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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"
รึ "question particle"
ชื่อ "name"
เยอะ "many"
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!