As per Wikipedia " The Thai language is the national and official language of Thailand and the mother tongue of the Thai people, Thailand's dominant ethnic group. Thai is a member of the Tai group of the Tai-Kadai language family. It is a tonal and analytic language. The combination of tonality, a complex orthography, relational markers and a distinctive phonology can make Thai difficult to learn for those who do not already speak a related language."
Now, here's is a good news! We Indians bear a relationship with Thai Language and this can be actually utilized to learn the nuances of the language - the Indian ishtyle. If this interests you, read on!
Basic Rules: How Thai Language is different From Hindi or English ?
To get a feel of the language, note some basic features of the language:
- Adjectives come after nouns for example in Thai we say “dog big” where as in English it is “Big dog”
- There are no variants or plural forms for adjectives and nouns
- There are no articles
- There is no verb ‘to be’ with adjectives e.g. ‘he is smart’ would be ‘he smart’
- Thai language usually skips the subject of a sentence when it is understood from the context.
- Sometimes, proper nouns are generously used when in Hindi, we would be using pronouns.
- Thai is a tonal language
The Thai Writing System
The Thai Language uses an alphabet of 44 consonants, 32 vowels, four tone marks and various other symbols for punctuation, numbers etc, Although there are irregular pronunciations, the Thai language is generally phonetic. It is pronounced the way it is written.
English is not the right medium to learn Thai as there are so many Thai alphabets and tones which cant be expressed in English, if one’s knowledge of Latin scripts is not complete.
The best way to learn Thai language without compromising its original touch, is to try learning Thai by using Hindi or Sanskrit , as the medium of translation. Watch out this space, in future we will be having Lessons teaching Thai using Hindi alphabets.
So the crux of the matter is that we being an Indian should feel privileged that our heritage, culture and leagcy give us the ability to relate to seemingly distant languages.
Descriptions of the available Thai Teaching Institutions in Bangkok
Institutions teaching Thai language can be broadly classified into three categories
- Private Commercial Institutions
- Government sponsored Institutions
- Association’s or Society Institution
1. Private Commercial Institutions:
These are commercial institutions, charge about 150 to 300 Baht /hour and have good English speaking Thai teachers , At the beginning level they use English to teach Thai language. Later they use thai language to teach thai. Some of these institutions also teache to help qualify candidates for Governments Thai language Certifications. So learners interested in learning comprehensive Thai should look for institutions getting you prepared for Thai certification Exams.
These type of Institutions are suitable for the following type of learners:
- Professionals having time constraints so that they can choose their own time slots
- Learners preferring to learn on a one to one basis
- Fast track Learners
2. Government sponsored Institutions
These institutions are generally located inside temples and are not meant for foreigners who wish to learn thai. These institutions are for old aged Thai citizen who couldn't study for some reasons and are aimed at increasing the literacy rate in Thailand. The training comes at nominal rates and done in 100% thai as these are meant for thai people only. However, A foreigner who wants to learn advanced levels of Thai language can also learn from these institutions. The Thai society being generous and friendly welcome all who respect their culture and believe in learning Thai in Thai Language.
3 Association’s or Society Institution
These type of institutions are sponsored by Associations or Society such as YMCA YWCA , AUA. The cost of training is slightly below the private commercial institutions.
As we mentioned above, watch out for this space as we will not only adopt a different approach to learn the language but will also explore the historical and cultural ties between Thailand and India.
We look forward to your comments, feedback and suggestions!