Most helpful critical review
48 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Not a Quick Way to Learn Some Thai
on March 31, 2003
First let me say English is my second language. I also spent one year learning español from books and tapes. When I visited Mexico, I was able to converse with the locals. But Thai is very different. I bought this book and the tape based on the recommendations here.
This book has ten lessons, including instructions on how to write Thai scripts. Each lesson has a vocabulary list of 50 to 75 words, followed by a conversation and 20 to 25 sentences. There're some exercises at the end of each lesson.
Here's why I only give 2 stars to this book:
1) The book and the tape do not teach how to pronounce the Thai letters. For example, if I know "b" is for "boy" then I would know how to pronounce "b" in all the English words. This book simply gives the English translation, the Thai equivalent, and the English phonetic pronunciation. That offers little help in learning Thai scripts.
2) In the tape, each conversation is spoken in its entirety once then repeated in its entirety once. The speed is way too fast, especially you would have to read it every three lines (English, Thai, English phonetic). The vocabulary and the sentences are read only once and no repeats.
3) The three tapes supposedly contain three hours recordings . In reality, tape three lasts only 40 minutes. If you consider the Thai music interspersed in each tape, then the language materials would be only 2 ½ hours at the most.
4) Last but not least, I dislike the marketing tactics used by the publisher. The tape is not included with the book. There's neither an index nor a dictionary in the back of the book to list the vocabulary taught in the book. If you want that, you have to buy the dictionary separately.
I have spent 40 hours on the book and the tape. All I can say is still Sawadee krup. Bottom line: If you have at least six months and have a Thai instructor, then this book may be for you. If you are in a hurry, don't waste you baht.