Lesson 1 – Read and Write Thai

Sawatdee ka,

Thai language has 44 letters, 32 vowels, 4 tone marks and various other symbols for pronunciation.

Today I would like to talk about Thai letters. There are 44 letters in Thai language. (not too many to remember, right? 🙂 )

In order to read Thai correctly, you will need to know what the class of each letter is. It is good for your pronunciation too;)

Thai letters are categorized into 3 classes;

[1] Middle class consonants or อักษรกลาง [àk –sŏrn glaang]
[2] High class conoconats or อักษรสูง [àk –sŏrn sŭung]
[3] Low class consonants or อักษรต่ำ [àk –sŏrn dtàm]

*อักษร [àk –sŏrn] means letter, alphabet

* กลาง [glaang] means middle

* สูง [sŭung] means high/tall

* ต่ำ [dtàm] means low

This is the whole 44 Thai letters. Number under each letter tells you what class it is. [1] middle class [2] high class and [3] low class.

I found this photo in the internet. I am sorry I don’t remember which website.

 

Next lesson is Middle Class Consonants : http://wp.me/p1dKYh-kw

Mod


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48 Responses to Lesson 1 – Read and Write Thai

  1. margaux 24/11/2016 at 22:21 #

    Ah i want to learn how to write in thai is there any easy way on how to learn?

    • Mod 06/12/2016 at 09:28 #

      I would suggest you to start by learning the Thai alphabets by classes and then mix them with long vowels first. And of course a lot of repeating and practicing! 🙂

  2. Lei 24/10/2016 at 16:56 #

    Hello!

    I am trying to learn a little bit of thai, and I want to start it my my name. to convert it to thai writing,
    Can you help me? My name is Lei Villa (Ley – vil -ya)

    • Mod 06/12/2016 at 15:25 #

      Your name in Thai would write เล วิลญ่า It sounds beautiful. 🙂

  3. JieFu 06/10/2016 at 22:11 #

    Sawatdee P’Mod,

    Can you explain to me how to create a word in thai.

    • Mod 06/12/2016 at 16:23 #

      The most basic word in Thai is created by one consonant and one vowel. For example, put together the consonant “ก” which has ‘g’ sound and the vowel “า” which gives ‘aa’ sound then you get the word “กา” /gaa/ which means crow. Then when you want different tones , a tone mark is added.

  4. John Fritz 27/04/2016 at 19:31 #

    Hi Mod!!. In thai alphabet there’s a lot of kh in low class. How can I determine if what kh should I use in writing??.

    • Mod 28/04/2016 at 15:57 #

      Sawatdii ka John, in low class consonants there are two “kh” letters – ค and ฅ. “ฅ” is obsolete so there is only one letter left to use. 🙂

  5. Pat 29/02/2016 at 11:22 #

    Sawatdee ka p’Mod can u send me thai vowels, so tha I can pratices write it and read it and learn to communicate.

  6. Ben 22/10/2015 at 22:36 #

    Hi Mod, can i check if 2consonants have been obsolete and today only 42 consonants being use now aday?

    • Mod 23/10/2015 at 09:17 #

      That is correct. ฃ and ฅ are not used anymore. 🙂

    • Andrew 01/12/2015 at 05:48 #

      If you are trying to learn the Thai alphabet, check out: http://ff724w2rxf38sed8ekev2hem1m.hop.clickbank.net/ — I was able to teach myself the Thai alphabet in just 60 minutes 🙂

      • Anna 13/02/2016 at 03:49 #

        Its very RUDE to SPAM another persons Language Site and your link is BEING SPAMMED EVERYWHERE. Shame on you.

        Mod has taken the time to offer free tools for learning the Thai Language and you come here hawking your over priced poo.

  7. Edward Chi 11/10/2015 at 11:30 #

    I want to learn Thai on beginning. I am staying in Hong Kong most of the time and is there any Thai class in Hong Kong?
    Thanks for your kind assistance!

    • Mod 14/10/2015 at 10:29 #

      Sawatdee ka Edward, we also teach one-to-one Thai lessons via Skype. We have been teaching students from around the World ; America, Europe, Australia, Asia over the years. From our experience we find that Skype lessons are as effective as in-person lessons. We always prefer meeting the student for a complimentary lesson to find out what the student wishes to achieve and how we can best work together.

      Let me know if this is convenient and I can schedule a free trial appoint for you. 🙂

      Please write me at adjima_t@hotmail.com

      Look forward to hearing from you.

  8. Rene 10/10/2015 at 11:21 #

    Thanks Mod for this and all the other useful resources in this section. I have learned to read Thai script but my one frustration is to be able to read modern Thai script that one finds on billboards and advertising for example. I can’t find a site that has the traditional and modern script side by side. Do you know of such a site? Or could you even prepare a lexicon with both scripts next to each other. Thanks again. Great site!

    • Mod 14/10/2015 at 11:57 #

      Thank you for your kind comments. I am sorry I am not aware of a site that provide modern script together with traditional ones. I think this is a good idea. I will create a post about this in the future. 🙂

  9. Rose 16/08/2015 at 10:34 #

    Sawatdee ka p’Mod, I just wanted to know that, is it necessary to memorize all 44 consonants? Or do I just memorize the ones you just showed in your Thai alphabet video?

