read thai,

  • Modern Fonts

    As for the modern fonts, if you can more or less recognize the classic fonts, with all the loops in the right places, you are probably ready to have a go at recognizing the more stylish, minimalistic modern fonts.

    Most of the letters are the same, with bulges or blobs where the loops (heads) were. And if something isn’t important then it’s simply left out. For example, and and don’t bother with the “head” (the loop on the top left). The main distinguishing factor is where the loop changes – e.g., for it’s on the bottom left, for it’s on the bottom right, for it’s on the top right.

    You’ll get to recognize these very quickly. Sometimes if you’re not sure about a particular letter because it could be one of two possibilities (e.g. the ดletter, which could be either or in a modern font) then you might have to find another example of the letter, or its counterpart, in the text (hopefully it’s a long enough text to contain more than one example of the same letter).

    Sometimes you’ll see a word you recognize – and by a process of deduction you’ll figure out what the letter is. It takes a bit of practice, but after a while you’ll find that the modern fonts are actually easierto read. They’re cleaner and have fewer distracting lines and loops than the classic fonts.

    Obviously, it also helps to have some vocabulary so that you can more or less guess what the word is likely to be from the context.

    Below is a table that identifies the differences that you doneed to know in order to be able to read the modern fonts. The letters in black are easily recognizable in the modern fonts, so just focus on the red and blue letters. 

    Consonants

    (For "snaggle-tooth" letter refer to "rolling" below...)

    The traditional fonts are in the left column.  The next columns are the modern & handwritten forms. All that has happened is that the unimportant bits of the letter are left out, usually the extraneous loops. If you look at the 3rd & 4th letters down ( and) you'll notice that the essential difference between these is the loop at the bottom is either on the left of the right. So the loop on the top left can be discarded. No other letters looks like these, so it's safe to do so.

    Note that when  has no indentation, it defaults to the ladyboy version.

    Clearly  is looking inwards, showing that it is the girl version.

    Some letters look quite different – and I've highlighted them in red. Some are only slightly different – and these are in blue. The blue ones just need to be noted and you'll recognize them easily. 

    The red ones can be understood when you know how Thai letters are written. They start from the main loop. So the letter is written starting from the loop at the bottom. In English, we'd normally write it starting from the other end. Try writing it the Thai way. Now write it again, but very fast. And again, dropping the loop. And again. Notice that it starts to look like a lazy backwards "C".  So a good way to help you get from “c” to “w” is to think of “WC” – but backwards!

    But keep in mind that it’s not always “w” – this is a tricky letter because it can be a vowel or a consonant, so make sure to spell out the idea in “long hand” in your mind: The waving ladyboy on her head shouting “ooh aah”… (In fact, even in English, the “w” is treated as a consonant but produced by making the “oo” vowel sound very quickly.)

    Remember, all Thai letters are written starting from the loop. So what looks like an "S" is actually the written very quickly from the bottom, which eventually looks like our "S". Think of asnakerearing its head to give you the "r" letter.

    The backwards "G" is actually the  written quickly or stylistically. Very often, you will see it simply as an "O".

    Note: is often identical in shape to  but just a little thinner.

    andare very similar, it’s sometimes hard to see “slice” (the extra dent).

    Finally, the "U" is simply the u-boat and the upside down "U" is the male chicken without its beak .(
     

    Vowels & Tone Marks

    As for the vowels, they're mostly easily recognizable in any font.

    However, there are two or three vowels that are potentially confusing. The modern font for "puppy pizza topping" seems very similar to the "igloo" vowels. But by a process of elimination, it's the only one that has a stroke or bulge on the leftside, while all the "igloo" vowels have some kind of feature on the right (or nothing at all for the plain "igloo" vowel).

    Also, the "puppy pizza topping" vowel is sometimes confused with the "surfer" tone mark. Notice that the latter mark is more of a zig-zag, like a "2" or "Z".

    And the "gag duct tape" could also sometimes be confused with the "surfer" tone mark. Notice which way it rolls. Besides, it's easy to guess from the context that it's likely to be a silent letter underneath than one with a vowel or tone mark on top.

    And that's it, it's really that simple!

     

    (BTW, if you haven't learnt to read with the Rapid Method then you won’t understand my reference to “puppies” or “chickens” or “ladyboys”, etc. in the notes because I’m referring to the terminology I’ve invented for teaching people to read Thai using an accelerated approach. You can still figure out how to recognize the modern fonts from the tables above.)

     
  • Learning Thai the Rapid Way - the fastest way to learn Thai in the world  

    Note - we are moving to www.rapidlearnthai.com today (Thursday, Feb 27). You won't be able to log in to your courses during the migration and there may be some disruption due to teething problems on the new site.

    Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding.


