1. If you want to be able to speak Thai, first, you must first learn to “listen” to Thai. That’s how we all picked up our first language. Every single baby listens before he or she speaks. Our podcasts will allow you to listen to Thai regularly even if you are not residing in Thailand and don’t have the opportunity to hear Thai spoken every day. Most people learning Thai jump right to textbooks as they start learning the language and they don’t get to “listen” enough. That’s not the most efficient way to learn. Remember, listen before you speak. This is not just a wise saying giving you advice on how to close business deals or negotiate with clients, but applies to foreign language learning as well.
2. The best way to learn a foreign language is through real usage, not from textbooks. Thai teaching materials made for foreigners often simplify things, sometimes to the extent that they don’t sound natural any more. A lot of the unique elements of the Thai language, such as ending particles, are eliminated from textbooks. It’s not surprising for Thai people to hear a somewhat advanced speaker of Thai still sound foreign due to this fact. Ask yourself, why learn what Thai people don’t actually use or say? Learning a foreign language requires enough effort, and if you’re already willing to make that effort, you might as well learn the correct and practical version. PickupThai Podcast teaches you 100% authentic, real-life, spoken Thai. Even in our beginner course, we do not dumb down the grammar structures so that they are easy for non-Thais to learn. You might hear a lot of words or expressions you’ve never heard from other Thai teaching materials in our lessons. But once you watch Thai movies or get out to the real world, sooner or later, you’ll hear those terms used by many Thai people. By learning from us, you will sound more natural than you ever did when you speak Thai.
3. The best materials to pick up Thai from are, obviously, media intended for native Thai speakers; whether it is TV shows, movies, books, magazines, songs or the internet. But before you get to the level where you can actually learn by listening to those types of media, PickupThai Podcast can be the next best thing. While the language used in our lessons and the method we use to teach you are unlike those of textbooks, our podcasts are not only entertaining but also educational which is perfect for Thai learners. If you want something that lies between informative textbooks and entertaining media, it is PickupThai Podcast.
4. Because we teach Thai by using fun stories, the podcast listening experience will give you a similar feeling to watching a movie or reading a novel. But why is this better than learning phrases from textbooks? The reasoning behind it is more profound than you might think. Learning vocabulary words is only useful when you learn them from context. It’s only practical if you know how to apply them. With PickupThai Podcast, you will learn every new word and expression from context, and while memorizing foreign words is not fun (OK, let’s be honest, it’s downright boring), stories help you remember new vocabulary naturally. You don’t have to “memorize” them, just listen to the story repeatedly and the words will be internalized into your subconscious mind.
5. Most audio lessons teaching Thai available on the market today teach you the most proper way possible to pronounce any word. In addition to that, we also provide the street-Thai way of talking. While we enunciate the words more in the slower spoken dialogues or in the example sentences, we give you the authentic pronunciation in the normal speed dialogues as well. It won’t sound like any other language learning materials you’re used to. We will sound exactly the same as what you will hear people say while you’re walking along the road in Bangkok. Most importantly, we do not sound like a robot or a machine. We sound like real human beings. When you listen to our lessons, you will feel as if the characters from each story are right there with you in the room. They won’t sound like language teachers. In other words, we get your ears ready to listen to spoken Thai in the real world.
6. For busy people, you don’t need to sacrifice a lot of time learning Thai from our podcasts like you would with other materials. You can just listen to them while you’re driving, jogging or cleaning the house. One lesson lasts for 30-40 minutes. So by the time you go to work and return home, you will have finished listening to at least one podcast. The Sweet Green Series have two main parts, conversation and sentences. Each story from the Spicy Red Series is also divided into two parts. So, if 40 minutes is too long for you, listen to the first half for 20 minutes and keep the rest for next time. Now, think about it. How much time have you been wasting in traffic jams? The bad news is you could have spent that time studying Thai. The good news is you can start doing that right now.
