Thai is a Tai-Kadai language spoken by about 60 million people mainly in Thailand (ประเทศไทย), where it is an offical language and the de facto national language. There are also Thai speakers in other places, including 153,000 in the USA, 64,800 in Taiwan, 58,800 in Germany, 55,400 in Australia, 43,600 in Sweden and 30,000 in Malaysia.
Thai is closely related to Lao, and northern dialects of Thai are more or less mutually intelligible with Lao, particularly the Lao spoken in northern Thailand. Thai vocabulary includes many words from Pali, Sanskrit and Old Khmer.
It is thought that the Thai alphabet was based on the Old Khmer alphabet, which dates from 611 AD. The oldest known inscriptions in Thai appeared in about 1292 AD. According to tradition, the Thai alphabet was created by King Ramkhamhaeng (พ่อขุนรามคำแหงมหาราช).
The Thai alphabet is used to write Thai, Sanskrit, Pali, and a number of minority languages spoken in Thailand.
The Royal Thai General System of Transcription (RTGS), the official standard for the romanisation of Thai, is used here. Many other romanisation systems are used elsewhere.
A recording of the Thai alphabet by ปัณณวิช ตันเดชานุรัตน์ (Pannawit Tandaechanurat)
How to write write and pronounce Thai consonants:
How to write write and pronounce Thai vowels:
A recording of these numbers by ปัณณวิช ตันเดชานุรัตน์
How to write write and pronounce Thai numerals:
A recording of the Thai tone marker names by ปัณณวิช ตันเดชานุรัตน์
|mid tone (เสียงสามัญ)||ไมล์ [mai] - mile|
|low tone (เสียงเอก)||ใหม่ [mài] - new, again|
|falling tone (เสียงโท)||ไม่ [mâi] - no, not|
|high tone (เสียงตรี)||ไม้ [mái] - wood|
|rising tone (เสียงจัตวา)||ไหม [măi] - question particle / silk|
The tone of a syllable is determined by a combination of the following factors:
Summary of Thai tone rules
An introduction to Thai tones:
Download Thai alphabet charts in Excel, Word or PDF format
A recording of this text by Jo S.
Rao túk kon gèrt maa yàang ìt-sà-rà, rao túk kon mee kwaam kît láe kwaam kâo jai bpen kŏng rao ayng. Rao túk kon kuan dâi ráp gaan bpà-dtì-bàt nai taang dieow gan.
Transliteration by http://www.thai2english.com/online/
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about Thai | Phrases | Numbers | Family words | Tower of Babel | Learning materials
- Learn Thai with Glossika
- ThaiPod101.com - Learn Thai with Free Podcasts
- Find Thai Tutors with LanguaTalk
Information about the Thai language
Online Thai lessons and other resources
A New Life in Thailand by Nigel Cobbett - a comprehensive ebook
guide to travel and living in Thailand, and the Thai language
Online Thai dictionaries
Information about Thai transliteration and Romanization systems
Online Thai keyboards and translation
Online Thai radio
Your name in Thai
Information about King Ramkhamhaeng the Great
Ahom, Aiton, Bouyei, Isan, Kam, Khamti, (Tai) Khün, Lao, Lue, Northern Thai (Kam Mueang), Shan, Sui, Tai Dam, Tai Dón, Tai Laing, Tai Nuea, Tai Phake, Tai Ya, Thai, Yang Zhuang, Zhuang
Bisu, Isan, Kuy, Northern Khmer, Northern Pwo, Nyah Kur, Pāli, Sanskrit, Thai
Ahom, Aima, Arleng, Badagu, Badlit, Basahan, Balinese, Balti-A, Balti-B, Batak, Baybayin, Bengali, Bhaiksuki, Bhujimol, Bilang-bilang, Bima, Blackfoot, Brahmi, Buhid, Burmese, Carrier, Chakma, Cham, Cree, Dehong Dai, Devanagari, Dham Lipi, Dhankari / Sirmauri, Ditema, Dives Akuru, Dogra, Ethiopic, Evēla Akuru, Fraser, Gond, Goykanadi, Grantha, Gujarati, Gunjala Gondi, Gupta, Gurmukhi, Halbi Lipi, Hanifi, Hanuno'o, Hočąk, Ibalnan, Inuktitut, Jaunsari Takri, Javanese, Kaithi, Kadamba, Kamarupi, Kannada, Kawi, Kerinci, Kharosthi, Khema, Khe Prih, Khmer, Khojki, Khudabadi, Kirat Rai, Kōchi, Kulitan, Kurukh Banna, Lampung, Lanna, Lao, Lepcha, Limbu, Lontara/Makasar, Lota Ende, Magar Akkha, Mahajani, Malayalam, Manpuri / Meitei (Modern), Manpuri (Old), Marchen, Meroïtic, Masarm Gondi, Modi, Mon, Mongolian Horizontal Square Script, Multani, Nandinagari, Newa, New Tai Lue, Ojibwe, Odia, Pahawh Hmong, Pallava, Phags-pa, Purva Licchavi, Qiang / Rma, Ranjana, Rejang (Kaganga), Sasak, Savara, Satera Jontal, Shan, Sharda, Siddham, Sinhala, Sorang Sompeng, Sourashtra, Soyombo, Sukhothai, Sundanese, Syloti Nagri, Tagbanwa, Takri, Tamil, Tanchangya (Ka-Pat), Tani, Thaana, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Tigalari, Tikamuli, Tocharian, Tolong Siki, Vatteluttu, Warang Citi
Page last modified: 16.03.23
Why not share this page:
Learn languages for free on Duolingo
If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.
Note: all links on this site to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.fr are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.