This article was originally posted on WomenLearnThai.com.
Bon: The new Thai YouTube kid in town…
Noticing her new learning Thai videos on YouTube, I contacted Bon Ratta back in February, for a mid-March post. But… the Red Shirts happened – something is always happening in Thailand, yes? – so I’m coming in late. Again. Apologies Bon!
In Learn Thai the Bon’s Way, Thai native Bon takes a sometimes wacky approach to teaching Thai. When I asked about her aims, she replied:
I have walked the streets of foreign cities where signs gave no meanings. I have been in plenty of parties where I knew nothing of what was being said around me. I am once again facing it and loving it here in Trondheim, Norway, where I’ve recently relocated to. But I was thinking, what about those who are facing the same problem as I am back in my homeland? It’s the least I can do to help make their stay a little bit easier. And what could be a better medium than Youtube?
For me, learning a new language means losing a bit of your identity. Sounds scary to some people, I know, but that really is the attitude you want to be equip yourself with when adopting a new tongue. In my lessons, I want people to get into a character as a Thai-speaking person. If you’re thinking that you’re an American attempting to speak Thai, you are going to sound exactly like one. Now, if you’re imagining yourself as a Thai, you’re already halfway there.
I try to introduce the lessons in sequence, like building blocks. I want the students to be able to form their own sentences rather than memorizing them from textbooks like a parrot. Fixed formula sometimes helps, but there’s really no learning in it. So, immerse yourself in a Thai-speaking environment if you could and get in the character!
There are a number of learning Thai videos on YouTube. Some are one-off, others offer a handful of Thai lessons and then disappear. But Bon’s been busy. Really busy.
In the month plus since I made contact, she’s added many more videos: 35 in total (btw – not all of the videos on her channel are about learning Thai, so dance around if that’s your aim). And to round up the lessons, Bon created a Learn Thai the Bon’s Way blog, where she’s offering Thai lessons on Skype too.
Bon Ratta: In this site, you’ll find all my youtube lessons plus more written explanation for each lesson. All my new lessons can only be viewed here in this blogs. We are adding non-vdo lessons here because I sometime can not produce the vdo lessons as fast as I would like to, to meet all the requested topics from the facebook fanpage and youtube 🙂
Bon has also been equally busy with her new site: JaideeTV/ใจดีทีวี
Rikker Thai 101: Bon is known for her blog and video series, Learn Thai the Bon’s Way. But this month she started a new website, JaideeTV/ใจดีทีวี, on which she spoofs modern Thai culture.
So, what will Bon get up to next? I’m not sure. But like others, I’ll be watching to see…
Where you can find Bon:
- Facebook: Learn Thai the Bon’s Way
- YouTube: Learn Thai the Bon’s way
- Blogger: Learn Thai the Bon’s way
- Blogger: JaideeTV/ใจดีทีวี
Bon making the rounds on the Internet:
- Rikker’s Thai 101: Farang: A Nature Mockumentary
- CNNGo: Meet Bon Rattanabannakit, Thailand’s rising YouTube star
- Jonny Foreigner: Learn Thai on YouTube
Well done Bon 🙂
7 thoughts on “Learn Thai with Bon: First YouTube, now Blogger and Skype”
Tommer, Bon does not live in Thailand. She’s in a country where the cost of living is quite a bit higher than here. If you check out Thai teachers Skyping from the UK and US, some are higher still.
Amy, Bon is energetic, for sure. She’s got quite the following, which to me means her method is hitting a positive chord.
$35 an hour on skype, hmm. That’s over twice what a lot of respected teachers charge.
I admire people who put themselves out there and try a new approach. I look forward to checking out the way Bon teaches Thai!
Talen, there are some good YouTube videos for learning Thai (I’m still working on that post… tardy, as usual!) Each has their own twist for passing on Thai tips, but all are fairly interesting. I’m not sure how I’d go about creating a YouTube video IF I had the drive. I’d be behind the camera and not in front, that much is sure 🙂
Cat, you and I have talked about the many different people teaching Thai on Youtube and there are some really good ones. Bon’s videos can be very helpful and as Martyn said she isn’t hard to look at but she is very animated….maybe too much caffeine?
But it is very cool that people like Bon are putting it out there for all of us to use. Even though I am more of a visual learner every little bit helps to reinforce what I am learning.
Martyn, I don’t know how to do it on a PC, but you can download YouTube videos quite easily on a Mac using Safari. That way, you are not tied to a molasses slow connection (like I am).
Right now Bon is concentrating on beginner materials, so perhaps check back in later?
For learning via videos, Learn Thai Podcast has beginner to advanced subjects. I’ll be reviewing them next week (a review that has been a long time coming).
Catherine I viewed what must have been the first of Bon’s YouTube video’s over at Johnny Foreigner’s site. I’d say it was different but neat and like I commented to Jon, she really is a nice looking lady.
To actually learn Thai via YouTube is going to take a lot of video roll because when learning a language a picture doesn’t paint a thousand words unless you count your native tongue. And many of us are also on restricted internet usage, which counts out viewing lots of video action.
I had a look at Bon’s blog and I liked that a lot. I printed off some vocabulary from the blog and will read it again. I’ll definitely take a look at a couple more of Bon’s video’s but the one I looked at gave the lesson ‘I like ‘……’ pom chob ‘…that’s great for beginners but I’m a long way further down the road than that. I’m still very much a beginner but a good tuk tuk ride down the street.
I hope my comment doesn’t read too negative towards Bon’s YouTube efforts because they are I’m sure a great help to beginners learning Thai. I think more advanced learners will benefit more from audio CD’s which link to a language book, by viewing resources such as children’s cartoons and reading sites like WLT and Learn Thai the Bon’s Way.
Then again what the hell do I know.