Rest assured, that, at Euroasia, we do make our Thai lessons as straightforward as possible.
That said, it would be hard to pretend that Thai is among the easiest of languages to learn! But, like other languages, while it presents certain challenges in certain respects, in others it can be quite straightforward.
The written form of the language, while very attractive, can be a bit daunting. However, it’s not essential to learn how to write the language in order to speak it, and in our Thai lessons we avoid using Thai script in the initial stages. Out of interest, you might like to know that Thai writing is based on certain symbols representing certain sounds (therefore, it’s like English and not like Chinese, where characters represent ideas or whole words). However, again like English, words are not always written exactly as they’re pronounced.
Thai pronunciation can be a bit tricky. You may have the impression that there are a number of sounds which seem very similar. Don’t worry too much about this – no one expects you to have perfect pronunciation! One thing you should try to get to grips with is the system of tones. Thai has five tones. This means is that what looks like one word can have five different meanings depending on the tone of voice you use to pronounce it. You will start practising the tones from the first lesson!
The actual words used in Thai are quite short, usually with just one syllable. To our ears, they can often sound quite similar, but you will get used to the subtle differences which distinguish different meanings.
One feature of Thai is that different language is used in different contexts: it’s customary to modify the forms used depending on the level of formality. You don’t need to worry too much about this, and certainly not at early stages in your learning.
And finally the encouraging bit! Thai grammar is not that hard! It’s certainly different from English grammar, but you don’t have a whole list of irregular forms to learn in the way that you do with many European languages.
At Euroasia, we really encourage you to speak Thai, right from the first lesson. The basics are not that hard!
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