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The Thai script (Thai:อักษรไทย, RTGS: akson thai) is the abugida used to write Thai, Southern Thai and many other languages spoken in Thailand. The Thai alphabet itself (as used to write Thai) has 44 consonant symbols (Thai:พยัญชนะ, phayanchana), 16 vowel symbols (Thai:สระ, sara) that combine into at least 32 vowel forms and four tone diacritics (Thai:วรรณยุกต์ or วรรณยุต,wannayuk orwannayut) to create characters mostly representing syllables.

Thai
อักษรไทย
Script type
CreatorRamkhamhaeng the Great
Time period
1283–present
Directionleft-to-right
LanguagesStandard form:
Thai, Southern Thai
Non-standard form:
Lanna, Isan,
Pattani Malay and others
Related scripts
Parent systems
Child systems
Tai Viet
Sister systems
Lao
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Thai, 352, ​Thai
Unicode
Unicode alias
Thai
U+0E00–U+0E7F
This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see . For the distinction between[ ],/ / and ⟨⟩, see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

Although commonly referred to as the "Thai alphabet", the script is in fact not a true alphabet but an abugida, a writing system in which the full characters represent consonants with diacritical marks for vowels; the absence of a vowel diacritic gives an implied 'a' or 'o'. Consonants are written horizontally from left to right, and vowels following a consonant in speech are written above, below, to the left or to the right of it, or a combination of those.

Contents

Further information: Sukhothai script
The evolution of the Thai alphabet

The Thai alphabet is derived from the Old Khmer script (Thai:อักษรขอม, akson khom), which is a southern Brahmic style of writing derived from the south Indian Pallava alphabet (Thai:ปัลลวะ). According to tradition it was created in 1283 by King Ramkhamhaeng the Great (Thai:พ่อขุนรามคำแหงมหาราช). The earliest attestation of the Thai script is the Ram Khamhaeng Inscription dated to 1292, however some scholars question its authenticity. The script was derived from a cursive form of the Old Khmer script of the time. It modified and simplified some of the Old Khmer letters and introduced some new ones to accommodate Thai phonology. It also introduced tone marks. Thai is considered to be the first script in the world that invented tone markers to indicate distinctive tones, which are lacking in the Mon-Khmer (Austroasiatic languages) and Indo-Aryan languages from which its script is derived. Although Chinese and other Sino-Tibetan languages have distinctive tones in their phonological system, no tone marker is found in their orthographies. Thus, tone markers are an innovation in the Thai language that later influenced other related Tai languages and some Tibeto-Burman languages on the Southeast Asian mainland. Another addition were consonant clusters that were written horizontally and contiguously, rather than writing the second consonant below the first one. Finally, the script wrote vowel marks on the main line, however this innovation fell out of use not long after.

There is a fairly complex relationship between spelling and sound. There are various issues:

  1. For many consonant sounds, there are two different letters that both represent the same sound, but which cause a different tone to be associated. This stems from a major change (a tone split) that occurred historically in the phonology of the Thai language. At the time the Thai script was created, the language had three tones and a full set of contrasts between voiced and unvoiced consonants at the beginning of a syllable (e.g. b d g l m n vs. p t k hl hm hn). At a later time, the voicing distinction disappeared, but in the process, each of the three original tones split in two, with an originally voiced consonant (the modern "low" consonant signs) producing a lower-variant tone, and an originally unvoiced consonant (the modern "mid" and "high" consonant signs) producing a higher-variant tone.
  2. Thai borrowed a large number of words from Sanskrit and Pali, and the Thai alphabet was created so that the original spelling of these words could be preserved as much as possible. This means that the Thai alphabet has a number of "duplicate" letters that represent separate sounds in Sanskrit and Pali (e.g. the breathy voiced sounds bh, dh, ḍh, jh, gh and the retroflex sounds ṭ ṭh ḍ ḍh ṇ) but which never represented distinct sounds in the Thai language. These are mostly or exclusively used in Sanskrit and Pali borrowings.
  3. The desire to preserve original Sanskrit and Pali spellings also produces a particularly large number of duplicate ways of spelling sounds at the end of a syllable (where Thai is strictly limited in the sounds that can occur but Sanskrit allowed all possibilities, especially once former final /a/ was deleted), as well as a number of silent letters. Moreover, many consonants from Sanskrit and Pali loanwords are generally silent. The spelling of the words resembles Sanskrit or Pali orthography:
    • Thaiสามารถ (spelled sǎamaarth but pronounced sa-mat[sǎːmâːt] with a silent r and a plain t that is represented using an aspirated consonant) "to be able" (Sanskrit समर्थ samartha)
    • Thaiจันทร์ (spelled chanthr but pronounced chan[tɕan] because the th and the r are silent) "moon" (Sanskrit चन्द्र chandra)
  4. Thai phonology dictates that all syllables must end in a vowel, an approximant, a nasal, or a voiceless plosive. Therefore, the letter written may not have the same pronunciation in the initial position as they do in the final position. See Alphabet listing below for more detail.
  5. Even though the high class letter ho hip ห is used to write the sound /h/, if the letter comes before a low class letter in a syllable, it will become the silent ho nam and turn the initial consonant into high class. See Tones below for more detail.

Thai letters do not have upper- and lower-case forms like Latin letters do. Spaces between words are not used, except in certain linguistically motivated cases.

Punctuation

Minor pauses in sentences may be marked by a comma (Thai:จุลภาค orลูกน้ำ, chunlaphak or luk nam), and major pauses by a period (Thai:มหัพภาค orจุด, mahap phak or chut), but most often are marked by a blank space (Thai:วรรค, wak).

A bird's eye ๏ (Thai:ตาไก่, ta kai, officially calledฟองมัน, fong man) formerly indicated paragraphs, but is now obsolete.

A paiyan noi ฯ (Thai:ไปยาลน้อย) is used for abbreviation.

A paiyan yai ฯลฯ (Thai:ไปยาลใหญ่) is the same as "etc." in English.

An angkhan kuu ๚ (Thai:อังคั่นคู่) was formerly used to mark the end of a chapter, but is now obsolete.

A kho mut ๛ (Thai:โคมูตร) was formerly used to mark the end of a document, but is now obsolete.

Thai writing also uses quotation marks (Thai:อัญประกาศ, anyaprakat) and parentheses (round brackets) (Thai:วงเล็บ, wong lep or Thai:นขลิขิต, nakha likhit), but not square brackets or braces.

Thai (along with its sister system, Lao) lacks conjunct consonants and independent vowels, while both designs are common among Brahmic scripts (e.g., Burmese and Balinese). In scripts with conjunct consonants, each consonant has two forms: base and conjoined. Consonant clusters are represented with the two styles of consonants. The two styles may form typographical ligatures, as in Devanagari. Independent vowels are used when a syllable starts with a vowel sign.

Consonants

There are 44 consonant letters representing 21 distinct consonant sounds. Duplicate consonants either correspond to sounds that existed in Old Thai at the time the alphabet was created but no longer exist (in particular, voiced obstruents such as b d g v z), or different Sanskrit and Pali consonants pronounced identically in Thai. There are in addition four consonant-vowel combination characters not included in the tally of 44.

Consonants are divided into three classes — in alphabetical order these are middle (กลาง, klang), high (สูง, sung), and low (ต่ำ, tam) class — as shown in the table below. These class designations reflect phonetic qualities of the sounds to which the letters originally corresponded in Old Thai. In particular, "middle" sounds were voiceless unaspirated stops; "high" sounds, voiceless aspirated stops or voiceless fricatives; "low" sounds, voiced. Subsequent sound changes have obscured the phonetic nature of these classes. Today, the class of a consonant without a tone mark, along with the short or long length of the accompanying vowel, determine the base accent (พื้นเสียง,phuen siang). Middle class consonants with a long vowel spell an additional four tones with one of four tone marks over the controlling consonant: mai ek, mai tho, mai tri, and mai chattawa. High and low class consonants are limited to mai ek and mai tho, as shown in the Tone table. Differing interpretations of the two marks or their absence allow low class consonants to spell tones not allowed for the corresponding high class consonant. In the case of digraphs where a low class follows a higher class consonant, often the higher class rules apply, but the marker, if used, goes over the low class one; accordingly,ห นำ ho nam andอ นำ o nam may be considered to be digraphs as such, as explained below the Tone table.

Notes
  1. Modern Thai sounds /b/ and /d/ were formerly — and sometimes still are — pronounced /ʔb/ and /ʔd/. For this reason, they were treated as voiceless unaspirated, and hence placed in the "middle" class; this was also the reason they were unaffected by the changes that devoiced most originally voiced stops.
  2. Only low class consonants may have a base accent determined by the syllable being both long and dead.

To aid learning, each consonant is traditionally associated with an acrophonic Thai word that either starts with the same sound, or features it prominently. For example, the name of the letter ข is kho khai (ข ไข่), in which kho is the sound it represents, and khai (ไข่) is a word which starts with the same sound and means "egg".

Two of the consonants, ฃ (kho khuat) and ฅ (kho khon), are no longer used in written Thai, but still appear on many keyboards and in character sets. When the first Thai typewriter was developed by Edwin Hunter McFarland in 1892, there was simply no space for all characters, thus two had to be left out. Also, neither of these two letters correspond to a Sanskrit or Pali letter, and each of them, being a modified form of the letter that precedes it (compare ข and ค), has the same pronunciation and the same consonant class as the preceding letter (somewhat like the European long s). This makes them redundant.

Equivalents for romanisation are shown in the table below. Many consonants are pronounced differently at the beginning and at the end of a syllable. The entries in columns initial and final indicate the pronunciation for that consonant in the corresponding positions in a syllable. Where the entry is '-', the consonant may not be used to close a syllable. Where a combination of consonants ends a written syllable, only the first is pronounced; possible closing consonant sounds are limited to 'k', 'm', 'n', 'ng', 'p' and 't'.

Although official standards for romanisation are the Royal Thai General System of Transcription (RTGS) defined by the Royal Thai Institute, and the almost identicalISO 11940-2 defined by the International Organization for Standardization, many publications use different romanisation systems. In daily practice, a bewildering variety of romanisations are used, making it difficult to know how to pronounce a word, or to judge if two words (e.g. on a map and a street sign) are actually the same. For more precise information, an equivalent from the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is given as well.

