Travel-to-Thailand

Learn phrases from the Thai language

for a fun hassle-free visit to Thailand

Thai Language


Are you planning your next vacation to one of the most exotic, budget-friendly islands the globe has to offer? If yes! Then, my friend, this article is just for you.

Thailand is one the most exquisite, traditional, and culturally influences islands out there, and to truly understand the functioning of this country for a fun, easy-going gateway, we highly suggest you learn a few phrases from the Thai language for you to get by.

Learning a few things or two about the country you are planning to visit is always a good idea, it helps with communication, prevents you and the person you are conversing with not to get intimated with one another, plus it helps to understand the people and their culture even better.

So before we jump into the must-learn phrases you should know before traveling to Thailand, let's get familiar with the Thai language, its history, its importance, the distinctive pronunciation, and more.

Phuket-Thailand

Travel to Thailand

 

Thai language and its intricacies

Thai is the national language of Thailand and a member of the Tai group of the Kta-Dai language family. It is spoken by over 25 million people locally and internationally and is derived from the ancient languages of Southeast Asian countries such as Pali, Sanskrit, Mon, and Khmer.

Thai is a tonal and analytic language similar to Vietnamese and mandarin, with five different tines; it often gets hard for foreigners to hear and mimic it. But since Thai people are familiar with the different varied pronunciations of their language for years now, they can easily understand what is being referred to.

Another aspect of the Thai language that is quite noticeable is that it is a sociolinguistic language and can be confusing at first but is linguistically similar and easy to grasp without requiring years of experience and practice. Just one thing that needs close attention, and that is their pronunciation.

However, some aspects of the language may be hard to pronounce for foreigners, but it can be hacked with a simple technique; either not pronouncing 'R' at all or interchanging its sound with the sound of an 'I' or 'P.' To understand that there is an easy example of bringing you into the zone; Phuket is pronounced as "poo-ket" while krap as "kap".

Thai-People

Thai People Greetings

 

Learning the Thai language before visiting

It's a great idea to learn the Thai language or at least a few phrases before visiting the country. Now it is not an absolute must that you should because most people in Thailand know English and can converse somewhat easily. But if you want more hospitality to feel and more warmth from the locals, then learning would be the way to go, and not to mention it will enrich your whole Thai experience. And don't be afraid of sounding wrong; Thai people appreciate the effort, not perfection.

So here are some phrases from the Thai language that is a must and will help you to cruise through your vacation with ease.

THE BASICS

 

Hello

- Thai Translation: Sawasdee krap/kha
- Pronunciation: Sah-wah-dee krap/kah

A must-know greeting that helps to open up a conversation. It can be used with anyone irrespective of their age, and as a bonus, if you bow while holding your hands in a prayer position while saying hello, it signifies respect and helps people warm up to you. Now it is not important to do bow, but if someone does it to you, you should bow back out of courtesy.

How are you?

- Thai Translation: Sabai dee mai?
- Pronunciation: Sah-bye-dee my

The phrase should be accompanied by the hello to maneuver the conversation forward. It also helps to ease the tension and makes the party feel a bit more comfortable in each other's presence.

Thank you

- Thai Translation: Kawp khun (khrap/kha)
- Pronunciation: Kop koon (krap/kah)

Another essential phrase to know and a very common one amongst the travelers. Thank you is something that Thai people love to hear in their language, and if you bow and with your hands together, it adds sincerity to it.

No worries

- Thai Translation: Mai pen rai
- Pronunciation: My pen rye

A common phrase in the Thai language which can be used for multiple things, to say 'you are welcome,' 'no problem,' 'never mind' and more. It is definitely something that should be after a cultural misunderstanding or miscommunication, or misinterpretation to ease off the awkwardness.

Excuse me

- Thai Translation: Kor tot
- Pronunciation: Kor tot

Thailand is a much-crowded place and knowing this word helps to find the way through the crowd without being impolite.

I don't understand

- Thai Translation: Mai khao jai
- Pronunciation: My cow jai

No matter how many phrases you learn, if you are new to the Thai language, there will be instances where you will get confused as to what is being said to you. So to ease the confusion, knowing this phrase will indeed help a lot, just remember to smile; it adds sincerity and ensures a helping hand. 

How much is it?

- Thai Translation: Ni tao rai?
- Pronunciation: Nee ta-ow rye

Shopping is something Thailand is famous for, so knowing this phrase can be very handy especially roaming the street markets and wanting to buy the incredible range of things the country has to offer.

Expensive

- Thai Translation: Paeng
- Pronunciation: Pa-ing

Bargaining is a cultural thing in Thailand and through Thailand is a budget-friendly place, it is always good to spend less. Saying Paeng can start the bargaining, and if you stretch the word, even more, the emphasis will let the owner know of your disapproval and will probably let it have you for a good price.

I will take it / I want it

- Thai Translation: Ao
- Pronunciation: Ow

An easy way to get the thing tempting your eye.

Where is the bathroom?

- Thai Translation: Haawng naam yuu tee nai?
- Pronunciation: Hong nam you tee nye

You won't be at the comfort of your hotel room throughout your vacation right, so learning this phrase from the Thai language can help you a lot in finding a place to attend nature's call without rushing back.

 

THE FOOD LANGUAGE

 

Delicious

- Thai Translation: Aroy
- Pronunciation: Uh-roy

Thai cuisine is an integral part of the Thai culture, and Thai people take pride in their food; hence complimenting it will definitely help with hospitality and respect. Not to mention being polite is the most definite thing to practice.

Spicy / Not Spicy / Little Spicy

- Thai Translation: Phet / Mai phet / Nit noi phet
- Pronunciation: Pet / My pet / Neet noy pet

Thai cuisine is relatively spicy yet delicious, but since a lot of tourists visit the place and have different taste preferences and spice tolerance, it is better to inform them rather than torturing the palette and not enjoying the exquisiteness of the cuisine.

Vegetarian?

- Thai Translation: Mang sa wirat?
- Pronunciation: Mahng sah weerat?

Thailand cuisines mainly encompass different sorts of meat, and have vegetarian and vegan options is a relatively new concept there. However, to cater to the diverse tourists, they have been offering these options, so if you are a strict vegetarian or vegan, you should ask about it before ordering the dish.

Make your Thailand trip a great one with Thai language! Learn these and trust us you will be equipped enough to make your way through the island with ease and confidence.