If you have ever taken a Thai Learning Language course in Thailand you have no doubt be introduced to how to read the Thai language at some point. Usually the schools will introduce reading at a later time but in my opinion it is a very smart thing to get the basics as soon as you can. I have been to a few schools in my time in Thailand and many of the schools use older reading materials. One I usually see is about a girl named Manee and her adventures or perhaps on a couple of elephants and their travels. I will admit the stories are quite old and rather boring which makes learning the language via reading more difficult. A story about Manee and her trip visiting her father’s rice farm all in very formal language might not be the best way to start.

SE ED Books Thailand

So I decided to break away from Manee and her boring stories and get something a little more fun. I did not want to start off reading the newspaper as it was a little on the complicated and formal side but instead bought a couple comic type books for the younger generation. The comic book I picked has 13 levels and of course I started out at level 1. I showed my teacher the book and he agrees that it is pretty good because they speak more in every day Thai language which is what I was looking for. Plus since it is a comic book you also have cartoon images to help you understand what is going on. Of course I do not understand all of the words and the ones that I get stuck on well I get out my trusted electronic dictionary Talking Thai and try to figure it out. To further strengthen my ideas I then go through a chapter with my teacher which helps bring out some of the more slang that my dictionary might not be aware of.

The book is from the publishers SE-ED (images from a SE-ED Book) and many of the book stores in Thailand have SE-ED books and in fact there are a few stores that SE-ED actually owns and operates in Thailand as well. The website is mostly in Thai so might be difficult to order there. I would say go to a bookstore in Thailand if you are there of course and look in the child and teen sections. Scan through some books and see if one appeals to you, remember these books are all in Thai and it will take more of a commitment to get through them all. I personally am only on chapter 3 at the time of this post but have already learned a handful of new words and phrases that the Thai people speak. Some of the books will have some English translations. However, what I have found the Thai books written for Thais are better because it is naturally how the Thai People speak. If you get a book that is also translated into English, for instance a book for a Thai person trying to learn the English language I often find there is a loss of some meanings between the languages.

learning Thai Language with comic books

Often people will ask why not just use the phonetics system to learn Thai as it is so much easier. I will agree at first that system is good for getting the basics but you don’t really get to understand how the tonal system works until you strengthen your reading skills. Also, phonetic systems seem to change from book to book and it can get confusing. The Thai language is not going to change in appearance and with each word you can figure out the tone which will help you in the Thai people understanding you. A small tonal change can mean the difference of you saying I Eat Rice and I Eat The News, because the words news and rice are very similar but have different tonal patterns. If this book I show in my examples is too hard or to easy then as I stated before just look through what the bookstore has to offer.

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