Alphabetic

Symbol Name RTGS IPA Class
Thai RTGS Meaning Initial Final Initial Final
ก ไก่ ko kai chicken k k [k] [k̚] mid
ข ไข่ kho khai egg kh k [kʰ] [k̚] high
ฃ ขวด kho khuat bottle (obsolete) kh k [kʰ] [k̚] high
ค ควาย kho khwai buffalo kh k [kʰ] [k̚] low
ฅ คน kho khon person (obsolete) kh k [kʰ] [k̚] low
ฆ ระฆัง kho ra-khang bell kh k [kʰ] [k̚] low
ง งู ngo ngu snake ng ng [ŋ] [ŋ] low
จ จาน cho chan plate ch t [tɕ] [t̚] mid
ฉ ฉิ่ง cho ching cymbals ch [tɕʰ] high
ช ช้าง cho chang elephant ch t [tɕʰ] [t̚] low
ซ โซ่ so so chain s t [s] [t̚] low
ฌ เฌอ cho choe tree ch [tɕʰ] low
ญ หญิง yo ying woman y n [j] [n] low
ฎ ชฎา do cha-da headdress d t [d] [t̚] mid
ฏ ปฏัก to pa-tak goad, javelin t t [t] [t̚] mid
ฐ ฐาน tho than pedestal th t [tʰ] [t̚] high
ฑ มณโฑ tho montho Montho, character from Ramayana th or d t [tʰ] or[d] [t̚] low
ฒ ผู้เฒ่า tho phu-thao elder th t [tʰ] [t̚] low
ณ เณร no nen samanera n n [n] [n] low
ด เด็ก do dek child d t [d] [t̚] mid
ต เต่า to tao turtle t t [t] [t̚] mid
ถ ถุง tho thung sack th t [tʰ] [t̚] high
ท ทหาร tho thahan soldier th t [tʰ] [t̚] low
ธ ธง tho thong flag th t [tʰ] [t̚] low
น หนู no nu mouse n n [n] [n] low
บ ใบไม้ bo baimai leaf b p [b] [p̚] mid
ป ปลา po pla fish p p [p] [p̚] mid
ผ ผึ้ง pho phueng bee ph [pʰ] high
ฝ ฝา fo fa lid f [f] high
พ พาน pho phan phan ph p [pʰ] [p̚] low
ฟ ฟัน fo fan teeth f p [f] [p̚] low
ภ สำเภา pho sam-phao junk ph p [pʰ] [p̚] low
ม ม้า mo ma horse m m [m] [m] low
ย ยักษ์ yo yak giant, yaksha y
or n
[j]
or[n]
low
ร เรือ ro ruea boat r n [r] [n] low
ล ลิง lo ling monkey l n [l] [n] low
ว แหวน wo waen ring w [w] low
ศ ศาลา so sala pavilion, sala s t [s] [t̚] high
ษ ฤๅษี so rue-si hermit s t [s] [t̚] high
ส เสือ so suea tiger s t [s] [t̚] high
ห หีบ ho hip chest, box h [h] high
ฬ จุฬา lo chu-la kite l n [l] [n] low
อ อ่าง o ang basin [ʔ] mid
ฮ นกฮูก ho nok-huk owl h [h] low
Notes
  1. kho khuat is obsolete and replaced by ข kho khai, which has identical phonetic values.
  2. kho khon is obsolete and replaced by ค kho khwai, which has identical phonetic values.
  3. The lower curves of the letter ญ are removed when certain letters are written below them, such as ญ + the mark phinthu (lower dot) = ญฺ, etc.
  4. The lower curves of the letter ฐ are removed when certain letters are written below them, such as ฐ + the vowel mark ุ = ฐุ, etc.
  5. When ย ends a syllable, it is usually part of the vowel. For example, mai (หมา, [maːj˩˥]), muai (หมว, [muaj˩˥]), roi (โร, [roːj˧]), and thui (ทุ, [tʰuj˧]). There are some cases in which ย ends a syllable and is not part of the vowel (but serves as an independent ending consonant). An example is phinyo (ภิโย, [pʰĩn˧.joː˧]).
  6. When ว ends a syllable, it is always part of the vowel. For example, hio (หิ, [hiw˩˥]), kao (กา, [kaːw˧]), klua (กลั, [kluːa˧]), and reo (เร็, [rew˧]).
  7. อ is a special case in that at the beginning of a word it is used as a silent initial for syllables that start with a vowel (all vowels are written relative to a consonant — see below). The same symbol is used as a vowel in non-initial position.

Phonetic

The consonants can be organised by place and manner of articulation according to principles of the International Phonetic Association. Thai distinguishes among three voice/aspiration patterns for plosive consonants:

  • unvoiced, unaspirated
  • unvoiced, aspirated
  • voiced, unaspirated

Where English has only a distinction between the voiced, unaspirated/b/ and the unvoiced, aspirated/pʰ/, Thai distinguishes a third sound which is neither voiced nor aspirated, which occurs in English only as an allophone of/p/, approximately the sound of the p in "spin". There is similarly an alveolar/t/,/tʰ/,/d/ triplet. In the velar series there is a/k/,/kʰ/ pair and in the postalveolar series the/tɕ/,/tɕʰ/ pair.

In each cell below, the first line indicates (IPA), the second indicates the Thai characters in initial position (several letters appearing in the same box have identical pronunciation). Note how the conventional alphabetic order shown in the table above follows roughly the table below, reading the coloured blocks from right to left and top to bottom.

Pronunciation of Thai characters in initial position

Bilabial Labio-
dental
Alveolar Alveolo-
palatal
Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal [m]
[n]
ณ,น
[ŋ]
Plosive [p]
[pʰ]
ผ,พ,ภ
[b]
[t]
ฏ,ต
[tʰ]
ฐ,ฑ,ฒ,ถ,ท,ธ
[d]
ฎ,ด
[k]
[kʰ]
ข,ฃ,ค,ฅ,ฆ
[ʔ]
Affricate [tɕ]
[tɕʰ]
ฉ,ช,ฌ
Fricative [f]
ฝ,ฟ
[s]
ซ,ศ,ษ,ส
[h]
ห,ฮ
Trill [r]
Approximant [w]
[j]
ญ,ย
Lateral
approximant
[l]
ล,ฬ
Notes
  1. ฃ and ฅ are no longer used. Thus, modern Thai is said to have 42 consonants.
  2. Initial อ is silent and therefore considered as glottal plosive.

Although the overall 44 Thai consonants provide 21 sounds in case of initials, the case for finals is different. Note how the consonant sounds in the table for initials collapse in the table for final sounds. At the end of a syllable, all plosives are unvoiced, unaspirated, and have no audible release. Initial affricates and fricatives become final plosives. The initial trill (ร), approximant (ญ), and lateral approximants (ล,ฬ) are realized as a final nasal/n/.

Only 8 ending consonant sounds, as well as no ending consonant sound, are available in Thai pronunciation. Among these consonants, excluding the disused ฃ and ฅ, six (ฉ ผ ฝ ห อ ฮ) cannot be used as a final. The remaining 36 are grouped as following.

Pronunciation of Thai characters in final position

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal [m]
[n]
ณ,น,,,,
[ŋ]
Plosive [p̚]
บ,ป,พ,,ภ
[t̚]
,,,,ฎ,ฏ,ฐ,ฑ,ฒ,
ด,ต,ถ,ท,ธ,,,
[k̚]
ก,ข,ค,ฆ
[ʔ]
Approximant [w]
[j]
Notes
  1. The glottal plosive appears at the end when no final follows a short vowel.

Vowels

Thai vowel sounds and diphthongs are written using a mixture of vowel symbols on a consonant base. Each vowel is shown in its correct position relative to a base consonant and sometimes a final consonant as well. Note that vowels can go above, below, left of or right of the consonant, or combinations of these places. If a vowel has parts before and after the initial consonant, and the syllable starts with a consonant cluster, the split will go around the whole cluster.

Twenty-one vowel symbol elements are traditionally named, which may appear alone or in combination to form compound symbols.

Symbol Name Combinations
Thai RTGS
วิสรรชนีย์, นมนาง Wisanchani
(from Sanskrit visarjanīya)
; ◌ัว; เ◌; เ◌อ; เ◌า; เ◌ีย; เ◌ือ; แ◌; โ◌
◌ั ไม้หันอากาศ, ไม้ผัด, หางกังหัน Mai han a-kat ◌ั◌; ◌ัว; ◌ัวะ
◌็ ไม้ไต่คู้, สัญญะประกาศ Mai tai khu ◌็; ◌็อ◌; เ◌็◌; แ◌็
ลากข้าง Lak khang ; ◌◌; ◌ํ; เ◌; เ◌
◌ิ พินทุ์อิ, พินทุอิ Phinthu i ◌ิ; เ◌ิ◌; ◌ี; ◌ี◌; เ◌ีย; เ◌ียะ; ◌ื◌; ◌ือ; เ◌ือ; เ◌ือะ
◌̍ ฝนทอง Fon thong ◌ี; ◌ี◌; เ◌ีย; เ◌ียะ
◌̎ ฟันหนู, มูสิกทันต์ Fan nu ◌ื◌; ◌ือ; เ◌ือ; เ◌ือะ
◌ํ นิคหิต, นฤคหิต, หยาดน้ำค้าง Nikkhahit ◌ึ; ◌ึ◌; ◌ํ
◌ุ ตีนเหยียด, ลากตีน Tin yiat ◌ุ; ◌ุ
◌ู ตีนคู้ Tin khu ◌ู; ◌ู
ไม้หน้า Mai na ◌; ◌◌; ◌็◌; ◌อ; ◌อ◌; ◌อะ; ◌า; ◌าะ; ◌ิ◌; ◌ีย; ◌ีย◌; ◌ียะ; ◌ือ; ◌ือ◌; ◌ือะ; ◌; ◌◌; ◌็◌; ◌ะ
ไม้โอ Mai o ◌; ◌◌; ◌ะ
ไม้ม้วน Mai muan
ไม้มลาย Mai malai
ตัว อ Tua o ; ◌็◌; ◌ื; เ◌; เ◌◌; เ◌ะ; เ◌ื; เ◌ื
ตัว ย Tua yo เ◌ี; เ◌ี◌; เ◌ี
ตัว ว Tua wo ◌ั; ◌ั
ตัว ฤ Tua rue
ฤๅ ตัว ฤๅ Tua rue ฤๅ
ตัว ฦ Tua lue
ฦๅ ตัว ฦๅ Tua lue ฦๅ
Notes
  1. These symbols are always combined with phinthu i (◌ิ).

The inherent vowels are/a/ in open syllables (CV) and/o/ in closed syllables (CVC). For example,ถนน transcribes/ànǒn/ "road". There are a few exceptions in Pali loanwords, where the inherent vowel of an open syllable is/o/. The circumfix vowels, such asเ–าะ/ɔʔ/, encompass a preceding consonant with an inherent vowel. For example,/ɔʔ/ is writtenาะ, and/tɕʰaɔʔ/ "only" is writtenฉพาะ.

The characters ฤ ฤๅ (plus ฦ ฦๅ, which are obsolete) are usually considered as vowels, the first being a short vowel sound, and the latter, long. The letters are based on vocalic consonants used in Sanskrit, given the one-to-one letter correspondence of Thai to Sanskrit, although the last two letters are quite rare, as their equivalent Sanskrit sounds only occur in a few, ancient words and thus are functionally obsolete in Thai. The first symbol 'ฤ' is common in many Sanskrit and Pali words and 'ฤๅ' less so, but does occur as the primary spelling for the Thai adaptation of Sanskrit 'rishi' and treu (Thai:ตฤๅ/trɯː/ or/triː/), a very rare Khmer loan word for 'fish' only found in ancient poetry. As alphabetical entries, ฤ ฤๅ follow , and themselves can be read as a combination of consonant and vowel, equivalent to รึ (short), and รือ (long) (and the obsolete pair as ลึ, ลือ), respectively. Moreover, can act as ริ as an integral part in many words mostly borrowed from Sanskrit such as กษณะ (kritsana, not kruetsana), ทธิ์ (rit, not ruet), and กษดา (kritsada, not kruetsada), for example. It is also used to spell อังกangkrit England/English. The word กษ์ (roek) is a unique case where is pronounced like เรอ. In the past, prior to the turn of the twentieth century, it was common for writers to substitute these letters in native vocabulary that contained similar sounds as a shorthand that was acceptable in writing at the time. For example, the conjunction 'or' (Thai:หรือ/rɯ́/ reu, cf. Lao:ຫຼຶ/ຫລື/lɨ̑ː/ lu) was often written Thai:. This practice has become obsolete, but can still be seen in Thai literature.

The pronunciation below is indicated by the International Phonetic Alphabet and the Romanisation according to the Royal Thai Institute as well as several variant Romanisations often encountered. A very approximate equivalent is given for various regions of English speakers and surrounding areas. Dotted circles represent the positions of consonants or consonant clusters. The first one represents the initial consonant and the latter (if it exists) represents the final.

Ro han (ร หัน) is not usually considered a vowel and is not included in the following table. It represents the sara a/a/ vowel in certain Sanskrit loanwords and appears as ◌รร◌. When used without a final consonant (◌รร),/n/ is implied as the final consonant, giving[an].

