Chiang Mai Thai

Ever wanted to learn Thai, in Chiang Mai? I did just that from November 2010, returning home in October 2011. If you don't want a headache, start HERE, it will explain the preceding posts. I'm Snap, Stray's other half. COOEE is our (other) travel blog.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Before I Go

Before I leave for Chiang Mai, I want to record (approximately) just how little Thai I know (without any reference materials), so I can compare it to when I return. Of course, I am certain I don't have all of the pronunciations down pat yet.

I can (give or take):
  • say 70 Thai words, not including numbers.
  • count/write to 99...if I think hard enough
  • can say 20 Thai phrases
  • read 17 consonants...not sure of the classes
  • read 17 vowels (many thanks to Stu Jay Raj)
  • read/write 6 Thai words in script
The 'main' ways I've learnt so far:

Holidays - I've found that I retained what I learnt, probably because I was using those phrases often.
Tourist phrase books
Thai For Beginners by Benjawan Poomsan Becker
Online - Thai Language, (love it, lots of audio) Manee Reader download in conjunction with the lessons (practice, audio and quizzes), even Wiki, plus a plethora of sites I flit to and from and around.

I hadn't gotten very far before I realised that if I was going to learn properly, I needed to be able to read...or it's a guessing game of sorts. I found myself constantly flipping back to the page of which ever book I was reading to double check the transliteration system for the pronunciation. The 'system' can vary from book to book, site to site and there are at least twelve of them.

Yesterday - mua-waannii, muea-wahn-nee, meuua waan nee, muea wan ni OR is it เมื่อวานนี้?

You get my drift! OK, if you stick to one resource I guess, but I don't.

Everyone learns differently and I have discovered that there are so many different ways of tackling a new language, at Women Learn Thai. Catherine (WLT) recently wrote a post revealing that all of the Manee books are available online, well worth a visit. WLT has heaps of valuable information, including an article on language exchange, which I'd like to try when I come back to Australia, to maintain what I know and to keep progressing.

After reviewing what I have learnt to date, I was little depressed. But, I averaged out my invested time to about half an hour per week and most of that was done months ago. So I shouldn't be that surprised that my entire Thai vocabulary can be written on something you'd blow your nose on.

I'll be on a plane to Chiang Mai all day and evening, tomorrow and will let you know about my quest for a Thai Language course, as soon as possible.

See what else we're up to at Cooee!


  1. Well Snap. The time is finally here. You are almost on your way to Thailand, and I can only imagine the excitement you are experiencing right now :-)

    PS: I hope it's not flooding in Chiangmai.

  2. Hi Catherine, it's good to be last! No rain here as yet, but I believe it's flooding? down your way. Who knows what typhoon Megi will bring.

  3. Well, you're better prepared than I was--good for you! Hope you're enjoying being there!

  4. I'm loving being here, thanks Megan. I find sometimes ignorance is bliss as far as my Thai language skills go. The more I learn the more confused I become.


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