OK, so you’ve memorized your 44 consonants and 30 vowels. You’re ready to take on the world of Thai reading! Then… you confront a word that has vowel blends not listed in the main 30 or a word which appears to have no vowels at all! What?!
No need to panic! Thai has a few extra vowel blends which use a mix of consonants and vowels. Why aren’t these included in the “official list” of 30? Well, I’m not too sure, but I suspect it’s the same reason that English does not list our consonant-vowel blends in with the standard A, E, I, O and U.
Truth be told, this is very similar to English in the fact that we have many vowel blends which need consonants to be complete. And, like English, you’ll see that Thai uses it’s own “w” ว and “y” ย to make these blends.
“ay” like in the word “play”
“ow” like in the word “blow”
See? Thinking of it like this will help demystify it for you, I’m sure!