Richard Charles has been a regular visitor to Thailand since 1992. Since 2004 he has lived with his Isaan Thai wife amongst the close knit rural community she grew up in. Prior to moving to Thailand he learned to speak, read and write Thai in the School of Oriental and African studies (S.O.A.S.), University of London. Since moving to Thailand he continued studying Thai and also learnt Lao and Isaan Thai. Due to the difficulties he initially experienced when talking to his Thai friends and neighbours he was convinced that there was a better way for people to learn Thai using everyday conversational Thai with the correct pronunciation than that taught by existing books and courses. He therefore developed the highly acclaimed range of Speak Thai ‘see hear speak’ Thai language learning solutions the company produces today to help people learn Thai. The guiding principles of all his products is that they offer:
- Highly relevant content to ensure that what you learn you can use.
- A focus on everyday spoken Thai that everyone speaks rather than the formal Central Thai that is taught by most courses (that is rarely spoken by most of the population).
- Thai audio by native Thai speaker for all words and phrases in the course to ensure you learn to speak Thai with the correct pronunciation.
- A particular focus on teaching hearing and speaking of tones, a vital feature lacking in all other courses available.
- Intuitive, easy to read phonetic transliteration system with clear tone graphics that accurately show how a word can be spoken (rather than using needlessly complicated ‘scholarly or inferior phonetic systems that actually hamper learning). How a word reads is how to say it.
- A unique colour coded words system so that each word meaning in a sentence can be instantly seen.
- Large Thai script for those who can read Thai (most Thai script fonts appear too small).
- Lessons designed to keep learners motivated from start to finish by means of highly relevant content, interesting language and culture insight, photographic backdrops on all audio visual material showing fascinating aspects of Thai life, and humorous illustrations.
- Unbeatable value or money. Our over-riding purpose is to break down communication barriers between Thai and farang through the development of relevant, best value Thai language learning solutions.
Learn Speak Thai initially launched the very successful range of Speak Thai and Speak Isaan Thai book plus DVD products (the Speak Isaan Thai book was a landmark event in Thai language learning. It was the first and only fully structured Isaan Thai course with full audio ever developed, and it retains that distinction today. Both titles are bestsellers within their category in Asia Books and Kinokuniya book stores within Thailand. He has since launched the Thai Infocus DVD + booklet range of titles that focus on a particular aspect of speaking Thai. He has also extended his product portfolio with a wide range of interactive audio visual online courses, lessons and word modules, all of which feature clickable audio text, slideshows and flash card games.