A newly devised
Thai government has adopted two Romanization systems for
the Thai language, one chiefly for transliterating place
names and the other for transliterating words of Pali
origin. The former is also used for general purposes.
It is a broad system, making no distinction between the
consonant sounds of จ (dz) and ช (ts), nor between the
vowel sounds of อ (aw in law) and โ (the first element
of the long o). As a result, one cannot pronounce some
Thai words correctly according to their official Romanized
In order to avoid such inaccuracies,
the compiler has devised a narrower system for the use
of this dictionary. According to it, each of the consonant
and vowel sounds is represented by a different letter,
or in some cases, two letters, such as th, kh, ph, ae,
oe, ue and ou. The five tones of the Thai language are
indicated by the Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3 and 4 with the
first (mid-level) tone unmarked. And the full stop is
employed to indicate the glottal stop, which is a common
sound in the Thai language.
the system used in this dictionary is a perfect one and
is easy to understand and use, as is manifested by the
fact that all the staff members of Thaiways Publications
Co., Ltd. who joined in the project were able to use the
system without being taught.
index of Romanized spellings
The word arrangement traditionally used in Thai dictionaries
complicated even for the Thais themselves. Adult foreign
learners of the Thai language are often frustrated when
they try to locate a word in a Thai dictionary. Therefore,
the use of a Thai dictionary has become a main obstacle
for many a foreign learner.
In order to
help foreign learners overcome this barrier, an index
of Romanized spellings of all entries in the dictionary
is prepared and appended to the end of the book. If the
user knows the correct pronunciation of a word (and its
Romanized spelling), and wants to know its meaning, he
or she can easily locate it by looking at the index.