    The Rapid Method is primarily a minimalist self-study approach to learn Thai online, with the occasional guidance of a teacher for practicing conversation, to check your pronunciation and to explain details and nuances. To learn a language effectively, you must develop 'muscle memory' - just like in sport, dancing or playing a musical instrument.The Rapid Method is a comprehensive system to train your brain 'muscles' and your mouth muscles to speak and understand Thai using stories, mnemonics, songs, interactivity and 'spaced repetition'. The secret ingredient is that it's all done by readingand studying (and speaking out loud and listening to) colloquialmaterial.

    Thai is probably one of the simplest languages in the world to learn, primarily because it is so logical and consistent. The reason why it seems so difficult is because of how it is conventionally presented and taught. In the Rapid Method, anything that is irrelevant or redundant is omitted, so you only focus on what you need to know to be able to converse with a Thai friend. No more. No less.


    1. Watch the video to learn 25 letters in 25 minutes
    and see for yourself how quick and easy it is...
    Learn to Read Thai online
     

    2. Watch the Foundation Videos 
    to learn the top 30 letters in about an hour - and be able to recognize and sound out hundreds of simple Thai words.

    3. Study by yourself online (฿14,000)
    or attend an intensive six-day Read Thai workshop (
    ฿42,000) - February 10-15 in Chiang Mai

    The Rapid Method "Road Map"

    1. Watch the Foundation Videos.
       
    2. Try before you buy. Sign up for the free trial version of the Rapid Read Thai online course and work through the first few lessons. You'll learn around 30 of the most common letters in a few hours, after which you can recognize and correctly pronounce (but not neccessarily understand) hundreds of basic Thai words.
       
    3. Learn to Read Thai. Come back and buy either the regular audio-only version of the course, or the more comprehensive "video workshop series". You can do it in a few days, but allow 1-2 months to complete this part of the process. Or if you can make it then attend one of the intensive one-week "Read Thai" bootcamps.
      When you complete the course you will be able to read this!  
       
    4. Learn to Speak Thai through reading. Now that you can read, follow the Everyday Thai for Beginners conversational course. There's no need to rush this: two one-hour sessions per week over seven months with a private Thai tutor, either face-to-face or online via Skype...
       
    5. Become conversationally fluent. Then if you want to have deeper and more intimate conversations with your friends and (Thai) family then buy the "fluency" course, Sydney Remember. Allow about a year to complete this course, studying two hours per week.
       
    6. Learn Business & Commercial Thai. If you also want to be able to talk about business, marketing or commercial issues then get the advanced fluency business course, Top Story.Allow another year, studying the usual leisurely two hours per week, to complete this course.
       
    7. Advanced Thai. Finally, you might want to know what's going on politically and economically in the country: study the News & Media course. Although the words used in newspapers and on the TV and radio are very advanced, there aren't that many of them and the concepts are always the same: about the government, the opposition, the protesters, murderers, thieves and terrorists, sports stars and TV personalities, floods, fires and the weather in general, etc. It's a completely different language from colloquial speech, but very easy to become familiar with if you put your mind to it. I'm developing an advanced course based on the book "Doggy-Style Politics" by Chuwit Kamolvisit (ชูวิทย์ กมลวิศิษฎ์), a maverick ex-gangster turned politician in Thailand.

    UPCOMING LEARN THAI WORKSHOPS:

    Chiang Mai  February 10-15 (Mon-Sat)

    Intensive Six-Day Learn to Read Thai Bootcamp
    Monday-Saturday 8am-5pm

    42,000 baht
    - includes study materials & notes, lunch & refreshments and lifetime access to online course, videos and supplementary material, and personal follow-up of your progress for a year.

    Click here for more details and to register.

    _gary_wks

    Can't/Won't attend a workshop?

    If you can't make the workshop then please sign up for the Rapid Read Thai Self-Study Online Course

    Complete the workshop online at your convenience. All the advantages of a live workshop without the hassle or expense (just not quite as fun as learning with friends). 

    Available for purchase now (฿14,000).


    What do they say in the media?

     Read the article in the Bangkok Post

     the Bangkok Trader says...

    Virtual Travel Guides

    Learn Thai Online, or the Rapid Method, are not mentioned anywhere on this otherwise comprehensive and resource-rich site (A Women Learning Thai... and some men too). Isn't that strange? Either the Rapid Method is so terrible that it cannot be mentioned or it is embarrassingly effective! What do you think?


       
    Learn Thai from a White Guy

    Warning. The marketing of this course (ebook) produced by Brett Whiteside (Learn Thai from a White Guy) can lead one to believe that it is a "rapid method" for learning Thai. He also advertises his program as Learn Thai Online so that you might inadvertently land on his page when trying to get to this site.

