A Woman Learning Thai...and some men too ;)

Learn Thai Language & Thai Culture

Tag: Thai fonts

How to Read Different Thai Fonts and Handwriting

Read Thai Fonts

It’s been my observation that when you are advanced in a language, to read you don’t need to recognize each letter. You see words as a coherent whole. And given the context you can guess what the word is quite easy. 

But at the beginning of learning a language such as Thai, even little differences in letter shapes (using different fonts and handwriting) will often make you stumble. At least it was my experience.

 Over time I developed rules on how to distinguish letters in the Thai alphabet which I will share with you now.

There are hundreds of Thai fonts. To make the comparisons, I chose four different ones:

  1. Browalia New – classic Thai font

  2. JS-Puchong-Normal.ttf – modern font with simplification

  3. Prompt-Black.otf – modern font with another type of simplification

  4. SOV_wayo.ttf – nice handwriting

All are easy to find online so you can try them yourself. 

Note: There’s also a post on WLT listing free Thai font downloads: FREE Thai Fonts: Comparisons & Downloads

How to Read Different Thai Fonts and Handwriting…

Read Thai Fonts

Read Thai Fonts

Read Thai Fonts

FREE Downloads…

Here are the three files at full resolution for you to download and print out.

ZIP (572kb): Aleksey Golubtsov: Read Thai Fonts

Share Button

Kickstarter: Thai Font Poster by Lanna Innovation

Thai Font Poster by Lanna Innovation

If you’ve ever had a problem deciphering creative Thai fonts, then Lanna Innovation’s Thai Font Poster might be just what you need.

Thai Font Poster Kickstarter by Lanna Innovation: There is an enormous diversity in Thai fonts (typefaces) found in Thailand, and used everywhere, from Thai movie posters, to Thai advertisements, to Thai signage of all kinds, to Thai restaurant menus. Unfortunately, even if someone learns the fonts used in standard Thai by the government, in use on websites, and in books, that is not enough to be able to read Thai in Thailand.

We had to start by curating a Thai Font Collection which would meet the needs for the Thai Font Poster. This font collection took on a life of its own and we are pleased to include over 300 font files in 98 font families, which are free to download and use, and found at: Thai Font Collection.

We have the most extensive collection that we are aware of, and the cleanest set when it comes to licensing and rights.

From these fonts we selected 20 which showcase the variety and diversity of Thai fonts found in Thailand. With those twenty, we created a two-sided, two-color Thai Font Poster which displays side-by-side all representative characters as found on Thai keyboards and mobile devices.

To help make Lanna Innovation’s project happen please read further: Kickstarter – Thai Font Poster.

Web: Lanna Innovation – Thai Language and Culture
Twitter: @LannaInnovation

Share Button

Thai-Thai and Thai-English Study Resources for English Speakers

Thai-Thai and Thai-English Study Resources

I’ve long craved a list of Thai resources that focus on Thai-Thai and Thai-English. To explain, Thai-Thai is Thai only and Thai-English is Thai translated into English (not English translated to Thai).

Traditionally, most courses for the English market are created from popular lists of words and phrases in English that are then translated into other languages. It saves a lot of time and money for those making the courses, but, there’s a downside. If care isn’t taken, this method can generate awkward sounding phrases and lacks the soul of the language (words and phrases unique to that language). It can also create what is known as ‘Faranged Thai’ (Thai with English sentence structures).

But I’m not saying that Thai-Thai materials always trump Thai-English (or even English-Thai). Paraphrasing Chris Pirazzi:

Books about English grammar written in English for English natives are full of explanations that assume that the reader already has the instincts of a native English speaker built-in. Like the English books for English natives, Thai books would likely be full of facts that are very interesting and surprising to Thais who already have the native instincts of Thai. But they weren’t designed to focus on those aspects of Thai that are difficult for non-Thai-natives to grasp.

Soooo … with the help of advanced Thai learners – thanks guys! – I compiled a list of Thai study materials that are either Thai only (Thai-Thai) or have been translated from Thai to English (Thai-English).

Ta da! Thai-Thai & Thai-English Study Resources.

As you can see, the materials are meant for those who want the complete package for learning Thai: Dictionaries, grammar books, full courses, reading and writing courses, pronunciation, typing resources, and even which Thai fonts to use.

Disclaimer: Due to the huge amount of resources available for learning Thai I didn’t have time to put everything through the vetting process. With the time available, only the resources the team felt they knew enough about were discussed. I assure you that more will be added later. Eventually. And if you have a resource that follows the criteria just contact me and I’ll have it checked out.

Thai-Thai and Thai-English Study Resources

Share Button

FREE Thai Fonts: Comparisons & Downloads

FREE Thai Fonts

Thai designers do use Arial…

Thai fonts sizes are all over the place. And if you don’t choose a well-designed font, to get the Thai and English to balance you’ll be forced to adjust sizes by hand. Tedious. Throw in transliteration – not all fonts design for it – and if you are not careful you’ll end up with a mess.

I went the difficult route until I discovered Arial Unicode MS, but these days I stick mostly to Thonburi. Both Arial Unicode and Thonburi (sans serifs) allow me to use the same font size for English and Thai, and the transliteration scales wonderfully as well.

My design friends freaked when I mentioned that the font I used most was Arial. But hey, we live in different worlds now (and it’s not like I’m committing sin with Comic Sans). Of course I want pleasing to the eye pages but spending all my time editing individual words is just not logical. There’s Thai to be learned folks!

I use Arial Unicode MS font for most unicode stuff… both diacritics on latin letters and complex scripts. If you need diacritics on latin letters use the Mac OSX US Extended keyboard. They have all the tonemarkers built into short cuts using shift + alt + key combinations.

Fredrik Almstedt recently introduced me to Adobe Thai, a serif font with a wonderful balance. It’s not free but I’ve included it due to its clean attributes. So, apart from Adobe Thai, the list below is free for personal use. Note: If you want to include any fonts in a software package, you just might have to buy a licence (so please do check first).

Thai National fonts (Thai: ฟอนต์แห่งชาติ; rtgs: [font] haeng chat), or colloquially SIPA fonts (Thai: ฟอนต์ซิป้า, are a group of thirteen Thai-Roman fonts distributed and used by the Government of Thailand as public and official fonts after they won a national competition.

The Council of Ministers officially announced the thirteen fonts as the public fonts, naming them the “national fonts”. The public agencies were ordered to use these fonts, especially “TH Sarabun PSK”, in their state papers.

The Thai fonts listed come from all over the place but in no way could I include everything I found. If your favourite Thai font (preferably free) isn’t represented just drop me a line and I’ll make it so.

When you download the pdf you’ll see that it’s in six sections, showing as many comparisons as there was time for. Again, if you can suggest more (time allowing), I’m game.

  • Thai Font List: List of Thai fonts in English, Thai, and transliteration.
  • Thai Font Samples: Thai fonts in 12, 14, 16 and 18 points.
  • Thai Font Samples: Thai fonts in alphabetical order.
  • Thai Font Samples: Thailand’s version of “The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog”.
  • Thai Font Downloads: Links to download free the Thai fonts mentioned in this pdf.
  • Thai Font Resources: Various font sites and information.

Here’s the FREE Thai Font Comparisons & Downloads download: 4.9mg pdf

Research posts are almost never done on my lonesome so before I continue I’d like to thank those who helped: Fredrik Almstedt, Stu Jay Raj, and Jan Nadertscher. Again, I owe … I owe …

Share Button