Southern Thai language

Southern ThaiThaiSiamese
Isan (Northeastern Thai), the language of the Isan region of Thailand, a collective term for the various Lao dialects spoken in Thailand that show some Central Thai influences, which is written with the Thai script. It is spoken by about 20 million people. Thais from both inside and outside the Isan region often simply call this variant "Lao" when speaking informally. Northern Thai (Phasa Nuea, Lanna, Kam Mueang, or Thai Yuan), spoken by about 6 million (1983) in the formerly independent kingdom of Lanna (Chiang Mai). Shares strong similarities with Lao to the point that in the past the Siamese Thais referred to it as Lao.

Northern Thai language

Northern ThaiLannaKham Muang
Such tonal mergence ambiguity is avoided when the language is written with the Northern Thai script. Northern Thai consonant inventory is similar to that of Lao; both languages have the sound and lack. There are two relatively common consonant clusters: There are also several other, less frequent clusters recorded, though apparently in the process of being lost: All plosive sounds are unreleased. Hence, final,, and sounds are pronounced as,, and respectively. : * A glottal stop occurs after a short vowel when no final consonant is written in the Thai script. The basic vowels of the Northern Thai language are similar to those of Standard Thai.

English language

Australian and New Zealand English are each other's closest relatives with few differentiating characteristics, followed by South African English and the English of southeastern England, all of which have similarly non-rhotic accents, aside from some accents in the South Island of New Zealand. Australian and New Zealand English stand out for their innovative vowels: many short vowels are fronted or raised, whereas many long vowels have diphthongised. Australian English also has a contrast between long and short vowels, not found in most other varieties.


Sanskrit languageClassical SanskritSkt.
For example, Filipino, Cebuano, Lao, Khmer Thai and its alphabets, Malay, Indonesian (old Javanese-English dictionary by P.J. Zoetmulder contains over 25,500 entries), and even in English. Over 90 weeklies, fortnightlies and quarterlies are published in Sanskrit. Sudharma, a daily newspaper in Sanskrit, has been published out of Mysore, India, since 1970, while Sanskrit Vartman Patram and Vishwasya Vrittantam started in Gujarat during the last five years. Since 1974, there has been a short daily news broadcast on state-run All India Radio. These broadcasts are also made available on the internet on AIR's website.

Royal Thai General System of Transcription

It uses for, as in English. It uses for and, somewhat like English. It uses for, as in English. It does not record tones. It does not differentiate between short and long vowels. The notation does not differentiate between IPA and IPA (see table below). Using for would have been more consistent with the other stops and is used as such in ISO 11940-2.

Lao language

LaoLaotianLaotian language
One difference between Thai and Lao is that in Lao initial clusters are simplified. For example, the official name of Laos is Romanized as Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, with the Thai analogue being Satharanarat Prachathipatai Prachachon Lao, indicating the simplification of Thai pr to Lao p. Only may appear in the coda. If the vowel in the nucleus is short, it must be followed by a consonant in the coda; in the coda can be preceded only by a short vowel.

Khmer language

KhmerCambodianOld Khmer
By 1907, the French had wrested over half of modern-day Cambodia, including the north and northwest where Thai had been the prestige language, back from Thai control and reintegrated it into the country. Many native scholars in the early 20th century, led by a monk named Chuon Nath, resisted the French and Thai influences on their language. Forming the government sponsored Cultural Committee to define and standardize the modern language, they championed Khmerization, purging of foreign elements, reviving affixation, and the use of Old Khmer roots and historical Pali and Sanskrit to coin new words for modern ideas.

International Phonetic Alphabet

IPAPronunciationInternational Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)
However, most American (and some British) volumes use one of a variety of pronunciation respelling systems, intended to be more comfortable for readers of English. For example, the respelling systems in many American dictionaries (such as Merriam-Webster) use for IPA and for IPA, reflecting common representations of those sounds in written English, using only letters of the English Roman alphabet and variations of them. (In IPA, represents the sound of the French (as in tu), and represents the pair of sounds in graopper.) The IPA is also not universal among dictionaries in languages other than English.


