This article was originally posted on WomenLearnThai.com.
Learn Thai with Manee…
Manee books (also spelt Maanee and Maanii) are beloved by many Thais, as well as those passionate about Thai learning materials. Like me.
Thai Skype teacher Mia, from Learn2SpeakThai, also shares the Manee passion. Aiming to offer free Manee lessons on her site, she waded through Thai bureaucracy to get official permission (good on her!) You can read all about her trials at My quest for Maanee books copyright.
Mia has my total sympathy because I too attempted to go the same route for a different set of expired Thai school books, but failed. Perhaps when I get more time I’ll give it another try.
After getting the all clear from the Thai Ministry of Education, Mia then started working through the Manee books. So far she’s recorded books one, two, and three, with book four coming soon: Learn Thai with Maanee Books. It will take Mia awhile to get through all 12 books, but after speaking to her about the project I can assure you it’s an absolute labour of love.
Also exciting is an interview Mia did with the esteemed author of the Maanee series, Kruu Ratchanii Sripaiwan. It’s a sweet interview so please do stop by: Meet the Author of Maanee(Maanii) books and VDO interview with kruu Ratchanii Sripaiwan…the author of Maanee books.
If you are interested you can download all 12 Manee Books for free. If you have any problems downloading, contact me.
6 thoughts on “Learn2SpeakThai: Learn Thai with Manee”
Sany,I’m appreciate your comments…
ภาษาพาที series has share similarity with Maanee books. They both has a story to capture readers memory.
As my last review on ภาษาพาที with kruu Ratchanii we both agreed it’s a great study material just a little concern that on ภาษาพาที introduced วรรณยุกต์ (tone marks)sooner than Maanee if I remember well in lesson 2 of book 1 unlike Maanee books on lesson 11.
Khun Mia, thank you so much for your efforts. I’m wearing rose-tinted glasses but nonetheless reading through the Manee books remind me of similar books used in Malaysian primary schools in the ’80s – mementos of a less complicated time. The books currently used in Thai primary schools, the ภาษาพาที series, do not make for as a ‘nice’ a read as the Manee series. Although my Thai speaking skills are at an intermediate level, my reading ability is still at a beginner stage – your transliterations are therefore very helpful.
Keith, Cat, Bryan, Thank you for all your supports, to know there are Maanee’s readers are out there certainly give me an extra boost and I’m sure to let kruu Ratchanii knows that we have a foreigners fan club as well.
During the interview I asked ” why the Ministry of Education is not consider updated Maanee books and use them as a school curriculum for primary school students? then she replied ” they said the stories is out of date, they need a modern stories for our new generation, then she started to cry and end her answer as ” Let’s not talk about it” and the room was filled with silence.
Thai people who’ve learn from Maanee books are at the age of 30s-40s. Kruu Ratchanii mentioned the committee of Ministry of Education department are in the age of 50s-60s…they did not learn from Maanee books so it’s not easy for them to understand the value of the books.
Kruu Sripaiwan introduced me to Doctor Daychaa, he is living in Australia and open Thai school for foreigners there and has been using Maanee books as the main course material for over 20 years. I got an opportunity to talk to him over Skype. He seems to encourage me and young Thai teachers(my age) who’ve learn from Maanee books to contact the Ministry of Education maybe they would consider to reprint the books…It’s an optimistic plans but I’m not sure if I can gather any one on board at this point.
I’ve got a comment from someone that I’m พายเรือทวนน้ำ= paddle against the current.
In my opinion I’m just ปลาเป็นว่ายทวนน้ำ= Only live fish swim up stream.
If you know what I mean 🙂
It’s so wonderful of you to take the time to provide the story of Maanee in an easy to understand and very accessible way for us individuals so interested in learning Thai. We all really appreciate you, Kruu Mia! Korp khun mahk mahk khrap 🙂
Keith, I took great pains with my letter, and like the emails, it dropped into a black hole. Kerthunk… I do agree with bureaucracy everywhere. France is a nightmare!
I too love Mia’s enthusiasm 🙂
55555 Loved the bit about the bureaucracy. But was it not ever thus? Not just in Thailand, every country where I have come up against bureaucracy it has been the same. Everywhere you turn, Catch 22.
The Maanii books on Mia’s site are a great resource for learners (and I would guess teachers) of Thai. What makes them stand out is Mia’s obvious affection for the books. Gets my recommendation