7. You can count on us for content. One of the saddest things about the Thai teaching industry is that quite a number of the teaching materials teach you wrong things! As a learner, you need to choose materials that you can count on, materials that provide you with grammatically correct and practical content. We are native Thai speakers, born and raised in Bangkok Thailand, who are also experienced teachers of Thai as a foreign language. We have taught hundreds of classes over the past years and we know what most learners lack, have trouble with, or tend to overlook. We produce these podcasts based on our first-hand experiences with Thai learners. We supply what they lack and make sure they learn everything the right way, with our materials. We eliminate all the things textbooks teach that cause confusion and lead learners to make common mistakes. On top of that, we have traveled to many parts of the world and studied many languages ourselves so we tend to understand your culture a little better than any given Thai person. And often, we incorporate that experience into the materials.
8. One of the most unique things about our materials is that we teach you Thai by having you feel like you’re just listening to fun stories, not studying. The extra ingredient added to our lessons that is different from typical learning materials that you are used to is humor. In the section where we teach you sentence structures, don’t be surprised if you see sentences like “Mom, can I dress up as you for Halloween?” instead of “Can I sit here?” when we teach you how to ask for permission, or sentences like “You must stop fighting with the dog right now” instead of “You must do your homework now.” when we teach you how to strongly direct someone to do something. We believe that motivation is the most important factor contributing to one’s success in learning a foreign language, so we’re trying our best to keep you motivated to learn Thai. Most importantly, since you need to remember how to structure these sentences anyway, we decided to help by making them memorable for you. We’ve gotten feedback from some of our customers saying that the funnier a phrases is, the easier it is to remember.
9. Our materials are interactive. We don’t want you to just listen. We ask you to think. In the Sweet Green series, you will be asked to recall the sentences that you have learned. First, you listen to other people talk and then it’s your turn to talk. Again, that’s how babies pick up a language, they imitate people that know how to speak it – the adults. In this case, you imitate native Thai speakers. In the Spicy Red series, which is more advanced, we let you listen to a story and then ask questions to test your understanding. Either way, you’ll be prompted to talk or respond. That way, we can make sure that you are really listening and learning, as opposed to just hearing the recordings.
10. Our courses offer PDF study sheets in both Thai script and transliteration and they are separated. If you’re learning Thai script, that’s great. You won’t be tempted to look at the transliteration, which will keep you focused on learning how to read. What could be a better way to practice listening and reading Thai than to listen to Thai words spoken and look at the written script at the same time? Have you ever heard that watching Thai movies with Thai subtitles is an effective way to learn Thai? That’s the same idea. Unfortunately, Thai movies with Thai subtitles can be somewhat hard to find. That’s one of the reasons why we wanted to create PickupThai podcasts – to make that type of effective learning materials available. If you’re not learning how to read, you don’t need to bother seeing foreign characters and having to find your way to the transliteration. The separate transliteration sheets were created exclusively for learners like you and, of course, if you’re still learning how to read, you are encouraged to switch between the two versions and use one instead of the other whenever it serves your purpose better. You can also use both at the same time if you think it’s helpful.
11. Our lessons are affordable, and we offer free samples for you to see how our lessons are, so you can sample the actual products before your purchase them. You are also welcome to read reviews from customers who have used or are using our products to see what they say about them. Another difference between our materials and others is that we do not require you to buy the whole package or all the lessons at once if you’re still unsure. You can buy a few podcasts to start with and see if you like our style of teaching. If you like what you hear, you can buy more in bulk later to save some bucks. If not, the worst case is you lose $12 but you’ll still gain knowledge from the small amount of money you spend. It’s basically risk-free. Alternatively, if you’re on a tight budget and can only afford to spend less than $20 each month, that’s also possible. Our podcasts will still permit you to learn Thai regularly.
12. If you any have questions as you self-study Thai using our podcasts, you can use our self-study guiding services, “Ask Us Any Time,” “Write like a Thai,” and “Speak like a Thai” for extra help. We can practice composing sentences using the vocabulary words or the sentence structures that you learned from our lessons, or you can record your own voice reading and saying Thai words and have us correct the grammar or the pronunciation for you. You can also choose to buy a private Skype session with us once in a while to ask questions or practice your skills. We do use the podcasts as class materials with some of our own students, so that is also an option for you to consider in case you need extra help.