Please check my sabatical introduction post. There are some warnings ^^
My wife is Thai and my thai language skills were not better than an average thai tourist, so I decided to close that skill gap.
After reading some Thai School Reviews on the web I booked a course in Bangkok. 3 hours a day, 5 days a week.
I will not write a lot details about learning methodologies, my progress and frustration, but I tell you, you need a high frustration tolerance level when learning that language. For example: Thai know 9 different vowel, some of them so difficult and strange to pronounce that you risk a tongue muscle ache. And all vowels have 5 different pronounciations manners: flat, falling, rising, falling and rising, rising and falling. Pheww.
But it is so great fun. In my class there are 3 Japanese, 1 Korean and 1 Lady from the US. And we practice, practice and practice … everywhere.
One little funny story I cannot hold back. Lets call it “the 2 minute elevator conversation” ^^
School friends from germany, korea, japan and I practiced thai in a croweded elevator. Obviously a very basic low level conversation “What is your name,? where do you come from?, what is your favorite color? and so on…. The japanese, korean and german touch of our pronounciation coupled with the silly conversation content forced some thai people to laugh out loud and rock with laughter. Actually not typical thai style who are usually holding back such emotions. One lady had even tears in her eyes =)
Practice makes perfect. There is some progress but still a long way to go. I do not give up =)