They say that nothing in life comes free, but that isn’t the case today. There is plenty of free resources for learning Thai available online. Not just Thai, but also many other languages have a few options. For people just starting out who don’t want to invest too much just yet, or those just looking to do something productive in their free time every now and then, there is a big audience for free language learning resources.
Those looking to learn Thai for free have a few options available, which we will be looking into today.
This may seem like a weird topic, but knowing how to learn a language will help greatly with getting the most out of all the resources you use - free or otherwise. For all languages, you need to focus on vocabulary alongside reading and writing,
Thai uses its own script, which will be another hurdle you will have to overcome. Try to listen to native speakers to get an idea of how people speak naturally, unlike what you mat read in a book. A basic idea of grammar is also important, so you know where different words go in a sentence.
Other than that, it is a case of learning new words and phrases and putting them to use. This is where the resources we are talking about today come in.
We have looked many times at the many different resources available for learning languages. There are plenty of books, apps, and classes that cater to people of different budgets, learning styles, and commitment to learning.
However, that scope becomes a lot smaller when you filter it to only free language learning resources. It takes a lot of time and money to create these resources, so it is understandable that people are looking to monetize their work as much as possible.
When looking at Thai specifically, there are even fewer resources out there, especially for free. Thai is seen by many as a more niche language with fewer learners, which may be a reason why popular apps such as Duolingo do not offer Thai lessons.
The point I am trying to make is that there are not so many free resources for learning Thai available. That isn’t to say there are none though. As you may have guessed from the title, there are at least a few options for the frugal Thai learners out there, including those looking to travel Southeast Asia on a tight budget. Here are a few you should consider:
Again, these are just a few different ways you can learn Thai for free.
There are numerous apps out there for learning a language. As we know that they actually do work, you should give them a try. Try them out and see what works for you.
Ling aims to make language learning at least a bit more fun. It is more of a catch-all for learning Thai, focused on diverse lesson types that cover all the bases. Grammar is strength in particular, where you will learn the ins and outs of what makes the Thai language tick. Get started with the beginner's topics for free on Ling.
With Simply Learn, you are able to learn common phrases you would actually use when in Thailand. It is more than just a phrasebook though, as you are able to listen to native speakers read out the phrases, take part in quizzes, and search for exactly what you need. You can access a few phrases to get started with the free tier Simply Learn app.
As the name suggests, Vocly is focused on helping you learn useful vocabulary. Words are spread into different topics, which means you can quickly find the word you need in a pinch. A free version is available that provides some of the more practical vocabulary you may need.
Once again, the name is pretty self-explanatory. Write Me helps you learn how to read and write in the Thai script. With different challenges and lesson types, you can get to grips with all the curves, loops, and straight lines you’ll need to use for Thai. Get some practice with the free tier and see how well you can write in Thai.
Mondly is another of the big names that offer a Thai language learning app. They focus on offering daily lessons that cover core vocabulary, how to form and create sentences, and taking part in conversations. With in-depth statistics and a leaderboard system, you can really concentrate on improving with friends.
What Drops aims to do is take the boring out of language learning. They offer structured 5-minute lessons/tests that you can do every day. It includes a lot of visuals such as pictures to really capture your attention and help you visualize the vocabulary, phrases, and everything else you learn. A premium version is also available to upgrade
Pimsleur has made a name for themselves in the language learning scene. Their mobile app option takes what their previous course built and adapted it to the handheld lifestyle. The Thai app has a free option where users can test if the famous Pimsleur learning method is right for them. The focus is to get you speaking and conversing in Thai, which many people have had success in thanks to Pimsleur.
Podcasts are all the rage these days. Discover how you can use podcasts to learn Thai using these series:
If you are looking for short lessons on a range of topics, then Kru Sulee is right for you. The podcast is relatively new and updated regularly, so be sure to give it a listen.
This podcast goes a different route with longer lessons that go in-depth on specific subjects. Sit back, relax and learn Thai, with some language learning tips also added into the mix.
While they have not uploaded for a few years now, Jo and Jay offer an extensive backlog of podcasts and videos that will help you master the Thai language. See - or listen, I should say - for yourself.
Not satisfied with the Ling blog? We won’t take it personally… Either way, here are a few great online resources for you to learn from
This alone is probably the greatest resource you can find online. Everyday Thai helps you learn plenty of new vocabulary. It provides Thai flashcards with audio and exercises. This website is like your vocabulary library.
Looking for something a bit more personal and down to earth? As the title suggests, learn Thai from a white guy provides a foreigner’s perspective of learning Thai, with plenty of tips and hints to help you along as you learn.
Are you more of a visual/audio learner? If so, YouTube will be a goldmine for you. Here are a few YouTube channels that can help you to learn Thai.
As great as their website is, their YouTube channel offers plenty of tutorials and guides for the Thai language. Almost any search for the basics will yield results from ThaiPod, so it is definitely worth a mention here.
This is yet another great channel that covers the basics, with plenty of pronunciation help from a native speaker. If you have a few minutes, it is well worth taking a look and absorbing the useful vocabulary and cultural tips they give out.
This channel is great for covering cultural elements you may not learn anywhere else. Learn Thai that is more colloquial and targeted to specific situations. Have plans to visit the cinema? Find the video on this channel to learn related phrases you will likely need.
As you can see, there are still a lot of options out there. Language learning doesn’t have to be super expensive. Including these free resources for learning Thai in your language learning plan will help greatly with your learning while not bankrupting you in the process.
As always, the Ling app is there and offers a free trial of the app to get to grips with the basics and see if it is right for you. It makes for a good starting point and if you want to progress more, you can invest some money into it. Otherwise, keep up your learning for your next stop in Thailand.