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Best Courses Thai

Learning Thai can be intimidating. Without the right tools it can be complicated too, but the good news is, there are tons of language courses that can make it easier for you to become fluent in Thai.

We’ve tested multiple Thai courses and picked the best ones for you. We grouped them into several categories depending on the language skill you may want to focus and improve on.

Let’s get started!

Table of Best Courses to Learn Thai

Links below will send you to the course websites, and the course details are down below.


OVERALL BEST

One of the Best Ways to Learn Thai: Pimsleur

Learn Thai Fast: Learn Thai From a White Guy


BEGINNER’S COURSES

One of the Best Ways to Learn Thai: Pimsleur

Passable Instruction for Thai: Mango Languages


READING AND LISTENING

Podcast-Style Instruction that Works: ThaiPod101


SPEAKING AND WRITING

Best for Improving Oral Communication Skills: Pimsleur

Good for Intermediate Students Wanting to Practice Speaking: Glossika


VOCABULARY ACQUISITION

Most Enjoyable Vocabulary Practice: Memrise

Best for Learning Key Words & Phrases: uTalk

A Decent Course With a Useful Social Feature: Busuu


TUTORS AND LANGUAGE EXCHANGES

Accessible Tutoring Help for All Skill Levels: italki

Great Way to Find Tutors and Classes: Verbling

Best Way to Find Language Exchange Partners While Taking Its Audio Lessons: HelloTalk


Overall Best Thai Learning Courses

Here are the best options available when it comes to learning Thai. They offer a comprehensive understanding of the language, covering various aspects of Thai.

One of the Best Ways to Learn Thai

Rating 4.0

Subscriptions start at $14.95/mo

A SMART WAY TO LEARN THAI

Pimsleur is a reliable course for learning a ton of languages, and we like it for Thai, too. The one drawback is that it doesn’t cover a lot of written material. So you won’t want to depend solely on it—consider adding a reading and writing supplement if you go with Pimsleur.

Pros

  • Uses audio-based practice, which is great for improving communication skills.
  • You’ll begin speaking right away.
  • The cultural background enhances your learning.

Cons

  • Reading isn’t covered much, so you’ll need another resource.
  • The lessons can often feel repetitive.

See our Super-Detailed Pimsleur Review

Learn Thai Fast

Rating 3.5

Subscriptions cost $37/mo, $157/half-year, $247/year, $597/lifetime

LEARN FAST FOR $$$

Brett, the founder of Learn Thai from a White Guy offers monthly subscriptions for four beginner courses with unlimited email support.

I found the foundations course the most effective of the four. It will teach you how to read, write, and pronounce the Thai alphabet with step-by-step lessons. Although there is a bit of reading required, you’ll also find basic flashcards, mnemonic devices, and pronunciation drills to improve your retention. Brett also gives practical advice about pronunciation through comparisons between English and Thai phonetics.

Pros

  • Learn Thai from a Westerner with a native understanding of English.
  • Detailed explanation on the foundations of learning Thai
  • Learn Thai basics quickly

Cons

  • Lacks situational conversations.
  • No interactive exercises.

See our Super-Detailed Learn Thai From a White Guy Review

Best Thai Beginner’s Courses

If you’re just starting to learn Thai, here are the best Thai beginner’s courses that will ease you into the language and provide you with a solid foundation for your learning journey.

One of the Best Ways to Learn Thai

Rating 4.0

Subscriptions start at $14.95/mo

A SMART WAY TO LEARN THAI

Pimsleur is a reliable course for learning a ton of languages, and we like it for Thai, too. The one drawback is that it doesn’t cover a lot of written material. So you won’t want to depend solely on it—consider adding a reading and writing supplement if you go with Pimsleur.

Pros

  • Uses audio-based practice, which is great for improving communication skills.
  • You’ll begin speaking right away.
  • The cultural background enhances your learning.

Cons

  • Reading isn’t covered much, so you’ll need another resource.
  • The lessons can often feel repetitive.

See our Super-Detailed Pimsleur Review

Passable Instruction for Thai

Rating 3.5

$ 14.99-179.99

PASSABLE INSTRUCTION FOR THAI

Mango Languages is a decent course but it doesn’t really stand out from competitors. There’s some fun game-like instruction, and you might be able to get it for free at your local library.

