A fantastic podcast for learning the Thai language.
The creators of Learn-Thai-Podcast.com have developed a truly excellent series of MP3 and video lessons teaching vocabulary, grammar, and conversational Thai. Their Premium Course, which is not only great but also very afforable, contains just under 450 (yes, you read that right) lessons.
Lessons in the Premium Course are divided up into two major categories – Premium lessons and Vocabulary lessons. The Premium Lesson category covers a wide variety of topics such as Pronouns, Adjectives, Telling Time, Verbs, Family and Kin Terms, Slang Words, Conversation Lessons, and many, many more. Truly, there are way too many topics to list; suffice it to say there are a whole lot, covering a very large range. The Vocabulary Lesson category covers several thousand words, divided up into 10-word lesson files. These lessons are also organized by topics such as Marriage, Health, Music, Religion, Verbs, Days of the Week, and many more.
Each lesson in the Premium course is available in MP3 (audio), MP4 (video), and text files. You can either subscribe to this feed via programs like iTunes, or simply access the material via their website. I should reiterate that this is a paid service, though the price is very affordable. Each panel/frame of the lesson (I assume they use something like Microsoft PowerPoint to create the lessons) has Thai script, romanized pronunciation, English translation, and – if applicable – grammatical structure. That’s an incredibly dense amount of information packed into each frame, which makes the videos worth even that much more for the money.
I’ve managed to go through quite a few of the lessons so far, and they are excellent. I have only found a very small number of minor mistakes, none of which were glaringly detrimental to the learning process. (And if you ask me what those mistakes are, I couldn’t remember to tell you. That’s how small we’re talking about.) Quite honestly, the folks at LTP have provided so much material in the Premium Course, I can’t see myself needing many other methods for learning vocabulary or basic grammatical concepts anytime soon; there’s just too much here to need to go anywhere else.
I converted all of the MP4 video lessons to iPod format in iTunes and put them on my iPod so I can watch the lessons on my train rides to and from work. The romanization used in the lessons isn’t done in Paiboon+ (which I prefer) but it’s still excellent and very helpful to the viewer. When I am watching the video lessons I use my thumb to cover up the romanization and English translation anyway, so I can concentrate on the Thai text. This method isn’t for everyone, but it seems to work for me.
LTP also has courses on Reading and Writing Thai, and Conversation, but I haven’t tried them so I prefer not to comment. If those courses are anything like the Premium Course, however, I’m quite confident that you will greatly benefit from them. The Premium course has been completed, but the Conversation Course is relatively new and I suspect they will be adding new content to that course for a long time to come.
Needless to say, I highly recommend the Learn-Thai-Podcast.com Premium Course.
Here are a few sample lessons that the folks at LTP have posted on their YouTube channel. Thanks to Jay from LTP for pointing me in the right direction in finding some samples.