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Easy Thai: An Introduction to the Thai Language Paperback – Bargain Price, December 15, 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing (December 15, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804801592
  • ASIN: B0076TPSQY
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,978,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I suggest getting the Teach Yourself series' Thai book.
Al Kihano
I have the Chiang Mai YMCA's book on reading Thai and Sriwalai Ponmanee's 'Writing and Reading Thai' also but I always refer back to Allison's book.
Owen O. Mcgowan
So, do not think you will learn much more from this book than sentences like "In Lamphoon there are rice farmers".
R. Hasekamp

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
The beauty of the Thai alphabet has always fascinated me and I purchased this book back in grad school, only because it was the only one I could find that teaches the alphabet. "Easy Thai" was such an incredible disappointment that I never got very far with it. I finally learned the Thai alphabet a few years later, thanks to 2 excellent books written (in Japanese) for Japanese learners. While teaching debate at a university in Japan, I conducted an intensive self-study of Thai for 3 months before taking a trip to Thailand, and completed both books before arriving in Bangkok. It is a pity that these same books are not available to English speakers as well. I have a Master's degree in Teaching Foreign Language and have therefore had the opportunity to review a wide variety of textbooks. One difficulty that learners of less-studied languages face is the lack of good textbooks and other materials. This book may unfortunately be your only choice if you're serious about learning the Thai alphabet (and don't happen to speak Japanese), but it's not a pretty picture.
My main complaints are:
(1) The book is rife with useless words (especially for beginners!), useless expressions, awkward sentence structure, poor translations, and outdated and/or inappropriate terms like "Chinaman." SEE BELOW for examples.
(2) The phonetic system for representing Thai sounds is a mess, full of capital letters, explanation points, and unnecessary letters. Believe me - there's a far better way!
(3) shoddy format and layout, poor print quality (Thai letters are hard to read), inadequate/unclear explanations, boring beyond words
Incredibly enough, the author actually acknowledges (in the preface) the problems of useless words and boring exercises: "...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By a reader on July 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
Just wanted to second the review of this book by Pat Hopper. I went through this book in a week or two and couldn't have gotten a better start to reading thai. The best thing about the book is that it starts with the Low Consonants, then the Middle, and then introduces the Common High Class Consonants concurrently with the concept of tone rules. This approach keeps the three classifications of consonants seperate in the students mind as opposed to the student that begins by learning the alphabet in dictionary order.

That said, the book is very sketchy, should use the common "AH! AH EE! EE EU! EU" Thai vowel table, and a clear tone table as in David Smyth's "Teach Yourself Thai."

For me this book was a great introduction, and now that I'm studying a more disciplined course (similar to one Thai children receive in 1st and 2nd grades) I'm learning at faster rate, and filling in the holes and ambiguity that Easy Thai left me with.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Hasekamp on January 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
The answer to the question in the header definitely is "No, there is no such thing"! So, do not think you will learn much more from this book than sentences like "In Lamphoon there are rice farmers". These sentences are not really the first you would like to know when you plan to visit Thailand. Nevertheless you have to start somewhere, and this book is good as a first acquaintance with the (very complex) Thai language.

I used it before I went to Thailand for the very first time, and it did teach me a bit of the Thai alphabet and some basic things like counting (useful in bargaining). The title will always remain misleading, as I know now (after several years of harsh study) that there definitely is no such thing as "Easy Thai"!

Neverthless recommended to give learning the Thai language a first try.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Frankie on June 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I love this book. Mr. Allison is charming, cheerful, and an excellent writer, which is something you don't see every day. While I greatly admire Benjawan Becker's books, she, like David Smyth, has the personality of a potted plant. I admit my sentimental bias: Allison's was the first book I ever read on Thai and I practically ate it. It's full of errors and typos and cruddy printing (I used a magnifying glass extensively) because it is printed in Thailand, which to me in my perverse way made it all the more charming. You want to know Thailand? I don't exaggerate too much when I say this book says it all!
This book won't teach you Thai. The title is a joke. But it WILL teach you the script/alphabet. And what other book does that in such a systematic fashion? Believe me: get this book, devour it, and then get Benjawan's beginner book. Avoid everyone else. Smyth is OK, but would be WAY better if he changed his ghastly transliteration (the "r" he puts everywhere, for example, as in "bpairt" for "eight") This makes his book for me unreadable.
A brief word on software. There's Benjawan's beginner book written over to CD-ROM and also Matthew Courage's. For the life of me, I can't see how anyone who wasn't a total genius could get to first base on these programs without having learned the alphabet beforehand.* The Courage audio quality, BTW, is horrendous - sounds like they got the cleaning lady (a sort of Thai female Joe Pesci) to do the talking for 500 baht. The male talkers always sound like they're about to bolt to the john... Mind you, that's often what people are about to do over there.
Finally, I give the book three stars because of the fraudulant title and all the errors and lame sentences (as the earnest but missing-the-point M.A. chap above points out).
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