The Thai Language
The Thai Language has a reputation as being one of the most difficult languages to learn in the world. Actually, the core principles of the Thai language can be learned quickly and measurable progress can be made with a support of good Thai Language Teachers.
Thai, which is sometimes referred to as Siamese, is part of the Thai language family. The languages in this family belong to the much larger Austric language group sharing links to Khumar (Cambodian) and Indian Sanskrit. The written Thai Alphabet was introduced by the third Sukothai period king, Ramkamhaeng, in 1283. This writing system has undergone little change since its introduction, so inscriptions from the Sukothai era can be read by modern Thai readers. The Thai Alphabet is based on Indian Pali, Sanskrit and also includes a large number of Mon and Khumer words.
Vowels are written above, below, before and after consonants so that they modify the consonants. There is no upper case in Thai language and hardly any grammar. This means that there are no plurals or tenses. A past tense or future tense is easily identified by adding extra words in the sentence.
It is not at all difficult to learn Thai language though many might find it difficult to learn the Thai alphabet in the beginning. However, with practice at a good Thai Language School you will realize that the language can be easily learned and you will be able to figure out for example when when a word ends and a new word begins!
Thai is a tonal language based on 5 tones. This means one word can have 5 different meanings depending on the tone spoken to deliver the word. Meaning of a word can change depending on the tone used. Thai Pronunciation is precise and a challenge to foreigners who are not used to this.
If your tone is wrong, you will not be understood by anyone. You will in many circumstances be saying another word! That is why when learning the language you should pay special attention to the different tones. In Thai language there are five tones — mid tone, high tone, low tone, rising tone and falling tone. This can initially seem a little difficult to master but with practice with your Thai language teacher and some careful listening this can be mastered.
Because learning Thai is so alien to most farang we highly recommend learning Thai on a one to one basis at a good Thai Language School certainly to start with. If you are to learn to speak clearly and confidently you will require a lot of Thai language teachers’ support initially.
Take a no obligation trial lesson and start to Learn Thai Online or at our Language School in Bangkok. We can help you master this beautiful language with confidence with lessons online, at our school or a location of your choice. About 80% of our students rebook – see what they say about us.
For more Thai language resources please either look at our Learn Thai Free section or follow links to our other sites below: