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Thai is a tonal language with 5 different tones. The Thai script may seem complicated to foreigners, but in order to study the Thai language, one must first know the Thai consonants and vowels. This page is based on the transliteration by the Royal Institute of Thailand, so you may find many other ways of transcribing the characters from other sources.

In Thai, there are 44 characters that represent only 21 consonant sounds -- that means some of the characters share the exact same sound! The native Thai has a way to remember such numerous letters, that is by memorizing with vocabulary. This is equivalent to English's "A as in Alpha", "B as in Bravo", "C as in Charlie", etc.

ก Gaw Gai

ข Kaw Kai

ฃ Kaw Kuat

ค Kaw Kwai

ฅ Kaw Kon

ฆ Kaw Ra Kang

ง Ngaw Nguu

จ Jaw Jaan

ฉ Chaw Ching

ช Chaw Chang

ซ Saw Soo

ฌ Chaw Cher

ญ Yaw (Pu) Ying

ฎ Daw Cha Daa

ฏ Dtaw Bpa Dtak

ฐ Taw Taan

ฑ Taw Mon Too

ฒ Taw Puu Tao

ณ Naw Nane

ด Daw Dek

ต Dtaw dtao

ถ Taw Tung

ท Taw Tahan

ธ Taw Tong

น Naw Nuu

บ Baw Bai Mai

ป Bpaw Bplaa

ผ Paw Pung

ฝ Faw Faa

พ Paw Paan

ฟ Faw Faan

ภ Paw Sam Pao

ม Maw Maa

ย Yaa Yaak

ร Raw Rua

ล Law Ling

ว Waw Waen

ศ Saw Sala

ษ Saw Ru Si

ส Saw Sua

ห Haw Heep

ฬ Law Ju Laa

อ Aw Aang

ฮ Haw Nok whook

Special symbols and exceptions

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  • ทร (t + r) = ซ (s)
  • รร (r + r) = a[n]
  • ร -> อ when no vowel is present
  • ๆ (maiyamok) -> repeat word.
  • ฯ = abbreviation
  • ฯลฯ = etc.
  • -์ (karan) = silent / pronounce as in English

Live and dead syllables

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  • Live syllables end in a long vowel or -am, -ai, ao or n , ng , m , y, w.
  • Dead syllables end in a short vowel or k, t, p.