Since I arrived in Bangkok in 2009, I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon among most expats in Thailand. After looking at the runic characters and hearing the five tones, they jump to the conclusion: “This language is inscrutable! Impossible! I’ll never learn it!” But in the words of Yoda admonishing Luke in The Empire Strikes Back, “That is why [they] fail.”
If you go to Thailand, I do not want you to be like most expats, and I do not want you to be yelled at by Yoda. Instead, I want you to experience a side of Thailand, through its language, that most expats never do. I can help you, because I am a stubborn farang who has wrestled with Thai’s slippery monosyllables for the last two years.
Here is my advice for those who also want to learn this fascinating language.