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  1. #1
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    How did you manage to learn the Thai language?

    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.

  2. #2
    Northern Hermit
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    Quote Originally Posted by Property
    why should I waste my time talking to people who are clearly less intelligent than me.
    Could say the same of any language
    If you're gonna live here learn the language. We speak Thai in the home about 80% of the time. When the ol lady pisses me off or I get frustrated I'll slip into English, but, I'm learning; it's only been a few years . Lose the cassettes & flash cards or leave 'em at home. You learn the language by using it.
    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty -- T. Jefferson


  3. #3
    Member mackayae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Property View Post
    why should I waste my time talking to people who are clearly less intelligent than me.
    That's what Marcel Marceau said.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Property View Post
    . And anyway, why should I waste my time talking to people who are clearly less intelligent than me.
    So why would an intelligent, sophisticated scholar like you lower yourself to live in Thailand with all of these dumbasses???

    I hate to hear people make statements like that, yet choose to live here.

  5. #5
    I am in Jail
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    Surely that's part of why we choose to live here. Living among complete and utter imbeciles really makes me feel great - just laugh at them, you'll have the time of yer life.

    OP, ^^
    You learn the language by using it.
    Correct. Keep on using what you know, build new vocab every day, use it at every chance you get and you'll be fine. Also doing a lacguage course can be useful.

    But practice practice practice.

  6. #6
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    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.
    Last edited by Texpat; 18-12-2007 at 11:11 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Property View Post
    . And anyway, why should I waste my time talking to people who are clearly less intelligent than me.
    So why would an intelligent, sophisticated scholar like you lower yourself to live in Thailand with all of these dumbasses???

    I hate to hear people make statements like that, yet choose to live here.
    They can speak the language, you can't!

    Reminds me of the story of the traveller who is lost and asks a farmer working in the fields, "what is the name of the nearest town?", to which the farmer replies, "I don't know". "Then, where does this road go to"?, "I don't know". You're a real idiot aren't you? "You're the one who's lost".

    I learned to communicate in Thai by hanging out in bars/snooker halls and having girlfriends that couldn't speak English.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texpat
    If you listen carefully to Thais speak, they scream over tones like a fighter at the treetops. The clues are in the context.
    Exactly. When you try to overdo the tones, that's when the confusion starts. If you make an effort to speak confidently, and don't over emphasise the tones, you will be understood a lot better.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by mackayae View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Property View Post
    why should I waste my time talking to people who are clearly less intelligent than me.
    That's what Marcel Marceau said.
    Descartes speculated that Monkeys have the capacity for human speech, but choose to remain silent in order to avoid having to converse with Man.


    There are some things we may never discover.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megahorn View Post
    Surely that's part of why we choose to live here. Living among complete and utter imbeciles really makes me feel great - just laugh at them, you'll have the time of yer life....
    Hopefully that was meant in the right vein, otherwise make sure you don't happen to laugh at the wrong one in a wrong way.

  11. #11
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    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.

  12. #12
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    I had no choice but to learn it due to our workers poorly English-skills, I never took a class or any lesson, picked it up by listen and use it on daily basis. Its tough in the beginning, but dont give up.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalton
    poorly English-skills
    Have you thought about taking them to the doctor's?

  14. #14
    Mea-Culpa
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    ^ Arent we funny todays...

  15. #15
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    First I concluded living in a country and not knowing the language would make life very difficult and frustrating. From there listening, asking and practicing was the key. Trust me, I am half deaf and far from a cunning linguist so if I can do it so can you.

  16. #16
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    ^W.C. Fields and Mae West. I know I nailed that one - Avatar game for those who don't know.

  17. #17
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinthee
    ^W.C. Fields and Mae West. I know I nailed that one - Avatar game for those who don't know.
    Yes, My Little Chickadee. Not you the movie! New one coming soon.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Property View Post
    . And anyway, why should I waste my time talking to people who are clearly less intelligent than me.
    So why would an intelligent, sophisticated scholar like you lower yourself to live in Thailand with all of these dumbasses???
    I only have to live with one of them, fortunately.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown
    I hate to hear people make statements like that, yet choose to live here.
    Yep, not very intelligent at all...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Property View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chitown View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Property View Post
    . And anyway, why should I waste my time talking to people who are clearly less intelligent than me.
    So why would an intelligent, sophisticated scholar like you lower yourself to live in Thailand with all of these dumbasses???
    I only have to live with one of them, fortunately.

    But you do live in Thailand.......right??

  21. #21
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    ^
    lives in his own little world i think.

    one where he doesn't need to speak to the imaginary little brown people he sees every day.

  22. #22
    Tax Consultant
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    Had some formal lessons at Union Language School in Surriwongse road, which Ihave recommended to countless people. Learned more from watching films in Thai and following Thai news programmes. Learned the numbers from the Thai lottery coverage on TV.

    I was determined not to wind up with an Isan farmer's accent.

    Nowhere near perfect but I know enough to get by and understand what the little people are talking about much of the time.

  23. #23
    I am in Jail
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    I was determined not to wind up with an Isan farmer's accent.
    Who understand and can speak far more than practically all farangs.

    I'm amused at the recent bashings of Issan on other threads. Great entertainment.

  24. #24
    I am in Jail

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    Well, what's the test? I speak Thai to almost all the Thais I come in contact with. We have no problem understanding each other.

    What else am I supposed to know?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thormaturge View Post
    Had some formal lessons at Union Language School in Surriwongse road, which Ihave recommended to countless people. Learned more from watching films in Thai and following Thai news programmes. Learned the numbers from the Thai lottery coverage on TV.

    I was determined not to wind up with an Isan farmer's accent.

    Nowhere near perfect but I know enough to get by and understand what the little people are talking about much of the time.

    I did not know you spoke Thai.

    How long did you go to that school?

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