The Info List - Thai Alphabet

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* v * t * e

THAI SCRIPT (Thai : อักษรไทย; rtgs : akson thai; _ listen ) is used to write the Thai language and other languages in Thailand . It has 44 consonant letters (Thai : พยัญชนะ, phayanchana_), 15 vowel symbols (Thai : สระ, _sara_) that combine into at least 28 vowel forms, and four tone diacritics (Thai : วรรณยุกต์ or วรรณยุต, _wannayuk_ or _wannayut_).

Although commonly referred to as the "Thai alphabet", the script is in fact not a true alphabet but an abugida , a writing system in which each consonant may invoke an inherent vowel sound. In the case of the Thai script this is an implied 'a' or 'o'. Consonants are written horizontally from left to right, with vowels arranged above, below, to the left, or to the right of the corresponding consonant, or in a combination of positions.

Thai has its own set of Thai numerals that are based on the Hindu-Arabic numeral system (Thai : เลขไทย, _lek thai_), but the standard western Hindu-Arabic numerals (Thai : เลขฮินดูอารบิก, _lek hindu arabik_) are also commonly used.


* 1 History

* 2 Orthography

* 2.1 Punctuation

* 3 Alphabet listing

* 3.1 Consonants

* 3.1.1 Alphabetic * 3.1.2 Phonetic

* 3.2 Vowels * 3.3 Tone * 3.4 Diacritics * 3.5 Numerals

* 4 Other symbols

* 5 Sanskrit and Pali

* 5.1 Plosives (วรรค _vargaḥ_)

* 5.2 Non-plosives (อวรรค _avargaḥ_)

* 5.2.1 Sibilants (เสียดแทรก) * 5.2.2 Voiced h (มีหนักมีลม) * 5.2.3 Voiced lla

* 5.3 Vowels (สระ)

* 5.4 Other symbols

* 5.4.1 Nikkhahit นิคหิต (anusvāra) * 5.4.2 Pinthu พินทุ (virāma) * 5.4.3 Yamakkan ยามักการ * 5.4.4 Visarga

* 6 Unicode * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 External links


The Thai alphabet is derived from the Old Khmer script (Thai : อักษรขอม, _akson khom_), which is a southern Brahmic style of writing derived from the south Indian Pallava alphabet (Thai : ปัลลวะ).

Thai is considered to be the first script in the world which invented tone markers to indicate distinctive tones, which are lacking in the Mon-Khmer and Indo-Aryan languages from which its script is derived. Although Chinese and other Sino-Tibetan languages have distinctive tones in their phonological system, no tone marker is found in their orthographies. Thus, tone markers are an innovation in the Thai language that later influenced other related Tai languages and some Tibeto-Burman languages on the Southeast Asian mainland.

Thai tradition attributes the creation of the script to King Ramkhamhaeng the Great (Thai : พ่อขุนรามคำแหงมหาราช) in 1283, though this has been challenged. Ramkhamhaeng inscription, the oldest inscription using proto-Thai script ( Bangkok National Museum )


There is a fairly complex relationship between spelling and sound. There are various issues:

* For many consonant sounds, there are two different letters that both represent the same sound, but which cause a different tone to be associated. This stems from a major change (a tone split ) that occurred historically in the phonology of the Thai language. At the time the Thai script was created, the language had three tones and a full set of contrasts between voiced and unvoiced consonants at the beginning of a syllable (e.g. _b d g l m n_ vs. _p t k hl hm hn_). At a later time, the voicing distinction disappeared, but in the process, each of the three original tones split in two, with an originally voiced consonant (the modern "low" consonant signs) producing a lower-variant tone, and an originally unvoiced consonant (the modern "mid" and "high" consonant signs) producing a higher-variant tone. * Thai borrowed a large number of words from Sanskrit and Pali , and the Thai alphabet was created so that the original spelling of these words could be preserved as much as possible. This means that the Thai alphabet has a number of "duplicate" letters that represent separate sounds in Sanskrit and Pali (e.g. the breathy voiced sounds _bh, dh, ḍh, jh, gh_ and the retroflex sounds _ṭ ṭh ḍ ḍh ṇ_) but which never represented distinct sounds in the Thai language. These are mostly or exclusively used in Sanskrit and Pali borrowings.

* The desire to preserve original Sanskrit and Pali spellings also produces a particularly large number of duplicate ways of spelling sounds at the end of a syllable (where Thai is strictly limited in the sounds that can occur but Sanskrit allowed all possibilities, especially once former final /a/ was deleted), as well as a number of silent letters. Moreover, many consonants from Sanskrit and Pali loanwords are generally silent. The spelling of the words resembles Sanskrit or Pali orthography:

* Thai สามารถ (spelled _sǎamaarth_ but pronounced _sa-mat_ with a silent r and a plain t that is represented using an aspirated consonant) "to be able" ( Sanskrit समर्थ _samartha_) * Thai จันทร์ (spelled _chanthr_ but pronounced _chan_ because the th and the r are silent) "moon" (Sanskrit चन्द्र _chandra_)

Thai letters do not have small and capital forms like the Roman alphabet. Spaces between words are not used, except in certain linguistically motivated cases.


Minor pauses in sentences _may_ be marked by a comma (Thai : จุลภาค or ลูกน้ำ, _chunlaphak_ or _luk nam_), and major pauses by a period (Thai : มหัพภาค or จุด, _mahap phak_ or _chut_), but most often are marked by a blank space (Thai : วรรค, _wak_). A bird's eye ๏ (Thai : ตาไก่, _ta kai_, officially called ฟองมัน, _fong man_) formerly indicated paragraphs, but is now obsolete.

A _kho mut_ ๛ (Thai : โคมูตร) can be used to mark the end of a chapter or document .

Thai writing also uses quotation marks (Thai : อัญประกาศ, _anyaprakat_) and parentheses (round brackets) (Thai : วงเล็บ, _wong lep_ or Thai : นขลิขิต, _nakha likhit_), but not square brackets or braces.



There are 44 consonant letters representing 21 distinct consonant sounds. Duplicate consonants either correspond to sounds that existed in Old Thai at the time the alphabet was created but no longer exist (in particular, voiced obstruents such as _b d g v z_), or different Sanskrit and Pali consonants pronounced identically in Thai. There are in addition four consonant-vowel combination characters not included in the tally of 44.

