Mastering Tones in Thai Chinese and other Tonal Languages by Polyglot Stuart Jay Raj

I can’t learn a tonal language like Thai, Chinese or Vietnamese – I’m tone deaf!’ If that were the case, does that mean that tone deafness only afflicts people who don’t speak tonal languages? I have wanted to make this clip for a long time. Since starting my latest binge of making language videos, I have been receiving up to 10 emails an hour of people suggesting topics and asking questions. Of all of those emails, about 30% of them include requests for a lesson on tonal languages and how to go about learning tones. When I was shooting this clip, I did a whole lot of sections on Chinese – Cantonese, Mandarin and Vietnamese tones also. I decided to trim it down for time’s sake and also so that I could keep it focused in one direction and make it most useful to most people. I will put the other Chinese portions up in another clip. Regardless, I believe that the information in this clip will be helpful for people struggling to get their tongue and their ears around any tonal language and I hope by the end of it, tonal languages will become a lot less mysterious. Please mail me any suggestions or questions via my blog through the contact section at stujay.com Stu Jay Raj เจ 王懷樂


Course Discussion

Profile photo of Stuart Jay Raj

Stuart Jay Raj is a polyglot who specializes in the languages and dialects spoken in South East Asia and China. His talents have allowed him to earn a professional living as a simultaneous interpreter in Thai, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Indonesian, among others, providing language and cultural training for multinational companies in the region and hosting his own TV programme on Thailand's Channel 5. He holds a degree in Cognitive and Applied Linguistics from Griffith University and has become an expert in the field of language acquisition with a strong track record of success. Stuart's background knowledge of Sanskrit, Khmer, Lao and various Chinese dialects and minority languages enables him to present a fascinating and unique perspective on the Thai language which makes everything fall logically into place.