Have you ever heard of the saying ‘practice makes perfect’? When it comes to languages, that is very much the case. Practising is an integral part of learning a language, as it involves putting what you know to the test. Whether you are out and about using the language with native speakers or at home repeating words and phrases, it can really help build your confidence and improve your understanding. Today, we have put together a guide on how to practice Thai for all us learners looking to improve our Thai speaking, listening and writing abilities.
Find A Native Speaker To Chat With
As you start learning Thai, you may start to worry that what you are learning does not reflect what is actually spoken in the country. After all, Thai has many different ways of speaking based on who they are talking to. That is why speaking with a native speaker is incredibly useful for your learning.
This option is not possible for many people, but if you are able to connect with a native Thai speaker either in person or online, it will be very useful for your practice. They know the ins and outs of the Thai language (to an extent, at least) and so will be well placed to help you practice Thai.
Their guidance will help to make your Thai more natural and authentic, helping you use vocabulary that they actually use in the country. Beyond just the language, they can also teach you more about the cultural and way of life in the country. Other than that, they may just become a good friend.
Watch TV And Movies
You often hear stories of how people learned a language (or at least built up their knowledge) through watching and listening to media from that country. Generally, it is quite easy to find some Thai TV show excerpts or movie scenes online. There is also plenty of music to listen to as well. A quick search on YouTube will bring up plenty of results.
While the predominant form of Thai that people learn is the Central Thai dialect, you should also be exposed to other dialects and accents. This will prepare your ears for when visiting the country, as many people move around to the big cities to work. Media is probably the best way to do this.
It makes for an interesting way to practise Thai, as you can listen to what the character says and repeat it to yourself. This way, you will learn pronunciation and new vocabulary together. Sure, this can be done with any of the Thai language learning videos online, but this way you hear it in a more genuine scenario. Just make sure what you are watching is actually in Thai.
Don’t Be Afraid To Make Mistakes
Keep up with your studies
Embarrassment can be a big barrier for practising any new language, let alone Thai. When making the jump to using your newly learned Thai abilities with native speakers, it can be hard to deal with misunderstandings because your tone pronunciation wasn’t quite right or you used the wrong word. Many of us have had that feeling where you just wish you could just melt away.
However, mistakes are a necessary step in learning. Nobody gets everything right the first time around so learning to deal with this shyness and embarrassment is key to practising Thai. Try to look at it from a more light-hearted perspective. It is ok to laugh at yourself every so often. You just need to make sure you internalize and remember your mistakes so that you do not make it again in the future.
The best advice is to find as much enjoyment in it as you can. If the person starts laughing as they hear you mispronounce a word, you should laugh along with them. Listen out to how they say it and repeat it to show you understand. If they see that you understand the mistake and are learning from it, then they should feel some respect for you.
Use The Ling App
Surprise! Of course we would recommend the Ling app as a way to practise your Thai. The app was built specifically to make the process more entertaining while still maintaining the necessary principles of learning. That means grammar, pronunciation, writing and more, which will prepare you for a stay in Thailand.
Ling uses gamification to make language learn that bit more fun and enjoyable. Sure, it still takes a lot of hard work and persistence, but having this learning source nearly always at hand on your mobile means you can fill in any free time with studying Thai.
Whether through games, tests or the chat bot feature, there are numerous ways for you to practise your Thai abilities across each of the disciplines. The audio is all provided by native speakers, meaning you are hearing an authentic pronunciation and accent. Add to that the relevant dialogue that you will likely use yourself, and you have a powerful tool in you Thai learning toolkit.
Keep Up The Good Work
If you were curious of how to practice Thai before, I hope these pointers will give you some ideas of what you can do. Of course there are many different ways to learn a language, and if you find something that works for you, then that is great — add it to your language learning plan. The best thing to do is keep practising and soon enough you will be making great progress.
In case you forgot, the Ling app is a great way to practice Thai. Download it today to give it a try and see if it is right for you.
Originally published at https://ling-app.com on July 15, 2020.