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Have you ever dreamed of chilling on the beaches in Phuket or traversing the lush trails of Chiang Mai? Or perhaps you’re planning on sniffing out the best buys in Bangkok’s floating markets. Whatever you’re planning to do in vibrant Thailand, a top tip before traveling is to learn some Thai.
If you’re wondering how to teach yourself Thai and learn the language fast, look no further. We’ve come up with a list of the best apps to learn Thai no matter your budget and lifestyle. We’ll have you saying more than just “Sawatdii!” in no time!
Why is using apps the best way to learn Thai?
The short answer is that it is super convenient! While formal courses are well and good, they are often quite pricey and not as easy to come by.
Apps, on the other hand, are available to most people provided they have a mobile phone and a working Internet connection. This makes Thai apps one of the best ways to help you learn to speak Thai.
In addition to having different types of apps that tackle different aspects of the Thai language, you can also seek out Thai tutors on highly recommended apps like Italki. This helps complement your progress and helps you to level up extensively. On top of that, you can pick up conversational Thai effortlessly with the world-famous Pimsleur Thai audio courses, for example.
Editor’s note: To reach fluency faster, combine these apps with other resources, such as books, podcasts, online courses, and YouTube channels. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a handy list of 30+ Thai learning resources, including FREE ones. Read it, save it, and share it!
Excited to learn more about the best apps and programs to learn Thai? Read on!
Best apps to learn Thai from scratch
Another handy app you can use to learn to speak Thai is Mondly. This app is especially useful for people who can only spend a limited amount of time per day learning a foreign language.
The main advantage of using Mondly is that it sends the user bite-sized lessons every day. These range from core vocabulary and essential introductory phrases to grammar across multiple different categories. Of course, you’ll also have some exercises to help keep track of where you’re at in terms of your progress.
All in all, Mondly is the perfect app to learn Thai for those who prefer lessons that are short but effective.
Why you should try Mondly:
- Short daily lessons delivered directly through the app
- Comes with an audio feature that helps improve pronunciation
- Interactive interface facilitates fun, effective learning
Pricing: A premium plan that starts from $9.99/month
Devices: Mondly is available on the App Store (iOS) and the Google Play Store (Android). Start learning on Mondly here.
Pimsleur is one of the world’s leading apps when it comes to learning a foreign language. Combining a multitude of research-proven learning methods, Pimsleur focuses mainly on helping beginners quickly achieve fluency in their choice of language, including Thai.
Courses are structured to incorporate real-world context and are mostly delivered through 30-minute daily audio lessons. This helps to improve your listening and verbal comprehension, not to mention pick up practical vocabulary along the way!
Pimsleur also offers offline learning features, making it one of the best apps to learn Thai on-the-go!
Why you should try Pimsleur:
- Focus on auditory/verbal learning to prepare you for real-life conversations
- Proven track record of helping learners quickly reach fluency
- Offline learning feature offers flexible accessibility
Pricing: $21.95/lesson or $119.95 for 30 lessons. Try the course FREE for 7 days.
Devices: Pimsleur is available on the App Store (iOS) and the Google Play Store (Android). Start your free trial here.
Although apps like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone are great for learning new languages, neither offer lessons in Thai at the moment. Instead, try ThaiPod 101, arguably one of the best apps to learn Thai! It offers a multitude of features that makes learning Thai fun and breezy.
Choose from a range of audio and video lessons, offline learning features, and even daily vocabulary lessons to quickly grasp the basics. It is also one of the best apps to learn the Thai alphabet!
There’s also a dedicated website and Youtube channel to supplement your learning. It’s like an entire course packaged into one neatly-structured app!
Why you should try ThaiPod101:
- Holistic learning with different features
- Easy-to-digest daily vocabulary lessons
- Complementary resources to help with learning
Pricing: Comes with limited free lessons but you can upgrade to Basic Access for $7.99/month; $24.99/month for Premium Access; $46.99/month for Premium PLUS Access.
Best apps to learn Thai for FREE
4. Learn Thai – Phrasebook
Learn Thai is a handy app that is specially catered to expats and visitors to Thailand. Developed by a team of locals, the app is designed to help kickstart your language learning journey with clear, concise audio lessons to help you grasp proper pronunciation.
