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Living in Thailand

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Thailand.

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Re: Living in Thailand

Post Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:20 pm

Learning Thai is essential to a positive experience here. I mean really, would you expect foreigners to come to England to live and not speak at least enough English to get by? Sure, in the large cities and toursit areas you can get by on English, but learn the Thai language. If nothing else it shows respect for the country and people. Many, if not most , of the negatives and misunderstandings that foreigners have here are due to the fact they cannot communicate in Thai and this also really limits who they can exchange ideas with. There are several good language schoold but I will mention three.

AAA Language School, www.aaathai.com small classes good teachers, a sort of offshoot of the well regarded

Union Language School (no webpage but you can google for their address), I believe they have now moved to Phaholyothin Road. Highly regarded.

and the somewhat unusual but effective methods of the AUA - American University Alumni Association, www.auathai.com. Another highly regarded institution.

Any of these will get you off on the right foot. But remember, get started as soon as you get to Thailand. Don;t do what so many people do and either put it off ( forever) or think that they will just absord the language by osmosis. Thai is really not a particularly hard language to learn, the grammer is quite simple and the structure is clear. Yes, the tones can be tricky but they come with practice. Just do it! All three schools will also introduce you to Thai culture and Thai ways in an pleasant and authentic way.

You might also be able to use the following contacts:

Bangkok Women's Forum: informal gorup of women and network for working and interetsted in working women. e-mails: Suzanne Thibault at suzthib @ inet.co.th or Masako Isomura at masako_isomura @ hotmail.com

British Women's Group, website is www.bwgbangkok.com

The all around helpful Australian-New Zealand Women's Group and their helpful guide at www.bangkokguideonline.com

Welcome to Thailand and enjoy!

 

Jaiyen
Newbie
Newbie
 
 
  
Re: Living in Thailand

Post Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:50 pm

- Jaiyen

Learning Thai is essential to a positive experience here.



After two years of expat living in Bangkok, I totally disagree with Jaiyen's assertion.
Learning Thai is NOT essential, not if you speak English.
One of the appeals of Thailand for expats is that English is the second language here.
All important signs are in English.
Hotels post most things in English.
Most restaurant menus are in English.
All major hospitals, train and bus stations, airports, even taxis, have signs in English.
And in cities that a foreigner is likely to visit, there will be someone who can speak sufficient English to get what you want.

That said, I've been studying Thai language intensely (6 days a week) for two years.
Not because it is essential, but simply because I enjoy languages.
The question is how much time and money do you want to put into learning a language that is not essential, not even in Thailand.

- Jaiyen

Many, if not most , of the negatives and misunderstandings that foreigners have here are due to the fact they cannot communicate in Thai and this also really limits who they can exchange ideas with.



Hardly.
Thais know a lot more about us, than we will ever know about them.
They are very understanding of foreigner ways.
They go out of their way to avoid and smooth over negatives and misunderstandings.

In addition, a few months in language school is certainly not going to give any foreigner sufficient skill with the language to "exchange ideas".
I know, because I've attended many expensive, time-consuming, language classes here in Bangkok.
In that time, I've learned to say "hello", "how are you", "one order of fried rice and a glass of ice tea," and more at a similar level.
But "exchange ideas"?
Not even close.

- Jaiyen

AAA Language School, www.aaathai.com small classes good teachers, a sort of offshoot of the well regarded Union Language School ...[snip]... Highly regarded.



"Highly regarded" by whom?
And to what standard?
Jaiyen does not even hint.
I have some experience with the Union teaching style, having attended three months of daily classes at a school run by former Union teachers.
They taught the names of fruits and vegetables.
They taught how to say, "My name is ___. What is your name?"
They taught the Thai words for car, bus, train, boat, chair, table, door, window, etc, etc.
How often do you need those words?
After three months of daily attendance, I gave up on the Union teaching style.

- Jaiyen

the somewhat unusual but effective methods of the AUA - American University Alumni Association, www.auathai.com. Another highly regarded institution.



"Highly regarded"!
Not by me, nor by anyone I've ever met here in Bangkok who has attended AUA.
I sat in on one class, for one hour.
10 minutes was all it took to convince me the AUA method is NOT effective.
Not worth the time.
Not worth the money.
I've talked with three others here who have attended for longer than my one-hour sample.
None could speak Thai in the least.
One man, who attended regularly for eight months complained bitterly, to the effect that he'd wasted a lot of time at AUA,
"After eight months of sitting through those classes, I couldn't even put together a complete sentence in Thai."
Not highly regarded.