And while one subscription grants you access to all the languages, they each use the same repetitive format, so it can feel boring.

Pros

  • You may be able to get it for free at the library.
  • One subscription can give you access to 70+ languages.

Cons

  • Instruction can feel almost robotic since it’s the same layout for each language.
  • We’d recommend a supplement for learning pronunciation with Thai.

See our Super-Detailed Mango Languages Review

Courses to Learn Thai Reading and Listening

Reading and listening are receptive skills as they usually involve receiving information. With lots of practice, you’ll be able to comprehend both Thai text and speech in no time. Take a look at the course below, which we highly recommend as it focuses on sharpening your reading and listening proficiency in Thai.

Podcast-Style Instruction that Works

Rating 4.0

$4/month

PODCAST-STYLE INSTRUCTION THAT WORKS

ThaiPod101 uses a podcast format to start teaching you Thai immediately. With hundreds of audio lessons—plus videos—you’ll start listening and speaking right away. Downloadable extras like flashcards and lesson notes help round out your learning.

You can start out with free lessons to see if ThaiPod101 is a good fit for you. Then, you can decide on whether or not a subscription is right for you.

Pros

  • A podcast format makes learning intuitive and casual.
  • The free content is a nice perk, even if you use another course primarily.
  • Accessible to beginners as well as more advanced students.

Cons

  • It’s not a course in the traditional sense where lessons build upon the ones that came before. Instead, most lessons teach a concept in isolation of other lessons.
  • They go overboard with the marketing emails.

See our Super-Detailed ThaiPod101 Review

Courses With Thai Speaking and Writing Emphasis

This section is dedicated to Thai courses that give a strong emphasis on developing your speaking and writing skills. These courses are designed to empower you to communicate and express yourself effectively and with confidence in both spoken and written Thai.

Best for Improving Oral Communication Skills

Rating 4.0

Subscriptions start at $14.95/mo

A SMART WAY TO LEARN THAI

Pimsleur is a reliable course for learning a ton of languages, and we like it for Thai, too. The one drawback is that it doesn’t cover a lot of written material. So you won’t want to depend solely on it—consider adding a reading and writing supplement if you go with Pimsleur.

Pros

  • Uses audio-based practice, which is great for improving communication skills.
  • You’ll begin speaking right away.
  • The cultural background enhances your learning.

Cons

  • Reading isn’t covered much, so you’ll need another resource.
  • The lessons can often feel repetitive.

See our Super-Detailed Pimsleur Review

Good for Intermediate Students Wanting to Practice Speaking

Rating 3.6

$16.99-$30.99

GOOD INSTRUCTION, BUT FOR A PRICE

Glossika offers access to Thai and every other language for one set price. Its focus is on audio drills for practicing speaking and listening comprehension. As such, it can feel like you’re simply parroting sentences and not getting any real instruction. But, for people learning multiple languages, Glossika might be a good fit.

It is pretty pricey, however, which can stop some folks from trying it out. If it’s in your budget, we think it’s a passable choice.

Pros

  • You get all the languages on Glossika with your subscription.
  • Lessons are repetitive—in a good way—and help you master Thai.
  • The audio resources are strong across all language options.

Cons

  • The price is steep—we can’t make excuses for it.
  • Not a good option for complete beginners.
  • Some courses have errors in them.

Summer Sale! Use code Summer2024 and get 30% off of the Annual Plans! See details on the website.

See our Super-Detailed Glossika Review

Learn Thai Vocabulary and Grammar

Vocabulary and grammar are the foundations of any language and having a strong understanding of both can help you advance in your journey to fluency. These courses are tailored to help you build a solid foundation and enrich your Thai vocabulary and grasp of grammar rules.

Most Enjoyable Vocabulary Practice

Rating 4.0

$9-$120

SPECIALIZED LESSONS THAT ARE BUDGET-FRIENDLY

Memrise is a super popular language-learning app available online and on mobile. It functions much like a gamified flashcard app, and it offers a lot of content for free. A lot of the content is user-created, and there is a premium subscription that provides access to additional features. Memrise can be a great tool in your arsenal, but you’ll need more to learn a language seriously.

