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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiangMai noon
    far better to look at full words and work it out from there, sort of site reading.
    Ah, er, you mean "sight" reading, but you're right, IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyTits
    How could you possibly even try to sound a word out w/o knowing the intended sound?
    The same way the Chinese manage. Their written language has no phonetic component, yet they learn to read.

    Quote Originally Posted by tsicar
    you reach a stage where everything starts falling into place
    After how many decades?

  2. #52
    たのむよ。
    The Gentleman Scamp's Avatar
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    It was just a case of 'How do I say this? How do I say that?' but I tired of it early 2005.

    Should have continued, I'd be fluent now.

  3. #53
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    ^
    I doubt that.

    I reckon I'm about 5 years and a lot of hard work off fluency.

    I'd put myself at an intermediate level at the moment.

  4. #54
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    I actually agree with CMN on this one, it's better to learn how to read words that you already know how to say, than to try and decypher a new word by reading it.

    Reading road signs and other things around you also helps as well as reading the Thai transliterations of foreign shops and places. I've heard people trying to learn the myriad of tone and pronunciation rules and getting bogged down by it all.

    Once you have the basics you can pick up childrens books which have both Thai and English. Cover up the English, then try to read the Thai with the help of a Thai-English dictionary, then check your translation against the one in the book. Before long you'll be reading Kafka and Dickens.

  5. #55
    Displaced Member cali kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thormaturge
    Learned more from watching films in Thai and following Thai news programmes.
    Fuck me....... You learned from news?? Shit, one thing I dont mind bosting about a bit is my Thai and I bet I can speak it better than at least 99.9% of expats but I have a really difficult time understanding the news. Words jump out quite often and I can understand every word said in some sentences but they just speak too damn fast.. You have TIVO or something?

    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteLotusLane
    you can learn by yourself.
    Yeah right.... As long as nobody but yourself needs to understand what the hell you're talking about... I would strongly recommend that you dont practice Thai by yourself as it is very highly unlikely that you would be able to read the phonetically spelled word and then repeat it in a manner that would be understood by Thais. Then when you realize that you have been saying it wrong all this time it becomes a pain in the ass to remember to say correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by buad hai
    Quote: Originally Posted by tsicar you reach a stage where everything starts falling into place
    Quote Originally Posted by buad hai
    After how many decades?
    About a quarter decade given you are diligent.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Gentleman Scamp
    It was just a case of 'How do I say this? How do I say that?' but I tired of it early 2005. Should have continued, I'd be fluent now.
    Absolutely...
    Quote Originally Posted by ChiangMai noon
    ^ I doubt that. I reckon I'm about 5 years and a lot of hard work off fluency.
    I have been here for six and dont know if I would be considered a fluent speaker, probably not, but am not far off.

    And how many different Thais in the course of a day do you ask how to say something? ( I say different because there are always different ways or opinions.

    Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes..
    Questions questions questions questions questions questions questions.....

    Ask questions, ask everybody questions, the taxi, bus, boat driver, waiter, waitress, bartender, cashier, that guy standing next to you, anybody. Its not like you're nagging the same person over and over again, unless we are speaking of the bartender.
    Hear it from a Thai if you want to know. Then repeat it to them 2 or 3 times to check. They will smile and nod there head and may even throw in a extra, but thats usually just confusing anyway.

    Speak speak speak speak speak speak speak speak speak...

    As soon as you learn something, use it. Even if it doesnt make much sense in the situation, when you are corrected it will just carve it deeper into your memory (I did this constantly just so that I could be corrected because I realized it really helped and it was a good laugh sometimes)..

    You got to get out and be exposed to the language in its everyday use. I am sure that classes, more than books, would be good preparation for speaking Thai outside and would greatly aid you if and only if you did in fact get out and use it daily.

    Quote Originally Posted by Property
    How did you manage to learn the Thai language?
    See above.....
    But the first thing I needed was a reason that I would be reminded of everyday.. (It came in the form of black skirts and white shirts)..

    I have never taken any classes, listen to any CDs or read any books.. I was lucky enough to be thrown in to a uni where I was the only foreigner and the first American to ever attend.. (Ramkhamhaeng Uni. Intl prgm.) Yes that is a unique situation but it only gave me the opportunity to ask more questions, which you can do anywhere in Thailand where there are people as long as you dont mind.

