This is a syllabic alphabet consisting of 44 basic consonants, each with an inherent vowel: [o] in medial position and [a] in final position. The [a] is usually found in words of Sanskrit, Pali or Khmer origin while the [o] is found native Thai words. The 18 other vowels and 6 diphthongs are indicated using diacritics which appear in front of, above, below of after the consonants they modify.
8 of the letters are used only for writing words of Pali and Sanskrit origin
For some consonants there are multiple letters. Originally they represented separate sounds, but over the years the distinction between those sounds was lost and the letters were used instead to indicate tones.
Thai is a tonal language with 5 tones. The tone of a syllable is determined by a combination of the class of consonant, the type of syllable (open or closed), the tone marker and the length of the vowel.
There are no spaces between words, instead spaces in a Thai text indicate the end of a clause or sentence.
The Thai language was put into the first Thai typewriter under The Smith Premier brand
The Thai-Kadai language is spoken by about 25 million people in Thailand.
Consonants are divided into three classes which help to determine the tone of a syllable (indicated by the numbers below). The sounds represented by some consonants change when they are used at the end of a syllable (indicated by the letters on the right of the slash below). Some consonants can only be used at the beginning of a syllable.
The consonants in the final row are compounds used as alternatives to the basic consonants.
|Open syllables||Closed syllables *|
|short vowel||long vowel|
* Closed syllables are those ending with p, t or k
Sample text in Thai (ภาษาไทย)
Raw thuk khon gert ma yang isara raw thuk khon mi kwaam khit læ khwaam khaow jai
pen khong raw eng raow thuk khon khwan dai rap gan patibat nai thang diyaw gan.
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.