Nowadays, many global businesses want to target customers in South East Asia, especially in Thailand. For your advertisements to work effectively, you need to translate all the information in your website from English to Thai, as well as the content in your images and videos. The translation part can be done by any Thai translator who is qualified to translate from English to Thai. However, if you need to put Thai words in your images or videos, you need a graphic designer who understands the difference between a basic font and a font type that makes the Thai language easier to read and understand.
This is a common mistake and the reason might be because the graphic designer is not completely familiar with the Thai language, resulting in Thai spelling errors. In this case, I’m talking about consonants, vowels, and tone marks. For those who are not aware, vowel sounds in Thai (or what we call “sara”) can be placed after, before, above, below, or on all three sides of a consonant. And then you have the tone marks which makes a big difference in pronouncing the word. So if a graphic designer makes the wrong combination like in the image above (original), it is pretty hard to read for Thai people. Therefore, it is very important that the text is shown correctly if you want to advertise your business to Thai customers.
As I mentioned above, many advert videos on YouTube have weird typos in Thai and can deliver confusing messages to Thais. I have some solutions for you on how to fix this.
Looking at the image above, the tone mark is right on top of the vowel, as if it is one letter. There should be a space between the vowel and the tone, as shown in the ‘edited’ version.
If this happens with graphic images in a video, it is because of a particular character setting in Photoshop or any program used in creating the text. For Photoshop, you need to choose ‘Thai’ in the character options to ensure that tone marks are separated from vowels. If this solution doesn’t work, you need to create a textbox for the tone and place it manually in the correct place.
But if it’s in a video and you’re adding a subtitle, you might need to check if your video editing program has a “Thai-friendly” font already installed. Normally, the videos that I have seen on Youtube have a very simple and ugly font type and that’s mainly because the editor has used one of the basic fonts on the program. Sometimes, they have weird positioning for the text. You can find “Thai-friendly” fonts from Google Font and download them to your font-book. This will solve the weird Thai text problem on your video.
This also applies to ad banners, ads post on social media like Facebook, Instagram, where I see minor mistakes, but the most important one is the font and proper spelling in Thai. As you can see in the image above. The tone mark is stuck together with the vowel so you can’t read it properly. This can easily be fixed by doing the simple tricks I mentioned above: choose a “Thai-friendly” font and choose ‘Thai’ in the character in Photoshop.
What fonts from Google are “Thai-friendly”?
Many non-native Thai speakers use ‘Adobe-Thai’ font or any font that comes with Photoshop, but these types of font are not good for Thai texts visually. We (Thai people) use other fonts which I will tell you about in a minute.
They have plenty of fonts on the internet but the fonts that we use mostly are from ‘Google fonts’. It’s so common, popular, easy to find and download, and of course, they’re free. Here’s a list of my favorite Thai fonts and I use them a lot for my projects. The fonts I list below are the ones most Thai people are familiar with and so the content becomes easier to understand. That makes these fonts more effective in getting the attention of potential customers on social media and on your website.