With more than 200 words in the vocabulary bank, you’ll also be able to quickly pick up useful phrases with relative ease. Lessons are also divided based on categories so you’ll be able to be specific with what you wish to learn. Finally, the ability to customize the audio lessons (in terms of speed and voiceover selection) makes it one of the most user-friendly apps to learn Thai.
Why you should try Learn Thai:
- Quick, concise lessons that help you kickstart your learning journey
- Audio lessons recorded by native speakers to improve pronunciation
- Comes with an offline mode that allows you to learn anytime, anywhere
Pricing: While Learn Thai can be used for completely free, you can also upgrade to the full version for $4.99
In my opinion, Free Thai by Nemo is one of the best free apps to learn Thai. It can be your go-to phrasebook, teach you proper pronunciation with the help of native speakers, and provide you excellent learning sessions even on a free account.
FREE Thai by Nemo narrows lessons down by creating essential shortlists of words and phrases and focuses on sentence-building. You can track your progress with quirky quizzes and the Speech Studio, which allows you to practice your pronunciation.
You’ll also build your word bank using flashcards whilst getting familiar with the Thai alphabet.
Why you should try FREE Thai by Nemo:
- A wide word bank covering different areas of conversation
- Fun quizzes to check your progress
- Audio lessons to improve your pronunciation
Pricing: You can use the app effectively for free. Upgrades and purchases start from $8.99.
Best apps to learn Thai fast
Drops is an aesthetically pleasing app that makes learning to speak Thai a fun, engaging process. The app focuses on word association and uses eye-catching flashcards to help users quickly acquire and understand a wide range of vocabulary and basic phrases.
Each “lesson” lasts only about five minutes so you won’t have to worry about feeling lethargic at all! What’s more, you can choose which lessons you want based on your level of proficiency, which is super helpful if you’ve already got a basic grasp of the language.
Why you should try Drops:
- Bite-sized sessions to keep you fresh and interested
- Memorable flashcards that promote word association
- Helps you quickly expand your word bank and learn new phrases
Pricing: Premium features start from $9.99/month, with lifetime access priced at $159.99
Devices: Drops is available on the App Store (iOS) and the Google Play Store (Android). Start learning here.
We understand that some of you may want to learn Thai as quickly as you can. Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered, too! If your main goal is to acquire words and phrases you can use in casual conversations, Simply Learn Thai is easily your best friend. It’s also one of the best travel apps for Thailand!
The app mainly makes use of flashcards and pronunciation guides in addition to fun, interactive pop quizzes to check your progress.
There’s also a nifty word bank that contains essential travel-related words and phrases. These include words and phrases that you’re likely to utter when commuting, eating out, sightseeing, shopping, and asking for directions.
Why you should try Simply Learn Thai:
- Effective use of flashcards to quickly learn essential vocabulary
- Audio guide by locals helps you nail your pronunciation
- Extensive word bank that helps you quickly acquire topic-specific words/phrases
Pricing: $9.99 for a Pro account (with full access) or $1.99 per topic category
8. Pocket Thai Speaking: Learning to Speak Thai Today
Much like Simply Learn Thai, Pocket Thai Speaking allows you to go straight into learning Thai phrases you’ll need for travel. In fact, this app was created with the smart traveler in mind so most lessons are geared towards exactly that. As a bonus, lessons come with fun facts about Thai etiquette, culture, and tradition！
But what makes Pocket Thai one of the best apps to learn Thai fast is that it also gives you quick grammar tutorials. There are also clear audio recordings to help improve your pronunciation as you learn to speak Thai fluently.
Plus, Pocket Thai prioritizes your convenience above all else by offering offline learning and lets you customize lessons depending on your preferences.
Why you should try Pocket Thai Speaking:
- Allows you to learn essential phrases and grammar
- Holistic, customizable courses that also incorporate travel tips for Thailand
- Comes with a handy offline learning feature
Pricing: In-app purchases start from $7.25
You can spend hours and hours picking up new vocabulary and learning Thai grammar on various apps. However, it could take you months before you gain the confidence to actually speak the language. This is where italki comes in.
italki is an app where you can find Thai tutors or locals to practice conversations and work through customized lessons online. Lessons typically run for 30 or 60 minutes and are conducted via Skype and can range from casual conversations to fully-structured lessons.