Comparing Devanagari with Burmese, Khmer, Thai, and Tai Tham scripts.

Approximant consonant

+Approximant-vowel correspondences. || ** || Palatal || Spanish amplío ('I extend') vs. amplió ('he extended'). || || Labiopalatal || French aigu ('sharp') vs. aiguille ('needle'). || ** || Velar ||. || || Labiovelar || Spanish continúo ('I continue') vs. continuó ('he continued'). || || Pharyngeal ||. || || Postalveolar, retroflex ||English waiter vs. waitress. }. || || Labiovelar || Spanish continúo ('I continue') vs. continuó ('he continued'). || || Pharyngeal ||. || || Postalveolar, retroflex ||English waiter vs. waitress. }. || || Postalveolar, retroflex ||English waiter vs. waitress. }.

Tai Lue language

Tai LueTai LüTai Lü language
New Tai Lue is a modernization of the Lanna alphabet (also known as Tai Tham script), which is similar to the Thai alphabet, and consists of 42 initial consonant signs (21 high-tone class, 21 low-tone class), seven final consonant signs, 16 vowel signs, two tone letters and one vowel shortening letter (or syllable-final glottal stop). Vowels signs can be placed before or after the syllable initial consonant. Similar to the Thai alphabet, the pronunciation of the tone of a syllable depends on the class the initial consonant belongs to, syllable structure and vowel length, and the tone mark.


Thai society has been influenced in recent years by its widely available multi-language press and media. There are some English and numerous Thai and Chinese newspapers in circulation. Most Thai popular magazines use English headlines as a chic glamour factor. Many large businesses in Bangkok operate in English as well as other languages. Thailand is the largest newspaper market in Southeast Asia with an estimated circulation of over 13 million copies daily in 2003. Even upcountry, out of Bangkok, the media flourish.

Lao script

LaoLao alphabetLaos
It was also used to write the Isan language, but was replaced by the Thai script. It has 27 consonants, 7 consonantal ligatures, 33 vowels, and 4 tone marks . The Lao alphabet was adapted from the Khmer script, which itself was derived from the Pallava script, a variant of the Grantha script descended from the Brāhmī script, which was used in southern India and South East Asia during the 5th and 6th centuries AD. Akson Lao is a sister system to the Thai script, with which it shares many similarities and roots. However, Lao has fewer characters and is formed in a more curvilinear fashion than Thai. Lao is written from left to right.


Northeastern Thailandnortheast Thailandnortheastern
Although there is no tradition of written secular literature in the Isan language, in the latter half of the 20th century the region produced several notable writers, such as Khamsing Srinawk (who writes in Thai) and Pira Sudham (who writes in English). Isan is known for producing a large number of muay Thai boxers. Isan's most famous sportsman, however, is tennis player Paradorn Srichaphan, whose family is from Khon Kaen. Marriage and courtship in Isan still mainly follows strict tradition, especially in rural areas, and most young women are married by the time they are 20 years old.

Thai numerals

ThaiThai numeral systemalternate numbers
Yip (ยีบ or ยิบ) in colloquial Thai is an elision or contraction of yi sip at the beginning of numbers twenty-one through twenty-nine. Therefore, one may hear yip et, yip song, up to yip kao . Yip may have a long vowel or be elided further into a short vowel . Sao is twenty in the Thai northern dialect and in the Isan language. Xao is the word for twenty in the Lao language. Kurut means a dozen dozen or 144. It is usually used for trade. It is a loanword from gross. Kot is ten million used in religious context. It comes from Pali/Sanskrit kōṭi. See also crore.

Aspirated consonant

Armenian and Cantonese have aspiration that lasts about as long as English aspirated stops, in addition to unaspirated stops. Korean has lightly-aspirated stops that fall between the Armenian and Cantonese unaspirated and aspirated stops as well as strongly-aspirated stops whose aspiration lasts longer than that of Armenian or Cantonese. (See voice onset time.) Aspiration varies with place of articulation. The Spanish voiceless stops have voice onset times (VOTs) of about 5, 10, and 30 milliseconds, and English aspirated have VOTs of about 60, 70, and 80 ms. Voice onset time in Korean has been measured at 20, 25, and 50 ms for and 90, 95, and 125 for.