Consonants are divided into three classes — in alphabetic order these are middle (กลาง, _klang_,) high (สูง, _sung_,) and low (ต่ำ, _tam_) class — as shown in the table below. These class designations reflect phonetic qualities of the sounds to which the letters originally corresponded in Old Thai. In particular, "middle" sounds were voiceless unaspirated stops ; "high" sounds, voiceless aspirated stops or voiceless fricatives ; "low" sounds, voiced. Subsequent sound changes have obscured the phonetic nature of these classes. Today, the class of a consonant without a tone mark, along with the short or long length of the accompanying vowel, determine the base accent (พื้นเสียง, _pheun siang_.) Middle class consonants with a long vowel spell an additional four tones with one of four tone marks over the controlling consonant: _mai ek, mai tho, mai tri_, and _mai chattawa_. High and low class consonants are limited to _mai ek_ and _mai tho_, as shown in the Tone table . Differing interpretations of the two marks or their absence allow low class consonants to spell tones not allowed for the corresponding high class consonant. In the case of digraphs where a low class follows a higher class consonant, the higher class rules apply, but the marker, if used, goes over the low class one; accordingly, ห นำ _ho nam_ and อ นำ _o nam_ may be considered to be digraphs as such, as explained below the Tone table. Notes

* ^ Modern Thai sounds /b/ and /d/ were formerly — and sometimes still are — pronounced /ʔb/ and /ʔd/. For this reason, they were treated as voiceless unaspirated, and hence placed in the "middle" class; this was also the reason they were unaffected by the changes that devoiced most originally voiced stops. * ^ Only low class consonants may have a base accent determined by the syllable being both _long_ and _dead_.

To aid learning, each consonant is traditionally associated with an acrophonic Thai word that either starts with the same sound, or features it prominently. For example, the name of the letter ข is _kho khai_ (ข ไข่), in which _kho_ is the sound it represents, and _khai_ (ไข่) is a word which starts with the same sound and means "egg".

Two of the consonants, ฃ (_kho khuat_) and ฅ (_kho khon_), are no longer used in written Thai, but still appear on many keyboards and in character sets. When the first Thai typewriter was developed by Edwin Hunter McFarland in 1892, there was simply no space for all characters, thus two had to be left out. Also, neither of these two letters correspond to a Sanskrit or Pali letter, and each of them, being a modified form of the letter that precedes it (compare ข and ค), has the same pronunciation and the same consonant class as the preceding letter (somewhat like the European long s ). This makes them redundant. Set in 1890s Siam, a 2006 film titled in Thai: ฅนไฟบิน _Flying Fire Person_ (in English: Dynamite Warrior ), uses ฅ _kho khon_ to spell ฅน _Person_. Compare entry for ฅ in table below, where _person_ is spelled คน.

Equivalents for romanisation are shown in the table below. Many consonants are pronounced differently at the beginning and at the end of a syllable. The entries in columns _initial_ and _final_ indicate the pronunciation for that consonant in the corresponding positions in a syllable. Where the entry is '-', the consonant may not be used to close a syllable. Where a combination of consonants ends a written syllable, only the first is pronounced; possible closing consonant sounds are limited to 'k', 'm', 'n', 'ng', 'p' and 't'.

Although official standards for romanisation are the Royal Thai General System of Transcription (RTGS) defined by the Royal Thai Institute, and the almost identical ISO 11940-2 defined by the International Organization for Standardization , many publications use different romanisation systems. In daily practice, a bewildering variety of romanisations are used, making it difficult to know how to pronounce a word, or to judge if two words (e.g. on a map and a street sign) are actually the same. For more precise information, an equivalent from the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is given as well.




