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Online Dictionaries & Thai Language Resources

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Hi I'd like to plug my own Thai Language courses, if I may...

I am developing a minimalist approach to learning Thai that will help you to achieve fluency with relatively little effort - 16 hours to learn to read, 40 hours over 3-4 months to become basically proficient and 100 hours over a year to become fluent.*

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Controversially, the strategy for learning languages that I've developed and am refining is:

  1. Read and master texts of increasing complexity; be sure to choose texts that use a colloquial writing style – this is very important.
  2. Internalize the vocabulary, memorize by rote if necessary or, preferably, use mnemonics and association stories. A great learning tool for this is Anki.
    The theory behind these two steps is that you develop a context-based vocabulary, not an impractical 'dictionary head'
  3. Listen to the text being read aloud by a native speaker, over and over again until i) you understand it nearly 100% and ii) you know most of it by heart – the latter point is an important part of my strategy to learn 'without training wheels'. The more you can do without notes or dictionaries, the more you can communicate and think on your feet.
  4. Read Aloud in a loud, distinct and exaggerated manner, getting faster and faster with each reading. This is essential muscle training. All movements (even the complex movements of a pianist or ping pong player) are directly controlled by the brain. When you practice the physical movements of speaking, it is like mastering various intricate dance steps or scales & riffs in music. When you then wish to express an intention, this gets translated subconsciously into a series of well-rehearsed muscle movements. In this sense, speaking is like playing jazz or any improvisational music.

Understanding what people say is a paradoxical listening skill: you only hear what you already know; otherwise it's just a musical noise. For learning Thai in the most efficient way, I strongly recommend reading. That's what my program is all about. When you fully understand a text (at the correct level) then you will find that you start to hear what people are saying, which in turn means that you will understand them better.

Speaking is, in my opinion, a non-linguistic skill that just requires practice, in the same way as a physical skill like playing piano or dancing or karate. There are efficient ways to practice also, but basically if you practice saying typical phrases over and over again – a little every day – in a loud and exaggerated way until it comes "trippingly off the tongue" then you will find that you become surprisingly fluent in no time!!!

My 'rapid fluency course' is based on a Thai novel called Sydney Remember, and applies these principles. It will consist of 50 weekly lessons, at a dirt-cheap price of 250 baht per lesson.

How to learn Rapid Thai. You should start by going through the Read Thai in a Weekend course; then work quickly through Everyday Thai for Beginners before signing up for my fluency course. And if you want to be better at typing (which is reading after all) then I suggest you get the HudPim Typing Tutor. It's designed for Thais, so no English in sight! :o

As for writing in Thai (which is what Thai language schools will get you to do and what Thai children are expected to do from day one)… don't bother! It's totally unnecessary, as is the requirement to know the names and the alphabetical order of the letters.

Find out more by visiting www.learnthaionline.com.

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* These are "lesson" hours. I recommend spending an additional 15-30 minutes a day on focused practice - e.g. memorizing vocabulary using the Anki system, listening to the weekly chapter until you can hear and understand it completely, and exaggerated speaking practice of set phrases. Most of this can be done while traveling or commuting using an MP3 player, smartphone or iPad/Android device. There's no real effort required, just make it part of your daily routine...

I define "fluency" to mean being able to converse at normal speed without thinking about it. It does not mean being academically correct, nor being competent in dealing with advanced subjects. That comes later (and reasonably effortlessly), the more you mix with educated Thais and are exposed to news, movies and special interests.

Edited by RapidLL

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I'm looking for a decent Thai-English dictionary, Hardcopy, in book form. I hear the Chulalongkorn University Press are good. Can someone recommend a website to purchase from? Thanks

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Just started the Its4thai lessons. Really enjoying them!! It seems to be working quite well for me. Thank you to whoever mentioned it!!!

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Anyhow, the most comprehensive list of Thai tap sap words & phrases is a book called '700 Thai Words Taken From English' It's available in some stores as a paperback, but the easier way to get it is as an ebook.

The Thai Royal Institute also have a dictionary of loan words. It can be downloaded as multiple PDFs free from here:

ศัพท์ต่างประเทศที่ใช้คำไทยแทนได้

http://www.royin.go....&SystemMenuID=1

FYI, English & Thai only (with usage examples). No phonetic spellings.

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A new online course has just been launched. Learn Speak Thai Online offers interactive beginner and intermediate online courses in Thai and Isaan Thai.

The online lessons have clickable audio text and slideshows and there are 100's of audio flash card and matching words games to help your learning along. At the moment they're offering access to about 100 free lessons and games for FREE , no sign up or purchase necessary. Worth checking out!

www.LearnSpeakThaiOnline.com

Edited by charlie10

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Hi - I've looked at many of the sites mentioned here but can't find one that will translate a Thai sentance into English? am I missing something? I'm not looking for a Dictionary but a rough translation.

One of the best translation programs now is Google Translate. But if you use it, don't write anything more than a very short sentence or the Thai gradually gets messed up. And from Thai to English -- you will probably be lucky just to get the gist of what Google spits out. Why? Because Thai grammar is hugely simple compared to English, and it doesn't normally use pronouns like "He" or "it" -- GT just sticks stuff in or uses crazy passive expressions. But it's better than nothing.

And I'm not sure if anybody put it here already, but I use thai-language dot com a LOT (can't post the link for some reason. Sorry). It gives the roman transliteration, example sentences and even tells you the tones you should use (M= mid tone, etc). But if at all possible, if you're serious about a woman, then learn to read Thai. It will only take a few weeks to do, then you can use one of the MANY iPhone / iPad / Android Thai dictionaries out there. Good luck!

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I've heard good things about the Assimil courses but sadly they only do a Thai course for French speakers. Is Pimsleur a good alternative? I'd be interested in other recommendations along these lines.

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I've heard good things about the Assimil courses but sadly they only do a Thai course for French speakers. Is Pimsleur a good alternative? I'd be interested in other recommendations along these lines.

Pimsleur is good, everybody I know that has used it (including myself) was impressed with the quality, but it has two bad things going for it. First, it's way overpriced. Second, the Thai course only has 30 lessons to date, so it doesn't cover much. You surely could get more for your money somewhere else, but even so I'd buy more lessons if they put them out. Doubtful they will though. Lots of other threads on Pimsleur though, do a search for more info.

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A very good English-Thai Thai-English dictionary for iPhone (in Appstore but probably for Android too) is "ClickThai" can search in English can search in Thai also in transcription (not so good but can help sometimes) Also we all know translating in Thai is not so easy often there is more than a single meaning in same word (verb) a list is proposed sometimes of dozens of words . 55000 Thai words 66000 English words all Thai words with very good sound, all in your telephone (iPhone 305 mega) don't need to be connectedI, used it every single day since no need for internet can also show translation to Thai people everywhere.

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BANGKOK 20 October 2017 04:49
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