- Jaiyen

Thai is really not a particularly hard language to learn, the grammer is quite simple and the structure is clear. Yes, the tones can be tricky but they come with practice.



Jaiyen is correct about the grammar, but she is very wrong about the structure and the tones.
I have studied French, Spanish, Portuguese, Tagalog (Philippines) and 'Strine (otherwise known as Australian-English).
Spoken Thai is far more difficult than any of those languages.
It has taken me a year just to train my mouth to say the Thai sounds correctly, perhaps 75% correctly.
It has taken a year to learn to read and write the alphabet; most of it anyway -- I'm still not finished learning some of the more obscure characters.
For a foreigner raised on English, Thai is very hard to learn.

Jaiyen, I'm going to respectfully challenge you to back up your assertions.
I hope you are able to provide more accurate and complete information in your posts about expat living in Thailand.
.

 

Peter4
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
 
  
Re: Living in Thailand

Post Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:19 am

Sawasdee to all:
Just would like to add some perspective for Moule
Social opportunity: British Women's Group is available. www.bwgbangkok.com
Newsletter called "The Contact" Magazine. Email: contact @ bwgbangkok.com , Mainly expat's wife and British women in Thailand.
Besides, you can join "International Women's Club" which is mixed nationalities. Quite fun to attend too.
Being single women in Thailand, not so bad at all. You can enjoy yourself with all beauty therapists. Spa, face massage, detox program. All that you can do for yourself. No one will stop you. You can go alone to all shopping centers or exercise class. And find some thai friends here. They will welcome you. Don't worry. YOKA class is available many place. Living in Thailand will allow you to pamper yourself. With expat's salary but living like thai ways.

 

khunsee
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
 
  
Re: Living in Thailand

Post Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:04 pm


mahatma
Newbie
Newbie
 
 
  
Re: Living in Thailand

Post Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:09 pm

I suggest that perhaps different people have different abilities to learn languages and that may be why Mr Peter has been unable to learn the Thai language beyond Hello, how are you.. Desire to learn and respect for the culture and people also figure in to how readily the language uis acquired.

 

Jaiyen
Newbie
Newbie
 
 
  
Re: Living in Thailand

Post Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:09 am

Peter, if you really consider its not necessary to speak Thai to live in Thailand, the thought occurs to me that maybe you never leave the city & have not been "up country"? See how you'd get on in Isaan with no Thai.

I know, because I've attended many expensive, time-consuming, language classes here in Bangkok.
In that time, I've learned to say "hello", "how are you", "one order of fried rice and a glass of ice tea," and more at a similar level.



Well i don't speak much Thai (pood Thai nitnoi) but it seems like i've picked up more than you with all your expensive classes, on just a few extended holidays.

How i learn is when i'm often coming accross a phrase i need i will ask an English speaking Thai to tell me how to say it. I then write it down phonetically. No good for learning to read/write Thai i know, but hey, one step at a time.

Elaine, there are other single farang women living in Thailand, you'll be fine Smile As another poster said, check out the women's section @ [url=Thaivisa.com]Thaivisa.com[/url]

 

Lancashirelad
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
 
  
Re: Living in Thailand

Post Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:44 pm

- Jaiyen

Don't worry, please ignore the negative comments that you have received. ...[snip]... in traditonal Thai society the women have a lot, and often predominant, influence in the household.



What a silly thing to say, "Ignore anything that doesn't agree with my thinking."

Jaiyen neglects to consider that the OP will certainly not be in a traditional Thai household.
The OP is 50+ and Caucasian.
There is, frankly, no place for her at all in Thai society.
If she is rich, she may be tolerated, but if she is a former secretary, now a mere English teacher, she will be considered by most middle and upper class Thais valuable only for her ability to offer English to their children.
Teachers here get respect, yes, but respect is not a social life.

On the other hand, poor Thais will offer lots of smiles.
The poor Thais may issue invitations to visit their poor houses, and eat whilst sitting on the floor amid the flies and dirty children.
That could be an interesting experience once or twice, but it's not a social life.

The only social life the OP will have in Thailand is other foreign women similar to herself.
Thai men will ignore her.
Foreign men will avoid her.
She should be prepared for that, rather than pandered to.
And that sort of social life, among other women at her age and stage in life, could be just what she is wanting.
But to hint that she will be welcomed with open arms among the better classes of Thai women, is simply wrong.

 

Peter4
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
 
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