Learn Thai with Khwanoi on Youtube

Since some weeks, I created a Youtube channel. Yeah! I have my first Youtube channel “Simply Learn Thai with Khwanoi“.

This is my channel :)



The background is at 'Huay Tung Tao' in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The channel provides videos of me teaching Thai 🙂 Why do I do this? These are the reasons:

I love teaching

No matter about what subjects! In school, I helped my friends or children in different subjects e.g. English and Maths. I never thought of wanting to be the best in the class or better than anyone. I just wanted my friends to have good grades.

I volunteered at a small school in Thailand and taught them Computer programs such as Microsoft Power Point and Words. My feeling when I taught was so good. I felt, I could help someone know things better.

The interesting thing is, I never wanted to be a teacher teaching in schools for living. When I teach, I just want to do it because I want to. I got a place to study Thai language in the Faculty of Education at the Chulalongorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. I just thought, why should I take this place?

I never want to be a teacher and to teach Thai and stay in school until my retirement. Never!

So I passed on the opportunity. I know that I should not have had applied for the place in the first place but I just got convinced to do so. After the result of the entrance exam came out, I decided to study Economics at the same University. At the end, I did not study in Thailand at all…

I like when foreigners can speak Thai.

When I was in foreign countries, I loved to speak and learn foreign languages. So I could talk to the locals (sometimes just a little I knew). So, I helped people to learn Thai. My first student was my husband. 🙂

In the beginning, I taught him all 44 Thai alphabets and 21 vowels. And he could write his name within a week or so. After that he took several Thai classes at the university. When he had questions, I explained to him and then realized Thai language is very complex 😀

I created a lot of materials such as voice recordings of vocabulary, movies of short stories in Thai with phonetics and translation, vocabulary cards etc. Why shouldn’t I share these materials?

It helps me improve my language skills.

I also gained skills while explaining someone in foreign language. I tried to talk so that people can understand quickly. I need to think, how I can express and how to find the best explanation in the language I use while teaching.

It is another channel for people to use our mobile app ‘Simply Learn Thai’

We have the ‘Simply Learn Thai’ mobile app. The app is a phrasebook app for people who is travelling to Thailand. They can click on any phrase like ‘Where is the toilet?’ and then my voice will come. This is not magic. This is the link to the app. There are several phrasebook apps that do the same but our is better than them. Why?

  • transcript system is accurate – paiboon plus
  • the sentences are broken down to words. Thai phrases consist of different words. This is also the way I taught my husband to remember each word in the sentence. This way it is very easy for him to remember phrases

   Simply Learn Thai Phrasebook- screenshot

  • fun quiz. You will get a badge if you do all correct!

   Simply Learn Thai Phrasebook- screenshot

  • flashcards. You do not need to write vocabulary on the physical cards anymore. You can do it within the app. It also has an algorithm to calculate which vocabulary you know very well and which one not. You can give the card either a ‘hard’ or ‘easy’. The system will ask you difficult (hard) vocabulary more often until you categorize them into the easy group.

   Simply Learn Thai Phrasebook- screenshot

Finally, I hope you will enjoy my Youtube channel. I tried to produce more videos more often 🙂 Thank you very much for reading.

Vesak day in Chiang Mai – วันวิสาขบูชา ที่เชียงใหม่

In Thailand, Visakha Bucha day is the day that commemorates 3 big events in Buddhism: birth, enlightenment, and death of Budha. In Thailand, we call this day also ‘Wan Phra Yai’ which can be translated as ฺBig Buddhist Holy Day and it is an official holiday. You will get 1 day off. Also, if this day falls on Thursday, the holiday will be placed on Friday, so that you can have a long weekend. I like this website as it explains this day in more details.

What we normally do is in the morning, we will give food to monks (ตักบาตร). In the evening, we will go to temples and walk with lighted candles in hand around a temple for 3 rounds. We will think about the meaning of this day. How Buddha was born, has gotten enlightenment, Buddha’s life until his death.

My family is religious. Since my father’s retirement, he goes every day to temple and leads people on different Buddhism ceremonies. That means, I also went to a temple on Visakha Bucha Day. It was not that interesting for me as every year we do always the same.

However, as I live in Chiang Mai this year, things become different. The evening before Visakah Bucha Day, Chiang Mai people will go to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep located on the top of the Doi Suthep montain. There are different parades. One of the parade is to bring a light candle to Doi Suthep, one is to bring water given from our king and queen. So you will find many people still climbing to the mountain late at night.

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To Doi Suthep Mountain in front of CMU

On the way to the mountain, there were many stops providing drinks and food. The providers are from institutions e.g. universities, police departments, temples, and also private persons. The distance up to the mountain is around 10-11 kilometers starting from Chiang Mai university.

My husband and I started walking at 6 pm sharp and we went down with the red songtaew at midnight. There were so many people from different ages. Also foreigners joined the walk. We stopped at different places to get food such as Pad Thai, rice with omelets, snacks, Thai sweeties, fruits. We passed many temples to get holy water and holy threads. We donated some money also.

When we arrived at the top, there was so crowded with people who wanted to go to the temple and flower sellers. I have brought my candle and joss sticks. We did the three rounds walking around the golden mount.

 

There were also some people who will stay overnight to wait for the candle parade and for the morning ceremonies and other ceremonies until night of the Visakha Bucha day. If you want you can join but we did not. There will be monks coming down the stairs that are decorated with dragons.

