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Thread: Understanding Spoken Thai

  1. #21
    Thailand Lifer Elvis's Avatar
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    There is one good thing about Thai TV - listening to them talk on Thai TV helps a lot.
    It doesnt help you speak or read the language, but it helps you 'hear' the different sounds.

    Also Thai movies - those with English subtitles are great.
    It sort of 'sinks' in slowly slowly.

    But IMO the Thai/Lao language is so 'alien' to English/German/Latin that most European languahe speakers have big trouble learning it.
    English/Latin etc are all written languages with a structure based on tense and subjective contexts with a short number of vowels and consenants.
    Thai/Lao is a spoken language built on a completely different structure - subtle sound variations play a big role i meaning and tense - many different words for each situation.
    I am happy to understand some of what is being said - but speaking it any more than broken 'pigeon Thai' aint gonna happen.
    And I am happy to let the wife be my translator (and other Thais not knowing I actually understand some of what they have said).
    If I dont respond it is because: ....A) Libtard (like serrolt); ....B) Blocked (like serrolt); ....C) A and B (like serrolt); ....D) Playing Golf
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    (or having a single-malt afterwards like serrolt).

  2. #22
    If you want to learn a language (Thai or any other), you can learn it. If you don't want to, you won't. There's no great mystery to this, though for some reason, foreigners in Thailand seem to be endlessly surprised that their complete lack of interest in and engagement with the country in which they have made a home leads to an equally complete inability to communicate with most of its inhabitants.

    Anyway, how do you learn Thai? Engage with it. It doesn't really matter so much what you do as that you just do something, all (or at least most of) the time.
    Last edited by Dan; 06-11-2018 at 05:06 PM.

  3. #23
    But IMO the Thai/Lao language is so 'alien' to English/German/Latin that most European languahe speakers have big trouble learning it.
    English/Latin etc are all written languages with a structure based on tense and subjective contexts with a short number of vowels and consenants.
    Thai/Lao is a spoken language built on a completely different structure - subtle sound variations play a big role i meaning and tense - many different words for each situation.
    By your own admission, you don't speak Thai, so it should (I hope) come as no surprise to hear that this is complete bollocks.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Pat
    My Thai is far from perfect despite being a half breed in my early 40s
    I wouldn't worry about it Pat; you seem to be equally ill-informed and incapable in all other areas of your life, so there is at least a pleasant symmetry to your life.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Smeg
    I target one new word every day
    Good idea. Getting to a solid C1 is likely to require knowing at least 5,000 words (your passive vocabulary is going be significantly larger than that, though), so that's only going to take you 13+ years. Great stuff. No wonder your TEFL career was such a resounding success.
    Last edited by Dan; 06-11-2018 at 06:08 PM.

  6. #26
    Bellend
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    I'm in no hurry. I won't be retiring to Penang for another 3-4 years, and even then I won't need Malay language as English is widely understood. I'll leave the serious stuff to the language pros.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    I wouldn't worry about it Pat; you seem to be equally ill-informed and incapable in all other areas of your life, so there is at least a pleasant symmetry to your life.
    Yep, that's me alright

    How's the sex tourism going?

  8. #28
    That's a peculiar question to ask. You, after all, are the middle-aged man who comes to Thailand to chase after school girls, not me.

  9. #29
    Yep, and I do very well at it^

  10. #30
    Good. Then presumably, as far as you are concerned, the sex tourism is going well. I glad we got that sorted out.

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