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Learning to read and write Thai

Immersive programs, classroom study and private instruction, worldwide.

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Learning to read and write Thai

Postby ennoh » Wed May 02, 2012 3:23 am

I have a friend who speaks Thai, having come to the US at age 11 but he cannot read or write it as he never went to school in Thailand.

He must now return to live in Thailand at age 38 so he will have to learn to read and write.

He has no access to the internet but has limited use to a computer without internet use.

What will be the best way for him to learn to read and write Thai?

All suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Learning to read and write Thai

Postby tod-daniels » Fri May 25, 2012 2:20 am

I also know a Thai kid (I say kid because he's 22), who moved to the US when he was 8 and just returned to Thailand. He speaks Thai like a native speaker but can't read a single character in Thai :shock: . He's tryin' to teach himself to read using books written in English designed to teach non-native speakers to read Thai. Still it's not an easy go for him and he's struggling a LOT. :oops:

I don't think there are ANY schools which teach Thai reading to Thais who grew up abroad at all. Most Thai nationals here learned to read by having it beaten into their heads as kids, and that ain't the most ideal teaching environment for adults to learn anything :? .

There is a site called Teach Thai dot com, http://www.teachthai.com which run is by the Department of Informal Education along with the Ministry of Education. It teaches how to read Thai in English. It was designed to teach Thai reading to the children of Thai nationals who are stationed abroad and are native English speakers. (Sometimes that link displays with right click disabled, if it does just google it and see if you can find a different link to it ;) )

It's free, and quite good. So good in fact, it was how I taught myself to read Thai. Once you make a user name and password you can use the site for as long as you want. You do hafta be connected to the internet to use it, but it's something which may help If he can get an internet connection.

The only other thing I can recommend is that he buy a good book about reading Thai written in English. The one called "Introduction to Thai Reading" by Rungrat Luanwarawat isn't bad and one called "Reading and Writing Thai" by Somsonge Burusphat is pretty good too. I've got both of them and they're well worth the price.

Good Luck. ..
"Whoever said `Money can`t buy you love or joy` obviously was not making enough money." <- quote by Gene $immon$ of the rock group KISS
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Re: Learning to read and write Thai

Postby mali01.bird » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:03 pm

Saw added ka.
If he lives in bangkok please don't hesitate to contact me at mali01.bird@gmail.com
Welcome to Thailand!!!!
Sincerest , Mali.
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Re: Learning to read and write Thai

Postby rapidthai » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:05 pm

Image
I have a system that will teach you to read Thai in less than 20 hours. Unfortunately, it's all online so your friend will have to go to an internet cafe to study. If he can already speak and understand Thai then it will only take him a few hours to work through the course.

If he doesn't want to work online then he come to one of my workshops. I now run a two-week course spread out over 10 half-days. The first week is to teach you how to read, the second week is to learn (and remember) key words and phrases.

Please visit http://www.learnthaionline.com
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Re: Learning to read and write Thai

Postby bifftastic » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:43 pm

I have to say that I find the method of remembering that is supposed to be a U-boat, and then remembering the sound that it represents to be one extra, unnecessary, step. Especially when I'm prompted to remember that is a U-boat with a balloon flying from it's mast!

doesn't look like a tortoise, to me, either.

How is that supposed to be easier than just learning the letters in the usual manner?

Surely your head would fill with ideas of tortoises and U-boats when it will have enough on it's plate when it gets to work on consonant clusters, grammar, tones etc.

Or is it enough (for your course) that people will be able to recognise and remember a certain number of words?
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Re: Learning to read and write Thai

Postby claude06thailand » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:05 pm

I agree with Bifftastic, all the more so because เต่า uses and not , so that it will be confusing.
I would rather stick to the traditional KO KAI.
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Re: Learning to read and write Thai

Postby pensive » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:10 am

Many people, apparently, appreciate a mnemonic, even if it does not appear relevant to others.

I think I've seen a reference somewhere, perhaps in the Anki posts, that *any* picture associated with a word will improve the memory of that word.

(But I don't use mnemonics myself.)
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Re: Learning to read and write Thai

Postby claude06thailand » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:26 am

pensive wrote:Many people, apparently, appreciate a mnemonic, even if it does not appear relevant to others.

I think I've seen a reference somewhere, perhaps in the Anki posts, that *any* picture associated with a word will improve the memory of that word.

(But I don't use mnemonics myself.)


Hi Pensive !

Mnemonic is fine, sure, and Ko Kai has its picture and even a song. I don't see the point to create new pictures, and I do not like phonetics for the same reason. You never know which one is used and they are often mixed together.

Hope you are fine and coming soon again to Thailand.
Claude
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Re: Learning to read and write Thai

Postby bifftastic » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:19 pm

I'm sure mnemonics work just fine. Presumably that's one reason why they already exist in the Thai alphabet?

Why add a whole new set?
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Re: Learning to read and write Thai

Postby tod-daniels » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:27 am

The Thais have their own mnemonics for their consonant classes so why learn "new ones"? Also why learn pictures for consonants which have no relevance to the Thai "pictogram" which represents a word usually spelled with that consonant (obviously ฅอ คน and ฃอ ขวด are the exceptions).

I also don't think the Thai tone rules are all that convoluted that a person can't wrap their heads around them given enough time, but that's just my thoughts on it. Face it ANY native speaker who learned Thai learned via the pictures for the consonants and from the Thai mnemonics which go with the consonant classes. It's how the Thai language was beaten into their heads as kids in school.

Heck, even I learned the mnemonic "a chicken pecked a child that died above the mouth of a water pot" ไก่จิกเด็กตายบนปากโอ่ง for the Middle Class Consonants and the one about "a ghost entrusted with a bag of raw rice gave it to me" ผีฝากถุงข้าวสารให้ฉัน for the High Class Consonants (although there's another one which is used too, not to mention the English versions of those that I use leave a lot to be desired :lol: )...

Now to be honest, I have never tried this "rapid thai" method or sat this class, nor have I ever met someone who did so I can't say whether it works or not. I just think there’s no need to make something which most foreign learners find a ‘tough row to hoe” already, more complicated than it is.

I do know for a fact a person wouldn't walk out of it being able to "read" Thai. To me that's taking a little creative license with the meaning of the word "read" :? . Now, they might be able to almost pronounce written Thai, but that's NOT reading; because there's no meaning thai'd, err I mean “tied” to what they're pronouncing.

Reading is nothing more than memorizing hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of words so when you see them they have a meaning in your head. As I have said before, I could "read" as in know the meaning of what I call the "6-cow-words" in Thai (ขาว, ข่าว ข้าว เขา เข่า เข้า) before I could EVER replicate their intonation or vowel lengths only because I memorized the differences in how they were written and knew what they meant when I saw them.

Still what ever helps a foreigner learn Thai can’t be a bad thing any way you parse it out. If it helps you good for you… :P
"Whoever said `Money can`t buy you love or joy` obviously was not making enough money." <- quote by Gene $immon$ of the rock group KISS
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