Remember, when you read a Thai word you will often see one of 4 tone marks, which help you apply the correct tone. The fifth is just normal (mid tone) and has no mark.
You need to learn the Thai tones because a word in Thai can mean different things in when a different tone is applied, take ‘mai’ for example. ‘Mai’ can mean ‘no’, ‘new’ or ‘microphone’ when a different tone is applied.
The tone marks are named, ‘mai eak’ (low), ‘mai toh’ (falling), ‘mai tree’ (high) and ‘mai juttawa’ (rising).
Thai Tones Video Tutorial
Start with this video lesson, and then move on to the charts below:
Thai Tones Verbal Practice
Now practice using the tones by applying them to the sound ‘gaa’ in the table below. You can do this with different combinations of two consonants from the chart.
Make simple words like “ka” and “ta” and then apply a different tone to form a different sound. This is a great way to learn small words and the tones at the same time.