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Interviewing Thai Teacher: Kruu Cherry

Interviewing Thai Teacher

What Makes a Good Thai Teacher?…

Welcome to the forth post in the Thai Teacher Interview series. If you missed it, Yuki Tachaya (PickUp Thai Podcasts) was the first Thai teacher interview, the second Kannaphat Saelee (Jan), and the third Waan Waan (Learn Thai with Waan Waan).

Note: At the end of each interview you can download the interview questions to ask Thai teachers of your own choosing.

Interviewing Thai Teacher: Kruu Cherry…

Name: Chutima Saetang (Cherry)
Professional name: Kruu Cherry
Age range: 30-40
Location: Nonthaburi, Thailand
Facebook: Rian Thai Kruu Cherry
Twitter: @Thaikruucherry
Skype: krucherryteach

What made you want to teach Thai?

I might have started out like many other Thai teachers by teaching Thai to my foreigner friends. At first, they all gave me the same feedback that I have a talent for teaching and that I should try teaching other foreigners. So, I decided to try teaching Thai and have been teaching for the last two years or so. Now I have been teaching Thai for two years, I have received a lot of positive praise and feedback, way beyond what I could ever have expected.

What qualifications do you have to teach Thai?

The most obvious qualification needed for teaching Thai is of course, Thai, which is my mother tongue. I graduated from Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University in 2013, with a bachelor’s degree in Education and in 2017, I attended specific training on ‘Teaching Thai to Foreigners’ held by Sumaa Language and Culture Institute. Aside from these two qualifications, I also love reading both fiction and non-fiction texts, which help me to develop my vocabulary and enable me to teach students in a way that they enjoy.

What are the age brackets of students you teach?

I have taught students from age 10 – 70. I could say people’s ages do not matter, but when it comes to learning a new language, you are never too old to learn!

What are the types of courses that you offer?

Normally I offer both face-to-face Thai lessons and online lessons, but I’m currently living abroad so at present, I can do only online lessons via Skype. My main courses are constructed to follow the skill levels of students and their goals. These include things such as Thai speaking for beginners, speaking Thai with confidence for intermediates, discussion classes for advanced students, Thai for travelling, and even a step-by-step Thai reading class!

What motivates you to continue teaching Thai?

“Happiness” Teaching is a passion of mine, and something that I want to do every day. It gives me a huge sense of energy and happiness when teaching. This may sound like a cliché, but it is true. After I finish teaching, I feel like I have achieved my goal in life, which is to help others. It is such an incredible feeling to see student’s not only progress, but their happiness when they achieve their goals for learning a language. Some of my students started learning Thai for fun, much like a hobby, and then they became more serious learners who fell in love with this beautiful language, like me.

Is your teaching approach more teacher centred or student centred?

I enjoy both approaches. I have my own unique teaching style which is both flexible and relaxed, but I do not enjoy fixed teaching approaches. My approach depends on a student’s preference, such as their learning style and approach, level of Thai and learning goals. I always design a specific lesson plan with my students in mind. For example, if a student is at a beginner level and knows nothing about the Thai language, I will provide a structured plan and everything they need to know for leaning Thai, but if a student has been learning Thai before and already knows what he wants to learn, then I can prepare a lesson based on these needs.

What have you found to be the most challenging aspects of teaching Thai?

In my opinion, I always assess and plan a specific lesson for my students, so I have found it is quite challenging to design approaches suitable for each student, as well as their strong and weak points of skills I can help to improve. The good point is that the more I teach, the more experience I gain and as a result, it only takes one or two more lessons until I am sure that we are on the right track and that students are happy with their learning. Student’s happiness is the most important thing for me. We cannot do things well if we are not happy doing them.

Ideally, when should an absolute beginner start speaking Thai?

First of all, you do not need to know many words to be able to start speaking Thai. For instance, I always start teaching students with just six Thai words: I, you, love, very, true, and really. From these six Thai words, you can then say ten simple Thai sentences. Secondly, it is important for you to be able to use words you learn to make a sentence, not just learn and/or remember the words. To do this effectively, you should learn vocabulary in context and duplicate that sentence from a model sentence. Finally, as a teacher, I must bear in mind that my students take lessons with me because they want to be able to speak Thai. So, it is my responsibility to make them feel that speaking Thai is easy and that I can give them the confidence to do that even from day one of learning.

How important is reading Thai for helping foreigners to learn the language?

Reading Thai is a crucial aspect that helps you to learn Thai faster and it is the best way of improving your pronunciation. Some people can learn Thai through a transliteration system, especially those people who live in Thailand or love watching Thai TV programs or movies. This is because they already have an opportunity to listen to native Thai sounds and it is easy for them to mimic these. However, for those who live abroad or do not have opportunities to interact with Thai people, it is very difficult for them to pronounce Thai words correctly by reading only a transliteration. Sometimes transliterations alone do not make sense for English speakers, even if written in English. Therefore, reading Thai scripts is a more productive method of learning the Thai language.

What do you to do relax?

