Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Ryan: Pronunciation, Lesson 3 - Fine tuning your Thai vowels. Hi, everyone!
Rawinporn: Welcome back to the Pronunciation Series.

Lesson focus

Ryan: In the last two lessons you learned how to pronounce all 44 Thai consonants. In this lesson, we’ll show you the vowels. There are 21 vowels (vowel symbols)…
Rawinporn: With 32 (vowel) sounds. Most of them are paired between long and short syllables.
Ryan: Right. Let’s take a look together.
Rawinporn: First pair is [อะ] and [อา].
Ryan: The first one is short and the latter is long.
Rawinporn: Yes, [อะ] and [อา]. For example, [ชบา]. [ชบา] is the name of a flower. [ชะ] is short and [บา] is long.
Ryan: Please be careful with the difference between the lengths of the vowel sounds. Thai’s can understand what you’re trying to say even if you mispronounce it, but it would be easier to understand if you pronounce the vowels correctly.
Rawinporn: The next pair is [อิ] and [อี].
Ryan: For example, [วิเศษ] means “wonderful”. [วิ] is a short sound. An example of a long sound is [ผี]. [ผี] means “ghost”.
Rawinporn: The next pair is [อึ] and [อือ]. For example…
Ryan: [หึง] and [หือ]. The former is [หึง], which means “jealous”. The latter, หือ], means “dispute” or “discuss”. This sound doesn’t exist in English. To get it right, try saying [อู] but with your mouth spread wide or smiling. [อือ]
Ryan: We’ll write the short sound as UE and the long sound as UUE. Let’s go to the next pair.
Rawinporn: Right. Next is [อุ] and [อู].
Ryan: Can you give us some examples?
Rawinporn: Sure. [ซุง] and [สูง].
Ryan: The short one, [ซุง], means “log”.
Rawinporn: [สูง] means “tall”.
Ryan: Wow, the sound is very similar but the meaning is just so different.
Rawinporn: Yes, it is.
Ryan: The next pair is [เอะ] and [เอ]. An example of the short sound is [เอะอะ], which means “noisy”.
Rawinporn: And an example of the long sound is [เวลา], which means “time”.
Ryan: The next pair is
Rawinporn: [แอะ] and [แอ]. For example, [แพะ] and [แพ].
Ryan: [แพะ] means “goat”, while [แพ] means “raft”.
Rawinporn: Wow, that sounds pretty close. [แพะ] and [แพ]. We’ll transcribe the short one as AE and the long one as AAE.
Ryan: The next pair is [โอะ] and [โอ].
Rawinporn: For example, [โต๊ะ] and [โต]. [โต๊ะ] means “table”, while [โต] means “grow up”.
Ryan: And then [เอาะ] and [ออ]. For example, [เงาะ] and [งอ].
Rawinporn: [เงาะ] means rambutan, which is a fruit. [ดิฉันกินเงาะ]
Ryan: “I eat rambutan.” And [งอ] means “curve” or “to be moody”.
Rawinporn: For example, [คุณไรอันหน้างอ] means “Ryan is moody”.
Ryan: Thank you very much. Well, this sound you’ll often see written with the letter O in Thailand, but we’ll write the pair as AW and AAW in the lesson notes so you don’t confuse [เอาะ] and [ออ] with [โอะ] and [โอ]. The next pair is [อัวะ] and [อัว]. It sounds just like a combination of [อุ] and [อะ]. [อัวะ]
Rawinporn: And then [เอียะ] and [เอีย].
Ryan: For example, [ขนมเปียะ]. [ขนมเปียะ] is a Chinese dessert.
Rawinporn: And an example of the long vowel is [เลีย], which means “lick”.
Ryan: The next pair is [เอือะ] and [เอือ]. These are like a combination of a wide-mouth vowel from earlier - [อือ] with [อะ]. [เอือะ] One of my favorite words to say is [เอื้อเฟื้อเผื่อแผ่ ].
Rawinporn: That means “to be generous”. And next is [เออะ] and [เออ]. We’ll write this pair as OE and OOE. It’s a little like the EA sound of English, but more open. [เปิด] means “to open”.
Ryan: And then one vowel comes alone - [อำ]. For example, [ขำ] which means “laugh”.
Rawinporn: The next two sound just the same - [ไอ].
Ryan: And the last four are [รึ] and [รือ] and [ลึ]. Only the first one, [ลือ], is still used. The last three are ancient and not in use anymore.
Rawinporn: Exactly. You might come across those letters in ancient words, in poetry or literature, but not in daily life.


Ryan: So keep practicing. Be careful of short and long sounds.
Rawinporn: And see you next time.
Ryan: [สวัสดีครับ]
Rawinporn: [สวัสดีค่ะ]