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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Thai Pronunciation Guide.
In this series, you'll master Thai pronunciation. Proper pronunciation is essential in Thai, and in this series, you'll learn it in a fast, comprehensive, and easy way.
In this first lesson, you'll learn about the building blocks of the Thai pronunciation system that will help you in future lessons.
Thai doesn't use an alphabetical writing system like English does. This makes learning Thai as a second language an incredibly challenging task. It's often necessary to use a romanization system to transcribe Thai into roman letters *first*, to allow you to get familiar with the script. As you become more familiar with Thai, you'll rely on the transcription less and less, until finally, you'll be rid of them altogether. But for now, it's a good place to start.
Many romanization systems exist, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Unfortunately, there isn't an agreed upon 'one size fits all' system for transcribing Thai into roman letters. In this series, we'll be using a system that's the *closest thing* to a standard of transcription for Thai.
This system is near-identical to the Royal Thai General System of Transcription, or the RTGS for short, which is a type of transcription used by the Thai government for publications and road signs. Keep in mind though, that it's use is quite inconsistent even by the government.
Don't get too caught up with all the letters though, because in this series, we're more concerned with the *sounds* of Thai. And here they are:
There are 21 consonant sounds and 18 vowel sounds in Thai. By using all of these sounds, you can form every single word in Thai.
Still seem complicated? Well how about this: of the 21 consonant sounds in Thai, you *already know* 18 of the original sounds. That's right, if you're a native English speaker, then you already make these sounds every day!
You can also ignore 14 of the vowel sounds for the very same reason.
The only thing standing between you and perfect Thai pronunciation, are 3 new consonant sounds and 4 new vowel sounds. You can handle that!
Now let me introduce Jay, who will be helping you to master these new sounds.
"Hello, I'm Jay" in Thai
Jay will be giving you native pronunciation examples for you to imitate. But for this first lesson, just sit back and listen to the unique sounds of Thai:
ร / หร
พรุ่งนี้ "tomorrow"
จาน "plate"
ฉ / ช / ฌ
ฉัน "me"
สระอึ
รึ "question particle"
สระอือ
ชื่อ "name"
สระเออะ
เยอะ "many"
สระเออ
เธอ "her"
In the next lesson, we'll look at the top 5 pronunciation mistakes Thai learners make. You'll want to make sure not to fall into these common traps.
After that, we'll begin going through the vowels and consonants of Thai. This is your chance to learn how to correctly say all of the words you just heard.
We'll finish up the series by covering some special topics that will really make your Thai sound natural!
To close this lesson, here's a question for you.
Why is it important to spend time on learning proper pronunciation, even if you're already an advanced speaker?
The answer...
You will be understood, and this will help you build more confidence as you communicate in Thai. For beginners, you're creating a strong foundation to build on. And for more advanced students, this is your chance to improve your accent and lose any bad habits you may have picked up.
What is the hardest part of Thai pronunciation? Tell us about it in the comments.
See you in the next Ultimate Thai Pronunciation Guide lesson!

52 Comments

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ThaiPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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What is the hardest part of Thai pronunciation? Tell us about it in the comments.

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Monday at 11:39 PM
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Hi Stanley,


Thank you. You could just keep roll your toung and brow out air. Copy soundThai person do not long after you will get it. True that lot of time we speak "r" with "l" sound but it might be sometime we need clarification of the word. 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

Stanley Canfield
Monday at 11:01 AM
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It is almost impossible for me to roll my R's... I was told by another language teacher that most Thais will understand me if I just pronounce as in English. It seems like sort of a stumbling block for me right now.

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 04:13 PM
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Hello David,


Thank you. เธอ means "you or her" depend on context. ขา ของ เธอ สวย มาก khǎa khǎawng thooe sǔuai mâak can either means YOUR legs are very pretty, or HER legs are very pretty

เธอ used between friend

คุณ used formal situation and give distance between speakers. Hope that's help. 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

David
Sunday at 05:51 PM
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I read that เธอ ("tuh") means "you."


Is there a different meaning between เธอ ("thooe") and คุณ ("khun")?


The notes for this lesson give this example:

ขา ของ เธอ สวย มาก

khǎa khǎawng thooe sǔuai mâak


Does that example mean YOUR legs are very pretty, or HER legs are very pretty?

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 07:08 PM
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Hello Karen,


Thank you for comment. I understand, my suggestion is to memorise all class of consonant then take notes about their tone rules. And also memorise them. Then went you read you can try apply tone rule to it. Hope that’s help.Please let me know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help.


Have a good day.

Parisa Koknoi

Team ThaiPod101.com

Karen
Thursday at 08:39 AM
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Agree -tones are tough but more difficult are consonant class rules.

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Monday at 08:06 AM
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สวัสดี Daniel,


Thank you for your feedback, we will consider it in our future development! Great to have you here studying with us. Should you have any more comments, please don't hesitate to contact us!


Kind regards,

เลเว็นเต้ (Levente)

Team ThaiPod101.com

Daniel
Monday at 01:49 AM
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When using the slide show, there is no difference between slow and fast, they are both the same speed and it is very fast. (Very obvious). It would be nice if that choice operated for me. Also, in the vocabulary practice, the sound will often quit. These issues have occurred thru lesson 6 for me, unknown after that but I could assume the same issues will continue beyond lesson 6.

Thank you,

Daniel

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 10:23 PM
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Hello Janine,


Thank you for comment. My trick with tone rules is I remember all different class of consonants then have a close look through them with all rules. 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

Janine
Wednesday at 03:55 PM
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The hardest part is tonal rules. I feel like they are all the same. Hahaha.