In my free time, I enjoy interacting with my friends from different countries, as well as trying to improve my English as much as possible. I also enjoy reading books, watching some TV shows, and talking to my family and friends back in Thailand.

Kruu Cherry,
Rian Thai Kruu Cherry

Thai teacher interview questions…

The download has additional questions for you to pick and choose from – enough for everyone’s liking.

Download: Questions for potential Thai teachers

Watch this space for more Thai teacher interviews.

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Cat Cartoons Episode 132: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน อุทธรณ์
Narrator: Episode – ‘Ut-ton’.

สีสวาดและวิเชียรมาศ: อื๋อ หือ อร่อยจังเล้ย(เลย)
Si Sawat and Wi-chian maat: Mmm-hmm. Soooo good!

สีสวาดและวิเชียรมาศ: เหมี่ยววว เมี้ยววว
Si Sawat and Wi-chian maat: Meow! Meowzaaa!

เก้าแต้ม: อ้าว หมดกัน ข้าวหกหมดเลย ขอให้พี่เก่งทำให้อีกได้มั้ย(ไหม)เนี่ย(นี่อะ)
Kao Taem: Yikes! All gone! Our food fell into the water. Can we make a request to Pee Geng to make us another one?

วิเชียรมาศ: ไม่ต้องมาอุทธรณ์เลย เธอทำหกก็ต้องอดกินน่ะซิ่(สิ)
Wi-chian maat: No need to ‘Ut-ton’! You made it fall off so you (or we)’ll just have to make do.

เก้าแต้ม: แล้วมันเกี่ยวอะไรกับอุทรล่ะ อุทร แปลว่า ท้อง ไม่ใช่หลอ(หรือ)
Kao Taem: So what’s it got to do with ‘U-ton’? ‘U-ton’ means ‘belly’, doesn’t it?

วิเชียรมาศ: อุทธรณ์ เขียน อ อ่าง สระอุ ท ทหาร ธ ธง ร เรือ ณ เณร การันต์ แปลว่า ขอให้พิจารณาใหม่ ไม่ใช่ อุทร ที่แปลว่า ท้อง
Wi-chian maat: ‘Ut-ton’, written ‘Or aang, sa-ra u, tor ta-haan, tor tong, ror reua, nor nayn gaa-ran’, means ‘(to) make an appeal’, not the ‘U-ton’ that means ‘belly’.

สีสวาด: อย่างคนที่แพ้คดีในศาลชั้นต้น เค้าก็ไปอุทธรณ์ต่อศาลชั้นสูงกว่าให้พิจารณาใหม่ ศาลนี้เค้าก็เลยเรียกว่า ศาลอุทธรณ์
Si Sawat: Say for example, a person loses a case in a lower court and makes an appeal to a higher court for reconsideration. This court is called a Court of Appeal.

ผู้บรรยาย: อุทธรณ์ หมายถึง ร้องขอต่อผู้มีอำนาจตัดสินให้พิจารณาตัดสินใหม่ หรือร้องขอเรื่องอื่น ๆ ก็ได้
Narrator: ‘Ut-ton’ means ‘(to) make an appeal to one with the authority for reconsideration or it can also mean ‘(to) make a (serious / formal) request for something.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Cat Cartoons Episode 132: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Interviewing Thai Teacher: Waan Waan

Interviewing Thai Teacher

What Makes a Good Thai Teacher?…

Welcome to the third post in the Thai Teacher Interview series. If you missed it, Yuki Tachaya (PickUp Thai Podcasts) was the first Thai teacher interview, and the second Kannaphat Saelee Study Thai).

Note: At the end of each interview you can download the interview questions to ask Thai teachers of your own choosing.

Interviewing Thai Teacher: Waan Waan…

Name: Napaporn Yinbanroeng
Professional name: Waan Waan
Age range: 30-40
Location: Bangkok
Facebook: Learn Thai with Waan Waan
Youtube: Learn Thai with Waan Waan

How long have you been teaching Thai to foreigners?

Since 1999. Now it is not difficult to guess how old I am, right? Lol

What motivates you to continue teaching Thai?

As a teacher, I do not consider myself to be only a language teacher but more like someone who understands what my students feel when they experience cultural differences but unable to express themselves because of the language barrier. It is such a rewarding sensation to bridge the gap and help them have mutual understanding with the Thai people using the Thai language.

How long do you see yourself teaching Thai?

As long as I still enjoy it. With the social media nowadays, it makes it even more fun to create teaching materials. I find myself enjoying going around Thailand filming different things related to the Thai language for my students, be it cultural, psychological or linguistic aspects of the country. I‘ve got so many ideas in my head for creating resources for my audience and I hope to deliver that to them in a fun and creative way. I also want to write books that my students can use and also do some recordings for audio lessons or organizing workshops / meetups / outings for people who not only want to learn the language but want to immerse themselves in the Thai environment and culture. As you can see my career still has lots of room to grow. Hope you guys do not give up before me! lol

What student age brackets do you teach?

My students are mostly adults between 20 to 60 years of age. Sometimes I have some students who are younger or older than that. The youngest one is 6 years old and the oldest one is 65 years old.