Pros

  • The spaced repetition software is effective for memorization
  • The huge range of available content
  • It’s more interactive than other flashcard apps

Cons

  • It’s not enough for continued language learning
  • Website navigation is clunky
  • Premium version isn’t much more valuable than the free version

See our Super-Detailed Memrise Review

Best for Learning Key Words & Phrases

Rating 3.7

$11.99/month

LEARN SET-PHRASES WITH MEMORY GAMES

uTalk is a software program and mobile app offering learning material in over 140 languages. Its approach is based on learning keywords and phrases through gameplay. It covers a wide range of phrases, each spoken by a female and male native speaker, consequently offering listening and pronunciation practice. uTalk is most useful for beginners who want to get started in a language by learning key phrases. It could also be useful for intermediates looking to fill gaps in their vocabulary and pronunciation, but it does not offer any in-depth language instruction or grammar explanations. It’s also worth mentioning that for some languages, such as Basque, the occasional overly literal translation leads to small errors and unnatural phrasing creeping in. However, we haven’t seen instances in which this would result in you being misunderstood, and there’s no denying uTalk’s value for languages with fewer learning resources.

Pros

  • The number of languages on offer is staggering.
  • Each phrase is recorded by a male and female native speaker. This was especially helpful in learning pronunciation.
  • You frequently get to hear recordings of yourself producing the language. I found this motivating and informative.

Cons

  • The Memory Game exercise felt like a waste of time. It’s difficult to get a perfect score even if you know the language well.
  • I kept wishing there was a way to choose which phrases I could practice in games instead of them being randomly selected.

See our Super-Detailed uTalk Review

A Decent Course With a Useful Social Feature

Rating 3.4

$ 13.95

A WELL-STRUCTURED COURSE WITH A NOTEWORTHY SOCIAL FEATURE

Busuu is a digital language-learning app with over 90 million registered users. The resource offers vocabulary and grammar practice through short, self-paced study exercises. It also has a social aspect that allows users to get writing and pronunciation feedback from native speakers. It is available on the web, iOS, and Android.

Pros

  • The layout is easy to use and engaging
  • The conversation lessons are especially useful
  • The social feature is great

Cons

  • Translations aren’t provided for some exercises.
  • The Chinese course is low-quality.
  • The grammar explanations and practice could be better.

See our Super-Detailed Busuu Review

Tutors and Thai Language Exchange

Finding a tutor or a language exchange partner allows a more personal and immersive way to improve your Thai language skills. Whether you want one-on-one instruction or conversations with native Thai speakers, these resources will help you become more fluent in Thai. Connect with tutors and language partners through these courses:

Accessible Tutoring Help for All Skill Levels

Rating 4.5

$ 5.00

ACCESSIBLE TUTORING HELP FOR ALL SKILL LEVELS

Working one-on-one with a tutor is often the best way to practice a language. We recommend italki for anyone learning Thai because you can schedule convenient lessons with an instructor you select. There are a range of price points, too, which can keep your costs low.

Both tutors and professional teachers are available, so you can have casual or very traditional instruction. Just schedule your lessons and you’ll soon connect with an expert in Thai.

Pros

  • You can swap translation help and practice Thai on the language board.
  • Scheduling is convenient and quick.
  • Most instructors offer trial lessons for cheap, so you can have a test run of their teaching style first.

Cons

  • It’s not a dollar-for-dollar system; there are italki credits instead.
  • Some popular teachers book up quickly, so last-minute sessions can be tough to come by.

See our Super-Detailed italki Review

Great Way to Find Tutors and Classes

Rating 4.6

$ 18.00

ONLINE CLASSES WITH HELPFUL REVISION TOOLS

Verbling is an online language-class marketplace where you can take lessons with teachers of your choice. It has some student-friendly extra features, including a built-in online classroom, flashcards, homework calendar, and a filing system for lesson materials. There are also useful but disorganized forums where you can discuss languages, share writing for critique, and do free language drills and exercises. 

