Thai alphabet (
The Thai alphabet was probably derived from, or at least influenced by, the Old Khmer
alphabet. According to tradition it was created in 1283 by King Ramkhamhaeng (
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.
Used to write
Thai (ภาษาไทย), a Tai-Kadai language spoken by about 25 million people in Thailand
), the Midway Islands, Singapore, the UAE and the USA
Thai alphabet ( ตัวอักษรไทย)
Consonants are divided into three classes: 1 (green), 2 (red) and 3 (blue), which help to
determine the tone of a syllable. 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.