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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Thai Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn all 18 Thai vowel sounds.
By learning all of these sounds, you'll be able to pronounce any vowel that could possibly appear in Thai!
Are you ready?
Then let's get started!
The 18 vowel sounds in Thai come in short and long pairs. The length of the vowel is much more important in Thai than it is in English.
If you were to say the word 'gap' normally, and then you were to lengthen the vowel, 'gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap', although people will look at you strangely, you'd still be understood because the meaning of the word does not change.
This isn't true for Thai however.
"หวัด ""common cold""
หวาด ""startled""
หวัด ""common cold""
หวาด ""startled"""
Be mindful about the length of Thai vowels, otherwise, you might be saying something completely different!
Now, let's take a look at the first vowel sound.
"สระอะ (pronounce the sound)
หวัด ""common cold""
สับ Chopping
ชัด Clear"
This is a short A sound, like the A in the word 'taco'.
สระอะ, สระอะ (slowly)
สระอะ, สระอะ (slowly)
The next vowel sound is identical to the first, except that it's held for twice as long.
"สระอา
หวาด ""startled""
สาป Curse
ชาติ Nation"
It's like the A in 'father'. Be sure to open wide and allow the air to pour out of the mouth.
สระอา, สระอา (slowly)
สระอา, สระอา (slowly)
The next vowel sound is...
"สระอิ
ติ Criticize
ริบ Confisticate
จิบ Sip"
This is a short I sound, like the I in 'ski'.
สระอิ, สระอิ (slowly)
สระอิ, สระอิ (slowly)
The next vowel sound is identical to the previous sound, but longer.
"สระอี
ตี Hitting
รีบ Hurrying
จีบ Flirtting"
It's like the sound the double E makes in the word 'green'.
สระอี, สระอี (slowly)
สระอี, สระอี (slowly)
The next vowel sound is...
"สระอึ
ขึ้น ""to go up""
รึ ""question particle""
นึก Thinking"
This vowel doesn't exist in English. To pronounce this sound, first, try to pronounce the U in 'true'. From there, try to unround and spread your lips. Listen to Jay.
สระอึ, สระอึ (slowly)
สระอึ, สระอึ (slowly)
The next vowel sound is identical to the previous sound, but longer.
"สระอือ
ชื่อ ""name""
หรือ Or
บื้อ Dumb"
It's like an unrounded U sound. Be sure to lengthen the vowel sound. Listen to Jay.
สระอือ, สระอือ (slowly)
สระอือ, สระอือ (slowly)
The next vowel sound is...
"สระอุ
จุด Dot
ลุก Standing up
ดุ Scolding"
This is a short U sound. It's like the sound the double O creates in the word 'look'.
สระอุ, สระอุ (slowly)
สระอุ, สระอุ (slowly)
The next vowel sound is identical to the previous sound, but longer.
"สระอู
จูบ Kissing
ลูก Son or Daughter
ดู Looking"
It's a long U sound, like the U in 'true'.
สระอู, สระอู (slowly)
สระอู, สระอู (slowly)
The next vowel sound is...
"สระเอะ
เตะ Kicking
เสร็จ Finishing
เล็ก Small"
This is a short E sound, like E in 'neck'.
สระเอะ, สระเอะ (slowly)
สระเอะ, สระเอะ (slowly)
The next vowel sound is identical to the previous sound, but longer.
"สระเอ
เปล Crib
เอน Leaning
เลข Math"
It's a long E sound, similar to the E in the word 'neigh'.
สระเอ, สระเอ (slowly)
สระเอ, สระเอ (slowly)
The next vowel sound is...
"สระแอะ
แกะ Sheep or unwrap
และ And
แพะ Goat"
It's a short, open E like sound similar to the sound the A makes in the word 'at'.
สระแอะ, สระแอะ (slowly)
สระแอะ, สระแอะ (slowly)
The next vowel sound is identical to the previous sound, but longer.
"สระแอ
แก You *in an informal form with friends
แลก Exchange
แพ Raft"
It's a long, open E sound similar to the sound the A makes in the word 'man'.
สระแอ, สระแอ (slowly)
สระแอ, สระแอ (slowly)
The next vowel sound is...
"สระโอะ
โต๊ะ Table
ชก Punching
สด Fresh"
It's a short O sound, like the O in 'boat'.
สระโอะ, สระโอะ (slowly)
สระโอะ, สระโอะ (slowly)
The next vowel sound is identical to the previous sound, but longer.
"สระโอ
โต Big
โชค Luck
โสด Being Single *not married"
It's a long O sound, like the O in 'go'.
สระโอ, สระโอ (slowly)
สระโอ, สระโอ (slowly)
The next vowel sound is...
"สระเอาะ
เพาะ Planting
เงาะ Rambutan
เคาะ Knocking"
It's a short, open O sound, like the O in 'not'. Your mouth should be opened wider than the previous O sound. Listen to Jay.
สระเอาะ, สระเอาะ (slowly)
สระเอาะ, สระเอาะ (slowly)
The next vowel sound is identical to the previous sound, but longer.
"สระออ
พอ Enough
งอ Bending
คอ Neck"
It's a long, open O sound, like the O in 'ought'. Be sure to open wide and allow the air to pour out. Listen to Jay.
สระออ, สระออ (slowly)
สระออ, สระออ (slowly)
The next vowel sound is...
"สระเออะ
เยอะ ""many""
เนอะ Right? Ending word that seek agreement.
เขรอะ Dirty"
This vowel sound doesn't exist in English, but It's a little similar to the sound the E makes in the word 'the'. To pronounce this sound, first, try to pronounce the O in 'boat'. From there, try to unround and spread your lips. Listen to Jay.
สระเออะ, สระเออะ
สระเออะ, สระเออะ
The next and final vowel sound is identical to the previous sound, but longer.
"สระเออ
เธอ her
เจอ Meeting
เชิญ Inviting"
It's similar to the U in 'burn'. You can pronounce this sound by producing the unrounded O sound that you learned previously. Be sure to lengthen the vowel sound. Listen to Jay.
สระเออ, สระเออ (slowly)
สระเออ, สระเออ (slowly)
Well done! You've just learned all 18 vowel sounds in Thai!
With these sounds, you can pronounce any vowel that could possibly appear in the Thai language! Isn't that great?
Which vowel sound was the most difficult for you to pronounce? Let us know in the comments.
In the next lesson, you'll start learning consonant sounds.
See you in the next Ultimate Thai Pronunciation Guide lesson!

