So you have put in lots of hard work to master basic Thai conversational skills. Congratulations on your milestone achieved! But you might be wondering, what can you do with your Thai speaking skills if you are stuck in Singapore? Here are 4 ways in which learning Thai speaking and listening can add vibrancy to your life in Singapore – check them out!
1. Converse in Thai daily with friends
One of the greatest motivations to learn Thai conversational skills is to enhance communication with Thai locals and to gain a better understanding and appreciation of Thai culture. Even though you might be based in Singapore, nothing is stopping you from dropping your Thai friends a message and wowing them with the Thai speaking skills you have picked up. Simple phrases like “Theur keng maak” (You are very capable – spoken to a female) or “su su na ja” (All the best – spoken to friends) will definitely impress your Thai friend and show him/her that you are putting in effort to bond with him/her.
Interested to learn the Thai Language? Here’s what you can explore!
Practice your Thai speaking skills and learn how to use Thai to express everyday small talk.
A serious Thai learner aiming to master Thai reading and writing? Start off by learning to text in Thai!
Go for regular Thai classes. Use your SkillsFuture credits to offset your Thai Language course fees!
2. Enjoy Thai entertainment / media
One of the most rewarding milestones in my Thai Language learning journey was to enjoy Thai entertainment that I could not enjoy previously because there were no subtitles. This is especially so for Thai concerts – being able to understand what the celebrities are saying and hearing the familiar Thai songs was and is still such a thrilling experience for me (SPOILER ALERT: listen to the concert below and catch the last line!). For Thai dramas and songs, understanding the Thai conversations and lyrics will help you grasp nuances previously unknown because it is lost in translation, thus giving you a richer experience than just reading off English subtitles.
Check out my blog here on 5 Thai Lakorns to binge watch in Singapore!
3. Order food in Thai
Another way you can test your Thai speaking skills is to try them out on any local Thai based in Singapore! The next time you go to a Thai restaurant, order your food in Thai. You can grab the attention of the Thai staff more easily by saying “Phii ka, Sang arharn na ka” (To call a waiter/waitress older than yourself and inform them you are ready to order your meal). You can further charm the Thai staff by replying “khoop khun ka” (thank you) or “arharn aroy maak” (the food is very delicious). There are definitely places for you to test this out, such as Nakorn Kitchen, Jai Thai, Nana Thai et cetera which are run by Thai locals.
4. Apply for Thai speaking jobs
There are some jobs based in Singapore which require only Thai speaking skills, such as customer service / front desk roles that require you to liaise with Thai clients. This includes part time jobs at Thai restaurants or freelance jobs^ for YouTube videos. If you are a serious Thai learner, you can complement your language skills by learning Thai reading and writing – this will open up even more job opportunities for you such as Thai-to-English and English-to-Thai Translation roles. If you are really lucky, this might even help you land a dream job, similar to my personal experience of entering the SEO industry via my Thai Language skills 🥰
^I would like to caveat that I am not recommending any form of career paths to anyone but rather, am just stating the job opportunities in Singapore for Thai speakers. It is of popular belief that part time or freelancing jobs are perceived as “less stable”, and some might resort to getting freelancer loans to tide by tough times – so do keep that in mind when deciding on your career path!
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.