Lesson 1

Consonants , , , . Long Vowels ,

Reading

In this lesson we'll learn four of the commonest consonants and two common vowels. The first two vowels are as follows:

CharacterPronunciation1
/ɔɔ/
/aa/

Now let's look at the first four consonants. The following table shows the consonant, its pronunciation, and its "name".

CharacterPronunciation1NameMeaning2Notes
/r//rɔɔ rʉa/Boat 
/n//nɔɔ nǔu/MouseNotice the loops in the top left and bottom right of this character.
/k//kɔɔ kày/Chicken 
/ŋ//ŋɔɔ ŋuu/Snake 

Notes

  1. For further information on pronunciation refer to the page "Pronunciation Guide" in the "Reference" section.
  2. Since sometimes more than one consonant is used for a given sound, each Thai consonant has a "name" so that it can be referred to. These are useful, for example, when spelling out a word, or when telling someone you're car numberplate. The name is in two parts, the consonant sound followed by the sound /ɔɔ/ plus a noun.

We can combine consonant+vowel. For example นา is pronounced /naa/ meaning "field", and รอ is pronounced /rɔɔ/ meaning "to wait for".

Click on "Play" to practise reading words using these consonants and vowels. There are five different games to practise with. Click on a different tab to try a different game. When you're finished, click outside the game area to return to this page. Don't worry if you don't know the meaning of the words. Just concentrate on the pronunciation of the Thai script.

(In the "Flip" and "Listen" games you can click on the background instead of using the button.)

Here are some slightly longer words to practise reading.

Writing

Some people find it helpful to learn to write the characters as they learn them, which is why each lesson includes a writing section with a printable worksheet.

All Thai consonants except two start with a small loop. One writes the consonant starting with the loop and continuing smoothly on without lifting your pen from the paper. Here are some notes on each of the characters so far:

CharacterNotes
Start with the loop, anticlockwise, and continue in a single stroke.
Start on the left. Make sure you don't make this character too narrow.
Start by drawing the loop anticlockwise. Complete the character in one, continuous stroke.
Start by drawing the top left loop clockwise, then continue downwards, then across. Draw the next loop clockwise and complete the character upwards. Again, the character is written with one continuous stroke.
This is one of the two consonants that doesn't start with a loop. Start in the bottom left. Pay particular attention to the shape of the "beak" on the left. See animation below.
Again, start with the loop, this time drawing it clockwise, and continue in a single stroke.

Click on the large character on the left to run an animation showing how it's drawn.