Although these figures are often quoted as a scientific fact, they actually reflect just one of many possible analyses, and later in the English Phonology article an alternative analysis is suggested in which some diphthongs and long vowels may be interpreted as comprising a short vowel linked to either or. The transcription system for British English (RP) devised by the phonetician Geoff Lindsey and used in the CUBE pronunciation dictionary also treats diphthongs as composed of a vowel plus or.


PāliPali languagePāḷi
Concise Pāli-English Dictionary.


diphthongsfalling diphthonggliding vowel
Examples of wide diphthongs are RP/GA English and. Languages differ in the length of diphthongs, measured in terms of morae. In languages with phonemically short and long vowels, diphthongs typically behave like long vowels, and are pronounced with a similar length. In languages with only one phonemic length for pure vowels, however, diphthongs may behave like pure vowels. For example, in Icelandic, both monophthongs and diphthongs are pronounced long before single consonants and short before most consonant clusters. Some languages contrast short and long diphthongs. In some languages, such as Old English, these behave like short and long vowels, occupying one and two morae, respectively.

Tai languages

TaiTai languageTai language family
Some scholars including Benedict (1975), have used Thai to refer to a wider (Tai) grouping and one sees designations like proto-Thai and Austro-Thai in earlier works. In the institutional context in Thailand, and occasionally elsewhere, sometimes Tai (and its corresponding Thai-script spelling, without a final -y symbol) is used to indicate varieties in the language family not spoken in Thailand or spoken there only as the result of recent immigration. In this usage Thai would not then be considered a Tai language.

Phu Thai language

Phu ThaiPhutaiPhu Tai
Phu Thai (Phuu Thai; Thai, Phu Thai: Phasa Phuthai, ภาษาผู้ไท or ภูไท) is a Southwestern Tai spoken in Laos and Thailand. Although it appears different from the Isan and the Lao languages, it is spoken in areas where these languages are predominant and has been influenced by them. Comparisons of Phu Thai with other Tai languages such as Tay Khang have not yet been done systematically enough to yield convincing results. Another aspect of Phu Thai is its contact with the Katuic languages, a branch of the Austroasiatic languages.

Vietnamese language

VietnameseVietnamese nameVietnamese-language
English: 28 March 2018. Vietnamese long form: Ngày 28 tháng ba năm 2018. Vietnamese short form: 28/3/2018. 1) Pre-Vietnamese, also known as Proto-Viet–Muong or Proto-Vietnamuong, the ancestor of Vietnamese and the related Muong language. 2) Proto-Vietnamese, the oldest reconstructable version of Vietnamese, dated to just before the entry of massive amounts of Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary into the language, c. 7th to 9th century AD?

Voice (phonetics)

voiced voiced voicing
Other English sounds, the vowels and sonorants, are normally fully voiced. However, they may be devoiced in certain positions, especially after aspirated consonants, as in coffee, tree, and play in which the voicing is delayed to the extent of missing the sonorant or vowel altogether. There are two variables to degrees of voicing: intensity (discussed under phonation), and duration (discussed under voice onset time). When a sound is described as "half voiced" or "partially voiced", it is not always clear whether that means that the voicing is weak (low intensity) or if the voicing occurs during only part of the sound (short duration). In the case of English, it is the latter.

Front vowel

Frontfront vowelsfronted
English follows the French pattern, but without as much regularity. However, for native or early borrowed words affected by palatalization, English has generally altered the spelling after the pronunciation (Examples include cheap, church, cheese, churn from, and yell, yarn, yearn, yeast from .)

Back vowel

Backback vowelsbackness
A back vowel is any in a class of vowel sound used in spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a back vowel is that the highest point of the tongue is positioned relatively back in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Back vowels are sometimes also called dark vowels because they are perceived as sounding darker than the front vowels.