As with any country and knowledge or being able to speak the language provides you with a much greater insight into the culture and daily life.
There is a misconception that learning Thai is extremely difficult. Whilst it is completely different from any other language or languages that you may speak, Thai is actually a relatively straightforward and simple language. However there are challenges in learning the different pronunciations and of course a complexly different alphabet!
When you search ‘learning Thai’ on a search engine you will come up with many variations. Some suggest that you can learn Thai in 24 hours or in 7 days. You may be a genius but generally it will take much longer and will require tenacity and regular study. Alternatively you can move to live in a small Isaan village where no-one speaks and other language, however you will probably starve before you learn enough to buy even food!
There are a great number of variants:-
Thai Language Schools – there are a vast number of professional schools(and many not so reputable)in both Bangkok and throughout Thailand. Many are actually run by foreigners who have experience in the currents methods for teaching a new language and employ local teachers and modern technology.
Local Thai Teachers – There are now many really excellent Thai teachers offering both group and private lessons. Many employ progressive and creative methods to teach you the language based on your requirements.
On-Line courses – are becoming increasing available. They offer excellent methods to enable you to start to learn before you arrive.
Get a Thai partner! – They say that the best way to learn a language is to get a local partner and learn the language this way. For many this has worked but often it s the other partner that ends up with the new language knowledge and not the person that wanted to learn Thai.
Whatever method you choose, if you speak Thai or at least have some knowledge your experience in the Kingdom will be vastly increased!