Short vowels Long vowels
Name Symbol IPA RTGS Variants Similar Sound
(English RP pronunciation)
Name Symbol IPA RTGS Variants Similar Sound
(English RP pronunciation)
Simple vowels
สระอะ Sara a ◌ะ

◌ั◌
a a u u in "nut" สระอา Sara a ◌า
◌า◌
a ah, ar, aa a in "father"
สระอิ Sara i ◌ิ
◌ิ◌
i i y in "greedy" สระอี Sara i ◌ี
◌ี◌
i ee, ii, y ee in "see"
สระอึ Sara ue ◌ึ
◌ึ◌
ɯ ue eu, u, uh Can be approximated by pronouncing the oo in "look" with unrounded lips

German: the ü in Mücke

สระอือ Sara ue ◌ือ
◌ื◌
ɯː ue eu, u Can be approximated by pronouncing the oo in RP "goose" with unrounded lips
สระอุ Sara u ◌ุ
◌ุ◌
u u oo oo in "shoot" สระอู Sara u ◌ู
◌ู◌
u oo, uu oo in "too"
สระเอะ Sara e เ◌ะ
เ◌็◌
e e e in "neck" สระเอ Sara e เ◌
เ◌◌
e ay, a, ae, ai, ei a in "lame"
สระแอะ Sara ae แ◌ะ
แ◌็◌
ɛ ae aeh, a a in "at" สระแอ Sara ae แ◌
แ◌◌
ɛː ae a a in "ham"
สระโอะ Sara o โ◌ะ
◌◌
o o oa in "boat" สระโอ Sara o โ◌
โ◌◌
o or, oh, ô o in "go"
สระเอาะ Sara o เ◌าะ
◌็อ◌
ɔ o o, aw o in "not" สระออ Sara o ◌อ
◌อ◌
◌◌
◌็
ɔː o or, aw aw in "saw"
สระเออะ Sara oe เ◌อะ ɤʔ oe eu e in "the" สระเออ Sara oe เ◌อ
เ◌ิ◌
เ◌อ◌
ɤː
ɤ
oe er, eu, ur u in "burn"
Diphthongs
สระเอียะ Sara ia เ◌ียะ iaʔ ia iah, ear, ie ea in "ear" with glottal stop สระเอีย Sara ia เ◌ีย
เ◌ีย◌
ia ia ear, ere, ie ear in "ear"
สระเอือะ Sara uea เ◌ือะ ɯaʔ uea eua, ua ure in "pure" สระเอือ Sara uea เ◌ือ
เ◌ือ◌
ɯa uea eua, ua, ue ure in "pure"
สระอัวะ Sara ua ◌ัวะ uaʔ ua ewe in "sewer" สระอัว Sara ua ◌ัว
◌ว◌
ua ua uar ewe in "newer"
Phonetic diphthongs
สระอิ + ว Sara i + wo waen ◌ิว iu; iw io ew ew in "few"
สระเอะ + ว Sara e + wo waen เ◌็ว eu; ew eo eu, ew สระเอ + ว Sara e + wo waen เ◌ว eːu; eːw eo eu, ew ai + ow in "rainbow"
สระแอ + ว Sara ae + wo waen แ◌ว ɛːu; ɛːw aeo aew, eo a in "ham" + ow in "low"
สระเอา Sara ao เ◌า au; aw ao aw, au, ow ow in "cow" สระอา + ว Sara a + wo waen ◌าว aːu ao au ow in "now"
สระเอีย + ว Sara ia + wo waen เ◌ียว iau; iaw iao eaw, iew, iow io in "trio"
สระอะ + ย Sara a + yo yak ◌ัย ai; aj ai ay i in "hi" สระอา + ย Sara a + yo yak ◌าย aːi; aːj ai aai, aay, ay ye in "bye"
สระไอ Sara ai ใ◌, ไ◌
ไ◌ย
สระเอาะ + ย Sara o + yo yak ◌็อย ɔi; ɔj oi oy สระออ + ย Sara o + yo yak ◌อย ɔːi; ɔːj oi oy oy in "boy"
สระโอ + ย Sara o + yo yak โ◌ย oːi; oːj oi oy
สระอุ + ย Sara u + yo yak ◌ุย ui; uj ui uy
สระเออ + ย Sara oe + yo yak เ◌ย ɤːi; ɤːj oei oey u in "burn" + y in "boy"
สระอัว + ย Sara ua + yo yak ◌วย uai; uaj uai uay uoy in "buoy"
สระเอือ + ย Sara uea + yo yak เ◌ือย ɯai; ɯaj ueai uai
Extra vowels
สระอำ Sara am am am um um in "sum"
Rue
ri
rɤː
rue, ri, roe ru, ri rew in "grew", ry in "angry" ฤๅ Rue ฤๅ rɯː rue ruu
Lue lue lu, li lew in "blew" ฦๅ Lue ฦๅ lɯː lue lu
  1. Only with ร (ro ruea) as final consonant, appearing as ◌ร[ɔːn].
  2. Only with the word ก็[kɔ̂ː].
  3. Used only in certain words.
  4. Traditionally, these sets of diphthongs and triphthongs are regarded as combinations of regular vowels or diphthongs with wo waen (ว,/w/) or yo yak (ย,/j/) as the final consonant, and are not counted among the thirty-two vowels.
  5. Sara ai (ใ◌ and ไ◌)and sara ao (เ◌า) are also considered extra vowels.
  6. Mai malai (ไ◌) is used for the[ai] vowel in most words, while mai muan (ใ◌) is only used in twenty specific words.
  7. ไ◌ย is found in ไทย Thai and in Pali loanwords which contain -eyya. The ย is redundant, but may be pronounced in a compound word when joined by samāsa.
  8. Extra vowels are not distinct vowel sounds, but are symbols that represent certain vowel-consonant combinations. They are traditionally regarded as vowels, although some sources do not.

Tone

Central Thai

Thai is a tonal language, and the script gives full information on the tones. Tones are realised in the vowels, but indicated in the script by a combination of the class of the initial consonant (high, mid or low), vowel length (long or short), closing consonant (plosive or sonorant, i.e., dead or live) and, if present, one of four tone marks, whose names derive from the names of the digits 1–4 borrowed from Pali or Sanskrit. The rules for denoting tones are shown in the following chart:

Tone type top to bottom: high, rising, mid, falling, low. Initial consonant class left to right: low (blue), middle (green), high (red). Syllable type: live (empty circle), dead (full circle), dead short (narrow ellipse), dead long (wide ellipse).
Symbol Name Syllable composition and initial consonant class
Thai RTGS Vowel and final Low Mid High
(ไม่มี) (none) live
long vowel or vowel plus sonorant
mid mid rising
(ไม่มี) (none) dead short
short vowel at end or plus plosive
high low low
(ไม่มี) (none) dead long
long vowel plus plosive
falling low low
ไม้เอก mai ek any falling low low
ไม้โท mai tho any high falling falling
ไม้ตรี mai tri any - high -
ไม้จัตวา mai chattawa any - rising -
Thai language tone chart
Flowchart for determining the tone of a Thai syllable. Click to enlarge

"None", that is, no tone marker, is used with the base accent (พื้นเสียง,phuen siang). Mai tri and mai chattawa are only used with mid-class consonants.

Two consonant characters (not diacritics) are used to modify the tone:

  • ห นำ ho nam, leading ho. A silent, high-class ห "leads" low-class nasal stops (ง, ญ, น and ม) and non-plosives (ว, ย, ร and ล), which have no corresponding high-class phonetic match, into the tone properties of a high-class consonant. In polysyllabic words, an initial mid- or high-class consonant with an implicit vowel similarly "leads" these same low-class consonants into the higher class tone rules, with the tone marker borne by the low-class consonant.
  • อ นำ o nam, leading o. In four words only, a silent, mid-class อ "leads" low-class ย into mid-class tone rules: อย่า (ya, don't) อยาก (yak, desire) อย่าง (yang, kind, sort, type) อยู่ (yu, stay). Note all four have long-vowel, low-tone siang ek; อยาก, a dead syllable, needs no tone marker, but the three live syllables all take mai ek.
Low consonant High consonant IPA
หง [ŋ]
หญ [j]
หน [n]
หม [m]
หย [j]
หร [r]
หล [l]
หว [w]
Low consonant Middle consonant IPA
อย [j]

Some dialect where words are spelled with one tone but pronounced with another often occur in informal conversation (notably the pronouns ฉัน chan and เขา khao, which are both pronounced with a high tone rather than the rising tone indicated by the script). Generally, when such words are recited or read in public, they are pronounced as spelled.

Southern Thai

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Spoken Southern Thai can have up to seven tones. When Southern Thai is written in Thai script, there are different rules for indicating spoken tone.

Tones Nakhon Si Thammarat accent rules IPA
First tone An initial consonant class "high" with long sound, and an initial consonant class "low" after the word. [˦˥˧]
An initial consonant class "high" with short sound, and an initial consonant class "low"
with [k̚], [t̚], [p̚] finals after the word.
[˨˦]
Second tone An initial consonant class "high" both short long sound,
and an initial consonant class "low" after the word.
[˦]
Third tone An initial consonant class "middle" long sound. [˧˦˧]
An initial consonant class "middle" short sound with [k̚], [t̚], [p̚] finals. [˧˦]
Fourth tone An initial consonant class "middle" both short long sound. [˧]
Fifth tone An initial consonant class "low" with head word. [˨˧˨]
Sixth tone An initial consonant class "low" long sound. [˨˦]
Seventh tone An initial consonant class "low" short sound. [˨˩]

Diacritics

Other diacritics are used to indicate short vowels and silent letters:

  • Mai taikhu means "stick that climbs and squats". It is a miniature Thai numeral 8 .Mai taikhu is often used with sara e (เ) and sara ae (แ) in closed syllables.
  • Thanthakhat means "capital punishment".
Symbol Name Meaning
Thai RTGS
◌็ ไม้ไต่คู้ mai taikhu shortens vowel
◌์ ทัณฑฆาต or การันต์ thanthakhat or karan indicates silent letter

Fan nu means "rat teeth" and is thought as being placed in combination with short sara i and fong man to form other characters.

Symbol Name Use
Thai RTGS
" ฟันหนู fan nu combined with short sara i (◌ิ) to make long sara ue (◌ื)
combined with fong man (๏) to make fong man fan nu (๏")

Numerals

Main article: Thai numerals

For numerals, mostly the standard Hindu-Arabic numerals (Thai:เลขฮินดูอารบิก, lek hindu arabik) are used, but Thai also has its own set of Thai numerals that are based on the Hindu-Arabic numeral system (Thai:เลขไทย, lek thai), which are mostly limited to government documents, election posters, license plates of military vehicles, and special entry prices for Thai nationals.

Hindu-Arabic 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Thai

Other symbols

Symbol Name Meaning
Thai RTGS
ไปยาลน้อย pai-yan noi marks formal phrase shortened by convention (abbreviation)
ฯลฯ ไปยาลใหญ่ pai-yan yai et cetera
ไม้ยมก mai ya-mok preceding word or phrase is reduplicated
ฟองมัน, ตาไก่ fong man, ta kai previously marked beginning of a sentence, paragraph, or stanza (obsolete); now only marks beginning of a stanza in a poem; now also used as bullet point
" ฟองมันฟันหนู, ฟันหนูฟองมัน, ฝนทองฟองมัน fong man fan nu, fan nu fong man, fon tong fong man previously marked beginning of a chapter (obsolete)
" ฟองดัน fong dan
อังคั่นเดี่ยว, คั่นเดี่ยว, ขั้นเดี่ยว angkhan diao, khan diao, khan diao previously marked end of a sentence or stanza (obsolete)
อังคั่นคู่, คั่นคู่, ขั้นคู่ angkhan khu, khan khu, khan khu marks end of stanza; marks end of chapter or long section
ฯะ อังคั่นวิสรรชนีย์ angkhan wisanchani marks end of a stanza in a poem
๚ะ
โคมูตร, สูตรนารายณ์ khomut, sutnarai marks end of a chapter or document; marks end of a story
๚ะ๛ อังคั่นวิสรรชนีย์โคมูตร angkhan wisanchani khomut marks the very end of a written work
฿ บาท bat baht (the currency of Thailand)

Pai-yan noi and angkhan diao share the same character. Sara a (–ะ) used in combination with other characters is called wisanchani.

