The Thai Pirate and the Linkword Language System

The Thai Pirate

This article was originally posted on WomenLearnThai.com.

There be Pirates in Thailand…

When you think of Thailand, you don’t generally think pirates. Or do you? I do.

Weeks back I ran into a Generous Pirate at Chatuchak market in Bangkok. And this week I’m introducing a The Thai Pirate giving lessons on speaking the Thai language.

OK, everyone moans that Thai is a difficult language to learn. Whinge whinge whinge. It’s very hard. So, I’ve had enough, I’m taking on this farang problem. You want to learn Thai? Learn the Thai Pirate way. The Thai Pirate’s Top Ten Thai Words of the month, and how to remember them!

If you don’t know The Thai Pirate, here’s the blurb from the about page:

Ben Shingleton used to be a drunken English bum, wandering the streets of London and the South East. Incredibly, he managed to meet a fine young lass who whisked him away to Thailand, where he is now living and working.

Ben is working in one of my professions of choice, landscape gardening. And when Ben is not shouting visiting dignitaries to a beer, you can find him sharing Thai wonders at The Thai Pirate, or giving advice on gardening at Thai Garden Design. And as gardening in the tropics is pure heaven, and I’m sitting here in a Bangkok condo and not a house, I often shoot shards of gardening envy in his direction. Totally.

Getting back to Thai and language learning and all that… apparently there are verbal language learners, and visual language learners. And now there are Linkword (mnemonic) language learners. And if you are such a language learner, you’ll do just fine with The Thai Pirate.

How linkword language learning works…

I’m going to cheat by quoting directly from Unforgettable Languages for Thai.

Linkword survival courses use well-established memory techniques which vastly improve our ability to remember foreign words without tedious repetition.

Picture each image in your mind’s eye for about 10 seconds.

For example, the Thai word for Duck is Peh(t).

Imagine you love to chase your pet duck, as vividly as you can in your mind’s eye for ten seconds.

Apparently the sillier the visual, the better. And that’s all there is to it, really.

Well, not quite. I still haven’t figured out how they get all those Thai tones in our head. Can you?

Need more linkword visual learning info?…

200words-a-day.com discusses Dr Gruneberg’s Linkword Language Learning System.

As I’m not an academic, here’s an overview at Wikipedia: Linkword.

For academics, I give you the latest findings on visual learners from a Penn psychology study: Visual learners convert words to pictures in the brain and vice versa.

Pssst… this is not the first time I’ve run across pirates in Thailand, and I’m hoping it’s not my last. How about you?

5 comments
  1. Thanks for the read i enjoyed reading this while at work passing the time. I will definently come back again. Bookmarked!

  2. Suphanburi – I came close to heading up there this weekend but changed my plans due to the possibilities (Songkran craziness).

    And now I have the Red Shirt craziness (I’m down the road from Victory).

  3. Morning Ben! While the linkword course does not touch on tones (I have it and went through the whole thing to check), they do use tone markers = The Thai for RICE is KHÂO.

    Ohhh dear me… I see you have a new garden post… I so envy you. Sigh… 😉

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