Everything You Need To Learn Thai
Thai is a Sino-Tibetan language belonging to the Tai-Kadai language family. It is spoken by more than 40 million people, primarily in Thailand, where it is the official language. Thai is also spoken in the northeast of Myanmar and parts of Laos.
It is closely related to Laotian, and more distantly to the other languages of Southeast Asia such as Vietnamese and Khmer.
Thai is written using the Thai alphabet, which is an abugida derived from the Brahmi script. The alphabet is also used to write other indigenous languages in Thailand, such as Shan, and several minority languages of Laos.
For those interested in learning the language, you’ll find that resources are plentiful. We’ve listed those we find most useful below.
Thai Language Learning Books
As your introduction to the language, you can’t go wrong with a Thai course/study book. Not only are they affordable, but they go into great detail about pronunciation, the writing system, grammar and vocabulary. You’ll thus set a solid foundation upon which to build with other resources.
Next on your list should be a reliable, concise English-Thai dictionary. For those who remember vocabulary better with visual cues, a Thai picture dictionary might be more your thing.
If you want to skip the intensive study on grammar and language structure, you could pick up a Thai phrasebook in order to learn the most common phrases, words and expressions. Perfect for travelers to Thailand.
Thai Children’s Books
An oft ignored method of learning the language is through reading children’s books in Thai. This is a great way to pick up more vocabulary and strenghten not only your reading comprehension but your overall command of the language.
Thai kids’ books use easy-to-read language, repetition, and short sentences, making them perfect for beginner readers.
Other Thai Books
Eventually, you’ll want to move on to reading more advanced material that uses more complex language, as this is the only way to boost your skills further. Consider getting some Thai books for older readers, like the Bible in Thai.
Thai Digital Courses
Don’t have the time or patience to study Thai using books? Well, there’s always the option of taking a Thai digital/e-course. These come in the form of either audio or video instruction, the former of which places emphasis on building your listening and speaking skills, and preparing you for real communication with natives.
Udemy’s Thai for beginners course is an affordable, comprehensive digital course made up of 7 hours of video lessons (105 lessons in total) and 170 downloadable worksheets. You also get lifetime access to it and future updates, and you can use it on any device.
THAI UDEMY COURSES
THAI AUDIO COURSES
For audio-only Thai courses, look no further than Pimsleur’s Conversational Thai and Basic Thai courses. These are packed with hours of audio lessons that aim to get you speaking Thai in no time. You can download the lessons and use them on any device capable of audio output.
Pimsleur Conversational Thai: Audio Course for Beginners
Thai Flash Cards
Give your learning that extra kick with some Thai Consonants and Thai Vowels flash cards. These will teach you not only how to write the letters of the Thai alphabet, but to pronounce them, too.