Vocabulary

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สวัสดีค่ะ, ดิฉันปรารถนาค่ะ! Welcome to Thaipod101.com’s ตัวอักษรไทย Made Easy!
The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn the Thai alphabet: ตัวอักษรไทย!
Over the next 25 lessons, you'll learn everything there is about the reading and writing of the Thai language. By the end, you’ll be able to read Thai menu items, communicate online, and make your way through Thailand easier. Learning to read and write Thai will also help you to speak Thai better! Are you ready? Then let's go!
The Thai alphabet is made up of 44 consonants. That might seem like a lot to you now. But if you just learn a few at a time you'll see that they're not difficult to master. Thai is read from left to right just like English. The letters of the Thai alphabet are grouped into three consonant classes: low, middle, and high. In this lesson we'll learn 3 low class consonants.
Each Thai consonant has a name made up of two parts.
The first part of the name is the sound that the letter makes as the initial sound of a syllable. The last part of the name is some word that contains that letter. These names make it easier to remember the letters.
In addition to the consonants, the Thai script has 32 vowels. That sounds like a lot, but most of them are pairs of long and short vowels, so it's not as hard as you think. Thai vowels have to be written and attached to a consonant. They can appear above, below, in front, behind, or all around a consonant.
Thai has 5 different tones. Tone means how high or low the pitch of a sound is. The 5 tones are: mid, low, falling, high, and rising. Or if we use the sound กา (gaa) as an example, the 5 tones are กา ก่า ก้า ก๊า ก๋า (gaa gàa gâa gáa gǎa). If you make the wrong tone you won't be easily understood.
Thai script has 4 different tone symbols, which helps to indicate different tones in writing. But they don't automatically tell you which tone a syllable is. The consonant class, length of the vowel, and type of ending sound also factor in. If that sounds like a lot to keep track of, don't worry. We'll tackle each tone rule one by one so you won't feel overwhelmed. OK, are you ready to learn your first Thai consonant? Let's begin!
Let's start with the letter ม (maaw máa). Remember how I said each letter has two parts to its name? The first part of ม (maaw-máa) is มอ (maaw) because it makes the sound "m" just like the letter M. And ม้า (máa) is a word that means "horse".
Most Thai letters start with a small circle which we call the head of the letter. The head of ม is written clockwise, and then the rest of the letter is written with one continuous line. If you want an easy way to remember the shape of this letter think of a coffee mug with a broken handle. The head on the top and the loop on the bottom are where the handle used to be attached. This will help you to remember that ม has the head and loop on the same side. And of course, ม and "mug" both start with the same sound!
Now it’s time to take out your pencils! We’re going to practice writing. Find some paper and follow along.
OK, here we go! Start with the head, go down and make a loop, go to the right, and then back up.
See how easy that was! Now you're going to learn your second consonant.
The next consonant is น (naaw nǔu). It makes the sound "n" just like the letter N. Do you know what animal น (naaw nǔu) is named after? หนู nǔu means "rat" in Thai. I bet you're thinking that น looks very similar to ม. Well, you're right. The only difference between the shape of these two letters is น has the loop on the right side instead of the left side. That's why I said you should remember a mug for ม that has a broken handle on the left side.
น is handwritten like this. The head is drawn clockwise, and the loop is in the lower right corner.
Now you know two Thai consonants, but we need to learn some vowels before we can start making words.
Remember that the Thai alphabet is entirely consonants. Vowels are a separate group of symbols that orbit around the consonants. The Thai word for "vowel" is สระ (sà-rà). Each vowel's name is made up of the word สระ plus the sound that the vowel makes.
The first vowel that we'll learn is สระ อา. It is written to the right of a consonant, but a lot of other vowels will be found in different positions. Vowels can be long or short. In this case, สระ อา is a long vowel that makes the sound อา "aa", like the A in "father".
สระ อา is very easy to write. Just draw a slightly curved line going to the right, and then drop straight down. It looks a little like a cane or walking stick. If you think of the sentence "My f*a*ther walks with a cane.", it will help you remember the shape of สระ อา.
You will never see สระ อา written just by itself like this. It always has to follow a consonant. Let's use the consonants we learned to demonstrate. ม followed by สระ อา is the word มา (maa). This is a verb, meaning "to come".
Let's practice writing it together. ม, สระ อา, มา.
Now let's try a new word. This time we'll start with น.
น followed by สระ อา makes นา (naa). This is the word for "rice field".
Let's write it together. น, สระ อา, นา.
Many Thai consonants have different sounds at the beginning and end of syllables. But these two consonants ม and น don't change their sound. So you can make another word very easily just by adding another น to the end of นา (naa). Now you have the word นาน (naan), which means "a long time".
Let's write it now! น, สระ อา, น, นาน.
Wow! You've already learned how to write 3 words in Thai. See, it's not that hard after all.
Now it's time for Pradthana's Points.
Practice writing these letters and words until it becomes second nature. Keep a notebook and write the letters many times while saying their names out loud. That way the shape of the letter, the sound it makes, and the letter's name will sink deep into your memory.
Did you notice that all the words you learned today are pronounced with a mid tone? It's not just random. There's a rule for it, and in the next ตัวอักษรไทย Made Easy Lesson you'll learn your first rule for reading tones in Thai. See you there! สวัสดีค่ะ!

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ThaiPod101.com
Friday at 6:00 pm
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What words can you write using  ม (Maaw máa), น (Naaw nǔu), or า (Long a)?

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ThaiPod101.com
Saturday at 9:10 pm
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Hello Gabriel,


Thank you for comment. We are really appreciated. We provide "Thai alphabet made easy video lessons". "water" is "น้ำ" is correct spelling. Hope that help. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions. I will be glad to help.


Have a nice day.

Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

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Gabriel Castiglia
Friday at 7:08 am
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I loved!! ❤️️

You really make it easy... 😄


Do you know any program or way to write in Thai with a western keyboard computer?

Thank you so much for everything! 😉

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Adrian
Sunday at 10:53 am
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Hello there! Really great work, khop khun khap!


Now i have one curiosity. You said a few comments below that "water" is "น้ำ" (náam). But why it is not "นาม"?


Maybe not a very smart question, but, yeah, i just started 55 :)

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ThaiPod101.com
Friday at 11:38 pm
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Hello Erin,


Thank you very much. Name of consonant have two part, first is sound that the letter made, second is word that contain the letter to show example. Hope that help. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions. I will be glad to help.


Have a nice day.

Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

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Erin
Thursday at 2:57 am
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I’m really confused about that the letters have 2 sounds but it’s a word as well??

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ThaiPod101.com
Tuesday at 11:17 pm
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Hello Jens,


Thank you very much. I will let our team recheck on it. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions. I will be glad to help.


Have a nice day.

Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

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Jens
Friday at 11:39 pm
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Why is not maaw máa in the vocabulary section ?

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ThaiPod101.com
Monday at 7:58 pm
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Hello Clara,


Thank you very much for your comment and question. นาน "naan" means "for a long time while น้ำ "náam" water is pronounce with high tone. Hope that's help. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have future questions. I will be glad to help. We wish you will have a good progress with Thai.


Wish you a great day.

Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

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Clara
Friday at 1:42 am
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i thought naan is water?

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ThaiPod101.com
Monday at 2:03 pm
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Hello Terry,


Thank you very much for your comment and question. I think your friend say นาข้าว or ทุ่งนา which is still means "rice filed", ข้าว means "rice" and ทุ่ง means "field; plain; pasture". Yes, it's just a variation on the word.Hope that's help. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have future questions. I will be glad to help. We wish you will have a good progress with Thai. 😄


Wish you a great day.

Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com