What are the types of courses that you offer?

I offer a variety of courses to fit all kinds of students’ needs. As I tend to create my own materials to teach them, each course can vary from beginner Thai, intermediate, to advanced business Thai, not only conversational, and reading but also writing courses. For example I had a student from Q8 petroleum company so I created teaching materials from his work documents. And when I taught students from the US embassy the teaching materials were created based on their needs to pass the exam held to test their ability of using Thai at the work place. Some other students of mine are from different industries eg Unilever, Chanel, Thai namthip (Coca Cola) and as you can imagine I had to design the courses and activities that were suitable for their interests and nature of work each one has to deal with on a daily basis. All you need to do is contact me and let me know what types of course suit you best, I may have to assess all 4 of your skills and we will further discuss possible options in detail.

What nationalities have you taught?

I have taught students from all over the world like in Asia I have had Japanese, Chinese, Singaporean, Malaysian, Burmese, Indian, Filipino, Cambodian, Indonesian, Taiwanese, Korean students. From Europe, they are from France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Spain, England, Scotland, Belgium, Ireland, etc. and of course students from the US, Australia and Brazil as well.

Apart from Thai, what other languages do you use to teach Thai? Have you studied and/or lived abroad before? If yes, please tell us about your experiences as an overseas student or expat.

English and Chinese language. English was my major subject and the minor subject at the university was Chinese. I lived in Guangzhou, China for my study for two years so that is very useful when I teach students who speak Chinese.

I was also a cultural exchange student in New Zealand and travelled to the US and South America for a year which helped a lot with character building and understanding of different cultures. I realized I became more extroverted after all these years of traveling and living abroad since I had to try to communicate with the locals using English and Chinese. Speaking a language is a skill, just like driving and swimming , which means you will have to actually “do it” and practice a lot if you want to be fluent. When it comes to speaking, I have to say it is really your own choice to have to push yourself against your true nature in order to master a language. I myself was an introvert before and I had to break out of my comfort zone to improve my language skills. All of these experiences greatly give me sympathy for my students as a language learner.

What are some of your favorite teaching methods?

My teaching methods are dependent on whom I teach and how many of them in one class. Some students can learn best when they listen, some by speaking and some by reading. When I start a new class I have to determine what each student is like, what are their interests and learning methods in order to deliver the best lessons to them. Having said that, my favorite methods are flash cards and role play. At the beginning I would make my students look at pictures and listen to a lot of series of words repeatedly without taking notes and I will have them repeated those words with increased speed each time they repeat them. Then I will teach them sentence structures and put those words into sentences and stories. I tend to want to train them to listen and speak with the Thai speed and I also teach them both the proper Thai and the spoken street Thai. So social media like Facebook and Youtube are used for some short listening practice as well as teaching materials created by me.

Is your teaching approach more teacher centered or student centered?

Both teacher centered and student centered approaches are used with different groups of students. I have a course outline of what the students are supposed to learn and I let them determine what they want to learn. With structured lessons and my help, they will grasp things naturally and develop their language skills gradually.

Do you use course books in teaching Thai?

Sometimes as a supplementary material. I prefer my own selected materials.

How do you assess whether or not your students understand what you are saying and/or teaching?

By letting them do exercises after each lesson…maybe making sentences, role play, making questions from what has been taught, etc.

What do you do when it is obvious that your students do not understand what you are saying and/or teaching?

I give them more examples and let them practice with different approaches. One thing I always keep in mind is that each student has their own way and their own pace of learning things and everyone can have a bad day, so sometimes I have to tell myself not to be too hard on them and I will try to find out what works best for them and help them achieve their goal gradually. The key is to Jai yen yen! ☺

What are your thoughts about the use of transliteration in teaching Thai?

I am not too strict when it comes to transliteration. A student said to me once transliteration is like learning another language that no one actually uses in reality …and I agree. So I tend to let my students spell things the way they hear it and it works very well considering they are from different countries having different mother tongues.

In your opinion, how important is reading and writing Thai in helping foreigners learn the language?

I think it is important to learn to read Thai. There are a number of students who claim to read before speaking so I think it is very important on day to day survival because if you can read at least you will be able to read road signs and go around by yourself. However, to go beyond your limits you are required to speak the language as well. In my opinion it is best if you learn to speak a bit before starting to read and the reading exercise should be prepared based on the vocab you previously learn from speaking lessons so that it enhances your speaking ability eg pronunciation and so on. I do not teach reading from ABC (ก ข ค), but I teach them based on their three groups of consonants and built up exercises are created afterward.

Ideally, when should an absolute beginner begin to speak Thai?