The lessons are generally high quality and well structured, plus the filters make it easy to find teachers who specialize in everything from accent reduction to interview preparation.  

Pros

  • I quickly found great teachers.
  • The platform’s extra features, such as teacher-made, personalized flashcards, help you review the material learned in each lesson.
  • It seems focused on long-term progression as well as immediate student satisfaction.
  • You don’t have to give out your contact details, thanks to the classroom technology.

Cons

  • Some teachers don’t use the platform’s flashcards and materials system.
  • There are fewer languages available than on italki.
  • You can only pay in US dollars, plus there’s a hidden fee.
  • The forums need more moderation.

See our Super-Detailed Verbling Review

Best Way to Find Language Exchange Partners While Taking Its Audio Lessons

Rating 4.5

$ 6.99

MAKE FRIENDS & PRACTICE LANGUAGES

HelloTalk is a mobile app for language learners interested in language exchange. It facilitates communication between native speakers and those learning their language with the use of built-in language tools. It also offers audio lessons in 10 languages as part of a separate subscription.

Pros

  • It’s exciting to practice communicating with real people
  • The built-in language tools are helpful
  • It’s easy to pick up and put down whenever you like

Cons

  • It’s too easy to rely on google translate
  • It can be hard to find good partners
  • The paid audio lessons probably aren’t worth it

See our Super-Detailed HelloTalk Review

Maybe Try These Thai Learning Courses

These are other courses that didn’t make our list of favorites but have something to offer and are still worth checking out.

Learn Thai Podcast

The Learn Thai Podcast is a strong course that has good content—albeit a bit dated. You’ll have access to video, audio, and PDF files for each lesson. There are five modules and you work at your own pace through the podcast-style lessons.

The highlights with Learn Thai Podcast are the pronunciation guides and the focus on learning the alphabet. With those basic skills, you can achieve a lot more as you progress through the lessons.

Pickup Thai

Pickup Thai is a language course with a sense of humor. The site offers up beginner through advanced courses with over 30 lessons in each, and from what we can tell, it’s all entertaining. Expect plenty of jokes to keep the lessons interesting.

You can check out the free content on their website, but the course includes MP3 and PDF files for all the lessons. The price seems high, but a lot of work has gone into putting the course—and its artwork—together.

Udemy

Udemy is a platform where instructors share their knowledge of Thai (and just about everything else) online. Courses are available in Thai on a range of topics, and courses can last anywhere from an hour to over ten hours.

You can pick and choose your instructors or the area of Thai you’re studying. It’s video-based instruction, but most teachers provide downloadable materials, too.

edX

Like Coursera, many of edX’s courses were developed by accredited universities, and you can obtain certificates of completion at the end of your studies. Unlike Coursera, edX’s courses are all free to audit, non-profit, and open-source. It was originally founded by Harvard and MIT, and since then has been joined by universities around the globe. The Spanish and Italian courses in particular have many activities to reinforce your learning, including writing, reading, speaking, and listening activities. The Chinese course is less comprehensive, but could still teach you the basics if you don’t mind watching lots of videos — although, the Peking University courses on Coursera may be a better option. The Steps in Japanese series also includes lots of videos, but these videos are interactive and quiz you on the material. Overall, Coursera seems to have a better platform than edX, and their courses may be more intuitive to navigate. However, that shouldn’t stop you from trying out what edX has to offer, especially considering that you can get most of it for free. After you have learned the basics, you can enrich your knowledge through Open Learn’s free language courses.

See our Super-Detailed edX Review

Coursera

Coursera has several paid and free online language courses developed by accredited universities. The quality of the courses varies, but the following recommendations have been well received — these courses are primarily for beginners who want an introduction to a new language. You can choose from a series of individual courses, or take a beginner specialization in RussianSpanishMandarin, and Chinese HSK 1-3 (with additional individual HSK 4-6 courses).  If you have just started, or haven’t yet started, learning Korean, Yonsei University has one course for absolute beginners, and another for those who have a basic grasp of Hangul.  Saint Petersburg State University’s beginner Japanese course is probably not as effective as other resources that we might recommend instead, such as JapanesePod101 or Pimsleur. École Polytechnique offers the only French course on Coursera; it’s technically for B1-B2 learners, although B2 learners may find it too easy.  Lastly, English learners can enjoy a specialization in intermediate grammaradvanced grammaracademic speaking and listening, or business English If you are starting a language and enjoy structured courses with a (flexible) weekly schedule, Coursera is a great option — especially since Coursera offers financial aid for those who can’t afford to pay the course fees. Pair your studies with a tutor from italki or Verbling for speaking practice and you’ll be good to go!

