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ImprovingThai LanguageSkills-Using your Smart Phone

Improving my Thai language skills has always proved a seemingly endless mountain to climb. In short a chore that has always been on my things to do list but never quite made it to the top. Basically I have spent over four fruitless years trying to speak even rudimentary Thai that a local can understand and failing miserably.

With this in mind I decided to embrace some modern technology in the form of my Smart Phone(iPhone 4), to help me on my recent trip to Thailand.

The first thing I discovered was that there are a surprisingly large number of apps out there, both free and paid, that cater for Thai language learners. There are also some excellent You Tube videos that you can play on your phone too.

Given that my own Smart Phone is locked to a network in the UK, data roaming was not an option on my trip so I instead settled for apps that didn’t require an Internet connection. I also had a play list of videos I could access via free wifi at hotels for example.

In the end I settled for the following  iPhone apps:

  1. Thai-English-Thai Talking Dictionary  Cost around $24/£17
  2. Learn Thai Vocabulary – Free Gengo Word-Power Free or with paid upgrade available*
  3. Learn Thai-free

*Require an Internet connection to download “the daily Thai word.”

I chose these three apps with the idea of increasing my Thai vocabulary and my pronunciation skills since they all include audio.

My video play list, which I used to help me put some of my new vocabulary into context, was taken from the excellent range of Tongue Thai’d by Andrew Biggs.

So did I find iPhone apps and You Tube videos useful for improving my Thai language skills?

Well I think its fair to say that during my three weeks holiday I probably spoke more Thai than I had done in three+ years of expat living in Thailand. Mind perhaps this was mostly due to not having a travelling companion who was bi-lingual!

That said I certainly find that using apps on my phone suits my learning style and gives me instant access to the right words if I am ever Tongue Thai’d!

You might also like to read this article on Women Learning Thai…….and some men too which lists several other iPhone apps to assist Thai Learners. While my new blog Thai Signslooks at reading Thai.

About Mike Rose (99 Articles)
Mike Rose is a seasoned traveller and award winning blogger with a good knowledge of Thailand, its people and culture. Mike is currently learning to read the Thai language. He is also a keen amateur wildlife photographer.

4 Comments on ImprovingThai LanguageSkills-Using your Smart Phone

  1. Mike – I’ve recently been trying out a few Samsung Thai language apps and I’m quite impressed with them. I’m trying to learn the Thai alphabet and whilst I’ve had not real progress, I’ve had some fun. I think they’re ideal for last thing at night when you turn off the lights, jump into bed and study for ten minutes or so. I especially like the ones where you can trace each alphabet letter on the screen with your finger. Very clever and hopefully effective.

    •  To be honest Martyn, I have really only dipped my toe into the Thai language app market. Clearly there are lots out there but I did find the ones I mention useful. I will start a topic on the forum where they can be listed and shared.

      I quite like the portabilty(if there is such a word) and easy access to the materials the smart phone offers.

  2. Way to go – I’m a big fan of learning via mobile – visual + audio. Nice to see you back blogging Mike. Will catch up on your recent escapades.

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