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Just wondering how many people here who can speak Thai.

Have you ever learnt it? Or are you a native speaker? :D

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Bamboo Grove

Started studying it when I arrived in Bangkok back on -89. I used it now at home as my family is thai. Passed grade 6 exam. in 1990 and I've been working as freelance interpreter for more than ten years.

สวัสดีครับ

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I lived in Bangkok for almost a year and visit Thailand regularly. I am ashamed my grasp of the Thai language is so poor. I am really only competent in the basics of the language. Where are you from? How old are you? What time is it? and similar.

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Glad to hear that some people in this forum are fluent in Thai. I'm indeed now still in Vietnam and still learning Vietnamese (far from fluent...), but I'm thinking of going to Thailand for a break and learn some Thai.

Are there any similarities between Thai and Chinese? I'm searching for some textbooks now but still find none. Do you have any suggestions on Thai textbooks? How about Teach Yourself Thai and Colloquial Thai? I'm interested in reading and writing the alphabets too.

Thanks a lot for any input!

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When I reconsider your question about textbooks for the Thai language

from a beginner´s point of view, I would recommend:

The Fundamentals of the Thai Language

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/offer-listing/9748867544//002-6253096-1880010?condition=all (funny price, used to be 20-25 $)

Check out the Courses and materials of the AUA:

http://www.auathai.com/

have fun,

Ole

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Thanks Ole for the links, but I'm not quite sure if I can find these books in Vietnam right now, or do you know if it's easy to buy them in Thailand?

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Bamboo Grove

There are not many similarities between Chinese and Thai, except that thai is also a tonal language. It has five tones (high, normal, low, rising, falling) and its alphabets are based on ancient Sanskrit which came to Thailand via Cambodia. A Thai king, Ramkhamhaeng modified them to be suitable for Thai in late 13th century, during the kingdom of Sukhothai.

I learned my Thai in a school which had its own material. There are plenty of books in Bangkok for those who want to study the language.

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or do you know if it's easy to buy them in Thailand?
(Pazu)

As Bamboo Grove stated above , there are plentiful (, and more up to date ) materials available.

The places to go are the DK-Bookshop or Asia-bookshop chains,

which are to be found in Bangkok, and several other towns in Thailand.

These bookshop are specialized in English language based stuffs.

From Lonely Planet you could get a pocket-sized book introducing

the Thai language very conveniently and being very practical for

a first get in touch on a trip to Thailand...

http://www.thaiphrasebook.com/books/009.php

have fun,

Ole

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Asia Book is probably the largest english bookstore in Thai. The branches can be found EVERYWHERE in bangkok. Even better, they only take a reasonable markup on the books, much cheaper than any english books in hongkong. (but DON'T buy any books in airport unless you have a big pocket)

Search the availabilt of books here:

http://www.asiabook.com/

Btw, it seems to me that most Laos can speak Thai very well. Some told me that both languages are very similar and they have to learn Thai in the schools. Is it true?

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Bamboo Grove

Thai and Lao are very closely related and the Laotians living in Vientiane have been able to watch Thai tv for years. Thus many of them are cabable of speaking Thai. The two times I've been there, I've been able to get by with Thai.

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The Laotian language has his own ( "modified ancient Indian ") script.

Apparently it is quite closely related to the Thai script.

The dialect of the Isaan People, North-East Thailand, has the same origin

as the language of Laos.

A good introductory book you´ll find here:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1887521283/ref=pd_null_recs_b//002-6253096-1880010?v=glance&s=books

(Please edit this link , Roddy)

have fun,

Ole

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Thanks for all your suggestion, I'll check all that out later in Bangkok. Or in Vietnam(?) if I found a bookstore selling them.

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  • 3 months later...

So I'm now in Bangkok already, yeah! It's so nice to see Bangkok again (first and only time here in 1998), it's the biggest city I've ever seen in the past nine months. Bus network is extensive, skytrain is high and subway is deep, newspaper full of critics, good selection of all kinds of English books, and free internet! Oh I almost wonder if I had got on a wrong plane to a place called.... Singapore!

After some extensive searching, I gave up buying Colloquial Thai and Teach Yourself Thai, for a very simple reason that they are not written only by Thai. Why do I have to ask a farang to teach me Thai? Haha.

The book that I'm using now is "Thai for Beginners" (799 baht for CD+book pack) by Benjawan Poomsan Becker. I studied it really hard that one day I lost it on a bus, and I bought a new one (299 baht)... (a proof that it's really a good book!)

I chose it because Becker is Thai, and she has an extensive and orderly-arranged program for teaching Thai alphabets. She teaches Thai alphabets according to the different classes rather than following the ABC order, which is an advantage as I can recall the class of an alphabet easier.

Another real advantage is that she has published 3 more books, Intermediate Thai, Advanced Thai, and a dictionary (paperback or PalmOS version!), so I can follow the same teacher to a higher level, the material is more consistent and I don't have to waste my time to learn the same thing again.

When I was learning Vietnamese. I use Teach Yourself Vietnamese, and I couldn't find the "intermediate" level, books from other series overlapped with what I have learnt, so I have wasted my money and time.

Now I can read that สวัสดีครับ is sawatdii krap, but it's very difficult for me to write this. I will probably miss out the ส after สวั, but it's a funny game and challenge.

I've seen that in Windows XP they have two ways to input Thai, can you tell you the difference please? Which one I should use? I've bought some keyboard stickers in the IT City already.

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skytrain is high and subway is deep, newspaper full of critics

Very well said, pazu. Wish you have a nice stay in Bangkok.

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