Alphabet – Part 4 – More Letters
What do we know so far? Not nearly enough. Can you read any of this stuff below yet?
- กา crow
- เจ vegetarian
- ด้าน side
- บ้าน house; home
- อ่าง basin; sink
Lets go over these a bit.
First there is กา. This is that kinda Gaah when certain people with certain accents say ‘garden.’ Long vowel, to say it properly you need to hold that vowel a moment longer than you would in English.
เจ – uh-oh. Did I even cover this letter yet? Lets just say its a not too distant Asian cousin of the letter ‘J.’ Added on to that vowel that is pretty close to the vowel in words like pay, stay, ray, day. Why you might even get away with this word by simply saying the letter “J,” because in English we throw vowels into our letters without writing them. How confusing!
ด้าน The sperm on top of the ด here changes the tone to falling. So its that “D-ish” letter with a long aaah + n-like consonant at the end. Got it?
บ้าน Just like ด้าน except our “D-izm” turns into a “B-izl.” It can’t get any easier than this. No really it can’t and it won’t so please enjoy the moment while you can.
อ่าง So the อ is as usual just a place holder here. Since it is paired up with า ..we simply say ‘aaah’ and then throw in the last consonant to make a fun syllable thats great for washing your hands or bathing out of a large barrel. The tone mark makes it a low tona-fied word. More on tonal-y stuff later. What is that funny letter at the end anyways? Why its a ง [งอ งู] of course. If one was forced to transliterate it, and I feel forced at the moment, we would do so as Ng. Some people have lots of trouble with this sound, so I will spend more time on it later. But the way I learned it was simply to keep saying words in English (which I could pronounce fairly well to begin with) that ended in -ing and then practice adding vowel sounds onto the end of that until I could drop the English in the beginning. You just need to find what your mouth is doing when you say English words and train it to be able to use it to start the word. sing–uu, sing–aaah, sing–ohh. Eventually it just falls into place and you give up all that sin and just have gnuu งู, gnaah งา, gnoo โง่. All useful words.
Are you feeling fluent yet? Don’t worry, we’re almost there. We’ve almost done it. We’ve almost mastered the middle class consonants. The smallest group of letters in Thai. We will need to memorize that these are middle class consonants at some point so I’m going to just keep reminding you until we’ve covered them all.
*ง and น are low class consonants. The middle consonants are จ ฎ ฏ ด ต บ ป อ.