    And seriously, use new words in the wrong situations and be corrected to see how easily you will remember the word next time..


    Oh yeah, and i cant read a single word of Thai, or even write my own name so i dont know anything about that.
    Last edited by cali kid; 08-02-2008 at 05:42 PM.
    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
    Albert Einstein

  6. #56
    たのむよ。
    The Gentleman Scamp's Avatar
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    Another reason I stopped is that I don't have a Thai Mrs and never really did and though a little Thai is useful for taxi driver smalltalk, you don't really get any thanks for it.

    Enough to let the con artists know you are savvy is sufficient.

  7. #57
    Displaced Member cali kid's Avatar
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    ^^ Are you serious? Is that all the use you see for Thai? Well thats ok... If you did speak Thai very well as you might if you hadnt stopped asking those questions you would see many more huge doors opening. And smaller ones on the front of the non English speaking Uni. girl's apartments.

  8. #58
    Displaced Member cali kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Gentleman Scamp
    I stopped is that I don't have a Thai Mrs and never really did
    I rest my case...............

  9. #59
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    I found it profoundly difficult to learn and speak, mainly becuse i have about 70-80% hearing loss in both ears thanks to my service days.
    I am proficient now, but unless Thai's know my accent they cannot understand me well - my tonal speech is crap.
    My daughter shamed me into learning to read and write, I went really well and it was a lot easier to pick up once i put my head down. But like all things i lost my motivation once i could read most of the alphabet and write my name, there seemed little challenge left.
    My wife was absolutley no help whatsoever, she has no patience with a near deaf student.
    My daughter is a gem, we converse more than my wife and I do in Thai.

    It is compulsory to be able to speak it to get your Residency Book, and I managed that OK, plus a basic written test. The only ambition would be to go for citizenship, but that would be like getting a diploma in being stupid, pigheaded and just plain lazy.

    Don't see the point in that!

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by cali kid
    Speak speak speak speak speak speak speak speak speak...
    I'm just too shy. I have problems speaking English to Americans. How can I ever work up the courage to use Thai? I'm just plain terrified of people.

    Sorry.

    That said, I'm making a lot of progress reading.....

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by buad hai
    I'm just too shy. I have problems speaking English to Americans
    Don't blame you, I wouldn't talk to the nasty buggers given the choice

  12. #62
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    This is my # 1 priority when i move to Thailand is to learn the speak.

    I'm going to enroll in language classes as i feel if your serious about living here and interacting with the Thai you must know the lingo.

    Ive got a few mates that natter away like the locals so its not impossible if your serious about it and give it a good crack.

    It makes me laugh when i read on this forum that the thais are stupid or this and that but im sure that if the farang could speak proper thai most of the problems would disappear.

    Anyway,

    I'll give it my best shot as i wont be wasting my time working for a foking living.
    Stroller is a Yerman faggot.

  13. #63
    Member BosseO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry57 View Post
    This is my # 1 priority when i move to Thailand
    Anyway, I'll give it my best shot as i wont be wasting my time working for a foking living.
    Agree, but # 1 will be a toss up between getting my house ready and buying some wheels.

  14. #64
    Displaced Member cali kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buad hai View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cali kid
    Speak speak speak speak speak speak speak speak speak...
    I'm just too shy. I have problems speaking English to Americans. How can I ever work up the courage to use Thai? I'm just plain terrified of people.

    Sorry.

    That said, I'm making a lot of progress reading.....
    Put the book down. Take some of the time you spend learning to read and start speaking. Sure you are shy but that is just the first hump to get over.. The more you do it, the less self conscious you will become.. At least that is the case with most things, isnt it?
    Before you know it the Thais around you will become shy to use their English around you as your Thai is so good.

    Dont give up...

  15. #65
    anonymous ant
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry57 View Post
    This is my # 1 priority when i move to Thailand is to learn the speak.

    It makes me laugh when i read on this forum that the thais are stupid or this and that but im sure that if the farang could speak proper thai most of the problems would disappear.

    it is only when you can speak thai, and have spent enough time speaking to the locals that you start to understand what they are all about.
    very, very scary......................

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by cali kid
    Dont give up...
    I haven't. I've just adjusted to the reality that being shy probably makes it unlikely that I'll ever be conversant in Thai. Get over it? Sorry, I'm 58 and still afraid to answer the telephone.

