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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Thai Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn about Thai diphthongs.
WHAT ARE DIPHTHONGS?
But what exactly *are* diphthongs?
Diphthong' means *two* *sounds*. It's the term used to describe two vowel sounds that are pronounced closely together in the same syllable.
Take the English word 'pain' for example.
It's not pronounced 'pa-in', but 'pain'.
Or the word 'foul'. It's not 'fo-ul', but 'foul'.
Notice the difference? You can think of diphthongs as gliding from one vowel to the next very quickly. Diphthongs therefore, begin one way and end in another.
THAI DIPHTHONGS
Thai has many vowel sounds. So you'll be forgiven if you feel intimidated by the thought of pairing them all into diphthongs. Luckily, many of the vowel combinations form a pattern, which we can use to simplify all Thai diphthongs into 3 simple rules:
1. Thai has three basic diphthongs, each having a short and long version
2. Vowels that do not fit into rule number 1, will end in a Y sound
3. Vowels that do not fit into rule number 1 or 2, will end in a W sound
Rules 2 and 3 all rely on rule number 1. And since they result in consonant sounds that we've already learned how to pronounce, we can essentially ignore them and focus only on rule number 1.
So let's take a look at three basic diphthongs in Thai.
The first one is...
เอียะ
It sounds like the 'ia' in words like 'media' or 'encyclopedia'. Be sure to pronounce it short.
เอียะ
Now *you* try!
เอียะ
รองเท้าเกี๊ยะ Chinese sandal with a thick sole of wood
ปอเปี๊ยะ ""spring roll"""
The second variation of this diphthong is...
เอีย-
It's identical to before, except the first vowel is pronounced longer.
เอีย-
Now *you* try!
เอีย-
เมีย "wife"
เตียง "bed"
เนียน Smooth"
The next diphthong is...
เอือะ
The first vowel sound doesn't exist in English. It's the 'unrounded U' sound that we learned in lesson 3. The second vowel is an A vowel. Be sure to pronounce it short.
เอือะ
Now *you* try!
There are no words in Thai that uses this diphthong. It is for pronuncation practice merely.
Because the second variation of this diphthong is...
เอือ
It's identical to before, except the first vowel is pronounced longer.
เอือ
Now *you* try!
เอือ
เรือ "boat"
เรื่อง "about"
เชื่อ to believe
The last diphthong is...
อัวะ / -ว
It sounds like the 'ua' in words like 'pure' or 'demure'. Be sure to pronounce it short.
อัวะ / -ว
Now *you* try!
อัวะ / -ว
ผลัวะ "onomatopoeic sound for rock thrown into a bush"
อั๊วะ "Chinese loanword for I"
ยั๊วะ Getting angry
The second variation of this diphthong is...
อัว / -ว-
It's identical to before, except the first vowel is pronounced longer.
อัว / -ว-
Now *you* try!
อัว / -ว-
ตัว "self" or body
นวด "to massage"
บัว Lotus

Outro

In this lesson, you learned about Thai diphthongs.
In the next lesson, you'll learn about the tones in Thai.
What was the hardest diphthong for you to learn? Let us know in the comments.
See you in the next Ultimate Thai Pronunciation Guide lesson!

9 Comments

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ThaiPod101.com
Friday at 6:30 pm
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Were the diphthongs difficult to learn?

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ThaiPod101.com
Tuesday at 1:13 am
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Hello Warren,


Thank you very much. Yes, you're right ยั๊วะ means the same as โกรธ(more commonly used).


Have a nice day.

Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

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Warren
Sunday at 7:27 pm
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I can't find this word in ยั๊วะ in Thai dictionary. Is it the same angry as this โกรธ?

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ThaiPod101.com
Thursday at 7:13 pm
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Hello Joseph,


Thank you very much for your comment and pointed out the mistake. I'm glad you found what you looking for. I will pass it to our team so they can correct it. Please let me know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help. We wish you will have a good progress with Thai language.


Have a nice day.

Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

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Joseph
Saturday at 6:35 pm
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Hi, good lesson. Now, I finally know what a 'diphthong' is!

Just wanted to point out that at 04:13 the slide says next lesson is 8, Thai Tones. Actually it's number 13.

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ThaiPod101.com
Tuesday at 10:07 pm
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Hello Thuta Oo(ดุทะอู),


Thank you very much for your comment and feedback. We really glad to heard that you find our video lesson motivated you. You will make the best improvement when your motivated.😄 Please let me know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help you. We wish you will have a good progress with your Thai.


Have a nice day.

Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

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Thuta Oo(ดุทะอู)
Monday at 3:39 pm
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I am from Myanmar.

I first learned the diphthongs myself. It is very difficult. But now, i can see the ways they have pronunciation from the rules in this video. This video motivates me a lot. Thank you very much.

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ThaiPod101.com
Tuesday at 12:16 pm
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Hello Amir,


Thank you very much for your comment. We really appreciated. Please keep practice listening to different Thai speaker i can n order to differentiated them. It might sound similar now but I'm sure you will get it after practice and be among Thai people. Please let me know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help you. We wish you have a good progress with your Thai.


Have a nice day.


Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

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Amir Cohen
Monday at 7:59 am
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the short and the long sound almost the same