Site Feedback
Important Notice: Feb 1st from 05:00 to 08:00 (UTC) , italki will be down for scheduled maintenance. If you have scheduled sessions during this time, read our Announcement

Resolved questions
Are there any changes of tones in Thai?

1. Every thai syllable has a fixed tone, so dose Chinese. But in many Chinese languages ( including Mandarin), there are some specific rules based on which tones change for harmony.
For example: (in Mandarin, when two syllables with the same tone of the third tone meet, the tone of the first one will change into the second tone.) : 你(ni3),好(hao3), but you should say 你好(ni2 hao3).

2. I've once asked the same question, and the answer i got was 'no' , there isn't any changes of tones in Thai. But today, I came across a word in a website, and there was a recording for the word. it was บุหรี่, and clearly what i heard from the recording was not how the word spells, the tone of the first syllable sounded more like กา, not ก่า. I'm confused, can anybody help me? Thanks.

For learning: Thai
Base language: English
Category: Language



    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.



    Sort by:

    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting
    In Thai words, we also have the rules about tones.
    Not every word has the tone as they show in Thai character.

    It is an example of the tone rule of Middle class Thai consonant.
    Normal : กา ก่า ก้า ก๊า ก๋า (long vowel ) These can be pronounced directly.
    But กะ ก่ะ ก้ะ ก๊ะ ก๋ะ ( short vowel ) Only กะ pronounce like ก่ะ ; ก่ะ is not be existed.
    ฺBecause กะ use its pronounce.

    บุ บุ่ บุ้ บุ๊ บุ๋ (short vowel) so บุ pronounce like บุ่ ,
    There are 21 sounds can be divided into three types.

    หรี่ : ร is a lower consonant sound.
    Lower consonant sounds do not have complete tones in writing.
    We do not have : รี รี่ รี้ รี๊ รี๋

    ฺีBut we use "ห" before lower consonant to fulfill 5 tones
    It should be รี - รี่ รี้ - - so lower consonants have only 1 / 3/4 tones (the form and the sound are different )
    Then รี หรี่ รี่ / หรี้ รี้ หรี ; รี่ / หรี้ same sounds third tone

    One more example ลา หล่า ล่า /หล้า ล้า หลา ; ล่า /หล้า third tone

    So you should have to know about 3 types of consonants sounds, it is very helpful.
    Each type has its on rule.

    PS I found this website, it is very helpful.

    as i speak chinese near to a Native level .

    i can say that Thai don't have the question that you ask: 3 tones + 3 tones first 3 tones Must change to 2 tones,
    also the word 不 is change too when combined with 3tone and 4 tone.

    however, as you know Thai tones don't change according to the word following.
    but Thai, word do change tones in some conditions.

    all the Thai alphabets devided into 3 group,
    1) high tone alphabets
    2) medow tone alphabets
    3) low tone alphabets

    so, keep in mind, the 2)group always the same, they can make 5tones in THai,
    but the 1) and 3) groups alphabets some can't match 5 tones,
    so the tricky is here, they will not read as the tone appeared.

    this is conpricated topic, even Many for many thai.

    but, it is not too hard.

    take your times :)

    Submit your answer

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

    If you copy this answer from another italki answer page, please state the URL of where you got your answer from.