Top 4 Rules for Learning a Language

Top 5 Rules for Learning Thai Language

Here are 5 important rules to remember when learning Thai language.

Rule #1 You need to learn the Thai script.  It’s not so much about reading as it is about having a way to separate all the different sounds in your mind so your brain can separate them from your native language. You need to learn the consonant classes, and the tone rules.  By mastering this entire system, learning Thai becomes so much easier and will save you heaps of time in the long run.  Try the free lessons from my course to get an idea of how easy + possible it is for you to learn the script in 2 weeks.

Rule #2 You should practice reading a little every day. It will be painfully slow in the beginning so start small. Even one sentence is better than nothing. Just read it a couple of times.  If you aren’t good at sitting still (like me), then aim to do a couple of short 5-15 min study bursts each day.  I’ve always found this to be very effective.

Rule #3 Listen everyday, as much as possible.  Anything that is real language.  Your brain needs to hear the sounds a lot.  Listen to music, podcasts, radio or whatever.  You want as much exposure as possible and this requires you to be fairly active.

Rule #4 REVIEW things you want to remember. Occasionally you’ll see something once and it will stick forever, but most things will require some form of repetition and or real usage in a social situation to embed itself forever in your mind.

Consider using an SRS (Spaced Repetition System). This is just a fancy name for FLASHCARDS that have a built-in algorithm which makes studying more efficient by showing you cards that you are bad at more often than ones you are good at.  I recommend Anki.  It has a bit of a learning curve which will turn some people off, but it can be very useful.

Rule #5 Carry a small notepad and write it in all the time.  Sometimes you will hear a word a few times, but it hasn’t clicked yet.  Write it down and find out what it is.  If you are speaking the language and you want to say something that you don’t know yet, write it down and find out how to say it later.  Next time you want to say that particular phrase/sentence, it will be in your pocket. We don’t have much control over what we remember and what we don’t so write it down!  *Bonus – Keep track of your expenses/meals/daily activities/exercise in the language.  You will quickly get good at spelling the things that you do everyday.  This is how I broke into being able to write (and SPELL) in Thai when I was a beginner.


  1. Thanks im gonna give it a whirl, spoke to you on youtube (martie 32)
    Find it abit off putting having to learn the written script but you know best,
    Regards Martie

  2. Hi I’m from the philippines and I would like to study thai language for free online hopefully you can help me ….

  3. Cynthia Grech-Kirkbride says

    Hi, I’m checking it out and really appreciating all the work you have put into your program – but – what the heck is SRS? So many acronyms I probably should know but don’t. My family of three sons (who have been to Thailand) have picked up an ear for it and training in Muay Thai has helped them enormously. and so we begin with lesson one and give it a go. SRS?
    Wishing you well

  4. Darryl "Dee" H says

    HI Brett,
    I just ordered your Course and will get to it when I get home from my job this coming Wednesday Dec 17th. I work in the far north Arctic on a 2 week schedule in and out. To try and start now just wouldn’t work but I wanted to get in on your special offer. I am returning to Thailand in March next year for a one month holiday after a 28 year hiatus. I used to live there in the 80’s and try as I did I just could not pick up the Thai language and struggled like the examples you gave. I would really like to be able to talk a little with the local Thai people so I am hoping your course really helps me out. I look forward to getting started on Thursday Dec 18th. I leave for Thailand on March 12th. From the testimonials this sounds like just what I was looking for. Thanks again and I look forward to learning to speak Thai.

  5. Rule 4 Set up and USE an SRS, what does this mean???

  6. I just purchased this course today (December 2015). I’ve considered it in the past but when I saw the special price deal I decided that it was time to make a start. Being a school teacher gives me an appreciation of what my Thai students are facing as they learn to read English. I know that learning the alphabet is the first step. You might be interested to know that I thought that the jor jarn letter looked like a tap fauset. Think of one of those upright ones that hook over to wash the dishes. The knob of the letter is the handle to turn the water flow on and off. You might like to use that idea. One little comment about your Rule 2 paragraph “Just be sure and read it more than once if it’s sort.” (short)

  7. Great motivational post!

  8. Hello,
    Brand new to Thai. We’re going for a holiday/recipe in October with a possible view to retiring there. Thought learning the language would help. I’ve never been very good at languages (should be because my dad was Ukrainian and mum English) but I do play music and was a computer programmer, so perhaps have an ear for sound and a brain to learn it!

    Bye for now

    • Hey Sonia,

      I think it usually boils down to whether people can stick it out long enough to get good. We all have the ability to learn languages. The hard part is having enough interest and discipline to make it part of your life for a significant period of time.

      Drop me an email anytime if you have questions.

      Good luck!

  9. Hello,
    I am living in Bangkok and want to learn how to speak thai language with correct pronunciation.
    I am working with a thailand based company here so I feel the need of learning thai language . And also I am fond of learning new languages .
    I have a question that what is the schedule of these classes?
    Is there a personal tutor who will be teaching the lessons?
    Is there any guides which will be provided by you to learn ?

    • Hi Sukhmani,

      I no longer do any private lessons. You should have a look at the free sample lessons from my online course:

      I don’t live in Thailand full time anymore, but I pass through Bangkok quite often and could definitely grab a coffee if you just want to be pointed in the right direction.

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