Learn Thai Squiggles makes learning the Thai alphabet easy.
The latest iPhone app for learning the Thai alphabet is called “Learn Thai Squiggles”. It groups these consonants into the three classes which are important when it comes to learning the tone rules. The fourth section is for letters that are hardly used. Each of the letters has good quality recording done by a native speaker. You can set this to play automatically or only when you tap on the letter. What is interesting is that there is no pronunciation guide. This may seem like a risky move on their part but really Thai letters are a series of sounds that are not always easy to write down using Roman letters. By doing it this way you will be learning the same way as Thai kindergarten students and you won’t be reading the alphabet with a foreign accent. In the final section, see below, you are shown all of the letters which are colour-coded according to which class they belong to.
Although it is a very clean cut and easy to use app, I don’t think that there is enough here to justify the present price tag of $4.99. For example, the similar priced Reading Thai app also has vowels and numbers. They even do a free version that just has the consonants like this one. Something else I would have liked to see is a kind of quiz to see how much you have remembered. It is true that you can look at the screen with all the letters (above left), identify the letter and then click on it to see if you were right. But it would be nice to have a quiz where you hear a letter and then you have to click on the right letter. Something like this would give it better value for money. After all, there are other free iPhone apps out there for learning the Alphabet: Thai Alphabet Helper, which has consonants and vowels, and I Know My กขค, which is aimed at Thai students so there aren’t any transliterations like this one.