Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Learning To Type in Thai on a Mac - aTypeTrainer4Mac

[Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009, 10pm Thai Time] Last year I got Thai letters to stick on my keyboard, but typing was slow and painful. They pretty much wore off during the year and then disappeared completely when I got my keyboard replaced. I got new, clear sticky letters when we got here this year. But today I found a simple typing tutor for the Mac.

aTypeTrainer4Mac 2.1

About aTypeTrainer4Mac
A multilingual typing tutor for Mac OS X. It is an advanced version of TypeTrainer4Mac. All of the system keyboard layouts (but not input methods!) as well as a wide variety of non-system keyboard layouts (i.e. Dvorak, Colemak or custom layouts being built using Ukelele) are completely or partially supported.

It has a bunch of languages and it's free. At first I was confused because it seemed to only have English. But as soon as I switched my keyboard to Thai, the program also switched.It's on the official Apple.com website and it's working already.

The languages listed are:

Level 06 has me typing all the lower case letters on the middle row, plus a couple on the next row up. Since Thai has 44 consonants and about 20 more vowels, the upper case isn't for capital letters (there aren't any), it's the rest of them. I don't understand why they have the Thai numbers one number off from the English numbers. That would have made things a lot easier if they were the same. But that's not this program's problem.

I even had a couple Thais who hunt and peck start playing with it.

[Update, March 13, 2009 Thai time: There was a bit of a problem once I got up to higher levels. You can see the problem in the picture above. Thai has letters and tone marks ่ and ้ that go above other letters. And some parts of letters like ำ are over the previous letter. That caused problems in the typing tutor because parts of the tone marks got cut off and it was hard to see them, and the ˚ from ำ showed up with the previous letter. If it was the first letter in a series, you just saw the า which, by itself, is a different letter.

So I sent Valentin, the creator of this program, an email explaining this. He wrote back that it was an issue of the Thai alphabet. But the other day I got another email from him with a link to download a beta version that solves the problems I had raised. It's nice when people are competent and motivated. I'm not sure he's made the switch yet to the new version, but if you get this program and you have the problem I described, ask him for the new version. Thanks Valentin.]


  1. I know it's a old article but we have recently released a new free website ( thaityping.com ) for anyone looking to learn to type in Thai.

    The advantages are: don't need to install any software and compatible Mac/pc.


Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.