As mentioned above, it is your own choice to break out of your comfort zone and start using it. I would say anyone can speak another language from day one they start to learn even if it’s a short sentence like “bpai nai ไปไหน” or a word like “ห้องน้ำ toilet”. When I was traveling in South America I didn’t speak any Spanish, the first word I picked up was Banos as it was written at the toilet every time the bus stopped for it. So I started to say “Banos” and some other words came up from time to time. Later when I had a chance to take an intensive short Spanish course in Sucre, Bolivia, I walked to the market from day one that I learned to buy my food and it wasn’t just ready to eat food, but I tried to buy a kilo of beef / pork and some veggies because I wanted to cook by myself. Yes, I went with my notes taken in class but the next few days I got better and better I didn’t need it anymore. Then one day I wanted to buy sugar but it seemed the sugar shops only sold a kilo at least so I had to think of how to get a small quantity of five baht sugar. So I walked to the fruit juice stall that I had my juice for the past days and tried to tell the seller I only wanted to buy a small amount but those people wanted to sell me a kilo, can I buy just a bit from you? And yeah I got a five baht of sugar for my cooking that evening…And I was so proud of my limited Spanish language at the time. I am not good at Spanish but did you get what moral of the story is?

Last but not least, do I have to tell you speaking a language cannot kill you unlike when you learn to drive or to swim? :D You are not gonna die or hurt yourself by speaking it, right ? So just go out and have a laugh with your new learned language as soon as you can, ok?

With love,
Waan Waan, your Thai teacher
Learn Thai with Waan Waan

Thai teacher interview questions…

The download has additional questions for you to pick and choose from – enough for everyone’s liking.

Download: Questions for potential Thai teachers

Watch this space for more Thai teacher interviews.

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How to Read Different Thai Fonts and Handwriting

Read Thai Fonts

It’s been my observation that when you are advanced in a language, to read you don’t need to recognize each letter. You see words as a coherent whole. And given the context you can guess what the word is quite easy. 

But at the beginning of learning a language such as Thai, even little differences in letter shapes (using different fonts and handwriting) will often make you stumble. At least it was my experience.

 Over time I developed rules on how to distinguish letters in the Thai alphabet which I will share with you now.



There are hundreds of Thai fonts. To make the comparisons, I chose four different ones:



  1. Browalia New – classic Thai font

  2. JS-Puchong-Normal.ttf – modern font with simplification

  3. Prompt-Black.otf – modern font with another type of simplification

  4. SOV_wayo.ttf – nice handwriting



All are easy to find online so you can try them yourself. 


Note: There’s also a post on WLT listing free Thai font downloads: FREE Thai Fonts: Comparisons & Downloads

How to Read Different Thai Fonts and Handwriting…

Read Thai Fonts

Read Thai Fonts

Read Thai Fonts

FREE Downloads…

Here are the three files at full resolution for you to download and print out.

ZIP (572kb): Aleksey Golubtsov: Read Thai Fonts

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Cat Cartoons Episode 131: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน ลักปิดลักเปิด
Narrator: Episode – ‘Lak-ga-bpit-lak-ga-bpert’.

เก่ง: ก้อย แปรงฟันดี ๆ ให้ถูกวิธีนะ แปรงขึ้นแล้วก็แปรงลง เดี๋ยวจะเหมือนเพื่อนของพี่
Geng: Goi, brush your teeth properly, the correct way: move your brush in up-down strokes, otherwise you’ll end up like my friend.

ก้อย: เหมือนยังไง(อย่างไร)
Goi: End up in what way?

เก่ง: หมอฟันบอกว่า เค้า(เขา)มีเลือดออกตามไรฟัน เวลาแปรงฟันจะมีเลือดออกมาด้วย
Geng: The dentist said that there’s bleeding along the gumline around his teeth. When he brushes his teeth, there’s bleeding.

ก้อย: อ๋อ เป็นโรคเหงือกปิด ๆ เปิด ๆ ใช่มั้ย(ไหม) เลือดถึงได้ออกมาตามไรฟัน
Goi: Aha! That’d be the ‘Ngeuak-bpit-bpit-bpert-bpert’ disease, right? That’s why there’s bleeding along the gumline around his teeth.

เก่ง: เค้า(เขา)เรียก โรคลักปิดลักเปิด
Geng: People call it the ‘Lak-ga-bpit-lak-ga-bpert’ disease.

ก้อย: ก็เค้า(เขา)เขียน ลัก-ปิด-ลัก-เปิด นี่จ๊ะ
Goi: Well, it is written ‘Lak-bpit-lak-bpert’, you know?!

เก่ง: นั่นแหละ เค้า(เขา)เขียน ลัก-ปิด-ลัก-เปิด แต่เวลาอ่านจะอ่านว่า ลัก-กะ-ปิด-ลัก-กะ-เปิด
Geng: I know. It’s written ‘Lak-bpit-lak-bpert’, but when you’re reading it, it’s pronounced as ‘Lak-ga-bpit-lak-ga-bpert’.

สีสวาด: ไหนเก้าแต้ม ยิงฟันให้ดูหน่อยซิ(สิ) เป็นโรคลักปิดลักเปิดรึเปล่า
Si Sawat: Hey, Kao Taem! Show us your teeth, then! Have you got ‘Lak-ga-bpit-lak-ga-bpert’ or not?

