[pinterest-pro type=”pinit” pin_url=”http://siam-longings.com/1books/learn-isaan.htm” pin_image_url=”” pin_counter=”horizontal” pin_desc=”Resources to assist a serious student interest in learning to understand and speak the “Isaan language.””]
Anyone with an interest in learning “the Isaan language” has probably at one time or another heard of the two-volume book and DVD set Speak Isaan Thai, broadly explained at LearnSpeakThai.com. I am unsure why the website does not mention the author, but evidently it is Richard Charles. Amazon.com (Speak Isaan Thai – Volume 1 (Book +DVD)) and Amazon.co.uk (Speak Isaan Thai – Volume 1 (Book +DVD)) both advertise Speak Isaan Thai – Volume 1 (Book + DVD). Initially, I did not believe that volume 2 was offered, but the blurb describing the product stated that it was:
Speak Isaan Thai Volume 1 is an essential book and DVD language learning solution that teaches you to speak practical conversational Isaan Thai with the correct pronunciation. Speak Isaan Thai Volume 1 teaches language foundations and grammar, key phrases and words, speaking and listening skills, correct pronunciation and tones, and insight into language and culture. It is ideal for absolute beginners and for those who know some Isaan Thai but wish to improve their pronunciation skills. It will also benefit anyone wishing to broaden their Isaan Thai conversational abilities within highly relevant everyday situations. The book provides the knowledge and insight into the language framework and usage. The 3 hour DVD featuring the see, hear, speak system ensures you learn the correct tones and pronunciation of all the Isaan Thai words and phrases in the book. You see the word or phrase, hear the word or phrase spoken by a native Isaan Thai speaker, and then speak the word or phrase replicating the pronunciation and tones. Together with the dedicated chapter on pronunciation and the focus on how to say and hear tones, it is the most effective way of learning the correct pronunciation and tone of Isaan Thai words. Speak Isaan Thai Volume 1 has an accurate, easy to read phonetic transliteration system, clear tone mark symbols, and over 1000 colour coded words and phrases that immediately show what every word in a phrase means. It also features helpful check your learning exercises, and an extensive English-Isaan Thai glossary. The PAL dual layer DVD is region free. Speak Thai and Speak Isaan Thai Volume 1 and Volume 2 are best sellers within Asia Book stores throughout Thailand. Both titles are available here on Amazon.
This video does its own version of explaining the two volumes:
Learn Speak Isaan Thai Book and DVD
Refer here to LearnSpeakThai.com for the answers to the following Questions and answers, if you are interested to see them:
1) Why should I learn to speak and understand Isaan Thai?
2) Isn’t the language Isaan people speak just Lao?
3) Just how different is the Isaan Thai language to Central Thai?
4) Just how different is Isaan Thai to Lao?
Website SiamSmile has its own answers as to why a foreigner might want to learn some of the “Isaan Dialect” — it also offers some sample phrases.
I have written before of The Living Hour‘s long-promised English-Isaan (Isan) Dictionary…but it still does not appear to be available. It seems for months now they have been claiming that it should be “released within the next couple months.”
Although the Isaan people do learn Thai while in school, the Isaan language is what is always spoken at home and among friends. So, if you are thinking of settling down in an Isaan province such as Buriram, Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Loei, Nong Khai, Sakon Nakhon, or Udon Thani (to name a few), our new Isaan Dictionary will be a valuable tool in helping you make friends with your Isaan neighbors. Even if your Thai language skills are quite good, learning some Isaan is always appreciated by the locals.
When it does become available, we should see it included at the link below — this is their full catalogue:
If you do not see it included there yet, then it still has not been published.
A Thai-Isan-Lao Phrasebook (with sound track available on CD-ROM) exists that is produced by Asger Mollerup:
The Thai-Isan-Lao Phrasebook is the first and only of its kind describing three Tai-Kadai languages comparatively in one book, using IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet).
Part I: Phrases
Part II: Word lists
Part III: Grammar by samples
Part IV: Manuals in reading, writing, and tonal determination.
Appendixes: Alphabets compared, linguistic history etc.
Sound-tracks in 3 languages on CD-ROM read by local residents from Bangkok (Thai), Maha Sarakham (Isan), and Vientiane (Laos P.D.R) covering all texts in the book.
Format: MP3. Duration: 6 hours.
It is also available through Amazon.com (Thai-Isan-Lao Phrase Book), although the description does not mention anything about an accompanying CD-ROM. Amazon.co.uk offers it, too (Thai-Isan-Lao Phrase Book); but again, I cannot see a CD-ROM mentioned. Surely they could not sell just a paperback for the prices quoted? The CD-ROM must be included!
YouTube has a couple of cute very short videos by a couple Thai ladies giving a sample of some Isaan:
LearnThai: Isan language – Greeting
Uploaded by thailanguagehut on Mar 8, 2011
Learn Thai Conversation : Isaan Language 2
Uploaded by thailanguagehut on Mar 22, 2011
Do you know about the Wikitravel Lao phrasebook? If not, then here is how it has been introduced by a website called Free Language: Free Lao Phrasebook (Laotian, Isan).
And with that, I think I shall close today’s post with the hope that it has been of value to you.
Isaan Shadow Puppetry
Uploaded by LearnThaiCulture on Jul 14, 2007
This is old school Thai TV.
This particular shadow puppet show features a buddhist monk chanting his traditional lessons.
Want to learn more about Thai culture?
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