This article was originally posted on WomenLearnThai.com.
Download 300+ FREE Thai Lessons…
A largely unknown (and huge) Thai learning resource can be found at thai-language.weebly.com. Being an unknown might be due to the totally bizarre and off-topic landing page.
I’ve been rushing around lately. Quite a bit. So apologies as I haven’t had time to check out the Thai. I mean, are the lessons Central, North, expat, holiday, or a sampling? I won’t be 100% positive until I do find the time to spare.
All I can say for sure is that the audio files have a quaint, classic sound. The ambiance (intentional or not) makes me smile. And in a good way. Out of all the Thai courses I have on hand (and I have the majority), this one draws me.
If I had to describe the sound, I’d say that it’s sort of like recordings made in WWII. Tokyo Rose comes to mind.
If you want to skip over the political announcement, then by all means go straight to the sections: Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Video.
And if you do have the time to poke around that site, please let me know what you think – about the Thai lessons, not the Thai politics. I don’t do politics. And for good reason.
16 thoughts on “Over 300 Free Thai Lessons: Learn Thai Language Online”
Sam, I believe I have this copied off somewhere so if you are seriously interested, I’ll dig it out for you.
The transcripts, at least for the reading lessons, do not load, and the audio can be hard to follow without them.
Snap, sorry to hear that you’ve come down with a cold. There is a nasty one going around in Thailand. I had it for two weeks and many had it for three to four, with many more weeks to regain energy.
Perhaps when you get better, listen to the audio again? I quite liked the WWII quality of it all (the rest I’ll check when I’m on solid ground again).
Hi Catherine, I finally had a chance to take a very quick look…pathetic I know, being Christmas day and all! Anyway, first impressions:
I don’t like the transliteration system eg. ‘Ha’ for 5, no tone marking or indication that its a long vowel…or should I say wowel.
I’m particularly interested in writing Thai, so watched on of the videos. They use a large marking pen which bleeds into the paper and the handwriting is not neat. It doesn’t look professional.
The audio is enough to put me to sleep, but to be fair, I am dosed up on antihistamine at the moment…my first cold in Thailand.
I will definitely go back hand dig around a bit more and will keep it tagged as an online resource, the more the merrier.
Working with an English speaker is an interesting suggestion Kris. There is a huge amount of stuff there so it’s not like she’s starting from scratch. She’ll just be fine tuning it.
She put an incredible amount of work in these lessons. But I am afraid the course are not going to be used a lot. The lesson are rather boring (and this is probably an understatement). The contents is good until very good. The form is … not good at all. If she would work together with a native English speaker for writing and recording the English parts and with an experienced teacher/writer for changing the form this could become an interesting resource for learning Thai.
Chris, “Yup I am a language sleazeball” that’s a hilarious way to look at it! I tend to download everything I can get my hands on too. I have the same faith as you but that’s one subject I tend to avoid reading and listening to. But maybe I should give it a try anyway…
Quick look through and there is some valuable material in there (for me at least). Particularly interested in the comedy based lessons.
Will investigate further over the holidays when I have more time.
As for any politics, well I have currently started using various audio versions of the Bible in different languages for learning and I am an atheist (after much consideration). I like to think I have standards in other areas but when it comes to language learning I can be pretty sleazy, loose morals, one night stands with dodgy content, listening to things I don’t agree with, bad language along with the good…. Yup I am a language sleazeball.
I sounds like someone has got hold of some old content, and then mixed it up with analysis of real language etc. a good old pic an mix to rummage around in.
Once I have mastered it then I can get picky ;).
Thanks Lani 🙂 I can always use more visitors to share out all this stuff!
Martyn, Hopefully she’ll change it… and/or created a dedicated site for her message?
Holidays can really dig deep in the pockets, that’s for sure. I thought I was done shopping but you are right – I spent several days hobbling around cobbled streets looking for a few more gifts to top off what I’d already purchased. A glass of strong coming right up!
Catherine I’ve heard of an axe to grind but Miss Kessara Suppakitvorakul opening shot on her homepage was… well….well, I’m lost for words.
I didn’t go any further than the homepage through fear of virtual ninjas and samurai leaping out and attacking me. I will check it out soon. I need to dress in red first.
Any free resource is a wonderful thing especially with the ‘pay now or pay even more later’ season upon us.
Hopefully you can now stop rushing around (Christmas shopping is my guess), and put your feet up and enjoy a glass of two of something strong. It’s nearly Christmas time.
another great resource! yes, and a very weird landing page.
i want you to know that i recommend your site all the time. you are such a wealth of thai lang learning information!
Talen, it’s quite a bit of downloading but if you are looking for loads of free, this resource is doable.
Hamish, thank you for the great review (I was so hoping that someone would take the time). Yours is just what was needed for this post. I’ll check it out when my feet touch the ground (after the holidays).
Charming audio files, you’re right.
The speaking section starts very dry and de-contextualised. However as you progress though the lessons the audio and written scripts before faster and more natural making for good reading and listening prac. I like the inclusion of You Tube clips in the final sections as these are inevitably real-life Thai. Not quite sure that this does anything special for your speaking per se (aside from exposure to the language).
The first section of the reading is very dry and academic and would put me right off straight away. It’s the equivalent of having to read through your car manual before getting in a revving the engine.
However, there are some readings in the latter sections that look interesting and challenging for someone who already has the basics of reading down. Despite the crackle and hiss of the audio, she speaks clearly and slowly (good if you are trying to follow along with an unfamiliar text in the reading section – though I tend to prefer normal spoken speed), but the flow is broken as she announces the arrival at a new line.
The writing is a bit of a disappointment as it is straight out of the ark. Copy and repeat ad infinitum, though the use of video files to show you how the letters are formed is a good addition.
This rather old-school approach to the whole business is made extant in the intro paragraph:
“The lessons in this website … are focused on the rapid understanding and memorizing, to avoid the headache of learning Thai language; they are not focused on the perfect grammars, sentence structures, etc.”
Basically: “If you can memorize you don’t need to bother with the tedium of actually understanding how the language works.”
Not a modern world view on language learning to be sure. But a keen learner who is prepared to look through and cherry-pick the best bits will probably find something of use in here.
Another great find Cat…Hoping I’ll have some time this weekend to really check it out well. It’s a shame that the politics are always getting in the way.
Hi Paul, after that attack during the Red Shirts, when it comes to Thai politics I shy away. I can imagine many people do for that very reason, which can only give a skewed outcome… oh well.
Catherine, well done on another great discovery. I’ll put this on my list of things to do – it is a long list. BTW, I don’t do politics either 🙂