Learning to read and write Thai

[b]A Complete Beginner[/b]
I am a novice when it comes to learning to read and write Thai. Even though I have been visiting Thailand for 7 years on the trot, I never seem to be able to find enough time to learn to read Thai script, I have always relied on the romanised words.

This year is going to be different. I am determined to impress all my Thai friends and learn to read properly. I think it will help me speak Thai too.

[b]Panic Stations![/b]
I have always panicked at the sight of the number of constonants and vowels to remember. There is sooooo many! And to make things worse some of the letters change sounds depending on where they are in the word and now I have discovered ห which is sometimes not spoken! Aaargh!

Another fear I have is the TONES! OMG! I could actually be saying something quite different to what I intend to say. That is so frightening to me.

My first Steps at Learning Thai I use learningthai.com a lot as well as ethaimusic.com. Both these sites have been a godsend to me in helping learn Thai. I am continually amazed how such a vast resource can still be free and I hope they will continue to be free!

I also use the Forums alot especially the learning thai forum. Although, I must admit some of the topics are way too advance for little old me!

I have a good library of Thai books. Infact I think I must have nearly all the Thai language leartning books on the market! Maybe if I just stuck to one, I might be further ahead than I am now. My excuse for the huge number is that most of them teach me to say ‘touristy’ phrases like ‘Where is the Dusit Thani Hotel?’. I don’t need such words, as I always stay with my brother and friends in Thailand.

All these resources and still I am not any further learning Thai. Why? I guess it is time. This year will different.! (I think I have heard myself say this before, infact I think I have said it every year upon returning to England)

[b]How I am learning to read[/b]
I find it easier to remember the letters by reading words I know. I have written out words with similar sounds and have grouped them together. This has helped me enormously to remember the different sounds.

A daily dose of listening to the vowels is helping too. I use the following page www.sriwittayapaknam.ac.th/thailanguage/lesson_01.htm

I am also using the Thai lyrics to practise reading. I love listening to Thai music. I play the music on my mp3 player which allows me to slow down the music so that I can read and sing.

I have also downloaded and listen to all the mp3 resources on learning.com. I believe that saturating myself in Thai will help.

I have recently discovered this fantastic website. It not only has many children’s stories written in Thai but also some of them have the story on mp3. www.childthai.org/cie/nithan01.htm.

Mike’s site has been an invaluable tool for me. It not only helps romanise the thai script for me but also it separates the words for me too. This is so useful to me as I am still finding it hard to spot where each word ends and begins. http://www.thai2english.com/ Thanks Mike

Any tips welcome!

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