Help:IPA/Thai and Lao

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These charts illustrate International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols used for pronunciations of the Thai (Siamese), Southern Thai, Isan (Northeastern Thai) and Lao in Wikipedia articles.

IPA Central Thai Southern Thai Isan Lao English approximation
b abash
d ฎ,ด ฎ,ด ฎ,ด ado
f ฝ,ฟ ฝ,ฟ ฝ,ฟ ຝ,ຟ food
h ห,ฮ ห,ฮ ห,ฮ ຫ,ຮ head
j ญ,ย,อย,หย ญ,ย,อย,หย ย,อย,หย yak
k scan
ข,ฃ,ค,ฅ,ฆ ข,ฃ,ค,ฅ,ฆ ข,ฃ,ค,ฅ,ฆ ຂ,ຄ can
l ล,ฬ,หล ล,ฬ,หล ล,ฬ,หล ລ,ຫຼ law
m ม,หม ม,หม ม,หม ມ,ໝ much
n ณ,น,หน ณ,น,หน ณ,น,หน ນ,ໜ not
ŋ ง,หง ง,หง ງ,ຫງ bang
ɲ[1] ຍ,ຫຍ canyon
p span
ผ,พ,ภ ผ,พ,ภ ผ,พ,ภ ຜ,ພ pan
r ร,หร ร,หร ร,หร ຣ,ຫຼ ,ຫຣ raw
s ซ,ศ,ษ,ส ซ,ศ,ษ,ส ฉ,ช,ฌ ,ซ,ศ,ษ,ส ສ,ຊ sue
t ฏ,ต ฏ,ต ฏ,ต stable
ฐ,ฑ,ฒ,ถ,ท,ธ ฐ,ฑ,ฒ,ถ,ท,ธ ฐ,ฑ,ฒ,ถ,ท,ธ ຖ,ທ table
tɕʰ[2] ฉ,ช,ฌ ฉ,ช,ฌ cheese
w ว,หว ว,หว ว,หว ວ,ຫວ way
ʔ อ, ะ อ, ะ the catch in uh-oh
IPA Description
= āː mid [aː˧]
àː low [aː˨˩] or [aː˩]
âː falling [aː˥˩] (Thai), high falling [aː˥˧] (Lao)
a̭ː low falling [aː˧˩] (Lao only)
áː high [aː˦˥] or [aː˥]
ǎː rising [aː˩˩˦] or [aː˩˦]
IPA Thai[4] Lao English approximation
Short vowels[5]
a ◌ะ, ◌ั◌ ◌ະ, ◌ັ◌ cut
e เ◌ะ, เ◌็◌ ເ◌ະ, ເ◌ັ◌ mate
ɛ แ◌ะ, แ◌็◌ ແ◌ະ, ແ◌ັ◌ bat
i ◌ิ, ◌ิ◌ ◌ິ happy
o โ◌ะ, ◌◌ ໂ◌ະ, ◌ົ◌ boat
ɔ เ◌าะ, ◌็อ◌ ◌ໍ lot
u ◌ุ, ◌ุ◌ ◌ຸ shoot
ɯ ◌ึ, ◌ึ◌ ◌ຶ Somewhat like North American good. [u] said with unrounded lips
ɤ เ◌อะ ເ◌ິະ, ເ◌ິ◌ the
Long vowels
◌า, ◌า◌ ◌າ bra
เ◌, เ◌◌ ເ◌ play
ɛː แ◌, แ◌◌ ແ◌ man
◌ี, ◌ี◌ ◌ີ green
โ◌, โ◌◌ ໂ◌ go
ɔː ◌อ, ◌อ◌ ◌ໍ, ◌ອ lawn
◌ู, ◌ู, ◌ູ moon
ɯː ◌ือ, ◌ื◌ ◌ື Roughly like good
ɤː เ◌อ, เ◌ิ◌ ເ◌ີ fur
iaʔ, iəʔ เ◌ียะ ເ◌ັຽະ idea (shorter)
ia, iə เ◌ีย, เ◌ีย◌ ເ◌ັຽ idea
uaʔ, uəʔ ◌ัวะ ◌ົວະ poor (shorter)
ua, uə ◌ัว, ◌ว◌ ◌ົວ poor (British English)
ɯaʔ, ɯəʔ เ◌ือะ ເ◌ຶອະ pure (shorter)
ɯa, ɯə เ◌ือ, เ◌ือ◌ ເ◌ຶອ pure (British English)


  1. ^ Not present in Central and Southern Thai.
  2. ^ Not present in Isan and Lao.
  3. ^ In contrast to Pinyin romanization for Mandarin, Thai romanization uses diacritics in the same way as the IPA.
  4. ^ Diacritics are shown on a dotted circle "◌".
  5. ^ In Thai and Lao, the signs ◌ะ and ◌ະ are respectively used to indicate a glottal stop after the vowel.
  6. ^ More diphthongs occur in the pattern /Vw/ or /Vj/: /aj, aːj, aw, aːw, iw, uj, uːj, ew, eːw, ɛːw, ɤːj, oːj, ɔːj, iow, uɛj, ɯɛj/.
  7. ^ Each first element represents a Thai diphthong, with /a/ as the ending vowel (according to Tingsabadh, Kalaya; Abramson, Arthur S. (1993). "Thai". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 23 (1): 24–28. doi:10.1017/S0025100300004746. ).