The book contains over 70 simple pictures that enable you to instantly recognise the shape and sound of each Thai symbol.
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“After only an hour of reading, the Thai alphabet will begin to make sense – you’ll be able to identify the shape, sounds and class of the entire Thai alphabet. The memory system relies on simple images, that enable you to instantly visualize and remember the Thai symbols. Even the youngest of readers will be able to use the system, and have a good grasp of the alphabet in as little as 1 hour.”
“If you are a total beginner and struggling, (this is)… one easy way to get an introduction…not expensive”
“And if you’ve started to panic at the thought of learning 44 Thai consonants (along with their initial and final sounds), 32 different vowel configurations, numbers, and all those extra symbols, then head over to the previously mentioned digital flipbook”
Sample from the book:
The book is based on a core principle of memorization: find connections between the new information, and what you already know. In this book, we have created pictures that will enable you to almost instantly remember the shape and sound of the Thai letters with little effort.
Like scaffolding on a building, the system acts as a temporary support, to permit your mind to build a memory of the letters. But over time, you will automatically picture the letter, and hear the sound, without needing the stepping stone or scaffold, afforded by these images.
They enable you to surmount the primary obstacle in learning the letters – which is relating to the abstract shapes, and associating these shapes with their respective sound.
About the Thai Alphabet
There are 44 consonants in the Thai alphabet, and 32 vowels. However, some of these vowels are just long and short versions of each other, so it is actually only necessary to learn around 20 different vowel shapes. Thie may sound daunting – but carry on reading. We assure you that even the most casual of tourists will be easily able to learn these characters effortlessly.
The Thai Tones
1. Low (said in the lower part of your voice’s register) 2. Middle (said in the middle part of your register) 3. High (said in the higher part – as if you are calling someone at a distance) 4. Falling (like the word no , when saying oh no if you are disappointed) 5. Rising (like the tone used, when asking someone if they are coming along: coming? )
How consonants affect the syllable’s Tone?
Thai consonants are broken into 3 groups known as classes: called low, middle and high for convenience. These names don’t mean that the syllable will be low, middle or high tone – the names of these groups might as well as be 1,2 and 3 – it’s just a way of separating the consonants into three groups.
The reason you need to know the class, is because the class affects how the syllable is pronounced, so when you learn the thai consonant, you will have to recall both its sound and its class.
The rules for determining the tone of a syllable are given in the Tones Section, at the end of the book, but we’ll give a quick example here, to give you an idea of why you must learn the classes:
Example 1: When a High Class consonant with the sound s , is followed by a dead-sound (ie a sound that ends quickly), like at or ad , then the tone of the syllable is Low.
Example 2: When a High Class consonant with the sound s , is followed by an open sound (a sound that lasts longer, like a long vowel or a nasal sound like n or m that kind of hums on), then the Tone of the syllable is a Rising Tone!
For now just be aware that you’ll need to remember the class as well as the sounds of the thai letters – easy really, with the special technique you’ll learn about below.
Certain Thai letters also have different sounds, depending on whether the letter appears at the start or end of the syllable.
1. its sound when its at the start of a syllable 2. its sound at the end of a syllable 3. its class.
The memory Technique
Take a look at the thai letter below on the left, and notice how it resembles the image to the right:
The picture resembles a Chariot with a Traveller onboard, driving through a High Mountainous Terrain.
1. Its sound is Ch (chariot), when at the start of a syllable 2. Its sound is T (traveller), when at the end of a syllable 3. Its class is High, symbolised by the high mountainous terrain in the background
Memorising the Classes
To help you memorise the classes, we represent the three different classes, with different backgrounds: 1. High class consonants have a mountainous background 2. Middle class consonants have an urban background 3. Low class consoants have a sea level, sea-side background – simple and logical!
1. You look at the Thai letter and automatically think of the image. 2. The easy-to-remember title will spring to mind and tell you the sounds. 2. The image’s background will tell you the class (low, middle, high) Easy and remarkably effective!
The key to memorisation is to get a foot-hold on what you are trying to remember. The thai alphabet is something you’ve never seen before, and is pretty alien, so the best way to get your head around it, is to find things that it resembles, and create connections with what you know.
This book has done that already for you, so you have an automatic connection for every letter, shaving months off the learning process.
Concentrating on the letters
Concentrate on how the letter resembles the image, and how the image’s title encodes the sounds of the thai letter.
Visualise the situation in your mind until you clearly see the resemblances. Remember that the background will encode the consonant’s class.
There are some explanatory notes to the right of each image, which should only be necessary the first time you look at the image.
So the next time you see the Thai character, just think of the image that the letter resembles. The title and background will spring to mind without effort. Then you’ll automatically know the letter’s sounds, and class!