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Thai for Beginners Audio Tape Set

Title: Thai for Beginners Audio Tape Set

Author: Benjawan Poomsan Becker
Format: Audio Cassette
List Price: $20.00
Where To Buy

Amazon USA Price: $17.00

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Thai for Beginners Audio Tape Set

Recommended: Auralog TeLL me More Language Software, a superb and effective system for learning a foreign language. Proven method and highly praised system.

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Product Details
  • Audio Cassette
  • ISBN: 1887521054
  • Average Customer Review: based on 28 reviews.

Customer Reviews
Avg. Customer Review:

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:

Ms. Becker is the goddess of Thai studies in the West!, September 8, 2003

Reviewer: Edward P. Trimnell "edwardtrimnell.com" (Cincinnati, OH USA)

(By Edward Trimnell, author of "Why You Need a Foreign Language & How to Learn One," ISBN:1591133343)

I have one huge complaint with approximately 90% of the Thai self-teaching courses available in the English-speaking world--they assume that we can't (or don't want to) learn the Thai script.

Not Ms. Becker. A native Thai speaker with extensive experience in the U.S., she introduces the Thai language in a serious, though learnable manner. If you just want to learn a few phrases, then buy one of the tourist-oriented cassette courses. However, this is the course for you if you really want to learn Thai like an adult.

Ms. Becker has produced Thai books to be used by all levels of students. If you want to learn to speak Thai, then you need this author.

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful:

An excellent place to start, August 9, 2001

Reviewer: Geoff Puterbaugh (Chiang Mai, T. Suthep, A. Muang Thailand)

This is a very complete and well-done introduction to the Thai language. (Says someone who has been working at this, off and on, for more than ten years.)

Here are a few tips if you want to learn this language. Get a book called "How to Learn Any Language," by Barry J. Farber. It's a quick and enjoyable read. Then simply follow his advice with regards to Thai. If you follow his advice, you will quickly realize that you need a lot of language-learning materials right away. (I would postpone the newspaper exercise until you have learned the Thai script, of course!)

Second -- and this really threw me when I discovered it. The "notoriously difficult" consonant "poo plaa" is simply the French "p." (!!) Just as "too tao" is the French "t." If you know French, take advantage of this! These are NOT hard sounds to make.

chook dii na khrap!

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

textbook for serious learners, October 31, 2004

Reviewer: Kong (Now in Thailand)

This book is excellent for serious beginner who wants to learn to write and read the alphabets. The book introduced the alphabets according to their different groups, instead of their natural orders, which makes it easier to remember (with all those confusing tone rules). I bought the book in Bangkok, they have two packs, one with CD (plus book), the other is a book only. The problem is, I bought a book already before I found the CD pack, and there's no reason for me to buy another book, so after almost a week's searching, I found a shop owner who agrees to sell me the CD only. The CD is excellent, you shouldn't miss it. And don't even try to ask your Thai friends to record the conversation text for you, it'll take them hours and hours~!

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

No tape or CD included, October 27, 2004

Reviewer: Disappointed

I don't know why no one has bothered to mention this, but this book does not come with a tape or CD. You have to order the CD separately and it's not cheap, costs more than the book. I got the book and it's useless without the audio recording. I am going to order the recording, and hopefully will not be disappointed (again).

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

The Gold Standard in Thai Courses, June 28, 2004

Reviewer: Aidan Rafferty (Las Vegas, Nevada)

This book is so good that I used it to teach English to Thais, while I was living in Thailand. As for the native speaker of English who wants to learn Thai: pronunciation is not just important, it's everything. The TONES and the LENGTH of the vowels must be spoken correctly, every time. Thai grammar is fairly easy; but whether it's easy or hard, it shouldn't be your concern as a beginner. I would advise not even looking at the book until you've played the CDs, as often as is necessary in order to get an auditory "feel" for the structure of the language. Then later, let the sounds of the language guide your reading. The Romanized equivalents used in the book will help you do this, but use them sparingly, and don't become dependent on them. One of the advantages of Thai is that its script bears little resemblance to the Roman script used in English and other European languages. As a result, you have no choice but to listen, and repeat what you hear. Unless you make the sounds which a native speaker of Thai makes, you will not be understood, ever! The reason why so many Americans (in particular) speak foreign languages with a heavy accent is that they look at the written word and, based on their knowledge of English, decide on how the word "ought" to sound. They developed bad speaking habits early on, and their pronunciation is permanently damaged as a result. Fortunately, Thai doesn't let one do this. Thai has no uniform system of transliteration, and I hope it never acquires one. It would be better, in fact, if the systems now in use were scuttled.

The greatest strength of this course is that the author gives an in-depth,logical explanation of the tone system. This MUST be mastered. I know of no other Thai course that explains the tone system as clearly as this one does.

The only approach which may be more effective is the Pimsleur method, which at the moment doesn't exist for Thai, at least not beyond the rudiments. But for someone starting from scratch, it wouldn't hurt to use it before starting this course.

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

teaches script AND conversation, April 2, 2004

Reviewer: "day_vit13" (Bangkok, Thailand)

This is a really sweet series of books for learning Thai and is about 2 cuts above any other Thai self-study course I've seen in 3 years of living in Thailand. A bonus is that it is also one of the most affordable.

A previous reviewer stated that the book does not teach the pronunciation of Thai script. That is incorrect. The Thai script sections are broken out separately at the end of each chapter, with pronunciation keys and vocabularly taken from the speaking drills. Learning Thai script (as opposed to merely speaking Thai) is not a quick process, and this is an issue with the language itself, not the course. I give the book five stars (6 if I could) for systematically and coherently teaching spoken Thai, while additionally offering one of the best primers on basic written Thai as a bonus for those who want to spend the extra time.

Finally, about the tapes being only 2 1/2 hours-- there are about 1000 vocab words (listed at the front of each chapter) and phrases in the book, almost all of which are spot on useful. If you learn them by heart, which doesn't take more than an hour a day over about 5 weeks, you will be carrying on in Thai at a basic but quite functional level that you can dramatically build on once you get to Thailand. Imagine that, actually speaking Thai, not just throwing in a random phrase or word here and there on your next vacation. It's quite possible, with this book.

I didn't find the tapes too fast, for the most part, and I hated language tapes in college for that reason. Anyway, there's always the rewind button for those odd moments. It is true that you will need the book with you, at least initially, for the conversation drills, since the English isn't repeated on the tape. I'd say that's a minor quibble, at best, but worth noting for those who plan to listen in their car. The English translation for the vocab IS repeated at the start of each chapter, however. If you can follow that, the conversation that follows isn't a stretch.

I've read a lot of language texts, and the Becker series (Thai for Beginners; Thai for Intermediate Learners; Thai for Advanced Readers) is one of the best for any language. It would be nice if Amazon offered the audio CD version of the cassettes, something which is a little more convenient in this day and age and certainly available in Thailand.

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