Quote Originally Posted by Bahuyuddha View Post
How long it takes to learn Thai really depends on where you are. If you are going to be in Bangkok or Pattaya (or any other city with many foreigners) then it might be more difficult because it will be easy to get by with English. I was a volunteer teacher in a small village in Roi-Et province for 6 months and studied for about 3 or 4 months prior to going to Thailand. I became fairly conversant, but mainly because there were almost no other English speakers around, so I had to use it every day.
Yeah, I'll be teaching for a year in Suratthani and then hopefully hop around a bit (I have family in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai aside from Bangkok so they're options) but I don't know what the local population is like. I learned almost no Thai since I got here (a week ago) because my cousins all speak English and were with me the whole time >_<

One thing that helped was learning to read and write Thai from the start. It will re-enforce your spoken Thai immensely, because you will find yourself automatically studying vocabulary every time you see a sign posted in Thai. Also, get a good textbook. I used one called Thai for Beginners, by Benjawan Poomsan Becker. She has an intermediate and advanced book also.
Thanks, I'll check that book out. And my cousins agree, also so I can learn the unique sounds of the Thai alphabet and everything.

Oh snap, you rule. I'm learning to read as I type (other tab)