06 Jun 2023
How to learn to speak Thai from scratch?
Looking to take up a language that provides quite the challenge? Then the Thai language may just be what you are looking for. Thai is a tonal language where the pitch and tone of every syllable can change the meaning of a word. It may be difficult to learn Thai from scratch but the process is rewarding once you have mastered it, provided that the right resources and commitment are in place. Here are five important tips to follow when learning Thai from scratch:
1. Learn how to properly pronounce the words
Mastering the correct pronunciation is among the most important aspects of learning Thai. Thai comes with five tones: high, mid, low, rising, and falling. It is vital to practise speaking each tone until you can recognise and distinguish between them, as different meanings can be derived from the same word, depending on the tone. Listening to native speakers and practising speaking in front of a Thai speaker or teacher are great ways to improve your pronunciation. Alternatively, using videos or audio materials, such as podcasts, also helps to familiarise yourself with the different sounds. Still in doubt of how to ensure a proper pronunciation? Attend any reputable Thai class in Singapore to brush up on the language.
2. Writing out each Thai consonant and letters
After grasping the tones, learning the Thai alphabet comes next. There are 44 consonants and 32 vowels in Thai. The consonants are written in the Thai alphabet instead of the Latin alphabet. You may find the Thai script challenging at first, but as you write out each consonant and vowel repeatedly, memorising them becomes easier. Leveraging online resources and apps are helpful in improving your writing and reading as well. Then, you can start building vocabulary and practising pronunciation, once you are familiar with the script.
3. Join a good beginner’s class
Apart from the aforementioned tips to learn Thai from scratch, you can also join a beginner’s class, receive guidance from a qualified teacher and practice speaking with other students. In a classroom setting, your teacher can provide clarity during the lesson, on top of giving you feedback. Prior to enrolling Thai lessons online or offline, always take into consideration the level of instruction and the quality of the materials provided. Finding a class that suits your learning style and goals is essential.
Learn more: Pros of learning Thai online
4. Fit Thai language learning into daily routine
No doubt, commitment and consistency are key to learning new languages. Fitting Thai language learning into your daily routine allows you to master the language better. Apart from setting aside a specific time each day to practise reading, speaking, and writing, you can also watch Thai movies, listen to Thai music, and read Thai books to fully immerse yourself in the language. Multiple language learning apps and websites exist that can help you practise Thai as well.
5. Do practice on grammar
Practising grammar is as important as mastering pronunciation and vocabulary. Though learning Thai grammar may not be easy, there are always various online resources and textbooks that can help you through the learning process. Start with basic sentence structures and progress to more complex grammar rules. Using the correct grammar to practise speaking and writing is necessary.
Learning Thai from scratch requires perseverance, time and effort. Remember to choose the right resources and dedicate yourself throughout the learning journey. All in all, learning a new language opens up new opportunities and allows you to connect with people from different cultures.
Stanford Language Center provides Japanese, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Thai language courses in Singapore. We help you master languages through a holistic and all-rounded approach. Get in touch with us now to check on class availability.