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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!
In the last lesson you learned the letter ห and the vowels สระ อัวะ and สระ อัว. Do you remember how to write them all? Let’s review them.
In this lesson, you’re going to learn about 4 more low class consonants and one vowel…
Ready to start? Then let's go!
Here is the letter ภ (phaaw sǎm-phao). The word สำเภา (sǎm-phao) means a "Chinese junk" - for those of you who don’t know, that is a type of Chinese ship. As an initial consonant, ภ makes the sound "ph" like the P in "pink". As a final consonant, ภ makes a P-stop.
If you look at the shape of ภ you'll notice that it contains the shape of the letter ก.
The only difference is that ภ has a head. This is a counter-clockwise head that sticks out to the left side of the letter.
Let's practice writing ภ together. Have you got your pen ready? Ok, start with the head at the bottom, then make the shape of ก.
We can use ภ to write the word ภูเขา (phuu-khǎo), which means "mountain". ภูเขา has 2 syllables. The first syllable has the initial consonant ภ with the long vowel สระ อู written below.
The second syllable has the initial consonant ข with the vowel สระ เอา.
The first syllable is mid tone, and the second syllable has a rising tone: ภูเขา
Let's write it together.
ภ, สระ อู , สระ เอ, ข, สระ อา. ภูเขา
The second low class consonant for this lesson is called ธ (thaaw thong). The word ธง (thong) means "flag". As an initial consonant, ธ makes an aspirated T sound, like the T in "tennis". As a final consonant, ธ makes a T-stop.
The first thing you might notice about ธ is that it doesn't have a head. There are only 2 Thai consonants that don't have heads: ก and ธ.
You might also notice that the upper portion of ธ is very similar to ร.
Let's practice writing ธ together.
Start with a short vertical line on the left side. Then it turns to make an L shape. And the top part is drawn like the shape of ร.
We can use ธ to write the word ธรรม (tham), which means "the Dharma" or "the teaching of the Buddha".
You might think that ธรรม doesn't have any vowels when you look at it. But actually it does. Whenever you see two ร letters side-by-side, it is actually a special way to write สระ อะ.
But if there are two ร attached to an initial consonant with no final consonant in the syllable, then we pronounce it อัน (an).
We have a special name for the two ร. It’s called “ร หัน”.
So we write the word ธรรม as:
ธ, ร หัน, ม. ธรรม (tham)
Here's the letter ณ (naaw neen). The word เณร (neen) means a "novice monk". ณ makes the sound of the letter N when it's an initial or final consonant.
The shape of ณ looks a little bit like a combination of the letters ก and น.
Let's practice writing ณ together. Start with the head. Make the shape of ก, and finish with the loop on the right side with a vertical line.
ณ is of course used to write the word เณร (neen), which we said means a "novice monk". The initial consonant is ณ. The vowel สระ เอ is written to the left of it. And the final consonant is ร. Remember that ร makes the sound of the letter N when it's a final consonant.
ณ is a low class consonant, and this word has a live ending, so it is said with a mid tone.
The last new consonant for this lesson is ญ (yaaw yǐng). The word หญิง (yǐng) means "woman" or “female.”
ญ makes the sound of letter Y as an initial consonant. And as a final consonant it makes the sound of letter N.
ญ looks a little bit similar to the letter ณ that we just learned.
Let's practice writing ญ together.
Start with the head. Make the shape of ก, and bend back up. Then add the curl under the letter.
Most of the time when you see ญ, it appears in a pair. When this happens, the first ญ will be the final consonant of one syllable, and the second ญ will be the initial consonant of the next syllable. For example, here is the word สัญญา (sǎn-yaa), which means "promise".
The first syllable has the initial consonant ส, with the vowel sound สระ อะ written using ไม้หันอากาศ. Then ญ is the final consonant. So the first syllable makes the sound สัญ (sǎn), with a rising tone.
The second syllable has the initial consonant ญ and the vowel สระ อา. So it makes the sound ญา (yaa) with a mid tone.
Let's write the whole word together.
ส, ไม้หันอากาศ, ญ-ญ , สระ อา. สัญญา
Let's learn one more vowel in this lesson.
Here is สระ อำ (sà-rà am).
สระ อำ is different than other vowels because it includes it's own final consonant sound. สระ อำ is like a combination of สระ อะ and ม.
To write it, we draw a tiny circle above the consonant, and then สระ อา is drawn to the right. When spelling a word, we will say สระ อำ to mean the entire symbol.
For example, here is the word ดำ (dam), which means "black". We spell the word ดำ as ด, สระ อำ.
Because it has the sound ม built into it, สระ อำ always forms a live syllable, and it never has a final consonant behind it. Any letters that follow สระ อำ will be the beginning of the next syllable.
Now it's time for Pradthana’s Point.
Congratulations! So far you've learned all of the tone rules that are based purely on spelling. After this you'll learn how the 4 tone marks can be used to give different tones to words. The tone marks work differently for different consonant classes. So it's important to remember which consonant class each letter belongs to. If you can't remember, go back and watch some of the earlier lessons for a review.
Do you know the Thai word for "chicken"? In the next ตัวอักษรไทย Made Easy Lesson you'll learn how to write it correctly. Here's a hint, you'll need to use a tone mark. See you there! สวัสดีค่ะ!

