For those that have decided, or may decide, to make The Land of Smiles their permanent residence, learning Thai is almost a given to make their lives in the Kingdom more comfortable
Learning basic Thai gives expats immediate encouragement
Even the most basic Thai language is enough of a start to begin to realise just how much more stress-free life can be when you are able to communicate in Thai language.
This may have something to with the fact that only around a quarter of Thais can speak English. As a result, it means that many foreigners that live in Thailand without at least a few Thai words in their vocabulary locker can get unstuck very quickly.
Those who already speak Thai can also benefit
Conversely, for those long termers that speak Thai, or they are at least are making the effort to improve their Thai as they go along, have found life in the Land of Smile much less of a hassle. This is of course compared to the days when they first arrived into a country where the dumfounded newbie and equally as confused taxi driver are driving around in circles using hand signals and going nowhere fast.
See 2 of the subjects we cover on our Thai learning course
As things prevail, that leads us to the first of two Thai lessons you should be learning to begin your quest into becoming a more permanent fixture in the Kingdom. Saving the obvious greetings’ lessons in Thai, (Sawadee Karp, and sa-bi-dee-mai), good day and how are you, learning how to get around, and how to bargain with cash will be the start to building up your confidence when you start to learn Thai seriously.
- 1. Learn your Directions
Learning the simple leo sai (left) and leo quwaa (right) can make all the difference. Although today Google Maps via 3G is a life saver, especially on the bustling and manic roads of Bangkok, being able to accurately give the taxi driver directions on top of using your technological pin pointer will smoothly get you to your destination; that is get you there without all the aches and pains that come with U-turns and getting stuck in endless queues of traffic because the taxi driver failed to understand what you thought were accurate hand signals.
- 2. Learn your Numbers
Probably one of the most obvious lessons that you should teach yourself in Thai is how to count. Digital displays on the tills in 7 eleven are all very well, but if you are looking to buy food at the local street stalls or bargain in one of the many Bangkok markets, you will get a better price by opting out of the calculator baton race.
As an added bonus, Thais will normally respect the fact you know your numbers, and therefore they will assume you probably know your prices!
Thai Courses are Available with Insight
If you do decide to learn Thai in Thailand, when it comes to applying for a VISA you can obtain an Education Visa, which is a student Visa in Thailand. This will allow you to stay in the Kingdom and study Thai language for up to a year with the option of extending your VISA for another year.