A little understanding can go a long way
Thai language can be somewhat difficult for the average westerner to attempt, let alone master. This useful phrase book will help you to learn to speak a few words and phrases. It’s always appreciated by the locals if you can attempt a few words and it will certainly put a smile on their faces and perhaps even a few giggles as well.
Also, you should not be offended as it will definitely break the ice so to speak. Remember that you are on their turf so it is just polite to be able to exchange a few pleasantries with whoever you should meet as you travel around this vast continent, whether in the cities or the back roads and beyond. Besides it can also be a lot of fun as well.
Most Thai’s can speak a little English and there are many English and Thai teaching schools all over Thailand where you can try your hand improving your language skills. I shall get to the various schools later should you be spending more than the average time in Thailand.
Thai Language and Phrases
The more important words and phrases listed below are all you need to know for a short vacation in Thailand. There really is little need to be even remotely fluent as most of the time you will be understood in English.
Just remember to speak in a clear voice and ever so slower. Should you like to try a little Thai however, then please note that words or phrases take the suffix kha should the speaker be female and khrap should the speaker be male. Shall we begin with our first lesson!
Sawadee Kha (you as the female speaking) Hello or Goodbye
Sawadee Khrap (you as the male speaking) Hello or Goodbye
Khawp Khun Kha (you as the female speaking) Thank you
Khawp Khun Khrap (you as the male speaking) Thank you Are you beginning to get the idea of how it works? Just follow the simple male /female speaking terms and after a few mistakes, you will in time, master the correct pronunciations.
I’m still learning the Thai language all the time myself, so don’t feel bad. Besides, when you make a mistake, Thai’s maybe a little amused, but they will give you 10 out of 10 for trying.
It will almost certainly open up a few new doors and avenues. You only need to ask and Thai’s will gladly help put things right for you. Have some fun with it and enjoy the pleasantries that go with it. Just remember the Khrap and Kha component and you’re almost there.
You pronounce Kha as in Ka and Khrap as in Krup – Lets move on.
Sabai dee mai? How are you?
Sabai dee I’m fine
You nai…? Where is…?
Yaak pai… I want to go…
Hawng nam Bathroom
Taw rai…? How much…?
Paeng marg Too expensive
Khun cheu arai khrap? What is your name? (Male is speaking)
Khun cheu arai kha? What is your name? (Female speaking) Leou khwa Turn right
Leou sai Turn left
Trong pai Straight ahead
Yoot tee nee Stop here
Wan nee Today
Meua wan nee Yesterday
Proong nee Tomorrow
Rawng ram Hotel
Raan ahaan Restaurant
Sathanee tamruat Police station
Prai-sannee Post Office Rong phaya-bahn Hospital
Sanam bin Airport
Kreung bin Aeroplane
Sathanee rot fai Train station
Sathanee rot meh Bus station
Hew nam Thirsty
Hew kao Hungry Ahaan Food
Please note that you pronounce syllables as if they form English words.
a as in ago
b as in hen
c as in thin
e as in pet
o as in on
ah as in rather
ai as in Thai
air as in pair
ao as in maoism
ay as in day
er as in enter
ew as in few
oh as in go
oo as in boot
oy as in toy
g as in give
ng as in sing
This concludes our lessons for the day. We shall start afresh tomorrow with a brand new lesson… No, just kidding! This is as far as I shall take you because I am not that great a Thai language teacher. Besides, you probably haven’t a clue as to what I have tried to teach you up till now, but I did give it my best shot.
I’ll leave the rest up to you as you go along. And you know what they say… practice makes perfect. Good luck and have a great time in Thailand.