With the new year coming soon, many people will make the resolution to learn a new language like Thai. The first step in learning a new language is always the biggest. It is very daunting and understandably it will deter a lot of people. However, we all have to start somewhere, especially if you plan to live here. How did I start learning Thai?
I will look into the steps that need to be taken to begin on the journey to learn Thai or any other language you may be interested in. Hopefully, this will be useful for you too and help you get started.
We have written some tips before about how to learn a language or how to learn Thai quickly, but we never focussed on how to actually start. There are so many different areas and topics to look into, so you need to think where is best to jump in.
For most people, the best place to begin is learning some basic phrases in the language. This includes words and phrases like hello, thank you and what is your name. This is a good place to start as these are phrases you will be using a lot so you will be able to practice and put them into use almost straight away. In addition, it is a nice stepping stone to start learning about pronunciation and eventually word order.
Once you have a few of these common words and phrases memorized, you should probably then start reading into the grammar. This is probably one of the most difficult areas as some languages can be particularly complex when it comes to grammar, and Thai is no different. At this point, you don’t need to know everything about the grammar, but at least know about how words are placed in a sentence and things like pronouns.
So now you have learned some basic words and grammar. What comes next? This would be the point you start learning more vocabulary. What use is there knowing the grammar if you don’t have anything to say?
Look for some more common topics or ones related to your interests. This can be things like animal names, the colors or the planets in Thai. Basically, you should be building up your vocabulary at a steady pace while being sure to continue practicing what you have already learned to help memorize it.
Alongside this, you should also start looking at the Thai alphabet. While you can get away with not learning the alphabet, you would be missing out one of the main elements that make up the language. It can be difficult to learn due to its uniqueness, but the earlier you start taking the steps to recognize characters, the better. Soon you will be able to make up words and match the words to images, etc. You will then over time build up your understanding and be able to start reading and speaking in Thai or whatever language you are learning.
These beginning steps are meant to help build a foundation of knowledge and give you the best opportunity to learn the language. From this point, you can take this basic understanding and develop it further as you learn more grammatical rules and vocabulary.
More importantly, you should have a good idea by now of how you best learn and then apply that to how you approach language learning, Whether you prefer a classroom setting, an app, or immersing yourself, you can adjust your lessons accordingly.
Fear and lack of motivation are the biggest barriers to start learning a language. If you are able to get past that, then you have already passed one of the biggest hurdles. While this guide may not apply exactly for everyone, I think it makes for a good outline of the biggest steps that make up the beginning of the process. Try it out and see what works best for you.
If you are looking for a fun and interesting way to learn, try the Ling Thai app. Practice and put your skills to the test in games and challenges to help you learn.