Apps for learners of Asian languages in view of AEC

Economy May 18, 2013 00:00

By The Nation

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Paiboon Publishing, a producer of language-learning materials, is launching more smart-phone and tablet applications for learners of Thai and other Southeast Asian languages, to cash in on the growing interest in the approaching Asean Economic Community (


It also provides private Thai-language classes online via its partner Thai Language Hut School. The school was one of the first to offer Thai-language lessons via Skype more than four years ago.
English-speaking students of Southeast Asian languages are now demanding immediate, accessible and personalised learning at a reasonable price, Paiboon says.
“We expect sales of our Paiboon Publishing Thai-language smart-phone and tablet apps to skyrocket in 2015 with the AEC coming,” said company president Benjawan Poomsan Becker. “The desire and actual need to learn Southeast Asian languages, and particularly the Thai language, will enlarge dramatically. 
“Many more English speakers will be conducting business in Thailand and will need to talk with Thai-speaking businesspeople, since Thailand is one of the major countries in Asean. The necessity for English speakers to communicate with other Southeast Asians will also increase.” 
After starting its app-development process in 2011, Paiboon currently estimates that smart-phone apps constitute 50 per cent of its product sales, and this figure is set to grow as both the number of titles and the number of smart-phone and tablet users increase. 
International Data Corporation reports that between 2011 and last year, the worldwide smart-phone market grew 44 per cent, and according to Internet World Stats, Internet use grew 34.8 per cent. Paiboon Publishing estimates that the language-application business is growing by about 40 per cent a year.
Becker said Paiboon was taking Asean very seriously, expanding its Thai-language app-product offerings with its “Survival Thai for English Speakers” app and upgrading its leading “Thai-English Dictionary” app. In addition to its existing smart-phone apps to learn Lao, Khmer and Vietnamese, its “Survivor” series apps will be expanded to include “Survivor Mandarin” and “Survivor Burmese for English Speakers”. 
The publisher also recognises that many clients wish to have a teacher-led language-learning experience, but with the flexibility that modern technology affords. Paiboon is the only publisher of Southeast Asian language media to offer its customers personalised training online via Skype. Using Paiboon Publishing’s language materials, Thai Language Hut School delivers private lessons online or at its school in Bangkok, thereby giving customers the ability to define a customised programme that fits in their lifestyle and location.