Coursera Plus Promotion! Get $100 off the annual subscription to Coursera Plus. Unlimited access to learning programs for less than $1/day! See details on the website.

See our Super-Detailed Coursera Review

Mondly

Mondly might be okay for beginners, since it does cover Thai basics. However, there are better resources to spend your time (and money) on. A combination of courses—like italki tutoring and a Thai podcast—would probably net better results.

It seems like a common downfall of multi-language programs that they use the same format for each one. With Thai, we’d like to see more cultural information and in-depth explanations.

See our Super-Detailed Mondly Review

Best Free(mium) Courses for Learning Thai

Whether you’re looking for free introductory lessons or budget-friendly courses, this section offers a range of options to help you kickstart your Thai language learning journey without breaking the bank.

An In-Depth Thai Course That’s Totally Free

Free

AN IN-DEPTH THAI COURSE THAT’S TOTALLY FREE

Lingopolo is a free course that’s surprisingly in-depth. It has a balance of audio and written material, and you can study by theme or parts of speech. You’ll learn Thai script from your first lesson, but you can expect a lot of the audio to be challenging.

Pros

  • Completely free resource.
  • A variety of content and themed lessons keep things interesting.
  • There’s no transliteration so you start with learning Thai script.

Cons

  • Some lessons require you to work in order; no skipping around.
  • There are limits to the course since it’s a blog-style setup.

A Basic and Free Intro to Thai

FSI

Rating 4.3

Free

A BASIC AND FREE INTRO TO THAI

FSI is a reliable way to learn basic skills in Thai (and other languages, too). It’s completely free, which is great since you wouldn’t want to pay for the outdated materials. But for a free course, it ranks highly on our list.

Lots of time is spent on Thai phonology (five sections), and there are 38 lessons that include audio and written components. You can download the PDF student manual, too.

Pros

  • Completely free beginner’s course.
  • You get both audio and text components.
  • Can download and go with all the materials.

Cons

  • Might be tough to manage if you get bored easily.
  • The materials are really old—like decades old.
  • There’s nothing fun or intuitive about the format.

Great Spaced-Repetition Flashcards

Rating 4.1

Free

THE GO-TO SRS FLASHCARD APP

It is the go-to app for free (except on iOS) Spaced Repetition System (SRS) flashcards. It has a simple user interface with various features that more hard-core users can dive into if they choose. Your flashcards will appear according to your natural forgetting curve; the app will test you in increasingly spaced out intervals, with more difficult cards appearing more than once in a session, while easier cards spacing out over weeks — or even months and years.

An SRS system is the most effective way to drive information into your long-term memory. The cards can sync between the web, desktop app, and mobile versions to keep your flashcards updated and with you at all times. You can add images and audio clips to your cards and change the text formatting (if you use it on your computer).

One feature unique to Anki, as opposed to other SRS flashcard apps, is the “Cloze deletion” function, which allows you to block out parts of your card and create a “fill-in-the-blanks” type card format. If you want a resource for how to make effective flashcards, check out the book, FluentForever. The author leaves a whole section dedicated to understanding how to use your Anki deck to advance your skills quickly.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of features
  • Allows synching across multiple devices

Cons

  • Anki’s interface may be a bit intimidating for beginners
  • The aesthetic isn’t very appealing

See our Super-Detailed Anki Review

So, What is the Best Course for YOU to Learn Thai?

Whether you’re seeking a specific style of learning, interactive lessons, the flexibility of online classes, or specialized content tailored to your interests, we hope you find the best course that aligns with your learning style.

If you’re looking for more Thai resources, check out our list of the best podcasts to learn Thai.

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