Thai language guide - resources

What we have given you here is a basic introduction to the fundamentals of the Thai language. It’s suitable for getting by on your vacation or learning some insight into the characteristics of Thai, but to learn properly, we can recommend a few language courses, tutorial books and web resources.

Books for learning Thai

Lonely Planet Phrasebook
(Lonely Planet, 1992) is a handy pocket-sized book with useful phrases, basic vocabulary, grammar tutorials and tone references that you’ll need to survive in Thailand.

Thai for Beginners, intermediate and advanced
(Paiboon, 1995) is a widely used and easy-to-follow introduction to speaking, reading and writing, with tutorials and simple methods from Benjawan Poomsan Becker. Comes with cassettes/CDs.

Thai English Dictionary
(Paiboon, 2002) is about the most accurate and consistent of the dictionaries around, in a nice pocket-size and featuring English to Thai, Thai (Romanised) to English and Thai (script) to English.

Thai for Travellers
(Paiboon, 2003) is a useful appendix to the Thai for beginners series and if you are intending on learning with this series it’s recommended to start with this pocket book and get used to their transliteration process.

Thai for Lovers
(Nit and Jack Adjee, 1997) is a best seller and tackles all the common vocabulary and cultural issues that are useful between foreigner/Thai partners.
Most of the above are available to order online at: www.buythaibooks.com

CD ROMs for learning Thai

Learning Thai Script
(Allen & Unwin 1997) is an excellent tool, especially for mastering tones and pronunciation.

Practical Thai Conversation
(Paiboon, 2004) is an interactive new media tool with conversations at normal and slow speeds with helpful vocabulary. Comes in three volumes of varying difficulty (available at: www.buythaibooks.com).

Learningthai.com
This comprehensive site has been meticulously developed by a British teacher and his students at a famous school near Bangkok, with a thorough set of tutorials, interactive tools, fun games, downloads, lessons online, forums and chat rooms, as well as books for sale.
www.learningthai.com

Learn Thai
A rather unappealing site that is useful mainly for its online dictionary and translator.
www.learn-thai.com

Thai Language
A site that still needs lots of work and appears rather dry, but does have some useful tools, like multimedia pronunciation aids and a Thai script guide.
www.thai-language.com

Thailand UK
The Thai language page on this site recommends all sorts of resources for learning Thai.
www.thailand-uk.com

Language Schools
A comprehensive listing of Thai courses and semester studies in Thailand organised through this website. Plenty of different options to choose from.
www.languageschoolsguide.com

Thai language schools

AAA Bangkok
The Advance Alliance Academy in Bangkok is a well established school which claims to have simple methodology for learning. They offer various classes to achieve the P6 government test.
www.aaathai.com

BIS International School
This is conveniently located between Sukhumvit soi 33 and 33 (behind Villa Supermarket) and offers a reliable curriculum in Thai studies with good multimedia resources.
www.bis-school.com

Inlingua
A well known language school in Bangkok which offers four elementary levels with a well established curriculum in Thai language, nice class rooms and professional staff.
www.inlinguathailand.com

AUA
The American Alumni Association has branches across Thailand offering English lessons and those in areas populated by foreigners offer pretty good Thai courses that comes in several stages and includes a reading and writing course.
http://www.auathailand.org (navigate to individual branches for Thai language class details)

Chiang Mai Payap University
A well respected course is run by this institution, which is popular with foreigners in Chiang Mai and offers a set curriculum at various levels, with testing and intensive 15-hour weeks of study.
www.payap.ac.th (sometimes not available).

Chiang Mai University
Set on this lovely campus, you can study Thai full time with an intensive one-year course that covers reading, writing, correct grammar, regular tests and certification. They have a busy programme, with a full house of students.
www.chiangmai.ac.th
Note. Be sure to check ahead as there have been reports (September, 2010) of the language dept of CMU failing to provide paperwork for students visas, after they had paid! 

Patong Language School
Located on Phuket’s most popular beach resort area, this friendly school offers Thai lessons and classes to foreigners.
www.phuket-languageschool.com

Phuket Anna
A small operation run by Anna Hieb, offering Thai tuition at reasonable prices at three separate branches.
www.phuket-anna.com

Nueng’s Koh Samui
Does a brisk trade teaching locals who have set up businesses as well as English to local hotel staff. One of the few on the island.
www.neung-thailanguageschool.com

Thai Courses (Britain)
A UK-based outfit offering a range of classes and tuition, online or privately. More expensive than studying in Thailand, but a good head start at a reasonable price.
www.thaicourses.co.uk

Walen
Provide effective, interactive Thai language lessons with schools in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya, and Ladprao. Noted for guaranteeing their lessons.
www.thaiwalen.com

Updated and correct: January 2011

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