In case it isn’t obvious, I love Thailand. All I am saying is that, if I could eat ‘moo ping’ (หมูปิ้ง) and ‘khao niao’ (ข้าวเหนียว) for every meal, I would. Maybe it is to do with the refreshing ‘cha yen’ (ชาเย็น) I drink every so often in the stifling heat. Whatever the reason, I have spent a fair amount of time learning Thai. During my initial research, I noticed that a fairly well-known language learning service, Rosetta Stone, does not offer Thai lessons. While I did eventually find a great alternative, I always found myself thinking in the back of my mind, why doesn’t Rosetta Stone offer Thai language lessons?
Actually, it seems that Rosetta Stone had previously offered a Thai language course. I couldn’t find any official reason for why they dropped the language from their service, however. With millions of people visiting Thailand every year, you would think that Thai language learning courses would be highly demanded. Whatever the reason, I hope they will reconsider. For now, we can only guess what the issue was.
So the Rosetta Stone Thai Language course was previously available but was ultimately discontinued. There is the possibility that this is down to the course now being up to their standards.
When it was available, it was only offered a beginner level course. This may have covered the basics and some vocabulary but nothing more. The more in-depth grammar rules and less common vocabulary were absent, which is unusual to see for the service. This suggests that it was not up to their standards so they pulled it.
Could they be developing a new version? It’s possible. But for now, Thai learners will have to look elsewhere.
As much as I love Thailand, its culture, and its language, perhaps it is possible that there is not as much demand I as thought. Sure, millions of people visit the Kingdom every year, but how many will actually then take the time to learn Thai?
A lot of resources go into creating, or in this case, revamping these language courses. With a service as extensive as Rosetta Stone, you can imagine the time, money, and care that goes into the development. If there is no market for it, then it wouldn’t make sense to renew it.
I am glad you asked. There is one very obvious recommendation that can be made here, and that is the Ling Thai app. Ling uses native Thai speakers to help you learn Thai, just like it will sound in the country.
Through the gamification of learning, it also makes the whole process much more engaging. You can see yourself progress as you make your way through the different topics and tests that come along with it.
Then there is the chatbot feature that simulates conversations and makes for great practicing your Thai language skills. For an introvert like me, it helps to build up my courage to eventually feel confident enough to use it when out and about.
While these mobile apps do share a common goal of making language learning fun and accessible, what sets Ling apart is the focus on practical vocabulary, sentences, and phrases that you will use in everyday speech.
This one is actually a part of the same family as Ling. Simply Learn Thai is a phrasebook in app form, giving you all the benefits that come with that. You can listen to the words and phrases being spoken by native Thai speakers, along with the Thai and phonetic spellings of the words.
It makes for a great companion both when practicing and when you are in Thailand. It makes use of flashcards and the spaced repetition learning technique that is said to really improve language learning.
It may not be the top choice if you want a deep understanding of the language but helps you start out with pronunciation and basic grammar like word order.
There are quite a few different apps and websites that work great with helping you to learn Thai. Each one goes about its own way to replace the hole made by the lack of Thai on Rosetta Stone. Ultimately, it is a case of finding which option works best for your case.
Like we said before, it is good to make a language learning plan and mix things up if you are serious about learning Thai. If you are just looking for a more casual experience to learn a few phrases before traveling, then apps might be the best option for you.
Everyone who enjoyed their stay in Thailand should consider learning the language. It really does improve the experience to no end when you can talk with the locals in their own language. The lack of a Rosetta Stone Thai option is a real head-scratcher and has unfortunately led many people to look elsewhere when learning the language. It is possible that they will release Thai on Rosetta Stone in the future but for now, try out some of the alternatives mentioned above. I would highly recommend the Ling Thai app for your Thai language learning needs. The name of the app itself is Thai, after all.