77 Comments

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ThaiPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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What Thai words can you write with the letters you've learned in this lesson?

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 10:30 PM
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Hello Adrian,


Thank you. I'm glad to hear that. Cheer! 😄 Please let me know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help.


Have a good day.

ปริษา Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

Adrian
Wednesday at 04:05 PM
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Thanks Parissa,


I am grouping them together as I slowly memorising them and giving each class a different colour and was already noticing that many have the same tone (this is what I found in my practice today). I will add in your other tips and tricks in the coming week (my next alphabet lessons are the tone marks ones so hopefully that will make more sense when I have completed them!).


Thanks again for all your help and tips!

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:36 PM
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Hi Adrian,


Last one. Syllable without tone marks:

A syllable beginning with Middle class and high class have the same rules.

Begin syllable with Middle class or high class and end syllable with (dead) P/T/K = Low tone

Begin syllable with Middle class or high class and end syllable with (live) -m ม -n ญ,ณ,น,ร,ล,ฬ -ng ง = Mid tone

A syllable begin with low class consonants:

Begin syllable with low class consonants and end a syllable with (live) -m ม -n ญ,ณ,น,ร,ล,ฬ -ng ง = mid tone

Begin syllable with low class consonants and end a syllable with (dead) P/T/K + short vowel in the syllable = high tone

Begin syllable with low class consonants and end a syllable with (dead) P/T/K + long vowel vowel in the syllable = falling tone

Have a good day.

ปริษา Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:34 PM
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Hi again Adrian,


Here will be tone rules trick. Syllable with tone marks:

A syllable beginning with Middle class and high class have the same rules.

mái-èek gives low tone

mái-thoo gives falling tone

mái-dtrii gives high tone

mái-jàt-dtà-waa gives a rising tone.

A syllable begin with low class consonants it is a bit different.

mái-èek gives falling tone

mái-thoo gives high tone

More will be post in the next comment.

Hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help.


Have a good day.

ปริษา Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:31 PM
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Hi Adrian,


Thank you. Trick for me is to write them out, separate them into different classes, visualize and remember them. Find peaceful time, sit down and slowly memorize everything from your own notes.

ไก่จิกเด็กตายบนปากโอ่ง ก จ ด ต (ฎ ฏ) บ ป อ — [a mnemonic for remembering the middle-class consonants in Thai] "Chicken pecks a child to death over the mouth of a clay pot."

All high class consonant begin with rissing tone as a first syllable of the letter:

ข khǎaw khài,ฃ khǎaw khùuat ฉ chǎaw chìng and etc...ฐ,ถ ผ ฝ ศ,ษ,ส ห

all the less will be low calss consonant

6 Final Consonant Sounds

dead -k ค,ฅ,ฆ ก ข,ฃ

-p พ,ฟ,ภ บ,ป

-t ช,ฌ,ฑ,ฒ,ท,ธ จ,ฎ,ฏ,ด,ต ฐ,ถ,ศ,ษ,ส

live -m ม -n ญ,ณ,น,ร,ล,ฬ -ng ง

Next comment will be tone rules trick.


Have a good day.

ปริษา Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

Adrian
Tuesday at 10:27 AM
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Are there any tips/tricks/tools available to help remember the classes of consonants?

It feels a bit overwhelming to remember all the letters and the initial/final sounds they make AND then to remember the class of consonants AND the tone rules just to figure out what a syllable is! I'm sure it will get quicker with practice. My 45 year old brain is struggling though - so maybe there is a rhyme or mnemonic tool or something to help with the classes?

Thanks!

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 12:09 AM
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Hi sam,


Thank you. Well done. I'm glad you figured it out. Please let me know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help.


Have a good day.

ปริษา Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

sam
Monday at 09:25 AM
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Hi there,

Please disregard my previous message of ฌ เฌอ and ณ เณร, for some reason I couldn't spot any difference😅. Now I can

sam
Monday at 08:28 AM
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hi there,

Could you please help me in this: ฌ เฌอ and ณ เณร a written exactly the same but one sound CH and the other N, could you please tell me how I recognise them? are there any specific rule to distinguish them? thank you

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 01:39 AM
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Hi Jenn,


Thank you. ฌ เฌอ chaaw-chooe is low class consonant, It make the sound "ch" sound as an initial consonant and make "t stop" final sound. Here are some examples words, ฌอน Sean; Shaun; Shawn [an English given name], ฌาน "chaan" means "Dhyana; meditation; thought; concentration of mind; one-pointed meditation". Hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help. We hope you will make good progress with Thai.

Have a good day.

ปริษา Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com