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Special Symbols

The following special symbols are used in Thai writing.

Repetition

The repetition character indicates a repetition of the previous word. Repeated words are often used to add emphasis or intensify the meaning.
เยอะ   /yuhH/       a lot
เยอะ ๆ  /yuhH yuhH/       a lot more
The repetition character itself is called ยมก   /yaH mohkH/.

Abbreviation

This appears most famously in the Thai name of the capitol city which Westerners call Bangkok. The actual name of the city, the longest place name in the world, is:

กรุงเทพมหานครอมรรัตนโกสินทร์มหินรายุธยามหาดิลกภพนพรัตนราชธานีบูรีรมย์อุดมราชนิเวศมหาสถานอมรพิมานอวตารสถิตสักกทัตติยะวิษณุกรรมประสิทธึ์ groongM thaehpF maH haaR naH khaawnM aL maawnM ratH dtaL naH go:hM sinR thaH maH hinR thaH raaM yootH thaH yaaM maH haaR diL lohkH phohpH nohpH phaH ratH raatF chaH thaaM neeM booL reeM rohmM ooL dohmM raatF chaH niH waehtF maH haaR saL thaanR aL maawnM phiH maanM aL waH dtaanM saL thitL sakL gaL thatH dtiL yaH witH saL nooH gamM bpraL sitL Great city of angels, supreme repository of divine gems, great unconquerable land, grand and prominent realm, royal and delightful capital city full of nine noble gems, highest royal residence and grand palace, divine shelter and home of the reincarnated spirits.

Using the abbreviation symbol, the name is commonly abbreviated as follows:
กรุงเทพ   /groongM thaehpF/.

This symbol is called เปยยาลน้อย  /bpeeuyM yaanM naawyH/.

ฯลฯ Et cetera

This symbol is called เปยยาลใหญ่  /bpeeuyM yaanM yaiL/.

อ์ Silence

The silence character is placed over a consonant which is not pronounced. It is frequently used in loanwords (words borrowed from another language and spelled phonemically with the Thai alphabet) to indicate that the original word had a letter which the Thai do not pronounce. In the following example, each consonant ร carries the silence marker since there is no final /-r/ phoneme in Thai:
แอมเบอร์เกอร์   /aaemM buuhrM guuhrM/ (hamburger)
The silence mark itself is called การันต์   /gaaM ranM/.

There are also a Thai few words in which the final consonant or vowel (or occasionally even a non final consonant) is silent although not marked with the gaaran; for example, จักร   /jakL/ does not have a gaaran for the final consonant . The vowel อิ in ญาติ   /yaatF/ is silent, so the the word should be pronounced as shown, not "yaadti." This word also does not contain the gaaran to indicate that the final vowel is silent.

There are other special cases. For example, the consonant cluster ทร is often treated as a single consonant, thus in the word จันทร์   /janM/ the gaaran indicates that the last two consonants are both silent.

฿ Baht

The Thai currency symbol, used as a prefix on numeric บาท  amounts.

Paragraph

Known as ฟองมัน, or informally the "bird's eye" ตาไก่, this symbol can be used to indicate the beginning of paragraphs, but is now used only for special poetic or artistic effect.

อฺ Phinthu (พินทุ )

This archaic orthography is nowadays mostly used in dictionaries to disambiguate pronunciation. In our online dictionary, the symbol, if used, only appears in a word at the top of its main definition page. The symbol can be used in two ways:
  1. Placed underneath the first consonant of an orthographic consonant cluster which may in turn be one of three cases:
    a. A double-consonant cluster
    b. Silent , called หอ นำ /haawR namM/
    c. Silent , called ออ นำ /aawM namM/
  2. Placed underneath the final-sounding consonant of a syllable.
Both of these rules can be summarizied "more snappily," as Richard Wordingham says, by noting that "Phinthu indicates that there is no vowel sound associated with the [marked] consonant." These seemingly vague rules can be puzzling; for clarity, our online dictionary will only place พินทุ   /phinM thooH/ under or when that consonant is acting in its silent role.

Examples of พินทุ :
ขฺบวน   /khaL buaanM/
เพลฺ   /phaehnM/
แหนฺ   /haaenR/
แหฺม   /maaeR/
โหนฺ   /ho:hnR/
อินฺทฺนนท์   /inM thaH nohnM/

  อังคั่นคู่  /angM khanF khuuF/

Indicating the end of a chapter, episode, verse, or section of Thai text.

  Khomut (โคมูตร) The End

Used to mark the end of the entire text. ๚ะ๛
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