About Me

We want to help you succeed in your goals to learn the Thai Language

Learning Thai is no mean feat. It takes effort, time, money on your end but this also has to be accompanied by good teachers and good resources.

“No matter where you are on your Thai learning journey, I’m here to help. See my personal success stories, and learn tips and strategies to learn Thai enjoyably and effectively.”

Joanne Tan

About Learn Thai in Singapore

Are you ready to begin your journey to learn the Thai language?

Too many people have struggled to learn the Thai language despite putting in hundreds of hours of hard work. In NUS, I have seen hundreds of students sign up for beginner Thai 1 lessons…just to give up eventually. In my cohort, only 4 students (including myself) progressed to the advanced Thai 5 class. This gives us a statistic of less than 1% of Singaporean students persevering on to learn advanced Thai. How did this happen? Why do so many people give up? Is learning Thai that difficult?

Learn Thai in Singapore’s mission as your trusted Thai language teacher is to help you master the Thai language using the fastest and simplest method. This is especially important for beginner Thai learners who do not know where to start learning Thai speaking.

Where to get started learning Thai in Singapore

Choose the category that best fits your needs to improve your Thai language speaking skills today!

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For individuals: Practice your Thai language speaking skills through daily conversations. Learn how to use Thai to express everyday small talk.

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For individuals: Enhance your Thai Language skills by going for regular classes. Use your SkillsFuture credits to offset the course fees!

Thai language and culture workshops

For Businesses: Master the basics on Thai Language & Thai culture to penetrate the Thai market. Specially catered to your business needs.

Why you should trust me as your Thai teacher for Beginners

Hallo Sawatdii ka. I am Joanne (Thai nickname = Jann), the teacher and writer behind Learn Thai in Singapore. I have started learning Thai since 2015 at the National University of Singapore (“NUS”) Centre of Language Studies. I started this website to share my own Thai language learning journey. My background as a foreigner mastering the Thai language and my own experience living in Thailand as a student provided plenty for me to write about.

How I started off learning the Thai Language

I had never travelled to Thailand, not even as a tourist before I went to Thammasat University in Thailand for my Student Exchange Programme. The most exposure I had with something Thai-related was to take Thai 1 beginner classes in NUS, which was a #StruggleTown. First, the Thai language had bare minimum grammar patterns, so I didn’t know where to start when trying to string together Thai sentences. Next, the writing was a pure pain. It’s called “drawing” and we leggit watch YouTube videos on how to write/draw Thai characters in class.

For speaking and listening, my Thai teacher in NUS (Ajarn Tukta/Khun Kitiarsa Rungnapa) taught us using the “Phutt Thai” textbook written by Ajarn Titima Suthiwan, another Thai teacher in NUS. This is a good book and I recommend serious beginner Thai learners to invest in this book as it introduces basic Thai structures and vocabulary to give you a starting point to learn Thai.

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My struggles learning Thai writing
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However, despite the patient guidance from Ajarn Tukta [she’s a reeeeally great Thai teacher and please consider signing up for her classes if you are serious about learning more advanced Thai], the most complex sentence I mastered at the end of the class was “Sorry I was late. The rain was heavy and there was a traffic jam” [side joke: Thai people are ALWAYS late. Oh, and Bangkok traffic jams are a nightmare]. Thai language is not easy to learn – it will take time to learn beyond basic Thai greetings and numbers. So this was my standard when my foot first landed on Thai soil.

Surviving in Thailand

Needless to say, my first few weeks in Thailand was an epic #StruggleTown. For example, an issue cropped up with my accommodation and I did not manage to get the room I wanted in the University-recommended dormitory (3J Court, just across the university separated by the Chao Praya River). As a result, I had to go on a house hunting journey barely 1 week in and had to learn how to say things like “rental for 5 months”, “payment of electricity bills” etc IN THAI. I heavily relied on this Thai dictionary app Thai-English Dictionary (TL) to search for vocab and help me haltingly string together sentences. Thankfully, I survived when I got thrown to the deep end and found a roof over my head.

Thai-English Dictionary (TL)

This is just one of the many unique Thai experiences I had, which I may share more about in my future blog posts. This will show you the importance of knowing basic Thai before having a stint in Thailand, even within Bangkok.

Along the way, I made precious friendships and familiarized myself with the Thai language and culture. I have had so many memorable experiences such as visiting my Thai friends’ houses, doing volunteer work in Thailand, travelling around Thailand with friends……even a small action like a Thai stranger shaking my hand and welcoming me to Thailand warmed my heart 🥰

Studying Advanced Thai back in Singapore

Returning back to Singapore was a sad affair. But I decided to keep all my precious memories from Thailand and continue to study the Thai Language in NUS. As I already learnt quite a lot of Thai speaking and have learnt the remaining Thai alphabets by myself, I skipped Level 2 and jumped to Thai Level 3 intermediate classes in NUS. Speaking and listening was easy as I was constantly conversing in Thai towards the end of my stint in Thailand. However, reading was a struggle as I was still not familiar with the Thai script.

I studied up to Thai Level 5 (LAT4201) advanced classes in NUS. By the end of the class, my course mates and I could give a full presentation on complex topics such as “foreign workers in Singapore” (แรงงานต่างชาติที่ประเทศสิงคโปร์), “education systems in [country XX]” (การศึกศาของประเทศเกาหลี) etc. 

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Thai Level 5 LAT4201 NUS Presentation
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Learning advanced Thai in NUS formed a very good foundation for me to be exposed to business Thai terms, which subsequently helped me land my job as a SEO Thai-speaking analyst with GroupM Singapore.

Using Thai Language at Work

My interview with GroupM Singapore was merely a Thai Language test. I was given a 1-page media copy written in Thai and asked to (1) Spot spelling errors within the copy and (2) Write out a brief summary of the advertisement. The advertisement was promoting a shampoo product and listing properties of the shampoo.

My job with GroupM mostly required reading and writing Thai, which unfortumately was not my forte. I was mostly writing meta titles and meta descriptions for the Thai markets, covering a range of topics: Skincare, Automobile, Banking etc. Other aspects of the job requiring Thai language skills included keyword research and edits to content articles to include target keywords.