lesson 23 the clustered consonant exception

You have learnt to read the clustered consonant ร (r), ล (l) and ว (w) on Lesson 10. By now you should be able to read words in the below table. However, this lesson will take you through the clustered consonant exception so you do not get tricked by the way it is written.

Reading 1


In this lesson, you will learn the clustered consonant exception in Thai language.

1. Fake clusters

It is a clustered word in which you do not pronounce the clustered letter, and even if you try, it’s hard! For example: จริง (ciŋ) = ร (r) is not pronounced

Reading 2


2. ทร- clusters

There are about 19 words which has ทร- (th-r) together but pronounced as ซ (s).

Reading 3


But there are ทร (th-r) words that are not pronounced as ซ (s) including นิทรา (ní-thraa), อินทรา (ʔin-thraa), จันทรา (can-thraa). It is believed that these 3 words used to be pronounced as ซ (s) until the year 1895 but there was no record of when exactly it was changed.

Another ทร (th-r) word is โทร (thoo) which means to call. This word is a prefix used in a word โทรศัพท์ (thoorasàp) which means a telephone and to talk on phone.

However, when we say to phone someone we just say โทร (thoo) instead of โทรศัพท์ (thoorasàp). The phrase ‘a phone’s number’ can be said as ‘เบอร์ โทร’ (bəə thoo) instead of saying the whole word เบอร์โทรศัพท์ (bəə thoorasàp).