Lesson 7

Dead syllables - Short Vowel ◌ะ


The short /a/ sound in Thai comes in two forms, and unwritten form which is covered later in this course, and a written form, which is actually pronounced /aʔ/ where /ʔ/ is the symbol for a glottal stop. The character used to represent this sound is and it is written after a consonant. Since it is a stop, syllables ending in it are dead ones, with words starting with either a high class consonant or a low class one being pronounced with a low tone.

The other short vowel that we've encountered before which can end a syllable is ◌ิ, pronounced /iʔ/ (rather than /i/) when it does so.

(Note that using the transcription standard adopted here, the glottal stop is not transcribed. but is implicit. If a syllable ends with a short vowel and is high or low tone (e.g. /sí/ or /tì/) the vowel is followed by a glottal stop. If the vowel is mid tone, e.g. /na/ there is no glottal stop.)

Now try reading these words:

Here are some slightly longer words to practise reading.


Start by drawing the upper part of the character, starting with the loop, as usual.