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Typing Tutors for Thai: aTypeTrainer4Mac

TypeTrainer

At last! A Thai typing tutor for the Mac…

After years of touch typing, I finally taught myself how to type. It happened while I was in Scotland on an extended holiday in ‘92, which is now so long ago that I don’t remember which one it was, only that it included progressive games and was fairly easy.

When I started learning Thai, I wasn’t sure where to start. The Thai typing tutor I found was for the PC and didn’t work on my PC emulator, Parallels. Frustrated, I lost interest.

Then along came aTypeTrainer4Mac.

ALERT: –>> aTypeTrainer4Mac has just updated to 3.0.

About aTypeTrainer4Mac…

Thanks to Valentin Vassilevski, aTypeTrainer4Mac (an advanced version of TypeTrainer4Mac) supports Thai keyboards.

  • Is a (truly) multilingual typing tutor for Mac OS X
  • Comes with a prepared lesson set
  • Has the ability to create customized lesson sets
  • Imports from RTF files, email, and web browsers
  • Remembers the last files imported

From Valentin: You can import texts from TextEdit in the same way as from a web browser or Mail using import from TextEdit. You can import files in all formats, accepted from TextEdit (i.e. RTF, DOC, TXT, RTFD etc.). Additionally, you can import PDF and TXT files by opening them first in your web browser.

How to type in Thai on a Mac OSX…

First off, you’ll need to turn on your Thai keyboard.

  • Go to Apple Menu >> System Preferences >> International >> Input Menu.
  • Scroll down the list to select ‘Thai’.
  • On the bottom left corner of the prefs window, select ‘Show input menu in menu bar’.
  • Close the window (command W, or click the red button).
  • In the menu bar (top right corner of your screen) there’s a country flag.
  • Click on the flag and drag down, releasing your mouse on the Thai flag.

If you don’t have a Thai keyboard, you can purchase online from DCO, or buy Thai-English stickers here or here. Or if you live in Bangkok, Pantip Plaza comes to mind. My MacBook Pro came with Thai-English keys, so I was set.

Advice from Valentin: The best way to learn to type blindly is NOT to have the appropriate keyboard.

I agree with Valentin, but I’m not that brave!

How to use aTypeTrainer4Mac…

The instructions for aTypeTrainer4Mac are fairly easy, even for those not computer savvy.

Typing switch

For ‘typing priority’, I’ve set mine at ‘quality’. In the preferences you’ll also find various settings (most you might not use). There, you can set the metronome speed or turn it off. Or, do like I do and turn the sound off at the computer level.

To use the aTypeTrainer4Mac lessons:

  • Switch to Thai keyboard on your Mac.
  • Start aTypeTrainer4Mac.
  • Choose your level from the dropdown menu.
  • Start typing.

The power of aTypeTrainer4Mac is the ability to customise to match your Thai lessons.

For instance, if you are learning the Thai alphabet via Thai Reading for Speaking (purchased from DCO), you can create RTF files of each lesson with your word-processing software of choice.

And as each lesson Thai Reading for Speaking consists of small blocks, it’s easy to say each letter out loud as you hit the keys. If you want to get fancy, you can always set iTunes to play the lesson before and after you try out your typing skills.

To use your own lessons:

  • Create RTF (rich text format) files.
  • Switch to Thai keyboard on your Mac.
  • Start aTypeTrainer4Mac.
  • Click the ‘select’ button.
  • Drag and drop your RTF file where it instructs.
  • Start typing.

From Valentin: Alternatively, you can drag-n-drop your RTF file over aTypeTrainer icon in dock.

Note: The process is slightly different if your Thai keyboard is not selected before opening aTypeTrainer4Mac. To switch to Thai inside aTypeTrainer4Mac just change to the Thai keyboard and then click the ‘switch’ button.

One more thing… if you edit the set lessons by mistake (like I did), in aTypeTrainer4Mac’s menu bar, go to preferences >> general >> restore all defaults.

Typing Resources…

Thai Typing – The Key to A Hidden World
Stuart Jay Raj’s suggestions and insights for typing in Thai.

All The Touch Typing Tutors
Typing tutor resource for both Mac and PC (for all languages).

Thai English Keyboards
Dual Thai-English keyboards from DCO (Windows).

Virtual Thai Keyboard
Freeware virtual keyboard (Windows).

Typing Thai
Virtual Thai keyboard (Windows).

Thai Keyboard Stickers
Stickers for your keyboard.

Thai/English alphabet stickers
Stickers for your keyboard.

To suggest improvements or ask questions, please contact Valentin.

Valentin, thank you for helping me with the post!

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My passion is promoting the Thai language. Fullstop. Oh, and traveling. I'm passionate about that as well. And photography too.

23 Comments

  1. Thank you for passing by my blog.
    And a salute back, from Thailand :-)

  2. Klong of Consciousness

    March 1, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    i first learnt how to type thai by sending brief emails to my colleagues at work but it was painfully slow. After using one of these programs (Thai Typing Tutor for PC) it was amazing how quick my fingers were able to remember the keys. one other thing to note is that instead of messing around with those thai keyboard stickers, you can pick up a thai external USB keyboard from Pantip, etc for around 200 baht.

    cheers :)

  3. Klong of Consciousness

    March 1, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    oh.. you already mentioned about keyboards in your post. oops! :)

  4. Hehhh… No prob at all. I bought the stickers for a friend but nothing is better than having a real keyboard. I still haven’t discovered which key combination switches from English to Thai though… time!

