There is no Duolingo for Thai - but here are the alternatives

Unfortunately there is no Duolingo for Thai and it doesn't look like that's going to change any time soon. The two apps that I know that come kind of close are Drops and Ling:

They're not exactly great but Thai is not a popular language to learn so you'll just need to take whatever resources are out there. I slightly prefer Drops but you should give both of these a try and see which works better for you.

Thai alphabet

If you're learning Thai alphabet, I recently a started an AI account that writes an article about a different Thai letter every day. I set the bot up to write about each letter the way that makes it easy for me to learn it. First, it introduces the letter and its pronunciation, then provides some examples of common words with that letter. Finally, writes a simple sentence in Thai using each of the words and provides an English translation. I'm genuinely surprised how well it's worked for me so far. I'm finally starting to pick up some letters and I don't feel like it costs me a lot of effort.

Check it out here:


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Understanding the Thai Letter า (Long Ah)

When you begin to learn Thai, you'll quickly encounter the vowel symbol า, which is one of the most common vowels in the Thai language. In Thai, it is called "สระ อา" (sà-rà aa), where "สระ" means 'vowel', and "อา" is the sound it represents. This vowel is crucial because it appears in many Thai words, from the most simple to the most complex.

Pronunciation of า

The pronunciation of า is similar to the 'ah' sound in the English word "spa." It is important to note that it's a long vowel sound, meaning you should stretch out the 'ah' when you pronounce it. Remember, vowel length can change the meaning of a word in Thai, so it's important to get it right.

Introduction to Thai Words with า

Here are a few Thai words using the vowel า:

  • ตัวอย่างเช่น (dtua-yàang chên): for example
  • หา (hăa): to look for / to find
  • กระดาษ (grà-dàat): paper

Simple Sentences Using Words with า

Let's see how to use these words in simple Thai sentences:

thai languagelanguage learningthai vocabularythai alphabetthai vowelsthai letter าbeginner thaithai

An Introduction to the Thai Letter ด (Dor Dek)

Understanding the Letter ด in Thai Language

The Thai alphabet is a fundamental aspect of learning the Thai language. Among its consonants, the letter ด, pronounced "Dor Dek," plays a pivotal role. It is the 14th letter in the Thai alphabet and is categorized under the middle class consonants. Dor Dek represents the sound /d/ as in "dog" when it is at the beginning of a syllable. This sound is similar to the English 'd,' but in Thai, it is slightly softer and not as forcefully voiced.

In Thai, consonants are often named after an object or an animal that starts with that sound, making it easier to remember. For the letter ด, the word "dek" (เด็ก) means "child," which is the associative word for this consonant.

Pronunciation of ด (Dor Dek)

When pronouncing ด (Dor Dek), you should place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth, just like when you say the 'd' in "dog" in English. However, ensure that your voice is softer and less tense than in English. In Thai, aspiration or a puff of air that comes out with certain consonant sounds is not present, making each pronunciation sound gentler.

Words Using ด

Now, let's look at some Thai words that use the letter ด:

  1. อย่างรวดเร็ว – pronunced "yaang ruat reo," meaning "quickly" or "rapidly."
  2. เสียงดัง – pronounced "siang dang," meaning "loud sound" or "loud noise."
  3. ด้านซ้าย – pronounced "daan saai," meaning "left side."
thai languagethaithai alphabetforeign languageslanguage learningthai vocabularybeginner thaithai letter ด

Introduction to the Thai Letter น (no nu)

The Thai alphabet consists of 44 consonants, and the letter "น" is one of them. This letter is pronounced as "n", similar to the 'n' sound in the English word "noon." In the Thai language, น is categorized under the low-class consonants.


The pronunciation of "น" is straightforward for English speakers. It is a voiced, alveolar nasal consonant. To pronounce it correctly:

  • Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind your upper front teeth, just as you would for the English 'n.'
  • Voice the sound; this means you should feel vibrations in your vocal cords.
  • The airflow is directed through the nasal passage.

Now, let's introduce some Thai words that use the letter "น."

Vocabulary Introduction

  1. ฝัน (făn) - This word means "dream." It can be used to talk about dreams you have when you're sleeping or your aspirations.
  2. ขั้นตอนที่ (khân-dton-têe) – This phrase means "step number." It is often used when describing steps in a process or instruction.
  3. จินตนาการ (jin-dtà-nà-gaan) – This word means "imagination." It is used to describe the ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful.
thai languagethaithai alphabetforeign languageslanguage learningthai vocabularybeginner thaithai letter น

Understanding the Thai Letter ฐ (tho than)

When learning the Thai language, becoming acquainted with each letter in the Thai alphabet is a primary step toward becoming proficient. One of these letters is ฐ, known as 'ฐาน' in Thai. This article is aimed at helping beginners understand this unique letter, its pronunciation, and how it is used in the Thai language.