    Rose

  10. Dylan 12/03/2015 at 10:53 #

    Im very confused about this

    • Mod 21/03/2015 at 12:37 #

      Please explain what confuses you. 🙂

      • Edward 07/05/2016 at 19:54 #

        Hi Krung Mod and Prae…

        I am Edward and I really have nothing to say about the post I am replying to…but wish to convey my appreciation for all the obvious hard work you two Gentle-Ladies have done over the years. I am a resident, long vacation, of Thailand and have attended a few classes but I like you 2 ladies best. I will move to Bkk just to be next to you… just kidding… I live in Hua Hin and Nakhon Sawan.
        OK now that I have sweetened you up… Do you have any videos explaining all the consonants and their different sounds regarding syllable position? And also the little symobols such as ma-ek and mai toe.

        Thanks ladies … I love you.

        • Mod 10/05/2016 at 12:14 #

          Sawatdii ka Edward,

          Thank you for your kind comments. We don’t have many videos on reading lessons. We will keep your suggestion in mind when we do new videos in the future. 🙂

  11. Mani 30/12/2014 at 06:58 #

    I know how to speak thai since my mom is from Thailand but I was born in America but I never really learned how to read or write in Thai and is there a website that can teach me. It’s seems really difficult

  12. vinaaularusdah 02/10/2014 at 11:40 #

    Hello, I`m Vina. I`m Indonesian. I want to learn Thailand. And the important things are I want to able write and speak in Thailand. Please help me. Thank 🙂

  13. alodia 13/06/2014 at 17:03 #

    hi.Im alodia…
    I want to learn to how to speak thailand,how to write in thailand and how to understand the letters in thailand!
    I know how to pronounce the thai letters but I can’t read. Hehehe!
    Help me please…thank you!

  14. john 16/05/2014 at 17:09 #

    i am sure i would learn to read alot quicker if you were to set vowels and letters up much the same as your 190 words e book.

    • Mod 02/06/2014 at 22:24 #

      I will try to do more of reading lessons. Thank you for your suggestion. 🙂

  15. Ruumi 10/03/2014 at 03:12 #

    Dear Mod

    This was a very helpful Thai Script Chart. I am new at writing Thai. I found this most helpful due to Tones added in number context.

  16. An Ton 10/01/2014 at 05:43 #

    Is it possible for you to cover all the letters above? i mean like how to say it with a brief example for each of them as well.

  17. Robbie Murphy 12/11/2012 at 20:31 #

    Why is GOR-GAI a kh? JOR JAHN a c/t? DTOR DEK a t? sorry just want to get it right

    • Mod 13/11/2012 at 12:36 #

      I didn’t notice the English letters below the Thai alphabets at all. I am sorry this confuse you. Thai alphabets can be used as [1] first consonant and [2] final consonant. For example จ /jor jaan/ as a first consonant it give “j” sound, and as a final consonant it gives “d” sound like ด /.dor dek/. I need to remove this picture and replace with more clear explanation. Once again please accept my apology.

    • Mod 13/11/2012 at 12:38 #

      ก /gor-gai/ as a first consonant has ‘g’ sound like in the English word ‘gun’, and as the final consonant it gives ‘k’ sound.
      ด /dor dek/ is ‘d’ sound for both first and final consonant.

    • Frans van Oijen 22/05/2013 at 17:36 #

      The chart follows IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) rules.

      ก is written as K (an unaspirated K sound, pronounced like in the English word “scratch”).

      ข is written as Kh (an aspirated K sound, pronounced like in the English word “cat”).

      An example: The Thai city Khon Kaen – ขอนแก่น.

      The English would transliterate the name of this city like Kon Gaen.

      So it depends which transliteration system you use. I prefer IPA because the rules are international and comprehensible for people from all over the world, not only for native English speakers. I am not a native English speaker and the way English people transliterate Thai text looks and sounds a bit strange to me.

      • david 06/01/2014 at 06:19 #

        You are correct about English translation. I am English speaking and Thai translation often looks strange to me. My translator on my computer does not always choose the correct word that is intended for the statement and it sometimes make the entire statement hard to understand.

  18. Mark 29/09/2012 at 21:08 #

    I notice that a lot of the letters are not in your Consanants video

  19. john 03/07/2012 at 19:27 #

    Hi! Mod..i am just curious if i going to learn thai….which that you recommend?to learn speak or learn to write is easier?

    • Tom 26/09/2013 at 22:32 #

      Maybe you should learn English first.

      • Nikolay 03/01/2014 at 14:51 #

        :))

  20. KHOO 22/04/2012 at 08:24 #

    when is the next blog?

    • jessebelle egipto 17/10/2013 at 18:03 #

      can i learn how to read and write thai?

      • Mod 18/10/2013 at 22:32 #

        Sawatdee ka Jessebelle, thank you for your message. Absolutely, you can learn to read and write Thai. Would you be interested in taking Skype lessons? Please contact me at adjima_t@hotmail.com

        • Nat 26/01/2014 at 04:12 #

          I am only 9 year old I am come from thailand I move to blackpool and my school was learning about thailand but I don’t know how to write in thailand

  21. Hazman 26/02/2012 at 21:13 #

    Can i see the vowels?

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