Unofficial Duolingo Thai course, Lesson 4, the Alphabet (continued)
Note: Very sorry for the long time in between lessons, I'll try to update more often in the future.
สวัสดี! Welcome to the unofficial Thai course!
Aaw Aang (อ) (also known as "o ang") is a middle-class consonant, but it is completely silent. Sometimes it is transliterated as "x" but it never actually makes a sound. Its sole use is to start a syllable when we need to have a vowel for the initial sound. For example, look at "เอา" which means "to take" Which transliterates to Ao. You see อ in it, but it's not included in the romanization. it is never pronounced.
Another example is the vowels like this: แ_ะ (short "ae") Almost all of the time, where I put _, อ is there, so it's แอะ
Please note: From now on, when there is a Vowel like แ_ะ I will write it with Aaw aang, like แอะ.
ข = khǎaw khài = ḳ̄h (High class consonant)
ฉ = chǎaw chìng = c̄h (High class consonant)
เอียะ = sà-rà-ia = Short ia
เอีย = sà-rà-ia = Long ia
ศ = Sǎaw sǎa-laa = ṣ̄ (High class consonant)
ษ = Sǎaw ruue-sǐi = s̛̄ (High class consonant)
ส = Sǎaw sǔuea = s̄ (High class consonant)
เออะ = sà-rà-oe = Short oe
เออ = sà-rà-oe = Long oe
ผ = Phǎaw phûeng = p̄h (High class consonant)
ฝ = Fǎaw fǎa = f̄ (High class consonant)
เอีย is pronounced like the "ia" in "Mamma mia." เอียะ is merely a shorter form of that.
เออ is actually said a little like the ER in "her", only said with a more relaxed throat.
การันต์ (gaa-ran) is a symbol that is written above a consonant to indicate that the consonant is silent.
For example, here is the word สัตว์, which is Thai for "animal." See the little mark above ง/Ngaaw nguu/ng? That's การันต์. So the word is actually pronounced "sàt" instead of "sàtng" (fortunately, as satng seems hard to pronounce!)
So, why are there a bunch of ways to write "s" in Thai? (ศ , ษ, ส , ซ) As well as a lot of other letters? Those letters are derived from other languages, like Sanskrit. The sounds used did not exist in Thai, so eventually they just became a similar sound.
What's the point of การันต์ ? การันต์ is used in loanwords to preserve the original spelling of the language the word derived from.
Please leave suggestions, feedback, and questions in the comments! :)
Note: I am working on a memrise course and a directory.