Excerpt from product page

Speak Easy Thai -- Thai Culture Publishing

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Speak Easy Thai

Learn Thai vocabulary
quickly using
images and sounds recorded
by native Thai speakers!

A fun but low cost way to learn vocabulary and the
Thai alphabet, using your own computer.
These are the front and back covers of the CD-ROM package.

Speak Easy Thai
is FUN,
not boring!

Several ways to learn!
No need to spend 2 hours at a session, 10 minutes is enough.

Better than flash cards!

click small image for larger image
(opens in a new window)

350 page grammar book in HTML format!

The Problem with Thai

The main problem with learning Thai is that the basis of the
language is not European-based. English and the other Euro languages
have Latin, Greek, Viking, etc., roots; Thai does not, so you
have to memorise hundreds, if not thousands, of strange sounds.
This is difficult, unless you use some sort of memory trigger.
Speak Easy Thai helps solve this problem by presenting a picture
and a sound file; all words are spoken by a native Thai speaker,
so you hear the correct tone.

There are more than 5,000 images and 5,000 sound files on
the CD, and more than 39,000 words in total. Compare that to
other methods of learning Thai: cassettes and audio CDs have
no pictures, and are typically limited to a few hundred words.

In many cases, the pictures used are funny or strange
in some way, to help you remember the word. For example,
the word for "car tire" (or "tyre", if you're
a British English speaker) has two pictures, shown at right.
Both are memorable, not boring, and it is this
simple trick that helps you
remember the Thai word. Your brain makes an association between
the sound of the Thai word
(yang rot, in this case) and the picture.
Seeing the Thai word without an image is a much harder
way to learn.

There are several ways of learning vocabulary; you can also
test yourself on what you reviewed. The tests have a couple of
options to make the review easier or harder.

yang rot = tire, tyre

Hear the word in Thai.

10 Minutes or 2 Hours?

You don't have to spend a lot of time learning, either. You
can start the program, review a few words of some subject, say
10 words about the body, then test yourself on just those 10,
then close the program and do something else.

When you choose a subject, the program selects words randomly
from the list of available words for that subject. So you probably
won't get the same words if you run the program again tomorrow
and choose the same subject. Or you can learn the words for just
one of the 16 situations, like renting a car. Or you can practice
tones with an exercise listening to 200 pairs of similar-sounding

Already Learning
with a Teacher?

Are you taking Thai lessons with a teacher or with
your partner?

This software will help you learn faster!
Why? Because the pictures help you remember vocabulary
at a faster rate.

This is the main menu; the picture changes each time you run
the program.

The chilis to the left of the buttons represent the level
of difficulty.

There is a language button in the main menu that allows you
to specify a European language as your preferred language. At
the moment, menus and messages stay in English, but Speak Easy
Thai will show the Thai dictionary word translated into your
language, if that dictionary is present on your system, and if
the word is in the dictionary; if not, it reverts to English.

The Alphabet button on the introduction screen invokes
a lesson on the Thai alphabet. Each character is displayed, and
pronounced by a native Thai speaker.

By pressing the Subjects button on the main screen,
you are presented with a screen that allows you to select words
by subject (animals, automobile, military, travel, etc.). Many
words in the dictionary are categorised by subject; there are
more than 30 subjects at present.

When you change the selection, a different image is presented,
related to that subject. Here, Medical words are selected.

When you have made your selection, words are chosen from the
dictionary randomly, according to your selection criteria, and
then displayed on the Review screen as shown at the right.

If the word has a picture, it is displayed in the picture

If the word has a sound file, you will hear the word spoken.

By pressing the
blue button, the word will be spelled in Thai.

By pressing the
speaker button, the word will be spoken again.

The subject area is shown in a small image above the buttons.

Notice that this hand has 6 fingers, not 5.
A little trick to make the picture and word memorable.

Hear the word in Thai.


When you have reviewed a number of words, you can then test

The Drill screen is a simple test. Each word that you
reviewed is presented, one by one, either in Thai or in English.
A timer ticks down in one second intervals. You must click in
the other box (English or Thai) and type the word within the
time limit.

Short Thai words (10 characters or less) must be entered in
15 seconds or less; longer words must be entered in 30 seconds.

Initially, you will likely prefer to display the picture and
hear the word spoken, but as you become more proficient, you
can turn off those things to make the test a bit harder.

To increase the tension (everyone needs a little excitement
in their lives!), you can play a rhythmic background beat,
but if you find that annoying, you can simply untick it and turn
it off.

By pressing the Scenarios button on the main screen,
you are presented with a screen that allows you to select one
of several common scenarios or situations.

This allows you to learn words in that particular area.

Each scenario is a cartoon showing things that are all related.

As you move the cursor around, the Thai word of the object
under the cursor is displayed, along with the approximate phonetics
and English meaning.

In this screen capture, the cursor is over the hairspray.
By clicking, you will hear the word spoken in Thai.

Here are all the scenarios.

