Visitors to Phuket will usually find that they have no problem surviving in the English language. Most of the locals who have any dealings with foreigners will at least be able to speak some English. There is no urgent need for visitors to Phuket to learn Thai, but it is something that is highly recommended. It will increase their appreciation of the local culture and longer term visitors will find that it makes their life much easier.
Reasons to Learn Thai
There are some great reasons for why people might want to learn Thai during their trip to Phuket including:
- It will allow them to communicate better with the local people.
- By learning the language they will gain a much better appreciation of Thai life and culture.
- It is easier to navigate daily life in Thailand when people can speak the local language.
- It makes it easier to form meaningful friendships with Thai people.
- Learning another language is good for the brain.
- It is highly useful for anyone who is ever considering doing business in Thailand.
- Those people who make an effort to speak the language will be treated less like a tourist and more like a friend.
- It means that visitors will be able to enjoy the wonders of the Thai TV soap opera.
- Attending a Thai language school is a good way to socialize and make new friends.
- It will make life easier for those people who have to deal with any type of officialdom and bureaucracy in Thailand.
- Learning a new language is like going on an adventure – there is no telling where it will all lead to.
Thai Language Schools in Phuket
There are a number of options for those hoping to learn Thai in Phuket including:
- Walen School of Thai has a branch in Phuket near Chalong Circle on Patak Road. This school uses a natural approach to learning languages with a focus on learning to communicate as effectively as possible.
- Patong Language School can be found right beside Patong beach. It offers a number of programs including intensive Thai for those who are only staying in Phuket for a short time period.
- Phuket Bangkok Language School offers a number of different courses ranging from basic to advanced. This school is located on Prabaramee road in Patong.
Education Visa for Learning Thai
Those individuals who decide that they want to spend some time in Phuket learning Thai can apply for an Education Visa. This means that they will not have to keep on leaving the country every few weeks in order to get a new tourist visa. It is possible to use an Education Visa for four years or even longer. Each of the popular schools will have their own regulations and system for applying for this visa. They will usually require that the student studies for x amount of hours.
Advice for Learning Thai in Phuket
Here are a few tips for those who hope to increase their knowledge of the Thai language:
- Many people find that it is easier to learn to read Thai right from the beginning. This way they will not have to depend on clumsy transliteration.
- It is vital that those who are learning to speak Thai overcome their shyness to speak with the locals. Daily conversations in the language will greatly reinforce learning.
- There is a wise saying that if you don’t use it you lose it. This is why it is best if people focus on Thai vocabulary that they will actually use.
- There are many free resources available for people who want to learn Thai including YouTube videos and websites that offer text and audio files. There are also iPhone and Android apps available for free and for a fee.
- People tend to differ in the type of learning style that works best for them. It is a good idea for the individual to establish their learning style before they embark on learning Thai.
- Most people find that using a multipronged approach to learning a language is the most effective. This means using many different resources.
- Watching Thai TV and listening to local music is a fun way to increase language acquisition.
- Some people find that blogging about their experiences learning Thai keeps them motivated.
Useful Resources for Learning Thai
There are a number of free resources available online for anyone wishing to learn Thai including:
- How to Learn Thai offers cards and videos for learning the Thai alphabet.
- Learn Thai the Easy Way is one the oldest and most well known of all the resources available online. This website has helped many people come to grips with the Thai language over the years.
- Women Learning Thai is a site that likely has more male visitors than female. As well as providing unique content it also offers information about all the other Thai related resources available online.
- Learn Thai with a White Guy offers interesting posts involving real world examples of the Thai language. This site is a good option for intermediate learners who want to increase their vocabulary.
- eThai Music is a superb resource that not only includes popular Thai songs but also printed lyrics which are often translated into English.