New Year’s Resolution – Learn Thai Posted by sasha on Jan 11, 2018 in Beginner, Intermediate, Videos
A New Year is here, and that means many people are trying to follow through on their New Year’s resolution (ความละเอียดปีใหม่ kwaam lá-ìat bpee mài). Perhaps your resolution is to learn Thai (เรียน ภาษาไทย rian paa-săa tai). Sadly, many people give up on their resolution halfway through the year. We’re here to help make sure that doesn’t happen by giving you some tips and resources to learn Thai in 2018.
Learn the Alphabet
It’s much easier to learn Thai if you know the alphabet. Actually, it’s not technically an alphabet – it’s an abugida. In this writing system, each unit is based on a consonant, while the vowel notation is secondary. We have a great and comprehensive guide to the Thai alphabet that you can follow. You can also follow along with these two videos to practice your pronunciation:
Work on the Tones
The Thai tones can be quite difficult, especially for speakers of non-tonal languages. There are five tones in all in Thai. It almost seems like you’re singing when you’re speaking Thai! Get started with the Thai tones in our awesome 3-part series:
This video also gives you a good guide to the sounds of them all, with plenty of examples for you to practice alongside.
Meet and Greet
The best way to learn Thai (or any language, for that matter) is to talk with native speakers. This is intimidating when you’re a beginner and you don’t know much, but you have to start somewhere. Try greeting people in Thai, even if you can’t say much else. Thai people are famously friendly and they’re always super excited to hear farang making an attempt at their language, even if it’s a poor one. Learn these common Thai greetings to get started:
สวัสดี – sà-wàt dee
สวัสดีครับ – sà-wàt dee kráp
สวัสดีค่ะ – sà-wàt dee kâ
คุณสบายดีไหม – kun sà-baai dee măi
How are you?
เป็นยังไงบ้าง – bpen yang ngai bâang
How’s it going?
มีอะไรใหม่บ้าง – mee a-rai mài bâang
ยินดีที่ได้รู้จัก – yin dee têe dâai róo jàk
Nice to meet you.
อรุณสวัสดิ์ – a-run sà-wàt
ยินดีต้อนรับยิน – yin dee dtôn ráp
ลาก่อนลา – laa gòn
พบกันใหม่ – póp gan mài
แล้วพบกันใหม่ – láew póp gan mài
See you later.
เที่ยวให้สนุก – tîeow hâi sà-nùk
Have a good trip.
You know how you say please and thank you in English? In Thai, it’s all about using ครับ (krap) or ค่ะ (ka) at the end of a sentence. We have a helpful post about the Thai ending particles that you can study. Politeness is very important in Thai culture, so learning how to use krap or ka is necessary. We have another video you can follow along for more practice:
Master Some Survival Phrases
If your goal is to get started speaking Thai as soon as possible, why not focus on mastering some survival phrases? Those who are just traveling in Thailand and simply want to be able to get by in Thai if necessary will find these very useful. Make your trip much easier by learning these survival phrases in Thai!
Struggling over the tones and trying to finally master that one tricky consonant isn’t exactly fun. When studying any language, it’s important to mix your study of grammar and vocabulary up with some more fun activities. After all, Thail people are all about having fun. If it’s not sanuk (สนุก sà-nùk), something’s not worth doing. Why not listen to some Thai music or watch a Thai movie? Put the English subtitles on if you need to. As long as you’re listening to Thai, it will be helpful. If you’re looking for some suggestions, you can follow our posts on the Top 10 Thai movies:
- Top 10 Thai Movies – Part 1
- Top 10 Thai Movies – Part 2
- Top 10 Thai Movies – Part 3
- Top 10 Thai Movies – Part 4
Travel to Thailand
There’s no better way to learn a language than traveling to the country where it’s spoken. Famous for its postcard-worthy beaches, incredible scenery, and bustling cities, everybody wants to go to Thailand! If you’re trying to learn the language you have even more of a reason to go. While it’s true that many people in Thailand speak English – especially in tourism – they will all be more than happy to help you practice your Thai. So plan that trip to relax on a Thai island or go jungle-trekking in Chiang Mai. That will help keep you motivated to learn Thai all throughout the year.
In addition to this blog, we’ve got plenty of resources to help you in your quest to learn Thai:
- Sign up to learn Thai online for free for 14 days
- Join our community on Facebook
- Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos
That should keep you busy for all of 2018 and ensure that you don’t give up on your goal to learn Thai this year!
How will you learn Thai this year? Do you have any other ideas to share with our readers? Leave a comment and let us know!