Lindie Botes

Lindie Botes

Language learning coach, designer and YouTuber here to show you that it's possible to learn multiple languages at once while still balancing life! Sharing my language learning tips, tricks, reviews and encouragement.
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How I am learning Thai + how many hours so far

Why I started Thai & how I used it

I didn’t mention it to anyone, but I started learning Thai because I planned a trip to Bangkok for a week to see my favorite band Joan play live. I knew I would be able to get around easier if I knew how to speak a little bit of Thai, so it was my goal to become conversational as fast as I could. I spent nine weeks learning Thai in total before my trip, and it proved very useful!

I found myself using Thai to ask for directions (to the bathroom or a specific location), to call a TukTuk and negotiate the price down a bit, and to converse basically with my Thai friends over lunch or dinner. I also made a video with Polyglot Grace in which we converse in Thai a little bit, and that will be posted on YouTube soon!

Time studied so far

I studied 28 hours and 40 minutes of Thai in total. I know this question will come up, so the app I am using to track my time is called Toggl. 

This is excluding passive learning like listening to music, podcasts and watching movies. This was over the span of 9 weeks, and I feel like it was just enough to help me for my trip to Thailand. 

I am surprised at the amount of progress I made and I feel I did a decent job despite having mental health struggles and low motivation.

My resources

I just used five resources for Thai. First, I took lessons on italki and Preply (use code LINDIE50 for a 50% discount on your trial lesson on Preply, by the way!). I took lessons almost every day, because I knew this was a language I had little time to learn and a lot of pressure to get conversational in. 

I also used Banana Thai‘s intensive Thai course online. I only managed to do 28% of the course and found myself struggling to stay motivated to study on my own – I found it better to learn with tutors facilitating the learning progress. Banana Thai’s course also came with a textbook and exercise book which I printed and used when I could. I also listened to Banana Thai’s podcast on Spotify, playing the same episode over and over until I understood everything.

Then, I used the app Drops to drill in vocabulary. This was usually before I go to bed and I learned a lot of new vocabulary from the app. I did drop off though and couldn’t motivate myself to continue using the app for some reason. 

Finally, I made flashcards with all 44 Thai consonants on them and their names at the back of the card. I kept it on my desk and every day I would move a card to the bottom and have a new letter sit on my desk facing me. Each day I could focus on learning one character. This was because it was not my goal to learn how to read and write as I was just going on a short trip, but I wanted to help myself read at least a little bit.

Thai language progress journal

I use a language journal to track my listening, language lessons, things to review and a summary of how it went. Originally I had a goal and a goal tracker too but it was too abstract so I stopped doing that and just focused on the tasks at hand.

Snaps from my trip to Bangkok

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2 Responses

  1. I really love following your language journey with Thai. When I first started reading your blog and watching your videos you were already so much further ahead in various languages than I was in Korean. Seeing how you start from scratch, practice, and put yourself out there by speaking is really motivational for me to keep going.

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