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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Thai Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn about the tones in Thai.
Tone is the use of pitch to distinguish meaning.
Just like how mispronouncing a sound or misreading a character can have a huge impact on meaning, using the wrong tone can drastically change the meaning of a word or sentence too.
It's crucial then, that you learn all the tones in Thai.
There are 5 tones in Thai.
ใหม่ "new"
ไมล์ "mile"
ไม้ "wood" or มั๊ย Question word when asking qns.
ไหม "silk"
ไม่ "not"
The first tone is a low tone.
ไข่, ไข่ (slowly) "egg"
It's pronounced low and steady.
ใส่, ใส่ (slowly) "to add"
Pronounce it lower than you would your regular pitch. The idea is to pronounce it low, and keeping it low throughout the entire syllable. Listen and repeat after Jay.
ข่า galangal
ติ to crticize
เก็บ to keep
The second tone is a mid tone.
ไป, ไป (slowly) "to go"
It's pronounced in the neutral, comfortable part of your vocal range and is steady throughout.
มา, มา (slowly) to come
Don't be fooled though. Just because it's in the middle of your range, it doesn't mean that you can pronounce this without practice. The key here is to maintain the same pitch from start to finish. Do not vary the pitch. Keep it even across the entire syllable. Listen and repeat after Jay.
ดี good
ไกล far
ทาง way
The third tone is a high tone.
ครับ, ครับ (slowly) "yes particle"
It's pronounced high and steady.
รู้, รู้ (slowly) "know"
Pronounce it higher than you would your regular pitch. The idea is to pronounce it high, and keeping it high throughout the entire syllable. Listen and repeat after Jay.
น้อย little
คิด think
รั้ว fence
The fourth tone is a rising tone.
หนัง, หนัง (slowly) "movie"
It starts low, and then rises to a high part of your range.
หมา, หมา (slowly) dog
It has a rising intonation and kind of sounds like your asking a question. "See?" Listen to Jay.
ขา leg
หาว to yawn
ตั๋ว ticket
The fifth tone is a falling tone.
ใช่, ใช่ (slowly) "yes"
It starts high, and then falls to a low part of your range.
บ้าน, บ้าน (slowly) house
Imagine a heavy weight is gradually pulling you down. Or, think of a pencil falling to the ground. Listen to Jay.
ค่า value
ใกล้ near
พูด speak


In this lesson, you learned all the tones in Thai.
In the next lesson, you'll learn about Stress and Intonation.
Which tone is the trickiest one for you? Are there any tricks to help you master the tones in Thai? Share them in the comments.
See you in the next Ultimate Thai Pronunciation Guide lesson!