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Learn to Speak Thai Language

Thai language course introduction

Thai is the main language of Thailand. The number of mother-tongue speakers worldwide is about 60,000,000!

Course features:

  • Taught by expert Thai native-speaker teachers.
  • Curriculum specially designed for New Zealanders.
  • Delivered in small classes with no more than 10 people.
  • All Thai course materials included.
Course timetables and enrolment

Why learn Thai?

Thai is part of a language group which consists of a number of quite closely related languages. Thai is the most prominent of these, but the Lao language spoken in Laos is another that you might come across, and speakers of Thai and Lao can understand one another reasonably well. Thai is not related to any of the other national languages spoken in South-East Asia (e.g. Burmese, Vietnamese, Chinese).

  • Thai is of course the national language of Thailand. It’s the language used in education and in most business and formal contexts. However, while most people in Thailand are familiar with the standard form (known as “Standard Thai” or “Central Thai”), this is only spoken on a daily basis by about a third of the country. The rest of the population speak dialects or even distinct languages which may be quite different.
  • Standard Thai is the language used in Bangkok. And even in the rest of the country, it’s widely understood. You can therefore rest assured that a knowledge of Standard Thai will equip you pretty well for the whole of the country.
  • Thailand is a very important country economically within South-East Asia, and increasing numbers of people find that their business interests come to focus on Thailand.
  • Many speakers of English have Thai partners – and, by extension, Thai in-laws!
  • Thailand has a rich and varied culture, and, as with any culture, language can provide a window into some of its subtleties.
  • Although English is studied quite widely in Thailand, there is no guarantee that you can always find an English speaker. Even a limited knowledge of the Thai language will generally be received very favourably.

Is Thai hard?

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!

Course timetables and enrolment
What our students say
  • “Since attending classes at Euroasia my Mandarin has improved a lot. I can talk about a lot of different things now and I can understand more than I could before. Thank you.”

    Rachel Booth
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