Lesson Overviewมา (to come) and māa
This has to be one of the most important chapters in this book and I will explain why. When I first started learning Thai without someone to teach me or to hear the tones, I only learned it by reading a book. Firstly, it took me a few books to realise that most books available online teach you wrong (unfortunately) with regards to sounds of the Thai alphabet equivalent to English and with the tonal aspects of the language. The reason for this is not due to wanting you to fail but is due to the books being old and therefore in my opinion the competence to be limited as well.
Moving on to my main point within this chapter is that there is more than one way to learn this language and it depends on which way your mind likes learning. At the beginning of my Thai language journey I learned everything through books. And as this was around 2010, there was limited information online and podcasts were unheard of.
This leads me to the decision you have to make while reading the rest of this book. I previously made this book in the intention for you to learn an English version on the Thai alphabet and tones which guides you to being able to read Thai and thereafter you are able to self-educate yourself with reading children books and signs while walking around Thailand. However, after working with students and learning myself online for the past 10 years there are other ways to learn.
Let’s discuss these in more detail. Option 1 is the path I choose and it was the easiest for me. I didn’t need to talk with anyone, I could just pick up the book and read. There are more letters of the alphabet in Thai than there are in English for example ป makes the sound bp.
Option 2 skips the transliteration because learning another writing method is essentially a waste of time. When you learn how to read Thai for this system you don’t need to listen to the words on a podcast for example but you spend a lot of time learning this system. Once you know how to read Thai you throw this system in the bin. Within this book there is an option for this path of learning.
Option 3 skips reading altogether, instead it focuses on listening and repeating what the Thai speaker has said. This can be very useful for a person who is travelling to Thailand for a holiday as it doesn’t require months of your time to learn how to read. Again, within this book joined with our online podcast you will be able to quickly learn the basics of speaking Thai.
Option 4 is probably the best way to learn a language. Structural and consistently speaking with a Thai person through a constructive schooling system has proven to speed up the time it takes to learn the Thai language. There is an option to learn Thai with myself and/or our online Thai instructors however there is a high price for this type of learning. If you pay 20 GBP per hour whereby the recommended study time to get by with spoken Thai is 60 hours totally 1200 GBP. Thereafter, once you are committed to learning Thai you will start to learn how to read and write and speak more fluently which can take approximately 3 months (12 weeks) which equates to 360 hours. That’s an additional 7200 GBP price tag on top of the 900 GBP.
Note: Don’t listen to anyone who says you can speak, read, and write in 1 week.
If you are willing to pay for this, that is great news as you will have the option I never had and be taught correctly first time with the quickest possible route.
…or you can learn through this book using Option 1, 2, or 3 and our online podcast! With the choice to purchase our online courses, review our online articles, and book our online instructors if you really need the extra help.
The decision is now yours….
For Option 1 jump straight into the next chapter ‘Pronunciation’ and learn the transliterations.
For Option 2 carry on with the rest of the book but watch out for the pictures which prompt you to listen to the alphabet through our online podcast system.
For Option 3 read this book as it gives nice tips on the culture and tones but don’t pay to much attention to the writing system and focus on the sentences. For each sentence you are able to follow the lessons within the podcast to firmly grasp spoken Thai as quick as possible.
For Option 4 go to StartThai.com and join our online courses and/or book our online instructors.
Good luck!Note: Throughout the course I will put in my transliterations of each Thai word in addition to the clickable audio just to help as much as possible. If you want to be able to read Thai I suggest attending the Thai Made Simple - Read Thai course here.
If you enjoyed this lesson please leave a review! Moreover, please read and use the Q&A menu in the left-hand sidebar for additional support/learning. To catch up on fundamentals please feel free to read the Thai Beginner article here.
Which Thai Language Should You Learn