Learning English as a Thai native speaker

My name is Poi, I am from Thailand. I used to live in Bangkok but I was born in Trat, the east of Thailand. I moved to Cornwall 2 years ago. I moved here with my mum and my step dad to study in England, we have chosen to be in Cornwall because my step dad is originally from here. We think that schools in Cornwall are good and it is a very nice place to live. Now I am studying in Richard Lander School, I am in year 10. I have chosen French, Chinese, geography, triple science and photography for my GCSEs options. In the future when I finish university I would like to be an interpreter or a translator.

How do I find learning English?

Learning English is quite easy but grammar is tricky. Thai grammar is much simpler than many European languages because there is no verb inflection and tenses can often be shown just using the words “will” or “already”. English is a very important and useful language to study, I really enjoy learning English and to speak English. I learn new words or English every day from talking to my friends and people that are around me.

What do I like about both languages?

The things that I like about English are that it is very useful, it is really straight forward, plus it is fun to study English. When I go back to visit Thailand I tend to use more English because not many Thai people could understand what my family and I were talking about. When I’m in England I tend to speak more Thai with my mum outside, we can pretty much talk about anything, no one would understand us and this is what I like about Thai.

The differences

There are many differences between Thai and English. Thai is a tonal language, which means that each syllable or words can have different meaning depending on what tone it is pronounced with. However, Thai people can still understand foreigners trying to pronounce Thai. Thai has an alphabet with 44 characters and Thai sentences are written without any spaces between the words and there is no full stop or a comma either. If you want to try to learn Thai, do not think it would be hard because it is actually easier than it sounds to learn Thai alphabet and grammar. It would worth it if you go to live in Thailand for a while, it would help a lot to learn Thai.

There are other interesting differences in Thai, there is no question mark unlike English, we usually use the word ‘mai’ ‘ไหม and other question particles. Also there is no ‘R’ sound in Thai, so I have to practice my ‘R’ sound while I’m learning English.

In my opinion, languages are very important to learn, if you know as many languages as possible and it will be very useful. In the future I would like to travel around the world and use my language knowledge to go to help people, I also would like to go to teach young children languages.


About the author: Poi Tongchai is a 15 year old student at Richard Lander School in Truro  where she currently studies English, French and Chinese for her GCSEs. She loves the city and the beach and hopes to work as a translator or teacher in the future.

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