Some of the characters can mark the beginning or end of a sentence, chapter, or episode of a story or of a stanza in a poem. These have changed use over time and are becoming uncommon.

Alphabet chart
ยรลว ศษส
Colour codes
Colour Class
Green Medium
Pink High
Blue Paired low class; has its high class counterpart
Purple Single low class; turns into high class if preceded by ห
Ending sounds
กขฃ

คฅฆ

/k/ จฉชซฌ

ฎฏฐฑฒ ดตถทธ ศษส

/t/ บปผฝ

พฟภ

/p/
/ŋ/ ญณน รล /n/ /m/
/ʔ/ /i/ /u/

colour codes

red: dead

green: alive

  • If the syllable contains no ending consonants, it is considered alive if the vowel is long and dead if it is short.
Vowels
-ิ,-ี -ึ,-ื -ุ,-ู
เ- เ-อ โ- *โ- > โ-, --
แ- ะ,า -อ *-อ > เ-าะ, -็อ
Diphthongs
เ-ีย เ-ือ -ัว
-ำ ใ- ไ- เ-า
ฤๅ ฦา

colour codes

pink: long vowel, shortened by add "ะ"(no ending consonant) or "-็"(with ending consonant)

green: long vowel, has a special form when shortened

Vowel chart
position front central back
duration short long short long short long
close -ิ /i/ -ี // -ึ /ɯ/ -ือ,-ื /ɯː/ -ุ /u/ -ู //
mid เ-ะ,เ-็ /e/ เ- // เ-อะ /ɤʔ/ เ-อ,เ-ิ /ɤː/ โ-ะ,-- /o/ โ- //
open แ-ะ,แ-็ /ɛ/ แ- /ɛː/ -ะ,-ั /a/ -า // เ-าะ,-็อ /ɔ/ -อ /ɔː/
vowel+/a/ เ-ียะ /ia/ เ-ีย /i/ เ-ือะ /ɯa/ เ-ือ /ɯ/ -ัวะ /ua/ -ัว /u/
/a/+vowel ไ- ใ- /ai/ -าย /i/ -ำ /am/ -าม /m/ เ-า /au/ -าว /u/
Tone chart
class ending none -่ -้ -๊ -๋
mid dead low - fall high -
mid alive mid low fall high rise
high dead low - fall
high alive rise low fall
low dead (short vowel) high fall -
low dead (long vowel) fall - high
low alive mid fall high
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The Thai script (like all Indic scripts) uses a number of modifications to write Sanskrit and related languages (in particular, Pali). Pali is very closely related to Sanskrit and is the liturgical language of Thai Buddhism. In Thailand, Pali is written and studied using a slightly modified Thai script. The main difference is that each consonant is followed by an implied short a (อะ), not the 'o', or 'ə' of Thai: this short a is never omitted in pronunciation, and if the vowel is not to be pronounced, then a specific symbol must be used, thepinthu อฺ (a solid dot under the consonant). This means that sara a (อะ) is never used when writing Pali, because it is always implied. For example, namo is written นะโม in Thai, but in Pali it is written as นโม, because the อะ is redundant. The Sanskrit word 'mantra' is written มนตร์ in Thai (and therefore pronounced mon), but is written มนฺตฺร in Sanskrit (and therefore pronounced mantra). When writing Pali, only 33 consonants and 12 vowels are used.

This is an example of a Pali text written using the Thai Sanskrit orthography: อรหํ สมฺมาสมฺพุทฺโธ ภควา[arahaṃ sammāsambuddho bhagavā]. Written in modern Thai orthography, this becomes อะระหัง สัมมาสัมพุทโธ ภะคะวา arahang sammasamphuttho phakhawa.

In Thailand, Sanskrit is read out using the Thai values for all the consonants (so ค is read as kha and not [ga]), which makes Thai spoken Sanskrit incomprehensible to sanskritists not trained in Thailand. The Sanskrit values are used in transliteration (without the diacritics), but these values are never actually used when Sanskrit is read out loud in Thailand. The vowels used in Thai are identical to Sanskrit, with the exception of ฤ, ฤๅ, ฦ, and ฦๅ, which are read using their Thai values, not their Sanskrit values. Sanskrit and Pali are not tonal languages, but in Thailand, the Thai tones are used when reading these languages out loud.

In the tables in this section, the Thai value (transliterated according to the Royal Thai system) of each letter is listed first, followed by the IAST value of each letter in square brackets. Remember that in Thailand, the IAST values are never used in pronunciation, but only sometimes in transcriptions (with the diacritics omitted). This disjoint between transcription and spoken value explains the romanisation for Sanskrit names in Thailand that many foreigners find confusing. For example, สุวรรณภูมิ is romanised as Suvarnabhumi, but pronounced su-wan-na-phum. ศรีนครินทร์ is romanised as Srinagarindra but pronounced si-nakha-rin.

Plosives (vargaḥ)

Plosives (also called stops) are listed in their traditional Sanskrit order, which corresponds to Thai alphabetical order from to with three exceptions: in Thai, high-class is followed by two obsolete characters with no Sanskrit equivalent, high-class ฃ and low-class ฅ; low-class is followed by sibilant ซ (low-class equivalent of high-class sibilant ส that follows ศ and ษ.) The table gives the Thai value first, and then the IAST (International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration) value in square brackets.

class Sanskrit unvoiced Sanskrit voiced
Thai unvoiced Thai voiced
Unaspirated Aspirated Aspirated Unaspirated Aspirated Nasal
Thai Sanskrit Thai Sanskrit Thai Sanskrit Thai Sanskrit Thai Sanskrit
velar

[ka]

/k/

khà

[kha]

/kʰ/

khá

[ga]

/g/

khá

[gha]

/gʱ/

ngá

[ṅa]

/ŋ/

palatal

[ca]

/c/, /t͡ɕ/

chà

[cha]

/cʰ/, /t͡ɕʰ/

chá

[ja]

/ɟ/, /d͡ʑ/

chá

[jha]

/ɟʱ/, /d͡ʑʱ/

[ña]

/ɲ/

retroflex

[ṭa]

/ʈ/

thà

[ṭha]

/ʈʰ/

thá

[ḍa]

/ɖ/

thá

[ḍha]

/ɖʱ/

[ṇa]

/ɳ/

dental

[ta]

/t/

thà

[tha]

/tʰ/

thá

[da]

/d/

thá

[dha]

/dʱ/

[na]

/n/

labial

[pa]

/p/

phà

[pha]

/pʰ/

phá

[ba]

/b/

phá

[bha]

/bʱ/

[ma]

/m/

tone class Mid High Low Low Low

None of the Sanskrit plosives are pronounced as the Thai voiced plosives, so these are not represented in the table. While letters are listed here according to their class in Sanskrit, Thai has lost the distinction between many of the consonants. So, while there is a clear distinction between ช and ฌ in Sanskrit, in Thai these two consonants are pronounced identically (including tone). Likewise, the Thai phonemes do not differentiate between the retroflex and dental classes, because Thai has no retroflex consonants. The equivalents of all the retroflex consonants are pronounced identically to their dental counterparts: thus ฏ is pronounced like ต, ฐ is pronounced like ถ, ฑ is pronounced like ท, ฒ is pronounced like ธ, and ณ is pronounced like น.

The Sanskrit unaspirated unvoiced plosives are pronounced as unaspirated unvoiced, whereas Sanskrit aspirated voiced plosives are pronounced as aspirated unvoiced.

Non-plosives (avargaḥ)

Semivowels (กึ่งสระ kueng sara) and liquids come in Thai alphabetical order after , the last of the plosives. The term อวรรค awak means "without a break"; that is, without a plosive.

series symbol value related vowels
Thai Sanskrit
palatal [ya] /j/ อิ and อี
retroflex [ra]

/ɽ/

and ฤๅ
dental [la]

/l/

and ฦๅ
labial [va]

/ʋ/

อุ and อู

Sibilants

Inserted sounds (เสียดแทรก siat saek) follow the semi-vowel ว in alphabetical order.

series symbol value
Thai Sanskrit
palatal [śa]/ɕ/
retroflex [ṣa]/ʂ/
dental [sa]/s/

Like Sanskrit, Thai has no voiced sibilant (so no 'z' or 'zh'). In modern Thai, the distinction between the three high-class consonants has been lost and all three are pronounced 'sà'; however, foreign words with a sh-sound may still be transcribed as if the Sanskrit values still hold (e.g., ang-grit อังกฤษ for English instead of อังกฤส).

ศ ศาลา (so sala) leads words, as in its example word, ศาลา. The digraph ศรี (Indic sri) is regularly pronounced สี (si), as in Sisaket Province, Thai: ศรีสะเกษ.
ษ ฤๅษี (so rue-si) may only lead syllables within a word, as in its example, ฤๅษี, or to end a syllable as in ศรีสะเกษ Sisaket and อังกฤษ Angkrit English.
ส เสือ (so suea) spells native Thai words that require a high-class /s/, as well as naturalized Pali/Sanskrit words, such as สารท (สาท) in Thetsakan Sat: เทศกาลสารท (เทด-สะ-กาน-สาท), formerly ศารท (สาท).
ซ โซ่ (so so), which follows the similar-appearing ช in Thai alphabetical order, spells words requiring a low-class /s/, as does ทร + vowel.
ทร, as in the heading of this section, เสียดแทรก (pronounced เสียดแซก siat saek), when accompanied by a vowel (implicit in ทรง (ซง song an element in forming words used with royalty); a semivowel in ทรวง (ซวง suang chest, heart); or explicit in ทราย (ซาย sai sand). Exceptions to ทร + vowel = /s/ are the prefix โทร- (equivalent to tele- far, pronounced โทระ to-ra), and phonetic re-spellings of English tr- (as in the phonetic respelling of trumpet: ทรัมเพ็ท.) ทร is otherwise pronounced as two syllables ทอระ-, as in ทรมาน (ทอระมาน to-ra-man to torment).

Voiced h

symbol value
Thai Sanskrit
[ha]

/ɦ/

, a high-class consonant, comes next in alphabetical order, but its low-class equivalent, , follows similar-appearing อ as the last letter of the Thai alphabet. Like modern Hindi, the voicing has disappeared, and the letter is now pronounced like English 'h'. Like Sanskrit, this letter may only be used to start a syllable, but may not end it. (A popular beer is romanized as Singha, but in Thai is สิงห์, with a karan on the ห; correct pronunciation is "sing", but foreigners to Thailand typically say "sing-ha".)

Voiced lla

symbol value
Thai Sanskrit
llá [ḷa]

/ɭ/

This represents the retroflex liquid of Pali and Vedic Sanskrit, which does not exist in Classical Sanskrit.

Vowels

symbol value
อะ a[a]
อา a[ā]
อิ i[i]
อี i[ī]
อุ u[u]
อู u[ū]
เอ e[e]
โอ o[o]
ru[ṛ]
ฤๅ ru[ṝ]
lu[ḷ]
ฦๅ lu[ḹ]

All consonants have an inherent 'a' sound, and therefore there is no need to use the ะ symbol when writing Sanskrit. The Thai vowels อื, ไอ, ใอ, and so forth, are not used in Sanskrit. The zero consonant, อ, is unique to the Indic alphabets descended from Khmer. When it occurs in Sanskrit, it is always the zero consonant and never the vowel o[ɔː]. Its use in Sanskrit is therefore to write vowels that cannot be otherwise written alone: e.g., อา or อี. When อ is written on its own, then it is a carrier for the implied vowel, a[a] (equivalent to อะ in Thai).

