20 mai muan words

The Thai alphabet has two symbols for the vowel sound ai: mai malai (ไ –
ไม้มลาย) and mai muan (ใ – ไม้ม้วน). Only 20 words use mai muan, all the rest use mai malai, so it can be difficult for the learner to remember which words use which letter.

The following poem is a kind of mnemonic device to assist in memorising the 20 mai muan words. It is a bit like the “30 days hath September, April, June and November …” saying in English for remembering which months have 30 days.




An adult looks for new cloth
for his daughter-in-law to wear around her neck
He carefully put it in a wrap
and not fell for anyone who asks to see it
Would like to get on a sailing boat
to see clear water, see fish and crab
Whatever is in a cupboard
is not under a bed
A crazy guy carrying a lotus fiber
his blurry ears and eyes are coming closer
Chanting this poem, do not avoid
20 “ใ” do remember them well.


1. ใหญ่ yài big, large
2. ใหม่ mài new
3. ให้ hái to give
4. สะใภ้ sà-pái female relative by marriage
5. ใช้ chái to use
6. ใฝ่ fài have interest in
7. ใจ jai heart
8. ใส่ sài to put on, to wear
9. หลงใหล lŏng lăi to be crazy about
10. ใคร krai who
11. ใคร่ krâi to have desires
12. ใบ bai leaf
13. ใส săi clear
14. ใด dai any, whatever
15. ใน nai in
16. ใช่ châi correct
17. ใต้ dtâi under
18. ใบ้ bâi to be mute
19. ใย yai web, fiber, thread
20. ใกล้ glâi near

Source: http://ressources.learn2speakthai.net/thaigirltalk/episode/