We went back with the red songtaew. It was not complicated and we got seats immediately. It costed 40 baht per person. The car brought us to the place of ครูบาศรีวิชัย. He was the initiator to build the road to Doi Suthep temple. This place is a must visit place in Chiang Mai as well.

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The distance was more as I forgot to turn on Runtastics after we had a dinner break

Next year, if I will be in Chiang Mai, I will participate in this walk again!

 

 

How do I learn new languages

I am very passionate in learning new languages. I love to see other countries, other people, other cultures. And I think, if you want to understand the locals, live like them when visiting the country speaking their language is necessary. I have learned so far 5 languages.

English

This is mandatory in school.

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Some of 46 friends in my secondary school in Buri Ram, Thailand

Chinese

I have started to learn Chinese when I was 17. My motivation was, I liked a Taiwanese singer  ‘Jay Chou‘. I bought his album (it was an audio tape) although I was frugal. The problem was, I did not understand what he sings. So, I needed to learn Chinese. I had a friend who was learning Chinese so I went to learn Chinese with her.  I remembered that the class was once a week. The class had a type of ‘Classroom Learning’, where a teacher teaches and students write down and get homeworks. Our laoshi was a native Chinese speaker. I loved to come to the class. Unfortunately, I had to study for the university entrance exam, so I had to drop the class.

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In Taiwan with Chinese, American, and German friend

Later, when I visited Taiwan, I learned Chinese again. But this time only for speaking. The learning method was ‘Language Tandem Partner’. Almost every day, I met a Taiwanese at a coffee shop. We talked Chinese for 30 – 60 minutes and then in German (my second language). I could speak Chinese very fast and I can use phrases in my daily life. I was so proud of myself 🙂

German

After school, I was 18 years old and went to Germany. My first year in Germany was for learning the language only. I learned German at Goethe Institute for 10 months until I finished C2 level. I got TestDaf after 6 months. I was a hard working girl at that time 🙂 I finished all homework, listened to German radio every morning, wrote a diary in German. I participated in all events including parties 😉 so I could talk to others. When I was at level A1 (the very first class), I spoke German by imitating others. I did not know what entire phrases meant but I still spoke these phrases. Haha. Maybe I will write how I learn German in an other post. Anyway, German became my second language.

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Me and my friends traveled to Neuschwanstein castle during German language school

Spanish

When I was at German university, I studied hard but still had some free time. I did not want to finish my studies without doing any other things. So, I learned language. Spanish was coming into my head. I had friends from South America, I like Shakira, many people speak Spanish. I completed 3 Spanish classes at the university. Unfortunately, I dropped the class as I did not have much time at the end.

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My bachelor friends at the University of Muenster. Why did I sit in the first row at that time?

Korean

During my master studies in Germany, the university provided an opportunity to go abroad. I got the opportunity to go to South Korea. I was so excited as I love Korean series. Haha. I learned Korean at Volkshochschule. The language surprised me as the structure is quite different from all languages I knew. I mean German is also quite strange as sometimes the verb is placed at the end of the sentence. Sentences in Korean are structured: Subject + Object + Verb. What good about Korean is, it has few consonants and vowels. I could read Korean quite early :).

When I was in Seoul, I continued studying Korean. I could tell taxi drivers and sellers in Korean what I want. It was a fun time.

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In front of a palace. I look really small somehow 😀

Comparing all these languages in my opinion from Thai native person:

Most difficult is German. Easiest is Korean. If I could start to learn a language again, I will again start to learn Chinese. 🙂

 

Pai in love

About 150 km northern from Chiang Mai is a city called Pai ปาย. A small city with a lot of tourists, coffee shops, hostels, yoga classes, cooking classes, boxing classes. Almost everything you can do there!

A friend of us has visited us and we traveled to Pai together. There are several ways to go to Pai: motorcycle (AYA service), van (http://premprachatransports.com/en-overview/), bus etc. We took a van as it only takes 3 hours to get there.

When we arrived at Pai, the first thing we did was to find an accommodation. It was an off season so we did not book a room before wards. Although, it was an off season, there were a lot of tourists (Chinese and Western)! We stayed at a bungalow with fan near the river and paid for 100 baht/person/night. The first night we visited places in Pai such as the famous walking street, a bar, a fresh market.

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Our bungalow and rented car

Tham Lod Cave

A next day we went to ‘Tham Lod Cave‘ by a car that  my friend rented. The cave is about 1 km long and a river goes through the cave. You can go through by using a bamboo raft. We need to take a guide and bamboo raft driver. There was no electricity so the guide uses oil lantern. There were 3 stops to have a look at 3 areas. There were paintings, graves, animals in the caves. And there are a lot of bats and fishes.

Tan Jed Ton 

It was so hot that Thais go to the river and swim there. This place has a lot of small huts, that people can sit and order food and drinks. It was very relaxing.

Pai Canyon

We stayed 2 nights in Pai and on the way back to Chiang Mai we stopped at some places. I was not encouraged to visit the Pai Canyon. I thought, what can it be? But… the place is pretty cool. It has different long paths that you have to climb up/down. I has a beautiful view. Unfortunately it was so hot so I could not really enjoy it. But the paths and the views are really impressive.

World War II Memorial Bridge

This is a bridge over Pai river. We stopped there for a moment to take some pictures and then we left.

Hot spring spa resort. 

We went to a hot spring as it was so hot 😀 This resort also has a swimming pool so we swam and went to the hot spring. Again we relaxed here for several hours.

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The way back to Chiang Mai from Pai has a lot of curves but the roads are in a good condition. We arrived safely!