than I thought. This really motivated me!

4. How did you learn?

Thai for Beginners and Thai for Intermediate Learners books and audio. Recently purchased a grammar book, Thai Reference Grammar. Use Anki for flashcards (inputting my vocabulary). Reading Thai children's books my wife downloaded for me. Speaking with my wife and chatting with her family on Facebook.

5. What other languages could you speak before Thai?

Only English. Always been one of my biggest regrets that I can't speak another language, so now's my chance!

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1. What level are you at?

Intermediate-advanced

2. Can you read and write Thai?

Yes, I read the Daily News every day at Starbucks, and with a Thai teacher 3 times a wwek. ( http://www.dailynews.co.th)

3. How long have you been learning for?

about 12 years.

4. How did you learn?

Thai for Beginners and Thai for Intermediate Learners books and audio before moving to Thailand.

Moved to Thailand in 2006, since then I've had a private teacher take me to a 6th grade level. Since then, I've been using Thai newspapers with the teacher to improve my vocabulary. I have Thai tv on all the time, to improve my listening skill. I especially like channel 5 in the morning. I live in a mostly Thai building, I can practice using Thai a lot.

5. What other languages could you speak before Thai?

I'm a retired Spanish teacher.

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1. What level are you at?

I can express and say whatever I want to like a native.

2. Can you read and write Thai?

Yes, it's not as hard as everyone thinks it is. The trick to mastering Thai is to also be able to read and write it.

3. How long have you been learning for?

Since I was young...yea I'm cheating, but hey, you asked wink.png

4. How did you learn?

I don't memorize what I learn. I understand it like a child would when they learn another language. I also use this technique with Chinese and French.

5. What other languages could you speak before Thai?

English

If you want me to teach you, I'd be more than happy to...

http://www.thaitumdai.co.nr

Edited by thaitumdai

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1. What level are you at? still beginner after ... almost 6 years

2. Can you read and write Thai? Yes, i got a real pleasur to learn thai alphabet. Il you give me 10 mn, i maybe can read the big title in the newspaper ...

3. How long have you been learning for? 6 Years !!! :).

4. How did you learn? First 40 privat lessons with a perfect bilingual thai-french teacher. than 5 sessions to the AUA (Burapha-american-University) in Pattaya. Than the computer method HighSpeedThai. very good until the lesson "Vocabulary lesson" which are to long and difficult for me. Than "Learn Thai Podcast" with pc. Good but not good enough to pay the fees for the 2nd year (lol). I continue , very disappointed, to order food in the restaurant and my golf club to the caddy ...

5. What other languages could you speak before Thai? French (native), German, Italian, English (??) and a bit spannish.

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1. What level are you at?

I'm nearly fluent in a taxi cab, advanced in the market, and at a beginner's level if I'm trying to chat with Thai friends at a restaurant.

2. Can you read and write Thai?

Yes, but I don't understand every word and spelling words that have a galang pose difficulties for me.

3. How long have you been learning for?

Since I arrived in April 2009.

4. How did you learn?

Benjawan Poomsan Becker's series and living the language every day

5. What other languages could you speak before Thai?

Other than English: German, French, and Spanish (which I can only read now with some duress)

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1. What level are you at?

I'm just 4 months old here in Thailand & started speaking few words & phrases.

2. Can you read and write Thai?

No, I can't!

3. How long have you been learning for?

4 months only.

4. How did you learn?

Joined classes now.

5. What other languages could you speak before Thai?

Other than English & my own Indian languages. Little bit Arabic.

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BANGKOK 20 October 2017 04:48
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