    But it is not theRapid Method. It is similar, but only in the sense that many of the letters are described in terms of pictures and mnemonics. The mnemonic ideas are very good, but in all other respects, it follows a conventional approach and is in many ways an unnecessary distraction. You learn that the "Doubled-Over Fakir" (which has the sound "D") is the Child letter because it could look like child in a ghostly halloween costume. In Thai, the word for "child" is "dek", which gives you the "d" sound. But that's useless for us because we don't know (yet) what "child" is in Thai. In the Rapid Method, we focus on the sound first - a "Dead Child" maybe who is now a ghost and has come back to life just for halloween... :)

    The good mnemonics kind of peter out after about 20 letters, and they'll be described in terms of their linguistically-correct alphabet names and classes. Brett's way of figuring out the tones is also fairly ingenious (not as quick 'n easy as in the Rapid Method, though) but it still depends on the conventional class method and the somewhat inaccurate concept of high/rising/falling frequency sounds for the tones.

    Nevertheless, try it for yourself first if you like; and then come back and try the Rapid Method. Many who have done so already say there is no comparison!


       
    HighSpeedThai

    Please also note that the "Rapid Thai Vocabulary" course offered by HighSpeedThaiis produced by Vincent Vandervaere and is not in anyway associated with the Rapid Method or Rapid Language Learning, and has no similarity with the Rapid Thai courses offered on this site. I am flattered that my competitors are trying to take advantage of the "Rapid" brand, but please don't be duped into thinking that the methodology is the same. Several people have bought HighSpeedThai and then switched over to the Rapid Method when they discovered their mistake. (A few people even complained about the HighSpeedThai methodology and asked me for a refund!)

    One of the key differences in our approaches is that the Rapid Method is minimalistic  you will focus only what is necessary to be able to read, speak and understand Thai, no more  while HighSpeedThai consists of about 1000 pages of material in a giant PDF file that is linked to reading and memory exercises in (an older version of) the Anki flashcard system. In the Rapid Method, I advise you not to spend more than 15 minutes per day learning Thai; in HighSpeedThai, you are encouraged to study for at least an hour a day, preferably 3-4 hours!

    There is a conventional reading course included in the HighSpeedThai program. And, although mnemonic pictures are used to help you remember the individual letters, the focus is on the namesof the letters. งู or "ngoo" is a snake, for instance, but you can't tell from the picture that it is pronounced as "ng".


    Listen to what actual participants have said...

    What do actual participants say about the workshop?

    Last day of workshop October 2013 Last day of workshop February 2014
    Richard in March 2015
    "Just do the course... it's the best way to learn Thai."
    Becky in March 2015
    "Warning! It's R-Rated."

     

    Do you want to live and retire in Thailand?
    Contact me for a Skype consult.

    For English-Speaking Local Help and Expertise for foreign visitors and expats in Chiang Mai, I highly recommend Thailand Mentor for advice and assistance in finding suitable accommodation, getting the right visa, opening a bank account, getting a Thai driving license, not to mention learning important information about medical treatments, staying safe on the roads and getting appropriate insurance.

     

    Acknowledgement. I met with Stuart Jay Raj - a man fluent in over a dozen languages - when I first came to Thailand in 2005. He already had his course Cracking Thai Fundamentals  and I already had the Rapid Method  and we were hoping to develop a Rapid Cracking Thai Fundamentals  course together. However, he got busy with other things, while I continued to develop and refine the Rapid Method over the years. The ideas for the first few vowel letters (aah, bread, bad) come from his Cracking Thai  course but I subsequently changed the direction of the Rapid course by using different mnemonics and a somewhat non-linguistic approach. Stu is a true linguist and his language courses at Jcademy are remarkable journeys into Thai and related Indic/Chinese languages. I will be incorporating his suggestion to use the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) to help you accurately pronounce the Thai letters. But we both agree completely that the sooner you do away with any phonetic transliteration the better. Unless you are a young child, it's very difficult to learn to speak Thai correctly if you cannot read. Stu's video courses cover nuances and details about Thai in a very informative and entertaining way. I will be sending you the essential video links from Jcademy to supplement the Rapid courses after you have completed the Rapid Read Thai course. Stu Raj
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     

     

    LEARN THAI WORKSHOPS in 2020:

    Chiang Mai  February 10-15 (Mon-Sat)

    Intensive Six-Day Learn to Read Thai Bootcamp
    Monday-Saturday 8am-5pm

    42,000 baht
    - includes study materials & notes, lunch & refreshments and lifetime access to online course, videos and supplementary material, and personal follow-up of your progress for a year.

    Click here for more details and to register.

    _gary_wks

    Can't/Won't attend a workshop?

    If you can't make the workshop then please sign up for the Rapid Read Thai Self-Study Online Course

    Complete the workshop online at your convenience. All the advantages of a live workshop without the hassle or expense (just not quite as fun as learning with friends). 

    Available for purchase now.


    For English-Speaking Local Help and Expertise for foreign visitors and expats in Chiang Mai, I highly recommend Thailand Mentor for advice and assistance in finding suitalbe accommodation, getting the right visa, opening a bank account, getting a Thai driving license, and important information about medical treatments and staying safe on the roads and getting appropriate insurance.