Learn to speak basic Thai

If you’re coming to Thailand you might want to learn a few basic words and phrases to help you along your way. I personally feel that if you’re coming to a new country, it’s polite and shows a lot of respect if you try to learn their language, even if it is just “hello” and “thank you”.

There are some really good apps you can download that will help you learn and listen to some basic Thai words, I really like LuvLingua it’s by far the best Thai speaking app I’ve tried so far. You can also use google translate, but be careful because it’s not always correct. Also, when speaking Thai make sure you add “Kha” on the end of your sentence if your a woman, and “Khrap” if you are a man. Also “I” for a woman is pronounced ” Chan” and “Pom” if you’re a man. Don’t get these confused or you’ll get some funny faces looking back at you when your speaking, most of the apps tend to be for a man learning Thai so just change the ‘pom’ to ‘chan’ if you are a woman. Here are some basic and commonly used words and phrases for you to try out on your next visit to Thailand:

English                           Thai                              Pronunciation

Hello                                สวัสดี                              Sawat dee (Kar/Karp do this at the end of every sentence)

Thankyou                      ขอบคุณ                         Khaawp Khun (Kar/Karp)

How are you?               สบายดีหรือ                    Sabaai de mai (Kar/Karp)

I’m fine                           ฉันสบายดี                      Sabaai dee

How much?                   เท่าไหร่                           Thao rai

Yes                                    ใช่                                    Chai

No                                      ไม่                                    Mai

Please                               กรุณา                              Kruna

I don’t understand       ไม่เข้าใจ                         Chan(Pom for Man) mai khaojai

Where are the toilets? ห้องน้ำอยู่ที่ไหน            Haawng suaamyuu theenai

What’s your name?      คุณชื่ออะไร                    Khun cheuu arai

Help me!                         ช่วยฉันด้วย                     Chuay duay

Airport                              สนาม บิน                         Sa naam bin

Goodbye                          ลาก่อน                             Laa gaawn

I love you                        ฉันรักเธอ                         Chan rak khun

I don’t know                  ฉันไม่รู้                              Chan mai ruu

I’m a  vegetarian          ฉันเป็นมังสวิรัติ              Chan bpen mang sa wi

I’m allergic to…            ฉันแพ้                               Chan phaae

Delicious                       อร่อย                                  A raawy

I feel sick                      ฉันรู้สึกป่วย                        Chan ruu seuk bpuay

These are some of the very basic and common words that you might find yourself wishing you knew on a daily bases. The Thai language is very hard to learn and I’ve been teaching myself while living inside Thailand for the past year and my Thai still isn’t amazing. Hopefully, you’ll find these words helpful and please do try to get involved with the culture. Every Thai person I know said they really appreciate it when a foreigner tries to learn their language, but I definitely recommend downloading the app and listening to some youtube videos to get the pronunciation correct.

If you have found this useful at all then please like and leave a comment below, have you tried speaking any Thai? How did it go for you?

If you want to read more of my travel tips and information about Thailand, then please subscribe.

Published by Danielle

Hello! I'm Danielle, and I am a full time wanderer from England. Travelling and animals are pretty much my life, I also take a few photographs along the way. If you enjoy my page, please subscribe! 

15 thoughts on “Learn to speak basic Thai

  1. So useful! I like to learn at least some basic phrases when traveling to a new place. I have found that it takes you a long way even to say hello, please and thank you in the local language. I am saving your post for when I finally make it to Thailand.


  2. This is really useful. I like how you’ve clearly laid it out to make it easier to learn. I will keep your advice in mind for when I go to Thailand !! Thank you!


  3. I lived in Chiang Mai for 6 months a few years ago and didn’t pick up much Thai! But I love saying ‘hello’ in Thai—the female karrrr at the end is one of my favourite sounds. Also interesting to note the overlap with Lao! ‘Sabai dee’ is also used in Laos, but has a different meaning!


  4. Thai seems like one of the harder languages to pick up but that’s from someone who’s only spoken English and ventured into Spanish, French, and Italian. Thanks for breaking down it down so simply.


  5. I’m not planning on visiting Thailand anytime soon, but I want to someday, so this will be helpful then! Thanks!


  6. Thanks for sharing! I love learning basic words of the con try I am going to visit. I’m not sure how to pronounce most words but it’s helpful!


  7. This is a useful post, Danielle. You put all the basic words here. I agree with you, Thai is hard. I used to make business trips to Bangkok and learned only the first two. lol. I think you can add how they like to put their hands together in front of their chest and nod a bit when saying those words.


  8. We go to Thailand a lot (every year or every other year) so I knew a few of these already but have added the others to my list and will try harder next time we visit!


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