Transcription is a representation
of a foreign language based on pronunciation, written in a
defined set of phonetic characters or another base alphabet.
The purpose is to provide a reasonably correct pronunciation
of the word to the non-native speakers.
For Thai as for other languages
the International Phonetic Alphabet IPA
can be used. Because Thai have only a few unusual sound for
most of us, we can use the normal Latin alphabet. The few
exceptions that can not be represented directly are well described
and quickly learned with the pronunciation rules.
Transcription has the disadvantage of being dependent of
the target language. Sounds, that are not available in the
target language, have to described in a kind, that is understood
in the target language. Even this is done often not uniform,
because each author seeks to optimize his own system.
For this reason, the transcription also be used only conditionally,
to act as a substitute language, even between nations that
use the same basic alphabet. Even a Thai with good English
skills can not read and understand English transcription.
Transcription can therefore only be a tool for learning the
correct pronunciation, and this only if it is written in the