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Lesson Transcript

Ryan: Pronunciation, Lesson 2 - Are there really more Thai consonants to learn? Hi everyone, and welcome back to the Pronunciation Series.
Rawinporn: Did you practice the sounds from Lesson 1?
Ryan: We have a lot more sounds for you this time.
Rawinporn: Ok, grab your PDF file and let’s do this together.

Lesson focus

Ryan: Here we go. The 23rd Thai consonant is…
Rawinporn: [ทอ ทหาร]. [ทหาร] means “soldier”.
Ryan: And next [ธอ ธง]. [ธง] means “flag”.
Rawinporn: There are three colors in the Thai flag, which are red, white and dark blue.
Ryan: I bet those are the three most popular colors for national flags. Moving on to the next letter, we have [นอ หนู]. [หนู] means “mouse”.
Rawinporn: Next, [บอ ใบไม้]. [ใบไม้] means “leaf”.
Ryan: And next [ปอปลา]. [ปลา] means “fish”. This is the sound that I’ve heard other foreigners pronouncing wrong most often in Thailand.
Rawinporn: Well, [ปอ ปลา] is a hot sound between P and B. [ปอ ปลา]
Ryan: Next, [ผอ ผึ้ง]. [ผึ้ง] means “bee”.
Rawinporn: Next is [ฝอ ฝา]. [ฝา] is “lid”, like a lid for the pot, pan or something like that.
Ryan: A-ha! And next is [พอ พาน]. [พาน] is a “tray”.
Rawinporn: It is not a normal tray. It’s a special tray that is used only in a ceremony.
Ryan: A-ha! You’ll notice this letter and two others we write with, PH. The H indicates an aspirated sound, that is one accompanied by a puff of air. If you put your hand in front of your mouth you can feel a puff of air when you say [พอ พาน], but not when you say [ปอ ปลา]. Go ahead, try it. Repeat after [ปอ ปลา].
Rawinporn: [พอ พาน]
Ryan: And next - [ฟอ ฟัน]. [ฟัน] means “teeth”. Unlike English, we don’t have to add S at the end of words to make them plural nouns. So [ฟอ ฟัน] means “tooth” or “teeth” at the same time.
Exactly Next is
Rawinporn: Exactly! Next is [พอ สำเภา]. [สำเภา] is “sailboat”.
Ryan: And next, [มอ ม้า]. [ม้า] is a “horse”.
Rawinporn: Next is [ยอ ยักษ์]. [ยักษ์] means “ogre”.
Ryan: And if anyone out there knows some Indian mythology, you might recognize this word. It’s just shortened from the Sanskrit [Yaksha]. Ok, the next one is [รอ เรือ]. [เรือ] means “boat”.
Rawinporn: Please be careful when you pronounce [รอ เรือ]. You are supposed to roll your tongue like this - Rrr.
Ryan: Oh man! I’ve never been very good at rolling my R’s. Ok, let me give it another shot. [รอ เรือ]
Rawinporn: The next one, which is [ลอ ลิง], is similar. [ลิง] means “monkey” .For [ลอ ลิง,your tongue just simply touches the roof of your mouth. You do not need to make this sound.
Ryan: Getting tired yet? Come one, we’re more than halfway done now.
Rawinporn: Yes. And the next one is [วอ แหวน]. [แหวน] means “ring”.
Ryan: Then [ศอ ศาลา]. [ศาลา] means a “pavilion”.
Rawinporn: The next one has the same sound - [ษอ ฤาษี]. [ฤาษี] means “hermit”.
Ryan: And maybe some people will recognize this one too. It’s the Indian word [Rishi]. Then we have one more letter making the same sound - [สอ เสือ]. [เสือ] is a “tiger”.
Rawinporn: Yeah. [ศอ ศาลา] [ษอ ฤาษี] and [สอ เสือ] are exactly the same with an S sound.
Ryan: But if you recall, they represent three different sounds in Sanskrit. So Thai kept the letters different to preserve the spelling of foreign loan words. Next is [หอ หีบ]. [หีบ] is a “chest” that you can keep your stuff in.
Rawinporn: And next [ลอ จุลา]. [จุลา] is a “kite”. Moreover, it is the name of the first university in Thailand.
Ryan: A-ha! And next is [ออ อ่าง]. [อ่าง] means “basin”. Now, if you just said, “Hey, that doesn’t sound much like a consonant!” - you're right! When used as a consonant, [ออ อ่าง] doesn’t have its own sound. Since every vowel is written attached to a consonant, this letter can act as a silent consonant for words that start with a vowel.
Rawinporn: Last but not least is [ฮอ นกฮูก].
Ryan: [นกฮูก] is an “owl”.
Rawinporn: Now you know all 44 Thai consonants.
Ryan: That’s right. And keep practicing.


Rawinporn: It’s not difficult, you just need some practice. I'm sure about that.
Ryan: Ok, see you next time.
Rawinporn: [สวัสดีค่ะ]
Ryan: [สวัสดีครับ]


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