Help:IPA for Thai and Lao

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These charts illustrate International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols used for pronunciations of the Thai and Lao languages in Wikipedia articles.

IPA Thai Lao English approximation
b abash
d ฎ,ด ado
f ฝ,ฟ ຝ,ຟ food
h ห,ฮ ຫ,ຮ head
j ญ,ย,อย,หย yak
k scan
(/x/)[1] ข,ฃ,ค,ฅ,ฆ ຂ,ຄ can
l ล,ฬ,หล ລ,ຫຼ leaf
m ม,หม ມ,ໝ much
n ณ,น,หน ນ,ໜ not
ŋ ง,หง ງ,ຫງ bang
ɲ[2] ຍ,ຫຍ canyon
p span
ผ,พ,ภ ຜ,ພ pan
r ร,หร ຣ,ຫຼ ,ຫຣ roughly like water (American English)
s ซ,ศ,ษ,ส ສ,ຊ sue
t ฏ,ต stable
ฐ,ฑ,ฒ,ถ,ท,ธ ຖ,ທ table
tɕʰ[3] ฉ, ช, ฌ cheese
w ว,หว ວ,ຫວ way
ʔ 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[5] Lao English approximation
Short vowels
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 without u sound
ɔ เ◌าะ, ◌็อ◌ ◌ໍ lot
u ◌ุ, ◌ุ◌ ◌ຸ shoot
ɯ ◌ึ, ◌ึ◌ ◌ຶ Somewhat like North American good
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 without u sound
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 adventure (shorter)
ɯa, ɯə เ◌ือ, เ◌ือ◌ ເ◌ຶອ adventure


  1. Allophone in Northern Thai language
  2. Not present in Standard and Southern Thai
  3. Standard and Southern Thai only
  4. In contrast to Pinyin Romanization used for Mandarin, Thai Romanization uses the diacritics the way the IPA does.
  5. Vowels' diacritics are shown on a dotted circle "◌".
  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 in the listing represents a Thai diphthong, hence 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>).