The vowel sign อำ occurs in Sanskrit, but only as the combination of the pure vowels sara a อา with nikkhahit อํ.

Other non-Thai symbols

There are a number of additional symbols only used to write Sanskrit or Pali, and not used in writing Thai.

Nikkhahit (anusvāra)

Symbol IAST
อํ

In Sanskrit, the anusvāra indicates a certain kind of nasal sound. In Thai this is written as an open circle above the consonant, known as nikkhahit (นิคหิต), from Pali niggahīta. Nasalisation does not occur in Thai, therefore, a nasal stop is always substituted: e.g. ตํtaṃ, is pronounced as ตัง tang by Thai Sanskritists. If nikkhahit occurs before a consonant, then Thai uses a nasal stop of the same class: e.g. สํสฺกฺฤตา[saṃskṛta] is read as สันสกฤตา san-sa-krit-ta (The ส following the nikkhahit is a dental-class consonant, therefore the dental-class nasal stop น is used). For this reason, it has been suggested that in Thai, nikkhahit should be listed as a consonant. Also, traditional Pali grammars describe nikkhahit as a consonant. Nikkhahit นิคหิต occurs as part of the Thai vowels sara am อำ and sara ue อึ.

Phinthu (virāma)

อฺ

Because the Thai script is an abugida, a symbol (equivalent to virāma in devanagari) needs to be added to indicate that the implied vowel is not to be pronounced. This is thephinthu, which is a solid dot (also called 'Bindu' in Sanskrit) below the consonant.

Yamakkan

อ๎

Yamakkan (ยามักการ) is an obsolete symbol used to mark the beginning of consonant clusters: e.g. พ๎ราห๎มณ phramana[brāhmaṇa]. Without the yamakkan, this word would be pronouncedpharahamana[barāhamaṇa] instead. This is a feature unique to the Thai script (other Indic scripts use a combination of ligatures, conjuncts or virāma to convey the same information). The symbol is obsolete becausepinthu may be used to achieve the same effect: พฺราหฺมณ.

Visarga

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The means of recording visarga (final voiceless 'h') in Thai has reportedly been lost, although the character ◌ะ which is used to transcribe a short /a/ or to add a glottal stop after a vowel is the closest equivalent and can be seen used as a visarga in some Thai-script Sanskrit text.

Main article: Thai (Unicode block)

Thai script was added to the Unicode Standard in October 1991 with the release of version 1.0.

The Unicode block for Thai is U+0E00–U+0E7F. It is a verbatim copy of the older TIS-620 character set which encodes the vowels เ, แ, โ, ใ and ไ before the consonants they follow, and thus Thai, Lao, Tai Viet and New Tai Lue are the only Brahmic scripts in Unicode that use visual order instead of logical order.

Thai[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+0E0x
U+0E1x
U+0E2x
U+0E3x ฿
U+0E4x
U+0E5x
U+0E6x
U+0E7x
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 14.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

Thai characters can be typed using the Kedmanee layout and the Pattachote layout.

