Learn Thai on Your iPhone: Apple 3G iPhone

Apple 3G iPhone

This article was originally posted on WomenLearnThai.com.

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The iPhone and the DEVIL in me…

Me: I need some sort of PDA. I’m thinking it would be sort of like a walking dictionary, where I can quickly access new Thai words and phrases.

The DEVIL in me: Well, you are not really PC, so how about an iPhone?

Me: But I already have a Nokia. And besides, I don’t really use mobiles all that much.

The DEVIL in me: Well, you do use iPods, digitals, and mobile phones (on occasion). iPhones do all of that and more.

Me: Ok. Ok. Ok! I give! But I refuse to tweet…


Technology and the iPhone and me…

I love getting new stuff. But I can be lazy. Sometimes.

And sometimes it is the having to learn all about the new stuff that brings out the lazy in me.

And I now have an iPhone. A 3G iPhone. Since May even. Yeah, I know. I know. The iPhone has upgraded already.

But like I said, I can be lazy. So until my Nokia started going wonky last week, my iPhone wasn’t used for much.

  • New Stuff: Downloading lots of great iPhone/iPod stuff.
  • Mapping: Tracking just how far out of the way BKK taxi drivers sometimes take me.
  • Alarm System: Setting up reminders for important events.

Confession. Since May until now, my sleek black iPhone has been used as an alarm clock. Mostly.

At nine o’clock, it trills to remind me to exercise. I turn it off. At ten o’clock, it quacks to remind me to do Thai lessons. I turn it off.

So before I need a new iPhone – the iPhone 3GS is looking pretty good – it is past time to get stuck into this one and get these iPhone app reviews out there.

What’s up with the learning Thai already…

As they came available, I downloaded every application imaginable for learning Thai on the iPhone.

At first there was a trickle of iPhone apps located at the Apple app store. Then, when Apple got their act together with key words, it became a thin deluge.

As time went on, I became pick(ier) over what I downloaded (free or no). Pickier, free or no, there are now a lot of iPhone applications for learning Thai. Some are pretty decent, some are even quite hilarious, some are total cacca.

So this is the Learning Thai on Your iPhone deal…

The coming posts will be crammed full of iPhone applications of all sorts: Thai language, English-Thai dictionaries, Thai translators, English-Thai phrase books, flash cards, recording devices, Kindle, and iPod. I’ll even throw in apps for traveling around Thailand and cooking Thai food, as well as some really odd iPhone applications I couldn’t resist.

The overviews will cover: Price, date of creation, version, whether sound is included or not, is an Internet connection required, does it have transliteration or translation or nothing at all, is there Thai script available, how many words and/or phrases are there, does it have zoom capabilities (to see tiny Thai text). There will also be brief instructions (obviously). And I might even throw in a few observations like in my Thai Language Phrase Books: A Mega Review.

Posts in the iPhone app review…

iPhone apps: Thai Language Phrase books
iPhone apps: Thai Alphabet and Vocabulary
iPhone apps: English Thai Dictionaries

14 thoughts on “Learn Thai on Your iPhone: Apple 3G iPhone”

  1. Hi Dan,

    Thanks for the nudge (I need to get back to posting this series).

    The series will cover:
    The Thai alphabet
    Thai verbs and nouns
    Thai word of the day
    Thai dictionaries
    Online translators
    Learning Thai with flashcards
    Online Thai learning sites for the iPhone
    Using your iPod files on your iPhone

    It will also list the different Thai resources (newspapers, radio, travel, etc)

    For learning Thai on the iPhone… it all comes down to your level. Do you need to learn the Thai alphabet, increase your vocabulary, and/or add new phrases?

    For an iPhone dictionary, rumour has it that one of my favourite Thai dictionaries will be launched on the iPhone this January, so I plan to hold that subject in the series until then.

    To help you out, I guess I’d better finish up those reviews 🙂

  2. Cat – so much information on your site, after all your research, which iPhone app you recommend most for learning Thai and serving as a portable dictionary and and and?

  3. Martin, Apple (US) are selling iPhones starting at US$99, with the newer version coming in at US$199.

    I paid US$800 for the iPhone 3G, and I believe the iPhone 3GS in Thailand is now US$900. I opted for a contract at about US$30 per month (about what I was paying each month for 12Call).

    If you don’t want a contract in the US you will need to pay more, but it is still cheaper than buying an iPhone in Thailand.

    The Real Cost of an iPhone 3GS = US$599

  4. Talen,

    I’d recommend you not buy an iPhone before you come here, the prices are actually less here than you’d pay in the US in total as you can buy them here legally without a contract and they are officially unlocked, meaning you can use any provider. Unlike in the US where they’d be locked to AT&T only and you’d have to mess about with software unlocking it which is not a pleasant experience for a new user.


  5. Ben, good deal. I don’t believe you’ll regret it as it does come in handy for ‘those’ times.

    Btw – Longdo Dict just came out with an iPhone app. The only downside is that you need to be connected and Thailand is cacca for being online 100%.

  6. Hi Cat, that’s it, I’m gonna get one… I need a new phone, and the apps etc will be a bonus when travelling etc. Will check your apps when I have in hand!

  7. Martyn, looking at it that way, I’m absolutely breezing through the iPhone 🙂 But I’ll have to admit that I cheated as there are books in pdf to download (I’ll share them later).

    I do love my iPhone but my problems starting off with it were threefold.

    1) My Nokia fits beautifully into my purse in a pocket special made for slim mobiles so switching over means getting a new purse.

    2) Talking on the iPhone in a tropical country is like pushing a wet, slippery brick up to your ear.

    3) Due to the dump in the Thai economy, there have been a spat of purse snatchings in Bangkok so walking around with an iPhone in the range of US$800 is asking for trouble. Beware: even if you bring a cheaper US iPhone, remember that those living here will think of the local price no matter what.

    So it did take my Nokia fussing to get me to start using my iPhone (just not in public).

  8. Catherine you bought the iPhone in May and you’ve already sussed out how to use the alarm…you really are one smart cookie and make me look like one old dry biscuit. I have had my mobile for five years or so and should really upgrade but its the learning all about it again thing that puts me off. My cheap Samsung rings and calls and makes a tinny musical sound when I switch it on and off, I think I’d kind of miss that sound as its that bad it sometimes turns heads in shops and bars.

    My friend has a iPhone and downloaded a Thai translator onto it and whilst it wasn’t too bad it did lack a bit of finesse. I’m tempted by the iPhone but put off by the steep hill known as a learning curve required to use it. I think I’ll stick with my good old Samsung for another year at least unless your comimg posts convince me otherwise.

  9. Terrible that your iPhone was stolen, but then you can get the newer model with all the upgrades (it has a snazzy camera).

    I hear that iPhones falling out of pockets and purses is common, so I’m a wee bit leery about taking mine around. When I’m back in town, I’ll get some sort of case that will stop all that sliding around.

  10. Bookmarked!

    Another reason to replace my stolen iPhone with an iPhone.

    On other excellent post on WLT – best –


  11. Talen, be sure to buy one before you get here. In Thailand, iPhones are almost three times what you will pay for in the US.

    I have my favourite Thai learning apps already so I’ll be sure to share my views. And there is one I’m SURE you will like 🙂

  12. You’ll have to let me know more about your iphone Cat. I’ve been seriously considering getting one when I make the move to Thailand because there are so many useful apps. The language dictionary apps could come in real handy.


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