OK, so you've mastered the alphabet, and you've learned some
basic vocabulary, now it's time to move on to something more

Like many Asian languages, Thai builds words by using "root
words", which are basically building blocks upon which modifiers
are hung to make a new word.

For example, "rong" means "place". "Rong
rot" means "place motor"; we would say "garage".
"Rong ree-yan" means "place learn"; we would
say "school". "Rong pay-a-ban" means "place
nurse"; can you say "hospital"?

Here, we've selected the root word "bird", and you
can see that there are 91 words in the dictionary that start
with "bird". Ready to learn them all now?

The Parts of Speech button on the introduction screen
allows you to select words from the dictionary by type (noun,
verb, etc.) and optionally by subject (medical, household, etc.)
as well. You can choose to select words with a picture and sound
file, or just a picture, or all words.

South East Asian languages are tonal. In this exercise, you
are presented with a pair of words that sound alike (homonyms),
but have different tones and different meanings.

Each pair of words is spoken carefully by a native speaker,
so you can hear the difference. Didn't quite get it? Press the
speaker button and hear it again.

From the main menu, you can also invoke the Thai grammar book,
Fundamentals of the Thai Language. This is a complete
reference in HTML format which can be read in your browser.

Children learn a language by imitating adults, but we big
people like to know the rules. Here they are.


Speak Easy Thai is part of the Multi-Language Dictionary project; this
means there are frequent updates to the software,
dictionaries, images, and sound files. These updates are
free; just connect to the Internet, run Web Update (included
in the package), and download the updates.


I went to your office at Sukhumvit Soi 4, and purchased a copy
of the CD and the Thailand Fever book. I read the Thailand Fever
book in a day and have to say I learnt so much from it. Thank
I am using the CD now as I have done the Language School thing
and found it frustrating for all the reasons you state. The CD
is great and certainly works for my learning style. I have some
friends arriving soon and will get them to purchase the CD too,
as it is so good.
Faye Donaldson, Australia

This is a wonderful project and well worth supporting.
Let me momentarily wax effusive about your programming. When
web update is running, I like to sit and watch it in action:
everything being done smoothly, constant updates on what's going
on. I recall a section on your old website about clean programming,
and your work is an excellent advertisement for your expertise
on the subject. I am thankful that your awesome talent has been
turned to a subject so near and dear to my heart.
Anyway, keep up the fine work. It is highly appreciated
out here.
Forever green,
Ron Ruppel, Florida, USA

I have installed Speak Easy Thai from Internet and tried it.
Great program, excellent idea: picture and sound file for each
word. I would like to help. I could make German corrections,
additions and translations of dictionaries, menu, help files.
Willi, Germany

The woman who does the Thai pronunciation is excellent.
I have some of the AUA tapes and the speakers are too garbled
John Petrocelli, New York, USA

It works beautifully and I am finding your Speak Easy Thai helpful.
Suffice to say it is great!! I am enjoying learning Thai from
your program very much. Thank you,
Heather Firman, UK

I really like your product [Speak Easy Thai]. US$20 is definitely
not too much. I have been using it and have found it an excellent
way to improve my Thai and a fun way, and you can quote me.
The thing I like about this program are the scenarios such as
inside the airport and outside the airport, inside a hospital
or school, renting a car, inside and outside a train station,
etc. You just click on people and objects and hear the names
in Thai. ... set aside at least 20 minutes each day and work
with it faithfully; I guarantee you will improve your Thai.
Dean Barrett, author, Bangkok, Thailand

Excellent software.
Jan Eggum, Norway

I have found your program very useful. I am learning Thai with
a native speaker but it is good to use your program between lessons.
Graham Black, Australia

Your program is great!
Thomas Schmittlein, Germany

I'm very impressed wih the whole project.
Robert Wadsworth, USA


quick questions to see if you were paying attention:

(If you didn't click the two links to hear the
words, go back and do that first.
It's important that you hear the words spoken by a real Thai
person with the correct tone.)

1. What is the Thai
word for 'tire' / 'tyre' ?

2. What is the Thai
word for 'hand' ?



(hold a small mirror against the

You saw the pictures, heard the words
in Thai, and you remembered, right?

This technique works. Your brain has
now made links between the pictures and Thai sounds. When you
hear the Thai word in your brain (such as meu), I'll bet
you now hear the Thai woman speaking that word.

Now read this word: yang rot.
You heard her speak that too, didn't you? These two words are
now firmly embedded in your thick skull and it will take a hammer
and chisel to get them out. You have permanently learned two
Thai words with no effort, because there was a memorable picture
and a correctly spoken sound.

This is why Speak Easy Thai works!

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(US$25 per copy)
300 MB file


Speak Easy Thai learning program
more than 5000 images
more than 5000 Thai sound files
350 page Thai grammar ebook
Thai and English dictionaries (about 39,000
Web Update program
dictionary maintenance programs

Other dictionaries may be downloaded later

Contact Doug
Anderson with questions about this page.
Copyright (C) 2007 Doug Anderson
Last updated 14 April 2007

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