ก ก ไก่ _ko kai_ chicken k k


ข ข ไข่ _kho khai_ egg kh k


ฃ ฃ ขวด _kho khuat _ bottle (obsolete) kh k


ค ค ควาย _kho khwai_ buffalo kh k


ฅ ฅ คน _kho khon_ person (obsolete) kh k


ฆ ฆ ระฆัง _kho ra-khang_ bell kh k


ง ง งู _ngo ngu_ snake ng ng


จ จ จาน _cho chan_ plate ch t


ฉ ฉ ฉิ่ง _cho ching_ cymbals ch –

– high

ช ช ช้าง _cho chang_ elephant ch t


ซ ซ โซ่ _so so_ chain s t


ฌ ฌ เฌอ _cho choe_ tree ch –

– low

ญ ญ หญิง _yo ying_ woman y n


ฎ ฎ ชฎา _do cha-da_ headdress d t


ฏ ฏ ปฏัก _to pa-tak_ goad , javelin t t


ฐ ฐ ฐาน _tho than_ pedestal th t


ฑ ฑ มณโฑ _tho montho_ Montho , character from Ramayana th t


ฒ ฒ ผู้เฒ่า _tho phu-thao_ elder th t


ณ ณ เณร _no nen_ samanera n n


ด ด เด็ก _do dek_ child d t


ต ต เต่า _to tao_ turtle t t


ถ ถ ถุง _tho thung_ sack th t


ท ท ทหาร _tho thahan_ soldier th t


ธ ธ ธง _tho thong_ flag th t


น น หนู _no nu_ mouse n n


บ บ ใบไม้ _bo baimai_ leaf b p


ป ป ปลา _po pla_ fish p p


ผ ผ ผึ้ง _pho phueng_ bee ph –

– high

ฝ ฝ ฝา _fo fa_ lid f –

– high

พ พ พาน _pho phan_ phan ph p


ฟ ฟ ฟัน _fo fan_ teeth f p


ภ ภ สำเภา _pho sam-phao_ Junk ph p


ม ม ม้า _mo ma_ horse m m


ย ย ยักษ์ _yo yak_ giant, yaksha y – or n – or low

ร ร เรือ _ro ruea_ boat r n


ล ล ลิง _lo ling_ monkey l n


ว ว แหวน _wo waen_ ring w –

– low

ศ ศ ศาลา _so sala_ pavilion, sala s t


ษ ษ ฤๅษี _so rue-si_ hermit s t


ส ส เสือ _so suea_ tiger s t


ห ห หีบ _ho hip_ chest, box h –

– high

ฬ ฬ จุฬา _lo chu-la_ kite l n


อ อ อ่าง _o ang_ basin – –

– mid

ฮ ฮ นกฮูก _ho nok-huk_ owl h –

– low


* ^ The lower curves of the letter ญ are removed when certain letters are written below them, such as ญ + the mark _nikkhahit _ (lower dot) = ญฺ, etc. * ^ The lower curves of the letter ฐ are removed when certain letters are written below them, such as ฐ + the vowel mark ุ = ฐุ, etc. * ^ When ย ends a syllable , it is usually part of the vowel . For example, _mai_ (หมาย, ), _muai_ (หมวย, ), _roi_ (โรย, ), and _thui_ (ทุย, ). There are some cases in which ย ends a syllable and is not part of the vowel (but serves as an independent ending consonant). An example is _phiNyo_ (ภิยโย, ). * ^ When ว ends a syllable , it is always part of the vowel . For example, _hio_ (หิว, ), _kao_ (กาว, ), _klua_ (กลัว, ), and _reo_ (เร็ว, ). * ^ อ is a special case in that at the beginning of a word it is used as a silent initial for syllables that start with a vowel (all vowels are written relative to a consonant — see below). The same symbol is used as a vowel in non-initial position.


The consonants can be organised by place and manner of articulation according to principles of the International Phonetic Association . Thai distinguishes among three voice/aspiration patterns for plosive consonants:

* unvoiced, unaspirated * unvoiced, aspirated * voiced, unaspirated

Where English has only a distinction between the voiced, unaspirated /b/ and the unvoiced, aspirated /pʰ/, Thai distinguishes a third sound which is neither voiced nor aspirated, which occurs in English only as an allophone of /p/, approximately the sound of the _p_ in "spin". There is similarly an alveolar /t/, /tʰ/, /d/ triplet. In the velar series there is a /k/, /kʰ/ pair and in the postalveolar series the /tɕ/, /tɕʰ/ pair.

In each cell below, the first line indicates International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), the second indicates the Thai characters in initial position (several letters appearing in the same box have identical pronunciation). Note how the conventional alphabetic order shown in the table above follows roughly the table below, reading the coloured blocks from right to left and top to bottom.






ป ผ,พ,ภ บ

ฏ,ต ฐ,ฑ,ฒ,ถ,ท,ธ ฎ,ด

ก ข,ฃ,ค,ฅ,ฆ


จ ฉ, ช, ฌ


ฝ,ฟ ซ,ศ,ษ,ส





Lateral approximant



* ^ ฃ and ฅ are no longer used. Thus, modern Thai is said to have 42 consonants. * ^ Initial อ is silent and therefore considered as glottal plosive.

Although the overall 44 Thai consonants provide 21 sounds in case of initials, the case for finals is different. Note how the consonant sounds in the table for initials collapse in the table for final sounds. At the end of a syllable, all plosives are unvoiced, unaspirated, and have no audible release. Initial affricates and fricatives become final plosives. The initial trill (ร), approximant (ญ), and lateral approximants (ล,ฬ) are realized as a final nasal /n/.

Only 8 ending sounds, as well as no ending sound, are available in Thai pronunciation. Among these consonants, excluding the disused ฃ and ฅ, six (ฉ ผ ฝ ห อ ฮ) cannot be used as a final. The remaining 36 are grouped as following.







จ,ช,ซ,ฌ,ฎ,ฏ,ฐ,ฑ,ฒ, ด,ต,ถ,ท,ธ,ศ,ษ,ส




* ^ The glottal plosive appears at the end when no final follows a short vowel.


Thai vowel sounds and diphthongs are written using a mixture of vowel symbols on a consonant base. Each vowel is shown in its correct position relative to a base consonant and sometimes a final consonant as well. Note that vowels can go above, below, left of or right of the consonant, or combinations of these places. If a vowel has parts before and after the initial consonant, and the syllable starts with a consonant cluster, the split will go around the whole cluster.

Twenty-one vowel symbol elements are traditionally named, which may appear alone or in combination to form compound symbols.



ะ วิสรรชนีย์ Wisanchani (from Sanskrit _visarjanīya_ ) ◌ะ; ◌ัวะ; เ◌ะ; เ◌อะ; เ◌าะ; เ◌ียะ; เ◌ือะ; แ◌ะ; โ◌ะ

◌ั ไม้หันอากาศ Mai han a-kat ◌ั◌; ◌ัว; ◌ัวะ

◌็ ไม้ไต่คู้ Mai tai khu ◌็; ◌็อ◌; เ◌็◌; แ◌็◌

า ลากข้าง Lak khang ◌า; ◌า◌; ำ; เ◌า; เ◌าะ

◌ิ พินทุอิ Phinthu i ◌ิ; เ◌ิ◌; ◌ี; ◌ี◌; เ◌ีย; เ◌ียะ; ◌ื◌; ◌ือ; เ◌ือ; เ◌ือะ

◌̍ ฝนทอง Fon thong ◌ี; ◌ี◌; เ◌ีย; เ◌ียะ

◌̎ ฟันหนู Fan nu ◌ื◌; ◌ือ; เ◌ือ; เ◌ือะ

◌ํ นิคหิต Nikkhahit ◌ึ; ◌ึ◌; ◌ำ

◌ุ ตีนเหยียด Tin yiat ◌ุ; ◌ุ◌

◌ู ตีนคู้ Tin khu ◌ู; ◌ู◌

เ ไม้หน้า Mai na เ◌; เ◌◌; เ◌็◌; เ◌อ; เ◌อ◌; เ◌อะ; เ◌า; เ◌าะ; เ◌ิ◌; เ◌ีย; เ◌ีย◌; เ◌ียะ; เ◌ือ; เ◌ือ◌; เ◌ือะ; แ◌; แ◌◌; แ◌็◌; แ◌ะ

โ ไม้โอ Mai o โ◌; โ◌◌; โ◌ะ

ใ ไม้ม้วน Mai muan ใ◌

ไ ไม้มลาย Mai malai ไ◌

อ ตัว อ Tua o ◌อ; ◌็อ◌; ◌ือ; เ◌อ; เ◌อ◌; เ◌อะ; เ◌ือ; เ◌ือะ

ย ตัว ย Tua yo เ◌ีย; เ◌ีย◌; เ◌ียะ

ว ตัว ว Tua wo ◌ัว; ◌ัวะ

ฤ ตัว ฤ Tua rue ฤ

ฤๅ ตัว ฤๅ Tua rue ฤๅ

ฦ ตัว ฦ Tua lue ฦ

ฦๅ ตัว ฦๅ Tua lue ฦๅ


* ^ These symbols are always combined with _phinthu i_ (◌ิ).

