Lanna alphabet (Tua Mueang)
The Lanna script is a descendant of the Old Mon script like the Lao religious
scripts and Burmese script. It was used to write the Lanna language (also called
Northern Thai or Kam Muang - คำเมือง).
It was used during the time of the Lanna kingdom, founded in 1259 and conquered
by Burma in 1558. The script is also known as Tham or Yuan.
The Lanna alphabet is used to write Northern Thai (Kam Mu'ang), Tai Lue and
Khün languages. It is also used for religious purposes to write Lao Tham (Old Lao),
and can be found as the alphabet of old manuscripts in temples in Northern Thailand.
The Lanna language (ล้านนา) is a close
relative of Thai and member of the Chiang Saeng languages. It is spoken by
about six million people in Northern Thailand and several thousand in Laos, but
nowadays it is written with the Thai alphabet.
- Syllables are based around consonants. Vowels are indicated with diacritics
which can appear above, below or around the consonant letters. When they occur
on their own or at the beginning of a word, vowels are attached to the glottal
stop symbol (the final letter in the third row of consonants).
- Lanna is a tonal language. The tone of a syllable is determined by a combination
of the class of consonant, the type of syllable (open or closed), the tone marker
and the length of the vowel
There are several groupings of letters: Payanchana Nai Wak,
Payanchana Nok Wak, Payanchana Perm, Payanchana Piset,
numerals, vowels and tone markings/punctuation.
Many consonants have an alternate form (Payanchana Sagot) used when
it directly follows another consonant (like Khmer) or when it follows a consonant
vowel combination where a vowel or other marking is not taking up the space below
the preceeding consonant.
- There are no spaces between words, instead spaces in a Lanna text indicate the
end of a clause or sentence.
- The Northern Thai dialect can be written in the Thai alphabet, so Lanna can be
easily transliterated into Thai.
Consonants are divided into three classes which help to determine the tone of
a syllable (indicated by the numbers below). In the chart below is given first
the Lanna letter, then the "Payanchana Sagot –
if it exists (shown with the letter
as a place holder), then the Thai equivalent, then the English equivalent (followed
by IPA in square brackets). The numbers indicate the class of the consonant
(used in determining the tone of the syllable). 1 – high, 2 – mid, 3 – low.
Payanchana Nai Wak - Categorized letters
Payanchana Nok Wak - Noncategorized letters
Payanchana Perm - Extra letters
The vowels in the first column are the diacritic marks used to modify consonants.
In the second column are the corresponding independent forms. Only certain vowels
have this form. These are used for writing words borrowed from Pali. The third column
is the Thai equivalent and the fourth is IPA. The dash in the Lanna column indicates
the position of the consonant that the vowel is attached to.
Lanna has two sets of numerals. The first set, Lek Nai Tam, is
reserved for special purposes such as religious texts. The second set, Lek Hora,
is the set usually used in everyday life. It´s name (Hora) suggests that it is
also used for astrological purposes.
The dash indicates the position of the letter that the diacritic mark is attached to.
Sample text in Lanna
Transliteration in the Thai alphabet
๑ ทุกข์บ่ได้กิน บ่มีไผตามไฟส่องท้อง ทุกข์บ่ได้นุ่งอย้อง พี่น้องดูแฅวร
๒ เตมว่าที่กิน ที่นอรค่ดีคับ ยังอดอยู่ได้นานไพ คับค่ดีช้อม หัวอกหัวไจ จักอดอยู่ไพ หัวไจบิ่นบ้าง
Transliteration in the Latin alphabet
Kadii Sawn Jai Boran Lanna
1. Dtuk bong dai gin biim ai tam fai sawn dtaang dtuk bong dai nung dai yawng bii nawng duu kwaen
2. Dtem wa dii gin dii non gaw dii gan yang od yuu doo non bpai gap gaw dii ngawm hua ok hua jai jak ok yuu boo hua jai bin baang
Lanna Fonts (TrueType, 597K)
Introduction to Lanna Alphabet (PDF, 201K, in Thai)
Information about Lanna and other useful resources
http://www.lannaworld.com (in Thai)
Learn the Lanna (Tai Tham) alphabet
Free Lanna Fonts and Introduction to the Alphabet (in Thai)
Thanks to "Keen", the author of
the fonts and much of the information used to make this page.
Mongolian Horizontal Square Script,
New Tai Lue,