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Thai (Re: Back to basics - or musings of an old bore)

bfarnell@xxxxxxx wrote:

> I don't know much about Thai, but I do remember a speaking to someone
> studying it when I was at the language institute.  I remember it having
> a huge number of characters in it's alphabet.

No, only 40 or so. There are two  sets, just like our lower and
uppercase  letters  (wow,  52, just as many as there are  cards
in a bridge  deck -- is that significant???), except that  their
two sets have to do  with tones. The tones are represented by
small  digits above the letters. The  alphabet itself is 
derived from  Sanskrit, as are Lao, Khmer, Javanese, and many
more in South-East Asia (and Burmese, which I nearly forgot,
and Tibetan, which is, however, in North-East Asia).