Pronunciation Guide (Recommended)
Before starting your first chapter of the course, this session is recommended. This course is taught mainly with Romanization (with Roman scripts) or we call it "Transliteration".
Unfortunately, there is no one standard way to write Thai words in English transliteration like in Chinese or Vietnamese. Therefore, a Thai word can be written in different ways.
For example, A famous tourist destination in Thailand is the province ภูเก็ต "Phuket". According to English pronunciation sounds like "Fuu-ket" however, the right Thai pronunciation is more like "Puu-gèt".
To help you pronounce Thai words to the closest native pronunciation, this video lesson below will teach you:
- Consonant sounds
- Vowel sounds
- Basic tone rules
A word can consist of one or more syllables. If there is more than one syllable, we will put the dash symbol (-) in between each syllable. For example, สวัสดี (sà-wà-dii) = 3 syllables.
I use the symbols on a vowel to indicate tones of each syllable
- maa (no mark) = flat tone
- màa = low tone
- mâa = falling tone
- máa = high tone
- mãa / mǎa = rising tone (At the beginning, I couldn't find a way to get this symbol "ǎ" so I used "ã") On Quizlet, I changed the symbol for the rising tone to be "ǎ".
There are a few consonants that are pronounced differently in English. For example:
- 'Th' sounds like 'T' in Tea
- 'T' sounds like 'DT' in Stone
- 'PH' sounds like 'P' in Poor
- 'P' sounds like 'BP' in Sport
- 'KH' sounds like 'K' in Kingdom
- 'K' sounds like 'G' in Girl
In this program, I decided to use mainly English transliteration to teach you Thai. (Of course, I still provide words in Thai scripts in the coursebook). It is because this course mainly focuses on helping you to establish a foundation of conversational skills, instead of reading and writing. You will start speaking Thai from the first lesson.
As this course is taught with English transliteration, I highly recommend you not to read a word and pronounce it according to English or your mother language ways, instead listen to the native teacher's pronunciation and try to copy the sound. Plus, use this pronunciation chart as the main guide of pronunciation.
Tips to master Thai pronunciation
It's challenging to get 100% correct pronunciation when you learn a Thai word with English transliteration. It is because Thai consonant sounds are different from English sounds. There are a few Thai consonant sounds that don't exist in English. Therefore learning Thai scripts later will tremendously help with your Thai pronunciation.
I would recommend you to at least complete the course or finished chapter 6 before starting with Thai scripts. Learning basic vocabulary and have an understanding of how Thai language works will help you read much faster and more effectively.
There might be some typos or mistakes in English transliteration in the textbook and the video as it's not a usual way of writing Thai for me. I try my best to be consistent in writing but mistakes still occur from time to time. If I found any mistakes, I will add a note at the end of the lesson. If you find one or not sure, please inform me in the comment. I will be happy to assist you. Thank you for understanding.