6+ YouTube Videos That Actually Help You Study Thai

18:10 Amy Lou 0 Comments


Learning Thai is hard. These videos make it easier.



Are you trying to learn Thai? I am. I'm studying Thai at Chiang Mai University, and it's wonderful and frustrating in equal measure. It's worth it, though. I love being able to chat with Thai friends, read Thai signs, and understand when Thai people are talking about me when they think I can't understand (mwahaha!).

Finding reliable, effective resources to learn from can feel impossible, especially when you just want to get on with it. You can waste a lot of time filtering out all the useless stuff if you don't know where to look: the videos that have a great title but are actually too complicated, too fast, or too carelessly thrown together. The websites that make grand claims but are so boring and tedious. Also, I don't wanna learn textbook Thai unless I'm studying reading and writing. I want to speak Thai like how Thais speak it!

To save you wasting hours trying to find the good ones, here's a list of all the YouTube videos I actually use to study Thai.

Over the past year, I've watched a lot of YouTube videos that promised to help me. The videos that made the cut below are genuinely useful and easy to study with (though that purple cricket haunts my nightmares). It's a short list, but that's coz I'm really picky.

I highly, highly, highly recommend studying Thai with a real-life teacher. I don't recommend you try to learn Thai using YouTube videos alone - I just don't think it would work. It's beyond the scope of YouTube study videos to go into detail about the nuances of Thai language. Nothing beats being in-person with your Thai teacher. Read what it's like studying Thai at Chiang Mai University here.

My 'Study Thai with YouTube' Recommendations


This YouTube video has a consonant song, consonant story, consonant test, vowel practice, a very brief tones introduction. The song and character voices are incredibly annoying, but it's one of the best resources I've found. You, the listener, are referred to as 'Kun Nu Nu', which means little mouse. Because at this stage of learning Thai, you're a little mouse just starting out, geddit? Start the video at 34:53 minutes in to learn numbers.

2. Learn short and long vowels with very catchy songs
The list below is missing เอียะ, อัวะ, and เอือะ. If you have an easy video for them, please tell me in the comments section!

a อะ
aa อา
i อิ
ii อี
eu อึ
euu อื
a, aa, i, ii, eu, euu together! อะ - อา - อิ - อี - อึ - อื
u อุ
uu อู
ay เอะ
aay เอ
eh แอะ
ehh แอ
oh โอะ
oh เอาะ (rarer)
ohh โอ
ai ไอ
ai ใอ
ao เอา
am อำ
or ออ
er เออะ
err เออ
uuaa อัว
euu-aa เอือ
ee-aa เอีย
reu and ri masquerading as ฤ and ฤา (high level)

This video of Pororo the Little Penguin is super blurry and a bit laggy, but very useful. Basic vowels start at 3:58 and vowel clusters start at 26:30.

You've no doubt seen the meme going round about the importance of English grammar: it's the difference between helping your uncle, Jack, off a horse, and helping your uncle... yeah, you know where this is going. In Thai, tones are as important as English grammar. Sentence meaning changes SO MUCH if you get it wrong. Watch the video and you'll see what I mean.

5. ThaiPod101
ThaiPod 101 is really great at teaching vocab and useful phrases, especially at beginner level. I particularly like to use Learn the Top 15 Thai Questions You Should Know to review question words.

Remember how I said videos can't teach you the nuances of Thai language? It's important to bare that in mind when watching ThaiPod101. For example, some question words go at the end of a sentence, and some don't. You'd know that if you studied Thai or spoke Thai with a Thai friend, but you could easily miss it in the video because sentence order isn't explained.

Where
English sentence order: Where is the bathroom?
Thai sentence order: The bathroom is where? - hong naam tii nai?

Why
English sentence order: Why do you like pad Thai?
Thai sentence order: Why do you like pad Thai? - tammai kun chorp pad Thai?

What
English sentence order: What is your name?
Thai sentence order: Your name is what? - Kun chue arai?

Also, Jay and my uni teacher teach different things. For example, Jay uses chan to refer to herself:

Man: I = pom. pom chorp pad Thai. (I like pad Thai)
Woman: I = chan. chan chorp pad Thai. (I like pad Thai)

But my teacher says that chan is elitist and old-fashioned. These days, women only say chan when they are placing themselves socially above whoever they're speaking to. Since that's kinda rude, we should say our first name or nick name instead.

Jay's way: Chan chorp pad Thai. (I like pad thai) - you are socially higher than the person you're speaking to
My teacher's way: Amy chorp pad Thai. (I like pad thai) - you are socially equal to the person you're speaking to

Khru Mod is my favourite YouTube teacher to learn REAL Thai from - the Thai that Thai people actually speak to each other! Check out 10 Common Thai Interjections, Thai Lesson: 12 Most Common Mistakes, and Thai Lesson: Useful Thai Words and Phrases for Party! to see what I mean. I especially like when Khru Mod teams up with Khru Pear in Mod & Pear Videos.

Khru Mod has a YouTube channel and website. Most of her videos are about quite basic topics, but personally I think you need a little bit of understanding about Thai language before watching, like basic vocab and sentence structure.

โชคดี!


So I hope this list helps you study. Do you use any 'study Thai' YouTube videos I haven't mentioned? Please tell me what they are in the comments section so I can check them out. Great ones are so hard to find! Thank you in advance ;)

She's pretty sure these posts will be your cup of tea:

0 comments:

Got something to say about this? AWESOME - tell me.

Recommended Chiang Mai TEFL School

SEE TEFL in Chiang Mai, Thailand