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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!

Previous lessons:

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Aaw Aang

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.

The Alphabet:

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)

Vowel pronunciation:

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.


January 14, 2018



Thanks for this, Woof. I suggest teaching the classes of the characters as that's essential to determinin tones.


Thanks OmegaGmaster, I was planning to do that, but I managed to put the class of one of the consonants then completely forget to do the other ones.


Have you thought about contributing to the duolingo incubator? You would do great!

Thanks for the course!


Thank you! I probably would contribute if I was fluent. I am very sad to say I am not fluent - yet!


When do you think you will be able to because I would love to do a Thai course!


It takes years for fluency. I'd imagine by the time OP was fluent in Thai the Thai for English speakers course would already be released by the makers of the reverse course. (No offense intended.)


No offense taken. I agree completely.


In about 1,000 years. ;)

In reality, if I ever do become fluent, it'll probably take six or seven years.


I wish you the best of luck!


Thank you! Best of luck with your language studies too! :)


Here is my comment:

I think "อ" does have a sound and is this "ʔ"(the glotal stop).


Isn't ʔ a glottal stop? If so, then nope, it's silent.

I should've added this, but I wasn't thinking of it when I was writing the post, but sometimes, Aaw Aang can be a vowel, in which case it is actually pronounced, but when it is a consonant, it's silent.


Aaw Aang can be the vowel /ɔ/.

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