The inherent vowels are /a/ in open syllables (CV) and /o/ in closed syllables (CVC). For example, ถนน transcribes /tʰànǒn/ "road". There are a few exceptions in Pali loanwords, where the inherent vowel of an open syllable is /o/. The circumfix vowels, such as เ–าะ /ɔʔ/, encompass a preceding consonant with an inherent vowel. For example, /pʰɔʔ/ is written เพาะ, and /tɕʰapʰɔʔ/ "only" is written เฉพาะ.

The characters ฤ ฤๅ (plus ฦ ฦๅ, which are obsolete) are usually considered as vowels, the first being a short vowel sound, and the latter, long. As alphabetical entries, ฤ ฤๅ follow ร, and themselves can be read as a combination of consonant and vowel, equivalent to รึ (short), and รือ (long) (and the obsolete pair as ลึ, ลือ), respectively. Moreover, ฤ can act as ริ as an integral part in many words mostly borrowed from Sanskrit such as กฤษณะ (_kritsana_, not _kruetsana_), ฤทธิ์ (_rit_, not _ruet_), and กฤษดา (_kritsada_, not _kruetsada_), for example. It is also used to spell อังกฤษ _angkrit_ England/English.

The pronunciation below is indicated by the International Phonetic Alphabet and the Romanisation according to the Royal Thai Institute as well as several variant Romanisations often encountered. A very approximate equivalent is given for various regions of English speakers and surrounding areas. Dotted circles represent the positions of consonants or consonant clusters. The first one represents the initial consonant and the latter (if it exists) represents the final.

_Ro han_ (ร หัน) is not usually considered a vowel and is not included in the following table. It represents the _sara a_ /a/ vowel in certain Sanskrit loanwords and appears as ◌รร◌. When used without a final consonant (◌รร), /n/ is implied as the final consonant, giving .



NAME SYMBOL IPA RTGS VARIANTS Similar Sound (English RP pronunciation) NAME SYMBOL IPA RTGS VARIANTS Similar Sound (English RP pronunciation)


สระอะ Sara a ◌ะ ◌ ◌ั◌ a a u u in "nut"

สระอา Sara a ◌า ◌า◌ aː a ah, ar, aa a in "father"

สระอิ Sara i ◌ิ ◌ิ◌ i i

y in "greedy" สระอี Sara i ◌ี ◌ี◌ iː i ee, ii, y ee in "see"

สระอึ Sara ue ◌ึ ◌ึ◌ ɯ ue eu, u, uh u in French "du" (short) สระอือ Sara ue ◌ือ ◌ื◌ ɯː ue eu, u u in French "dur" (long)

สระอุ Sara u ◌ุ ◌ุ◌ u u oo oo in "look" สระอู Sara u ◌ู ◌ู◌ uː u oo, uu oo in "too"

สระเอะ Sara e เ◌ะ เ◌็◌ e e

e in "neck" สระเอ Sara e เ◌ เ◌◌ eː e ay, a, ae, ai, ei a in "lame"

สระแอะ Sara ae แ◌ะ แ◌็◌ ɛ ae aeh, a a in "at" สระแอ Sara ae แ◌ แ◌◌ ɛː ae a a in "ham"

สระโอะ Sara o โ◌ะ ◌◌ o o

oa in "boat" สระโอ Sara o โ◌ โ◌◌ oː o or, oh, ô o in "go"

สระเอาะ Sara o เ◌าะ ◌็อ◌ ɔ o o, aw o in "not" สระออ Sara o ◌อ ◌อ◌ ◌◌ ◌็ ɔː o or, aw aw in "saw"

สระเออะ Sara oe เ◌อะ ɤʔ oe eu e in "the" สระเออ Sara oe เ◌อ เ◌ิ◌ เ◌อ◌ ɤː ɤ oe er, eu, ur u in "burn"


สระเอียะ Sara ia เ◌ียะ iaʔ ia iah, ear, ie ea in "ear" with glottal stop

สระเอีย Sara ia เ◌ีย เ◌ีย◌ ia ia ear, ere, ie ea in "ear"

สระเอือะ Sara uea เ◌ือะ ɯaʔ uea eua, ua ure in "pure" สระเอือ Sara uea เ◌ือ เ◌ือ◌ ɯa uea eua, ua, ue ure in "pure"

สระอัวะ Sara ua ◌ัวะ uaʔ ua

ewe in "sewer" สระอัว Sara ua ◌ัว ◌ว◌ ua ua uar ewe in "newer"


สระอิ + ว Sara i + wo waen ◌ิว iu; iw io ew ew in "new"

สระเอะ + ว Sara e + wo waen เ◌็ว eu; ew eo eu, ew

สระเอ + ว Sara e + wo waen เ◌ว eːu; eːw eo eu, ew ai + ow in "rainbow"

สระแอ + ว Sara ae + wo waen แ◌ว ɛːu; ɛːw aeo aew, eo a in "ham" + ow in "low"

สระเอา Sara ao เ◌า au; aw ao aw, au, ow ow in "cow" สระอา + ว Sara a + wo waen ◌าว aːu ao au ow in "now"

สระเอีย + ว Sara ia + wo waen เ◌ียว iau; iaw iao eaw, iew, iow io in "trio"

สระอะ + ย Sara a + yo yak ◌ัย ai; aj ai ay i in "hi" สระอา + ย Sara a + yo yak ◌าย aːi; aːj ai aai, aay, ay ye in "bye"

สระไอ Sara ai ใ◌ , ไ◌ ไ◌ย

สระเอาะ + ย Sara o + yo yak ◌็อย ɔi; ɔj oi oy

สระออ + ย Sara o + yo yak ◌อย ɔːi; ɔːj oi oy oy in "boy"

