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Thailand forum

Learning Thai

Posted by DannyJ on 2/5/2006 at 00:02

Hey guys, me again! I am trying (note the word 'trying') to learn some basic thai before my trip later this year, am using the brilliant learningthai.com website as a starter tool. I was thinking that when i'm in Thailand i might take a thai language class of some sort? It's just what kind of class and when??
At the moment my plan is to spend a couple of days in Bangkok when i arrive but then i'm heading down to Koh Phangan for a couple of weeks, maybe longer, of pre-arranged thaiboxing training. After the training i'm thinking about heading back up north probably via Bangkok. I'm looking forward to interacting with locals in Bangkok and i'm sure i'll be spending lots of time with Thai's while training, so i hope i'll pick up a fair amount of the language just doing what i'll be doing at the start of my trip. But i would like to learn as early as poss when i arrive.
With this in mind do you think it would be worth having any 'proper lessons' in thai in Bangkok, or anywhere else?? Any recommendations for schools or tutors?? I'm not looking to become totally fleunt but i'd like to be able to have an o.k. conversation as i think it will enhance my trip experiences loads!!
Anyone any comments or suggestions? Thanks in advance, peace and love, Danny J

#1 DannyJ has been a member since 5/10/2005. Posts: 36

Posted by somtam2000 on 2/5/2006 at 07:09 admin

Hi DannyJ

Chiang Mai is the most popular spot for intensive courses, but you can study Thai pretty much anywhere in the country -- it really depends what level of use you want to be able to get.

Given you're spending a couple of weeks on Ko Pha Ngan, I'd say that would be the best bet as you'll be able to have a couple of weeks with the same teacher in a comfortable setting.

Ask around at Horizon to see if they know someone who could spend a couple of hours a day with you -- given the level you'll be attempting will be basic conversational, all you really need is someone who's wiling to sit on the bungalow veranda with you and shoot the breeze -- for a situation like that 100-250B per hour wouldn't be a bad rate -- just make sure they're improving your Thai and not you improving their English!

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,090

Posted by exacto on 2/5/2006 at 07:31


The Thai word for "ouch" or "it hurts" is "jep." That should help you during your Thai boxing training. If you are asking your opponent if it hurts, you can say "jep mai?"

Good on ya for taking the plunge and trying to learn some Thai before you arrive. I've always thought that Thai was a difficult language to learn, but I suspect your enthusiasm will more than make up for how hard it can be.

If you find you can't find a tutor to hang out with you as Somtam suggests, lots of my friends picked up quite a bit of Thai while hanging out at the ubiquitous beer bars in Bangkok and other places. You'll be able to chat for as long as you wish with a hostess, while you are both having fun. Take along a Thai language book or something like that with words you want to learn spelled out in both English and Thai. You won't spend much money, just the cost of a few beers or sodas and a tip for the young lady's time, and you'll get native Thai pronunciation guidance and probably even learn some great idoms.

If you wind up in Chiang Mai, the AUA language center there has classes for foreigners learning Thai (although there main focus is Thais learning English). If the class schedule doesn't match yours, you can ask them for a list of available tutors too.

Good luck learning the language. You'll find that a little bit can go a long way, and the Thai people very much appreciate the effort. Cheers.

#3 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,840

Posted by ding on 2/5/2006 at 09:52

So what hurts so bad at Jep's Bungalo on Ko Samet?

Does it help to marry a Thai. I know more who live in LOS and marry a Thai who speak it well, and nobody that doesn't. That's my personal experience only, of course.

I've found the recordings off base. When I repeat the recording's way of saying the word to a Thai they inevitably correct me.

#4 ding has been a member since 8/1/2006. Posts: 3

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