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The Keyword

Google in Asia

Pim Thai Dai Laew: You can now type in Thai!

Typing on a keyboard in English and other Latin script-based languages is pretty straightforward. However things get a little more complicated for languages like Thai which has 44 consonants, 19 vowels, a silencer and 4 tone marks which are all part of the alphabet.

With more than twice as many characters as English, which has just 21 consonants and 5 vowels, it’s no wonder that typos are more common on a Thai keyboard than on an English QWERTY keyboard. For a start, how do you manage to remember where all the different keys are?!

For this reason, lots of people in Thailand use a QWERTY keyboard and type phonetically using Latin characters. This style of typing even has a name, “Karaoke Thai” which is a reference to the Latin-based subtitles of Thai singalong songs. Karaoke Thai is a great workaround for music videos, but it’s not necessarily the best solution for typing an email, or writing a blog.

You can now type in Thai more easily with the launch of the new Thai transliteration keyboard. Available in Chrome as well as Gmail and Google Drive in other browsers, the new keyboard gives you a way to type phonetically, converting your keyboard inputs into Thai words and Thai letters.

Not only will your typing appear in Thai, but it will also require fewer taps. For example, typing the popular celebrity ณเดชน์ (pronounced “Nadet”), would have required 8 taps on a Thai keyboard. Now on the new Thai transliteration keyboard, it requires just 5 taps (nadet or naded).

“Karaoke Thai” for your web browser, but with actual Thai output.
“Have you tried the Thai Karaoke Keyboard?",
"Trying it out now",
"How is it?",
"It’s awesome" 
Typing phonetically isn’t just good news for people who are in a hurry to get their message across, it’s also helpful to people who are new to the Thai language because they can type according to what they hear, rather than needing to know every character in the Thai alphabet. What’s more, the keyboard takes care of spelling errors by providing spelling suggestions from our dictionary. 

Excited to try out the new keyboard? You’re just a few clicks away:

  • If you’re a Chrome user, just download the Google Input Tools extension here. Select “Add to Chrome”, then click on “Extension Options” until you find "[ก] Thai - ภาษาไทย".
  • It’s also available to Gmail and Google Drive users on any browser.
Go on, try it out by typing “Pim Thai Dai Laew”. That’s “พิมพ์ไทยได้แล้ว”, or “I can now type in Thai” :)

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