The Thai Letter ฐ: Pronunciation Guide

The letter ฐ is categorized as a high-class consonant in the Thai language. Its equivalent sound in English is closest to an unaspirated 'T' sound, similar to when pronouncing the 't' in 'stop' rather than the 't' in 'top'. However, it's important to note that this letter is rarely used in modern Thai words. It typically represents the sound /tʰ/ - an aspirated, voiceless alveolar plosive, although when it is the final letter of a word, it is often pronounced as a simple /t/.

Words Using the Letter ฐ

Now, let's look at a few Thai words that incorporate the letter ฐ:

  1. ขั้นพื้นฐาน (khan phuen-than): This compound term comprises two parts – "ขั้น" (khan) meaning 'level' or 'step', and "พื้นฐาน" (phuen-than) meaning 'basic' or 'fundamental'. Altogether, it translates to 'basic level' or 'foundation'.

  2. ฐาน (than): This word uses the letter ฐ as its initial consonant and means 'base' or 'foundation'.

  3. รัฐ (rat): Another word that contains the letter ฐ is 'รัฐ' (rat), meaning 'state' as in a nation-state, or government.

Using the Words in Sentences

thai languagethaithai alphabetforeign languageslanguage learningthai vocabularybeginner thaithai letter ฐ

Understanding the Thai Letter ไ

Pronunciation of ไ

The symbol "ไ" represents the long vowel sound /ai/ (as in "eye"). It's important to note that "ไ" always precedes the consonant it's associated with, which might be a bit of a twist for English speakers, as in Thai script, vowels can be written before, above, below, after, or even around the consonants.

When "ไ" is combined with a consonant, it forms a syllable that sounds like "ai" followed by the consonant sound. For example, when paired with the consonant "ก" (g), it would be pronounced like "ไก" and sound similar to the English word "guy."

Introduction to Vocabulary Words

Let's look at some basic Thai words that include the vowel symbol "ไ":

  1. จำได้ว่า (jam dâi wâ) – means "remember that"
  2. ไมล์ (mai) – means "mile" and it is a borrowed word from English
  3. ได้ยิน (dâi yin) – means "to hear"

Each of these words includes the "ไ" sound, which is a helpful practice in getting comfortable with this aspect of Thai pronunciation.

Using the Words in Sentences

thai languagethai vocabularythai letter ไthaithai alphabetlearn thaibeginner thailanguage learning
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The Thai Letter ถ: Introduction and Usage for Beginners

Introduction to the Letter ถ

In the Thai script, the letter ถ, known as "ทะห์เอก" (thà-hɔ̀ːk), is the third consonant of the Thai alphabet. It represents the unvoiced aspirated sound /tʰ/, which can be thought of as an aspirated 't' sound, similar to the 't' in English when saying "top", but with a puff of air following.

This letter is classified in Thai as a low-class consonant, which is important to know for tone rules when learning to read and write Thai sentences correctly.


The pronunciation of ถ is not too difficult for English speakers to master. To practice, try saying the English word "tall" and notice how the 't' is pronounced. Now, add a bit of extra breath after the 't', as if you are blowing out a candle. This aspirated sound is what you're trying to achieve with ถ.

Introduction to Words with ถ

Now let's look at some basic Thai words that include the letter ถ:

  • ถือ (thûea) - to hold or to carry
  • ถือเอา (thûea ao) - to assume or to take it that
  • รถไฟ (rót fâi) - train (literally "car fire")
thai languagethai alphabetthaithai letter ถthai vocabularylanguage learningthai consonants

Introduction to the Thai Letter ฒ

Welcome to your journey in learning the Thai language! In this article, we will explore the Thai letter ฒ, pronounced as "Thao". This letter emits a sound similar to the "Th" in English words like "think" or "therapy", but it's important to note that it's an unaspirated sound, meaning you do not release a strong burst of air when pronouncing it.

Pronunciation of ฒ

The Thai letter ฒ ("Thao") is a consonant that is not as commonly used as some of the other letters in the Thai alphabet. It is considered to be a high-class consonant. When pronouncing ฒ, your tongue should be placed behind your upper front teeth, slightly touching them, as if you were to start saying the English word "the". However, you should not voice it or utilize vocal chord vibration. Instead, emit the sound softly without the extra 'h' breathiness that one might associate with the English "th" sound.

