The most popular book for learning the Thai language, Thai for Beginners, is now an Android Smartphone app. Learn to speak Thai from the world’s leading expert on the Thai language, Benjawan Poomsan Becker.
This support page provides an introduction to the app, demonstrates how it works, an explanation of the Thai language and a link to our Guide to Pronunciation.
1) Video of the app
2) Introduction to the Thai for Beginners App
Thai for Beginners app is ideal for beginning Thai students, or those who want to improve their basic Thai. Teaches speaking, listening and reading Thai with a native speaker and over 3,000 clearly recorded words and phrases.
Follows the format of the best selling Thai for Beginners book, which introduces vocabulary, sentences and an in-depth study of a specific subject in each lesson.
Provides examples of the five tones in Thai: low, falling, high, middle and rising tones.
Every item is presented in three ways: the Thai script, a transliteration and the definition in English. The transliteration system assists you with pronunciation while you are learning the Thai alphabet.
Play each phrase over and over, or autoplay an entire lesson.
Exercises: Test your knowledge with built-in exercises.
Increase size of text: no more squinting or reading glasses required.
For advanced study, turn off the English text to see only the Thai script.
English voice added, which can be turned on or off. Autoplay an entire lesson with English and Thai voice on. A great way for Thai speakers to practice their English pronunciation.
After downloading it works without an Internet connection. No data charges.
Detailed HELP section within the app, and link to website support page with more explanations.
Learn Thai from Benjawan Becker and Paiboon Publishing, the leaders in Thai language materials.
3) Key Features
- This app teaches you the language skills of speaking, listening and reading Thai.
- Provides examples of the five tones in Thai: low, falling, high, middle and rising tone.
- Contains many additional useful words and phrases not contained in the book.
4) Table of Contents
Page 1 shows the ten lessons in the Table of Contents for the app. In addition, the app has Useful Words and Phrases and information on the Thai Writing System.
5) How it Works
Each lesson introduces new vocabulary, plus a list of sentences using all of the new vocabulary words. You listen to the native Thai speaker pronounce each word or phrase until you can speak it correctly. Lessons specialize on particular items such as, days of the week, telling time, numbers, colors, parts of the body, occupations, animals and more.
6) How to Learn a Lesson
Step 1 – This example shows how to learn new Thai words and phrases. When the application starts you will be presented with the Table of Contents screen as shown in Figure 1. We selected Lesson 1 from the Table of Contents.
Step 2 – In our example we have selected the Preview button for “Vocabulary” as seen in Figure 2.
Step 3 – The list of items first shows the Thai script, then the transliteration of the word or phrase, and the third line is the English translation. Select the word or phrase you want to hear and the native Thai speaker will pronounce it correctly for you. You can hear the item spoken over and over until you can say it correctly.
Step 4 – When you are done learning the Vocabulary section, use the back button on your cell phone to return to the main page for Lesson 1, as seen in Figure 3.
7) How to Take the Exercises
Step 5 -To test yourself on any lesson, select the lesson you want take from the Table of Contents. In Figure 4 we have selected Lesson 1 and we will test our knowledge of the Vocabulary section.
We can choose to take an exercise with “Reading and Listening” where the word or phrase is spoken for us, or to make it harder we can select “Reading” only with no spoken word.
Step 6 – Figure 5 shows that we have selected the “Reading and Listening” exercise for Lesson 1 Vocabulary. Once you start the exercise you will be presented with one word or phrase with a multiple choice of answers. You need to select the correct response in the list of answers to proceed to the next item. In the upper right corner of the screen you will see what number you are on in the exercise. In Figure 5 we are on number 4 of 36 questions.
Step 7 – Click on the speaker icon to hear the Thai word or phrase spoken. If you select a wrong answer the word will be spoken in Thai and highlighted in red color, as seen in Figure 6. You progress through the exercises to the last item.
The app will keep track of your answers and provide you with your score when you have finished the entire lesson. Your score will remain showing until you retake the entire test over and score a different number.
If you don’t compete the entire exercise the app will show a pink circle on that exercise next to the “play” button in figure 4. The next time you start the app this will allow you to resume where you left off or restart the exercise.
The “Reading” only exercise works the same way, but there is no Thai spoken voice. You must be able to read the Thai script to be able to select the correct answer.
8) Thai Language Differences from English
Here is a beginner’s list of Thai language characteristics that are different from English:
- There are no variant or plural forms for adjectives and nouns.
- Adjectives follow the noun. In Thai we say, “car white” instead of “white car.”
- There are no verb conjugations in Thai. Tenses are understood from the context or from adverbs of time.
- There are no articles (a, an, the).
- There is no verb “to be” with adjectives. “You are beautiful” would be “You beautiful.”
- There are ending particles that imply the needs, age, social status and feelings of the speaker.
- Classifiers are used with virtually all nouns.
- Thai usually omits the subject of a sentence when it is understood from the context.
- Thai is a tonal language.
- If the tone is not correct, you won’t be easily understood, even if your pronunciation is otherwise perfect.
Please note that male and female speakers say exactly the same thing, except the male speaker uses “pom” for “I” and the female speaker uses “dì-chán”. You should also add the ending polite particles when appropriate: “kráp” for men and kâ or ká for women.
9) Guide to Thai Pronunciation
Paiboon Publishing’s Guide to Thai Pronunciation can be downloaded in PDF format (Download Here). It explains the structure of the Thai language, including the use of tones, and a description of the Paiboon system of transliteration used in the app to show how to pronounce Thai words using the English alphabet.
10) Licensing FAQ
If you have questions about licensing issues please visit our Talking
Thai < > Eng Dictionary FAQ section at our Paiboon – Word in the Hand website.
*Please note that only the Licensing FAQ items apply to your Thai for Beginners app. All the other questions apply specifically to our Talking Thai < > Eng Dictionary app.
11) More Thai Language Products
Learn to write in Thai – This app is based on our Thai for Beginners book, which provides additional exercises and an excellent guide to writing Thai. It is highly recommended that you get a copy of the book to supplement your study with this app. You don’t need to buy the audio CDs since you have all the spoken Thai phrases right here on your app. Click here to purchase.
The Importance of a Good Dictionary – When you study a foreign language you need to have a good quality dictionary to look up words. That’s why we recommend our Talking Thai <> Eng Dictionary App for Android. Use it on the same mobile device as your Thai for Beginners app. The best Thai dictionary on the market and it clearly speaks every Thai word in the dictionary. Buy this much-anticipated app at Google Play Store.
Beyond the Basics – We have many Thai language products to help you learn beyond the basic level of Thai, all are available at our website, please view our recommendations below.
- Thai for Intermediate Learners
- Thai for Advanced Readers
- Practical Thai Conversations DVDs
- Thai for Travelers
- The Speak Like A Thai Series
Video about our Thai Language Products
Thank you for viewing!