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Thai alphabet

The Thai alphabet is used to write the Thai language. It has forty-four consonants, twenty-eight vowel forms and four tone marks. Unlike the Roman alphabet, the Thai alphabet has no upper case letters. There is a set of Thai numerals, but the so-called Arabic numerals are also commonly used.
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History The Thai alphabet was created in 1283 by King Ramkhamhaeng the Great[?], who may have derived it from the Khmer alphabet[?]. Alphabet listing You will need a Unicode-capable browser to view the Thai letters below.


Each consonant is associated with a Thai word that either starts with the same sound, or features it prominently. These words are used by children when learning to write Thai and by speakers of all ages when spelling out a word. For example, the name of the letter kho khai contains kho, which is the sound it represents, and khai, a word which starts with the same sound and means "egg".

Standard equivalents for Romanization are shown. Many consonants are pronounced and Romanized differently when at the end of a word. In particular 'r' is pronounced as 'n', 'l' may be pronounced as 'n' and 's' is silent (this is why many Thai speakers will always miss 's' sounds at the end of words when speaking other languages).

ko kai (chicken) = k

kho khai (egg) = kh-, -k

kho khuad (bottle) [obsolete] = kh-, -k

kho khwai (water buffalo) = kh-, -k

kho khon (person) [obsolete] = kh-, -k

kho rakhang (bell) = kh-, -k

ngo ngu (snake) = ng

cho chan (plate) = ch-, -t

cho ching (cymbals) = ch-, -t

cho chang (elephant) = ch-, -t

so so (chain) = s-, -t

cho choe (bush) = ch-, -t

yo ying (woman) = y-, -n

do chada (headdress) = d-, -t

to patak (goad) = t

tho than (base) = th-, -t

tho nangmontho (a literary character) = th

tho phuthao (old person) = th-, -t

no nen (novice monk) = n

do dek (child) = d-, -t

to tao (turtle) = t

tho thung (sack) = th-, -t

tho thahan (soldier) = th-, -t

tho thong (flag) = th-, -t

no nu (mouse) = n

bo baimai (leaf) = b-, -p

po pla (fish) = p

pho phung (bee) = ph-, -p

fo fa (wall) = f-, -p

pho phan (tray) = ph-, -p

fo fan (teeth) = f-, -p

pho sampao (ship) = ph-, -p

mo ma (horse) = m

yo yak (giant) = y

ro rua (boat) = r-, -n

lo ling (monkey) = l-, -n

wo waen (ring) = w

so sala (pavilion) = s-, -t

so rusi (hermit) = s-, -t

so sua (tiger) = s-, -t

ho hip (chest) = h

lo chula (kite) = l-, -n

o ang (basin) [silent]

ho nokhuk (owl) = h


Each vowel is shown attached to a consonant, because most HTML browsers cannot render isolated Thai vowels. Note that vowels can go above, below, left of or right of the consonant.

กะ sara a

กั mai han-akat

กา sara aa

กำ sara am

กิ sara i

กี sara ii

กึ sara ue

กื sara uee

กุ sara u

กู sara uu

เก sara e

แก sara ae

โก sara o

ใก sara ai maimuan

ไก sara ai maimalai

ก็ maitaikhu

Tone marks

Each mark is shown attached to the letter ko kai, because HTML browsers cannot always render isolated tone marks. The names of the tones are derived from the numbers one, two, three and four in an Indic language.

ก่ mai ek

ก้ mai tho

ก๊ mai tri

ก๋ mai chattawa

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