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Singing Thai


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I'm going to Thailand in about 3 months, and thought it would be a good idea to learn some Thai,

I have a few friends from Thailand, and one of them said she'd teach me a little here and there. I've got some of the usual mundane phrases

down pat, when she says it's time to move on a little. She has now given me a few songs to learn, as she says this will help as Thai is like a


My question is this, is she winding me up? 

We are always playing games on each other, and this seems like a great one, if I go for it.


Any advice?

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Unless the song is something like learning the alphabet I'm not sure how that will go. I did learn a lot of japanese with childish songs to remember verb conjugations and the like, but haven't heard any of those for Thai. 


If you are eager to learn and feel you have a good handful of vocab down i'd really recommend activity-based studying. For example, ordering food- learn common words and set phrases you'd use in a restaurant. Taking a taxi, picking up a girl, meeting relatives, getting out of an awkward situation, etc. etc. 

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Thanks Kimao,

you're right there was no learning song, I can;t quite tell if she's winding me up or not, she just said

it would be good to learn to sing a couple of tunes to break the monotony of learning parrot fashion.


Thanks for the hints, will come in handy. 

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Along with a little of the Thai language, I'm also picking up a few fun facts,

did you know that Sawadee was only introduced to the Thai Language in the 1930s

prior to that, people would say, Gin kaow leaow ruu yang. Which means,

have you eaten yet.

I think I prefer the original, it's much more me. 



Anyway I thought it sounds incredible such a common word would only have been introduced so late in the language,

then I was told that "Hello" in the English language has really only been in use since about the same time, (well late 1800s)

and was used as the term for answering the phone. 


Truth is stranger than fiction

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More often than not you'll hear Gin Khao Roo Yung over Sawatdee. You will then answer either, "Gin khao leaw" already eaten, or, "Yung" Not yet.

Also, to sound a bit more natural try saying Wadee kap as a shortened form of Sawatdee.  


It's also very common as a passing greeting to ask Ja Bai Nai, where are you going? Answers will be, Bai Tiaw -out for fun, Bai Thura -errands, or, you guessed it, Bai Gin Khao, out to eat. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Songs are a great way to learn. Let me explain why.


Songs are the one medium where it's natural and even pleasant to listen to the same content over and over again. You will learn the lyrics before you completely understand their meanings and their meanings will come to you gradually. You will listen for fun when you're walking from place to place or whenever, it won't feel like studying but all of a sudden you understand a whole song.


Start by learning the chorus because it's repeated many times throughout the song. Try to sing the song to someone, they will probably enjoy it and correct you if need be.


There's another benefit. Thai is somewhat difficult to learn how to read. If you read song lyrics you have a very good memory for what sounds come next and they will serve as training wheels for learning how to read. Instead of going to a dictionary to look up pronunciation  or tones you will simply use your memory.


Songs are an indispensable aid for learning a new language and much more useful than watching movies or TV. The only downside is that pretty much all thai music seems to suck, suck, suck, it's all sappy love songs and I haven't found anything I've been able to enjoy on an aesthetic level yet.

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