Thai is a beautiful language with many unique characteristics that sets it apart from others. From the unmistakable Thai alphabet, different tones conveying different meanings, a subject-verb-object sentence structure, a wide range of pronouns, numerous loanwords, and more. For foreigners, this could mean that Thai is not an easy language to grasp.
However, once you visit Thailand, it is easy to understand why so many fall in love with this country. The locals are nice and welcoming, the food here is delectable and easy to find, and the tropical weather and lush greenery are always there to complement every adventure. It is no wonder why learning the Thai language is on the bucket list.
In Thai language courses, you may need to study a whole new reading and writing system, grammar rules, and tonal pronunciation – all of which are not easy tasks. That being said, you might wonder, “How long does it take to learn Thai?” or ask “How to learn Thai quickly?”
How Long Does it Take to Learn Thai?
Truthfully, there is no concrete “time frame” or answer to how long one takes to learn Thai. Just like learning a new language, there are various factors that can affect your progress, namely:
Place You Live
If you visit Thailand often or live in the country, it is natural for you to become familiar with the language. This repeated exposure would help you get accustomed to the common words and phrases and allow you to adjust to the pronunciation.
The Opportunities to Use Thai
The more you practice, the better you will become, and the same goes for studying Thai. Whether you write to practice, read from the signs, or speak with the locals, you are essentially availing yourself to better comprehend the notion of the language.
Your Resources and Methods
Who are you learning Thai with? Are you taking any Thai language courses? Do you have books or other materials to study from? Having all these resources for your learning journey can help you improve your Thai language skills with fewer bumps on the road.
Your Learning Ability
Similar to studying different subjects in high school, we all have subjects that we are good at and subjects that we struggle with. For some, mathematics may be easier than language classes, others may be fast learners in general, while some have excellent memorization skills. All these capabilities massively contribute to how long you would take to learn Thai.
Overall, with consistent efforts, enough practice, and being in an optimal environment, you can effectively learn the Thai language much faster.
How to learn Thai quickly?
If you are new to the Thai language, speeding up the learning process is something that you might be interested in. So, here we’d like to share some tips that can help you get better at Thai faster.
1. Master the Pronunciation
As mentioned earlier, Thai is a tonal language, meaning that the pitch or tone in which a word is spoken affects its meaning. Different tones can alter the meaning of a word entirely, leading to potential misunderstandings if words are not pronounced correctly. Picking up on how different tones work can help to better understand the language and become a better speaker as well as a listener.
Thai has a total of five tones: mid-tone, low-tone, falling-tone, high-tone, and rising-tone. Additionally, the Thai language possesses a range of consonants and vowels. Some Thai consonants are unique to the country and may not exist in English. The Thai language consists of 32 vowel sounds including monophthongs and diphthongs. Certain vowels may be challenging, such as the “เ” (sara ae) and “โ” (sara o) sounds. So, be sure to take time to familiarize yourself with the vowel and consonant sounds and practice pronouncing them accurately.
2. Learn the Vocabulary
Knowing the vocabulary is just as important as trying to pronounce them. Since the start of learning the Thai language, you are sure to encounter various words that you can readily put to use. It is remarkably helpful to memorize and understand the day-to-day vocabulary or phrases as they will help your progress.
3. Consume Thai Content
Watching movies, listening to music, videos, or the news in Thai are among the best method for learning. You would not only get acquainted with the elements and terminologies, but they are also entertaining material that keeps you engaged with the study. There is countless Thai music in different genres to explore, Thai soap operas with harmless fun, as well are educational ebooks and videos available.
4. Engage in Thai Language Courses
Thai language schools for foreigners, online platforms and courses can be a practical approach toward your goal. You can get formal training right from the fundamentals all the way to the advanced level. Depending on your preference, there are different choices available for learning the Thai language.
To start with, a face-to-face Thai language course with native Thai speakers can be really engaging and insightful if you are new to the language. For those with a busy schedule, there are online courses that you can study from anywhere, at any time.
5. Speak with a Native Thai Speaker
Conversing with native speakers of any language is always a great way to improve skills in that specific language, Thai included. It acts as an immersive environment that allows you to understand the voice, expression, and terminologies, plus you would also make new friends along the way. Using this method, you will be able to enhance your pronunciation, accent, fluency, and confidence in no time.
That concludes our tips on how to learn Thai quickly. Finally, do not be afraid to make mistakes such as saying something that has a different meaning or writing the wrong letter in a word. Thai people are always more than happy to help you correct them. So, keep practicing!
At AUA LANGUAGE CENTER, we offer a Thai language course, which you can see more details here.
ABOUT AUA LANGUAGE CENTER
Established in 1952 at Saranrom Palace by the United States Alumni Association under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King and the support of the American government. At present, “AUA LANGUAGE CENTER” offers a variety of English courses available across Thailand. Whether it is students, employees, or those who are interested in improving their English skills, we endeavor to provide opportunities to learn English for everyone through a versatile, flexible, and practical approach to learning.
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