I learned Thai formally in a ” kaanrian” (learning center) four years ago. It was a five-month course which includes casual conversation, reading and writing. Our Thai teacher, Khruu (teacher) Rat is considered as Khruu Wrath. Western people who studied the language hated her, Asian foreigners gets nervous if they are on their way to her classroom feeling unready for school. Anyway, the five tones, 44 basic consonants, 8 vowels and 6 dipthongs make the learning so complicated. My Thai has never been good until I am able to forget it and remember it again as I went back to Thailand. The meebaan (maid) in the guest house where I am working as an overseer cannot talk in English but we work well together plus my Thai has improved a lot because she cannot speak English. I get laugh at every time I pronounce a certain word with the tone incorrectly and use it a sentence because it meant the other thing. One time she asked me if I wanted a suewa (picnic mat, in other tone it means sweater) but I answered her ” no thanks, I am not cold” (thinking she meant suewa, the sweatshirt). I’ve been laughed at most of the time but they say keng maak (very good) I can speak Thai and I believe I’m on my way to improving my Thai.