Re: Thai character names

From: Samphan Raruenrom (
Date: Wed Jun 05 2002 - 10:08:53 EDT wrote:
> Another interesting point is that two of these four letters are now
> considered obsolete: kho khuat and kho khon. I have heard an
explanation --
> but don't know if it is true -- that the King decided to deprecate them
> when typewriters were being adapted for Thai because there were two too
> many characters that could be fit onto the limitations of the imported
> mechanisms.

I heard that before, from a source that is related to Thai IT
standardization. But I've just found recently that this may
not be true. A book on the history of Thai characters says that
29-May-1942, the prime-minister Por. Pi-Boon-Song-Kalm removed
13 consonants and 5 vowels. After his government, people got
back to the own system but the two characters kho khuat and
kho khon never came back again.

IMO, this is more likely what actually happended because the Thai
typewriters have some keys available and they're assigned to other
things such as the combination of a tone mark and a vowel.
So I think that at the time the typewriters were being adapted to
Thai, they may actually lost that two letters already. The current
keyboard standard adds that two letters and more by removing keys
that're considered redundant.

Samphan Raruenrom
Information Research and Development Division,
National Electronics and Computer Technology Center, Thailand.

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