Learning new skills is always good – especially so for practical skills that are useful in the workplace. Even if you do not actively use certain skills for work, picking up new skills is still very useful for profiling yourself as someone constantly open to learning. Especially for Singaporeans above 25 years old, you can use SkillsFuture credits to cover your course fees. So why not! Use your time at home more meaningfully and consider learning the Thai Language today!
Learning the Thai Language will help you navigate Thailand more easily
In the Pre-Covid days, Bangkok was a must-go place for cheap apparel shopping. The wonders of Pratunam and Chatuchak will leave you hungry for more shopping trips, not to mention the delicious Thai food and massages you can enjoy in Bangkok. Learning basic Thai speaking can help you impress stallholders when you haggle for better prices or even get the taxi driver to give you a metered fare. Just a simple phrase “Lot noy dai mai” / (please reduce the price by a little) can save you some Thai baht to indulge in more Thai milk tea 🤩
Notes: Starting from 1 November 2021, Thailand will be opening up their borders to vaccinated tourists from Singapore. As tourism is a big revenue stream for Thailand, the country has been actively courting tourist since July 2021 under the sandbox model (specific to Phuket) to earn some tourism revenue while keeping Covid-19 infections under check. This means that vaccinated Singaporeans can travel to Thailand without a quarantine. However, note that returning Singaporeans will still need to be quarantined as Thailand is still not listed under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (“VTL”) scheme.
Learning the Thai language will give you a greater appreciation of Thai/Southeast Asia culture
Learning a language is a way to widen your world view as it is entwined with a country’s culture and way of life. For example, the Thai language is very fluid and their favourite phrase is “mai pben rai” / no worries. This ties in with Thailand’s general laid back culture. Another example is the Japanese language has a lot of rules and restrictions and this is reflected in their very structured society. As Singapore positions itself to be the “gateway to Southeast Asia” and serves as the HQ for the region, it is very important to have a familiarity of Southeast Asia culture to do business with the region. Learning the Thai language will also open the doors to building friendships with the Thai locals, which again will go a long way to increase your understanding and appreciation of Thai culture.
Learning Thai is fun! And Thai media is increasingly popular in Singapore.
Even though there is no “Thai wave” like how “JPop” and subsequently “KPop” swept through Asia, it is nevertheless undeniable that Thai media is increasingly popular with Singaporeans. More Thai Lakorns/dramas have made it to Singapore’s television – one of which is the very popular “Love Destiny/Bupphesanniwat” บุพเพสันนิวาส 🤩 Learning the Thai language will excite you no end when you catch familiar phrases here and there while lapping up Thai lakorns. Thai songs are increasingly popular too and understanding the meaning of the song lyrics will help you enjoy the song better!
About the author – see the About page for more informationJoanne Tan is an aspiring polyglot and has so far mastered English, Chinese and Thai languages. She first started learning Thai in 2015 before staying in Bangkok for 5 months, and then continued studying Thai up to Advanced Levels at the National University of Singapore. In 2017, Joanne was awarded ‘Advanced Thai Proficiency’ by the Sirindhorn Thai Language Institute of Chulalongkorn University. Today, Joanne continues to teach her friends basic Thai speaking and helps her Thai friends actively promote Thai culture.