สระโอ + ย Sara o + yo yak โ◌ย oːi; oːj oi oy

สระอุ + ย Sara u + yo yak ◌ุย ui; uj ui uy

สระเออ + ย Sara oe + yo yak เ◌ย ɤːi; ɤːj oei oey u in "burn" + y in "boy"

สระอัว + ย Sara ua + yo yak ◌วย uai; uaj uai uay uoy in "buoy"

สระเอือ + ย Sara uea + yo yak เ◌ือย ɯai; ɯaj ueai uai


สระอำ Sara am ำ am am um um in "sum"

ฤ Rue ฤ rɯ ri rue ru, ri rew in "grew", ry in "angry" ฤๅ Rue ฤๅ rɯː rue ruu

ฦ Lue ฦ lɯ lue lu, li lew in "blew" ฦๅ Lue ฦๅ lɯː lue lu

* ^ Only with ร (_ro ruea_) as final consonant, appearing as ◌ร . * ^ Only with the word ก็ . * ^ Used only in certain words. * ^ _Mai malai_ (ไ◌) is used for the vowel in most words, while _mai muan_ (ใ◌) is only used in twenty specific words. * ^ ไ◌ย is found in ไทย _Thai_ and in Pali loanwords which contain _-eyya_. The ย is redundant, but may be pronounced in a compound word when joined by samāsa. * ^ Traditionally, these sets of diphthongs and triphthongs are regarded as combinations of regular vowels or diphthongs with _wo waen_ (ว, /w/) or _yo yak_ (ย, /j/) as the final consonant, and are not counted among the thirty-two vowels. * ^ Extra vowels are not distinct vowel sounds, but are symbols that represent certain vowel-consonant combinations. They are traditionally regarded as vowels, although some sources do not. * ^ _Sara ai_ (ใ◌ and ไ◌)and _sara ao_ (เ◌า) are also considered extra vowels.


Thai is a tonal language , and the script gives full information on the tones . Tones are realised in the vowels, but indicated in the script by a combination of the class of the initial consonant (high, mid or low), vowel length (long or short), closing consonant (plosive or sonorant , i.e., _dead_ or _live_) and, if present, one of four tone marks, which derive from the digits 1–4. The rules for denoting tones are shown in the following chart: Tone type top to bottom: high, rising, mid, falling, low. Initial consonant class left to right: low (blue), middle (green), high (red). Syllable type: live (empty circle), dead (full circle), dead short (narrow ellipse), dead long (wide ellipse).



(ไม่มี) (none) live long vowel or vowel plus sonorant mid mid rising

(ไม่มี) (none) dead short short vowel at end or plus plosive high low low

(ไม่มี) (none) dead long long vowel plus plosive falling low low

่ ไม้เอก _mai ek_ any falling low low

้ ไม้โท _mai tho_ any high falling falling

๊ ไม้ตรี _mai tri_ any - high -

๋ ไม้จัตวา _mai chattawa_ any - rising -

Thai language tone chart Flowchart for determining the tone of a Thai syllable. Click to enlarge

"None", that is, no tone marker, is used with the base accent (พื้นเสียง, _pheun siang_). _Mai tri_ and _mai chattawa_ are only used with mid-class consonants.

Two consonant characters (not diacritics) are used to modify the tone:

* ห นำ _HO NAM_, LEADING HO. A silent, high-class ห "leads" low-class nasal stops (ง, ญ, น and ม) and non-plosives (ว, ย, ร and ล), which have no corresponding high-class phonetic match, into the tone properties of a high-class consonant. In polysyllabic words, an initial mid- or high-class consonant with an implicit vowel similarly "leads" these same low-class consonants into the higher class tone rules, with the tone marker borne by the low-class consonant. * อ นำ _O NAM_, LEADING O. In four words only, a silent, mid-class อ "leads" low-class ย into mid-class tone rules: อย่า (_ya_, don't) อยาก (_yak_, desire) อย่าง (_yang_, kind, sort, type) อยู่ (_yu_, stay). Note all four have long-vowel, low-tone _siang ek_, but อยาก, a dead syllable, needs no tone marker, but the three live syllables all take _mai ek_.


ง หง

ญ หญ

น หน

ม หม

ร หร

ล หล

ว หว


ย อย

Exceptions where words are spelled with one tone but pronounced with another often occur in informal conversation (notably the pronouns ฉัน _chan_ and เขา _khao_, which are both pronounced with a high tone rather than the rising tone indicated by the script). Generally, when such words are recited or read in public, they are pronounced as spelled.


Other diacritics are used to indicate short vowels and silent consonants:

* _Mai taikhu_ means "stick that climbs and squats". It is a miniature Thai numeral 8 ๘. _Mai taikhu_ is often used with _sara e_ (เ) and _sara ae_ (แ) in closed syllables. * _Thanthakhat_ means "killing as punishment". Compare virama .



็ ไม้ไต่คู้ _mai taikhu_ shortens vowel

์ ทัณฑฆาต _thanthakhat_ indicates silent letter

_Fan nu_ means "rat teeth" and is thought as being placed in combination with short _sara i_ and _fong man_ to form other characters.



" ฟันหนู _fan nu_ combined with short _sara i_ (ิ) to make long _sara ue_ (ื)

combined with _fong man_ (๏) to make _fong man fan nu_ (๏")


Main article: Thai numerals

The Thai script contains decimal numerical digits .

HINDU-ARABIC 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

THAI ๐ ๑ ๒ ๓ ๔ ๕ ๖ ๗ ๘ ๙




ฯ ไปยาลน้อย _pai-yan noi_ marks formal phrase shortened by convention (abbreviation)

ฯลฯ ไปยาลใหญ่ _pai-yan yai_ et cetera

ๆ ไม้ยมก _mai ya-mok_ preceding word or phrase is reduplicated

๏ ฟองมัน, ตาไก่ _fong man_, _ta kai_ previously marked beginning of a sentence, paragraph, or stanza (obsolete); now only marks beginning of a stanza in a poem; now also used as bullet point

๏" ฟองมันฟันหนู, ฟันหนูฟองมัน, ฝนทองฟองมัน _fong man fan nu_, _fan nu fong man_, _fon tong fong man_ previously marked beginning of a chapter (obsolete)

๐" ฟองดัน _fong dan_

ฯ อังคั่นเดี่ยว, คั่นเดี่ยว, ขั้นเดี่ยว _angkhan diao_, _khan diao_, _khan diao_ previously marked end of a sentence or stanza (obsolete)

๚ อังคั่นคู่, คั่นคู่, ขั้นคู่ _angkhan khu_, _khan khu_, _khan khu_ marks end of stanza; marks end of chapter or long section

ฯะ อังคั่นวิสรรชนีย์ _angkhan wisanchani_ marks end of a stanza in a poem


๛ โคมูตร, สูตรนารายณ์ _khomut_, _sutnarai_ marks end of a chapter or document; marks end of a story

๚ะ๛ อังคั่นวิสรรชนีย์โคมูตร _angkhan wisanchani khomut_ marks the very end of a written work

฿ บาท _bat_ baht

_Pai-yan noi_ and _angkhan diao_ share the same character. _Sara a_ (–ะ) used in combination with other characters is called _wisanchani_.

