Farang Teaches Thai. Really? The usual way of learning Thai is mostly wrong and laborious! I will teach you the Rapid Method, a minimalist, accelerated-learning approach to Thai!
We will start by learning to read and pronounce Thai accurately and with the correct tones. And then learn to speak by reading (out loud).
We use tones in English (really? yes - really!) and so we already know how to say the tones in Thai. Don't learn the Thai way coz then you'll sound like a sick whale! In fact, most Thais speak in a monotone most of the time. (No... surely not!?) It doesn't sound like it, does it? But next time, just listen to your friends or yourself speaking naturally in your own language. We almost NEVER speak in a monotone. In fact, if we did then it would be very difficult to understand.
The Rapid Method is a minimalist, very much simplified way of learning Thai. Start by learning to read so that 1) you know EXACTLY how to pronounce each word properly and then 2) pick up vocabulary continuously from your surroundings simply by reading the Thai menus, signs, and notices.
You can't do that if you are illiterate. You will be stuck with "textbook" vocabulary and can only build your vocabulary if you deliberately sit down and learn lists of words spelled in "karaoke" Thai. (And you'll learn them all wrong, so you'll have to try to forget them and start again later as you become more fluent....!)
Because I'm English and learned Thai with the Rapid Method, I understand exactly what you struggle with when trying to learn Thai. I've gone through the same process. So I know what's important and what to focus on.
And I can explain the concepts from an English, western point of view.
Like the fact that the า vowel looks just like the suction tube the dentist sticks in your mouth. And the sound is exactly like opening your mouth wide and saying "aaaaahhhhh". You have to do it this way (and not think of it as an English letter) in order to pronounce it correctly.
Or like the fact that the ว letter is sort of like our "w". Even in English, the "w" is a "w" sound at the beginning of a word; but it's actually an "oo" sound at the end of word. (Think of "word" and "cow"...) Now in Thai, when ว is BETWEEN two other Thai letters, it's actually the "oo-aa" vowel sound.
Oh and then there's the business about "initial" and "final" sounds. Thai letters don't start with one sound at the beginning of a word and end with a different sound at the end. In actual fact, it's the SAME SOUND.
The main difference is that we enunciate the final sounds in English, like "crabbbb(ugh)" while in Thai, we simply clamp our lips closed and stop... just like we do in English with the first "k" in "bookkeeper". (If you enunciated the "k" then it becomes a different word: "book keeper". The first word is a kind of accountant, the second word is a librarian!)
For more information about this accelerated-learning approach, google Learn Thai Rapid Method. It's really fun and bizarre. And much more memorable and effective.
And then come back and book me for your series of lessons so that you become literate and can start to develop verbal fluency.
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