In the first instance is sorted according to the consonants, and in the order in which we learn it:
ก ข ฃ ค ฅ ฆ ง จ ฉ ช ซ ฌ ญ ฎ ฏ ฐ ฑ ฒ ณ ด ต ถ ท ธ น บ ป ผ ฝ พ ฟ ภ ม ย ร ฤ ล ฦ ว ศ ษ ส ห ฬ อ ฮ
This list contains the two characters no longer in use (in gray) and also the characters reu and leu (red), which are vowels.
The second criterion are the vowels in the following order:
ะ ั า ำ ิ ี ึ ื ุ ู เ แ โ ใ ไ
The last five listed here are written in front of the initial consonant of a syllable and require special consideration: They are sorted as they would stand behind the next consonant. In the case of a double initial consonant, this characters move to a place between the two character initial consonant. Remaining parts of a vowel combination stay at her place around the last initial consonant.
Sound and other diacritical marks remain completely ignored in the first step of sorting.
The first step is to reorder the preceding vowels to a position behind the consonant.
The second step of sorting then compares character by character from two words, until there is a difference. The first different character determines the order in the sorted list: two different consonants in according to the priority list of the consonants, a consonant has higher priority than vowels, two vowels, the list of vowels decides pursuance of the said priority. If the search for the first different character reaches the end of one word before the end of the other word, then the shorter term has the higher priority.
The comparison in the example above shows only the last character is a difference. As it is two words is consonant and consonant น is on the table before บ, the second word will be sorted before the first.
From the non-consideration of sound and other special characters may arise that two different words are completely the same after the first step:
If the two words are absolutely the same, then (and only then) special characters are thus incorporated in a additional step in the following priority order:
This results in difference. At the fourth position of the first word is a ย, the second word has a ่. Again, the consonant table takes precedence. For involved special characters the priority order is:
่ ้ ๊ ๋ ็ ์ ๆ ฯ
Special case: Compound Words
The first two words in the following list are - viewed in isolation - in the correct order, because the first three characters are the same and therefore the shorter word has a higher priority. Because the third word is identical to the first while ignoring the sound sign, it wouldt be in order to the tone rules sortet to second place. In fact, there are dictionaries in which the following sequence is applied:
|จอง||[dja:wng--]||v. oder, book|
|จองตั๋ว||[dja:wng--tu:a \/]||v. order a ticket|
|จ้อง||[dja:wng /\]||v. to stare at|
|จ้องดู||[dja:wng /\ du:--]||v. stare, keep an eye on|
The envisaged by this order meaning is unmistakable. However, this order does not follow the rules described above. With their application, the following sequence would occure:
|จอง||[djô:ng--]||v. oder, book|
|จ้อง||[djô:ng /\]||v. to stare at|
|จ้องดู||[djô:ng /\ du:--]||v. stare, keep an eye on|
|จองตั๋ว||[djô:ng--tu:a \/]||v. order a ticket|
Both sorts are considered as correct. Today probably more dictionaries are sorted with the help of computers than by hand. Therefore the current dictionaries are probably sorted by the rule and showthe words in the order of the second list.
Sorting with Excel
While earlier versions did not know the Thai sort rules and have simply compared character by character, a test with Excel 2013 shows the correct sorting according to the rules described on this page.
If we want to look up in a Thai dictionary or lexicon, we are faced with sorting of Thai words.
Unlike in our alphabet, which is present as a combined list of consonants and vowels, are consonants and vowels separated in the Thai script and appear in two lists.
Therefore, the sort order of a list of Thai words is not quite as easy to determine.