The fourth volume in our Quest: Quick, Easy, Simple Thai system is our How To Read Thai book. Packed with everything you need to learn to read Thai, this book shows you how easy learning to read Thai really is.
Whether you’re viewing Thai script for the first time, or you’ve seen it before and gone no further, it almost seems impossible to know where to being.
For example, here’s a simple sample sentence which is essential to know if you’re out and about in Thailand. It’s a question sentence and there are 3 words, 2 with 2 syllables, and 1 with a single syllable:
But where do you start?
Of course, the start of the sentence is the logical place to start, but though you’ll actually start to ‘see’ words when you’re a little more experienced.
What do I mean by seeing words?
Think about when you just read that least sentence…
…you didn’t look at the letter ‘w’, then at the letter ‘h’, then ‘a’, and ‘t’, you saw ‘What’. Then you saw the word ‘about’, and so on.
If you’re a proficient reader, your eyes just skimmed it and you read it in a fraction of a second. That’s what I mean by seeing words (or word shapes).
Thai is the same. You start to see shapes, they ‘jump’ out of the page at you.
With our Thai sample sentence, it’s easy.
If you know the rules and the clues.
Those ‘marks’ above the letters give us clues, and 2 of the vowels (marked in red, below) have specific rules about how they’re used (they tell us where syllables start and end):
How To Read Thai – The Rules
The good news is, there are only 8 simple rules to learn to read Thai.
You can learn them in minutes, and be reading Thai before you know it.
So, if we break this sentence down, it’s:
ห้อง-น้า อยู่ ที่-ไหน
In transliterated Thai, we write this as:
hɔ̂ɔng-nám yùu tîi-nǎi
- hɔ̂ɔng = room
- nám = water
- hɔ̂ɔng-nám = room-water (bathroom)
- yùu = to be (place or location)
- tîi-nǎi = where? (it’s a question)
ห้องน้าอยู่ที่ไหน (hɔ̂ɔng-nám yùu tîi-nǎi) = where is the bathroom?
Wasn’t that easy?
Click on the book below to look inside (if you click on the button in the middle, you can view full-screen):
Get How to Read Thai ($29.99)
- 384-page, pdf ebook (requires pdf reader)
- Start tying all your Quest knowledge into reading Thai script. It really is easy.
- Instant download after purchase
The book is also available on Kindle. Please either go to the Kindle page from the above Amazon page, or click here.Due to CreateSpace’s publishing costs (colour books are about 3-4 times the price of non-colour books), we published 2 versions of this book a non-colour version (this one, and a colour version – click here).
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Learn Thai Alphabet Flashcards
If you’re interested in learning the Thai alphabet, we have some free flashcards you can download, print out, cut up and use to help you practice learning the Thai alphabet. Click here to go to the download page.