What type of Thai learners are you?
I won’t lie. Thai tone rules really make you headache at the beginning but trust me. It is definitely DOABLE!
Why do some Thai learners sound very close to native speakers? Why can Thais understand them effortlessly?
Because of their tones and pronunciation.
It doesn’t need to be 100% like a native speaker as it is very difficult for adult learners and it is unnecessary. The goal is to be understood easily. That‘s it.
From my experience, there are 2 types of Thai learners when it comes to pronunciation.
Type 1: “I just want to speak out” Learners
Type 2: “I really want to speak like a Thai” Learners
Type 1: learners pay less attention to their pronunciation and tones. They focus on communicating and there is nothing wrong about it. As long as people can understand you, then your communication succeeds.
Type 2: learners have a different mindset. These learners set a clear goal. They would like to sound close to native speakers in oder to be understood easily and have smooth communication. With this goal, they would do anything to make them reach their goal. Fixing their wrong pronunciation sound by sound, re-learning tone rules, spending a large amount of hours with tone drill exercise or tone rules exercise or even hiring a teacher to help them out.
What I would like to say is that every adult learner has a chance to sound close to Thais. It is just a matter of the decision to learn it and to practice until you reach your goal.
I have been helping some Thai learners who are highly motivated to talk a like Thai from total beginners to advanced learners.
What they have in common is that these learners told me “I want to sound like Thais” and they do not mind to practice with tedious and boring exercises. They do not give up even if they have to spend more time than others to reach the same goal. They keep practicing until they are satisfied with the results.
Now it is your own choice to choose to be Type 1 or Type 2.
Learning tone rules is like English speakers learning French, Italian or German. You need to drill all verb conjugations for different tenses and subjects or drill all article declension in 4 cases in the German language.
You need to learn the rules and forms then practice, practice and practice. Drill them until you can speak naturally without thinking about those rules.
It is the same as learning Thai tone rules. Learn the rules, practice with exercises then speak naturally with the right tones.
Learning tone rules is not as difficult as you think. Learn by yourself or learn with a teacher. It’s up to you. Just give it a try. Be patient.
If you look for an experienced teacher who can help you learn tone rules at ease and improve your pronunciation, I am here to help.
I created a special short program designed to help Thai learners who can read Thai script and would like to re-learn tone rules. This special approach will help learners learn tone rules with less headache but more success.
Contact me for consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org