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Lesson Transcript

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 we learned 2 Thai consonants and one vowel. Do you remember them?
In this lesson, you’re going to learn 3 more consonants and your first tone rule. Ready to start? Then let's go!
The 3 consonants that you're going to learn are all low class consonants. The first one is ง (ngaaw nguu). It makes the sound "ng" just like the N-G at the end of the word "sing". This sound is not difficult for English speakers. You just have to get used to making the sound "ng" at the beginning of words too. ง is also named after an animal. Can you guess which one? งู means "snake”.
You can remember the shape of this letter easily. Just think of a snake with its body bent.
Get out your pen and paper, and let's practice writing it together. Start with the head, drop down, then veer up at an angle. It's easy, right?
The next consonant you'll learn is ย (yaaw yák). As the initial sound of a syllable it makes the sound "y" just like the letter Y in "yes". As the final sound of a syllable, it adds a sound "i" that blends with the vowel, just like the Y at the end of the words "say" and "boy". And if you're wondering about the name of ย, the word ยักษ์ means a giant.
ย is distinctive because it's the only Thai letter with two bumps on one side like this.
Let's write ย together. The head goes counter-clockwise. We make 2 bumps, and then come back to the top at a right angle.
Time for our last consonant. This one is called ว (waaw wǎaen). It makes the sound "w" like the W in "water". But when it is the final consonant in a syllable, it blends with the vowel to add a slight "o" sound. The name of ว comes from the word แหวน (wǎaen), which means "ring".
Let's write ว together. Start with the head at the bottom and curl to the left.
We've now learned 5 consonants plus the long vowel sound สระ อา (aa), which we can use to make words. Every syllable in Thai has one of five tones: mid, low, falling, high, or rising. You can always figure out the tone of a syllable by how it is spelled. The first thing to know is the class of the consonant. All the consonants we've learned so far are low class.
The next thing to know is if the syllable ending is live or dead. A live ending is one that makes it possible to keep resonating the sound. Syllables that end in long vowels are live. Do you remember the word for "rice field"? It was นา (naa). This is a live syllable because if I wanted to I could extend the length of the word and say นาาาาาาาา (naaaaaaaaa). As long as I don't run out of breath, the sound goes on forever, so it is a live ending.
The 5 consonant sounds we've learned are the only ones that can end a syllable and make the ending live. For example, you can keep making the sounds "mmmmmmmm" or "nnnnnnnnn" for as long as you like, but you could not do it with “t” or “ch”.
So now that we know what a live sound is, we can learn our first tone rule, which is:
Low class initial consonant + live ending = mid tone.
A mid tone is pronounced at a flat pitch in the middle of your regular vocal range.
นา (naa) is an example of a mid tone syllable. [slowly] นา
Now let's use the tone rule to make some words.
ง, สระ อา, น makes งาน (ngaan).
งาน means "work".
The "n" sound of น makes it a live syllable, so it is mid tone, งาน (ngaan).
Ok, try to write it. ง, า, น...งาน
The next word is ยาว (yaao), which means "long". We write ยาว with ย, สระ อา, ว.
ย is a low class consonant to start the syllable, and ว at the end makes it a live syllable. So it's also mid tone, ยาว (yaao)
Your turn to write it! ย, า, ว...ยาว
The last word is นาย (naai), which means "boss". We write นาย with น, สระ อา, ย.
Again, it is mid tone because it has an initial low class consonant and has a live ending.
Okay, one more for you to write. น, า, ย...นาย
Now it's time for Pradthana's Points.
Thai doesn't have a "v" sound like the letter V in "Valentine". So Thai speakers use the letter ว in foreign words that contain the letter V. A lot of newer Thai words are loanwords from English, while much of the Thai base vocabulary consists of words that come from Indian languages such as Sanskrit and Pali.
Do you know how to say "good" in Thai? in the next ตัวอักษรไทย Made Easy Lesson you'll learn how to say it, and how to write it too. See you there! สวัสดีค่ะ!