71 Comments

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ThaiPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Can you pronounce all 18 vowel sounds correctly?

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 08:46 PM
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Hello Yoon Yoon,


Thank you. All vowels are inclucded in "Thai alphabet made easy series". Here: https://www.thaipod101.com/lesson-library/thai-alphabet-made-easy/ 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

Yoon Yoon
Saturday at 02:20 AM
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There are total of 32 vowels, 4 of them are no longer used. So you talked about 18 vowels in this video and 6 diphthongs in another video. What about the remaining 4 vowels "am,ai,ai,ao"? In which group are they included?

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 02:49 PM
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Hello David,


Thank you for your help. ◌ู, ◌ู◌ ถูก ลูก / ◌◌ู◌ จมูก (จะ หมูก jà-mùuk-nose). Here you are "เ◌อะ ." = "oe"/ ə เออ = "ooe" / əə. Do you familia with them? 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 04:49 PM
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The notes to this lesson are VERY important, because they show us variations of the vowels that are not shown in the video.


For example, although the "i:" vowel is often represented with ◌ี, it can also be represented with ◌ี◌ instead.


That being said, I have a question about "u:" (the 8th vowel: the notes represent it as "◌ู, ◌ู ." That is the same character ( ◌ู )! Is there a different way to represent "u:" in Thai Script besides using " ◌ู ?"


Also, please tell me if there is a different way to represent "ɤ" (the 17th vowel) besides using "เ◌อะ ."

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Friday at 04:42 PM
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Hello David,


Thank you for comment. เลข can also means "math" I remember hearing people who 40 years or older refer to math as "เลข", and yes now aday wee used it as to mean "number". It's a short form of เลขคณิต mathematic. โ_ะ is wreten like this when a syllable have no final consonant such as โต๊ะ table / โป๊ะ /โก๊ะ and if there is a final consonant the word will look like you seen on our example: ชก ชน สด หมด จน จด หก สกปรก 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
Friday at 04:12 PM
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When the video covers the short "o" sound ( โ_ะ ), it demonstrates this sound through the examples of ชก and สด. Yet, the vowel characters " โ " and " ะ " are completely absent from these words in Thai script.


From the lesson notes (not the video), I see that "โ◌ะ" is also written as "◌◌ ."


Does this mean that when Thai script has two or more consecutive consonants, and there are no vowel markers near them, we should pronounce these consonants with short 'o' sounds between them - as if they had been written as โ_ะ ?

David
Friday at 03:23 PM
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I think there may be an error in the video at 6:05. When the teacher tells us how to pronounce เลข , the on-screen text tells us that เลข means "math." However, because online translations suggest that เลข means "number," I checked with a Thai friend. She confirmed that เลข means "number," not "math."

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 10:07 PM
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Hello David,


Thank you for comment. Let see if this will help. สระ เอะ (sà-rà è) here an examples word, เละเทะ /เกะกะ/เละ , if there is a final consonant after this is how it will look like เปะ turn into เป็น / เหะ turn into เห็น /เยะ turn into เย็น /เชะ turn into เช็ค Similar to ะ

and ั "maai-han-aa-gaat". จะ นะ ค่ะ /คะ ปะ and ครับ ฉัน วัน จันทร์ มัน กัน กับ 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
Thursday at 07:32 PM
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I have a question about the เ_ะ vowel. Can it also be represented as ็ when appearing above a consonant?


If so, how do you know when to use เ_ะ or ็ ?


I think I have the same concern about _ะ and ั . If they mean the same thing, can you just choose to use one variation or the other?

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 01:05 AM
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Hello Juan and David,


Thank you for comment. Juan, oh no, you can listen and slowly familia with them I believe. อั or อะ,

(1) does the pronunciation change? = no

(2) does the meaning of the word change? = there are different word so meaning have to change จะ จันทร์ นะ นั้น

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