Here are 5 important rules to remember when learning Thai language.
Rule #1 You need to learn the Thai script. It’s not so much about reading as it is about having a way to separate all the different sounds in your mind so your brain can separate them from your native language. You need to learn the consonant classes, and the tone rules. By mastering this entire system, learning Thai becomes so much easier and will save you heaps of time in the long run. Try the free lessons from my course to get an idea of how easy + possible it is for you to learn the script in 2 weeks.
Rule #2 You should practice reading a little every day. It will be painfully slow in the beginning so start small. Even one sentence is better than nothing. Just read it a couple of times. If you aren’t good at sitting still (like me), then aim to do a couple of short 5-15 min study bursts each day. I’ve always found this to be very effective.
Rule #3 Listen everyday, as much as possible. Anything that is real language. Your brain needs to hear the sounds a lot. Listen to music, podcasts, radio or whatever. You want as much exposure as possible and this requires you to be fairly active.
Rule #4 REVIEW things you want to remember. Occasionally you’ll see something once and it will stick forever, but most things will require some form of repetition and or real usage in a social situation to embed itself forever in your mind.
Consider using an SRS (Spaced Repetition System). This is just a fancy name for FLASHCARDS that have a built-in algorithm which makes studying more efficient by showing you cards that you are bad at more often than ones you are good at. I recommend Anki. It has a bit of a learning curve which will turn some people off, but it can be very useful.
Rule #5 Carry a small notepad and write it in all the time. Sometimes you will hear a word a few times, but it hasn’t clicked yet. Write it down and find out what it is. If you are speaking the language and you want to say something that you don’t know yet, write it down and find out how to say it later. Next time you want to say that particular phrase/sentence, it will be in your pocket. We don’t have much control over what we remember and what we don’t so write it down! *Bonus – Keep track of your expenses/meals/daily activities/exercise in the language. You will quickly get good at spelling the things that you do everyday. This is how I broke into being able to write (and SPELL) in Thai when I was a beginner.