Some of the characters can mark the beginning or end of a sentence, chapter, or episode of a story or of a stanza in a poem. These have changed use over time and are becoming uncommon.



The Brahmic script and its descendants

Northern Brahmic

* Gupta script

* Bhaiksuki alphabet * Tocharian alphabet * Khotanese

* Śāradā script

* Laṇḍā scripts

* Gurmukhī alphabet * Khojki * Khudabadi script * Multani alphabet * Mahajani

* Devāśeṣa

* Takri alphabet * Dogra

* Siddhaṃ script

* Tibetan alphabet

* \ 'Phags-pa script * Pungs-chen * Pungs-chung * Marchen * Marchung * Horizontal square script * Soyombo alphabet

* Lepcha alphabet

* Limbu alphabet

* Nāgarī script

* Devanagari

* Gujarati alphabet * Modi alphabet

* Nandinagari

* Kaithi

* Sylheti Nagari

* Kalinga alphabet

* Odia alphabet

* Gaudi

* Assamese-Bengali * Tirhuta * Bhujinmol * Newar * Ranjana alphabet

* Meithei script

Southern Brahmic

* Tamil-Brahmi

* Vatteluttu alphabet

* Kolezhuthu

* Tamil script

* Grantha alphabet

* Malayalam script * Tigalari alphabet * Sinhala alphabet

* Dhives Akuru

* Thaana

* Saurashtra alphabet

* Khmer alphabet

* Lao alphabet * Thai alphabet

* Cham alphabet * Ahom alphabet

* Kawi script

* Balinese alphabet * Javanese script * Baybayin * Batak alphabet * Buhid alphabet * Hanunó\'o alphabet * Tagbanwa alphabet * Sundanese alphabet * Lontara alphabet * Makasar * Rejang alphabet * Mon alphabet * Burmese alphabet * Chakma alphabet

* Tai Tham alphabet

* New Tai Lue alphabet

* Tai Le alphabet * Tai Viet alphabet

* Bhattiprolu alphabet

* Kadamba alphabet

* Kannada alphabet * Telugu script

* v * t * e

The Thai script (like all Indic scripts ) uses a number of modifications to write Sanskrit and related languages (in particular, Pali). Pali is very closely related to Sanskrit and is the liturgical language of Thai Buddhism. In Thailand, Pali is written and studied using a slightly modified Thai script. The main difference is that each consonant is followed by an implied short a (อะ), not the 'o', or 'ə' of Thai: this short a is never omitted in pronunciation, and if the vowel is not to be pronounced, then a specific symbol must be used, the _pinthu_ อฺ (a solid dot under the consonant). This means that _sara a_ (อะ) is never used when writing Pali, because it is always implied. For example, _namo_ is written นะโม in Thai, but in Pali it is written as นโม, because the อะ is redundant. The Sanskrit word 'mantra' is written มนตร์ in Thai (and therefore pronounced _mon_), but is written มนฺตฺร in Sanskrit (and therefore pronounced _mantra_). When writing Pali, only 33 consonants and 12 vowels are used.

This is an example of a Pali text written using the Thai Sanskrit orthography: อรหํ สมฺมาสมฺพุทฺโธ ภควา . Written in modern Thai orthography, this becomes อะระหัง สัมมาสัมพุทโธ ภะคะวา _arahang sammasamphuttho phakhawa_.

In Thailand, Sanskrit is read out using the Thai values for all the consonants (so ค is read as _kha_ and not ), which makes Thai spoken Sanskrit incomprehensible to sanskritists not trained in Thailand. The Sanskrit values are used in transliteration (without the diacritics ), but these values are never actually used when Sanskrit is read out loud in Thailand. The vowels used in Thai are identical to Sanskrit, with the exception of ฤ, ฤๅ, ฦ, and ฦๅ, which are read using their Thai values, not their Sanskrit values. Sanskrit and Pali are not tonal languages, but in Thailand, the Thai tones are used when reading these languages out loud.

In the tables in this section, the Thai value (transliterated according to the Royal Thai system) of each letter is listed first, followed by the IAST value of each letter in square brackets. Remember that in Thailand, the IAST values are never used in pronunciation, but only sometimes in transcriptions (with the diacritics omitted). This disjoint between transcription and spoken value explains the romanisation for Sanskrit names in Thailand that many foreigners find confusing. For example, สุวรรณภูมิ is romanised as Suvarnabhumi , but pronounced _su-wan-na-phum_. ศรีนครินทร์ is romanised as Srinagarindra but pronounced _si-nakha-rin_.


Plosives (also called stops) are listed in their traditional Sanskrit order, which corresponds to Thai alphabetical order from ก to ม with three exceptions: in Thai, high-class ข is followed by two obsolete characters with no Sanskrit equivalent, high-class ฃ and low-class ฅ; low-class ช is followed by sibilant ซ (low-class equivalent of high-class sibilant ส that follows ศ and ษ.) The table gives the Thai value first, and then the IAST value in square brackets.