  5. Klong of Consciousness

    March 2, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I’m not sure about on a Mac, but in Windows you just press Alt + Shift to switch between languages. (Although it took me ages to work out why I had to press it twice before it would change to Thai. I later realised that it was rotating through UK English to US English and then finally Thai. After changing the settings in the XP language bar it works fine now).

  6. Well, since it’s on my mind I looked for the magic keys. For the Mac it’s command (apple) space. Easy.

    Previously I’ve tripped over it by mistake but wasn’t really paying attention each time. It was just an ‘oh!’ before I moved on.

    My Mac is only set for UK English, Thai and Spell Catcher. The shortcut doesn’t bring up Spell Catcher but that’s quite ok with me.

    Btw – thanks for the nudge!

  7. I was using aTypeTrainer4Mac to learn Thai and ran into a problem once I learned all of the unshifted keys (after Level 15). At Level 16 it presents you with the shifted versions of all the keys you’ve already learned, which is fine if it’s English and the characters are just uppercase versions of the same letters, but is entirely unmanageable when the shifted keys produce entirely different characters, like in Thai.

    To help others who may encounter the same problem, here’s what I did:

    1. Change “Mode” (in the Menu Bar) to “Select”- this will enable the last six options in the “Level” menu
    2. Go to Level 15 and “Copy Current Selection” (in Level menu or using shortcut)
    3. Go to Level 16 and “Paste to Current Level” (also in Level menu or using shortcut)
    4. Click on the keyboard map to add whatever keys you’d like introduced to that level (the shifted keys are on top)
    5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 until you’ve reached Level 30
    6. In Levels menu, “Save Current Levels as”
    7. If you only added two keys at a time to your levels, you’ll need more than 30 levels to complete the keyboard, so finish it up in a new .levels file
    8. To use your levels- in Levels menu, “Import Levels from”

    Thanks for a terrific blog!

  8. R.H. thank you so much for your detailed advice (needed). I’ll try it out today (after I’ve mostly finished the next iPhone app review).

    What I’d really like so see in aTypeTrainer4Mac is sound. Where you can choose to hear each letter as you type it out.

    Learning the Thai alphabet is a hard slog for some (and a great deal quit in frustration), so hearing the alphabet in the background would be helpful.

  9. Buy a Thai keyboard!

  10. William, well, actually NOT buying a Thai keyboard is better as it stops you from peeking. I’m lazy, so I won’t go there. And besides, my computer came with a Thai keyboard.

  11. Could anyone please tell me where I can get hold of a Thai typing program for PC????

    Thank you!

  12. Luke, there is a list of resources in that post for both Mac and PC.

  13. I need to write in Thai a lot but have never learn how to type in Thai. Typing in English has proven hard enough. Here is what I do now. I go to Paiboon’s English-Thai, Thai-English Software Dictionary on my computer. I look up each word that I need, or I use their mouse operated keyboard. I cut the Thai word out of the dictionary’s window and paste it into my document. I wrote the following in about 1 minute.

    เขียนภาษาไทยง่ายเพราะว่าไม่จำเป็นต้องเรียนพิมพ์ดีด (Writing Thai is easy because it isn’t necessary to study typing.)

    BTW, using this method I never misspell anything.

    One might call this cheating. I call it “using technology”.

    Good luck with whichever method you use.

  14. Hi Hugh, I had fun learning how to type, but like you I do depend on cut and paste.

  15. And a speed trainer just added: http://thai-notes.com/typing/thai_speed_trainer.shtml

    So looks like I’ll be needing to dedicate a post for his wonderful product soon. Nice job.

  16. Here’s another online Thai keyboard: Virtual Thai Keyboard

  17. http://www.learnthaiping.com is another web-based resource for learning to type in Thai.

    LearnThaiPing aims to help you learn Thai and learn to type at the same time rather than focussing on one or the other. It has word-by-word audio and word highlighting as you type, which makes it easy to get used to not having spaces between words.

    http://www.learnthaiping.com will work on PC, Mac, smartphones and tablets. Using the touch screen of your phone is a great way to start practicing if you don’t have a Thai keyboard yet.

  18. Fantastic Kim. Thanks for sharing! I’ve always wanted audio with a typing tutor.

  19. aTypeTrainer4Mac 3.0 is released on 2016-04-19

    New in this version:

    – aTypeTrainer4Mac works under Mac OS X 10.11 now
    – minor improvements

    http://atypetrainer4mac.blogspot.ch/p/download-page-atypetrainer4mac.html

  20. Thank you Valentin! I’ll edit the update into the post and share the word around.

  21. I noticed more goodies have been added – I’m torn on doing either a rewrite or a new post. Decisions decisions…

  22. A great typing tutorial for the PC is the program BCC Typing http://download.cnet.com/BCC-Typing-Tutor-32-bit/3000-2051_4-10910380.html

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