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One widely spread historical theory is that the roots of the
Thai language are to be found in China.
Today there are about 60 million native speakers of Thai.
In Thailand, Thai is the official language.
Thai is also spoken outside of Thailand in Burma, China, Laos and Vietnam.
กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุธยามหาดิลก ภพนพรัตน์ราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์ มหาสถานอมรพิมาน อวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยะ วิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์
What you see above is the longest name for a place on the Earth.
Translated it means:
“City of angels, great city and residence of the holy jewels of the Indras, impregnable city of God, great capital of the world, bejewelled with nine precious Gems, rich in might royal palaces, that rival the heavenly home of the new born God, a gift of Indra and built by Vishnukarm.
This is however only the official name for one of the largest cities in the world, which is b better known as Bangkok.
You have already seen some examples of Thai script and of Thai letters.
The Thai language is one of the Abugida languages.
Alphabetic languages however use a symbol to depict every phoneme (the smallest pronounceable sound in a word).
Two examples of alphabetic scripts are Roman and Greek.
But what distinguishes Thai?
Thai has twenty consonants.
However these consonants are written with 43 different symbols.
This means that many symbols are pronounced the same.
Now it’s time to take a look at the consonants.
In Thai dictionaries you will always find the words beginning with consonants.
Afterwards come all the words that begin with vowels.
|ฎ / ด||[d]|
|ฏ / ต||[dt]|
|ฝ / ฟ||[f]|
|ห / ฮ||[h]|
|ญ / ย||[j]|
|ข / ฃ / ค / ฅ / ฆ||[kh]|
|ล / ฬ||[l]|
|ฌ / น||[n]|
|ผ / พ / ภ||[ph]|
|ซ / ศ / ษ / ส||[s]|
|ฐ / ฑ/ ฒ / ถ / ท / ธ||[th]|
|ฉ / ช / ณ||[tsh]|
As well as the consonants you will also need to know the Thai vowels to be able to write the Thai language.
These vowels can be pronounced either long or short and can be combined with each other.
You should also note that these vowels can be either above or below the consonants or in front of or behind the consonants.
|The Thai vowels|
|ะ||xะ: behind||[a] (short vowel)|
|า||xา: behind||[aa] (long vowel)|
|ิ||xิ : above||[i] (short vowel)|
|ี||xี: above||[ii] (long vowel)|
|ุ||xุ: below||[u] (short vowel)|
|ู||xู: below||[uu] (long vowel)|
* Please note: The x stands for the consonant with which the vowel is combined.
These vowels can also be combined to form diphthongs.
Combinations with vowel symbols:
|Vowel combinations in Thai|
|เี ีย||เxีย : enclosed with letter omission||[ia]|
|เี ีย ะ||เxียะ : enclosed with letter omission||[ia]|
|ัว||xัว: above and behind||[ua]|
|ัวะ||xัวะ: above and behind||[ua]|
We would strongly recommend that learning written Thai should be done not just on the the computer, but also in the traditional manner of paper and pen.
If you also read the letters out loud while writing them you will learn them a lot quicker and more easily.
Here are few rules of writing Thai:
Try to use this description of Thai consonants and vowels to write them down.
At first they will look very shaky, but with practice they will quickly get better.
We are pleased to offer you more information and links about Thai language, culture and alphabet.