CLASS unaspirated unvoiced ASPIRATED VOICED aspirated voiced NASAL

velar ก kà ข khà ค khá ฆ khá ง ngá

palatal จ cà ฉ chà ช chá ฌ chá ญ yá

retroflex ฏ tà ฐ thà ฑ thá ฒ thá ณ ná

dental ต tà ถ thà ท thá ธ thá น ná

labial ป pà ผ phà พ phá ภ phá ม má

tone class M H L L L

None of the Sanskrit plosives are pronounced as the Thai voiced plosives, so these are not represented in the table. While letters are listed here according to their class in Sanskrit, Thai has lost the distinction between many of the consonants. So, while there is a clear distinction between ช and ฌ in Sanskrit, in Thai these two consonants are pronounced identically (including tone). Likewise, the Thai phonemes do not differentiate between the retroflex and dental classes, because Thai has no retroflex consonants. The equivalents of all the retroflex consonants are pronounced identically to their dental counterparts: thus ฏ is pronounced like ต, and ฐ is pronounced like ถ, and so forth.

The Sanskrit unaspirated unvoiced plosives are pronounced as unaspirated unvoiced, whereas Sanskrit aspirated voiced plosives are pronounced as aspirated unvoiced.


_Semivowels and liquids _ (กิ่งสระ _pha king sara_ branch vowels") come in Thai alphabetical order after ม, the last of the plosives. The term อวรรค _awak_ means "without a break"; that is, without a plosive.


palatal ย yá อิ and อี

retroflex ร rá ฤ and ฤๅ

dental ล lá ฦ and ฦๅ

labial ว wá อุ and อู

Sibilants (เสียดแทรก)

เสียดแทรก, pronounced _เสียดแซก_ (siat saek), meaning _inserted sound(s)_, follow the semi-vowel ว in alphabetical order.


palatal ศ sà

retroflex ษ sà

dental ส sà

Like Sanskrit, Thai has no voiced sibilant (so no 'z' or 'zh'). In modern Thai, the distinction between the three high-class consonants has been lost and all three are pronounced 'sà'; however, foreign words with an sh-sound may still be transcribed as if the Sanskrit values still hold (e.g., _ang-grit_ อังกฤษ for _English_ instead of อังกฤส). ศ ศาลา (so sala) leads words, as in its example word, ศาลา. The digraph ศรี (Indic _sri _) is regularly pronounced สี (si), as in Sisaket Province , Thai: ศรีสะเกษ. ษ ฤๅษี (so rue-si) may only lead syllables _within_ a word, as in its example, ฤๅษี, or to end a syllable as in ศรีสะเกษ _Sisaket_ and อังกฤษ _Angkrit_ English. ส เสือ (so suea) spells native Thai words that require a high-class /s/, as well as naturalized Pali/ Sanskrit words, such as สารท (สาท) in Thetsakan Sat : เทศกาลสารท (เทด-สะ-กาน-สาท), formerly ศารท (สาท). ซ โซ่ (so so), which follows the similar-appearing ช in Thai alphabetical order, spells words requiring a low-class /s/, as does ทร + vowel. ทร, as in the heading of this section, เสียดแทรก (pronounced เสียดแซก _siat saek_), when accompanied by a vowel (implicit in ทรง (ซง _song_ an element in forming words used with royalty); a semivowel in ทรวง (ซวง _suang_ chest, heart); or explicit in ทราย (ซาย _sai_ sand). Exceptions to ทร + vowel = /s/ are the prefix โทร- (equivalent to _tele-_ far, pronounced โทระ _to-ra_), and phonetic re-spellings of English tr- (as in the phonetic respelling of _trumpet_: ทรัมเพ็ท.) ทร is otherwise pronounced as two syllables ทอระ-, as in ทรมาน (ทอระมาน _to-ra-man_ to torment).

Voiced H (มีหนักมีลม)


ห hà

ห, a high-class consonant, comes next in alphabetical order, but its low-class equivalent, ฮ, follows similar-appearing อ as the last letter of the Thai alphabet. Like modern Hindi, the voicing has disappeared, and the letter is now pronounced like English 'h'. Like Sanskrit, this letter may only be used to start a syllable, but may not end it. (A popular beer is romanized as Singha , but in Thai is สิงห์, with a _mai karan_ on the ห; correct pronunciation is "sing ", but foreigners to Thailand typically say "sing-ha".)

Voiced Lla


ฬ llá

VOWELS (สระ)


อะ _a_

อา _a_

อิ i

อี i

อุ u

อู u

เอ e

โอ o

ฤ ru

ฤๅ ru

ฦ lu

ฦๅ lu

All consonants have an inherent 'a' sound, and therefore there is no need to use the ะ symbol when writing Sanskrit. The Thai vowels อื, ไอ, ใอ, and so forth, are not used in Sanskrit. The zero consonant , อ, is unique to the Indic alphabets descended from Khmer. When it occurs in Sanskrit, it is always the zero consonant and never the vowel _o_ . Its use in Sanskrit is therefore to write vowels that cannot be otherwise written alone: e.g., อา or อี. When อ is written on its own, then it is a carrier for the implied vowel, _a_ (equivalent to อะ in Thai).

The vowels อำ and อึ occur in Sanskrit, but only as the combination of the pure vowels _sara a_ อา or _sara i_ อิ with _nikkhahit_ อํ.


There are a number of additional symbols only used to write Sanskrit or Pali, and not used in writing Thai.

Nikkhahit นิคหิต (anusvāra)


อํ ṃ

In Sanskrit, the anusvāra indicates a certain kind of nasal sound. In Thai this is written as an open circle above the consonant. Nasalisation does not occur in Thai, therefore, a nasal stop is always substituted: e.g. ตํ taṃ, is pronounced as ตัง _tang_ by Thai sanskritists . If nikkhahit occurs before a consonant, then Thai uses a nasal stop of the same class: e.g. สํสฺกฺฤตา is read as สันสกฤตา _san-sa-krit-ta_ (The ส following the nikkhahit is a dental-class consonant, therefore the dental-class nasal stop น is used). For this reason, it has been suggested that in Thai, nikkhahit should be listed as a consonant. _Nikkhahit_ นิคหิต occurs as part of the Thai vowels _sara am_ อำ and _sara ue_ อึ.

Pinthu พินทุ (virāma)


Because the Thai script is an abugida , a symbol (equivalent to virāma in devanagari ) needs to be added to indicate that the implied vowel is not to be pronounced. This is the pinthu, which is a solid dot below the consonant.