The obvious advantage of having a tutor (or multiple tutors) is being able to stay motivated on your language learning journey. What’s more, you’ll be able to make friends with locals while you learn to speak Thai. Now that’s an awesome way to learn!
Why you should try italki:
- Highly personalized and customized lessons
- Ability to interact and converse with a tutor/local
- Facilitates a fun, natural environment to improve fluency in Thai
Pricing: The app itself is free but lessons with tutors start from $4
Devices: italki is available on the App Store (iOS) and the Google Play Store (Android). Start your search here.
If you’ve been following Hey Explorer’s language learning series (want to learn Tagalog or Turkish?), then this app will definitely sound familiar. Ling is an underrated gem and ranks among the best apps to learn Thai.
Basically, Ling is the epitome of learning Thai the fun way! It covers a wide range of topics: the Thai alphabet, vocabulary, grammar, writing, pronunciation, and more, all delivered in engaging, fun-filled lessons. You’ll be mastering Thai all while feeling like you’re just playing your favorite mobile game!
Fair warning, though: its mini-games and engaging interface keep you glued to the app for hours on end. It’s that fun, it borders on addictive.
Why you should try Ling:
- Fun-filled learning that keeps you engaged
- Covers a wide range of fundamental topics
- Casual learning that delivers results
Pricing: Download of the app is free. For learning plans with access to all modules, prices start at $8.99/month.
Devices: Ling is available on the App Store (iOS) and the Google Play Store (Android)
11. Learn Thai Vocabulary with Vocly
Vocly is an app that is best-suited for those who already have a basic understanding of Thai. After all, the app is made to help users to quickly expand their word bank by sending them daily lessons and reminders.
With over 100 different topics, each separated according to specific situations and conversational fields, Vocly is an easy-to-use app that helps you master Thai without breaking a sweat. There are also a few mini-games that help you test yourself every now and then!
Why you should try Vocly:
- An efficient way to acquire new vocabulary on a daily basis
- Easy separation of topics helps you pick and choose your lessons
- Fun mini-games help you track your progress in an engaging manner
Pricing: Premium features start from $8.99/month
Bonus: Thai – English Translator
Sometimes the best apps for learning Thai are the ones with the most practical usage. If all you want is to be able to communicate with a local instantaneously while travelling in Thailand, then the best app for you is simply Thai – English Translator.
As the name suggests, Thai – English Translator allows you to translate words between English and Thai at a moment’s notice. Its user-friendly interface makes the whole process a breeze and it can also be used as a dictionary. So while you’re using the app for simple translations, you’ll also be able to pick up basic Thai words along the way! Above all though, it is simply one of the best travel apps for Thailand.
Why you should try Thai – English Translator:
- A highly-accurate translation app that helps you communicate
- Instantaneous translation on-the-go
- Can be used to store previous translations like a dictionary
Pricing: It is free for use but contains a fair amount of ads
Note: We’ve previously featured Walen Thai and Speak Thai (by Tourism Authority of Thailand) apps but unfortunately, they’ve been discontinued and are no longer available for download on the App Store or Google Play store.
Your most-asked questions about the Thai language, answered!
Now that you have your options for app-based learning, it’s time for a quick Q&A! We rounded up questions that most Thai language learners tend to ask and we hope that by answering them, we’ll encourage you to go ahead and start taking up Thai as a second language!
How long does it take to learn Thai?
Most learners will usually begin to achieve a level of fluency in three to four months! By this time, you’ll likely have a phrase bank that’s filled with essential words, which is more than enough to carry a casual conversation.
How do beginners speak Thai?
With such a phonetic language, the best way to start learning Thai is by listening to native Thai speakers talk. This is why audio lessons are so useful. Keep that in mind when looking for apps to learn Thai.
What do you call the Thai alphabet?
People just refer to it as Thai script. It contains 59 alphabets in total.
Is Thai a gendered language?
While Thai isn’t a gendered language like Spanish or French, men and women use different pronouns in Thai. For example, to say hello, a woman would say “Sawatdii ka!” Males, on the other hand, say “Sawatdii khrap!”
Surely, there are more things left for you to discover once you start studying the Thai language. So what are you waiting for? Take your pick from these best apps for learning Thai and let the downloads begin!