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Consonants

There are forty-four consonant letters in the Thai alphabet, but two of these—, —are not currently used. The tables below list the consonant letters in the Thai script and the pronunciation symbol for each. You will learn more about how to write Thai letters in the next section; here, we’re concentrating on the sounds associated with the Thai letters. Note that the Thai script is not perfectly phonetic: two or more letters can be pronounced the same way. For example, and , are pronounced the same: kh.

Most consonants carry a mid tone, but eleven of them have a rising tone (indicated with the symbol ˇ next to the syllable that contains the given consonant).

Thai consonants are divided into two main types: initial consonants and final consonants; the latter are fewer in number.

Thai initial consonants Pronunciation symbol Example
k กา
kaa (crow, kettle)
, kh คา
khaa (to be stuck)
khˇ ขา
khaaˇ (leg)
j จา
jaa
, ch ชา
chaa (tea, numb)
chˇ ฉา
chˇaa
, d ดา
daa
, t ตา
taa (eyes, maternal grandfather)
, , , th ทา
thaa (to paint, to rub)
, thˇ ถา
thˇaa (to swoop, to lunge)
b บา
baa
p ปา
paa (to throw)
, ph พา
phaa (to bring, to take)
phˇ ผา
phaaˇ (cliff)
m มา
maa (to come)
, n นา
naa (rice field)
ng งา
ngaa (tusk, sesame)
w วา
waa (unit of distance or area)
r รา
raa (mold)
, l ลา
laa (to say goodbye, a donkey)
, y ยา
yaa (medicine)
f ฟา
faa
fˇ ฝา
faaˇ (wall)
s ซา
saa (to stop [rain])
, , sˇ สา
saaˇ (a kind of paper)
h ฮา
haa (laughing, funny)
hˇ หา
haaˇ (to look for)
aw อา
aa (father’s younger siblings)

Note that aw can be used as both a consonant and a vowel.

Thai final consonants

Thai words can end in one of the consonants listed below. Note that many consonant letters are pronounced one way in the initial position and another in the final position. This is because Thai allows only eight consonant sounds at the end of words.

Thai final consonants Pronunciation symbol Example
, , b ดาบ
daab` (sword),
รูป
ruubˆ (picture),
ภาพ
phaabˆ (picture)
, , , , , , d ถาด
thaad` (tray),
จิต
jid` (mind),
กฎหมาย
ko:d`-maayˇ (law),
ปรากฏ
praa-ko:d` (to appear),
บาท
baad` (baht),
รถ
ro:d´ (car),
อิฐ
id` (brick)
, , k สุก
suk` (cooked),
สุข
suk` (happy),
โรค
rokˆ (disease)
m ตาม
taam (to follow)
, , , n กิน
kin (to eat),
หาร
haanˇ (to divide),
กาล
kaan (time),
สัญญา
sanˇ-yaa (to promise)
ng วาง
waang (to place)
y เคย
kəy (to be used to)
w เลว
lew (bad)