ผู้บรรยาย: ลักปิดลักเปิด เป็นชื่อโรคที่มีอาการเลือดออกตามไรฟันและเหงือกน่วม เนื่องจากขาดวิตามินซี
Narrator: ‘Lak-ga-bpit-lak-ga-bpert’ is the name of a disease with bleeding along the gumline around one’s teeth and one’s gums becoming soft and friable as some of its symptoms, caused by a (prolonged) deficiency of vitamin C.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

Comments…

The ‘Lak-ga-bpit-lak-ga-bpert’ disease (ลักปิดลักเปิด) here is referring to ‘scurvy’, specifically oral scurvy.

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Cat Cartoons Episode 131: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Rian Thai Kruu Cherry: Thai Casual Sentences

Rian Thai Kruu Cherry

Thai Casual Sentences…

Thai is a language that uses different words for formal and informal situations. The words we use can also show the relationship between people.

Today I will teach you how to make a sentence sound more casual, like a native speaker would say it. All of the sentences we learn today can be used with family and friends. Sound good? Ok, let’s begin!

1) I don’t want to bother you.

To bother
Formal: รบกวน
Informal: กวน


So to make it more casual, you can say “ฉันไม่อยากกวนคุณ” instead “ฉันไม่อยากรบกวนคุณ”. Anyway, if you want someone to do something for you and you want to start the sentence with “I don’t want to bother you, but..”, you can use the phrase “โทษนะ”, which is from ขอโทษนะ.


Sorry (excuse me)
Formal: ขอโทษนะ
Informal: โทษนะ


*to say นะ in this phrase, makes it sound more natural, in my opinion.

Example:

Sorry to interrupt, but this is very important.
โทษนะ แต่(เรื่อง)นี้สำคัญมาก

Sorry to interrupt, but there’s someone to see you.
โทษนะ แต่มีคนรอพบคุณอยู่

I don’t want to bother you, but can you open the window.
โทษนะ ช่วยเปิดหน้าต่างให้หน่อยได้ไหม

I don’t want to bother you, but can you help me with one thing.
โทษนะ คุณช่วยอะไรผมสักอย่างได้ไหม

Sorry if I come across as rude, but I’m a little confused.
โทษนะ แต่ฉันงงนิดหน่อยว่า…

2) No offense

You can start the sentences with “ไม่ได้ว่านะ” (no offense), when giving negative comments such as, “are you getting fat?!?” (I know it’s weird, but it is okay in Thailand).

Example:

No offense, but did you get fat?
ไม่ได้ว่านะ แต่แกอ้วนขึ้นเปล่าเนี่ย

No offense, but your boyfriend is ugly.
ไม่ได้ว่านะ แต่แฟนแกขี้เหร่อ่ะ

3) Can I ask you…?

To ask about personal information or sensitive details, you can start with a casual sentence “ถามอะไรหน่อย.”

Example:

Can I ask you something personal?
ถามอะไรหน่อย / ฉันถามอะไรหน่อย

The word “personal” is “เรื่องส่วนตัว.”

You don’t need to say “เรื่องส่วนตัว” before asking the question like “ฉันขอถามเรื่องส่วนตัวหน่อย.” If someone starts asking me questions with sentences like this, I will be very tense and won’t want to answer.

Moreover, casual sentences depend on your voice tone. I always use a voice like I am kidding or even ask with a whisper sound sometimes.

I hope all of these tips are useful for you.

One more thing I almost forgot to tell you. The secret of a casual sentence is a smile on your face. Don’t forget to SMILE! 

Download…

The pdf below has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

PDF (77kb): Rian Thai Kruu Cherry: Thai Casual Sentences

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Cat Cartoons Episode 130: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน เปรอะเปื้อน
Narrator: Episode – ‘Bpruh bpeuan’.

สีสวาด: เก้าแต้ม ไปทำอะไรมา เนื้อตัวเปื้อนไปหมด
Si Sawat: Kao Taem! What have you been doing? Your body’s all soiled with dirt!

วิเชียรมาศ: เก้าแต้มเนี่ยะ(นี่อ่ะ) ซนจริงจริ๊ง คงไปไล่จับหนูตรงที่รก ๆ หลังบ้านละซี่(สิ)
Wi-chian maat: Kao Taem here is extremely naughty! He’s probably been chasing after some mice in some messy spots behind the house!

เก้าแต้ม: แฮ่ะ ๆ ๆ ๆ (เสียงหัวเราะ) เดาเก่งนี่ ชั้น(ฉัน)วิ่งไล่หนูและจับหนูได้ด้วย แต่ต้องแลกกับเนื้อตัวเลอะเทอะเปอะเปื้อนหยั่งเงี้ยะ(อย่างนี้อ่ะ)
Kao Taem: Heh heh heh heh! Your guess was spot on. I’ve been chasing and catching mice, but at the expense of getting my body ‘Luh tuh’ ‘Bpuh bpeuan’ like this.

สีสวาด: เลอะเทอะแล้วอะไรอีกนะ พูดอีกทีซิ(สิ)
Si Sawat: ‘Luh tuh’ and what was it that came after that? Repeat it, already!

เก้าแต้ม: เลอะเทอะเปอะเปื้อน
Kao Taem: ‘Luh tuh’ ‘Bpuh bpeuan’.

