If you live in Thailand or just visit the Kingdom for a holiday or work; knowing a little of the language can really help. Of course, not only is it more polite to at least make an effort, it can make your life a lot easier. Being able to effectively communicate with the locals will mean that you can get the help and assistance that you need and be able to sort out things for your home, your business, or merely everyday living.

What are the benefits of speaking Thai?

As the last 12 months have shown us, you can never have too many friends and many ex-pats who had previously just mixed with other ex-pats, have found the benefits and pleasure of mixing with Thais. Without a doubt, if you can speak the language, you will be able to immerse yourself in the country, understand the culture and appreciate everything that is going on around you. You will be able to join in the jokes, enjoy the camaraderie and effectively live like a local and gain more respect.

General day-to-day phrases

  • Sawadee Khrap/Ka– Good morning. The Khrap represents the masculine version and Ka being the feminine; something that can be added to the end of almost every sentence and is viewed as being polite.
  • Sabai Dee Mai?– How are you?
  • Sabai Dee(Khrap/Ka) – I am fine
  • Mai Sabai– I not well, I am not fine.
  • Khop Khun Khrap/Ka– Thank you
  • Khar Thort Khrap/Ka– Sorry/Excuse me
  • Mai Bpen Rai – No problem
  • Khun poot pa saa Angkrit dai mai? – Do you speak English
  • Khar Thort, pom poot pa saa Thai mai dai– Sorry, I cannot speak Thai
  • Khun chu aria? – What is our name?
  • Pŏm / Chán chuu __. – I am called _____ (Pom is for a man, Chan for a female)
  • Tinai? – Where?
  • Arai?– What?
  • Mu aria? – When?
  • Yang ngai? – How?
  • Tum Mai?– Why?


  • Neung – One
  • Song– Two
  • Sam– Three
  • See– Four
  • Haa– Five
  • Hock– Six
  • Jet– Seven
  • Bat– Eight
  • Gow– Nine
  • Sip–Ten
  • Yee Sip– Twenty
  • Loy – Hundred

Direction and getting around

  • Leo sai– Turn left
  • Leo kwaa– Turn right
  • Throng bpai– Go straight on
  • Yut!– Stop!
  • Lil Lil!– Quickly
  • Cha Cha– Slowly
  • Glai glai– Nearby
  • Motorsai – Motorbike
  • Rot/Car– Car
  • Rot Dtuu/Minibus– Minibus or Minivan
  • Songthaew– Baht Bus (commonly used in Pattaya)
  • Rot mee– Bus
  • Bai Nai?– Where you go?
  • Bai____– Go (to) ____
  • Pang– Expensive

Eating Out

  • Ran aharn – Restaurant
  • Hew – Hungry
  • Gai – Chicken
  • Moo – Pork
  • Kung – Prawn
  • Khao – Rice
  • Nam Pow – Water
  • Nam Kang – Ice
  • Lorn – Hot
  • Yen – Cold (very)
  • Hong Nam – Bathroom
  • Aow menu noi? – Could I have the menu?
  • Mai ped – Not spicy