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The Thai Module needs lots of work

I really like the language learning concept behind Drops, but there are so many problems with the Thai module that it’s hard to know where to begin. What follows is just a few things I’ve noted as I go along.

Why teach the Thai words for blueberry and blackberry (which are borrowed from English), but not the Thai words for much more common fruits like mango and papaya? You should teach words that learner will commonly encounter in every day speech. There are many similar, relatively useless words in the vocabulary.

Why use such a non-standard transcription method? Why not use what Thais use from a very early age to name and remember the characters? So, ส would be “ส เสือ” or so suea instead of s(săaw)

Why are you teaching obsolete characters like: ฤๅ which is not on most keyboards and isn’t in the Thai Unicode block?

Although it is technically correct to say that the Thai word for lettuce is ผักกาด it is much more common to see ผักสลัด. If you buy a bag of lettuce at a supermarket it will be labeled ผักสลัด, not ผักกาด.

The Thai word for kale is คะน้า. I’ve never seen เคล used.

With missteps like this, how can I be confident that other words I’m learning are actually the words Thai people would use in every day conversations?

It’s a shame that such a great concept is somewhat spoiled by the flawed content.


More errors

For “I broil” you show a graphic of something simmering in a frying pan and use the Thai word ฉันอบ. This actually means bake, not broil.

For leek (the vegetable), you use: ต้นกระเทียม, which is OK (กระเทียมหอม might be better). Except the audio says: “ปะการัง”, which is the Thai for coral or coral reef.

The problem here is that I’m now beginning to question whether or not I’m being taught correct Thai as used in everyday conversation. There are just too many errors for comfort.


These are not the same, but you use the same Thai word:

Why is the text so tiny on some pages. It’s the only thing on my iPad for which I need reading glasses. Please make them bigger.

The Thai text says เครื่องบดเมล็ดกาแฟ (coffee bean grinder), but the spoken Thai only says เครื่องบดกาแฟ (coffee grinder)

The more I use this software the more I’m impressed with the methodology and the more I’m disappointed with the poor quality of the Thai module. You should be teaching us words that we will come across in every day speech. Instead you’re loading us up with relatively obscure words like coffee grinder, espresso machine, blueberry, fruit press, tongs, etc. Plus, enough with the words borrowed from English like raspberry, hazelnut and salmon. Those we can figure out on our own. Please teach words that are not simply Thai spellings of English words. How about wok, mango, snapper, fish sauce, etc?


Full credit to Buadhai for listing all the issues I’ve found (and more) with Drops Thai since using it for about a month.

If I can just emphasize the three areas which I find most troubling/frustrating:

  1. The consonants and vowels modules need a full makeover. You can’t have the romanized transliterated answer be the same for the different Thai consonants that have the same sound. Having to guess the “correct” answer between “T (thaaw)” and “T (thaaw)” is pretty ridiculous. Buadhai’s proposal makes sense.
  2. You have to search pretty hard in Thailand to find a blueberry or a pistachio nut. I don’t think the average Thai person knows what these even are. That these words are so high up on the vocabulary list doesn’t make sense. I can understand you can choose to hide them but someone trying to pick up Thai from abroad before visiting may not know that these are words that will never come up in everyday conversation.
  3. The splitting up of syllables/morphemes in the spelling questions is not intuitive and detracts from the learning of how groups of consonants and vowels are ordered and pronounced, which can be tricky in Thai.

Since I’ve studied Thai writing before, the consonant and vowel issue is not a big one for me. However, I’d really like to recommend Drops to a number of friends of mine just starting out with Thai as I think it can be an extremely useful tool. With the consonant and vowel module as is that’s the real stumbling point and I will have to hold off.


Same here for the alphabet, I also learned it elsewhere. I guess, it’s next to impossible to learn it with the current implementation.

Adding to your second point: it isn’t only about not useful words, very important words are just missing, e.g 10000 in more numbers (and let’s not start about the fact that most words are nouns and therefore of limited use building sentences).

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