Example Words with ฒ

Here are some example words that include the letter ฒ:

  • มหาธาตุ (ma-hăa-thâat): This word consists of the prefix "มหา" meaning "great" and "ธาตุ" meaning "relics or remains". Put together, มหาธาตุ refers to the sacred relics or remains, often in the context of the Buddha or a saint.

  • พญานาค (pha-yaa-nâak): The term is derived from "พญา" which means "lord" or "king", and "นาค" which refers to a serpent or dragon. Thus, พญานาค describes a mythical serpent or dragon-like creature that is revered in Buddhist and Hindu mythology.

  • กรมหลวง (gr...

thai languagethaithai alphabetlanguage learningthai consonantsthai letter ฒbeginner thai
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Understanding the Thai Letter บ (Baw Baimai)

The Thai language is beautiful and complex with its own unique alphabet. For beginners delving into this language, one of the letters you will encounter is บ, known as "Baw Baimai" (บอ ใบไม้). The letter บ is part of the Thai consonants and it represents the sound /b/ as in the word "ball" in English. However, it's important to note that the pronunciation of บ can change depending on its position within a word and the tone of the syllable it is in.

In written Thai, บ is a low-class consonant. Learning to recognize and pronounce this letter is an essential step for any Thai language learner as it appears frequently in the Thai vocabulary.

Words with บ

Let's look at some words that include the letter บ. Each one will give us an opportunity to practice the pronunciation and use of this consonant in different contexts:

  1. ตอบสนอง (dtàwp sà-nong) - to respond or reply
  2. ความ (khwaam) - used as a prefix for abstraction or condition
  3. ด้านบน (dâan bon) - top, upper part, or above
  4. สมบูรณ์ (sòm bun) - complete, whole, or perfect

Sentences using words with บ

Now, let's use these words in simple sentences to help practice reading and pronunciation.

  1. เธอตอบสนองได้ดีมาก
thai languagethaithai alphabetforeign languageslanguage learningthai vocabularybeginner thaithai letter บ

The Thai Letter ย and Its Usage

The Thai language, with its intricate script and tones, can be a beautiful challenge for new learners. Among its alphabet of 44 consonants, there is a very common and versatile letter: ย (yo yak). This letter is often compared to the English 'y' but has some nuances that are unique to the Thai language.

Pronunciation of ย

The consonant ย (yo yak) is pronounced as a 'y' sound similar to the 'y' in "yes" or "yarn" in English. It's a palatal approximant, created by positioning the tongue near the hard palate of the mouth.

However, in Thai, ย can also be used as a vowel. When it is used as a vowel, it creates a long 'ee' sound, much like the 'ee' in "see" or the 'i' in "machine". It's important to pay attention to whether the letter acts as a consonant or a vowel in a word to pronounce it correctly.

Now, let's introduce a few Thai words that involve the letter ย:

  1. ยิ่งใหญ่ (yîng yài) - meaning "grand" or "majestic"
  2. หลาย (lǎai) - meaning "many" or "several"
  3. เปรียบเทียบ (bprìap tîap) - meaning "compare" or "comparison"

To help solidify your understanding, let's look at each word used in a simple sentence.

Sentences using ย:

thai languagebeginner thaithai letter ยthai vocabularythaithai alphabetlanguage learning

The Thai Letter ำ: Introduction and Usage

One of the unique aspects of the Thai script is the utilization of vowel symbols that can be placed around a consonant. A significant symbol in this respect is ำ, which combines the consonant ง (ngong ngu) with the inherent vowel 'am' or 'um.' This combination is officially known as "sara am" (สระอำ) and is used to denote the sound 'am' in a syllable after the initial consonant.

Pronunciation of ำ

The pronunciation of the letter ำ is similar to the English word "um" in "humdrum." It is a mid-central vowel, pronounced with a closed mouth, and you will feel the vibration in your nose because it is a nasal sound. The consonant ง that's inherent in ำ may not be pronounced as distinctly as when it appears on its own. The length of the vowel sound is medium. Keep your mouth relatively relaxed, and ensure that your voice resonates in your nasal passages.

Let's now introduce a few Thai words that utilize ำ:

  1. การกระทำ (gaan krà-tham) - action, act or doing
  2. การออกกำลังกาย (gaan àwk gam-lang gaai) - exercise (physical activity)
  3. สำคัญ (sǎm-khan) - important

Now, let's see each of these words in simple sentences:

  1. การกระทำ:
    • การกระทำของเขาทำให้เธอเสียใจ (gaan krà-tham kǎwng kǎo tham hâi thooe sǐa jai)
    • (His actions made her sad.)
thai languagethai vocabularythai alphabetbeginner thailanguage learningthai letter ำthai