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When you visit Thailand you’ll find that most Thais will appreciate any effort you make in trying to communicate with them using their native language. It matters less that you pronounce words incorrectly and feel like you are making a fool of yourself. They absolutely love it, you will notice their joy in teaching you and it will make you well liked in an instant. To help you get started we offer the below Thai language for tourists crash course beginning with a few simple phrases

Thais understand that people from western countries find it very hard to use the tonal inflections of Thai effectively. Also, most of them with jobs exposing them to foreigners speak English (and in limited cases, Japanese, German and other languages) well. That being said, try to speak in Thai first. It’s an old language and the culture has used it for hundreds of years. Your effort will show respect for a culture with a proud history and your efforts will be welcomed by wide Thai smiles.

Some words and phrases to get you going

  • Hello
    • Sawadee
  • When a woman greet someone
    • Sawadee Ka
  • When a man greet someone
    • Sawadee Krup
  • Bed
    • Tiang noon
  • Toilet
    • Hoong Naam
  • Yes
    • Chai
  • No
    • Mai Chai
  • Please
    • Ka Ru Na
  • Thank You
    • Koob Khun Khrup
  • Excuse Me
    • Koo toot
  • Sorry
    • Koo toot
  • How are you ?
    • Koon sa-bai dee
  • I am fine thanks
    • sa-bai dee (Ka-Krup)
  • Beach
    • Ta-lee
  • Island
    • Koh
  • Market
    • Talaat
  • Temple
    • Wat
  • Help
    • choo-ay doo-ay
  • I need a doctor
    • Ao Khum Moo
  • Hospital
    • roong pha-yaa-baan