Before I go ahead with the cities in detail, I wanted to share this important aspect with you all – in Thailand, majority of the country only speaks Thai ie. they do not know/understand english very well or at all in some cases. Hence, it is essential to know these basic Thai phrases which make your life easier when you are out there. These came in really handy for me and my mother whilst our 15 days vacay in Thailand.
|Basic Thai for Tourists|
|Hello (Male Speaker)||Sawatdee krub|
|Hello(Female Speaker)||Sawatdee kaa|
|How are you?||Sabai dee mai?|
|Fine, thank you||Sabai dee, kop khun|
|Never mind||Mai pen rai|
|I can’t speak Thai||Phoot Thai mai dai|
|I don’t understand||Mai kao jai|
|Do you speak English?||Khun phoot par sar ang grit dai mai?|
|Do you understand?||Kao jai mai?|
|May I take a photograph?||Tai roop dai mai?|
|Where is the restroom?||Hong nam yoo tee nai|
|How much is this?||Raa Kaa-tao rai?|
|Too expensive||Phaeng pai|
|The bill please||Gep thung|
|See you again||Laew phop gun mai|
|Sorry/ excuse me||Kaw thoat|
|I am sick||Mai sabai|
|I don’t want||Mai tong kan|
|You are very kind||Khun jai dee mak|
|Thank you so much||Kop khun mak|
|I love Thailand||Phom/Chun rak Prated Thai|
|I miss you||Phom/Chun kidteung khun|
- The words “Krub” (for a male) and “Kaa” for a female are often used at the end of sentences and elsewhere to be polite. There are many words to say “I” or “Me” and “You”. A very respectful way of addressing a person is the much used “Khun” and is applicable to both males and females.
- .”Sa-wat-dee” is the general greeting in Thailand and covers the English “Good morning” and “Good Afternoon”. Various alternatives to this greeting exist, but are almost never used. It is considered correct to follow “Sa-wat-dee” with their “Ka” for a woman speaker, or “Krub” for a male speaker.
- “Mak” which means “very” is used behind the adjective unlike we do in English. So “Aroi mak” means “Very delicious”, “Phom rak khun mak” means “I love you very much”.
- “Phom” and “Chun” mean “I” for which males say “Phom” and females say “Chun”.
- Use “mai” at the end of the sentence to form question. Using it in the beginning of the sentence to form negative.
Units- 10:sib, 100:roi, 1000:pun, 10000:muen, 100000:saen, 1000000:laan
Tips: Thai counting is very simple and easy to remember. If you know 1-10, the rest is easy. For example: 21- yee sib et, 22- yee sib song, 23- yee sib saam, 57- har sib jed, 1254- nueng pun song roi har sib see and so on…
|1am||Ti nueng||1pm||Bai nueng|
|2am||Ti song||2pm||Bai song|
|3am||Ti saam||3pm||Bai saam|
|4am||Ti see||4pm||See mong yen|
|5am||Ti har||5pm||Har mong yen|
|6am||Hok mong chao||6pm||Hok mong yen|
|7am||Jed mong chao||7pm||Nueng thum|
|8am||Paed mong chao||8pm||Song thum|
|9am||Gao mong chao||9pm||Saam thum|
|10am||Sib mong chao||10pm||See thum|
|11am||Sib et mong chao||11pm||Har thum|
|Eat here||Kin tee nee|
|Take away||Klub barn|
|Can I have more please?||Khor eek dai mai|
|Can I have extra plate?||Khor jan plao dai mai|
|Can I have extra spoon/fork?||Khor chorn/soom dai mai|
|Clear the table||Keb jan|
|Not delicious||Mai aroi|
|Can you recommend me some dishes?||Chuay nae num arhan noi|
|Keep the change||Keb ngern toen wai|
|Bill please||Keb ngern|
|Can I use credit card?||Jai duay bat credit dai mai?|
|May I have a receipt?||Khor bai seht dai mai?|
Note: The literal meaning of “Nong” is not waiter/waitress. “Nong” is used to call someone who is younger to you. So if the waiter looks older than you, care to use the word “Pi” which is used to call someone who is elder to you.
|In the Taxi|
|I want to go to…..||Yak ja pai …..|
|Is it far?||Klai mai?|
|Turn right/left||Leeo kwaa/sai|
|Go straight||Throng pai|
|Stop here||Yood tee nee|
|Drive slowly||Kub cha cha|
|How much to …..?||Pai … tao rai?|
|I don’t want to go there||Mai yak pai|
|Do you know ….?||Roo jak …. Mai?|
Note: You just need to put the destination to the dots. For example if you want to go to Khaosan Road, you would need to say “Yak pai Khaosan Road”. Same for “Roo jak Khaosan Road mai?” which would mean “Do you know Khaosan Road?”
|How much is this?||Ra ka tao rai?|
|Too expensive||Phaeng pai|
|Can you give me discount?||Lot noi dai mai?|
|How about ….. baht?||….. baht dai mai?|
|Can I see that one?||Khor doo un nun dai mai?|
|I will come back later||Dew ja ma mai|
|Do you have bigger/smaller size?||Mee yai/lek kwa nee mai?|
|Do you have another colour?||Mee see auen mai?|
|Never mind||Mai pen rai|
No doubt that Google Translate always comes in handy. But this spreadsheet is worth referring to every you feel you need a saviour!
Travelling to interior cities like Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, it gets very very difficult to communicate if you do not know Thai. For every single conversation, you need to translate on your phone and show it to them.
Not to mention, when travelling to a foreign country it is nice to respect their culture and be polite. We shouldn’t be disrespecting them in anyway as they are our host and we are on foreign land.
Tips: Thai people find it very disrespectful in their culture if you point to their feet while talking. Stand upright whenever you are greeting someone. Just be nice and courteous.
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