Is the Thai alphabet difficult?

The Thai Alphabet appear so different to the Western Alphabet that we are so familiar with, but is it difficult to learn.

Well some people may think so, because not only do you have to learn to read the Thai alphabet, but you have to comprehend a new language structure as well.

Don’t think that learning the Thai language is difficult just by looking at the written words and seeing the different alphabet.

Certainly it is more difficult than learning Spanish or French that use the Roman characters we are used to, but it is not as difficult as learning Chinese, Japanese or Korean.

In fact it is really not that hard to learn to read Thai and once you have mastered the different letters and how they sound, it all comes surprisingly easy after that.

If you think that learning the Thai language is difficult because you can’t read the Thai alphabet characters then don’t forget that there are three parts to learning the Thai language.

There is reading, writing and speaking Thai.

So whilst reading and writing Thai are dependent upon you learning the Thai alphabet, speaking Thai only relies on you learning and repeating the sounds that you hear. In fact it is not that difficult at all if you break it down into these three parts.

Millions of people visit Thailand each year and many can speak a little Thai, but they never progress to reading and writing the Thai language.

For the majority of people, just being able to speak a few Thai phrases will be enough and there will be others will want a more in depth course.

Is Thai easy to remember?

Thai is a tonal language and there are five tones. This means that the meaning of a word is dependent upon the tone you use and if you get the tone wrong, you may not be understood.

English is not a tonal language, although tones are used, for example when asking a question.

If you do get the tone wrong then most Thais can understand you from the context of the sentence. Much the same as in English you can tell the difference between “bow “and “bough” from the overall content of the conversation.

Even though to speak Thai you will have to master the five tones. Don’t let this put you off as you soon develop an ear for the sounds and pick it up as you go. Like any endeavour, practice makes perfect and regular practice will ensure that you don’t forget what you have learned.

The best Thai learning courses identify areas of weakness in your learning and give you the opportunity to transfer the information from your short term memory into your long term memory by revising those topics.

Remembering is a vital part of a strong educational programme and a good Thai study program has strategies to reinforce these areas of weakness.

Is the Thai language the only tonal language?

No not at all. There are many tonal languages in use around the world. Many of the Asian languages such as Thai, Chinese, Lao and many of the Sub Saharan Languages are all tonal in nature

What about the grammar rules in Thai?

Actually the grammar rules in Thai are much easier to remember than those used in English and so it is much easier to learn. A good course will take you through all the aspects of grammar and sentence construction.

It is not difficult, it is just new.

There are no capital letters in the Thai alphabet and there are no gaps between the words in a Thai sentence. It looks a bit unusual at first, but you quickly get used to it.

There is no need for any punctuation or gaps between the words when writing a Thai phrase or sentence; just leave a gap at the end of the sentence. How easy is that?

What about writing in Thai?

Well it is easier than you think. If you are going to write Thai then you should know that there are 44 consonants and 32 vowels. You will be introduced to them progressively and they are not that hard to write. With a little bit of practice you can soon write your first Thai word.

Always a good place to start is by writing your name in Thai. By just doing this, you will gain a great sense of accomplishment.

Can't wait to get started? Then go straight to Hi Speed Thai.


More interesting and timeless articles about learning Thai

7 Reasons to Learn the Thai Language
Want to retire to Thailand, looking for job opportunities in Bangkok, want to talk to your new Thai girl or just want to amaze your friends that you can speak Thai?

Learn some Thai, it is great for ordering that Beef Mussaman curry down at the Thai takeaway.

How to learn Thai phrases
Get tips and tricks that help you remember some key Thai phrases. Want to know how to learn some great Thai phrases?

How can I study Thai?
What options are there for studying Thai.? Do I need a Thai dictionary, can I do it on the internet, and do I have to go back to school. These questions and more all answered here.

Why do you want to enrol in a Thai language programme?
What drives you? What is your motivation? You need to fathom out for yourself the reason for wanting to enrol in a Thai language programme

What are the ways to learn to read and speak Thai?
Books, courses, cd’s, mp3’s, the world is your oyster when it comes to taking Thai lessons. Get stuck in and give it a go, you will be surprised how easy it can be.

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