VIDEO: Thai Short Vowels

To speak Thai clearly and make local people understood, it is not only getting the tones right it is also pronouncing the vowels correctly.

There are in total 32 vowel sounds in Thai language, 14 of them are long vowel sounds and 18 are short vowel sounds.


Similar to pronouncing Thai tones, when the vowel changes the meaning changes too. So you should make sure you are saying a word with a short or long vowel.

For example; ข้าว /kâao/ means ‘rice’ but when we change the pronunciation to a short sound เข้า /kâo/ means ‘to go in’.

“Vowel” in Thai is สระ /sà-rà/. Long vowel is called สระเสียงยาว /sà-rà sǐang yaao/ and short vowel is called สระเสียงสั้น /sà-rà sǐang sân/.

I always suggest my students to start learning the long vowels first and then move on to the short vowels because the short vowels are just pronounced with half of the length of the long ones. So when you learn to pronounce the long vowel sounds properly,working on the short vowel sounds is just a piece of cake! 🙂

Alright, let’s start with the long vowel sounds

Once you feel comfortable with pronouncing the long vowel sounds,now it is time to continue to the short ones. 🙂

Please note: There are seven more short vowels that teacher Pear didn’t include in the video. Three of them are rarely used เอียะ /ia/ เอือะ /uea/ อัวะ /ua/. Four of these vowels can be pronounced either short or long อำ/am/, ไอ/ai/, ใอ/ai/, เอา/ao/.

For example;

น้ำ /náam/ which means ‘water’ is pronounced with long sound. จำ /jam/ (remember) is pronounced with short sound.

ไป/bpai/ (to go) is pronounced with short sound. ได้ /dâai/ (can or receive) is pronounced with long sound.

เก้า /gâao/ which means ‘nine’ is pronounced with long sound, but เก้า in the word เก้าอี้ /gâo-îi/ which means ‘chair’ is pronouced with short sound.

Thai Vowels with a Final Consonants

The table below shows you both long vowels and short vowels that change the appearance when adding a final consonant (FC). They are in the orange color. Yes, you heard me right, some vowels change the form when there is a final consonant in the word so please be careful. 🙂

Thai Vowels



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17 Responses to VIDEO: Thai Short Vowels

  1. Andrew Herrington 06/01/2018 at 02:11 #

    Hi Mod
    I was wondering if you could post some more info on thai vowels and there position ie live and dead ending words and tone rules and why the word is in a certain tone i think the lesson would be more for reading and writing and very helpfull.

    Big thanks for your help so far.

  2. Sakthi 29/10/2017 at 10:40 #

    Dear Khun.Mod,

    I am an Indian expatriate working in Thailand. I find your lessons are very easy to understand. I appreciate that you give so many free lessons on you tube which are very much useful to me in my daily life in Thailand.

    I wish to express my sincere thanks to you and Kru.Pear.

    • Mod 04/04/2018 at 23:53 #

      Sawatdee ka Khun Sakthi, thank you for your kind message. We are happy to hear that you found our lessons useful in your Thai learning.

  3. Vineet Sharma 19/03/2017 at 02:52 #

    great. nice job mod. i would have love to study with you but being from india your lessons are very costly for me

    • Mod 21/03/2017 at 16:04 #

      Thank you for your kind comment. We are happy to hear that you found our lessons useful in your Thai learning. We have many free videos on our YouTube channel for you to learn from if it is not convenient for you to sign up to our lessons. 🙂

  4. Hoang Hue 31/12/2016 at 08:44 #

    I’m vietnamess and i want to learn Thai, but I can hear English but not very well, so sad

    • Mod 06/06/2017 at 15:52 #

      We would like to encourage you to keep practicing, make your learning process fun and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. 🙂

  5. Clive 28/11/2016 at 14:42 #

    great as always, but Pear’s phonetic English makes little sense

  6. Cat 22/11/2016 at 23:50 #

    It’s overwhelming but exciting! Thank you so much for this video 😀

    • Mod 06/12/2016 at 09:33 #

      Thank you for your comments. Just learn them slowly first and you will get them all easily very soon.

  7. Elisabeth 22/09/2016 at 16:44 #

    Excellent, thank you!

  8. Don from America 01/07/2016 at 03:37 #

    Thank You, Very Helpful !
    I will always sound like a Farang. 555

  9. Wenydy Ly 16/06/2016 at 22:02 #

    Hi Mod,
    So only those vowels in the orange color will change their form when they are followed by final consonants, aren’t they?

  10. sylvain 21/05/2016 at 18:11 #

    lots of vowels we have not in english and neither in french. Your exemples of thaï words are very welcome and allow us to review a little bit of vocabulary. Thank you!

  11. Khairi 10/05/2016 at 12:41 #

    I think your learning thai very useful and easy to understand to make me step by step learn thai and clear about your video…i’m so happy find learn thai with mod

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