Where To Learn Thai Language in Pattaya

Thai Language 1

What do you think this advertisement is about? If you haven’t guessed, well, just read the title.. This is what awaits you when moving into Thailand. This image belongs to a Nespresso booklet . Photo Credit: Silvia Muda


Thailand is a very good choice to live, but….in which language do they communicate? This is the first question all we do, just from the first second when we knew  we were coming to live here…

Leaving our comfort zone and moving here includes being unable to talk to Thai people in their own language  and  all the difficulties that come along. From not understanding what we are told, the meaning of every street sign, notice or just price tags at supermarket shelves, or to  not being so sure about what we are buying or just feeling useless at the time of  asking for directions to find a street or a shop or whatever the situation might be.

So, based on our  years living in Pattaya, we offer our experience and research that will save  you time and effort.

In this simple, humble way , it is how  we are  Linking Pattaya Together

Learning Thai Language


Pattaya Roads and Sois- Sukhunvit Road 45

Luckily for us, ex-ptas, English acts as a kind of second language in Thailand, especially in the major or more touristic cities, as Pattaya. In this sense, traffic boards and signs are written in both Thai and English, to our great relief. Photo Credit: Silvia Muda

While the Thai language is the official language of Thailand, fortunately, one could say English is its unofficial second language. As more and more tourists and business visitors from around the world are coming to Thailand, English  has  naturally had became the common linguistic “currency”. But it is also true that more and more foreigners are learning Thai.

It really doesn’t matter  whether we came as tourists, residents, exchange students, pensioners or on business, or if we are a wife with a working husband, we all are expats living in Thailand. Being an expat means that we are guests in this country, so , it would be a great whether  we speak the national language or, at least, just try to learn a few words and phrases, out of respect for the Thais.

Beyond any doubt, speaking Thai makes our life in Thailand a little bit easier, and also should be considered more an investment than an expenditure, especially if you have a gift for learning new languages, because Thai is surely not the easiest language to learn on this planet, but as we have said, it is essential to make an effort.

If only I’d known…

  • We expats might experience difficulty picking up the Thai language as it is considerably different from many foreign languages. The Thai language features five tones: high, mid, low, rising, and falling, each of which changes the meaning of particular ‘words’. Foreigners, or ‘farangs’,  unfamiliar with tonal languages often have difficulty pronouncing even the most basic terms when learning to speak Thai, but with some practice, it can be done, many times thanks to the help of local people, who would keep talking to us in Thai  while enjoying how we struggle with their language. But it is very worth trying, as Thai people really appreciate our effort and readily accept our  poor “Thai“.
  • In addition, while most Thais speak and understand the Central Thai dialect, there are various regional dialects, including those of Southern Thailand and Northeastern Thailand, the latter of which is essentially just the Lao language (as most of the population is of Lao descent). In northern Thailand, which had been the independent kingdoms of Lan Na and Chiang Mai from 1259-1939, a distinctive form of Thai is still spoken by the local inhabitants, all of whom can also speak central Thai. But all variants of Thai use the same alphabet.
  • Also, to make the whole thing a little bit more challenging,  we have to know that Thai  can change depending on different social contexts, so we have:
  •  Street or common Thai (phaasa phut, spoken Thai): informal, without polite terms of address, as used between close relatives and friends.
  • Elegant or formal Thai (phaasa khian, written Thai): official and written version, includes respectful terms of address; used in simplified form in newspapers.
  • Rhetorical Thai: used for public speaking.
  • Religious Thai: (heavily influenced by Sanskrit and Pali) used when discussing Buddhism or addressing monks.
  • Royal Thai (racha sap): (influenced by Khmer) used when addressing members of the royal family or describing their activities


So, be prepared to start a conversation and discover with the greatest dismay that you just can’t understand a word but keep trying, it is worth the effort, although you don’t  have that gift.

Having said that,  if you like to go to fresh food markets, speaking Thai really does a difference, at least  knowing  the necessary names of the products that you intend  to buy.

The big supermarkets offer English tags on their shelves, and you could find some of their staff speaking a reasonable English. In shopping Malls, there is not a problem at all, staff in all shops speak good English and all signboards are also written  in English.


Where can we go for learning Thai?

There are crash courses for tourists, more in-depth for expatriates or full courses for linguists or language enthusiasts. Please, have a look at the list below:

Alvi’s home of Thai Culture and Languages

Email: centrema@hotmail.com

Pattaya Education and Computer School

Website: www.pecschool.com

Pro Language

Website: www.prolanguage.co.th/courses

Success Language Center

Website: www.successlanguages.com

Thankful Knowledge  learning Center

Website: www.thankful-knowledge.com/

TEFL Intercontinental

Website: www.teflintercon.com

Text and  Talk   Academy

Website: www.teflteachthai.com/TrainingSites_Pattaya.html

You could find an extensive list of Thai language Schools, listed according different areas of Pattaya, by visiting this website:  www.pattaya.net/do/index.html#ThaiLanguage


Online Thai Language Courses,Textbooks & Software :

Although it is advised to learn with a teacher in groups class or privately, you always could go to this site for further learning :

Learn Thai Podcast

Website: learn-thai-podcast.com/


Website: www.thai-language.com/dict/

Thai Girl Talk

Website: www.ressources.learn2speakthai.net/thaigirltalk

The Fundamentals of Thai Language

Website: www.lyndonhill.com/FunThai/CONTENTS.html

Learn Thai One on One  Online

Website: www.learn2speakthai.net/index.php

Free Thai Language  Learning Resources Free Thai courses, ebooks, audio books, songs, dictionaries, audio files, videos, podcasts, YouTube channels, alphabet lessons, grammar lessons, cheat sheets, flashcards, typing tutors, keyboards, games, quizzes, study aids, iOS apps (iPhone, iPad, iPod), radio, tv, newspapers, spoken Thai, written Thai. For more information, visit this website: www.womenlearnthai.com/index.php/resources/learning-thai/

Thai 2 English Dictionary

Website: www.thai2english.com/

Thai Learning Software:

Learn Thai.com

Desktop software application designed to help students learn to speak and read Thai. You can find more information in the following website: www.learn-thai.com/

Thai language Learning Software

Website: www.l-lingo.com/en/learn-thai/index.html


If you are looking for translations from German to Thai and Thai to German, you could consult:

CTA- Certified   Translation Pattaya

Website: ctapattaya.de



After living in Pattaya for a while you will realise that there are more, much more than what we just have listed in this page, but to try to include all it is just impossible. We tried to put on the table what you should expect once living here, not to scare you. Thai people are kind and great at the time of giving a hand to a helpless ‘farang” . So do not worry at all.

Pattaya is a city that you must experience yourself. As we do. Every single day is a new experience, a new challenge.  But we really hope  that we had been of help with the information collected in this page. Although you might find further information when you were already  living here, we tried to give you a basic help. If you have some comments, please, lets know. In this way, we will keep linking Pattaya together.


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