I confess that I only pay sporadic attention to Twitter. I expect this is one of the few things that former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and I have in common.
If you migrate over to Thaksin Live you’ll see that his 150,000 plus followers (now we know: he’s 150 times more popular than New Mandala) only hear from him occasionally. But they were treated to a binge of tweets on 25 January 2011. All of Thaksin’s comments on that day were in a slightly idiosyncratic English-Thai blend that is prevalent among some English-speaking Thais.
And all 21 of those tweets were apparently written without the assistance of a Thai keyboard. Even his public message to his daughter (and his ex-wife?) follows the format:
@AimPintongta I miss you and love you na loog. Pls convey my appreciation to Khunlady duay na loog.
This contrasts with his next most recent Twitter binge on 8 November 2010. In that case, all 16 of Thaksin’s tweets were in Thai. In fact, if you scroll through the archive for 2010 it becomes pretty clear that Thaksin very rarely tweets in English; and almost always in direct response to non-Thais.
This isn’t a profound matter compared to a few others discussed on New Mandala but it is one that got me thinking.
Am I wrong in thinking that in late January 2011 the leader of Thailand’s most electorally successful political organisation couldn’t lay his hands on a Thai keyboard? Or does something else explain Thaksin’s reluctance to tweet fluently in his mother tongue?
I don’t know quite what to think na krub…
…do you reckon it’s worth asking @ThaksinLive himself?