Understanding any country will take more than textbook reading . Real understanding of a foreign country’s culture can only come about through experience. One of the best ways of experiencing a country is through the media sector. Language learners will find it easier if they watch what the locals watch, listen to what they listen to, and read what they read. This can help language learners such as those looking into studying Thai hopefully to speak like locals do in due time.
Thailand has one of the most developed media in Southeast Asia. It has managed to be relatively free even with the government’s increasing restriction to maintain a certain degree of control. Never the less, the different forms of media including TV, radio, and newspapers continue to be rich sources of learning for foreigners trying to understand Thailand.
Among these media forms, TV is the most popular while radio is another. Thailand newspapers are many. Because of the wide range of choices available, newspapers are considered good materials in accomplishing the most important factor of language learning – practice. Practice makes perfect, so it is said and it becomes even more possible when there are variations to practice on.
Learning Thai goes beyond translation. In learning this language, it is important to grasp the concept instead of settling for mere literal counterparts of every word. Learning a second language is perceived by many as more difficult than learning a first language from childhood in the person’s place of origin.
No foreigner gets to read a Thai newspaper with ease from learning that solely comes from books. Most newspapers, specifically the mass-circulation dailies, cover a wide range of everyday topics including culture, politics, crime, and populist issues. These stories when understood can be used to converse with the locals for better learning of the language.
Newspaper Reading and Other Media Experiences
Just like in newspapers in other languages where articles contain anything from the more formal to the casual use of the language, readers are exposed to the Thai language in written form when efforts are exerted to read Thai newspapers. Watching TV or listening to radio provide exposure to actual use with regards to tone and inflection. Combining the two provides the perfect recipe for learning the language.
Living the Thai life definitely goes beyond seeing the popular travel destinations of the country. The local culture is always the best teacher. On the other hand, the best tools for learning can be provided by media.