So you've progressed from speaking simple Thai amongst friends and have taken the plunge into learning to read and write. You might have memorised some or all of the Thai alphabet and with any luck you have been building your familiarity with words by working through some www.LearnThaiPing.com typing lessons.
Time to put those new skills to use in the ..... real world?
Using social media can be a great way to progress your Thai competency. If your facebook feed looks anything like mine then there's no pressure to speak too formally and Thai friends are very accepting of any mistakes. Unlike spoken Thai, when writing you have plenty of time to think carefully about what you're saying before the conversation moves on too.
One tip for reading messages on social media though, don't expect your Thai friends to be using text-book Thai!
So, how can we approach our first written communications in Thai?
First, have a look over the your Facebook / Twitter / whatever else feeds and identify some common themes that your friends are posting about. For example, being a thirty-something year old parent with a foody partner and a healthy interest in politics I encounter plenty of posts about:
- Amazing dishes recently eaten or cooked.
- Happy snaps of babies and families.
- Videos of children's achievements.
- Political calls to action.
- Holiday selfies.
Next step, prepare a few canned responses. If you've been speaking Thai for a while it might be easy to think of a few, but the really important thing here is that you memorise how to spell a few things without having to reference a dictionary or google translate.
Here's my list of basic canned responses:
- น่าอร่อย - "That looks delicious"
- น่ารักมาก - "Very cute"
- เก่งมาก - "Well done"
- ผมเห็นด้วย - "I agree"
- คุณดูมีความสุข - "You look happy"
Any of these can be used on their own, or can be expanded on if you want to say more. Again, the important thing is to memorise how to spell a few things. When you put these to use be sure to type them not, copying and pasting is cheating ;)
Unless you happen to be in the same demographics as me of course, your list will probably be different.