The Thai Challenge PLUS The 6 Week Challenge

The Thai Challenge PLUS The 6 Week Challenge

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The Thai Challenge PLUS The 6 Week Challenge…

Once again Josh reminded me about the Read More or Die Challenge. But what really cranked me up was a mention of the 6 Week Language Challenge started by

If anyone is interested in participating in a challenge to starting to learn a new language check out for more info.

The idea is to choose a language that you barely know and then commit yourself to 6 weeks. To compete in the challenge you tweet your hours of study. If you want to know more, the details are explained in the 6 Week Challenge How To.

As you can see from the current high score list, they are already a week plus into the challenge, But it’s not too late if you wanted to jump in (and I don’t believe it matters how new you are to your chosen language).

In second place (at this writing) is JNatAlkhimia, who is mostly studying Thai.

JNatAlkhimia’s real name is Jeff Netto and in a few brief hours I’ve become attached to his twitter account, his YouTube account, and I’m waiting for new entries to his Thai blog. It almost seems like stalking him. But I’m not. I’m revved about his Thai studies because his studies are revving up mine.


On YouTube, polyglots have started talking about how they learn languages but I’ve never watched an avid language learner explain their steps to learn Thai. And I’m finding it way interesting to see how he tackles the process.

So far Jeff has three Thai YouTube vidoes online: First Day of The Thai Challenge – Resources and Approaches, Thai Challenge – First Steps Part 1, and Writing in Thai – Practice hints and Different Font Shapes.

It’d be redundant to go over each one (I’ll leave you to view his videos) but I did want to share the resources he’s using, while matching them with what I have here.

Alphabet: Chris Pirazzi’s Consonant Flashcards
My review: Chris Pirazzi at

Phrase book: Lonely Planet’s Thai Phrasebook
My review: Thai Language Phrase Books: A Mega Review

Dictionary: Pocket Thai Dictionary Thai-English English-Thai
I do have the pocket dictionary but I prefer to bounce between T2E (online) and the Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary (iPhone and software).

Additional resources: With an understanding of what he needs to absorb, Jeff compiled materials from the Internet. It’s a shortcut for getting the Thai language and Thai culture into your head. And really, that’s how WLT came about. But instead of printing what I found I put them here: FREE Thai language learning resources.

iPod: I wasn’t able to catch all of the apps he’s using except for Speak Thai. Again, I do have this resource on my iPhone but I’m way behind reviewing iPhone apps.

Thai lessons: For lessons with sound files Jeff is using the highly respected FSI Thai. The original materials are transliteration only so an additional resource is the Thai Language Wiki. The FSI materials have been painstakingly typed out in Thai script and the sound files are above each section. Note: It’s still a work in progress. Transliteration needs to be added, phrases updated, and new sound files recorded and slotted in. But it’s a great resource regardless.

Extras: He’s using the Book of Mormon in Thai so it’s no great leap to imagine that he’s got a religious bend. So I’m thinking that Ben Crowder’s 1000 Word List from the Bangkok Mission might be of interest to him. Ben used to have a Book of Remembrances in Thai online but it’s not there anymore. Pity. But there is a Thai Script download that’s useful no matter what your leanings are.

What more could Jeff be using? That’s a tough one because there’s so much to chose from. But if he’s going for free he couldn’t go far wrong with BYKI Thai (my review is here: Byki Thai Language Course). Oh, and since he needs to familiar himself with situational Thai, the AUA videos would be a help. And then there’s TCU Open Courseware, and L-Lingo, and e-learning at Sriwittayapaknam, and and and…

Joining the Thai Challenge…

Learning a language is a long-time goal and often being accountable can be tedious. Depending on your personality, setting challenges such as this can give you a needed push. And while I won’t join the 6 week twitter challenge I have decided to follow the basic idea with an Excel spreadsheet.

Jeff has his minutes divided out by: Writing Alphabet, Thai Linguistics, YouTube, TV, Vocabulary, Alphabet, Listening, Writing ABC’s, Chat, Reading, Conversation, FSI, Phonology, Radio, Business (?), Grammar, Dialog, and Survival phrases.

My subjects will be different. I’ll wing it at first and then tweak to suit my own learning style, and once I’m on a roll, I’ll report back.

The Thai Challenge AND The 6 Week Challenge…

Blog: The Thai Challenge
Twitter: @JNatAlkhimia
YouTube channel: JNatAlkhimia

6 Week Challenge Competing scores
6 Week Challenge: How to
6 Week Challenge: Detailed listing for JNatAlkhimia

6 thoughts on “The Thai Challenge PLUS The 6 Week Challenge”

  1. Welcome Jeff, and thanks 🙂 I was so excited to read that you were doing the challenge with Thai. It’s not a common language to learn so when someone takes it on I do a little jump (privately, of course). Good luck! I’ll keep up with your blog and YouTube channel to see how you are doing.

  2. Hi Catherine, thanks a lot for the review on my channels! Now I feel much more motivated to keep them up to date and strive on my studies! I loved your website! Especially how you detail everything so well. Let’s keep in touch.

  3. Snap, while I won’t take on another language seriously I have started collecting Italian bits. There are two resources that interest me and they only have the European languages, so…

    But what Josh is doing can work for Thai learners who are beyond the beginner level. I started the mentioned spreadsheet and it’s helping to rotate through fun activities.

  4. Catherine I can’t imagine learning yet another language right now…my head would surely explode or perhaps,implode. But, I’ve taken my Thai studies to another level and am pleased with my progress. Thanks for listing more learning resources. I remember the days when I was too scared to look at some them 😉

  5. Heya Talen. Some bibles are written in everyday language but as for the Book or Mormon, I’m not sure.

    Btw – why don’t you join with me? All you need is a spreadsheet , a pocket watch, and enough Thai materials to keep up the interest.

    I don’t have a clue how much I study so doing this for awhile will be an interesting exercise.

    A problem with my Thai studies is that I work with one resource for too long and get bored. So keeping a record will show me what works best (xxx amount of time reading, xxx amount of time… you know).

  6. Cat, this looks to be an excellent challenge although I think the Book of Mormon in Thai might be more of a hindrance than a help being as most of the language in religious books won’t be used in every day life. I really need to get back on track with my studies.arggghh!


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