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 getting an 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. A good all round choice for the beginner.
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 is recommended to start with this pocket book and get used to their transliteration process first.
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.
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.
Websites for Learing Thai:
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.
A rather unappealing site that is useful mainly for its online dictionary and translator.
A site that still needs lots of work and appears rather dry, but does have some useful tools such as multimedia pronunciation aids and a Thai script guide.
The Thai language page on this site recommends all sorts of resources for learning Thai.
A comprehensive listing of Thai courses and semester studies in Thailand organised through this website. Plenty of different options to choose from.
Thai Language Schools in Chiang Mai:
AUA Language Center
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. 24 Rajadamnern Rd., Chiang Mai. Tel: (053) 214 120, Email.
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. Super-highway Chiang Mai-Lampang Rd., Muang, Chiang Mai. Tel: (053) 241 255.
Walen School of Thai
Innovative, guaranteed learning of Thai language, with friendly teachers. 12 Huay Kaew Rd., Chang Puek, Muang, Chiang Mai. Tel: (053) 405 393.
Thai Language Schools Elsewhere:
AAA Thai Language School
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. 35 WANNASORN TOWER, 10th floor, Phayathai Rd., Ratchathewi, Bangkok. Tel: (02) 045 1427, Email.
Inlingua International School of Languages
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. 4th Floor, Esplanade Ratchadaphisek, 99 Ratchadaphisek Rd., Dindeang, Bangkok. Tel: (02) 641 3380-1, Email.
Patong Language School
Located on Phuket’s most popular beach resort area, this friendly school offers Thai lessons and classes to foreigners. 5/11-12 Had Patong Rd., Patong Beach, Phuket. Tel: (076) 340 373, Email.