Standard Thai, the dialect spoken in the Pimsleur course, is also known as Central Thai or Siamese, and it is the ofﬁcial language of Thailand. Sometimes called the Bangkok Dialect, it is spoken by about 25 million people. The other main regional dialectsare Northern Thai, spoken around Chiangmai; Northeastern Thai (Isan), spoken to the east of Korat; and Southern Thai, spoken south of of Korat; and Southern Thai, spoken south of Chumpon and into neighboring communities of Chumpon and into neighboring communities of northern Malaysia.Some 30 million people speak Thai as their first language and another 40 million speak it as a second language.
Thai is written in the Thai alphabet. It is believed the Thai alphabet was created in 1283 by King Ramkhamhaeng the Great. Consonants are written horizontally from left to right, while the vowels are arranged above, below, to the left, or to the right of the corresponding consonant. Thai is usually written without spaces between words and without punctuation.
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