The first thing to know is that the forex market isn't exactly a marketplace which can be found at a specific location. It's just a name for the collective transactions of a large group of international bankers and financial institutions that drive and set the rates for currency pairs. Forex trading is when a trader speculates on one specific currency pair and profits from fluctuations in the relative values of the currency pair.
The next step is to establish a margin account with a broker. Unlike stock brokers, forex currency brokers don't need huge deposits to be made in the margin accounts. It's possible to start trading in the forex market with a $1000 or $2000 deposit. Even this minimum deposit gives the trader a huge leverage, typically called one 'lot' which is $100,000.
But there's no need to be scared by the big sums. Any good forex manual for successful trading will explain that so long as a trader keeps a grip on his emotions - and enters or exits trades based on solid information and logic, it's a lot less risky than the stock market. It's usually a good idea never to trade more than 20% of the margin account at any given time. Restrict the value of each trade to no more than 5 or 10% of the account.
The best way to get started is by using a demo account and doing paper trades without real money. Many brokers offer demo accounts so that new trades can get their feet wet without drowning. Use it until all the basic concepts are clear, like pips and spreads, including how and when to enter and exit trades with a broker.
Once the basics are clear, it's time to read up on trading strategies, forex contracts, futures and derivatives, signals, indicators and trading systems. Another thing to remember is that it is crucial that a trader restricts focus to at most 3 or 4 currency pairs. There are traders who never look beyond a specific currency pair.
New traders unsure of which currency pair to focus on should start with popular ones like GBP/USD, EUR/USD, USD/JPY and USD/CHF. Please note that all this information is not meant to be a comprehensive forex manual for successful trading. Consider it as a starting point that provides a sense of direction for new traders.