Caveat: this is just my own experience learning Thai, I may have gotten some stuff incorrect and I am not a Thai nor language teacher for sure. My intention is not to teach Thai, but to supplement whatever you are currently already reading with my own experience.
The Thai tonal system is the first thing anyone will notice when hearing a Thai person speak or when you start learning thai. For a Chinese or tonal speaking language person, the tonal system is not difficult to learn. One of the unfortunate thing about being a Singaporean is that, I have a good command of English and at the same time am confortable with speaking Chinese, but most English language books are written for English-speaking-only audience. Worst still a lot of equivalent tonal system or phonetics using English alphabets are used (just like the over liberal use of romanji in a lot of Japanese language books). It really screws up properly language learning. Continue reading