Thai consonants are divided into three classes; Middle class, High class and Low class. See all 44 alphabets here.
There are nine middle class consonants (อักษรกลาง [àk –sŏrn glaang]) อักษรกลางมี 9 ตัว
 ก.ไก่ (Gaw Gài)
ไก่ (gài) means chicken
จาน[jaan] means plate
 ด.เด็ก (Daw Dèk) : เด็ก [ dèk] means kid
 ต.เต่า (Dtaw Dtào) : เต่า [dtào] means turtle
These two letters looks similar. The turtle has a broken head, but the kid has smooth head:)
 ฎ.ชฎา (Daw Chá-daa) : ชฎา (chá-daa) means Thai theatrical crown
 ฏ.ปฏัก (Dtaw Bpà-dtàk) : ปฏัก ( bpà-dtàk) means spear
These two letters are rarely used in common words, they are used mostly in Thai names. So most of the time ด.เด็ก([Daw Dèk) is used for ‘d’ sound. ต.เต่า (Dtaw Dtào) is used for ‘dt’ sound.
 บ.ใบไม้ ( Baw Bai máai) : ใบไม้ (bai máai) means leaf
 ป.ปลา (Bpaw Bplaa) : ปลา (bplaa) means fish
 อ.อ่าง (Aw àang): อ่าง means basin
*It is both consonant and vowel.
This is how Thai students recite the middle class consonants– > ไก่จิกเด็กตายบนปากโอ่ง /gài(ก) jìk(จ) dèk(ด,ฎ) dtaai(ต,ฏ) bon(บ) bpàak(ป) òong(อ)/ (chicken peck a child to death on top of a big earthen jar). It sounds scary but it works! 555
Learn how to write each letter in the next lesson.
Credit the picture from a book from my childhood:)
After this we will get to know Thai vowels, then we can start reading! Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.
Dave Justine Bantilan says
Hi, I need help understanding the middle class consonant, i get the first consonant, Gaw-Gai,…
1. what sound do the 3-6 consonant make?
2. does the second consonant make “J” sound?
3. the 7-8 consonant also, what sound do they make?
or maybe i did not understand a singke thing yet…thank you for your time
Joshua Buttery says
Love the blog. Also love the nursery rhyme ? a little morbid but made me laugh and remember the consonants. Thank you. Kob Khun krab
Im confused, are all consonant in thai represent a thing? Animal ? Etc? Thanks mod
Sawatdii ka Aron,
The consonants don’t actually represent anything they are the sounds of the language, but to make it easier for learners to remember we pair each consonant with a word that starts with the consonant i.e. ก which is ‘g’ sound is paird with the word ไก่ /gài/ which means chicken.
This confused me
Can you explain what you don’t understand please?
I’m confused as well.
as an example, using Gaw Gài: what sound does the consonant make?
does it make a Gaw sound? is the symbol ก named Gaw Gài?
ก give the ‘g’ sounds similar to ‘g’ sound in the word ‘get’ in English. And yes the alphabet ก is called ‘gaw gài’. 🙂
Can you please do a blog on low and high class consonants like this one. As well as short vowels. Kop kun krap Kruu Mod
guess i need to go find a real thai here to teach me how to write Thai properly @_@” 😛
Lennie van Lent says
Is it right that each consonant has a name and a pronunciation . How do I know the sound or pronunciation of number 6 and 7.
Some good memnonic to remember the middle class consonants?
Very good ka. Just one typo :ไก่จิกเด็กตาย”บน”ปากโอ่ง นะคะ 🙂