Thai for Beginners
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  • Thai for Beginners
  • Benjawan Poomsan Becker
  • Published by: Paiboon Publishing
  • Level: Beginner
  • First Published in: 1995

Thai for Beginners is a book that is designed for both self-study and classroom use. While working with this book, students will go over the basic's of Thai and work on exercises that focus on all four language skills. This course book will help students prepare for trips to Thailand and it will help them communicate and interact with the locals.

Review posted: 06/12/2013
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Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles, but if you don’t speak a word of Thai that will probably be the beginning and end of your conversation with most Thais. Though things are slowly changing with younger generations, most Thais have little to no English skills. If you are planning to visit or live in Thailand, then you’re probably going to have to learn at least the basics.

Since Thai is a tonal language, this can be a very daunting task, but Thai for Beginners is a great place to start.

The book’s usefulness increases exponentially when you buy the accompanying audio CD. Without the audio CD it is next to impossible to learn Thai by using this book without a teacher. Buying the CD is necessary, particularly since Thai is a tonal language. The CD will help you to become familiar with the tones of Thai words. You will still, however, need a teacher to help you with your own pronunciation of Thai words. Even if you think you have understood the words, don’t be fooled. If your first language is not a tonal language, then it is very difficult to accurately pronounce different tones.

"The book makes use of transliteration and Thai script which can be helpful, particularly early on. Initially, you may find it cumbersome to learn how to read and write Thai."

“Thai for Beginners” is the perfect book to help you build your vocabulary, familiarize you with the way Thai sounds and help you learn some simple phrases. The book makes use of transliteration and Thai script which can be helpful, particularly early on. Initially, you may find it cumbersome to learn how to read and write Thai. However, if you are serious about learning Thai, then this book is spot on as you should make literacy a priority from the beginning.

The good thing about Thai for Beginners is that it truly is for beginners. Each section gives you just the right amount of content to make sure you learn a lot without feeling stressed out. This is probably why the book is one of the most popular books for first time students of Thai. In total, the book will teach you more than 1000 words that will be useful in day to day life in Thailand.

If you are a Thai teacher, this book is only moderately useful for your classes. Since the book offers little to nothing in the way of grammar lessons, you will have to supplement the book. If you are a Thai teacher without a sound understanding of the rules of Thai grammar, then you may not want to choose this book for your students as you will be left teaching grammar without the help of a book. If you are teaching Thai, then you can still make use of the listening CD by assigning them as homework and then reviewing each lesson in class. Your students will get a real dose of Thai, as there is no English on the CDs.



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