Yamakkan ยามักการ


Yamakkan is an obsolete symbol used to mark the beginning of consonant clusters: e.g. พ๎ราห๎มณ _phramana_ . Without the yamakkan, this word would be pronounced _pharahamana_ instead. This is a feature unique to the Thai script (other Indic scripts use a combination of ligatures, conjuncts or virāma to convey the same information). The symbol is obsolete because _pinthu_ may be used to achieve the same effect: พฺราหฺมณ.


The means of recording visarga (final voiceless 'h') in Thai has been lost.


Main article: Thai ( Unicode block)

Thai script was added to the Unicode Standard in October, 1991 with the release of version 1.0.

The Unicode block for Thai is U+0E00–U+0E7F. It is a verbatim copy of the older TIS-620 character set which encodes the vowels เ, แ, โ, ใ and ไ before the consonants they follow, and thus Thai, Lao , and Tai Viet are the only Brahmic scripts in Unicode that use visual order instead of logical order.

THAI Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F


ก ข ฃ ค ฅ ฆ ง จ ฉ ช ซ ฌ ญ ฎ ฏ

U+0E1x ฐ ฑ ฒ ณ ด ต ถ ท ธ น บ ป ผ ฝ พ ฟ

U+0E2x ภ ม ย ร ฤ ล ฦ ว ศ ษ ส ห ฬ อ ฮ ฯ

U+0E3x ะ ั า ำ ิ ี ึ ื ุ ู ฺ


U+0E4x เ แ โ ใ ไ ๅ ๆ ็ ่ ้ ๊ ๋ ์ ํ ๎ ๏

U+0E5x ๐ ๑ ๒ ๓ ๔ ๕ ๖ ๗ ๘ ๙ ๚ ๛



NOTES 1.^ As of Unicode version 10.0 2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points


* Thai language

* Thai language: Script: Transliteration

* Royal Thai General System of Transcription * ISO 11940 * ISO 11940-2

* Thai numerals * Thai braille


_ This article NEEDS ADDITIONAL CITATIONS FOR VERIFICATION . Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources . Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2007)_ _(Learn how and when to remove this template message )_

* ^ Anthony V. N. Diller, Thai Orthography and the History of Marking Tone, Oriens Extremus, Vol. 39, No. 2 (1996), pp. 228 - 248, https://www.jstor.org/stable/24047473?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents. Retrieved May 8, 2017. Missing or empty title= (help ) * ^ "The origins of the Thai typewriter". Archived from the original on December 5, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2011. * ^ _A_ _B_ Tingsabadh, Kalaya; Arthur S. Abramson (1993). "Thai". _Journal of the International Phonetic Association_. 23 (1): 24̂–28. doi :10.1017/S0025100300004746 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ Karoonboonyanan, Theppitak (1999). "Standardization and Implementations of Thai Language" (pdf). National Electronics and Computer Technology Center . Retrieved 2010-08-04. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ "Thai" (pdf). Unicode. 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-04.


_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to THAI PRONUNCIATION _.

* Comprehensive free Thai alphabet resource * Comparing Thai script with Devanagari, Khmer, Burmese, and Tai Tham * Omniglot - Thai * Thai consonants * Thai vowels * Transliterations for Thai Vowels, Thai Consonants * Phonetic Organization of the Thai Consonants, by Richard Wordingham * Virtual Thai Keyboard Freeware for the Windows operating system * Insert Zero-Width Space Character – This utility prepares Thai text by inserting the Unicode "Zero-Width Space Character" between detected word breaks.

* v * t * e

Types of writing systems


* History of writing * Grapheme


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* Canadian syllabics

* Blackfoot * Déné syllabics

* Fox I * Ge\'ez * Gunjala Gondi * Japanese Braille * Jenticha * Kayah Li * Kharosthi * Mandombe * Masaram Gondi * Meroitic * Miao * Mwangwego * Sorang Sompeng * Pahawh Hmong * Thomas Natural Shorthand



* Abkhaz * Adlam * Armenian * Avestan * Avoiuli * Bassa Vah * Borama * Carian * Caucasian Albanian * Coorgi–Cox alphabet * Coptic * Cyrillic * Deseret

* Duployan shorthand

* Chinook writing

* Early Cyrillic * Eclectic shorthand * Elbasan * Etruscan * Evenki * Fox II * Fraser * Gabelsberger shorthand * Garay

* Georgian

* Asomtavruli * Nuskhuri * Mkhedruli

* Glagolitic * Gothic * Gregg shorthand * Greek * Greco-Iberian alphabet * Hangul * IPA * Kaddare

* Latin

* Beneventan * Blackletter * Carolingian minuscule * Fraktur * Gaelic * Insular * Kurrent * Merovingian * Sigla * Sütterlin * Tironian notes * Visigothic

* Luo * Lycian * Lydian * Manchu * Mandaic * Molodtsov * Mongolian * Mru * Neo- Tifinagh * New Tai Lue * N\'Ko * Ogham * Oirat * Ol Chiki * Old Hungarian * Old Italic * Old Permic * Orkhon * Old Uyghur * Osage * Osmanya * Pau Cin Hau * Rohingya Hanifi

* Runic

* Anglo-Saxon * Cipher * Dalecarlian * Elder Futhark * Younger Futhark * Gothic * Marcomannic * Medieval * Staveless

* Sidetic * Shavian * Somali * Tifinagh * Vagindra * Visible Speech * Vithkuqi * Zaghawa


* Braille * Maritime flags * Morse code * New York Point * Semaphore line * Flag semaphore * Moon type


* Adinkra * Aztec * Blissymbol * Dongba * Ersu Shaba * Emoji * IConji * Isotype * Kaidā * Míkmaq * Mixtec * New Epoch Notation Painting * Nsibidi * Ojibwe Hieroglyphs * Siglas poveiras * Testerian * Yerkish * Zapotec




* Simplified * Traditional * Oracle bone script * Bronze Script

* Seal Script

* large * small * bird-worm

* Hanja * Idu * Kanji * Chữ nôm * Zhuang


* Jurchen * Khitan large script * Sui * Tangut


* Akkadian * Assyrian * Elamite * Hittite * Luwian * Sumerian


* Anatolian * Bagam * Cretan * Isthmian * Maya * Proto-Elamite * Yi (Classical)


* Demotic * Hieratic * Hieroglyphs


* Hindu-Arabic * Abjad * Attic (Greek) * Muisca * Roman



* Celtiberian *