Thai can be a difficult language to learn mainly because it is a tonal language. One word can have several different meanings depending on the tone used when speaking. Take, for instance, the word may depend on the tone when said it can mean: Not, new, burn, silk, and wood. In all there are five tones used in the Thai language and they are: Low tone, mid tone, high tone, rising tone, and falling tone.
If you are going to Thailand on your first trip, having a basic knowledge of the language and using some Thai words and or sentences will give a smile to the locals and can save you some baht when shopping at the markets. You’ll also find it easy to pick up on words when around the native speakers and youll hear the correct pronunciation. Dont be afraid to speak the Thai that you learn because you may say something the wrong way and inadvertently offend someone, the Thai people know their language is hard to learn for foreigners and can usually figure out what you were trying to say.
I have added some useful Thai phrases before in articles and will do so again but when doing so I do it phonetically in english which is usually close to the correct sound but its not easy to convey the proper tone.
A few resources I have come across and have found to be really useful while learning the Thai language rely on sound and or images and sound to reinforce the proper sounds and tones of the words spoken: