Thai Language in Thailand

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There are four main Thai languages spoken in Thailand (Central Thai, Southern Thai, Northeastern Thai (the same language is used in Laos) and Northern Thai, but the language refered to as Standard Thai is close to Central Thai. Being in Bangkok you might notice that Bangkokians skip the "r" in words like the polite ending "khrap".

Learning Thai as a "farang" is not really easy, but the Thai people really appreciate if you make an effort. If you want to learn basic words and sentences buy a Thai language course which is available in every book shop selling English language books.

Thai is a very complicated language to learn with a unique alphabet to make it even more difficult. To master a few words is not difficult however and will be greatly appreciated by the locals. Here are some essential words. For more information on the Thai language go to Travlang. Notice that Khrap is used as a polite ending for men and kha for women:

Yes = chai => ok

No = mai-chai

Thank you = kob-khun

Thank you very much = kob-khun-khrap

You're welcome = mai-pen-rai

Please = ka-ru-na

Excuse me = kor-tot/kor-a-nu-yart

Hello = sa-wat-dee

Goodbye = lar-korn

So long = narn/yao-narn Good morning = sa-was-dee-torn-chao

Good afternoon = sa-was-dee-torn-bai

Good evening = sa-was-dee-torn-khum

Good night = ra-tree-sa-was

I do not understand = chan-mai-kao-jai (f) pom-mai-kao-jai (m)

How do you say this in [English]? = khun-ja-pood-nee-pen-[pa-sa-ang-glish]-wa-young-lai?

Do you speak ... = khun-pood ...?

English = pa-sa-ang-krit

French = pa-sa-fa-rang-sez

German = pa-sa-yer-re-man

Spanish = pa-sa-spain

Chinese = pa-sa-jeen

I = chan (f), phom (m)

We = puak-lao

You (singular, familiar) = khun

You (singular, formal) = khun

You (plural) = khun

They = puak-kao

What is your name? = khun-cheu-ar-rai

Nice to meet you. = dee-jai-tee-dai-pob-khun

How are you? = khun-sa-bai-dee-mai?

Good = dee

Bad = mai-dee

So so = kor-young-narn-lae

Where is the bathroom? Where is the toilet? = hong-nam-you-tee-nai?

Asfr you see, the Thai language is not easy at all! When you try to pronounce the above sentences, you will also have to watch the "tones". If you don't, a Thai will simply not understand you! Therefore my advice is NOT to try to learn Thai efore you go there. The chance that you will be able to speak it in a few weeks is practically zero. However, the Thais speak English rather well but they pronounce it a bit different from what you expect. They normally will emphasize the last syllable of every word, to give just one example. Therefore my advice is: In Thailand carefully listen to the Thais and try to master the way they pronounce English!

February 22, 2005 change by hasekamp

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