Thailand is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations – 45 million people pass through Bangkok airport each year. Although especially famous for it’s beautiful and historic capital, Bangkok; Thailand also renown for delicious food, stunning beaches and cheap bargains! Did you know that Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country that was never colonized by an European country? In fact, in the Thai language, the name of the country is Prathet Thai which means “Land of the Free.”
It is relatively inexpensive to stay in Thailand, however travelling is sometimes not as easy as you might think. Communicating with the locals can be difficult for foreigners as Thai is a complex language, which uses tones, as well as a unique script. The Thai language has 44 consonants and 32 vowels, and six tones, which are critical to pronunciation. The word ‘mai’ means ‘no’, ‘wood’, ‘new’, ‘silk’ and ‘burn’, depending on which intonation you give it – this can be a major headache for learners!
Here are some basic words and phrases that you might find useful when visiting Thailand. These can help you with the necessities and to have simple conversations with the people.
Greeting in Thai
- Sawatdii – Hello! You will be pleased to know the same word is used for Goodbye!
- Sabaaidii mai? – How are you?
- Sabaaidii – I’m fine
- Kun chuu arai? – What is your name?
- Khop kun – Thank you
- Khot hort – Sorry
Yes and no in Thai
Chı̀ is the word for yes and Mị̀ is the word used for no.
Shopping in Thailand
Thailand is famous for it’s colourful markets and street stalls. Are you ready to bargain?!
- Taorai? – How much?
- Paang mak – Very expensive!
- Lod noi dai mai? – Can you reduce the price?
- Ao annii – I want this
Phrases and words for food
Thai noodle dishes, soups and curries are all amazing. But beware, the locals like it spicy!
- Aow meenuu noi – May I have the menu
- Annii arai – what is this?
- Mai pet – not spicy
- Chan/Pom chawp pet! – I like spicy!
- Khor iik nung! – One more please!
Some extra useful words
- Kun pood paasaa anggrit dai mai? – Can you speak English?
- Rot mee – bus
- Bpaai rot mee – Bus stop
- Sanam bin – airport
- Hongnaam – Bathroom
Chokh dee! – Good luck!