สีสวาด: เก้าแต้มพูดคำควบกล้ำไม่ชัดอีกแล้ว
Si Sawat: Kao Taem is not pronouncing his consonant cluster properly, yet again!

วิเชียรมาศ: คำไหนล่ะ
Wi-chian maat: Which word is that?

สีสวาด: ก็คำว่า เปรอะเปื้อน ไง ไม่ใช่ เปอะเปื้อน
Si Sawat: Well, it’s the word ‘Bpruh bpeuan’, obviously! It should not be ‘Bpuh bpeuan’.

ผู้บรรยาย: เลอะเทอะเปรอะเปื้อน คำว่า เปรอะ ต้องออกเสียง ป ปลา ควบ ร เรือ ให้ชัดเจน
Narrator: The word ‘Bpruh’, in the phrase ‘Luh tuh’ ‘Bpruh bpeuan’, should be pronounced properly with a distinct ‘Bpor plaa’ – ‘ror reua’ consonant blend sound.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Cat Cartoons Episode 130: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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Interviewing Thai Teacher: Kannaphat Saelee (Jan)

Interviewing Thai Teacher

What Makes a Good Thai Teacher?…

Welcome to the second post in the Thai Teacher Interview series. If you missed it, the first interview was with Yuki Tachaya (PickUp Thai Podcasts).

Note: At the end of each interview you can download the interview questions to ask Thai teachers of your own choosing.

Interviewing Thai Teacher: Kannaphat Saelee (Jan)…

Name: Kannaphat Saelee (Jan)Interviewing Thai Teacher
Professional name: Jan
Age range: 30 – 40
Location: Bangkok
Website: Study Thai
Facebook: Study Thai With Kru Jan
Skype: jankannaphat

How long have you been teaching Thai to foreigners?

Almost 7 years. I started in 2011 in Chiang Mai and moved to Bangkok in 2017.

What made you want to teach Thai?

I find teaching Thai to foreigners very challenging. Even though you’re a native speaker and speak perfect Thai, it doesn’t mean you can teach it to others. I have a good understanding of both English and Thai, not just the language but also the way both cultures think and interact . So I enjoy helping foreigners to understand the similarities and differences to bridge that cultural gap. And because I enjoy helping others see the connections, it never feels like work.

What qualifications do you have to teach the Thai language?

Apart from being a native speaker of the language, I also have a degree in linguistics. I’m officially trained and have worked in 2 licensed schools in Chiang Mai, teaching Thai as a foreign language. And with 7 years of experience under my belt, I am confident of my qualifications.

What student age brackets do you teach?

All ages, the youngest student I ever had was 8 and the oldest one was 80. Yes, 80! You can never be too young or too old. People often debate about the best time to learn a new language, and I always say the time is now.

What are the types of courses that you offer?

I offer:

1. Survival Thai ( 2-6 sessions)
2. Beginner Level (Beginner Level 1, 2)
3. Intermediate Level (Pre-Intermediate and Intermediate Level 1, 2)
4. Advanced Level (Pre-Advanced and Advanced Level 1, 2)
5. Reading & Writing Thai (15 – 20 sessions)
6. Customized Thai Lessons

Have you studied and/or lived abroad before?

Although I get asked many times whether I have studied or lived abroad before, I actually studied in Chiang Mai University and have always lived in Thailand my entire life. So, I jokingly tell my students if I can learn to speak English fluently growing up in Thailand, they have no excuse not to learn Thai!

Is your teaching approach more teacher centered or student centered?

Both. I always listen to my students’ requests and suggestions but I make the final decision on what is best for them. I pay attention to each student individually and see how they learn best. Each student requires a unique approach to learning. Some methods might work with some students, while others may not. And sometimes, students don’t know what they need most. So while I follow a specific course overall, each lesson is tailored to the individual student or class.

What are some of your favorite teaching methods?


I have seen so many learners fail in learning to read Thai or they find it’s extremely difficult to conquer. So, after having successfully taught many students to read Thai, I found it’s best to teach them for a shorter time with specific orders.

I designed a reading & writing course that will help students to learn Thai script in 30 hours within a 5-week period. It has worked really well so far. I was confident it would work from the beginning, but when I really started to see increased comprehension, I knew this unique approach was gold.

For conversational Thai, I sometimes take my students to a local coffee shop, restaurant or a market, so they can learn from using the language in everyday life. It’s relaxing and effective.

Do you use course books in teaching Thai?

I use books and handouts and online materials. I wrote my own books and all materials to use in my lessons.

What your thoughts about the use of transliteration in teaching Thai?

It’s not the best idea and could cause confusion. However, it’s useful for complete beginners. They just need to stop depending on it as soon as possible.

In your opinion, how important is reading and writing Thai in helping foreigners learn the language?

I think being able to read Thai script is essential in learning Thai and eventually mastering the language. The more interactions you have with the language the more likely it will stick. Also, Thai language is a phonetic language so learning how to read will help you better to pronounce and communicate with the locals.