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Find sources: "Thai script"news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR
(December 2007) ()
  1. Hartmann, John F. (1986). "The spread of South Indic scripts in Southeast Asia": 8.{{cite journal}}:Cite journal requires |journal= ()
  2. Diller, Anthony V.N. (1996). "Thai orthography and the history of marking tone"(PDF): 228–248.{{cite journal}}:Cite journal requires |journal= ()
  3. Juyaso, Arthit (2016). Read Thai in 10 Days. Bingo-Lingo. p. 40. ISBN 978-616-423-487-1.
  4. Unicode Consortium. "Southeast Asia". In The Unicode Standard Version 12.0 (p. 631).
  5. "The origins of the Thai typewriter". Archived from the original on December 19, 2010. RetrievedDecember 5, 2011.
  6. Tingsabadh, Kalaya; Arthur S. Abramson (1993). "Thai". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 23 (1): 24̂–28. doi:10.1017/S0025100300004746. S2CID 249403146.
  7. Karoonboonyanan, Theppitak (1999). "Standardization and Implementations of Thai Language"(PDF). National Electronics and Computer Technology Center. Retrieved2010-08-04.
  8. "Thai"(PDF). Unicode. 2009. Retrieved2010-08-04.
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Thai script Article Talk Language Watch Edit 160 160 Redirected from Thai alphabet The Thai script Thai xksrithy RTGS akson thai is the abugida used to write Thai Southern Thai and many other languages spoken in Thailand The Thai alphabet itself as used to write Thai has 44 consonant symbols Thai phyychna phayanchana 16 vowel symbols Thai sra sara that combine into at least 32 vowel forms and four tone diacritics Thai wrrnyukt or wrrnyut wannayuk or wannayut to create characters mostly representing syllables Thai xksrithyScript typeAbugidaCreatorRamkhamhaeng the GreatTime period1283 presentDirectionleft to right LanguagesStandard form Thai Southern Thai Non standard form Lanna Isan Pattani Malay and othersRelated scriptsParent systemsProto Sinaitic alphabetPhoenician alphabetAramaic alphabetBrahmiTamil BrahmiPallavaKhmerSukhothaiThaiChild systemsTai VietSister systemsLaoISO 15924ISO 15924Thai 352 ThaiUnicodeUnicode aliasThaiUnicode rangeU 0E00 U 0E7F This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet IPA For an introductory guide on IPA symbols see Help IPA For the distinction between and see IPA Brackets and transcription delimiters Although commonly referred to as the Thai alphabet the script is in fact not a true alphabet but an abugida a writing system in which the full characters represent consonants with diacritical marks for vowels the absence of a vowel diacritic gives an implied a or o Consonants are written horizontally from left to right and vowels following a consonant in speech are written above below to the left or to the right of it or a combination of those Contents 1 History 2 Orthography 2 1 Punctuation 3 Alphabet listing 3 1 Consonants 3 1 1 Alphabetic 3 1 2 Phonetic 3 2 Vowels 3 3 Tone 3 3 1 Central Thai 3 3 2 Southern Thai 3 4 Diacritics 3 5 Numerals 3 6 Other symbols 4 Summary charts 5 Sanskrit and Pali 5 1 Plosives vargaḥ 5 2 Non plosives avargaḥ 5 2 1 Sibilants 5 2 2 Voiced h 5 2 3 Voiced lla 5 3 Vowels 5 4 Other non Thai symbols 5 4 1 Nikkhahit anusvara 5 4 2 Phinthu virama 5 4 3 Yamakkan 5 4 4 Visarga 6 Unicode 7 Keyboard layouts 8 See also 9 References 10 External linksHistory EditFurther information Sukhothai script Ram Khamhaeng Inscription the oldest inscription using proto Thai script Bangkok National Museum The evolution of the Thai alphabet The Thai alphabet is derived from the Old Khmer script Thai xksrkhxm akson khom which is a southern Brahmic style of writing derived from the south Indian Pallava alphabet Thai pllwa According to tradition it was created in 1283 by King Ramkhamhaeng the Great Thai phxkhunramkhaaehngmharach 1 The earliest attestation of the Thai script is the Ram Khamhaeng Inscription dated to 1292 however some scholars question its authenticity 2 The script was derived from a cursive form of the Old Khmer script of the time 1 It modified and simplified some of the Old Khmer letters and introduced some new ones to accommodate Thai phonology It also introduced tone marks Thai is considered to be the first script in the world that invented tone markers to indicate distinctive tones which are lacking in the Mon Khmer Austroasiatic languages and Indo Aryan languages from which its script is derived Although Chinese and other Sino Tibetan languages have distinctive tones in their phonological system no tone marker is found in their orthographies Thus tone markers are an innovation in the Thai language that later influenced other related Tai languages and some Tibeto Burman languages on the Southeast Asian mainland 2 Another addition were consonant clusters that were written horizontally and contiguously rather than writing the second consonant below the first one 2 Finally the script wrote vowel marks on the main line however this innovation fell out of use not long after 1 Orthography EditThere is a fairly complex relationship between spelling and sound There are various issues For many consonant sounds there are two different letters that both represent the same sound but which cause a different tone to be associated This stems from a major change a tone split that occurred historically in the phonology of the Thai language At the time the Thai script was created the language had three tones and a full set of contrasts between voiced and unvoiced consonants at the beginning of a syllable e g b d g l m n vs p t k hl hm hn At a later time the voicing distinction disappeared but in the process each of the three original tones split in two with an originally voiced consonant the modern low consonant signs producing a lower variant tone and an originally unvoiced consonant the modern mid and high consonant signs producing a higher variant tone Thai borrowed a large number of words from Sanskrit and Pali and the Thai alphabet was created so that the original spelling of these words could be preserved as much as possible This means that the Thai alphabet has a number of duplicate letters that represent separate sounds in Sanskrit and Pali e g the breathy voiced sounds bh dh ḍh jh gh and the retroflex sounds ṭ ṭh ḍ ḍh ṇ but which never represented distinct sounds in the Thai language These are mostly or exclusively used in Sanskrit and Pali borrowings The desire to preserve original Sanskrit and Pali spellings also produces a particularly large number of duplicate ways of spelling sounds at the end of a syllable where Thai is strictly limited in the sounds that can occur but Sanskrit allowed all possibilities especially once former final a was deleted as well as a number of silent letters Moreover many consonants from Sanskrit and Pali loanwords are generally silent The spelling of the words resembles Sanskrit or Pali orthography Thai samarth spelled sǎamaarth but pronounced sa mat sǎːmaːt with a silent r and a plain t that is represented using an aspirated consonant to be able Sanskrit समर थ samartha Thai cnthr spelled chanthr but pronounced chan tɕan because the th and the r are silent moon Sanskrit चन द र chandra Thai phonology dictates that all syllables must end in a vowel an approximant a nasal or a voiceless plosive Therefore the letter written may not have the same pronunciation in the initial position as they do in the final position See Alphabet listing below for more detail Even though the high class letter ho hip h is used to write the sound h if the letter comes before a low class letter in a syllable it will become the silent ho nam and turn the initial consonant into high class 3 See Tones below for more detail Thai letters do not have upper and lower case forms like Latin letters do Spaces between words are not used except in certain linguistically motivated cases Punctuation Edit Minor pauses in sentences may be marked by a comma Thai culphakh or lukna chunlaphak or luk nam and major pauses by a period Thai mhphphakh or cud mahap phak or chut but most often are marked by a blank space Thai wrrkh wak A bird s eye Thai taik ta kai officially called fxngmn fong man formerly indicated paragraphs but is now obsolete A paiyan noi Thai ipyalnxy is used for abbreviation A paiyan yai l Thai ipyalihy is the same as etc in English An angkhan kuu Thai xngkhnkhu was formerly used to mark the end of a chapter but is now obsolete A kho mut Thai okhmutr was formerly used to mark the end of a document but is now obsolete Thai writing also uses quotation marks Thai xyprakas anyaprakat and parentheses round brackets Thai wngelb wong lep or Thai nkhlikhit nakha likhit but not square brackets or braces Alphabet listing EditThai along with its sister system Lao lacks conjunct consonants and independent vowels while both designs are common among Brahmic scripts e g Burmese and Balinese 4 In scripts with conjunct consonants each consonant has two forms base and conjoined Consonant clusters are represented with the two styles of consonants The two styles may form typographical ligatures as in Devanagari Independent vowels are used when a syllable starts with a vowel sign Consonants Edit There are 44 consonant letters representing 21 distinct consonant sounds Duplicate consonants either correspond to sounds that existed in Old Thai at the time the alphabet was created but no longer exist in particular voiced obstruents such as b d g v z or different Sanskrit and Pali consonants pronounced identically in Thai There are in addition four consonant vowel combination characters not included in the tally of 44 Consonants are divided into three classes in alphabetical order these are middle klang klang high sung sung and low ta tam class as shown in the table below These class designations reflect phonetic qualities of the sounds to which the letters originally corresponded in Old Thai In particular middle sounds were voiceless unaspirated stops high sounds voiceless aspirated stops or voiceless fricatives low sounds voiced Subsequent sound changes have obscured the phonetic nature of these classes nb 1 Today the class of a consonant without a tone mark along with the short or long length of the accompanying vowel determine the base accent phunesiyng phuen siang Middle class consonants with a long vowel spell an additional four tones with one of four tone marks over the controlling consonant mai ek mai tho mai tri and mai chattawa High and low class consonants are limited to mai ek and mai tho as shown in the Tone table Differing interpretations of the two marks or their absence allow low class consonants to spell tones not allowed for the corresponding high class consonant In the case of digraphs where a low class follows a higher class consonant often the higher class rules apply but the marker if used goes over the low class one accordingly h na ho nam and x na o nam may be considered to be digraphs as such as explained below the Tone table nb 2 Notes Modern Thai sounds b and d were formerly and sometimes still are pronounced ʔb and ʔd For this reason they were treated as voiceless unaspirated and hence placed in the middle class this was also the reason they were unaffected by the changes that devoiced most originally voiced stops Only low class consonants may have a base accent determined by the syllable being both long and dead To aid learning each consonant is traditionally associated with an acrophonic Thai word that either starts with the same sound or features it prominently For example the name of the letter kh is kho khai kh ikh in which kho is the sound it represents and khai ikh is a word which starts with the same sound and means egg Two of the consonants kh kho khuat and Kh kho khon are no longer used in written Thai but still appear on many keyboards and in character sets When the first Thai typewriter was developed by Edwin Hunter McFarland in 1892 there was simply no space for all characters thus two had to be left out 5 Also neither of these two letters correspond to a Sanskrit or Pali letter and each of them being a modified form of the letter that precedes it compare kh and kh has the same pronunciation and the same consonant class as the preceding letter somewhat like the European long s This makes them redundant Equivalents for romanisation are shown in the table below Many consonants are pronounced differently at the beginning and at the end of a syllable The entries in columns initial and final indicate the pronunciation for that consonant in the corresponding positions in a syllable Where the entry is the consonant may not be used to close a syllable Where a combination of consonants ends a written syllable only the first is pronounced possible closing consonant sounds are limited to k m n ng p and t Although official standards for romanisation are the Royal Thai General System of Transcription RTGS defined by the Royal Thai Institute and the almost identical ISO 11940 2 defined by the International Organization for Standardization many publications use different romanisation systems In daily practice a bewildering variety of romanisations are used making it difficult to know how to pronounce a word or to judge if two words e g on a map and a street sign are actually the same For more precise information an equivalent from the International Phonetic Alphabet IPA is given as well Alphabetic Edit Symbol Name RTGS IPA ClassThai RTGS Meaning Initial Final Initial Finalk k ik ko kai chicken k k k k midkh kh ikh kho khai egg kh k kʰ k highkh a kh khwd kho khuat bottle obsolete kh k kʰ k highkh kh khway kho khwai buffalo kh k kʰ k lowKh b Kh khn kho khon person obsolete kh k kʰ k lowkh kh rakhng kho ra khang bell kh k kʰ k lowng ng ngu ngo ngu snake ng ng ŋ ŋ lowc c can cho chan plate ch t tɕ t midch ch ching cho ching cymbals ch tɕʰ highch ch chang cho chang elephant ch t tɕʰ t lows s os so so chain s t s t lowch ch echx cho choe tree ch tɕʰ lowy c y hying yo ying woman y n j n lowd d chda do cha da headdress d t d t midt t ptk to pa tak goad javelin t t t t midth d th than tho than pedestal th t tʰ t highth th mnoth tho montho Montho character from Ramayana th or d t tʰ or d t lowth th phuetha tho phu thao elder th t tʰ t lown n enr no nen samanera n n n n lowd d edk do dek child d t d t midt t eta to tao turtle t t t t midth th thung tho thung sack th t tʰ t highth th thhar tho thahan soldier th t tʰ t lowth th thng tho thong flag th t tʰ t lown n hnu no nu mouse n n n n lowb b ibim bo baimai leaf b p b p midp p pla po pla fish p p p p midph ph phung pho phueng bee ph pʰ highf f fa fo fa lid f f highph ph phan pho phan phan ph p pʰ p lowf f fn fo fan teeth f p f p lowph ph saepha pho sam phao junk ph p pʰ p lowm m ma mo ma horse m m m m lowy y yks yo yak giant yaksha y or n e j or n lowr r erux ro ruea boat r n r n lowl l ling lo ling monkey l n l n loww w aehwn wo waen ring w f w lows s sala so sala pavilion sala s t s t highs s visi so rue si hermit s t s t highs s esux so suea tiger s t s t highh h hib ho hip chest box h h highl l cula lo chu la kite l n l n lowx x xang o ang basin g ʔ midh h nkhuk ho nok huk owl h h lowNotes kh kho khuat is obsolete and replaced by kh kho khai which has identical phonetic values Kh kho khon is obsolete and replaced by kh kho khwai which has identical phonetic values The lower curves of the letter y are removed when certain letters are written below them such as y the mark phinthu lower dot y etc The lower curves of the letter th are removed when certain letters are written below them such as th the vowel mark u thu etc When y ends a syllable it is usually part of the vowel For example mai hmay maːj muai hmwy muaj roi ory roːj and thui thuy tʰuj There are some cases in which y