Text Pronunciation Guide

The following is the pronunciation guide for the Book of Zen website. While Book of Zen encourages serious students of the Thai language to learn how to read Thai, the Book of Zen online pronunciation guide will help those who don’t have the time to learn written Thai.

Book of Zen - Thai Consonants

bp = like the hard “p” in “nap”

ph = like the soft “p” in “pin”

dt = like the soft “d” in “ladder”

th = like the soft “t” in “time”

kh = like the soft “k” in “king”

g = like the g in “goat” but softer

j = like the “j” in “joke” but a little harder

ng = like the “ng” in “song”

The rest of the consonants at eLearnThai.com (b, ch, d, f, h, k, l, m, n, p, s, t, w) have the same pronunciation as their equivalents in English, except that “r” is sometimes pronounced as an “l” sound.

Book of Zen - Thai Main Vowels

a = like the “a” in “what”

ah = like the “a” in “father”

ay = either like the “ay” in “pay” or the “ai” in “said”.

ae = like the “a” in “bat”

ai = like the “ie” in “pie”

aw = like the “aw” in “saw”

ee = like the “ee” in “see”

e = like the “e” in “bed”

i = like the “i” in “pin”

oo = like the “oo” in “soon”

o = like the “o” in “rope”

eu = like the “ou” in “should” said when smiling

u = like the “oo” in foot.

uh = like the “er” in “butter” but without saying the “r”

Book of Zen - Thai Vowel Combinations

ao = like the “ow” in “now”

aeo = like “ao” but with “ae” sound held out

oi = like the “oy” in “toy”

ia = like the “ia” in “Maria”

iu = like the “ew” in “eww” (yuck)

ui = like the “ouie” in “Louie”

io = like the “io” in “neo”

iao = “ee” + “ow”

eo = like the “ayo” in “mayo”

ua = like the “ua” in “Kahlua”

uay = “oo” + “ay”

eua = “eu” + “uh”

euy = “eu” + “ee”

euay = “eu” + “ay”

The tone marks used by Book of Zen are as follows:

è = low tone, é = high tone, ê = falling tone, ě = rising tone, e = regular tone


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