I usually recommend students to learn to read Thai if they want to speak Thai well. Thai language is all about the pronunciation. With the romanized transliteration you can never learn the real sounds. It’s only close but not the same.

I wrote about the benefits of learning how to read and write Thai. You can find here: Five Reasons for Learning to Read and Write Thai.

Do you use technology in teaching Thai? If yes, what do you use?

Yes, I also offer lessons on Skype. I use google spreadsheet and online whiteboard as tools. In my classroom, I put all my flashcards on iPad, so I don’t have to carry the cards everywhere and it’s easy to share to my students. Furthermore, I put all my lessons + audio recordings on Dropbox so that my students have access and can download from anywhere.

What are some of the issues unique to a particular nationality in learning Thai that you have observed in your students?

Hmmm…. It seems to be harder to learn Thai for those who come from English speaking countries. Most of them only speak one language and learning your second language is harder than your third.

How do you help your students overcome those issues?

Since I have a good understanding of the English language, I show them how it works in English and how it works in Thai. I explain the similarities and the differences. It usually helps.

In your opinion, how important is learning about Thai culture in helping foreigners learn the language?

I think it’s the other way round, learning the language helps foreigners learn Thai culture. For example, we have many words with ใจ (jai) which means heart in Thai e.g. ใจดี ใจร้าย ใจร้อน ใจเย็น เข้าใจ เปลี่ยนใจ. We use the heart to understand and we (Thai people) would say “change the heart” as opposed to “change the mind”. Because ใจ (jai) is simply THAT important in Thai culture.

How do you assess whether or not your students understand what you are saying and/or teaching?

I give my students an evaluating exam from time to time to see their progress. Sometimes I just ask them if they understand and if they say they do, I ask them to explain back to me.

What do you do when it is obvious that your students do not understand what you are saying and/or teaching?

I explain again but in different ways or give them lots of examples. I always make sure they understand correctly.

How strict are you in respect of tones and/or vowel length?

Strict. All for their good. I correct them every time they say a word wrong, especially a super common word, until they get tired of that and finally remember the tones. I don’t mind doing it over and over.

What are your thoughts about beginners learning and using colloquialisms, slang and/or swear words when they speak Thai?

I always tell them to avoid using slang and swear words that they don’t fully understand. When you are not sure, don’t use it. Because it could offend people.

What have you found to be the most challenging aspects of teaching Thai?

Answering students questions. My students are from all over the world, with different backgrounds. They ask all sorts of questions related to the Thai language. Some questions you have never thought about before. But as a teacher, you should have a good answer for them. So, I find this challenging. It also determines whether they think you’re a good teacher or not because understanding their questions is important too.

What advice would you give to students of the Thai language?

Be patient with yourself but don’t wait until your Thai is perfect to speak Thai. Be comfortable making mistakes because that’s the best way to learn Thai. Try to use it in your daily life even when they speak back to you in English. Take the opportunity and get yourself fully immersed with the language if you’re in Thailand. Finally, practice, practice and practice.

Good luck!

Kannaphat Saelee (Jan),
Study Thai

Thai teacher interview questions…

The download has additional questions for you to pick and choose from – enough for everyone’s liking.

Download: Questions for potential Thai teachers

Watch this space for more Thai teacher interviews.

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Thai Lyrics Translated: Live and Learn (อยู่ที่เรียนรู้)

เพลง : Live and Learn (อยู่ที่เรียนรู้)
ศิลปิน : กมลา สุขโกศล (Kamala Sukosol)

เมื่อวันที่ชีวิต เดินเข้ามาถึงจุดเปลี่ยน
On the day we arrive at a crossroad in life.

จนบางครั้งคนเราไม่ทันได้ตระเตรียมหัวใจ
We may not have time to prepare our hearts

ความสุขความทุกข์ ไม่มีใครรู้ว่าจะมาเมื่อไหร่ จะยอมรับความจริงที่เจอได้แค่ไหน
Happiness or suffering: nobody knows when we’ll encounter it and to what extent we’ll be willing to accept the truths that we discover.

เพราะชีวิตคือชีวิต เมื่อมีเข้ามาก็มีเลิกไป
Coz life is what it is. Just as something can begin, so too can it end.

มีสุขสมมีผิดหวัง หัวเราะหรือหวั่นไหว เกิดขึ้นได้ทุกวัน
To be happy or to be disappointed, to laugh or to worry, these can happen everyday.

อยู่ที่เรียนรู้ อยู่ที่ยอมรับมัน ตามความคิดสติเราให้ทัน
It’s down to consciously learning and accepting things in time.

อยู่กับสิ่งที่มีไม่ใช่สิ่งที่ฝัน และทำสิ่งนั้นให้ดีที่สุด
Live with things as they are, not as you dream they should be, and do all those things the best that you can.

สุขก็เตรียมไว้ ว่าความทุกข์คงตามมาอีกไม่ไกล
Even when you’re happy, prepare yourself for the suffering that’d probably follow not too far behind.

จะได้รับความจริงเมื่อต้องเจ็บปวดไหว
So you’ll be well prepared when you need to face the suffering.