ends a syllable and is not part of the vowel but serves as an independent ending consonant An example is phinyo phiyoy pʰĩn joː When w ends a syllable it is always part of the vowel For example hio hiw hiw kao kaw kaːw klua klw kluːa and reo erw rew x is a special case in that at the beginning of a word it is used as a silent initial for syllables that start with a vowel all vowels are written relative to a consonant see below The same symbol is used as a vowel in non initial position Phonetic Edit The consonants can be organised by place and manner of articulation according to principles of the International Phonetic Association Thai distinguishes among three voice aspiration patterns for plosive consonants unvoiced unaspirated unvoiced aspirated voiced unaspirated Where English has only a distinction between the voiced unaspirated b and the unvoiced aspirated pʰ Thai distinguishes a third sound which is neither voiced nor aspirated which occurs in English only as an allophone of p approximately the sound of the p in spin There is similarly an alveolar t tʰ d triplet In the velar series there is a k kʰ pair and in the postalveolar series the tɕ tɕʰ pair In each cell below the first line indicates International Phonetic Alphabet IPA 6 the second indicates the Thai characters in initial position several letters appearing in the same box have identical pronunciation Note how the conventional alphabetic order shown in the table above follows roughly the table below reading the coloured blocks from right to left and top to bottom Pronunciation of Thai characters in initial position Bilabial Labio dental Alveolar Alveolo palatal Palatal Velar GlottalNasal m m n n n ŋ ng Plosive p p pʰ ph ph ph b b t t t tʰ th th th th th th d d d k k kʰ kh kh kh Kh kh a ʔ x b Affricate tɕ c tɕʰ ch ch ch Fricative f f f s s s s s h h hTrill r r Approximant w w j y y Lateral approximant l l l Notes kh and Kh are no longer used Thus modern Thai is said to have 42 consonants Initial x is silent and therefore considered as glottal plosive Although the overall 44 Thai consonants provide 21 sounds in case of initials the case for finals is different Note how the consonant sounds in the table for initials collapse in the table for final sounds At the end of a syllable all plosives are unvoiced unaspirated and have no audible release Initial affricates and fricatives become final plosives The initial trill r approximant y and lateral approximants l l are realized as a final nasal n Only 8 ending consonant sounds as well as no ending consonant sound are available in Thai pronunciation Among these consonants excluding the disused kh and Kh six ch ph f h x h cannot be used as a final The remaining 36 are grouped as following Pronunciation of Thai characters in final position Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar GlottalNasal m m n n n y r l l ŋ ng Plosive p b p ph f ph t c ch s ch d t th th th d t th th th s s s k k kh kh kh ʔ a Approximant w w j y Notes The glottal plosive appears at the end when no final follows a short vowel Vowels Edit Thai vowel sounds and diphthongs are written using a mixture of vowel symbols on a consonant base Each vowel is shown in its correct position relative to a base consonant and sometimes a final consonant as well Note that vowels can go above below left of or right of the consonant or combinations of these places If a vowel has parts before and after the initial consonant and the syllable starts with a consonant cluster the split will go around the whole cluster Twenty one vowel symbol elements are traditionally named which may appear alone or in combination to form compound symbols Symbol Name CombinationsThai RTGSa wisrrchniy nmnang Wisanchani from Sanskrit visarjaniya a wa e a e xa e aa e iya e uxa ae a o a imhnxakas imphd hangknghn Mai han a kat w wa imitkhu syyaprakas Mai tai khu x e ae a lakkhang Lak khang a a a e a e aa i phinthuxi phinthuxi Phinthu i i e i i i e iy e iya u ux e ux e uxa fnthxng Fon thong a i i e iy e iya fnhnu musikthnt Fan nu a u ux e ux e uxa nikhhit nvkhhit hyadnakhang Nikkhahit u u a u tinehyiyd laktin Tin yiat u u u tinkhu Tin khu u u e imhna Mai na e e e e x e x e xa e a e aa e i e iy e iy e iya e ux e ux e uxa ae ae ae ae ao imox Mai o o o o ai immwn Mai muan i i immlay Mai malai i x tw x Tua o x x ux e x e x e xa e ux e uxay tw y Tua yo e iy e iy e iyaw tw w Tua wo w wav tw v Tua rue vvi tw vi Tua rue vil tw l Tua lue lli tw li Tua lue liNotes a b These symbols are always combined with phinthu i i The inherent vowels are a in open syllables CV and o in closed syllables CVC For example thnn transcribes tʰ a n ǒ n road There are a few exceptions in Pali loanwords where the inherent vowel of an open syllable is o The circumfix vowels such as e aa ɔʔ encompass a preceding consonant with an inherent vowel For example pʰ ɔʔ is written e ph aa and tɕʰ a pʰ ɔʔ only is written e chph aa The characters v vi plus l li which are obsolete are usually considered as vowels the first being a short vowel sound and the latter long The letters are based on vocalic consonants used in Sanskrit given the one to one letter correspondence of Thai to Sanskrit although the last two letters are quite rare as their equivalent Sanskrit sounds only occur in a few ancient words and thus are functionally obsolete in Thai The first symbol v is common in many Sanskrit and Pali words and vi less so but does occur as the primary spelling for the Thai adaptation of Sanskrit rishi and treu Thai tvi trɯː or triː a very rare Khmer loan word for fish only found in ancient poetry As alphabetical entries v vi follow r and themselves can be read as a combination of consonant and vowel equivalent to ru short and rux long and the obsolete pair as lu lux respectively Moreover v can act as ri as an integral part in many words mostly borrowed from Sanskrit such as kvsna kritsana not kruetsana vththi rit not ruet and kvsda kritsada not kruetsada for example It is also used to spell xngkvs angkrit England English The word vks roek is a unique case where v is pronounced like erx In the past prior to the turn of the twentieth century it was common for writers to substitute these letters in native vocabulary that contained similar sounds as a shorthand that was acceptable in writing at the time For example the conjunction or Thai hrux rɯ reu cf Lao ຫ ຫລ lɨ ː lu was often written Thai v This practice has become obsolete but can still be seen in Thai literature The pronunciation below is indicated by the International Phonetic Alphabet 6 and the Romanisation according to the Royal Thai Institute as well as several variant Romanisations often encountered A very approximate equivalent is given for various regions of English speakers and surrounding areas Dotted circles represent the positions of consonants or consonant clusters The first one represents the initial consonant and the latter if it exists represents the final Ro han r hn is not usually considered a vowel and is not included in the following table It represents the sara a a vowel in certain Sanskrit loanwords and appears as rr When used without a final consonant rr n is implied as the final consonant giving an Short vowels Long vowelsName Symbol IPA RTGS Variants Similar Sound English RP pronunciation Name Symbol IPA RTGS Variants Similar Sound English RP pronunciation Simple vowelssraxa Sara a a a a u u in nut sraxa Sara a a a aː a ah ar aa a in father sraxi Sara i i i i i y in greedy sraxi Sara i i i iː i ee ii y ee in see sraxu Sara ue u u ɯ ue eu u uh Can be approximated by pronouncing the oo in look with unrounded lips German the u in Mucke sraxux Sara ue ux u ɯː ue eu u Can be approximated by pronouncing the oo in RP goose with unrounded lipssraxu Sara u u u u u oo oo in shoot sraxu Sara u u u uː u oo uu oo in too sraexa Sara e e a e e e e in neck sraex Sara e e e eː e ay a ae ai ei a in lame sraaexa Sara ae ae a ae ɛ ae aeh a a in at sraaex Sara ae ae ae ɛː ae a a in ham sraoxa Sara o o a o o oa in boat sraox Sara o o o oː o or oh o o in go sraexaa Sara o e aa x ɔ o o aw o in not sraxx Sara o x x a b ɔː o or aw aw in saw sraexxa Sara oe e xa ɤʔ oe eu e in the sraexx Sara oe e x e i e x c ɤː ɤ oe er eu ur u in burn Diphthongssraexiya Sara ia e iya iaʔ ia iah ear ie ea in ear with glottal stop sraexiy Sara ia e iy e iy ia ia ear ere ie ear in ear sraexuxa Sara uea e uxa ɯaʔ uea eua ua ure in pure sraexux Sara uea e ux e ux ɯa uea eua ua ue ure in pure sraxwa Sara ua wa uaʔ ua ewe in sewer sraxw Sara ua w w ua ua uar ewe in newer Phonetic diphthongs d sraxi w Sara i wo waen iw iu iw io ew ew in few sraexa w Sara e wo waen e w eu ew eo eu ew sraex w Sara e wo waen e w eːu eːw eo eu ew ai ow in rainbow sraaex w Sara ae wo waen ae w ɛːu ɛːw aeo aew eo a in ham ow in low sraexa Sara ao e e a au aw ao aw au ow ow in cow sraxa w Sara a wo waen aw aːu ao au ow in now sraexiy w Sara ia wo waen e iyw iau iaw iao eaw iew iow io in trio sraxa y Sara a yo yak y ai aj ai ay i in hi sraxa y Sara a yo yak ay aːi aːj ai aai aay ay ye in bye sraix Sara ai e i f i i y g sraexaa y Sara o yo yak xy ɔi ɔj oi oy sraxx y Sara o yo yak xy ɔːi ɔːj oi oy oy in boy sraox y Sara o yo yak o y oːi oːj oi oysraxu y Sara u yo yak uy ui uj ui uysraexx y Sara oe yo yak e y ɤːi ɤːj oei oey u in burn y in boy sraxw y Sara ua yo yak wy uai uaj uai uay uoy in buoy sraexux y Sara uea yo yak e uxy ɯai ɯaj ueai uaiExtra vowels h sraxa Sara am a am am um um in sum v Rue v rɯ ri rɤː rue ri roe ru ri rew in grew ry in angry vi Rue vi rɯː rue ruul Lue l lɯ lue lu li lew in blew li Lue li lɯː lue lu Only with r ro ruea as final consonant appearing as r ɔːn Only with the word k kɔ ː Used only in certain words Traditionally these sets of diphthongs and triphthongs are regarded as combinations of regular vowels or diphthongs with wo waen w w or yo yak y j as the final consonant and are not counted among the thirty two vowels a b Sara ai i and i and sara ao e a are also considered extra vowels Mai malai i is used for the ai vowel in most words while mai muan i is only used in twenty specific words i y is found in ithy Thai and in Pali loanwords which contain eyya The y is redundant but may be pronounced in a compound word when joined by samasa Extra vowels are not distinct vowel sounds but are symbols that represent certain vowel consonant combinations They are traditionally regarded as vowels although some sources do not Tone Edit Central Thai Edit Thai is a tonal language and the script gives full information on the tones Tones are realised in the vowels but indicated in the script by a combination of the class of the initial consonant high mid or low vowel length long or short closing consonant plosive or sonorant i e dead or live and if present one of four tone marks whose names derive from the names of the digits 1 4 borrowed from Pali or Sanskrit The rules for denoting tones are shown in the following chart Tone type top to bottom high rising mid falling low Initial consonant class left to right low blue middle green high red Syllable type live empty circle dead full circle dead short narrow ellipse dead long wide ellipse Symbol Name Syllable composition and initial consonant classThai RTGS Vowel and final Low Mid High immi none live long vowel or vowel plus sonorant mid mid rising immi none dead short short vowel at end or plus plosive high low low immi none dead long long vowel plus plosive falling low low imexk mai ek any falling low low imoth mai tho any high falling falling imtri mai tri any high imctwa mai chattawa any rising Thai language tone chart Flowchart for determining the tone of a Thai syllable Click to enlarge None that is no tone marker is used with the base accent phunesiyng phuen siang Mai tri and mai chattawa are only used with mid class consonants Two consonant characters not diacritics are used to modify the tone h na ho nam leading ho A silent high class h leads low class nasal stops ng y n and m and non plosives w y r and l which have no corresponding high class phonetic match into the tone properties of a high class consonant In polysyllabic words an initial mid or high class consonant with an implicit vowel similarly leads these same low class consonants into the higher class tone rules with the tone marker borne by the low class consonant x na o nam leading o In four words only a silent mid class x leads low class y into mid class tone rules xya ya don t xyak yak desire xyang yang kind sort type xyu yu stay Note all four have long vowel low tone siang ek xyak a dead syllable needs no tone marker but the three live syllables all take mai ek Low consonant High consonant IPAng hng ŋ y hy j n hn n m hm m y hy j r hr r l hl l w hw w Low consonant Middle consonant IPAy xy j Some dialect where words are spelled with one tone but pronounced with another often occur in informal conversation notably the pronouns chn chan and ekha khao which are both pronounced with a high tone rather than the rising tone indicated by the script Generally when such words are recited or read in public they are pronounced as spelled Southern Thai Edit This section does not cite any sources Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed October 2019 Learn how and when to remove this template message Spoken Southern Thai can have up to seven tones When Southern Thai is written in Thai script there are different rules for indicating spoken tone Tones Nakhon Si Thammarat accent rules IPAFirst tone An initial consonant class high with long sound and an initial consonant class low after the word An initial consonant class high with short sound and an initial consonant class low with k t p finals after the word Second tone An initial consonant class high both short long sound and an initial consonant class low after the word Third tone An initial consonant class middle long sound An initial consonant class middle short sound with k t p finals Fourth tone An initial consonant class middle both short long sound Fifth tone An initial consonant class low with head word Sixth tone An initial consonant class low long sound Seventh tone An initial consonant class low short sound Diacritics Edit Other diacritics are used to indicate short vowels and silent letters Mai taikhu means stick that climbs and squats It is a miniature Thai numeral 8 8 Mai taikhu is often used with sara e e and sara ae ae in closed syllables Thanthakhat means capital punishment Symbol Name MeaningThai RTGS imitkhu mai taikhu shortens vowel thnthkhat or karnt thanthakhat or karan indicates silent letter Fan nu means rat teeth and is thought as being placed in combination with short sara i and fong man to form other characters Symbol Name UseThai RTGS fnhnu fan nu combined with short sara i i to make long sara ue u combined with fong man to make fong man fan nu Numerals Edit Main article Thai numerals For numerals mostly the standard Hindu Arabic numerals Thai elkhhinduxarbik lek hindu arabik are used but Thai also has its own set of Thai numerals that are based on the Hindu Arabic numeral system Thai elkhithy lek thai which are mostly limited to government documents election posters license plates of military vehicles and special entry prices for Thai nationals Hindu Arabic 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9Thai 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9Other symbols Edit Symbol Name MeaningThai RTGS ipyalnxy pai yan noi marks formal phrase shortened by convention abbreviation l ipyalihy pai yan yai et cetera imymk mai ya mok preceding word or phrase is reduplicated fxngmn taik fong man ta kai previously marked beginning of a sentence paragraph or stanza obsolete 7 now only marks beginning of a stanza in a poem now also used as bullet point 8 