  17. #67
    Member k1klass's Avatar
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    I have problems speaking English to Americans
    I'm with you there, i have problems speaking English to the English, i got 3 words down right now

    Little, fat and cheers - see a pattern

  18. #68
    Member Curious George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texpat View Post
    Enroll in Thai language classes. Take it seriously, practice all the time. Learn to read and write as you learn to speak. Don't play the transliteration game, it's more confusing and it's like learning a third language. Try to read everything you see, roadsigns, shampoo bottles, newspaper headlines, magazine covers. At the beginning, you can't understand 99% of it, but when you knuckle out your first words outta-the-blue, it's almost orgasmic. Write in Thai as much as possible. English is a crutch best thrown away early. Take notes in Thai to the extent you can. If you can write it, you can read it.

    To improve your vocab, use yellow stick-it notes. Put one on the lamp, on the fridge, on the desk, on the mirror, on the computer, on the fan... etc. Write them in Thai. Everytime you pass an item, say it out loud. If you can't remember, read the sitck-it note. When you can remember how to say it, and spell it, remove the note.

    Tones are tough, but Thais make them seem tougher than they are.

    If you walked into a western store and asked for a ham and chise sandwich, the staff wouldn't bat an eye.

    If you walked into a Thai store and asked for khao niao and sam tom, they'll all stand around scratching their heads wondering what this daft farang wanted.

    If you listen carefully to Thais speak, they scream over tones like a fighter at the treetops. The clues are in the context.

    Have fun and don't be shy.
    This is one of the best comprehensive responses I've seen from you, IMO. Believe me, I'm not belittling you, it is just that I totally agree with what you've said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivor Biggun View Post
    As much as my wife tries to teach me I'm fcuked. I've a memory like a sieve. Have trouble remembering peoples names as well.
    This is me also!!!!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ChiangMai noon View Post
    i think the worst thing you can do is to try to remember all the letters and vowels before you start reading stuff.

    far better to look at full words and work it out from there, sort of site reading.
    My wife tried to have me learn all consonants and vowels, as in preschool. It didn't work for me.
    Geo

  19. #69
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  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by jizzybloke
    Anyone tried it?
    Yeah, it has a very bizarre (IMHO) method of assigning mnemonics to the alphabet. I found it confusing.

    I made my own flash card deck of the Thai alphabet which was easier. That said, I've never really learned it all....

    Look for Thai Characters on this page:

    Flashcard Suite Decks

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry57 View Post
    It makes me laugh when i read on this forum that the thais are stupid or this and that but im sure that if the farang could speak proper thai most of the problems would disappear.

    Not in my experience Terry, when you can understand what they are saying it appears many are more stupid than I first thought.
    Doesn't make them any less likeable, but the average conversation, is childlike in its range of topics.

  22. #72
    Mea-Culpa
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    Quote Originally Posted by buad hai
    Get over it? Sorry, I'm 58 and still afraid to answer the telephone.
    Bladdy hell...

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Property View Post
    How did you manage to learn the Thai language? Perhaps you haven't yet.

    Images came to mind of my time spent wandering around my Thai condo in Bangkok, a Linguaphone cassette-player dangling around my neck and a set of flash-cards in my back pocket.

    Sure, I might now be able to ask the way to the train station, or where the tourist information office is, but to have learn sufficient Thai to deal with the government officials & scammers is momentarily beyond me. And anyway, why should I waste my time talking to people who are clearly less intelligent than me.
    Then obiously you are hanging out with the wrong crowd

  24. #74
    The Cat
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    I'm learning with my son.
    He is 2 but well ahead of me.
    Trying to catch up...

  25. #75
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    Unfortunatly i can not yet read or write....but i speak the language at a fair level i should mean....
    How did i learn to speak....by listening to my old GF...unfortunatly i had met her in Denmark and she spoke that language .....so most of the time we took the easy road and spoke...well a pretty good mixup of thai/danish/english
    So only a little learned there.....At a point we split up and i moved to live alone,thats when i really started to learn to listen to and speak thai.....where i lived only very few thais that i met could speak english (Buriram)....My wife now don't speak english,or at least she pretend so....so here at home conversations are on thai all the time...



    Claus

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