Stamp’s version: Live and Learn
Sek’s version: Live and Learn
Noi and Sek duet: Live and Learn
Pod Moderndog’s version: Live and Learn

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Cat Cartoons Episode 129: Learn and Love the Thai Language

รู้รักภาษาไทย: Cat Cartoons…

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

ผู้บรรยาย: ตอน ถั่วพู – ใบพลู
Narrator: Episode – ‘Tua-poo’ – ‘Bai ploo’.

สีสวาด: วันนี้เรามาเล่นทายกันมั้ย(ไหม) วันก่อนเห็นพี่เก่งกับพี่ก้อยทายชื่อผลไม้กัน วันนี้เรามาทายชื่อผักกันดีกว่า
Si Sawat: Today, let’s play a word game, shall we? The other day, I saw Pee Geng and Pee Goi coming up with names of fruits. Today, let’s do the names of vegetables.

วิเชียรมาศ: เอาชื่อถั่วดีมั้ย(ไหม) มีหลายอย่าง
Wi-chian maat: Let’s go with the names of beans, shall we? There’re many types.

เก้าแต้ม: อ้ะ ก็ได้ ไม่รู้ว่าชั้น(ฉัน)จะตอบได้มั้ย(ไหม)เนี่ยะ(นี่อ่ะ)
Kao Taem: Ah! I don’t know if I’ll be able to come up with any, you know?!

สีสวาด: เรามาผลัดกันบอกชื่อถั่วกันทีละชื่อนะ
Si Sawat: Let’s each take a turn giving the name of a (type of) bean.

วิเชียรมาศ: ถั่วฝักยาว
Wi-chian maat: ‘Tua-fak-yaao’.

สีสวาด: ถั่วงอก
Si Sawat: ‘Tua ngok’

เก้าแต้ม: ถั่วพลู
Kao Taem: ‘Tua ploo’.

สีสวาด: เก้าแต้มพูดผิด ถั่วพลู ไม่มี มีแต่ ถั่วพู
Si Sawat: Kao Taem, you’ve said it wrongly. There’s no such word as ‘Tua ploo’. There’s only a ‘Tua poo’.

เก้าแต้ม: อ้าว ก็วันก่อนชั้น(ฉัน)เห็นป้าแม้นแกบอกหลานว่า ไปเก็บใบพลูมาให้ป้ากินกับหมากหน่อย ชั้น(ฉัน)ก็นึกว่า ถั่วพลู ก็ออกเสียงเหมือน ใบพลู ไม่ใช่หลอ(หรือ)
Kao Taem: Whaaat? Just the other day, I heard Paa Maen telling her nephew / niece / grandson / granddaughter to go and pick some ‘Bai ploo’-s for her to chew together with some ‘Maak’. So this made me think of ‘Tua ploo’. It should be pronounced like ‘Bai ploo’, shouldn’t it?

ผู้บรรยาย: ถั่วพู เป็นชื่อถั่วชนิดหนึ่ง ฝักมีครีบตามยาวสี่ครีบ ส่วน ใบพลู เป็นใบของไม้เถาชนิดหนึ่ง มีรสเผ็ดร้อน ใช้กินกับหมากและทำยาได้
Narrator: ‘Tua poo’ is the name of a type of bean. The pod has four wings running lengthwise whereas ‘Bai ploo’ is the leaf of a type of vine. It tastes hot and is chewed together with ‘Maak’. And it can be used for medicinal purposes.

แมวทั้งสามตัว: แล้วพบกันใหม่นะครับบบ (ครับ)
All Three Cats: See you again next time!

เสียงเด็ก ๆ ร้องเพลง: รู้รักภาษาไทย
Sound of children singing: Learn and Love the Thai Language.

Comments…

‘Tua-poo’ (ถั่วพู) means ‘winged bean’ (also known as ‘four-angled bean’ or ‘four-cornered bean’).

‘Bai ploo’ (ใบพลู) means ‘betel leaf’.

‘Tua-fak-yaao’ (ถั่วฝักยาว) means ‘yardlong bean’ (also known as ‘Chinese long bean’ or ‘snake bean’).

‘Tua ngok’ (ถั่วงอก) means ‘bean sprout’.

‘Maak’ (หมาก) means ‘areca nut’.

Many beginners translate ‘Tua’ (ถั่ว) wrongly as ‘nut’ when in fact it should be ‘bean’ (the RSD definition of ถั่ว is น. ชื่อพรรณไม้หลายชนิดหลายสกุลในวงศ์ Leguminosae ใช้ฝักหรือเมล็ดเป็นอาหาร เช่น ถั่วเขียว [ Vigna radiata (L.) R. Wilczek] ถั่วเหลืองหรือถั่วแระ [ Glycine max (L.) Merr.]).

PDF Downloads…

Below is a pdf download (created by Catherine) to help with your studies. It has Thai script, transliteration, and English.

Cat Cartoons Episode 129: Conversation

The Cat Cartoon Series…

Original transcript and translation provided by Sean Harley. Transliterations via T2E (thai2english.com).

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