fxngmnfnhnu fnhnufxngmn fnthxngfxngmn fong man fan nu fan nu fong man fon tong fong man previously marked beginning of a chapter obsolete 0 fxngdn fong dan xngkhnediyw khnediyw khnediyw angkhan diao khan diao khan diao previously marked end of a sentence or stanza obsolete 7 xngkhnkhu khnkhu khnkhu angkhan khu khan khu khan khu marks end of stanza marks end of chapter 7 or long section 8 a xngkhnwisrrchniy angkhan wisanchani marks end of a stanza in a poem 8 a okhmutr sutrnarayn khomut sutnarai marks end of a chapter or document 8 marks end of a story 7 a xngkhnwisrrchniyokhmutr angkhan wisanchani khomut marks the very end of a written work bath bat baht the currency of Thailand Pai yan noi and angkhan diao share the same character Sara a a used in combination with other characters is called wisanchani Some of the characters can mark the beginning or end of a sentence chapter or episode of a story or of a stanza in a poem These have changed use over time and are becoming uncommon Summary charts EditAlphabet chart k kh kh kh Kh kh ngc ch ch s ch yd t th th th nd t th th th nb p ph f ph f ph myrlw sss h l x hColour codes Colour ClassGreen MediumPink HighBlue Paired low class has its high class counterpartPurple Single low class turns into high class if preceded by hEnding sounds kkhkh khKhkh k cchchsch dtththth dtththth sss t bpphf phfph p ng ŋ ynn rl n m m ʔ y i w u colour codes red dead green alive If the syllable contains no ending consonants it is considered alive if the vowel is long and dead if it is short Vowels i i u u u ue e x o o gt o ae a a x x gt e aa xDiphthongs e iy e ux w a i i e av vi l la colour codes pink long vowel shortened by add a no ending consonant or with ending consonant green long vowel has a special form when shortened Vowel chart position front central backduration short long short long short longclose i i i iː u ɯ ux u ɯː u u u uː mid e a e e e eː e xa ɤʔ e x e i ɤː o a o o oː open ae a ae ɛ ae ɛː a a a aː e aa x ɔ x ɔː vowel a e iya ia e iy iaː e uxa ɯ a e ux ɯ aː wa ua w uaː a vowel i i ai ay aː i a am am aː m e a au aw aː u Tone chart class ending none mid dead low fall high mid alive mid low fall high risehigh dead low fallhigh alive rise low falllow dead short vowel high fall low dead long vowel fall highlow alive mid fall highSanskrit and Pali EditThis section does not cite any sources Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed November 2019 Learn how and when to remove this template message The Thai script like all Indic scripts uses a number of modifications to write Sanskrit and related languages in particular Pali Pali is very closely related to Sanskrit and is the liturgical language of Thai Buddhism In Thailand Pali is written and studied using a slightly modified Thai script The main difference is that each consonant is followed by an implied short a xa not the o or e of Thai this short a is never omitted in pronunciation and if the vowel is not to be pronounced then a specific symbol must be used the pinthu x a solid dot under the consonant This means that sara a xa is never used when writing Pali because it is always implied For example namo is written naom in Thai but in Pali it is written as nom because the xa is redundant The Sanskrit word mantra is written mntr in Thai and therefore pronounced mon but is written mn t r in Sanskrit and therefore pronounced mantra When writing Pali only 33 consonants and 12 vowels are used This is an example of a Pali text written using the Thai Sanskrit orthography xrh sm masm phuth oth phkhwa arahaṃ sammasambuddho bhagava Written in modern Thai orthography this becomes xarahng smmasmphuthoth phakhawa arahang sammasamphuttho phakhawa In Thailand Sanskrit is read out using the Thai values for all the consonants so kh is read as kha and not ga which makes Thai spoken Sanskrit incomprehensible to sanskritists not trained in Thailand The Sanskrit values are used in transliteration without the diacritics but these values are never actually used when Sanskrit is read out loud in Thailand The vowels used in Thai are identical to Sanskrit with the exception of v vi l and li which are read using their Thai values not their Sanskrit values Sanskrit and Pali are not tonal languages but in Thailand the Thai tones are used when reading these languages out loud In the tables in this section the Thai value transliterated according to the Royal Thai system of each letter is listed first followed by the IAST value of each letter in square brackets Remember that in Thailand the IAST values are never used in pronunciation but only sometimes in transcriptions with the diacritics omitted This disjoint between transcription and spoken value explains the romanisation for Sanskrit names in Thailand that many foreigners find confusing For example suwrrnphumi is romanised as Suvarnabhumi but pronounced su wan na phum srinkhrinthr is romanised as Srinagarindra but pronounced si nakha rin Plosives vargaḥ Edit Plosives also called stops are listed in their traditional Sanskrit order which corresponds to Thai alphabetical order from k to m with three exceptions in Thai high class kh is followed by two obsolete characters with no Sanskrit equivalent high class kh and low class Kh low class ch is followed by sibilant s low class equivalent of high class sibilant s that follows s and s The table gives the Thai value first and then the IAST International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration value in square brackets class Sanskrit unvoiced Sanskrit voicedThai unvoiced Thai voicedUnaspirated Aspirated Aspirated Unaspirated Aspirated NasalThai Sanskrit Thai Sanskrit Thai Sanskrit Thai Sanskrit Thai Sanskritvelar k ka क ka k kh kha ख kha kʰ kh kha ग ga g kh kha घ gha gʱ ng nga ङ ṅa ŋ palatal c ca च ca c t ɕ ch cha छ cha cʰ t ɕʰ ch cha ज ja ɟ d ʑ ch cha झ jha ɟʱ d ʑʱ y ya ञ na ɲ retroflex t ta ट ṭa ʈ th tha ठ ṭha ʈʰ th tha ड ḍa ɖ th tha ढ ḍha ɖʱ n na ण ṇa ɳ dental t ta त ta t th tha थ tha tʰ th tha द da d th tha ध dha dʱ n na न na n labial p pa प pa p ph pha फ pha pʰ ph pha ब ba b ph pha भ bha bʱ m ma म ma m tone class Mid High Low Low Low None of the Sanskrit plosives are pronounced as the Thai voiced plosives so these are not represented in the table While letters are listed here according to their class in Sanskrit Thai has lost the distinction between many of the consonants So while there is a clear distinction between ch and ch in Sanskrit in Thai these two consonants are pronounced identically including tone Likewise the Thai phonemes do not differentiate between the retroflex and dental classes because Thai has no retroflex consonants The equivalents of all the retroflex consonants are pronounced identically to their dental counterparts thus t is pronounced like t th is pronounced like th th is pronounced like th th is pronounced like th and n is pronounced like n The Sanskrit unaspirated unvoiced plosives are pronounced as unaspirated unvoiced whereas Sanskrit aspirated voiced plosives are pronounced as aspirated unvoiced Non plosives avargaḥ Edit Semivowels kungsra kueng sara and liquids come in Thai alphabetical order after m the last of the plosives The term xwrrkh awak means without a break that is without a plosive series symbol value related vowelsThai Sanskritpalatal y ya य ya j xi and xiretroflex r ra र ra ɽ v and vidental l la ल la l l and lilabial w wa व va ʋ xu and xuSibilants Edit Inserted sounds esiydaethrk siat saek follow the semi vowel w in alphabetical order series symbol valueThai Sanskritpalatal s sa श sa ɕ retroflex s sa ष ṣa ʂ dental s sa स sa s Like Sanskrit Thai has no voiced sibilant so no z or zh In modern Thai the distinction between the three high class consonants has been lost and all three are pronounced sa however foreign words with a sh sound may still be transcribed as if the Sanskrit values still hold e g ang grit xngkvs for English instead of xngkvs s sala so sala leads words as in its example word sala The digraph sri Indic sri is regularly pronounced si si as in Sisaket Province Thai srisaeks s visi so rue si may only lead syllables within a word as in its example visi or to end a syllable as in srisaeks Sisaket and xngkvs Angkrit English s esux so suea spells native Thai words that require a high class s as well as naturalized Pali Sanskrit words such as sarth sath in Thetsakan Sat ethskalsarth ethd sa kan sath formerly sarth sath s os so so which follows the similar appearing ch in Thai alphabetical order spells words requiring a low class s as does thr vowel thr as in the heading of this section esiydaethrk pronounced esiydaesk siat saek when accompanied by a vowel implicit in thrng sng song an element in forming words used with royalty a semivowel in thrwng swng suang chest heart or explicit in thray say sai sand Exceptions to thr vowel s are the prefix othr equivalent to tele far pronounced othra to ra and phonetic re spellings of English tr as in the phonetic respelling of trumpet thrmephth thr is otherwise pronounced as two syllables thxra as in thrman thxraman to ra man to torment Voiced h Edit symbol valueThai Sanskrith ha ह ha ɦ h a high class consonant comes next in alphabetical order but its low class equivalent h follows similar appearing x as the last letter of the Thai alphabet Like modern Hindi the voicing has disappeared and the letter is now pronounced like English h Like Sanskrit this letter may only be used to start a syllable but may not end it A popular beer is romanized as Singha but in Thai is singh with a karan on the h correct pronunciation is sing but foreigners to Thailand typically say sing ha Voiced lla Edit symbol valueThai Sanskritl lla ळ ḷa ɭ This represents the retroflex liquid of Pali and Vedic Sanskrit which does not exist in Classical Sanskrit Vowels Edit symbol valuexa a a xa a a xi i i xi i i xu u u xu u u ex e e ox o o v ru ṛ vi ru ṝ l lu ḷ li lu ḹ All consonants have an inherent a sound and therefore there is no need to use the a symbol when writing Sanskrit The Thai vowels xu ix ix and so forth are not used in Sanskrit The zero consonant x is unique to the Indic alphabets descended from Khmer When it occurs in Sanskrit it is always the zero consonant and never the vowel o ɔː Its use in Sanskrit is therefore to write vowels that cannot be otherwise written alone e g xa or xi When x is written on its own then it is a carrier for the implied vowel a a equivalent to xa in Thai The vowel sign xa occurs in Sanskrit but only as the combination of the pure vowels sara a xa with nikkhahit x Other non Thai symbols Edit There are a number of additional symbols only used to write Sanskrit or Pali and not used in writing Thai Nikkhahit anusvara Edit Symbol IASTx ṃ In Sanskrit the anusvara indicates a certain kind of nasal sound In Thai this is written as an open circle above the consonant known as nikkhahit nikhhit from Pali niggahita Nasalisation does not occur in Thai therefore a nasal stop is always substituted e g t taṃ is pronounced as tng tang by Thai Sanskritists If nikkhahit occurs before a consonant then Thai uses a nasal stop of the same class e g ss k vta saṃskṛta is read as snskvta san sa krit ta The s following the nikkhahit is a dental class consonant therefore the dental class nasal stop n is used For this reason it has been suggested that in Thai nikkhahit should be listed as a consonant 7 Also traditional Pali grammars describe nikkhahit as a consonant Nikkhahit nikhhit occurs as part of the Thai vowels sara am xa and sara ue xu Phinthu virama Edit x Because the Thai script is an abugida a symbol equivalent to virama in devanagari needs to be added to indicate that the implied vowel is not to be pronounced This is the phinthu which is a solid dot also called Bindu in Sanskrit below the consonant Yamakkan Edit x Yamakkan yamkkar is an obsolete symbol used to mark the beginning of consonant clusters e g phrahmn phramana brahmaṇa Without the yamakkan this word would be pronounced pharahamana barahamaṇa instead This is a feature unique to the Thai script other Indic scripts use a combination of ligatures conjuncts or virama to convey the same information The symbol is obsolete because pinthu may be used to achieve the same effect ph rah mn Visarga Edit This section does not cite any sources Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed November 2019 Learn how and when to remove this template message The means of recording visarga final voiceless h in Thai has reportedly been lost although the character a which is used to transcribe a short a or to add a glottal stop after a vowel is the closest equivalent and can be seen used as a visarga in some Thai script Sanskrit text Unicode EditMain article Thai Unicode block Thai script was added to the Unicode Standard in October 1991 with the release of version 1 0 The Unicode block for Thai is U 0E00 U 0E7F It is a verbatim copy of the older TIS 620 character set which encodes the vowels e ae o i and i before the consonants they follow and thus Thai Lao Tai Viet and New Tai Lue are the only Brahmic scripts in Unicode that use visual order instead of logical order Thai 1 2 Official Unicode Consortium code chart PDF 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E FU 0E0x k kh kh kh Kh kh ng c ch ch s ch y d tU 0E1x th th th n d t th th th n b p ph f ph fU 0E2x ph m y r v l l w s s s h l x h U 0E3x a a a i i u u u u U 0E4x e ae o i i i U 0E5x 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 U 0E6xU 0E7xNotes 1 As of Unicode version 14 0 2 Grey areas indicate non assigned code pointsKeyboard layouts EditThai characters can be typed using the Kedmanee layout and the Pattachote layout See also EditThai language Thai typography Thai numerals Thai braille Thai literature Thai honorificsReferences EditThis article needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed Find sources Thai script news newspapers books scholar JSTOR December 2007 Learn how and when to remove this template message a b c Hartmann John F 1986 The spread of South Indic scripts in Southeast Asia 8 a href wiki Template Cite journal title Template Cite journal cite journal a Cite journal requires journal help a b c Diller Anthony V N 1996 Thai orthography and the history of marking tone PDF 228 248 a href wiki Template Cite journal title Template Cite journal cite journal a Cite journal requires journal help Juyaso Arthit 2016 Read Thai in 10 Days Bingo Lingo p 40 ISBN 978 616 423 487 1 Unicode Consortium Southeast Asia In The Unicode Standard Version 12 0 p 631 The origins of the Thai typewriter Archived from the original on December 19 2010 Retrieved December 5 2011 a b Tingsabadh Kalaya Arthur S Abramson 1993 Thai Journal of the International Phonetic Association 23 1 24 28 doi 10 1017 S0025100300004746 S2CID 249403146 a b c d e Karoonboonyanan Theppitak 1999 Standardization and Implementations of Thai Language PDF National Electronics and Computer Technology Center Retrieved 2010 08 04 a b c d Thai PDF Unicode 2009 Retrieved 2010 08 04 External links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Thai text Comprehensive free Thai alphabet resource Comparing Thai script with Devanagari Khmer Burmese and Tai Tham Omniglot Thai Thai consonants Thai vowels Transliterations for Thai Vowels Thai Consonants Phonetic Organization of the Thai Consonants by Richard Wordingham Virtual Thai Keyboard Freeware for the Windows operating system Insert Zero Width Space Character This utility prepares Thai text by inserting the Unicode Zero Width Space Character between detected word breaks Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Thai script amp oldid 1092641306, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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